What It’s Like to Go Into Lockdown for the Second Time
I wrote a few months ago that the pandemic was coming to an end. I was wrong.
As I type these words from Melbourne, Australia, my family and I face some of the harshest lockdown restrictions anywhere in the world. We have a nightly curfew in place from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. in an effort to stop the invisible war raging in our streets, shopping centers, and homes. Australia was hailed as flattening the curve. We appeared to beat Covid. Then it all went wrong — a bungled hotel quarantine system for international travelers laced with a sex scandal became the start of the virus reentering the state of Victoria and creating community transmission that spread quickly.
Yesterday, things got personal. A family friend had to shut down their hair salon. Why? All businesses that are deemed nonessential must close. Someone close to me faces the real possibility of not being able to put food on the table. To some, the pandemic seems silly, or not a big deal — until it hits your family. Then you realize that whether you are a passive income genius, a CEO, a sanitation worker, or a nurse on the front line, we’re all hurting.
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A second lockdown here in Melbourne feels like a nightmare. I wake up each day and find it surreal. I can only go outside once per day for an hour of exercise. The state regulations require me to wear a face mask if I go outside my home. There are police and military in the streets and in beautiful natural settings like the Yarra River. They’re positioned there to ensure people are wearing face masks and to ask them why they are out. If a person’s answer is not one of the four reasons we’re allowed to leave home — to provide care, get to a medical appointment, go food shopping, or exercise for one hour — then officials are instructed to issue hefty fines of up to $5,000. On a bad day, you can see videos on the news of the police exerting their new powers and tackling anti-maskers or…