As the bedrock of our lives turns to shifting sand, hope remains

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The past four months of lockdown have done wonders for my arms. Time once spent commuting to the office has been devoted to online beginner’s Pilates and a little bit of weight training.

Lockdown hasn’t, however, been especially beneficial for my mental health or that of the five million or so other inhabitants of metropolitan Melbourne.

In difficult times, we should find faith in the strength of the bond between friends.Credit:Age archive

Self-isolation keeps us safe from infection but it doesn’t stop the outside world from intruding. Over the winter months we all shared in the grief of the loss of a mother, a slow recuperation from eye surgery, the pain of a relationship breakup and the sale of a family home. Interspersed through all that sadness were gales of laughter and memories of good times past, and the hope of more in the future.

With the recent easing of restrictions has come the reinstatement of our long-anticipated weekend away. As we look forward to breathing the same fresh sea air, our anticipation is tinged with trepidation. We are having trouble believing that the solid foundation on which we built our pre-pandemic lives will return. But we can at least have faith in the strength of the bond between us.

For now it will be enough to be able to spread my newly-toned arms wide and encircle these special women, even if it has to be from a safe distance.

Elizabeth Quinn is a Melbourne writer.

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