Let’s be clear, I understand the health issues around this pandemic, but I do have serious health concerns for Australia way beyond the virus……
As a Victorian, like many, I have not enjoyed the constant in and out of lockdowns. No one likes it, bottom line. But I don’t think it’s just a “like/dislike” type scenario. From my personal experience, this is more than just a physical lockdown that stops me going out and about. There are many who feel the same, I have spoken to lots of friends, family and even strangers through social channels that have a similar concern I do.
What I am saying in this article, is that in my opinion, the reaction of a “lockdown to avoid a potential viral infection”, is way more of a health risk than the virus itself.
The mental state of Victorians, and Australians wider, is deteriorating. I acknowledge I am generalising here, but, I’m going with it.
The impact lockdowns have had and continue to have, from a mental health perspective, is frightening……really frightening. In my opinion, much more frightening than a viral infection. I’m not playing down covid, I’m outlining the harsh severity of mental health illnesses like depression that is being drawn out, magnified and increased among so many of our friends, colleagues, family members and loved ones.
The minority that are at high risk of serious and deadly reactions to the covid virus absolutely need to be protected with all our efforts. But for the vast majority, there are far more deadly illnesses like the mental health illnesses that need more focus and attention and going into lockdown after lockdown is not the answer. Is the opposite. The pressure and heavy loads that are forced upon so many people during lockdowns unfortunately has been too much to bare for so many already, and lives are being lost far too often because of it. The death toll during this time from suicide will far outweigh direct covid related deaths. That is just the way it is, yet the attention and spotlight is all wrong and focussed on the wrong thing.
I am not a medical expert, I’m not in a political position, but I am part of the Victorian community at ground level and have seen first hand the effect these lockdowns are having and have had.
The idea of not being allowed out to participate in “normal” activities is not ok. Sorry the 2 hours on your own just doesn’t cut it. The closure of business and workplaces, and subsequently income being cut off completely in a lot of cases is not ok. Imagine living alone with nowhere to go and no-one to see or talk to regularly, now add staring down the barrel of not being able to afford rent or home loan repayments. This is a recipe for disaster. Whatever the support is supposed to be, it’s not enough.
My other real issue here is kids. The notion from the political types that “kids are resilient and will get through this unscathed”…….horse shit. Yeah kids are able to withstand a lot and in a lot of ways are quite resilient, but I think we are in a world now where we understand that impacts and trauma from early years reverberates through their future years. Kids are going to be impacted in ways beyond our ideas of what we think they can withstand. In fact, they already are in my opinion. School, sport and birthday parties are all social activities that are far more important than the actual learnings and programs that are undertaken at school, let alone the “remote learning” experience.
With kids, we have an opportunity to set the support up that they need before it gets too late and they are impacted the way so many Australians are every day. We lose too many people, too many friends, too many loved ones, too many humans, every day. It is my opinion, that lockdowns are increasing and amplifying depression here in Australia and ultimately, taking too many lives. Let’s think about that as a priority.
I’m not breaking any news or ideas here, I just wanted to express my deep concern for the health of the Australian population. And not just the viral health, there are far greater concerns.
Lockdowns are not the answer for one of Australias biggest health risks.