For most countries, COVID-19 restrictions have seemingly eased. At the same time, other countries continue to fall behind in terms of loosening them, leaving their people to naturally feel frustrated and agitated.
For example, by July 2021, almost all fifty states in the United States were fully open, whereas, in Australia, strict health protocols were still being put into place until October, regardless of the United States’ comparably higher COVID-19 cases.
According to an article by The Guardian, one in five Australians experienced high levels of psychological distress as a result of the pandemic, which, I’m sure, is what most people around the world felt as well.
Earlier today, when I was talking to my relatives who currently live in Melbourne, my aunt described how isolated and detached she felt, which, in my opinion, must be an understatement considering how she had a baby during the earlier months of the pandemic.
Australia has mainly been virus-free for most of this year until the Delta variant prompted a new wave of infections, forcing month-long lockdowns in the nation’s larger regions. As a result, being in a perpetual state of returning to normalcy and sudden bursts of lockdowns have naturally led to feelings of exasperation and frustration.
Australia lifted the international travel ban earlier this week. But for 18 months, being reunited with family members staying abroad was impossible without a government waiver, and thus, unlikely.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous articles, it’s disappointing to see others living their lives when you can’t — a feeling my aunt and uncle resonate with.
But, I noticed that beyond the pain and suffering — whether emotional or physical — that most of us have felt because of the pandemic, there’s also a bigger message despite these unfortunate events: patience is critical when it comes to achieving our dreams, goals or desires in the most optimal way.
Take Australia, for example, where COVID-19 cases and fatalities have remained low in comparison to other countries, allowing Australians to enjoy their normal lives and return to their pre-pandemic routines and activities. For example, Australia has a total of 1,696 deaths from COVID-19 ––a number much lower than that of the United States, which reported more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths in a single day, according to an article by Reuters.
This is not to say that circumstances have been entirely smooth and easy. Not all Australians are satisfied with the government’s response to COVID-19 — such as frustration with the slow vaccination efforts. And despite being subject to the strictest lockdown measures, COVID-19 cases also haven’t been completely eradicated in the nation’s largest cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and its capital, Canberra.
To be locked down for 262 days — as Melbourne has experienced in total since March 2020 — is, without a doubt, draining and exasperating. However, as a non-Australian, I think that at some point, Australia’s COVID-19 response has been the envy of many countries, considering their very low COVID-19 case numbers.
Sometimes, to get the best results, some costs and sacrifices must be made. For Australia, it’s the need to crack down with month-long stay-at-home orders.
Regardless, I believe that good things come to those who wait –– even if circumstances are against our favor.