The lockdown/ isolation caused by the Covid19 virus has created problems for everyone, but there are some people who have been particularly affected. The elderly (especially those in nursing homes), the disabled and people who for a variety of reasons are considered “vulnerable” (more likely to be hurt) have all felt the effects of the lockdown more than most of us.

The WRSC students are reaching out to bridge the distance between them and some of these isolated people through a letter writing campaign initiated by the City of Darebin. Our students can’t go out into the community to do their volunteering work, but through their letter they can still improve the lives of others by reaching out to them.

This is one of those letters from a Year 9 student:

Hi, my name is Mikalee Maroney.

I am 14 years old and a student at William Ruthven Secondary College.

Like you, I have been affected by the virus lockdown. Being in lockdown is a good opportunity to reach out to other people in the community. I am writing this letter to reach out to other people in this time of lockdown because many people have not seen any of their family or friends for months.

A letter is a good way to reach out and maybe make new friends.For you to get to know me better here’s some background; I am a huge fan of sports, I play football at West Preston Lakeside Football Club, and two different rep teams. I also play cricket outside of school; in the AFL I go for Carlton and in the BBL I go for the Melbourne Stars.

Some other things I like to do is surf, cook, run and on occasion, I like to paint and I also really like animals.At this time of year my life has a very busy schedule. I would normally be going to school every day, I would normally have footy training twice a week as well as attending my brother’s footy training. Then on the weekend my brother plays on Saturday and I play onSunday, then, the next week we would start all over again. So, as you can tell, my schedule is jam packed.

Now with this lockdown I have had absolutely nothing to do.The lockdown has created a lot of different problems for me. Something I have found difficult is coping with my school work. It gets quite stressful because you need to email the teacher if you have a question and sometimes your question may not be answered or seen for sometime. Something else for me that is difficult is that I am so used to having a busy schedule and seeing people like my Nonna and friends. Now that I can’t see these people, I feel somewhat lost. It just seems that there is nothing to do.

Something positive that has come out of the lockdown is that my family gets to have more game nights, I’m also spending more time with my cats. After this lockdown is over I will never take anything for granted.People are coping with the lockdown in some funny ways. I have heard that during this lockdown is some people have placed a big speaker in the street, and everyone stands in their driveway following a workout routine.  I have also seen someone with this giant hat/mask type thing over their head in Coles; the mask kind of looked like the ones they would wear when the plague was around in medieval times. I bet there are many other funny things people have heard or seen during this crazy time.

I think after all this is over some behaviours might stay in place.  For example when you walk into Coles and they have the trolley cleaners. This is something we might want to keep up.When you walk into a store and there are hand sanitisers for us to use. Again, this is something we might keep on. Something else that a lot of people have been doing that I hope will stay in place is people walking, bike riding and generally exercising around more.

Usually I would only see a few people walking or bike riding in my street but now there are a lot more people not using their cars.Now that I have written about myself and opinions, I am now going to ask you some questions:

What is your name and age?

Do you have any pets?

What is your favourite sweet? (If you do not like sweets, what is your favourite food?)

Have you ever travelled? If so where?

What are some activities you have been doing to pass the time in this lockdown?

What is the hardest thing about lockdown for you? 

What is your favourite thing to do (if we were not in lockdown)?  

What is the funniest or weirdest thing you have seen/heard of people doing during this pandemic?

I would love to find out more about you.  I can’t wait to hear back from you.

Have a great day.

Kind Regards

Mikalee Maroney