WSS Opinion: Anger and Frustration with Melbourne Lockdown

Am I making it through Melbourne’s lockdown? To be honest, no. I’ve been struggling for over a week now and I have been completely deflated and angry since Sunday’s announcement and we will, essentially, be in lockdown until the end of October. Another seven weeks!

I’m Angry

I’m angry with our incompetent state government. Who went against the Federal Covid19 guidelines and hired security guard businesses (who were then hired the guards via WhatsApp) instead of using the Victoria Police or ADF. The security guards weren’t trained in what they were supposed to do, didn’t use PPE and caught Covid 19. As the saying goes, if you pay peanuts….

I’m angry at the people in quarantine for knowingly doing the wrong thing, by leaving lockdown to go to shops, cafes, restaurants and having sex with the security guards (who then passed it onto their family and friends). The second wave has been 99% accredited to the failings of the quarantine hotels.

I’m angry at the Victorian State Government for their terrible contact tracing system and letting the spread get out of hand. NSW has had the potential for huge outbreaks but has managed to supress them because of their effective contact tracing. NSW hasn’t had to lock down it’s population to suppress the virus.

I’m angry that doctors, nurses and health professionals have had to put their own health (and that of their families) at risk because of the incompetence and mismanagement of our state government.

I’m angry the government let the virus get into aged care and palliative care services. How have other states managed to keep the virus out of these centres but Victorian DHHS failed to do so?

I’m angry, and heartbroken, for those who have lost loved ones to this hideous virus, when it could have been avoided (Victoria was down to zero cases before the quarantine hotels outbreak).  

I’m angry at the Victorian State Government for putting together an unattainable “pathway to nowhere”. Many doctors and epilogists have said eradication isn’t achievable in Australia, as we have seen from other Australian states who have had zero cases and have cases now (look at NZ too). We won’t get to zero cases by the end of November, which means businesses won’t be able to open.  

I’m angry at those who didn’t do the right thing and went to visit family and friends, even though they knew we couldn’t visit others in stage 3, and ended up spreading the virus throughout the community.

I’m angry for the 436,000 (and counting) people who are now without jobs and don’t know how they are going to afford how to live. Over 36,000 people lost their jobs in July (August stats haven’t been released yet). To put that in prospective, that is the amount of people who live in my suburb. A suburb of people lost their jobs in a month! And it is going to get worse the longer we are in lockdown.

I’m angry for the small business owners who have no clear indication of when they can open, who are now in survival mode and hanging on by a thread. 80% of employment in Victoria is via small businesses. The more businesses that fold, the higher our unemployment rate will be.

I’m angry for our kids, who have spent most of this year at home, without the interaction of their peers or proper education from their teachers (who are doing their best but realistically, nothing will replace in classroom learning). It broke my heart to hear of young kids with depression and some have actually become mute because of lockdown.

I’m angry that my year 12 son has had his last year of school stripped away from him and for what is the hardest year of schooling, made ten times harder (especially for kids with special needs) with the constant interruptions. Again, not due to any fault of their own but by our state governments failures.

I’m angry that I’ve only seen my Dad and step Mum once since January and they only live an hour away.

I’m angry that I probably won’t be able to see my eldest son and brother this year (they both live in QLD). As with a lot of people who have family interstate. I really feel for people who have family overseas, who knows when interstate borders will open, let alone international borders.

I’m angry for the elderly who are on their own in their homes and especially those who have been stuck in their rooms for weeks on end in nursing homes and palliative care. That is no way to live.

I’m angry for the people struggling mentally and financially through no fault of their own.

It Sucks

I don’t think our interstate counterparts realise how hard this is. It’s like being in a perpetual state of uncertainty. Constantly being on edge and wondering why we can’t be doing the same things our fellow Australians are doing.

If you work from home, you are stuck in your house for the majority of your time. Only allowed to venture out for a walk for an hour a day and to the supermarket (which for me, is once a week). Having walked most of suburb for most of this year, it can get very monotonous, especially in suburbia where all the houses are same-sy. It’s like groundhog day everyday, as it has been for most of this year (we only had a relative few weeks to actually get out and do things before getting locked down again).

Trying to work and help our children with their education is near on impossible. You can’t dedicate 100% to either. Many parents are working long hours to try and get their work done, as well as look after their children and the usual house chores.

Buying anything that isn’t grocery related is a huge pain in the butt. The boys needed stationery for their schooling, basic things such as a new eraser and rulers were hard to come by. I tried two different supermarkets and two different newsagencies and none of them had any. Thankfully, the third supermarket we tried had erasers. I couldn’t buy graph paper for my year 10 son, as Officeworks is over 5kms away for click and collect (delivery wasn’t an option, as it would take too long) and Kmart didn’t have any in stock. The newsagents didn’t stock any either, so I had to print off some grid sheets I found online.

Then our printer died a few days after that. Do you know how hard it is to buy a printer at the moment? Most stores are out of stock (JB Hifi etc) and could take three weeks (or more) for preorder. Which isn’t helpful when your son needs a printer for their VCE studies. And when we finally found somewhere to buy one (which was a few suburbs away), Aus Post decided it would be a great idea to send it via Sydney. So, who knows when it will get here? I should have risked getting a fine to click and collect it.

A lot of the chain stores like Bunnings, Kmart, Target etc are out of stock or items are either unavailable for click and collect or delivery. I’ve been trying for weeks to buy the things we need from Bunnings.

Many people are complaining that when they do finally get to order something, it can take weeks to get to you via Australia Post.

Having said that, I’ve had good experiences with Myer, EB Games, Country Road, Trenery, Witchery, The Good Guys and Adairs.

I don’t know how the elderly are going to buy anything they need, as most don’t know how, or refuse to use, online ordering. My Dad still pays his bills at the post office or in the bank, he even refuses to use online banking. Same with my mother in law. I guess they go without until the stores reopen at the end of October (maybe). 12 weeks is a long time of not being able to buy things you need. Why can’t the government let elderly and the disabled have an allocated time per week to buy what they need from Kmart etc?

Having expressed my anger and frustration above, I know there isn’t anything I can do about the circumstances we are in. So, I’ll just have to suck it up and get on with it. It’s not good dwelling on things we have no control over, as it will mess with your mental health. But thank you for reading my rant.

Read my next post to see how I am looking to deal with lockdown over the next seven weeks. Hopefully, it will give you some ideas too.

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