From Coffs Harbour to Cairns people are documenting their everyday experiences in lockdown.
From Coffs Harbour to Cairns people are documenting their everyday experiences in lockdown.

Documenting life in Covid-19 lockdown

From Coffs Harbour to Cairns people are documenting their everyday experiences in lockdown.

It's all part of The Diary Files - a new project launched by the State Library of New South Wales.

By collecting snippets of people's lives on an open, online platform, The Diary Files aims to become an archive of people's everyday experiences in lockdown in NSW and beyond.

From a sentence to a page, the contributions are heartfelt and diverse, and some people are letting loose with their juiciest secrets with anonymous submissions also accepted.

A Coffs Harbour entry, from 55-year-old Narelle, outlines the struggles of keeping in contact with her elderly father.

"Dad has dementia. We struggled through seven weeks of no visits. Talking on the phone or via Skype is challenging, as he puts the phone down to go looking for me.

"The nursing home granted a compassionate visit a week ago, and Dad's face lit up with recognition and joy when he saw me," she writes.

'J' from Port Macquarie reflects on how grateful she is to be working but sadly it was a different story for her husband:

"For the first time in his life this week Centrelink will help him out.

"As we were both married before, we both planned on/need to work until pension age."

The project has already attracted a range of contributions since launching on May 4, including one from presenter and writer, Gretel Killeen.

In a touching entry she spoke of the roller coaster of emotions but also recalled a simpler time with memories triggered by the new Covid way of life.

"We're just finishing week four of 'lockdown'. It's a blue sky day here in Sydney. The sapphire harbour is devoid of cruise and cargo ships, aeroplanes have been replaced with Rainbow Lorikeets, the normally chock-a-block road to the harbour bridge is lightly freckled with vehicles," she writes.

"It reminds me of the Sydney I grew up in. It was a simpler, slower time where kids 'swam' under garden sprinklers.

"As yearning grows to get life back to normal some are also wondering just how great that 'normal' was. For many it seems that this stressful, confusing, financially uncertain period has been such a rare period of connection that it reminds us of a time we didn't know that we've been missing ever since we were kids under that sprinkler."

Check out The Diary Files here.



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