Corporate professional and T+L India reader Christina Teronpi gives us a peek into what life’s looking like under lockdown in Melbourne — the most populous city in Australia. A fitness enthusiast, she also tells us what’s keeping her positive in bleak times like these. By Pallavi Phukan
When did you move to Australia?
We moved to Australia in 2017. We initially lived in Perth before eventually settling in Melbourne.
What were your first thoughts when the lockdown was put in motion?
Thankfully, the lockdown wasn’t announced overnight. It was done in phases, which means we had enough time to prepare and knew what was coming next. Having said that, I was worried about how I’d adjust being inside should there be a complete lockdown. But, I’ve adjusted well so far and I’m grateful to be safe.
Tell us about the ground reality that you are witnessing there during the lockdown. Are there any challenges that you are facing?
It was all good until people started freaking out and started hoarding things. Supermarkets had empty shelves with queues to enter much before 6 am. So if you’ve read or heard about toilet paper rolls being sold out — it’s true!. We didn’t have a choice but to start stocking up essentials and although the government announced several times not to freak out as there are enough supplies in Australia, we still did. Mostly, because we knew we may not be able to just go and pick it up if we need something urgently.
What regulations have been implemented by the government there?
We are currently in phase four, of the lockdown. What this means is that we have to be home all the time, if we can. Reasons we can step out would be to buy essentials, an exercise in the park and get medical treatment. If anyone is seen driving around for no reason, or are seen out and about doing nothing, there is a hefty fine of $1600 to be imposed.
Are people allowed to step outdoors at a certain time?
We are allowed to go outdoors to exercise in the park, buy essentials or for medical reasons which are a lot better than many countries that have strict rules in place.
How are you keeping yourself positive? Any advice for the T+ L readers?
I am working from home so that keeps me busy for about eight hours. I make it a point to go for a walk daily covering 5-6 km and 8-10 km on weekends or public holidays. I also practice yoga and cook something different every day. If you are not walking home hundreds of km a day to get home, there’s food on your plate and you are still employed — let’s not complain. Use this time to develop a hobby, enhance any skill you have, focus on your health and interact with long-lost friends and family, which time permitted you from doing so otherwise. Trust me, there’s a lot to do indoors.
Where would you like to travel to once this situation settles down?
In an ideal world, it would be Fiji Islands as we had to cancel our vacation due to the pandemic. Keeping the current situation in mind, New Zealand looks more realistic.