Life in a hard lockdown

Judy Ingram before lockdown.

Tate Papworth

At 3pm on March 12, St Albans resident Judy Ingram went to her doctor to receive her annual flu shot.

It was the last time she left her house.

Ms Ingram has a number of medical conditions and a low immune system.

She’s been told by doctors that if she leaves her house and contracts COVID-19, she’d be in “great risk”.

Patiently, Ms Ingram has pottered around her house as day turned into weeks and weeks turned into months.

“My doctors told me to go home and they’d tell me when it was safe to leave again, so I’m sitting here waiting for it all to pass…. I’m hoping to be out in October, but it looks like now it’ll be next year,” she said.

“I have my good days and my bad days…early on I’d have family members come up to the window to say hello, but as the weather has turned cold and miserable, those have dried up a bit too.”

Each cupboard in Ms Ingram’s house has been cleaned… several times, books passed on to her by friends over the years and stored away for a rainy day have been read and she’s become a master of the jigsaw puzzle.

But you won’t hear her complain.

“Even in that period where restrictions eased, I was advised to stay in a hard lockdown… I haven’t even been able to go for a drive around the block,” she said.

“I’m lucky in a way, my husband Ian is here with me. He’s in the same boat as me, unable to leave the house.

“At least we’re in here together… there’s a lot of seniors like us living by themselves who have been told to stay home.

“Those people have no one to talk to and don’t have that constant support.”

The IGA in Delahey and a butcher in Keilor deliver the couple’s essentials, leaving deliveries at the door.

While council support staff regularly check up on their welfare.

Much of the state was thrust back in to stage three restrictions earlier this month.

While it’s been an adjustment for many, Ms Ingram said it’s hardly a lockdown.

“People are complaining that they’re in lockdown…they’re not in a lockdown.

“They ride their bikes, they go shopping, they do the four things they’re allowed to do every single day… it’s a more restricted life, but not lockdown.

“How can people be so petty about not being able to go to the pub for tea… I’m not even allowed to go for a drive around the block.”

Ms Ingram has a doctor’s appointment in August. If it goes ahead it will be the first time she’s stepped foot outside her home since that day on March 12, but through it all she remains positive.

“This too shall pass,” she said.