I’m a Sydneysider, get me out of here
The Sydney Lockdown 2.0 is not like the previous one. My two year old son, never a fan of the drop-in center, brought this home to me at the end of August when he came over one morning and said, âMom, are you going to school?
He couldn’t wait to jump in our car and get out of the house. Me too. Taking two trains to work, perhaps with a sneaky stop at City Hall to shop in the QVB, and even brunch at the Palace Tea Rooms, would be such a breath of fresh air.
Last year, when the call was made in late 2020 for people to return to the office at least 60% of the time after Lockdown 1.0, I have to admit I was devastated. I felt like cloistered sister Agnes in the Australian miniseries Brides of Christ who, faced with the dismantling of the wimple and the habit, could not get out of the institutionalized life of the convent in the light of modern times.
The novelty of working from home made me believe, despite the extra five or six kilos I was carrying, that I was living the dream. No hour-long commute, no budget line for transportation or dining out, more time with family and the peace of a relaxing home office listening to my favorite things.
Lockdown 1.0 was new. 2.0? Not really. Sydney had gotten a taste of Melbourne’s plight in 2020 and before too long we were at the end of the road with GBJ: shall we get vaxxed and get the hell out of here.
Package days, as indicated in the Herald , were an effective but inexpensive way to raise the spirits in confinement. As Kerri Sackville wrote on Twitter, âI just received a notification that my package is arriving today. I don’t know WHICH package, but it’s not important at this time. What is important is that it is a day pass. It’s the equivalent of locking a dozen red roses on your doorstep. (I’ve even heard that a software engineer who usually weighs every $ 5 he spends has succumbed to Amazon’s allure.)
But making our way through the pandemic, while undoubtedly a boon to the wider economy and above all rather harmless, is an itch that shouldn’t be turned into an addiction.
Our society is built on more than credit card transactions.
If my two-year-old can feel the call to fellowship with his peers, despite the generally restless release of our care at the time of pre-lockdown deposition, how much larger, wider and heavier human masses have- do they need to connect? Picnics, while lovely, are not enough.