the Covid-19 pandemic stopped the world in its tracks.
Melbourne experienced what was described as the strictest and longest in the developed world.
It began in July 9 and was to last only six weeks. In the end it lasted for 112 consecutive days or 15 weeks. Law enforcement monitored a 'ring of steel' around the metropolitan area. Those of us living inside could not travel past 5 km of their home. We could only leave once a day for a short list of approved reasons. Extended family and friend gatherings were completely banned. The closure of schools, businesses, parks, places of worship and all that make us a society forced many to find new ways to connect and live.
These are the stories of resilience from Melbournian teens and their experience during this 'unprecedented' time and how they are emerging more resilient than ever before.
Coming off of a difficult Year 11, Naomi found the first lock down in April 2020 to be a welcomed break from the grind of VCE. But by the second lock down which lasted from July to October, she too had to find creative ways to cope with the isolation and adjust her expectations of what her final year of high school would look like.
Click to Meet Naomi
Covid was not the hardest thing Sumaya has ever faced. At 13 years old, back in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sumaya helped raise her younger siblings when her mother battled cancer. Her father had migrated to Australia ahead of the family so Sumaya was both care taker for her mother and guardian of her siblings - two brothers and a younger sister. It was the hardest time of her life, she shared. But it made her into the resilient, resourceful and brave person she is today.
Click to Meet Sumaya
Losing all the activities high schoolers look forward to - sport carnival, formal, concerts, made for a really difficult last year of high school. It not only affected the academic progress of so many students it affected their mental health as well.
The 2020 lockdowns made Sabriah a fighter and a survivor. She also learnt what it means to be a friend to someone struggling with their mental health.
Click to Meet Sabriah
Monica didn't get the Year 12 experience she expected. Instead of being surrounded by friends and the support of in-person learning, she was isolated at home most - as most of us were in Melbourne - during the grueling 15-week lockdown.
But she learnt that she doesn't have to live as a victim of her circumstances.
Click to Meet Monica
Imagine moving to a new country. You know few people and are still learning the local language. Now add a worldwide pandemic on top of that transition. Oh… one more thing. Now add multiple lockdowns and a string of restrictions. How’s that for a welcome to your new home?
That is exactly what happened to Marzia along with her sister and mother in 2020...
Click to Meet Marzia