'You’ve been through this': How to cope with going back into coronavirus lockdown

Sarah Carty
·Features & Style Editor
·4-min read

Melbourne has been ordered back into lockdown after the state was hit with a record 191 new cases of the coronavirus.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday confirmed people in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, north of the city, will return to lockdown from 11:59pm on Wednesday for six weeks.

horizontal background woman in isolation at home for virus outbreak or hypochondria .
People in Melbourne have been forced into lockdown again. Photo: Getty Images

People will be able to leave their homes for only four reasons: to shop for food and supplies, to receive or provide care, to exercise, and to study or work if they can't do so from home.

"We know we're on the cusp of something very, very bad if we don't take these steps today," Mr Andrews said.

Just weeks after it looked like things were returning to a somewhat normal state, the people of Melbourne have been once again thrown back into the uncertainty of lockdown.

Lysn psychologist Nancy Sokarno spoke with Yahoo Lifestyle about how to deal with the change and ways to stay positive during the second wave of lockdown for Victorians.

“The global pandemic has changed our lives in many ways and just as things started to feel like they were returning to normal again for Victorians, the state went into lockdown. This is no doubt very upsetting news for many Victorians who would have felt like they’ve gone through a stage of readjustment only to be thrown back into the deep end,” she said.

“The best way to approach this is to remember that you’ve been through this before and therefore you might be able to navigate it a little easier since it’s somewhat familiar ground.

“Whilst those feelings of uncontrollability and uncertainty will still linger, there is only a certain extent to which you can change or control this situation so try to focus on the elements that you can control.”

Nancy went on to recommend people use work or family life as a welcome distraction from what’s going on right now.

“Whilst you might not be able to have those interactions face to face, you can keep in touch via the myriad of communication tools that we have at our fingertips,” she said.

She also urged Victorians to take control of other elements of their lives, such as relaxation time, meal planning or exercise.

While she wouldn’t usually recommend this as a coping mechanism, Nancy said that avoidance can be helpful in this particular scenario.

“Avoid the things that might be making you feel stressed and anxious, in particular, the constant news updates about the pandemic. Whilst it is important to stay in the know, if the media or social media is making you feel worried or stressed, try to limit your exposure to it,” she said.

Dr Scott Lyons, a top US psychologist currently based in Australia, agreed, saying the most important thing to remember is that you made it through the first lockdown.

“Focus on what supported you to get through the first one,” he told Yahoo Lifestyle.

“Take time to make a list of the things you learned and what you would like to do differently. Often the first lockdown we are more scared and have a harder time taking advantage of the self-care time.

“Now that you are more familiar with this processes, your sense of the unknown, is actually more familiar. Use that familiarly as a resource to prepare and support your self during this time.​”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media on July 07, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Victorian premier Danial Andrews has announced further lockdown measures for residents in metropolitan Melbourne or the Mitchell shire for six weeks effective from 11:59 Wednesday 8 July. The announcement comes after the state recorded its highest daily increase since the epidemic began, with 191 cases recorded in the latest 24-hour reporting period. Under the new lockdown restrictions, people will only able to leave home have for exercise or work, to buy essential items including food or to access childcare and healthcare. Victorians cannot gather in groups of more than two or their household group, school holidays will be extended for at least a week. Retail can remain open and markets are permitted to open for food and drink only. Cafes, restaurants, pubs, clubs and bars are back to takeaway only.
Premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday confirmed people in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, north of the city, will return to lockdown from 11:59pm on Wednesday for six weeks. Photo: Getty Images

In Melbourne, businesses and facilities that had reopened - including beauty parlours, entertainment venues, gyms, libraries and swimming pools - will have to close while cafes and restaurants will only be open for takeaway and delivery.

Much like earlier restrictions, visitors will no longer be welcome at homes and people cannot gather in groups of more than two.

Funerals will also return to 10 mourners while only five people can attend a wedding.

Schools in affected areas will not open their doors for term three, which was due to begin on Monday, with students set to return to distance learning, except for senior secondary students and special schools.

School holidays will be extended by a week to give teachers and parents time to prepare.

Unlike previous restrictions, people are required to stay in their principal place of residence and cannot travel to holiday homes.

"This is further than where we went last time but we're in a more precarious, challenging and potentially tragic position now than we were some months ago," Mr Andrews said.

Victoria recorded its highest number of new cases in the state since the start of the pandemic on Tuesday, following an increase of 127 cases on Monday, which was also a record.

There are 772 active cases, with more than half potentially from community transmission.

To date, 22 people have died from coronavirus in Victoria.

With extra reporting by AAP

Sign up to our daily newsletter here to get all the latest news and hacks. Or get in touch at lifestyle.tips@verizonmedia.com.