I Don’t Know Who Needs To Hear This, But Lockdown Isn’t A Competition

harry potter

I can’t believe I have to say this, but lockdown isn’t a competition. It sucks, for lots of people, and in lots of different ways. You’re allowed to feel as miserable as you want. It’s okay! Whatever you’re feeling about this lockdown is valid.

As of Friday afternoon, Sydney is living under stricter restrictions than we’ve ever seen before. No visitors, no travelling further than 10km for exercise, and only one person allowed to leave the house for food per day. Heartbreakingly, funerals will be capped at 10 people.

It’s strict. It’s tough. It’s almost certainly necessary to deal with the Delta variant ripping through our largely unvaccinated population, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a punish.

And yet, there’s this gross way (some) people tend to talk about lockdown. This city had it worse, that person is doing it tougher. It’s a weird race to the bottom. Person A lives alone, but at least they’re not stuck inside with small children like Person B. Or is it the other way around?

The thing about competing over who has it worse is that it serves no one. Literally, not one! If it’s a competition, then there’s a winner, except in this case the winner is the person for whom life is shittiest. It’s like telling someone, I’m sorry [terrible thing happened to you], but at least it wasn’t [an even more terrible thing that happened to someone else, which is not related to your thing at all]. Like, cool?? Thanks?? Fuck off and let me be miserable.

There’s all sorts of reasons why this lockdown sucks for people. Maybe you’re a queer person living with a less-than-queer friendly family. Maybe your relationship isn’t ‘valid’ enough to warrant an exception to the visitor rule, but you miss your person all the same. Maybe you’ve just moved into a new sharehouse and don’t really know anyone, and also the internet’s borked, and no one knows the source of that weird smell. Or maybe you’re really, really terrified about losing income.

Even the people who appear to be doing ‘okay’ in lockdown – living comfortably with people they love, able to work but not overwhelmed with it – are allowed to feel the brunt of it. Everyone’s got something going on.

We don’t know how long this lockdown will go for, or what it’ll look like when restrictions start to ease. At the risk of making myself want to vomit with embarrassment, we’re all in this together. Your feelings about lockdown (whatever they are) are valid. Maybe let’s not spend this time screaming at each other, okay?