Belinda Jackson

Belinda has worked as a features writer, finance journalist and currently specialises in travel. Originally from Melbourne, she’s visited every continent, and lived in three. Trips of a lifetime, she’s had a few, from playing piano on the sea crossing to Antarctica, hiking through ancient olive groves in Palestine and dancing at Russian nightclubs. When the world is not shut down, she is a columnist for The Age/Sydney Morning Herald’s Traveller section. See globalsalsa.com

“This was a time like no other“

I’m genuinely proud of us Melburnians and Victorians for what we’ve done in these lockdowns; our sacrifices have helped stop this virus from spreading throughout Australia. Nothing sums up Melbourne’s lockdown better than the word “resilience”.

It seems a lifetime has passed since our first lockdown in March: for those of us not going into an office, time simply rolled on in a dreamlike state. We lost track of the hours, days, weeks and months, and suddenly, close to a whole year had passed with some form of restriction. This was a time like no other.

So, when Jude told me over our shared back fence that she was documenting local people’s stories, I felt so relieved someone was going to ensnare the emotions of this time. I immediately volunteered to edit her fledgling project.

I believe we need to remember how we felt when we were told we couldn’t go more than 5km from our homes. When we couldn’t go past our front door for more than an hour each day, and had to be off the streets by 8pm each night. How we felt when we learned our businesses would close for…who knows how long? And the sense of shock when we heard of someone passing – something I experienced when I learned, from a TV report, that my former neighbour Heather had passed away from COVID-19 in an aged care home. Although we live side by side, Jude and I weren’t allowed into each other’s houses. So this book was co-authored virtually, through hundreds of phone calls, thousands of emails and a gazillion Whatsapp and text messages zapped between our home offices, 20 metres apart.

Helping to tell these stories made me realise that I wasn’t the only one feeling stranded, even though, at times, it felt like I was.

Together Apart: Life in Lockdown


Buy 2 or more books for only $65 each.

Together Apart is a coffee table book about life in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic in Melbourne.

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