(Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

Journalism student and NGO worker Jordyn Beazley is keeping a COVID diary, detailing her life as a young Australian in lockdown.


I should have finished my university assignment today. But instead I stared at the screen for a few hours and then gave up. After the initial scramble to remote learning settled, the first month of lockdown without social distractions and places to be was good for productivity.

Now, life is too shapeless and bland. Gone are the rules I had subconsciously drawn around places to help segment what needed to be done — the office is for work, university is for study and home is for rest.

It has now all moulded into the same corner of my house where my desk lives. Also gone are the rewards I used to dangle in front of myself, like the promise that if I buckle down and finish an assignment, then I won’t miss out on that party my friends are raving about. 

This unenergised feeling compounds the guilt of not trying hard enough. Studying a journalism degree already feels like you’re clawing your way to the top to grab hold of one of the handful of cadet roles that publications can still afford.

The virus has only made this harder as the pandemic whacks the media industry with another flurry of assaults. I wonder, what will be left when I finish my degree at the end of the year?


I received a text message from the government: “Help us keep you safe and ease restrictions by downloading the CovidSafe app now”. I texted my sister to ask if she had downloaded it, she replied in seconds “yes, so I can get out of this apartment!”.

At six months pregnant she is scared to do much more than lap around her block, so is starting to rattle at the windows of her small Sydney apartment. 

I told her I am still on the fence. At first it was because it felt like an Orwellian line had been crossed. But now it’s because the belief that a surveillance app, with all its flaws, will keep people safe from infection feels dangerous.

I reminded her to keep the app running and her iPhone unlocked.  


I stumbled across a new walking track that hugs the edge of Melbourne’s Yarra River. I didn’t see a soul along the 2km trail shaded beneath a scraggly canopy of river red gums.

Finding it felt like a triumph, another to add to the list of trails that were close by my house all along, but I only took the time to discover during this period of self-isolation. I hope these small bouts of freedom everyone is experiencing in nature will create a new level appreciation for green spaces once this crisis is over. 


On a drive to the supermarket there was traffic. Numerous cyclists flew past. The supermarket was packed, there were no lines of carefully spaced people out the front. It felt like any other Wednesday trip to the supermarket pre-pandemic. 

This made my partner nervous. On the way home he said he isn’t ready for restrictions to be lifted. Having lost his job, the reality of being unemployed during a recession is starting to sink in.

He wants more time in his scramble to finish short courses and retrain so that he can be “ready” for when the safety net of doubled welfare payments is lifted and he must compete with the rest of the unemployed for limited jobs.   


I got an apologetic email from a colleague at the development NGO where I work, to say she was ashamed of a “snappy” email sent the night before. I had not read it that way, so it took me aback.

She explained it stemmed from struggling with the anxiety of preparing for the pandemic. She lives in a country that is labelled by the Global Health Security Index as one of 24 countries least equipped to cope. 

There are few ventilators and no ICUs, little access to clean or even running water, no laptops and internet at the ready for remote learning, and no welfare payments to protect livelihoods.

It has dawned on me this week that the fanciful belief that this will soon be over is far from true. In some countries, it could be just the beginning.