This too shall pass

This too shall pass

By Stella Barber - Victoria Harbour resident

While stage 4 lockdown has presented residents with numerous challenges, as in all situations there have indeed been positives.

I have surveyed fellow Victoria Harbour residents and asked two easy questions, “what is the best” and “what is the worst thing about the lockdown”? I was delighted to receive the responses and learn that everyone had as many positives as negatives.

Working from home seems to suit most people. For banker, Dr Wyanet Shi, this means not having to spend time selecting office attire and getting dressed for work. What’s not to like about working in your trakkies or PJs? When there is a Zoom meeting how many of us just ensure we are presentable from the waist up, wearing our business jacket over our casual clothes. Maybe also there is a realisation that the old adage “clothes maketh the man” really does not apply. We can all be highly productive in whatever we chose to wear.

Another positive is that the lockdown provides countless opportunities to explore our creative side. Some residents tell me they are re-discovering their love for painting and drawing and how lucky we are in Victoria Harbour that our ever-changing views, sunsets, stormy skies and bird life present countless opportunities for creative inspiration for the budding artist. Maybe we can even initiate a COVID “create from home art prize” ... how about it, City of Melbourne?

Further pluses are spending time with family, whether that’s playing board games with your family, or catching up each week by Zoom. Who would have thought that despite the inability to leave home we are actually seeing more of each other than ever before? Another resident Sam told me that having a baby in 2020 has meant she and her partner had not missed a single moment of their little girl’s development and she was joyous at the opportunity to be at home with both her child and her work-from-home husband.

As for the negatives? Well while we are loving the online movie opportunities, some people are aware that their screen time has gone up perhaps a little too much and how easy is it to continue watching that great new release on Netflix rather than actually starting work?

That said, I want to give big shout out to our ABC in providing us with the option to watch some brilliant Australian movie content. For those not familiar with ABC iview, it’s a free ABC platform, just go to: iview.abc.net.au

You can search their movies, I have enjoyed re-watching Strictly Ballroom, Muriel’s Wedding and My Brilliant Career and also watched a few movies I have always meant to watch but never got around to. One I would highly recommend is South Solitary and maybe this one is especially appropriate in these days of iso. While not spoiling the story, it’s about an unusual relationship that develops between two somewhat broken people post WWI. It’s beautifully shot and has a simple but powerful script.

Also, on iview are some wonderful feel good programs, like Anh’s Brush with Fame; if you have not seen it, have a look! It features artist Anh Do who interviews “famous” Australians and while he is talking to them, he paints their portrait. It is an evocative presentation of seeing inside the essence of people. I especially loved the episode on cyclist Anna Meares.

Kieren, who responded to the survey, really enjoys working from home and he continues to edit videos and develop websites. He likes the slower pace and being able to work in casual clothes at hours that best suit his body clock. He also enjoys playing video games with people from all over the world. For Kieren, the worst thing about the lockdown is not being able to drive to the beach or drive anywhere for that matter.

Michael, who also responded to the questions, misses going to the footy at Marvel Stadium, and tramming to the MCG to catch an AFL game on a sunny afternoon. A runner, he also misses a long run from Docklands to the Tan Track and back and he was hugely disappointed with the cancellation of the Melbourne Marathon.

There are of course more serious and tragic negatives. One Victoria Harbour resident has commented on the grief experienced at the death of a loved one and then the double impact of immense sadness in not being able to plan a proper funeral. Once we move beyond COVID-19, it is likely that there will be many families arranging post lockdown celebrations to more appropriately recognise the passing of loved ones. Likewise, grandparents and other family members have not been able to welcome newborn members of their families into the world. Again, once we get past this, we will be able to organise family gatherings to celebrate new life and also new unions. We have all missed seeing jubilant newlyweds having their photos taken on the Promenade at Victoria Harbour.

Lea mentioned a positive from the lockdown in terms of the emergence of better food delivery options. No longer does the cook’s night off have to involve a pizza delivery, we can now enjoy restaurant quality meals from countless dining options from within and beyond Docklands with cuisines from an ever-increasing range of culinary cultures.

It has become a bit of a cliché to talk about the “new normal” post COVID-19, but maybe this new normal will bring more positive change. This might include a greater appreciation for all family members, young and old; a more relaxed attitude to work and more flexible working arrangements, and an enhanced awareness that we live in a truly beautiful place - our Victoria Harbour.

Hang in there, this too shall pass •

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