The second wave: 'Thinking this would end was a useful crutch – now it's been kicked from under us'

Before the resurgence of cases in Victoria, Australians were filled with a tentative sort of optimism – now comes the hard slog

Right from the beginning of our coronavirus lockdown, I was fixated on the end. As we retreated into our homes and away from almost everyone we knew, I dreamed of a sort of bacchanalian V-day celebration once we made it through this strange and terrifying period apart. We could throw off social distancing protocols, put our arms around each other again and return to some idealised version of the Before Times.

Back then, the curve was soaring, long lines were forming outside Centrelink, police patrolled the local parks, racist attacks against Asian Australians were on the rise, borders were closing around the world and none of us were game to even accept a comforting cuddle from our mums.

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