Lockdowns a year into a pandemic are a different kind of hard.
When the virus first reached our shores in early 2020, lockdown was a terrifying new experience that we had no rule book for.
It was novel, almost, amongst the fear.
But lockdown in 2021 is different.
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It's easier because we're creatures of habit. We know what to do and how to set up our homes and our social lives amongst the parameters. More walks in the fresh air. More phone calls. Less watching the rolling news coverage.
But forced solitude feels angrier this year. More divided. More hopeless. More frustrating.
In this yo-yo world, just as life starts to resemble a version of normal - with weddings re-planned, restaurants fully booked and holidays re-scheduled, it all comes tumbling back down. Suddenly, we're sent back inside our homes. Of course, this time there's no JobKeeper, leaving many Australians treading water without any support.
It's the false hope. It's the false starts.
Lily is frustrated because she's not eligible for a vaccine. She's too young, she tells Mamamia.
Kristy is a teacher and not considered 'essential' enough to be at the front of the queue. She feels forgotten, and tired of being treated like a babysitter.
For others, it's the exhaustion of being worn down, one disappointing cancellation after another. A war of attrition on our social lives again and again and again.
It's feeling guilty for even complaining about something like a birthday party. It's having to caveat every complaint with, 'but I am healthy and safe so it's okay,' so as not to appear ungrateful.
It's envy. The rest of the world is starting to learn how to live with this virus. They're talking about vaccine passports and European holidays, while we're down here on our island nation wondering if we'll ever be reunited with our friends, relatives and lovers abroad.