Life After Lockdown: Living in the World's Most Lockdown City

Life After Lockdown: Living in the World's Most Lockdown City

By Lauren McDonough

For many people in the disabled and chronically ill community, their lives already felt like lockdown before the pandemic hit. The only difference is that they could see family and friends when they wanted to. And that's where it was so hard, for many disabled people. 

It can already be very lonely and exhausting having a chronic illness. So, when the ability to see loved ones is taken away from you, it can become even worse. For me, my mental health was really affected. As someone who has severe mental health issues already, being able to see friends and having human contact is something that means alot to me and is very, very important. It felt strange not seeing those I cared about. So when we came out of the pandemic ( in Melbourne's case, a very long and strict lockdown), hugging family and friends meant that much more. In a strange sense, while it feels so amazing being able to do that, I know a lot of people within this community, including myself, are still nervous about it at the same time. 

To now be out of the very long Melbourne lockdown feels fantastic. I've learnt to cherish my time with loved ones that much more. To not see loved ones, chat over a coffee and hug them has been very challenging. 

The one thing that this lockdown has really taught me was to cherish your loved ones and hold them closer to your heart. When you can't see them, it makes things a lot harder. Phone calls, text messages and even video calls can only do so much. It's not quite the same. It made me love them even more, and it's taught me not to take anything for granted. Tell people you love them, hug them tight. I hope we all never take seeing loved ones for granted ever again. 

Two images of Lauren, a young disabled woman pre and post lockdown.
All Pictures from Lauren 2021 (@lauren_mcdonough)

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