Melburnians keep their expectations real for 2022

Vintage furniture restaurateur Kate Hopkins said she saw a joke on Twitter by comedian Kirsty Webeck that suggested we should all agree to ignore 2022 until it showed us that it had learned from the previous two years.

“I was just thinking ‘yes, that’s how I feel’,” she said. “When it was 2020, there was a real sense of hope [for 2021] and then, of course, it did not take long before it fell into a pile. ”

The single mother from Brunswick West said she had been exhausted by the last two years, which included homeschooling by her 11-year-old son Jasper, and had accepted that the pandemic could continue to affect life for years to come.

Kate Hopkins and her son Jasper had a tough year of homeschooling.

Kate Hopkins and her son Jasper had a tough year of homeschooling. Credit:Chris Hopkins

“I just try not to have any expectations and I feel like we just have to ride it out,” she said.

“I really hope it is with minimal pain and suffering for people and pressure on the health care system.”

Melbourne University psychologist Lisa Phillips said feelings of fear were appropriate and a reflection of the insecurity most of us faced at this time.

“A lot of people are facing 2022 with a bit of anxiety and fatigue,” she said.

“It’s probably a reflection of fatigue with the situation and being beaten down again and again.”

To combat the feeling of helplessness, Professor Phillips said it was important to remind ourselves of the progress we had made in living with COVID-19, such as the impending vaccination of children and our increased knowledge of how we can reduce our personal risk.

She said that instead of focusing on long-term goals, we could plan for the near future and be flexible if something got in the way.

International nursing student Divyangana Sharma, who also works at a COVID-19 test center, said this mindset was exactly what she had achieved over the previous two years.

Frontline employee Divyangana Sharma says she has become more flexible as a result of 2021 and has learned not to set too high expectations for 2022.

Frontline employee Divyangana Sharma says she has become more flexible as a result of 2021 and has learned not to set too high expectations for 2022.Credit:

The 22-year-old, who arrived in Tarneit, in the western part of Melbourne, from India in February 2020, struggled to live in a new country, unable to make friends or experience a student life while the world locked up.

But she learned to adapt, to find new ways to meet friends and to make strong connections with a smaller number of people than she had anticipated. She rediscovered her love of writing and was motivated to get support for her mental health.

“2021 I had high expectations, but I will keep it simple in 2022,” she said.

“We may need to change our mindset and start living with it [the virus]. We can not hope to come back in 2018/2019 life.

“2021 taught me that no matter what, you will always find a way to live life. Even though we have lockdowns, I have no complaints.”

Ms Liversidge, who lives in the CBD, said she tried to focus on positive things, such as the availability of booster shots and the apparent mildness of the new variant Omicron.

Ms Hopkins said the state’s high vaccination levels gave her hope of preventing serious illness by 2022.

To help cope with our precarious times, RMIT University psychology associate professor James Collett suggested that instead of making decisions this New Year’s Eve, write down what worked during the lockdown to pull on in case of another.

He advised to plan how to adapt if faced with further limitations or hardships while in a good mental state.

Dominique Yohanes, who moved Christmas to Dec. 27 after her family was forced to isolate themselves after visiting an exposure site, said she had also learned to roll with the virus after the past two years.

The 23-year-old project editor at the international study center Study Melbourne, who lives in Lysterfield in the south-east of the city, has planned a move to Singapore in the new year. She insists she would accept the news if her trip was canceled due to COVID.

Dominique Yohanes says she has learned to roll with the virus.

Dominique Yohanes says she has learned to roll with the virus.Credit:

“I would like to think I would still be optimistic,” she said. “If it’s not going to happen now, it’s going to happen soon. It’s just ups and downs. We’re just going with it.”

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