Today’s the third day of Lockdown 6.0 and I’m still processing how I feel about this. I haven’t written in a while, and I thought it was high time I got back into blogging and doing what I love, writing. There’s nothing more cathartic than writing.

Given we only exited Lockdown 5.0 just over a week ago, it feels as if we haven’t been given an opportunity to fully enjoy life post-lockdown before being ushered back into lockdown. How do we process our feelings and thoughts post-lockdown? We’ve barely had the time to process the last lockdown and its impact on us as individuals.

When the announcement came on Thursday morning stating that Victoria would be going back into lockdown as of 8PM, I felt numb. I didn’t have any words to describe how I felt at the time. I thought I was okay about it, but if I have to be brutally honest, I’m not okay about it. Like everyone else, I barely had two days to get used to life post-lockdown after Lockdown 5.0 was lifted. Did I get used to post-lockdown life this time around? Probably not.

Lockdown 6.0 is due to be lifted on Thursday night, but I’m not holding my breath. Delta, a variant of COVID-19, is a sneaky fucker. The transmission rate is higher compared to other COVID-19 variants. If the Victorian Government sees the need to extend this lockdown to get the pandemic under control, then so be it. NSW is seeing case numbers in the high 200s every day, and there’s no way Victoria wants to repeat what we went through last year.

The real question remains: how do I feel about this?

Defeated. It feels like this virus is determined to keep us at home, apart from our loved ones. I’ve been living on my own for 6 months and whilst I love it, I miss being around people. Fuck, I miss hugs. Human touch. Connection.

Speaking of connection, I miss being with my fellow Deaf people. I miss getting my Deaf fix. Catching up with friends on FaceTime or Zoom is wonderful, but it doesn’t replace the feeling of being able to sign with your Deaf peers in person.

Being able to see your language in its wondrous 3D form, like it’s supposed to be.

That feeling you get when you laugh merrily with your friends. Laughing so much until you cry.

Being present with your Deaf self whilst being with others.

I’ve seen many older Deaf people reminiscence on the golden days of Deaf Clubs, and how they wish for Deaf Clubs once again. Having been through five (soon to be six because this one isn’t done) lockdowns, I can empathise with them on the loss of Deaf Clubs. Opportunities for us to get our Deaf fix are now rare.

It’s funny how you don’t realise you miss something until it’s gone…and you realise you’ve taken it for granted.

I wanted to be able to celebrate my birthday(s) with my loved ones, but I hesitated on making plans because of the uncertainty. I do still want to be able to let my hair down and hit the town at some point, to celebrate me with my loved ones.

Goddamn it, I fucking miss being with people.

As a Deaf person and professional, I also miss face-to-face appointments with Auslan interpreters. For more than 18 months, like many Deaf people who use Auslan interpreters, I’ve utilised video remote interpreting for personal or professional appointments. Whilst VRI is fantastic and has grown so much the last two years ago, I miss being able to engage with my interpreters in person. The opportunity to debrief and/or chat with the interpreter(s) afterwards is rare as hen’s teeth nowadays. These 10 minutes you get to connect with your interpreters – oh how that feels rather sentimental.

Zoom closes. Interpreter moves onto their next job. I (or other Deaf person) move onto the next task or meeting.

I do love being able to stay in touch with family and friends through social media, text messaging and video calls. It does get tiring at times – so I need to keep reminding myself that other people are doing their best to stay in touch too.

It’s also hard to stay motivated during this time, too. I’ve had to put my platform – I Sign. I Wander., and Deaf Stories on hiatus – simply because I don’t have the motivation. I also have a few personal projects planned, but I haven’t been able to find the motivation to get started.

I’ve been trying to stay kind to myself, but when things become repetitive, it gets to the point where I say “fuck this, I’m just doing the bare minimum“.

I shower, I feed myself, I go to work (at home), and I make sure I am warm and healthy. I have things I can do around the house. I have books. I have Netflix.

Until this outbreak eases, there’s not much I can do but to keep doing what I’ve been doing and to remain connected with my loved ones in ways that works the best for us.

So, to say… I still don’t know how I feel. I’m getting there though. Maybe next time I write, I’ll have a better idea. But until then, I’ll continue processing this.

See you on the flipside,

S xx