Melbourne in Lockdown again (sigh)

Well, it appears I am not as resilient as I thought I was. Another lockdown…five days, stage 4 restrictions from midnight! (For the States of Victoria) We have been here before. I thought I had learnt to hold things lightly. To be nimble and responsive. And yet…I feel a little bit broken.

I am sick of my own company, working at my desk with only the company of my loyal cat.

My beautiful church only resumed its live service last week. Our ministers were careful to take it slowly as we have a number of vulnerable people who regularly attend. I missed it because I had travelled interstate for work. I was down to read the lesson this Sunday. Not happening!

Tickets to the National Gallery of Victoria to see the Triennial on Sunday. Not happening!
My regular Saturday workout with the personal trainer…he offered to move to zoom. Anything but zoom I cry. Not happening!
Our eldest child is getting married in a fortnight (with or without restrictions, it is very low key because of our uncertain world). I was going to go dress shopping this weekend. A bit foreign to me, I haven’t been near a dress shop for 12 months, but seemed a good occasion. Not happening!

None of these are a big deal. Many people will be processing emotions around much harder plans to let go of.
It is not just the letting go. Melburnians are scarred. There is residual anxiety, physical ailments, mental health issues, employment concerns, social phobia, that hover just under the surface for many people. I find my concentration is not what it used to be. I feel less productive. I get frustrated with my inattention! I am sick of my own company, working at my desk with only the company of my loyal cat.

And we have all been so good. We wear our masks inside wherever we go. We wear our masks on public transport. We keep our distance. How can it not be enough? We are obedient citizens looking out for everyone’s health and wellbeing.
And there is the elephant in the room that I almost don’t want to say out loud. We ended up in four or was it five months of lockdown last year because of an outbreak from hotel quarantine. In August we had 775 new COVID cases in one day. Our hard work brought that number to zero. It remained there. And now…COVID leaking out of hotel quarantine. Again. Lockdown was Groundhog Day each and every day…but the same problem?

We will all suck it up. We will abide by the lockdown. We will shed tears. Feel terrified again about daring to make plans. And we will get through it, but there is an even better way. Let me draw on God’s peace that surpasses all understanding. Let me sit in the stillness of an everlasting God.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Even typing those words brings comfort. You are my rock Lord Jesus. May I release this anxiety, this brokenness, and hand over my yoke to you, for that is where my trust lies. Not here but in your love and mercy. Amen


Some prayer points to help

Yes, pray for the Staes of Victoria, its frontline health workers, leaders, those with the virus, and all cooped up inside