After living through the longest lockdown period in the world, the city of Melbourne sounded like rowdy footy fans when restrictions officially eased last night.
Minutes leading up to the easing of lockdown restrictions at 11:59pm on Thursday, residents in apartment buildings could be heard cheering and roaring in the new era like a pack of wolves or Richmond fans circa 2017.
“Yeah we at it already,” said one video. “Finally freedom time Melbs.”
“Freedom! Almost has a New Year’s Eve feel about it,” said another. “Hear the chants and screams from my balcony.”
This next tweet puts it best: Everyone in Melbourne should listen to Diana Ross‘ “I’m Coming Out” at least once today.
As of today, fully-vaccinated legends in Melbourne can go to pubs and cafes, have up to ten mates over at their place, get a haircut, go to the movies, no longer abide by a 9 pm curfew, and more.
So, when the clock hit midnight, people headed to their local bars and restaurants, reunited face to face with pals (I’m talking full no-mask faces), and got a taste of their new extremely deserved freedoms.
#Melbourne it's done. Stunning beautiful day to enjoy our precious, wonderful city. So much thanks to all the frontline workers that have been supporting our community through the pandemic. ????????????Melbourne— Amanda McKenzie (@McKenzieAmanda) October 21, 2021
I first visited Melbourne in 2008 as an overseas grad student in Adelaide. I left Australia in 2009, and returned in 2011 with a job offer from one of the consulting firms. These were some of my first photos of this amazing city, which we all celebrate today. #melbourne pic.twitter.com/S3lbNtksGX— Drei (@_drei) October 21, 2021
Speaking to The Guardian Australia’s Antoun Issa, a local from the outer western suburb of Melton said they’re “looking forward to community sport coming back, out here going to the barbers as well, got dinner tonight, gonna be with the boys – looking forward to it.”
ABC’s Mornings presenter Virginia Trioli celebrated by cycling into work this morning in a peaceful unbothered bliss like she was Lily Collins in Emily in Paris.
“We’re told it’ll be our last ever lockdown and it better be,” she said.
“There’ve been some wise decisions made to keep us safe, there’ve been some less plausible ones, there’ve been some outright mistakes… how could it be otherwise, we’ve never done this before.
“There’s gonna be time for reflection and reckoning and considering what went right and what went wrong, but this morning it’s all about celebrating the fact we get to, together, bring this city back.”
After the city of Melbourne lived through the longest lockdown period in the world during the entire history of this pandemic – roughly 260 days – this is some bloody Good News.
Speaking to PEDESTRIAN.TV, a number of Melbournians in their early 20s said that living through that period had left them with immense burnout and fatigue. You all deserve this and so, so, so much more. But also remember, if you’re not fully ready to be social animals in public, that’s okay.