Four Hobsons Bay residents share their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and their hopes and fears in their own words as told to Goya Dmytryshchak.
“I’m a registered midwife at one the of the major maternity hospitals in Melbourne and an avid advocator for women’s health.
“I’m a local resident of Newport and have a little sausage dog called Olive.
“Being a midwife is such an honour; supporting women through pregnancy, labour, birth and beyond is a very challenging and rewarding experience, ordinarily.
“However, the COVID-19 pandemic has added an extra, unprecedented challenge to maternity services and to women and their families.
“Babies are born at any time of the day or night, even during a global pandemic.
“COVID has impacted me in the same way as every other Victorian; being separated from my family and friends is one of hardest parts of lockdown.
“I’m lucky enough to still have a job to go to and one that gets me out of the house.
“Every day, I’m at work looking after new families, vulnerable women and newborns wondering if today will be the day I come into contact with a positive case, contract the virus and become one of the daily stats.
“As a health care worker myself, I find it intimidating seeing my colleagues in full PPE (hair net, face shield, N95 mask, gown, gloves and shoe covers) so I fear how scary it must be for women and their partners to not even be able to see the face/smile/tears of joy of the person catching their baby.
“I hope that women are still able to feel how much midwives care about creating a positive birth experience even with all of our PPE on.
“My hope is that the necessary lockdown measures will be all worth it and we will all be able to be with our families and loved ones soon.”
“I’m a professional photographer that is based in Seabrook.
“My main style of photography is landscape photography and I like to take some portraits once in a while.
“COVID-19 has impacted me a lot.
“With the restrictions it means that I can’t take landscape photos that I like to take.
“This limits my creative potential and forces me to try different types of photography.
“With trying different types of photography, I have found out that I want to take more portraits – and I also found out that dogs don’t really like to stay still.
“I hope that when this lockdown is all over and Victoria starts to open up again I will be able to get more business and continue to progress in my photography journey.
“I fear that COVID will continue to impact Victoria to the point where we can’t really recover and life, as we know it, would be different than what it used to be and will never go back to normal.”
“I’m a university student, studying psychology with a major in neurology, and prior to COVID-19 I was working in hospitality at the Arts Centre.
“Since lockdown began everything around us just came to a halt.
“At the end of last year I had started a new chapter of my life.
“I had moved out into my own place, started dealing with my health more proactively and I finally felt like I was taking a step in the right direction in regards to my general happiness.
“When COVID-19 struck, all of that was renounced and it felt like I was back to square one – back at home in my parents’ house, my mental health exceedingly dwindling. I had no job and no foreseeable future.
“Due to the unconditional love of some of my closest friends and family, they helped me to reshape my mindset into a considerably more hopeful one.
“Yes, what we are all going through is a spanner in the works but it’s a small period in our lives that will come to pass.
“We will be able to blossom again.
“Hold on to those you love most during these trying times, it won’t be long until we are out of the woods.”
“Before COVID, I was a fresh high school graduate preparing for the beginning of my university experience as a bachelor of music student at Victoria University.
“Socialising was something I did a lot and often spent my days with my friends either going out or staying in but nonetheless with my friends.
“The pandemic drove my education online, which was initially not the easiest thing to do with such a practical degree like a music course.
“The lockdowns took away the ability to see my friends in person, thus it felt at the beginning that they had taken away my support systems, too.
“As someone who has struggled for a long time with severe anxiety and depression that had been well managed up the point of the restrictions, this was hard on my mental health.
“I had seen a rapid increase in my mood as the restrictions were imposed as the pandemic progressed and found myself in a point of having to seek medical support that I hadn’t required for some time.
“My fears for myself and my community were that people whose support systems prior to the pandemic focused mainly on people and resources outside of their households would not be able to maintain these services or relationships within the restrictions.
“However, I have found that though I can’t see my friends in person to help me through my difficulties, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
“The hopes I have for the future of our community, and my own personal experiences in the remainder of the year and within the remainder of the pandemic, is that we can band together to help those around us who are not able to have the connections and support they require to get the full support they need to get past the difficulties they may have on the average day. As well as all do our part to work together to try and achieve once again a sense of normality in our community post COVID- 19.”