Have Melbourne’s Lockdowns Been Way Too Strict? Here’s What Young Aussies Actually Reckon

melbourne lockdown strict bart simpson

As Melbourne enters its 106th day of fairly strict lockdown (I think? I don’t even understand the concept of time anymore), questions about the metro’s closure have been asked with increasing exasperation among many. Was it necessary to impose stay-at-home orders and a strict curfew? Has the state government considered the mental health of its people? Why couldn’t it have opened up like its neighbours in NSW? Has Melbourne’s lockdown been too strict?

This week for our ongoing 27 Pedestrians series, we asked our young Aussies what they think about Melbourne’s lockdowns. With our mates beaming in from right across the country – both inside and outside of the Victorian borders – the perspectives were varied but largely focused on the same thing: the need to squash another wave of new coronavirus cases.

Cloudy, who lives in Victoria and has seen the effects of the Melbourne lockdown, trusts the data because the numbers don’t lie. She thinks it’s important to look at the stats from other countries who haven’t locked down as hard as Melb and take solace in knowing we’re on the right track.

“The position that we are in with the COVID situation is obviously so much better,” she said.

“New Zealand got condemned when they went into Stage 4 in March, and look at them now. Melbourne’s measures were not too strict.”

Coming from South Australia, Cody also doesn’t think the restrictions have been too strict but acknowledges that it’s been “really hard, and difficult, and lonely, and isolating”.

Ash in NSW wished that the VIC Government had approached the quashing of the second wave in another way, because they now think Victoria is seen as the ‘martyr state’ by everyone else in Australia, instead of focusing on not following in the southern city’s footsteps.

“We’re all looking at them going ‘oh well at least we’re aren’t as bad as Melbourne‘,” they said.

“We should be trying really hard not to reach the point that Melbourne has gotten to. We shouldn’t set that as our bar and then imagine that we’re never going to top it, because everybody in Melbourne is going through something really difficult right now.”

Overwhelmingly, our 27 Pedestrians agreed that the lockdowns have been a hard slog, but ultimately essential to avoid the situation that many other countries around the world are currently in.

But hopefully the light at the end of the tunnel is near for Melbourne’s lockdown, and the city will slowly kick things back into gear. And I truly do have to agree with Albert – we deserve a lifetime of free UberEats for our efforts.

New to 27 Pedestrians? It’s our six-month docuseries, where each week we ask the same 27 young Aussies questions we’ve either all wondered, or debated with friends.

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