One of the best things about being a photographer is the people we get to meet, and getting to know them. That is certainly the case with Caroline, as we have done a few jobs with her over the years.

So when I was starting to think a bit further afield with this project, I thought I can only ask (and try and explain LOL) what I was wanting to do. She was excited and so was I. Not only that she has helped me with 2 more stories!!

One of the recurring stories of this time what Year 12 students are going through. Here is their story:)

How would you describe what is happening right now with COVID19? 
We are living through a pandemic, the first in over 100 years and it is everyone’s job to protect the vulnerable and ensure the health system can cope with those effected by bending the curve. This means for all of us behaving in ways that we never thought we would have to, I can’t imagine at Christmas last year anyone thought by March seeing family and friends could get you fined.

What is one thing that has surprised you about this event – positively or negatively? 
I’m surprised at how accepting the majority of Australians have been to isolate. Most of us are feeling the effects of living without our usual social experiences and yet we continue to accept this as something we need to do no matter the personal cost to protect the vulnerable.

What is one thing you will always remember about this time? 
I will always remember the sadness I have felt as a Mother at all the things Matt who is in grade 12 has missed out on. His formal was supposed to be the 25 March, his last Mother’s Day morning tea at school has been cancelled, the year 12 defensive driving course was cancelled, he’s due to take his P’s in June and at the moment this is still not possible. 
Matt is a country boy and has driven up our 400 mete driveway since he has 18 months old, I would turn around unclip his belt and he would climb through sit on my lap and steer the car up the driveway. When he was 11 his dad bought a manual paddock basher called the ‘Hulk’ which Matt learnt to do donuts in. He turned 16 on a Saturday which was just cruel because he had to wait until the Monday to get his Learners. A lot of kids take the full 12 months to get their 100 hours however Matt did his in 3 months and by the end of September 2019 he was ready to go, he even asked me if I thought they would let him get it early?
In early April as part of stage 3 restrictions driving tests were postponed for 3 months meaning when Matt turns 17 he will have to wait until these restrictions are lifted and try and book in with all the backlog sometime in July (hopefully). With all the senior milestones Matt is missing out on, this one is definitely hurting the most. With his ute ready to go, I expect when he finally gets his licence Matt will be clocking up the K’s.
Year 12 is supposed to be the most memorable year of schooling and he is missing so much of this ‘rite of passage’. Instead of going to parties and making memories he’s locked away from his friends. Thank goodness for social media but 5 weeks in even this isn’t enough. I think in our family he is losing the most.

What do you think is really important right now?  
Doing the right thing so we can get back to the new normal. The more we reduce the spread the sooner they will lift the restrictions.

What have you done to stay in touch with others? 
Lots of phone calls as well as Facetiming with girlfriends and a glass of wine in hand.

What is one thing that you miss right now?  
I really miss my friends and being social. I love to hug and I’ve had moments of real sadness where all I want to do is visit and enjoy a laugh over a wine. I’m really surprised at how much I have missed this, I guess we just take these things for granted. I also miss the gym and being social with people who are essentially strangers.

What have you been doing to keep yourself and your family busy?  
So much work at home, nearly every draw has been tidied, the oven is clean, we built a shed, painted a bookshelf, cleaned windows and the painting of the edging will happen this weekend.

Does this scare you?  
I think if we hadn’t gone into lockdown I would have been scared. Watching the news and what has happened in other countries who were slow to react has been frightening. Living not only in Australia but a regional centre makes me feel confident that we will be ok, and besides if I did get sick I have access to one of the best hospitals in Australia.

What is one good thing that you hope will happen after this is all over? 
I hope that people start to realise the value of our medical profession, farmers, truckers, teachers and all those who play roles which enable these roles to function. I also hope that people realise the value of family and what it’s been like to spend quality time with loved ones who we live with and those who we have missed.

What is the first thing you are going to do when it is all over? 
Visit family and friends and share a meal!!! I want to see everyone! Connections are essential for survival, we are not biologically made to be on our own, the power of touch releases oxytocin and I definitely need a shot of oxytocin.

Kids at home
How have you maintained your friendships?
Through social media, mainly Snapchat as well as playing the X-Box and talking to my friends while we play together.

What’s your thoughts on home schooling? 
It’s hard because you can’t access everything you need to and things crash from time to time.

What do you think about the Corona Virus? 
The Corona virus worries me because my parents might lose their jobs and some of my family might die.

What is one thing you miss doing right now? 
Playing footy and going to training to catch-up with my mates. I don’t go to school with my footy mates so this is the only opportunity I have to see them and now I will have missed half a season with them.

What is one thing you are enjoying about this time? 
I get to play the X-Box more

Caroline works at St Andrew’s and I asked her, what their (the staff and doctors) thoughts were on the COVID-19 scenario.
At the end of January 2020 one of the Executives in the hospital felt that the Corona Virus as it was referred to at the time was going to hit Australia and suggested the hospital order additional PPE supplies to cover us if needed. This was the first time I thought wow could this virus really reach Australia? Between this time and mid-March when Australia started to go into Stage one lockdown I had witnessed a number of very nervous and worried doctors. They were concerned with the rate at which the virus spreads and the severity at which it can hit that our hospital systems just wouldn’t cope. They were talking to their colleagues around the world and hearing stories of true horror. We heard stories of patients in corridors because there weren’t enough beds, we heard of doctors and nurses who had run out of PPE and were treating patients without protection for themselves and we heard of people dying in complete solitude because no one was allowed in to visit. They were truly worried without a nationwide lockdown Australia would follow. This virus has suffocated the world and I for one cannot wait to have the COVID-19 veil lifted and the sun shine on us again.

Leave a Reply