By Jay Patel; Edited by Allyson Tai

The last few months have been an absolute rollercoaster to say the least. We saw our plans get cancelled as daily cases went from zero to the thousands, with no clear end in sight. Despite all the things we’ve missed out on, there are still some useful lessons we can take away from our time in lockdown to come back stronger.

1) The unrivalled power of community

The response of communities across the nation have demonstrated how strong we are when we unite. A testament to this is the drive-through testing clinic across the road from my house. Over the last three months, it has gotten to a point where I can’t even see where the line begins. It’s amazing how many people continue to show up, despite occasionally having to wait for hours. Meanwhile, the staff toil all day in Hazmat suits. Such selfless efforts are also demonstrated by all the nurses, doctors, allied healthcare workers, grocery staff, community leaders, delivery drivers, and the list goes on. Without these people working hard both on the front lines and behind the scenes, this lockdown would certainly have been far worse.

2) Appreciate the simple things in life

Whilst missing out on numerous activities and adventures has been difficult, one of the most difficult things has been not seeing all our family and friends. Whether they live overseas, interstate or just outside the dreaded 5km radius, there are people in our lives that we’ve simply been unable to meet. It is only when these freedoms are taken away from us without a clear end that we recognise their true value and realise how grateful we should have been before. Meanwhile, with parks being one of the few places that were open, the lockdown has ironically caused many of us to spend more time in nature. Over time, this allows us to find beauty in the most modest places, and reinforces the value of appreciating the simple things in life, because these are ultimately what matter most.

3) There is always a light at the end of the tunnel

At the beginning of the lockdown, it was a ritual to tune in at 11AM only to see case numbers go up and up despite increasing restrictions. We were shocked. Confused. Annoyed. At times it felt like the lockdown would never end. Even right now, we are bombarded with headlines about protests and super-spreaders. Naturally, this creates frustration and pits us against each other. However, we rarely focus on the silent majority of people who are doing the right thing. Those who are getting vaccinated, getting tested and helping their families get through these tough times. Taking a break from all the negativity allows us to appreciate the many things that we have achieved. Whilst it is easier said than done, we should actively try to look at the bright side. Because as we slowly but surely emerge from this lockdown, it becomes clear that there was always a light at the end of this tunnel.

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