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Children share their brutally honest thoughts on holidays in lockdown

Eight-year-old Zack Wong sent this drawing of his Easter in isolation.

Eight-year-old Zack Wong sent this drawing of his Easter in isolation.Credit:Zack Wong

“We can’t give Grandpa cuddles he needs”

My name is Scarlet and I started prep this year. But it finished already. I don’t really know why. I miss my playground and my school. I really liked my teacher and I have some new friends. I wonder if they will remember me and still be my friend. My favourite thing about being home is painting, drawing and making bracelets with my little sister. My not favourite thing is seeing mummy and daddy cry because Tata (my grandpa) is very, very sick and we can’t give him cuddles that he needs. I wish all the virus would stop so I can go back to the playground. Scarlet Groza, 5

“It’s a roller-coaster”

I have found these holidays an interesting experience but a good way to spend quality family time with two moody older sisters and my hard working parents. These holidays I have been trying new things and trying to make new hobbies. I’ve practiced some magic tricks and I even learnt some Auslan sign language. We were lucky enough to get a small Jack Russell puppy just before the shutdown, which my dad calls a wellness puppy and my mum calls a panic buy. His name is Rory and he likes chewing up my socks, sometimes with my feet still in them. I am 11 years old and in year 6 so it’s my last year of primary school, which is annoying that I can’t see my friends, but as you know, life goes on and it’s a roller-coaster. Jeremy Thorpe, 11

“I really enjoy when we can get out”

”I feel like all the important things have changed over the past couple of weeks. For example, I can’t see my friends, or go to school, I can’t hug my aunty. It makes me scared when I go to the supermarket and see empty shelves. Most of the time my parents are working and me and my brothers are usually bored because there is nothing to do. During the holidays I would normally go to playgrounds, however, since they have closed I feel like there is nowhere to go. I have watched all of the episodes of Fuller House on Netflix and sometimes me and my brother re-watch episodes. I really enjoy when we can get out. I have learnt how to rollerskate and do a front flip on the trampoline without hitting the net. I worry about how long this is going to last for. I miss seeing my friends and family most, and going to school.” Mila Catalano, 8

“I don’t mind staying inside”

I myself don’t mind staying inside and have quite easily occupied myself with school work, reading and video games. However unlike most people I still leave the house for work. About two weeks ago I started working for a supermarket that just opened and since then I have spent about half of my time working. This has been quite tiring because as well as trying to get used to a new job I have to be paying attention to all of the new rules and restrictions while trying to touch the items as little as possible. Carmen Haines, 15

“I hope the Easter Bunny hasn’t got coronavirus”

This school holidays my mummy and daddy had to work in the hospital because of COVID-19. I had to stay with my grandparents. I came up with an idea to play FaceTime beyblades with my neighbours because the Prime Minister said we couldn’t have play dates. I hope the coronavirus will go away soon so that I can play with my friends again. I also hope the Easter Bunny hasn’t got coronavirus. Elliot Doukas, 6

“My birthday party got cancelled”

These holidays I have been keeping myself entertained by mainly either drawing, going on my computer, baking and sometimes doing puzzles, Because we can’t really leave the house that has given me more time to spend with my family but it is quite disappointing since my birthday party got cancelled and many of my family events got cancelled as well. I haven’t been able to see my friends in person so I have been speaking to them either by text message or video call but of course I still do miss seeing my friends in person. Teal Jacobson, 12

Archie Smith, 11, and his sister Dana, 8, have been whittling and drinking tea in their backyard.

Archie Smith, 11, and his sister Dana, 8, have been whittling and drinking tea in their backyard.Credit:Scott McNaughton

“It is a nice change”

I have loved spending time at home and doing work because it is a nice change and it is more relaxing. I have missed seeing all my friends and teachers. I have been very occupied with painting my wall in my bedroom. it went from a light pink to a mint green and I have been painting the inside of the house walls. That has been a lot of fun to me. BUT it’s been hard being at home because of the virus and not being able to go to the shops and that stuff. Hayley Metcalf, 14

“Some great bush walks”

I live on the Mornington Peninsula. So I’ve enjoyed going mountain biking and my little sister is improving her skills, talking to my friends on FaceTime, walking some great bush walks and collecting some shells on the back beaches. I have really disliked not seeing my friends in person for ages and I don’t go back to school after the holidays (damn) and I’ll have to work on a computer. So that is what I’ve enjoyed and disliked about being at home (I hate COVID19). Henry Miller-Heinze, 9

“Stupid walks”

I’m just so angry because it’s so boring being at home all the time and only going on stupid walks and bike rides. Niamh Miller-Heinze, 7

“I did a puzzle with 1000 pieces”

I have been doing home schooling every day, even on the weekend. We have been watching lots of Disney movies and doing puzzles. I did a puzzle with 1000 pieces, Dad helped me. I am excited we are not going to school in term 2, but I will miss the monkey bars. Max Alonso, 6

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“I don’t know what to do”

My time has been boring. My life has been a rerun everyday since isolation started. Waking up. Eating breakfast. Physical activity. Lunch. Some screen time. Dinner. Then sleep. I miss being able to see my friends. I FaceTime my friends every day – but there isn’t much to say. And even though I FaceTime everyday – it’s not the same. I play Nintendo Switch and read sometimes to keep me entertained. I’m not looking forward to school going back. I think digital learning from home will be hard. I get tired of my family’s company. Isolation happened really quickly – I wasn’t prepared for it. It was a normal day at school and then I was stuck at home. There are times when I am happy and times when I am lost and don’t know what to do. Jake Starick, 10

“All of us really want a dog”

I’ve enjoyed being at home because I hate going for long, long, long walks. I miss seeing my friends and I wonder how most of them are going. We’ve been watching a million movies – every night is movie night. Dad and I started a family book club – we could talk about our week and the latest book we’ve been reading. You had to read at least one chapter. My time with my family has been fun and annoying. All of us really want a dog. I would love a cavoodle called Huggle. I think it would be a great friend for our cat Tibs. Sam Starick, 7

“I delivered letters to my friends”

What I have loved doing at home is playing basketball with my brother as we got a new hoop for Easter. My family and I have done lots of fun things like playing Monopoly and Pictopia (which I won both), evening scooter rides, I delivered letters to my friends houses. We were even allowed to have our unhealthy holiday breakfast cereal. I love all these things about being at home but what I really really, really, really miss is seeing my friends. Matilda Gray, 8

“My mum is high risk of getting coronavirus”

My mum had an operation about two weeks ago and she’s high risk of getting coronavirus. That means that my sisters and I must self-isolate to protect her. Say for instance we go to the shops we have to bring hand sanitiser and put it on after touching anything, even a piece of fruit. Annie Steele, 11

“We were all doing the exact same thing”

Usually students do different activities on their school holidays, but this year we are all doing the exact same thing … you guessed it, cancellations, social distancing and staying at home. The only hobbies I can really do are drinking good-quality tea and reading The Age (especially Danny Katz’s Modern Guru). Our holiday to Eden being cancelled was actually OK. I mean sure, no Airbnb to scour for Easter eggs and no being a beach bum, but in compensation, I got to order a speciality tea sampler online. That means I get to visit France, New York, Turkey and Melbourne city just by drinking tea. We spent a day sitting by a home campfire. Who knew that you can so much fun just by whittling and warming your feet over an elevated fire? I didn’t! Archie Smith, 11

“It’s so boring staying at home”

When school is back on, all students are going to work from home, like me! I’m really annoyed that this has happened and it’s the first big disaster that a lot of people are experiencing. GG, my great grandma, has been through the war so knows what it feels like. It’s SO BORING staying at home watching YouTube, Netflix and Stan because I like going out to places to eat and to shops and I’ve only gone outside to go on a bike ride and to get food in my dad’s car even though I just stayed in the car. That’s my story hopefully you enjoyed it. Isabelle Hughes, 11

“I feel extremely lonely”

I personally hate isolation because I feel extremely lonely and have a hard time trying to communicate with friends. I surprisingly want to go back to school as school is something to occupy my time and so I can see someone other than my family. I usually spend my time sitting on my phone to wait for the hours to drag by, but occasionally I play with my friends online, but would rather play with them in real life. I also regularly do something else, for example, play with Lego, play outside, clean, walk the dog etc. My family and I also sometimes entertain ourselves by having a fire pit in our backyard. The thing I’m most excited about is Easter as I do like greedily munching on chocolate. We’ve done this a couple of times and it was super enjoyable. Caleb Hughes, 11

“I set myself a list of challenges”

Being able to live through this pandemic has been the most challenging thing this world could offer to me. For me the biggest challenge has been not being able to see my friends and family. I miss having the privilege to leave the house and it makes me feel grateful when I do get to get out of the house for a walk. As soon as we were locked in our house I set myself a list of challenges to do including, sewing Easter egg baskets for my brothers and I, making a stop motion with clay and lots of baking. So far I have completed the set for my stop motion and have done lots of baking which both of my brothers have enjoyed. Sophie Cormack, 12

“I have my parents to support me”

It’s been different staying at home and not being able to see my friends and family. I really miss them. Usually my family gets to catch up with them and do so many fabulous, adventurous things. I feel a little stressed and bored being stuck at home and not going out to see friends. Fortunately, I still get to video call them. School will be very different. I got into State School Spectacular! I was so thrilled but now it might be cancelled. I am heartbroken. I will miss my teacher and friends but I have my parents to support me. Esther Bedford, 9

“I have counted my blessings”

Instead of going to Lorne I have alternatively seen my house and the people inside it these holidays. I have eaten three meals a day and slept every 14 hours. Major events included three violin lessons on Zoom and visiting the doctor to get my flu injection. Despite everything, I haven’t minded my new lifestyle. I have missed my friends, but on the upside, have had time in abundance to read, and walk the dog. In these surreal times, I have consistently woken up and thought, “Right now, I am living through a significant age in the history of mankind.” I have counted my blessings and have felt immense gratitude that I have been safe with my family these Easter holidays. Hannah Phung, 14

“I cleaned a lot of the windows”

It has been very hard because of the coronavirus, so we stayed at home. But I have been keeping busy by doing some arts and crafts, which is really fun. I’ve also played football with dad and mum and I kicked the ball really high – I loved it. I miss seeing my school friends, but we did talk to my sister’s friend on FaceTime. She put lots of emojis on the school and my sister and I laughed at the emojis. There was a cow, a chicken, penguin, pig and lots more. It’s not the same and I miss speaking to people. I’ve also helped my mum and dad clean the house. I cleaned a lot of the windows, the table and lots more. My mum and dad like cleaning. Overall, it’s been a difficult time, but we have made the most of it at home. Cruz Diamond, 7

“Netflix, snacks and scrolling Instagram”

If I were to say I have done some amazing and exiting activities that kept me occupied I would be lying. It has been so boring! Like any other teenage girl, I of course made all these goals for myself, to stay occupied, and to exercise every day. As you could probably guess all these goals were immediately broken in the first three days, leaving me no choice but to revert to the natural way of a 13-year-old girl – Netflix, snacks and scrolling through Instagram. As a result of being really bored I did something I had not done in two weeks, I went outside. Just a little walk around the block was like walking through heaven. I was not just breathing in my own breath anymore; I was having fun. Then I had to go back inside. Erica Mason, 13

“We’ve seen lots of bears and rainbows”

My sister and I have had an amazing holiday although I do miss school and seeing my friends and family. We have been building cubbies in the living room and at the moment my Dad has put up a tent inside the house for us to play in. I have also really enjoyed making mystery chalk paths around the neighbourhood. My Dad used to do this when he was a kid. I’ve been going for long walk and bike rides. We have seen lots of bears and rainbows at houses. Every day Mum makes fresh bread. It’s so delicious. Overall, I have really enjoyed staying at home but I do miss going to parks and other places. William Crozier, 8

“There is still so much to do”

I live in regional Victoria on a 15-acre property. During self-isolation, on my property there is still so much outdoor things to do like, bush walking to spot wildlife, weeding in the veggie patch, playing fetch with my dog, Polly, and I even built a tree house, so I like relaxing up there too. Even though staying at home has been fun, I do miss my school friends, but luckily we have used FaceTime to see each other. As we are in the bush we have satellite-internet, so I have to be careful with the amount of data I use. I can’t wait for this virus to end. Annabel Parker, 11

“It is my first school holiday”

It has been a boring school holiday. It is my first school holiday. I have liked being outside enjoying the sun. I like smelling the flowers and watching the butterflies. I don’t like that I can’t go inside to Toyworld or go rollerskating. I miss seeing my friends at school. I want coronavirus to stop right at this moment. Cora McLaren, 5

Looking for some good news?

We could all do with some good news right about now. That’s why we have launched The Good News Group, a Facebook group where we’ll share uplifting, inspiring and positive stories and invite members to do the same. Join the group here.

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