Catching up to Lockdown
It’s no one’s fault that today, when lockdown was due to end, the rains have come. The washed out sky is full to the brim, promising Greater Sydney a wet weekend, if the news from health officials wasn’t dreary enough. Hearing another quivering press update at 11.00am, you might be forgiven for thinking that Henny Penny was onto something when she famously declared the sky is falling.
It’s not called homework for nothing
After sweeping restrictions were re-announced today, we’re now faced with school closures next week. I’m reminded of my first stint of home learning, when by 9.40am on day 1, my primary schooler asked if he could take the next day off. After picking myself (and the laundry) up off the floor, he declared this home school routine way too imposing and deserved a break. Quite so. The logistical upheaval now facing educators and parents alike seems vastly out of step with the real impact of Covid in our community. Fear is indeed a powerful motivator.
“May we live in interesting times”
As uncertain as we are about the origin of the virus, no one knows either if this phrase took its translation from a Chinese curse, but it’s fitting enough. One thing we can all agree on is that when times get a bit too interesting, we’re not sure we want them anymore. If you don’t think I’m onto something, consider where we were just 2 years ago. Even hinting at the suggestion that entire cities could be fortressed would have read as a ridiculous sci-fi storyline.
Wake me up before you go go
Clearly, shutting the door on the problem is not fixing it any more than closing our eyes and hoping the boogie man will go away. There’s more at stake for people, cities, states, and a country if we don’t find reasonable, respectful, and inclusive ways of living with this virus.
With change as relentless as it is, it’s hard, really hard to get our bearings. Subsequent lockdowns have left towns, businesses, and people on the brink. Border restrictions have left families cut down the middle. All in all, the media’s panicked approach has left many downright scared. And as frightening and dangerous as Covid is, watching the media sensationalise the problem is equally so. It’s enough that within our own country we’re not free to travel, to mix, to go about our days.
Too much reality TV
Thank goodness the numbers aren’t swelling; how lucky we are. But when we use words like “super spreader” we’re engendering fear and anxiety and it’s without substantiation. Bad news stories championed every day can push people to the periphery. When the proponents of the lockdown message are so loudly spread, it can feel jarring and isolating, especially for those who hope for a different outcome.
It’s a strange and vulnerable time, where none of us really have the answer, even our elected leaders are spruiking an agenda that’s new to them too. In the barrage of information and talking, we, the people are not being included in the conversation. With every day we’re thrown new challenges, new ways of working and new expectations to keep up with. As Abbie Chatfield once said (though more likely about a slew of buffed up bachelors throwing themselves at her) “it’s a lot.”
You might like to read Schools Out and I’m In.