Here in Australia and particularly in Melbourne, Victoria where we are still in stage 4 lockdown, we keep getting told we are all in the same boat, we are all in this together, together we can get though this, together we are strong! But are we really all in the same boat? I don't think so! We may all be in this same Covid-19 pandemic but for all of us the boats are every different.
Some of us have big boats, with a large family and plenty of support all in there together, helping each other, giving relief when it's needed and looking out for each other. Helping with the home schooling, the shopping or other chores.
For some of us it's a smaller boat maybe only a smaller family unit, two parents and some kids, they have a smaller circle to talk to and look for support, they can only see each other as no relatives are within 5km and even if they were they can't gather. It's harder for them. What if there are special needs people as part of this unit, people not understanding the whole why of not being able to see their friends and being sad and cross about it? How do they manage? What if one of them is really struggling, how do the rest lift them up? How can the explain the situation?
For some there is only two people that could be house mates, could be a couple, could be a single parent and children... How do they manage only having each other day in day out? Only one person can go to the shops, if it's the single parent do they leave the kids at home alone or bring them and then be stared at and talked about loudly at the supermarket? What if the single parent is really struggling and needs help? How will the children manage .... how is the home schooling added to the mix affecting their dynamics?
What if one of them has a temper and there is abuse going on? How do they escape this situation, where can they turn for help?
What if it's just a mix of people unrelated in the house but it's a small space and overcrowded, no yard, they can't go anywhere outside to sit, have lunch outside, just chill outside, they can just walk for an hour a day? Is this enough of a break? How are they all feeling?
For many it's been too hard, their boats are already tipped over, they are treading water and it's not going to take much for them to just give up!! Will they get the support they need?
I just wanted to bring this to everyone's attention, and get people thinking about how we are all in different boats with differing situations.
Everyone's experience and environment, family dynamic and living arrangement is different. Let's make sure that those of us doing ok and in the big boats support those who are now treading water and need their extended family and friends, or perhaps professional services as we come out of this lockdown.
Continue to ask the people next to your R U OK? You never know what boat they have been sailing in.
If you or someone you know needs some extra support there are many services available -
Lifeline - 13 11 14
Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636
Suicide Call Back Service - 1300 659 467
MensLine Australia - 1300 78 99 78
Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800
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