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“It’s about time,” Sydney singles permitted to form social bubbles as lockdown continues

Kate Tomlinson (right) and her sister live alone separately and can now form a social bubble to visit one another. Photo: Supplied

By EVA BAXTER

People who live alone may nominate one other person to form a social bubble with starting Saturday 31st.

The nominated person cannot be changed.

The nominated person can live with others and can visit their single friend in their home, but their single friend may not visit them unless they also live alone.

If the single person is located in any of the eight hotspot LGAs, the person they nominate must also live in the same LGA.

Kate Tomlinson and her sister both live in Canterbury, a hotspot. They have spent lockdown talking on the phone every second night.

“I miss not seeing my sister and my friends, and I really miss the basic physical contact of even a hug,” Kate told City Hub.

If Kate and her sister choose to nominate one another, they can form a bubble and visit each other’s homes.

A man who chose to remain anonymous said it was about time something was introduced for people living alone. Living alone is his choice.

“So too is being single,” he told City Hub.

He has been spending lockdown taking walks, phone calls, zoom art classes, daily exercise videos and spending time with his cat.

“She’s probably wondering why I’m home so much these days.

“Art making has been wonderful. I’m a collage artist, though right now I’m painting the walls in my house. One of these depicts this current lockdown, and it’s been excellent therapy for me.”

A collage depicting lockdown. “Art making has been wonderful.” Photo: Supplied.

Hermans D Penny is an essential worker in retail for a liquor company.

“I come home to an empty place every day,” Hermans told City Hub. “I don’t have anyone to talk to about my day and how I feel when I get home.

“I have been struggling with my mental health, have had episodes of depression due to not being able to see loved ones, and even the simple act of hugging someone becomes so precious when that is taken away from you.”

He said consideration of people living differently to the ‘norm’ is appreciated.

“Much of the focus of support has been for families, for assistance with childcare, for people with mortgages and the elderly.

“Fair enough, although I have been feeling very left out of the conversation as a single gay man.”

Hermans family lost a member during lockdown last year. Hermans uncle had a fall in a nursing home and died within a week.

“The whole time the nursing home was in lockdown, so he died on his own, with no family around. That was tragic and hard to accept as it was the government that told us we couldn’t see him.

“The decision makers see life through their paradigm,” he said.

Sucking it up

Chrissy Symeonakis lives with her partner in Potts Point and deals with chronic pain.

She has relapsing remitting MS and trigeminal neuralgia, which is a condition affecting the nerve responsible for motor function in the face.

She manages her conditions with massage, osteo, chiro and remedial therapies, but many general practitioners have elected to close.

“Everything that I work on so hard throughout my whole eight years of having a diagnosis, by then not having access to these services, I’m pretty much undoing everything, and now my disease is progressing,” she told City Hub.

She said she finds it frustrating to walk by an open gourmet eatery, or a chocolate shop while she is left “sucking it up.”

“I think that this is a tough time for everybody, and I understand and respect that it’s pretty unprecedented, but I think there needs to be more consideration or consultation, versus just cherry picking what opens and what can’t,” she said.

Chrissy Symeonakis has MS and trigeminal neuralgia and general practitioners she would visit for relief are closed. Photo: Supplied.

Ilia Cladakis opened a Mediterranean feel healthy chicken roastery, the Flaming Flamingo on Bayswater Road in Darlinghurst this month.

He said lockdown was the impetus for the kitchen, since the Flamingo Lounge nightclub was decimated by the lockdown but the venue itself has a huge well-equipped kitchen.

“Our aim is to get busy enough to get some of the floor staff on to work some shifts during the week to keep them working.

“Seeing the huge financial and emotional toll this second lockdown has had really breaks my heart,” he told City Hub.

“Whilst draining and difficult, we know it won’t last forever so it’s just a matter of buckling down, masking up and doing the right thing till we can go back to normal.”

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