Australia

Meet the young Aussies choosing to stay in lockdown

NSW’s lockdown was a thing most people complained about and couldn’t wait to be over — but for some Aussies, they’ve opted to stay locked down rather than risk getting coronavirus.One woman in her 20s who spoke to news.com.au hasn’t properly left her house since March 13 — which means she’s been in her own…

NSW’s lockdown was a thing most people complained about and couldn’t wait to be over — but for some Aussies, they’ve opted to stay locked down rather than risk getting coronavirus.

One woman in her 20s who spoke to news.com.au hasn’t properly left her house since March 13 — which means she’s been in her own version of lockdown for 183 days.

Another Sydney family is trying to protect their diabetic father, and so they’ve been in a self-imposed stage three lockdown even after NSW’s restrictions ended in April.

It comes as the level of frustration in Victoria has reached new heights, with the state’s lockdown predicted to keep going for months.

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In her early 20s with long dark hair and a confident smile, most people would picture Jazzy Regan as a party girl. They’d never imagine that she’s chosen to stay locked down since April for her own health, and the health of her grandmother.

“I’m high risk and my grandma is even more high risk than I am,” she told news.com.au.

Ms Regan has severe asthma and is often hospitalised for her condition, especially in winter. She lives with her boyfriend, five other siblings, her parents and her grandmother — who is 84 years old.

“I’ve essentially been ‘locked down’ since March 13,” she said.

That’s 183 days, or around six months, since Jazzy has been living the normal life of a 20-something.

During lockdown, no-one in Ms Regan’s family even left the house, getting their groceries delivered and doing all their work and exercise from home. They didn’t even go to their local parks.

Only in the last month has Jazzy left her house, to go on walks around her area.

“Because of my asthma and allergies, I always think every winter will be death for me,” she explained.

“Last year I had a chest infection three times (and was hospitalised). That’s why we were so scared — if I can‘t even get through winter in a normal season, what would COVID-19 be like?”

Some of her younger siblings had to go back to school, and they’ve been isolating from the rest of the family.

“We’ve adopted the shielding approach. (They’re) segregated to their bedrooms, have a different shower and living space etc.”

Ms Regan shops online, gets her groceries delivered and she’s been able to work from home.

“I think the fact that we are at our age (and not going out) confuses some people. My friends don’t understand it at all,” she said.

Ms Regan is not the only young person who’s decided to give up her social life for the health of their loved ones.

Melanie*, who is 20 years old and also from Sydney, has been isolating with her family ever since Victoria’s coronavirus cases started to spike.

She suffers from asthma and her middle-aged father has diabetes – putting him seriously at risk if he catches the disease.

I “definitely miss socialising with friends the most,” Melanie told news.com.au. “It’s hard when a lot of people my age are all going out to eat at restaurants and bars and invite me but I keep having to say no.”

Melanie said she’s had to be more “creative” with meeting up with friends — it means they can only get takeaway, and they can only hang out in a park or at her house.

She said she would only be comfortable going back to normal when NSW’s cases stay below five consistently, for about two weeks.

But Ms Regan, on the other hand, doesn’t have any desire to return to life as normal, even if NSW’s cases go down to zero.

It’s been “probably the best time ever,” Ms Regan said.

She has no need to go to a cafe or restaurant because “We’ve actually started cooking a lot of (restaurant) dishes we never thought we’d be able to cook before from home.”

She’s lost seven kilograms through her exercise regime by turning her living room into a “mini F45 gym” and her career has progressed rapidly.

“(I’m) lucky with my choice of career that I can work from home

“My whole career is based off live performances (so in lockdown) I turned to social media.”

Ms Regan’s YouTube channels went “crazy” during lockdown.

“I’m focusing more on creating content from home,” she said. “(Because of lockdown) I’ve had all this time in the world to do the things I love. Not being distracted by the pressure of going out all the time.”

Ms Regan is also helped by the fact that her boyfriend Robbie Wilson moved in with her in March, so the loneliness hasn’t been bad.

Robbie was faced with the choice of not seeing his girlfriend indefinitely, or to move into her family home and spend time with her.

“We decided at the beginning of lockdown to try two weeks with him living there,” she said.

“If any other girlfriend/boyfriend did this and had to be with each other 24/7 it would be a nightmare but we’ve had no issues so far.”

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