Freedomroo – Growing up in lockdown: Melbourne teenagers open up about the effect of lockdown on their lives 

The video posted to the Melbourne Ground Youtube channel sees two young Melbourne residents talking freely about how their lives have been transformed by the city's six Covid-19 lockdowns over the past two years

Two teenage boys have offered a bleak view of the effects of Melbourne’s endless lockdown on their mental health, education and social life in a moving video.

The YouTube clip posted by the Melbourne Ground channel sees the two young Melbourne residents talking freely about how their lives have been transformed by Melbourne’s six Covid-19 lockdowns over the past two years.

The unidentified teens said they had been left with no motivation due to Victoria’s strict approach to tackling the spread of the virus.  

‘I have lots of friends who I’ve seen turn to drugs and alcohol over lockdown. I’ve really seen a change in people. They’ve got nothing,’ the first teen says. 

‘When we were at school two or so years ago … that’s what [people would] do for the day, they’d go home and sleep and go to school the next day. 

‘When they’re at home all day, it’s not healthy, you know.’

The video posted to the Melbourne Ground Youtube channel sees two young Melbourne residents talking freely about how their lives have been transformed by the city's six Covid-19 lockdowns over the past two years

The video posted to the Melbourne Ground Youtube channel sees two young Melbourne residents talking freely about how their lives have been transformed by the city’s six Covid-19 lockdowns over the past two years

'It's just ridiculous that Melbourne - we're meant to be a privileged country but we're in lockdown the most,' one of the teens said in the video

‘It’s just ridiculous that Melbourne – we’re meant to be a privileged country but we’re in lockdown the most,’ one of the teens said in the video 

Melbourne's latest lockdown is due to end this Thursday, October at 11.59pm, five days earlier than originally planned

Melbourne’s latest lockdown is due to end this Thursday, October at 11.59pm, five days earlier than originally planned

His mate said he’d missed out on so much of his life during the rolling lockdowns.  

‘I’ve never been a person who gets depressed much but recently, I’ve begun to feel the effects of the lockdown. I’ve started to feel depressed.

‘We shouldn’t feel like that, we’re just kids.’

Both teens said the closures of schools had disrupted their education and left them wondering how to go forward once life returned to normal.

‘I’m in Year 11 and I’ve got to the point where I have to choose to restart Year 11 or go into Year 12,’ one said. 

‘The school I’m at want me to start Year 11 again. It’s really affected me. I don’t want to have to start Year 11 again but it’s got to the point where I have to.’

His friend said that when he was at school he was ‘in the moment’ but no motivation to keep doing home schooling.

He also agreed that his phone and social media usage had gone up significantly while the stay-at-home orders were in place.

‘I’ve never really been reliant on the internet or stuff but during lockdown, my phone usage has increased to about five or six hours a day. Before lockdown I’d be on it about an hour a day.’

Psychiatrist Professor Patrick McGorry described Australia's young people as 'canaries in a coalmine' for the effects of ongoing Covid restrictions on mental health, warning incidents of self-harm had risen

Psychiatrist Professor Patrick McGorry described Australia’s young people as ‘canaries in a coalmine’ for the effects of ongoing Covid restrictions on mental health, warning incidents of self-harm had risen

Melbourne’s latest lockdown is due to end this Thursday, October at 11.59pm, five days earlier than originally planned.

The city’s curfew and 15km travel restriction will be lifted after Thursday. 

Most outdoor settings such as pools and cafes will open to 50 people per venue provided they are fully vaccinated. Indoor settings, such as restaurants and cafes, will be able to open to 20 fully vaccinated people

Melbourne experienced increasing unrest and protest as the lockdown wore on

Melbourne experienced increasing unrest and protest as the lockdown wore on

The city has experienced increasing unrest as the lockdown wore on, typified by the out-of-control protests by a mixture of anti-vaccination activists and construction workers in September after the Victorian government mandated Covid-19 vaccines for construction workers and then shut the building industry down for two weeks.   

‘It’s just ridiculous that Melbourne – you know, there are third world countries and everything, we’re meant to be a privileged country but we’re in lockdown the most,’ one of the teens says in the YouTube video.

‘This whole time during lockdown I’ve tried to keep a positive view on it,’ his friend says. ‘I’m thinking, it will finish soon, it will finish soon, and I’ll be able to go back to normal, but it hasn’t.’ 

In July prominent Australian psychiatrist Professor Patrick McGorry described Australia’s young people as ‘canaries in a coalmine’ for the effects of ongoing Covid restrictions on mental health. 

‘The two things that we’ve seen are a rise in deliberate self-harm – and that’s just a behavioural manifestation of distress and anxiety, depression … people overwhelmed with the emotional pain – self-harm is sort of a signal of that,’ he told the ABC.

‘And the second thing is a rising tide of anorexia, in particular, among eating disorders.’ 

‘We’ve seen many young people adapt pretty well. But there’s definitely a big subgroup that has struggled.’ 

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