Lethargic Lockdown

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Lethargic Lockdown

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HIST30060 -
In reviewing this 'plague' year, I feel that there can be no simple way of explaining the whirlwind of emotions that seemed to fluctuate just as readily and sporadically as our daily covid- case numbers did back in April and May. My first uploaded image is a photograph I took of a note that was found in our letterbox in Balwyn, which we received on the 7th of April. Later we discovered it was made by two younger girls who lived at the bottom of our street, who had been writing similar letters for all our neighbours too! I felt it was very important in this unprecedented time to cherish the small acts of kindness, particularly given the emotional state of lockdown. Despite their relative insignificance, it is these small communal acts which I will cherish, which keep us connected to those around us, while ironically social distancing at the same time. Similarly, the young sisters who made the card are the same age as my niece, 9 years old. I often look at this card and think of how their youth has been irrevocably changed in this pandemic.

My second image is a photo I took of Mills beach in Mornington on the 31st of July. I think it will always remind me of the occasion where I snuck down to the Beach, on the premise of doing some 'maintenance' at a family property, which was what I explained to the police who were patrolling the highway. My father has had his bouts with pneumonia in the past, so the family decided that if he could conduct his work from home, then it would be best to get of Melbourne. So my mum and dad were staying down the in Mornington from late March and came back to Melbourne around the start of November. Although we would routinely call eachother on zoom, this photo in a way commemorates the time where I had to sneak down to the beach in order to see them. Though a beautiful sunset at mills beach, there also is a sense of morbid beauty and unease to the photo. It was the only time I think I have ever seen such beautiful weather and calm water, with no boats or people in sight.

The third image is a screenshot from a facebook invitation to a party which was created in early March. The guys that made the group event had originally planned to host a get together by December. I think in a sense this does give some explanation in regards to the expectations of corona, and the hysteria that was surrounding it in early March. I think as explained in the screenshot, although we didn't know what to expect, all we did know was that "the next few months are gonna be very long." Recently they updated the invitation from a party that will maybe happen in March next year. Although it may be some form of normality to look forward to, I think that this year more than any other we have learnt to prepare for the worst. Though it is currently listed to go ahead around March next year, part of me thinks it will be delayed again.

My fourth image is a screenshot I took from an instagram page called "melb_lockdown," which was created in early April this year. It is an instagram page that features many artful collections of the Melbourne CBD area in black and white photographs. As one who often indulges in photography myself, I think the artist behind the instagram page is always trying to send a message with his work. I think what strikes me most is naturally seeing images of one of the 'most liveable' cities in the world, which is now devoid of the very things that have have given the city it's -claim-to-fame.' The once frenetic energy and vibrancy of the busy Melbourne CBD is now lifeless, colourless, and painfully mundane.

My last image, is a meme that a friend of mine sent me. Similarly it is a an Instagram page called 'Covid 19 Funny Memes.' Though very funny, it also highlights a lot of the communal attitudes that have fluctuated and changed through out the pandemic. In late February/ early March, I believe that because it the pandemic was largely still a distant story that was affecting Europe more readily and Australia, it was something we really engaged in a kind of hysteria with. Because we hadn't experienced it, it was something we couldn't truly understand. Certainly these sought of humorous memes were not being created back then. But now I feel having lived with the pandemic for the last 8-9 months, people's attitudes have altered so much. I think because we are now more prepared to satirise, mock or create humorous memes is not to suggest that we have become apathetic towards the pandemic, but I think it shows that we are 'over it.' I think now living with this shadow over our lives for 8 months has taken its toll, and humour may be one way we can attempt to disassociate ourselves from this monotonous cycle.

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My uploaded items mostly are screen shots that I have kept in my Covid-19 archive. They are mostly screenshots of relevant social media sites/ posts, as well as two personal photos from my camera roll.

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This item was submitted on November 3, 2020 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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