(Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

More than a year and a half into the pandemic, Australians are no strangers to lockdowns: Sydney is going through its worst COVID-19 outbreak yet with a snap lockdown announced for Dubbo; south-east Queensland’s lockdown ended just as a three-day lockdown in the north was announced; Victoria is in its sixth lockdown which has just been extended -- their fourth lockdown this year. 

But lockdowns this year feel harsher than in previous years, and there are a number of reasons why. We have lingering emotional and financial trauma from last year. There’s no clear path to freedom from the federal government, with its post-vaccination transition plan lacking key details. Financial aid is still a shambles, vaccines are out of reach for many, and any novelty of the pandemic has worn off.

Our sacrifices last year were for nothing as cases continue to grow and regions get shuttered again.