How the virus stole the school holidays

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Dr Seuss warned us about a lot of things but perhaps we didn’t listen closely enough to his artistic, no, prophetic, offerings.

If we had listened more carefully, we might be talking about the places we’re going these school holidays. Instead, we’ve ended up in the place he warned us about, you know, The Waiting Place: “Waiting for a train to go, or a bus to come, or a plane to go” … otherwise known as lockdown.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg expects 400,000 victorians will be unemployed.Credit:Tanya Lake

We knew the virus was wicked. In Victoria, the “wicked” nature of the virus was all we really talked about in those early days of sketching the profile of the virus, trying to understand his tricksy personality and crown-topped facial composite.

Now we know more about him. We know he has a Grinch-like attitude to end of year festivities, that is, he hates Christmas, tried to stop it, to STEAL it by attacking in 2020 just when schools had closed their doors, cars had been packed and travel plans confirmed.

Alas, the virus isn’t letting up now. It seems he hates ALL holidays too. Now please don’t ask why, for I haven’t a clue. Perhaps it’s the sleep-ins, the joy and the travel. Whatever it is, it makes him unravel!

He’s a bit like that ring the Cat left in the bath. At first it was novel, maybe raised a weak laugh. But then it got bigger, rushed around, nationwide. And it started to seem there was nowhere to hide. Wear your mask, stay at home, cross your fingers and pray. It’s alarming how far he can get in one day.

COVID has not made it easy for families to enjoy school holidays.Credit:Getty Images

There is, of course, hope though. We now have OUR “Voom” (Voom being the thing that can clean any room). The vaccine might be just the thing we did lack, to fight off the virus, put our lives back on track.

To all people in lockdown, we are here by your side. We know what it feels like: we too complied! The sadness, the blankness, we know and it’s tough! You’re biting your nails so you don’t yell “Enough!” Watching the clock and counting the days, life shimmers and shifts in a static haze. We know, yes we know, but we know you’ll get through. Because you’re Australians and that’s what we do.

“Somehow you’ll escape, all that waiting and staying, You’ll find the bright places, where Boom Bands are playing.” You see, Dr Seuss called it, so it must be true. You’ll get out of those places where there’s not much to do. You’ll get out, back on track and start all anew. And just so you know it, we’re waiting for you.

Melissa Coburn is a freelance writer.

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