Coronavirus – A Local Lockdown Story by Reece Stephenson

As the new decade started, the last thing anyone could have expected is for the world to go on pause.

Covid-19 spread across the globe, practically changing everyone’s lives in an instant. I remember the rumours of University ending prematurely for the year, and I was dismissive of the notion. However, once the lockdown came into effect in late March, I found myself realising that things I, as well as many others, was looking forward to had to be put on hold. Holidays abroad, planned family gatherings, celebrating birthdays with friends. Looking back at it I’m surprised at how accustomed I became to the new rules so quickly.

One of the biggest struggles with having to stay inside and not socialise with anyone outside of my household was losing time. I lost track of the days, my sleep schedule was completely ruined and everything became a hazy memory with how little changed from day to day. As time went on, I was forced to pick up new hobbies, practice a new instrument and write more. As much as the pandemic has closed off our ability to socialise safely in person, its granted us a second chance to try new things we otherwise never got to try before.

You would always hear about the tragic deaths caused by this dreadful virus on the news, but coming face to face with the harsh realities of it was one of the worst moments for me. A relative of mine passed away from it and the funeral itself was the first one I had ever been to. Nobody has asked for this. Nobody deserves this. Seeing the family members I hadn’t seen in months was a bittersweet reunion. One filled with thankful smiles we could finally see each other again after so long, and one with tears filled with grief as we remembered the loved one we lost.

After that day, despite having listened and followed all the guidelines as strictly as I could, I finally understood how much damage it could cause if people turn a blind eye to what’s going on with the world. It’s our duty, not just to ourselves, but to others to follow these guidelines. No matter how conflicted and limiting they may seem. I am fortunate enough to never have been infected with Covid-19, but I know some who have. I’ve heard first hand of the damage it could cause and I’ve felt the loss and tragedy it can bring to a family.

It’s incredibly commendable for us, as a majority, to have adapted to this new lifestyle so well. However, with a seemingly potential second wave upon us, now is not the time to loosen our efforts. 
Reece Stephenson