On Friday evening, nine public housing towers were closed in Melbourne, and approximately 3,000 residents of these towers were placed into forced and sudden isolation.
*Sal, a single mother of two who lives in one of the North Melbourne towers that has been shut down shared her experience with Mamamia. She wishes to remain anonymous for privacy reasons.
As told to Shona Hendley.
Watch: Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews announces public housing lockdown. Post continues below.
I am a single mother with two children. We live in one of the North Melbourne towers and up until the last few days we have enjoyed living where we do.
We have been here for a few years now and have become a part of a strong community with many other residents in the building.
While our small apartment isn’t much, we have made it our home. Most days we spend a lot of time outside - we go for walks, go the playground on the weekends and enjoy the space where my eldest child can run around.
For us, this is what I thought of first when we were told we couldn’t leave. How would my children get fresh air? How would they feel the sun? How do I tell my children they can’t do these simple things that we always do?
We had no idea it was coming. Many of us living here were going on about our everyday lives on Friday – at work, out at the shops, doing things around our homes like we always would.
Then people started talking and texting each other, and the word spread. Not by anyone coming to warn us or speak to us in person, but from the news being announced in the media.
I was at home looking after my youngest child when a neighbour texted me and said we can’t leave our apartments. I was shocked. That morning I never would have imagined that for the next week at least I would be stuck in my apartment. I didn’t know what to think or what to do.
I had lots of questions but no one to direct them to. I wondered what we had done wrong, why were police coming to make sure we couldn’t leave?
I didn’t even know anyone in our building had COVID-19, let alone that it was so serious that we could all be trapped inside.