Tag is exactly connection
Jewish MelbourneWe had a beautiful celebration for my daughter's Batmitzvah that was not how we imagined or planned it to be. Despite the restrictions, we were blessed with a simcha that was overflowing with yiddishkeit, connection, Jewish history, music, family, love and tradition.
Jewish Melbourne: Stand Up's Covid response websiteStand Up coordinated a community response to Covid in Victoria and NSW, connecting people and working to try to ensure that people had the assistance they needed, and that people were identified who could provide support.
A Pandemic Through Bad MemesHIST30060, this is a personal text reflection on my experience in the pandemic complemented by internet memes
We Got Married During a PandemicHIST30060: Making History My husband I planned our wedding for November 2020. My extended family lives in Malaysia, and we had organized for them to fly over to Melbourne for the celebrations, inclusive of classic wedding dancing, food and merriment. It obviously did not happen like that – but, it was better. In March, when the restrictions hit Victoria, we decided to move our wedding to June, not even knowing how many guests we would be able to have at that point. A few of our friends eloped, and some even planned a wedding in one night to accommodate the changing restrictions. In the weeks leading up, we pulled together our 20-person guest list, hired a photographer, and on the 27th June 2020, got married in intimate courtyard of our parents’ church. There was no (intense) dancing or fancy decorations, instead we got to focus on each other, on vows we made to each other under God and before our closest family and friends, and we got to live-stream our ceremony to everyone else (big win to not offending anyone). We are so thankful to God – it is better than we could have imagined or planned for ourselves.
'All ears'HIST30060 This illustration represents the importance of reaching out to people in times of need. I chose this because it was sent to me by my sister as I suffer from severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and during COVID my mental health measurably deteriorated.
COVID-19 Contact Tracing Notice - Healthcare WorkerThis was an email sent to my brother, who is a third year Doctor of Optometry student at the University of Melbourne. One of his classmates had tested positive for Covid-19, and he had been in the same lab room doing practicals together during this time. His whole class was asked to self-isolate for a two-week period, and his exams for the semester were pushed back as well. Although he does no directly deal with Covid-19 related patients, as a healthcare worker, he must come in close contact with people on a greater basis than almost any other profession. He isolated for the required period and was tested twice, thankfully with a negative result both times. Each test required 1-2 days turnaround. This object shows the steps organisations are taking to ensure proper contact tracing and in taking care both their patients and students. It also shows how healthcare workers, who come in close physical contact with others, are inherently at high risk and need to be extra careful not to catch or spread diseases. HIST30060.
Old money, New moneyHIST30060 It might not come as a surprise for people to learn that I, a history major, likes old things! Throughout this pandemic, I have become a frequent visitor of Etsy, searching for interesting vintage items to purchase. I have come out the other side of this pandemic with several old books, a set of 1950s cosmetic pots, a leather satchel and two old measuring tapes. Of course, in addition to things I have already collected over the years, including fossilised ammonites, more old books (including two copies of Shakespeare from the 1790s) and a pocket telescope from the 18th century. I feel like many people have indulged themselves during the pandemic, especially given the increased payments from the government allowing some people to have disposable income. And without having daily expenses such as public transport fares, for the first time I have been able to purchase some of these items without feeling guilty about myself for doing so. It makes me think about what type of things people do to cope during times of crisis. For me, clearly, it was some retail therapy, buying things that I enjoy. I am sure that many people will relate to that, considering the sheer amount of parcels the post office has to deal with from online shopping. I had always admired history from afar, but knowing that I can physically handle objects that have their own stories to tell has just reinvigorated my love for every chapter in the large book we call history.
Happy 21stHIST30060 A person’s 21st birthday (whilst not as big a deal in Australia as other countries) is still considered an important milestone. I, like many other people in Melbourne, had the pleasure of experiencing my 21st birthday in lockdown. Friends were not invited. Family could not visit. Instead, I spent the day at home with only myself, my sister and my dog. I feel like this picture accurately represents what the time was like. Dead. Not literally, of course, but life had grinded to a halt during this period. And yet, that day was one of my happiest. Maybe because it gave an excuse for people to contact me. A theme I think runs through a lot of the pandemic. Because we could not meet physically, social interaction through technology became a lot more prevalent. And who doesn’t love being sent cupcakes?
Lethargic LockdownHIST30060 - 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.
Adopting Nugget the PugThis is my housemate’s dog, Nugget aka Nug. Despite my housemate wanting a dog before the pandemic began, she realised that between working and being a fulltime student that she wouldn’t have the time to train a puppy. However, due to the pandemic we have spent more time at home than we ever have before, meaning we could train Nug without worrying about leaving him alone while we were at university or work. Nug has brought joy to our household, providing lots of laughs and endless cuddles. He has also made being at home every day far more bearable. HIST30060
HIST30060: QR CodesHIST30060: The introduction of QR codes into our daily lives has been just one adjustment into our new COVID normal lives. Previous fears of data security has been exchanged for the chance to socialize and eat out. As the pandemic continued, our priorities changed, and our normal changed, however our need to connect and socialize did not.
‘I’m here for you’2020 is a difficult year, especially for someone like me staying alone in foreign lands. What frustrated me was not only the difficulties in life, but also loneliness and lost. I have no roommate in Melbourne. Therefore, after the 5km travel ban was issued, I rarely contact with the outside world. Not only that, many of my friends choose to defer their studies and stayed in their mother country due to the plague so I gradually lost contact with them. In this case, speak to my classmates on the tutorial became almost the only way for me to communicate with the outside world. I am not ready to face this situation, and these sudden changes made me so depressed. Social distancing between men made me feel ignored and isolated, and I even considered about postponing my studies. Until a few days ago, I found some cards (as in the photo) from my apartment’s common zone. On the front page of the card there is ‘I’m here for you’, and residents could leave their contact information on the card to people who want to make new friends. I take one of the cards and left my message. Although I have not contacted that person so far, I can feel the kindness from strangers, and the support there makes me believe that everything will be fine. #HIST30060
Care after 5kmA friend of mine had a rough week. She lives down the coast, well out of my 5km play pen (the distance we Melbournians can travel from home). The phone calls are fine, but can be draining and don't replace a supportive hug. Feeling a bit helpless as a friend, I put together an hour of music I thought she'd find comforting. Diversifying the kinds of connections we keep up has been relieving in that way. Low pressure interaction, much like spending time in person when it is relaxed, calm, and conversation will bounce off stimuli in the world, is hard to replicate digitally. I've really stepped up my playlist game these days. She loved it. HIST30060
Alexander Oral History, 2020/03/26Rounding up what I've been doing since the first log I posted on March 24. There was a few things I felt like I didn't cover very well originally.
Navigating COVID-19 and Chest-Binding8 tips to look after your respiratory health for trans and non binary people who bind their chest .I am a member of a secret online group for transgender men. A member of the group from the US shared this resource, on how to look after your respiratory health for trans and non binary people who bind their chest. I realised that it was written by a member of the Australian trans community, someone I have connections with in my own city. It felt good to know that resources developed by someone in my own backyard are having a global reach and that the transgender community around the world are pulling together to support one another at this time.