Life in Lockdown (30-39 year olds)

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In the latest discussion with members of the Square Holes panel, 30 – 39 year-olds shared their perspectives on life during a global pandemic.

30-39 year olds reflect on COVID-19 and debate work from home joy and not

In most cases, life has settled into a new normal:

“If restrictions get eased at some stage, well that’s fine. If they don’t, well that’s fine. We’ll just keep living the way we live. It hasn’t affected me too much yet and I’m not going to read into what people say.”

“I’m probably feeling better this week, the past few weeks have been very anxious and overwhelming. Just the uncertainty. You don’t know one day to the next what’s happening with work. But I’m feeling a bit more settled I guess, getting into a routine.”

But everyone is missing their usual freedom of choice:

“The freedom to basically do anything you want. Knowing that everything is open, you can go anywhere. The world is your oyster every day, whereas here you are pretty limited in terms of what you can do. And it seems great short-term but it’s going to wear off very very quickly.”

“Everything shut down like the gym, or just being able to go for a drive and go to a pub for lunch. So now we can’t do that because it’s shut. That stuff has now been taken away from us – whether I used that stuff previously, I probably didn’t do most of these things. But it’s the ability to have those choices and those choices have been taken away now.”

Although there is some appreciation for newfound free time:

“I only said to my wife yesterday, I wish we had a shutdown every year for two to three weeks. As bad of a situation as it is, it’s amazing to see people out and together, exercising, walking… To see people out, in amongst the community.”

“I’m enjoying not driving very much. I normally drive two hours a day for work, but now I’m not driving. So I’m enjoying getting those two hours of my life back.”

However, this group tends to be more sceptical of the new normal:

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“There’s not a lot that I would take away from this an implement in my everyday life moving forward.”

“I think in my case there are going to be a lot more requests from people to work from home. I think that could be very problematic. It really depends on the nature of the work you’re doing on whether it should be allowed broad-scale. Having an individual deciding they want to work from home takes away from the rest of the group who are actually at work. You being over the shoulder where you can quickly ask a question or contribute… It’s almost like that individual is opting out of the broader team.”

“I’m not sure if you get true reaction when it’s online. You have to wait for somebody to speak. We would not have a good argument here because I’d be able to say exactly what I want and you wouldn’t be able to yell over the top of me. You miss that human emotive.”

Despite the stress, there is a high level of respect for the government and organisations who are making a difference:

“I think South Australia as a state is doing really well… I think that they have tried to facilitate people’s needs as much as possible as far as financially. There are going to be people who win, when they shouldn’t be… I don’t blame the government because I think they’ve had to have knee-jerk reactions to a situation that is quite critical and dire. It’s just what has to be done. There are people who are going to lose out, and that’s just the situation we’re in.”

“This is something that’s new to everybody. It’s new to the government, it’s new to business. There is different information coming out daily about what is right, what’s wrong. We changed every couple of days on what we are locking down. We don’t have history to fall back on and say this is what should be done. We’re is learning as we go… Maybe in hindsight we’ll look back on those things and say we shouldn’t have done that.”

“I work for a big organisation in hospitality and a small non-profit. Everyone has done their best in this time of uncertainty. I was happy to see that some cafes have put out food for people in need and some organisations have stepped up to help people who are homeless. We are in this together as a community. People are working together, even by keeping social distance and looking after each other.”

Read more from our previous discussion with teenagers and 20-somethings, and stay tuned for future conversations with more age groups

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