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‘Not all doom and gloom’: What it feels like to live in Melbourne during lockdown

Sunny Saksham Katyal loves jogging around the Melbourne city centre and along the Yarra River. Source: Supplied

As the world continues to be gripped by the coronavirus pandemic, a resident of Melbourne city explains how it feels in the ‘world’s most liveable city’ under lockdown.

Melbourne has been severely affected by a ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 which has seen a sharp spike in new infections, as well as deaths. With stage 4 restrictions in place, people are largely confined within their homes to contain the spread of the contagion.


Highlights:

  • Melbourne has been severely affected by the second wave of COVID-19
  • Sunny Saksham Katyal explains what it feels like to live in the city during stage 4 restrictions
  • While working from home, Mr Katyal aims to better utilise his digital time
  • To stay fit, Mr Katyal often aims to do indoor and outdoor physical activities

Sunny Saksham Katyal who works as a Technology Consultant with a utility company tells SBS Punjabi that like for most other Melburnians, his home has morphed into his workplace in these unusual times.

“The current workflow of working-from-home has been very challenging. Sometimes, it takes double the amount of time to finish the same task, owing to the obvious limitations,” he said.

A view from Mr Katyal’s residence at Dockland.
A view from Mr Katyal’s residence at Dockland.
Supplied

Flipping quickly from the negative to the positive he says, “But I am looking beyond this crisis. We need to take it constructively. It is not all doom and gloom. We never had that much time for ourselves or even for our families.”

Mr Katyal, who loves jogging around the city centre and along the Yarra River, said he sometimes gets upset to see empty roads and people with masks.

“We are not used to seeing this. The empty city is a far cry from the good old days.  But I am optimistic that it’s only a temporary phase and we would soon be able to enjoy the hustle and bustle again.” 

Mrs. Katyal doing pushups on a fine evening in Docklands.
Mrs. Katyal doing pushups on a fine evening in Docklands.
Supplied

Mr Katyal said the biggest challenge for him during the current restrictions, is to not being able to meet his parents.

“They live 40km away from my residence, in Brookfield near Melton, in the city’s northwest. Although there are some digital tools to connect to our loved ones, but for my parents it isn’t enough since they want my company and not a zoom session,” he said.

To relieve stress, he often aims for some indoor physical activities and a one-hour run across the city.

“I focus on things that are my routine stress busters,” he added. “I would advise people to do some yoga and meditation. And walk if you can't run, do some home workout if you can't go to a gym. Additionally, people could also pick up their old hobbies - for me, I picked up mobile photography.”

Mr Katyal has a passion for photography. He likes to capture scenes with clouds, city skyline, nature reserves and parks.
Mr Katyal has a passion for photography. He likes to capture scenes with clouds, city skyline, nature reserves and parks.
Supplied

During this lockdown, Mr Katyal has also been aiming to better utilise his digital time.

“I have been consuming too many digital hours. But now I have twisted it for good. I aim to listen to something good or positive or even meditational or devotional music that helps my mind to relax from for mental workload,” he said.

“Cut your social media consumption – I’ve reduced my social media use by almost 70%. FOMO [Fear of missing out] is no longer an issue with me. I hope this would help me focus on more important things.” 

A skyline view over Dockland, Melbourne.
A skyline view over Dockland, Melbourne.
Supplied

Mr Katyal said he often wonders what is there to learn from this pandemic?

“Well, it has reiterated the message that we already know – your health is your wealth. Also, we now have enough time for self-assessment and introspection and can focus on where we would like to see ourselves in the next 10 years.”

"Lastly, no matter how hard things seem, we have to be grateful and must show gratitude for all that we have. If we look closely, we probably have much more than a majority of people out there.” 

Click on the player above to listen to an interview with Mr Katyal.

Metropolitan Melbourne residents are subject to Stage 4 restrictions and must comply with a curfew between the hours of 8 pm and 5 am.

The only reasons for Melbourne residents to leave home during these hours are for exercise, to shop for necessary goods and services, for work, for health care, or to care for a sick or elderly relative.  

All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live. The full list of restrictions can be found here.  

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits. 

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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