After nearly four months, Sydney emerges out of lockdown. Down under in Australia, we had been vaccine hesitant, relying on closed borders and a zero-Covid policy. Trailing six months behind the rest of the world, we had paid the price of poor policies and lack of national leadership. Four months ago we finally realised that we cannot keep ignoring the reality of the delta variant, and we simply have to learn how to live with the virus and move on, just like the rest of the world.
Four months can make a whole of a difference. The vaccine rollout took an immediate shift and people rolled up their sleeves. When we got into lockdown at the end of June, the rate of fully-vaccinated people nationally was around 5%, one of the lowest in the whole wide world. It was a testimony to our disconnection and immaturity. Fast forward and we have now crossed the 75% mark, with expectations to reach 90% before Christmas and become one of the most vaccinated countries in the world. Such a shame we had to go through the loss of lives and livelihood in the process.
106 days in lockdown and what did we learn? We should celebrate the return to normality and appreciate the little things in life that we missed out on. Seeing other people – friends, family and work colleagues – the power of social life does have an enormous influence on our quality of life. Speaking of, we finally realised that our physical wellbeing is one thing, but our mental wellbeing is completely another thing, much more vital and occasionally ignored. We tend to flex our muscles and practice our physical strength, but we forget to take care of our mind and soul. This is crucial, so thank you Mindfulness for allowing us to practice being in the moment and more importantly practice gratitude.
Getting back to normal is great. Our kids crucially need to spend time with their friends and enjoy the little things and ongoing activities children should do, away from screens and social media. This Covid crisis will always be part of their childhood, but they’ve become more resilient for good. I strongly believe we will appreciate life before Covid a lot more than we would have otherwise. But let’s not forget those in the front seat who failed us time and time again, let’s not get back to normal and expect poor leadership to prevail. We deserve better and we have to demand it, day in and day out.