(Image: Tom Red/Private Media)

With millions of Australians in lockdown once more, Crikey investigates how people are coping with confinement this time round. Satirist Tom Red dives deep into the language and behaviour that got us through 2020, and compares it with today. (Spoiler: it’s not pretty.)


2020: “Who’d like some more homemade sourdough?”

2021: “Who ate the cookie dough straight from the packet?”

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2020: “At least I’m not day-drinking.”

2021: “You know you can track Dan Murphy’s trucks in real time, right?”


2020: “The rule at our place is wear ‘courtesy pants’ at all times.”

2021: “If you don’t want to see, don’t bloody look.”


2020: “Meme!”

2021: “Meh.”


2020: “I’ve started a podcast.”

2021: “For sale: Behringer Podcastudio 2 USB, as new.”


2020: “I’ve been writing and recording a bunch of isolation songs.”

2021: “Yeah, nah, ‘ukulelephobia’ is totally a thing.”


2020: “We’ve got this.”

2021: “We’ve got this. Again.”

Political leadership

2020: “Australia is at the front of the queue for vaccines.”

2021: “It’s not a race. It’s not a game show. The sooner we get there, the sooner we get there.”

Game changers

2020: “Once they invent a vaccine, this all changes.”

2021: “Once we get some of the vaccine they invented, this all changes.”


2020: “Gas-led recovery.”

2021: “Gas-lit recovery.”

Opposition leaders

2020: “I can’t see how Michael O’Brien could possibly do a worse job.”

2021: “Seems we all underestimated Michael O’Brien.”

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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