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“This lockdown is quite bleak and scary." How it feels to be living in Melbourne right now.

Angela* misses the power of human touch.  

The 57-year-old widow lives in Melbourne, where residents are at the half-way mark of their six-week lockdown due to the coronavirus second wave

Angela’s husband passed away just last year and she still weeps for him.

She has five grownup children who all live in different parts of Victoria, and who she wishes she could see everyday.   

“I had been relying on them for emotional and moral support over the last year but now that’s all gone,” she explains to Mamamia.

“I do as much FaceTime calling as I can, but it’s not the same as having the human touch, which I know is the part that I’m really missing. You just want to touch someone or hug someone or give someone a kiss."

That’s it. The ache for human touch, to be back in the bosom of her family.

“I have two new grandchildren under 12 months and we are all missing out on spending that lovely time together which we are not ever going to get back.

“The loneliness and anxiety is a battle every single hour of every single day.”

Side note... what you're like during isolation, according to your star sign. Post continues below. 


Video via Mamamia

Angela was one of the number of women who reached out to Mamamia about what the lockdown in Melbourne feels like, the second time round. 

They all shared a common sentiment: things have changed. The days are colder and the hours feel longer.  

“Last lockdown felt different,” says Sandy, a 29-year-old occupational therapist, who works in a major Melbourne hospital. “It felt like we were waiting for something to hit. It was exhausting but almost thrilling, what will come next, what do we need to prepare for. 

“I thrive on a challenge and tasks and I found that the constant engagement in 'the plan' kept me sane and motivated.”

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“Socially, people kept in touch, with phone calls and trivia quizzes, and I almost think I was socially busier than normaI. I feel like everyone is exhausted and the novelty activities - like cocktails on Zoom and virtual trivia - have really worn off.

“We also saw the effectiveness of lockdown really early on, with numbers declining rapidly which was reinforcing what we were doing and gave hope that this will end.”

Numbers in Melbourne at the moment are doing the opposite. This week, Melbourne has recorded their deadliest day yet, as well as their highest-single day spike in new cases since the pandemic began. 

Premier Daniel Andrews has not yet said whether the six-week lockdown will be extended or not.  

The weight of the uncertainty is felt by millions of Melburnians. 

Listen to Mamamia Out Loud, Mamamia’s podcast with what women are talking about this week. Post continues below.

“This lockdown is quite bleak and scary,” the occupational therapist continues. 

“The hospital is ever changing to meet increased need in COVID-19 patients and also preventing any spread within the hospital. We're all wearing face shields and masks and it feels really clinical. I know it's a hospital, but normally I feel quite connected to my patients through body language, facial expressions, even being physically closer than 1.5 metre to them when interacting with them.”

A woman in her 30s agrees, saying “it feels a lot more scary and close to home this time around". 

Plus, she says, the attitude of ‘we’re all in this together’ seems to have dwindled, considering other cities and states in Australian aren’t confined to their own four walls. 

“Seeing pictures on social media of friends in other states or regional areas is probably one of the worst parts. Especially my friends enjoying beers at the pub in the sunshine in Perth.

“It's cold and the middle of winter and everything feels a lot more depressing.”

It's tough times, south of the Murray River, as social distancing genuinely means a population distant from each other socially, and feeling the loneliness, as the trough of winter gets ever deeper and darker. 

Melburnians are in search of some warmth. A hug would be nice. 

Feature image: Getty. 

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.


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