Grab whatever is to hand and works as a paddle for your little lockdown boat

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Clubs and restaurants pumping, the world’s biggest post-pandemic sporting crowd at the Anzac Day footy, kids back getting moved on from secret doof parties by police at 4am, city stages thrillingly alive.

We were making such fine progress.

Sitting in the Playhouse on May 12, watching Jonathan Biggins deliver a mesmerising turn as a former PM in The Gospel According to Paul, you were transported back to the carefree. Packed in and light hearthearted, you felt reconnected, even.

Lockdown 4.0 has once again turned us inwards.Credit:Eddie Jim

But here were are again. There’s too-expensive cheese in the fridge, the leaning tower of sink pots is back and I can’t find the energy to care, and as me and the kids make regular orbits of the kitchen seeking caffeinated lift, the kettle never quite cools in daylight hours.

After the big low of the announcement of lockdown 4.0, by three days in I was optimistic about slogging through, mental-machete first. And while I haven’t entirely lost that vibe I’ve begun to observe surprisingly swift deterioration.

Passing thoughts include: Why bother getting up? You know you must but after a bit over a week, working from a laptop in bed already seems “practical”.

As each day passes, losing your self discipline gets a little less guilty and a bit more fun.

And shoe laces, who thought of those? They’re really labour intensive – and is now too early/late to have a bath?

Knowing casual workers and marginalised or isolated people are doing it so much tougher, those blessed with a wage and people close to them can hardly afford to feel sorry for ourselves.

If you’re threatening to go under in those waves of strong emotion, there’s usually a carb-raft within easy reach.

As each day passes, losing your self discipline gets a little less guilty and a bit more fun (hey, I know I’m grasping at straws but self-imposed rule breaking is what “fun” has come to represent).

You should arrange that daily walk with one of your iso buddies from last year, but what would you talk about?

You’ve already exhausted the three topics of Melbourne walk conversation: why isn’t there purpose built actual quarantine accommodation by now; why can’t a smart country manage a timely vaccination rollout and how is it OK to expect people and businesses living on week-to-week income to get by without a safety net?

Answer to the last: “It isn’t, and given we knew there’d be more outbreaks how could their wellbeing not have been factored in?”

As this thing once again turns us inwards we seem like many little islands, each left to get by in our own way.

Even as we basked in beautiful Melbourne sunshine it was interesting to note most beachside strollers were going it alone (or just with pooch).

Maybe it’s because you can truly switch off and tune out when striding unaccompanied, maybe people simply can’t be bothered texting to make arrangements, another casualty of the “meh”-pedemic. At least we are out walking in large numbers.

As this latest viral glitch skips us back like a scratch on an old LP, I say all is fair in distanced love and lockdown coping. Eat the cheese and biscuits in the tub on the phone to a friend, or have raspberry cake for breakfast (I recommend both).

We have permission to grab whatever is to hand and works as a paddle to stay above the surface in our little, locked down boats.

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