Mikey Brennan locked in before the lock down. Photo Stu Gibson

LOCKDOWN IN TASMANIA

Mikey Brennan: “I’ve been working as a hospital aide in the emergency department at Royal Hobart. Getting the job at the hospital has been a real eye opener; dealing with suffering and death on a daily basis. It’s been pretty full-on, but also really good to help out in a small way. It felt like I was at the frontline. The precautions you have to take in the hospital with donning up and donning down PPE are serious – the gown, the masks, the glasses and gloves and having to do that in a way that’s protective for yourself and everyone else. If there was a threat of Covid you were ready for it.

“For me I generally don’t deal well with authority and being told what to do, but I really accepted that this situation was real and I needed to act in the best interests of society. Social media was busy saying this is a hoax, but I was at the frontline and it definitely wasn’t a hoax. Even at work you had people saying the governments using it as a means of control and maybe it potentially is. But you had to give up some freedoms for the greater good and I understood that. It was weird for me because naturally I’m a bit the other way.

“We trusted the government to be making the right decisions but it came at a price. They closed most of our beaches down here and the national parks too, so at one point we basically couldn’t leave the house. That was hard. Even going to the beach felt like a criminal thing and you felt you needed to sneak around. There was a lot of angst toward anyone actually going surfing. On the upside, when you went out there was nobody on the beach and nobody chasing waves. It felt like the old days down here. Nobody around. No tourists. We managed to score a couple of Shippies days before it really hit.

“I guess we’re used to a bit of isolation down here in Tassie, but when the isolation set in it was hard. The isolation period was hard. No contact. No physical contact. I found it really hard at first for sure. But I kept surfing, meditated, played more music and tried to find an outlet, but I was working for most of it. A lot of crew were on government money and getting paid as much as me and I was doing 40 hours at the hospital while they were chasing waves. But I was stoked to have a job and save some money and play some kind of role.

“It’s actually been a bit of a growth period for me this year. There’s been a lot of positives from it, a lot of internal growth. The whole period has made me more appreciative of social contact. We’re individuals but we’re also a society. When I’m at the bakery now I’ll take the time to have a chat with the old lady there. This break has given me the space and the headspace to chill and look at what’s going on and make some positive choices. It’s slowed the world up which is nice.

SW