This week, firstname_blank1 and firstname_blank2 check in with how you’re going this lockdown.
Here I am, tanning my cheeks in Alert Level 4 with my partner until we are suddenly swept in by a giant wave and an influx of seabirds, all different sizes. I turn, and there it is: The King Gull. He parts his long beak and reveals a small seagull at the fore of his mouth and… a Sex in the City on Blu-Ray at the back of its throat. Eda awakes from another Covid dream. She hasn’t even seen Sex in the City before. Our only hope is that you may have some sort of a dream about being stuck in a reality TV series, so you spend your time crocheting and refining your Maccas order but then you realise that you’re actually stuck in Elohim Academy and you wake up in a puddle of sweat.
By the time you read this, Auckland will have been at Alert Level 4 for almost, if not already, a month. While disorienting, the necessity for lockdowns is already well understood by us all at this point. That being said, social isolation is never easy, and no matter how expected it may have been, preparation doesn’t make bearing it any simpler.
Many of us will not remember the moments leading up to lockdown. As a result, your thoughts may be entirely warped by the negative impact of social isolation. Perhaps you’re like Eda, and even your dreams operate under the restrictions of Alert Level 4. And maybe, if you’re a fan of Rick and Morty, your dream inside a dream inside a creepy-killer-doll-fleeing dream requires mask-wearing when passing through essential services.
The unfortunate reality is that lockdown is something we cannot control, despite however many Māori vaccination codes David Seymour may choose to Tweet. What’s more, is that lockdown may come at a time when people are already experiencing distress or hardship in their lives, leading to these feelings being amplified. If this lockdown is particularly difficult for you, we hope you will build a support system to listen and help you through your problems—whether that be friends, family, or an anonymous helpline.
While we can’t possibly address everyone’s situation, we want to start by providing some food to fuel your mental wellbeing. Being trapped at home forces us closer with technology, for better or for worse. As an indispensable tool for work and play, it’s easy to become inseparable from our virtual profiles. The media we consume, pushed to us by algorithms, may not be conducive to positive wellbeing, instead having the potential to further distress and serve a bleak outlook on the world.
Before Judith Collins calls us plus-sized hypocrites, we have to admit this is inevitably the case with Craccum at times too. Reporting breaking news, which is an important service we look to fill for students, can clash with fostering a positive environment at times. However, those who flick through our magazines know our priority is to promote the sharing of culture and society, and amplifying marginalised voices.
So, with the duality of media in mind, the best way to live a positive virtual environment is to foster meaningful connections. Schedule opportunities to catch up with friends, work/classmates, and family. University can make us feel guilty diverting our attention from work, but social isolation enhances the need for us to take time out however we choose—whether it’s Netflix, playing games, or just Facetime conversations.
And, once you’re sick of company, make sure you schedule that self-care time, too. If your premonition tells you it’s time to pull out Sex in the City in high definition Blu-ray, you know what you gotta do.
Brian Gu (he/him) & Eda Tang (she/her)
Co-editors of Craccum 2021