opinion

'I'm entering my fifth Melbourne lockdown. I have no faith left in our leaders.'

I opened my eyes this morning in Victoria, and a familiar sense of dread crept through my body. 

I allowed the feeling to wash over me. The house was quiet, my four children were still sleeping. It was a good time to sink into self pity before I would force myself out of bed and plaster a smile on my face. 

I would start preparing the mental list of indoor activities and remind my children once again that they were superheroes for doing their part in making the world safe. 

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They will do it. They will fulfill their roles. Get the job done. We all will. 

That’s what we are told over and over right? Let’s just pull up our sleeves and get the job done. 

In the beginning, I was happy to do so. 

After all those were unprecedented times. 

We were fighting an invisible enemy that does not discriminate against age, class or gender. It evolves and morphs and travels at lightning speed. 

Except that now, we are no longer living in unprecedented times. 

In terms of resources, data and knowledge, we are not where we were last year. 

Yet, in many ways it feels as if we are still treading water.

Of course, I will continue to do my part. To make my contribution to society, in my own small way. 

I’m not a scientist or a politician. But I do what I can. What I’m told to do. 

I will continue to wear a mask despite feeling so anxious some days I choose not to go outside because I simply can’t stand anything on my face. 

I will continue to scan the QR codes and sanitise my hands upon entering the shop whilst juggling my baby. 

I will once again battle with bad internet connection, lost passwords and my children’s tantrums when I don’t grasp their math work. 

I will once again try not to cry when my two-year-old brings me her shoes with pleading eyes and says, “Park?” 

For the tenth time that day. 

I will bring the cheer and check in with my loved ones. I will take part in the trivia despite always losing. 

I will shut down my business and desperately send out emails trying to once again reschedule clients to an unknown date in the future. I will do my job. 

We all will. 

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Teachers without warning will once again scramble and pivot to provide online learning and continue to engage with our babies. 

Police will continue to enforce the ever-changing and widespread rule changes. 

Nurses and doctors will head back to the front lines and put their own health and safety on the line to fulfill their roles and save lives. 

Artists will once again take to the side of the stage, hungry to tell their stories, starved of applause and income. 

Business owners will close their doors and wonder how much longer they can continue to stay closed, before they shut forever. 

Children will once again give up playgrounds, friends and classrooms, often without complaint. 

Families will cancel their already rescheduled weddings and attend funerals over Skype. 

We will do it all. Because we know that it works. We will do it out of the love and care we have for those who are vulnerable.

But also, because we have to. 

My patience is gone. The grace that was given to those in charge last year, has expired. Time is up. 

We are no longer treading on new and unfamiliar ground with this pandemic. We have been here long enough. We have had the time on our side to do it right.

The reason my family and millions of other ordinary heroes continue to keep having to do the work, is because those with the most important jobs in this pandemic, are not doing theirs.

I do not pretend to know the complexities it takes to orchestrate a vaccine rollout

I do not know the structures that need to be put in place to build better facilities for quarantining those returning from overseas. 

I am not able to make the calls about when to close borders and when to close businesses. 

I don’t have to, that’s not my role to play.

Yet I know enough to know that those in charge are not fulfilling theirs. 

We can look to the rest of the world and their response. We can see what works and what does not. 

The leaders who are not afraid to make unpopular and swift decisions in order to save more lives. 

Those who make the important calls and secure the vaccines. 

Yet the responsibility falls once again on the everyday people to “do their job” and “get it done.”

To fix the mistakes and the slips. To make up for those who refuse to follow the rules. To make up for those who refuse to put the rules in place. 

So yes, I will continue to do my job in fighting this virus. I will do the absolute best that I can.

I just wish I had faith that those who hold the most power, were doing the same. 

Feature image: Getty.