Back at it again with a Six Week Lockdown!
Even though we knew it was coming, it was still a devastating update in our COVID fight. Six more weeks of lockdown, six more weeks of restrictions, six more weeks of checking daily numbers, six more weeks of isolation.
Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have done everything by the book, adhered to all the rules and restrictions. We know that this lockdown is necessary, but it doesn’t make it any less taxing on us, it doesn’t make it any less scary.
We feel deflated.
Deflated because our efforts appear to have been for nothing
Deflated because we had just experienced a taste of normality
Deflated because it felt like we could see the light at the end of the COVID tunnel
We feel hopeless.
Hopeless that this is never going to end.
Hopeless that our second year in Australia is going to be anything but restrictions and lockdowns.
Hopeless that people will follow the rules.
Within hours of the premiers afternoon announcement on Tuesday that Metropolitan Melbourne would be going back into lockdown on Wednesday 08/07 at 11:59pm the panic buying had ensured.
The cases have been creeping up over the past couple of weeks. In the days leading to the Premiers, announcement shelves started to look a little bare in the supermarkets. You began to see people stocking up on toilet roll…again! Surely these hoarders have enough toilet roll to do them from their last selfish shopping spree in March.
Unfortunately, like our last lockdown, it was announced at a time my fridge and cupboards are bare. Typical. The empty shelves, the panicked shoppers, the lack of regard for your neighbor, the hoarding, these were all anxiety-inducing factors during the first lockdown.
This time around is no different, I desperately want to avoid the supermarkets to prevent adding to my already fleeting mental health. I’m trying to hold out until the very last moment to visit the supermarket so that they may have a chance to replenish stock and I’m not faced with the disheartening sight of naked shelves.
Coles and Woolies have reinstated restrictions on common items such as pasta, rice, flour, frozen vegetables, toilet roll, hand sanitiser, and soap.
My saving grace has been Hello Fresh, who we use through the last lockdown while we waited for supermarkets to restock.
Hello Fresh provides fresh ingredients and recipes to your door. If you follow my Instagram stories (@aweirdheff) you would have seen some of the delicious recipes we received and just how easy they are to make. I have a family box on the way next week, which offers four recipes that serve 4 people, which is perfect for prepping lunch and dinner for myself and Kevin!
The media have been threatening the SECOND WAVE for weeks. I know you’re thinking…but they were right, and yes they were right, unfortunately, but it’s the manner in how it’s being reported on that doesn’t sit right with me.
Having studied Media Communications and worked in PR, I know negative stories = ratings, but it’s relentless! They have a countdown timer to the lockdown on some news channels further fuelling panic buying and panic in general.
There is absolutely no purpose a countdown timer of this sort has than scaremongering and sensationalism.
It’s also having the opposite effect as people treat the countdown to lockdown as a last hurrah. During a short walk this evening the cafes, bars, and restaurants were filled (within restrictions) of people having a final meal, final gathering, or a final pint before we head into isolation. No doubt there will be lockdown house parties that ensue.
Why wouldn’t they when they have been given a countdown clock to isolation! Unfortunately, I fear that it will see a further spike in cases.
**Disclaimer, I left the house once today to get my nails done in a home, one on one, and went home.
I posted recently on Instagram how I have had to unwilling submerged myself back into negative news, the overdramatic graphics, exaggerated voiceovers, and statements used to invoke fear in what is already a fearful situation because we needed to tune into the Premier’s daily updates on figures and restrictions.
Now we are in lockdown and will be for six weeks (at least) I’ll be tunning back out. Not to pretend it isn’t happening, to live in denial, but to protect my mental health. It worked last lockdown!
If anyone else is feeling the strain of the constant negativity being spewed out by the media, here are some social media accounts I like to follow to brighten up my day and feed with.
* I don’t follow any news sources on Instagram (my most used social media platform)
In the lead up to lockdown pt 2, as cases began to increase daily, my anxiety flared up, bad! I started having panic attacks again, something that I’ve kept under control fairly well since moving to Australia, but Saturday I broke.
It was one of the worst days I’ve had with my anxiety in a long time, unfortunately, I had multiple panic attacks that day.
My body and muscles have been aching from stress and anxiety build-up. I’m craving a bath or a massage to help relieve the tension my body is holding in. I feel like I need that breakdown, not that I wanted it, but it was necessary to let out all the worry that I had been denying.
Now that I know, for six weeks we are in isolation I feel like it should have lifted because this is what I was worried about, well that and catching COVID 19.
This lockdown has an added air of apprehension because:
- We have already gone through this
- The first lockdown was supposed to be 4 weeks, it was 13!
- It is only Melbourne in lockdown not the whole of Australia making us feel even more isolated.
I’m sure in the coming days as we settle back into isolation my anxiety will begin to ease off with the help of self-care, and some positive steps. Thankfully I will be working from home throughout lockdown, providing me with a sense of normality and routine. This is, of course, going to be tough on everyone involved, but let us this time positively. Here are some things I’ve listed in my mindfulness journal to hopefully keep me focused on the positives and to keep my anxiety under wraps.
- Six weeks to save more money
- Six weeks to challenge myself to eat right and exercise
- Six weeks to finally finish the puzzle we bought in Lockdown Pt 1
- Six weeks create a new habit
- Six weeks to create content
Make sure to check in with yourself, make time for self-care, check in with others and stay connected through this second lockdown. No matter how alone you may feel during lockdown or daily life, you are NEVER alone. Here are some services that can help:
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
- Headspace on 1800 650 890
- ReachOut at au.reachout.com
We have done it before and will do it again.