We’ll hate you, Sydney, post-lockdown: you never felt Melbourne’s pain, you shrugged yours off, you did it better

We did it longer and harder in Melbourne. Just because it’s over, it doesn’t mean our resentment is.

22/10/2021 8:45:00 AM

Be patient with Melburnians, writes Kate Halfpenny. We know resentment doesn’t become us. In five to eight years we’ll be ready to stop telling you we did it harder. That your war was different to ours. That we forgive you for doing it better. | OPINION

We did it longer and harder in Melbourne. Just because it’s over, it doesn’t mean our resentment is.

AdvertisementI feel a waft of PTSD typing this, but my way of coping with Melbourne’s long lockdown last winter was to run the three kilometres from my Collingwood place into the city each weekday by 6am.When I say run, I mean stagger. Picture a middle-aged asthmatic peeling off polar fleece layers between Foo Fighters songs, eyes leaking from the cold and the effort. Not pretty, but on a mission.

Lockdown comes to an end at Melbourne’s Captain Melville pub on Friday.Credit:Luis AscuiAt the top of Spring and Bourke streets, I’d yell into the emptiness: “We’re still here. We’re coming back to you.” My little mantra. It was probably whacky, but I wanted to let my beautiful Melbourne know its humans hadn’t abandoned it forever. That we weren’t doing it by choice. That better days were ahead.

And now, those better days are here. Sort of. With the 70 per cent double-vaxxed target hit and 80 just days away, Melbourne is having a gentle reawakening after 18 months of lockdowns.It might be even more than that. My ability to tell time and place has drained away slowly, without the usual marker flags – holidays, weddings – planted in the ground to give perspective about when something happened. headtopics.com

LoadingWhen Melbourne first went into lockdown, my eldest son had just turned 27. I gave him a new pair of RM Williams boots. I’ve never seen him wear them – I’ve only seen him eight times since then in person and soon he’ll be 29.My middle child moved in with his girlfriend four days before lockdown. I’ve never had dinner at their place. My daughter has just wrapped up her double uni degree without me there to make casseroles or tell her she’s amazing. Everyone has missed so much.

Which is why Melbourne’s liberationfrom the world’s longest lockdown, from shuttered shops and fear, feels bittersweet. It sounds dramatic but having been shoved in and out of lockdowns six times, people are a little reluctant to truly celebrate. It’s less that fabulous anticipatory feeling of starting a holiday and more the one you get coming home, when you know you have all the laundry and bills to deal with.

AdvertisementTop of my Opening Up list: seeing the kids – I moved to the beach and can’t visit Melbourne yet, which makes me want to scream – having mum and dad over for a drink, getting to Canberra to see my Botox guru. And from Canberra, I’ll probably zip up to Sydney to reunite with friends and act as an unofficial ambassador tasked with explaining why Melburnians might hate you all for a little while. Why our social media might be filled with anti-Sydney sentiment.

LoadingI wish I could come up with non-medical analogies, but I’ve been pushed to the limit by planning what to wear out to dinner – yes! – tonight. Basically, we think you don’t feel our pain. We think your lockdowns were paltry. Like you weren’t even trying. We had two winters, curfews, a fake summer. Even Valentine’s Day got scuppered in the one year everyone probably needed its sentiment. Sydney seemed to dally with the whole thing then shrug it off. headtopics.com

It’s like when someone with a light cold tells you they have the flu. And you’re thinking, “I’ll give you flu. When I had it I couldn’t get out of bed to get water. I was sweaty. I was aching, hallucinating. Not the same thing.”The first day of your lockdown, I had two Sydney clients cancel at the last minute. One was sobbing about what lay ahead. I felt like crying too. Jesus, get a grip, lady. We’ve been working in lockdown for a year.

Also – and this will make me sound like I’m 15 and writing with my pink glitter pen – we’re jealous of Sydney. And not in the stupid traditional rivals way.LoadingI can’t speak for everyone, but I’m jealous that for most of your pandemic you had a premier who wasn’t an angry dad. Yours explained. Ours lectured and hectored when we dared to say please sir, show us the health advice behind curfews.

Watching you from afar was a jealousy rollercoaster. First we were jealous of your 2020 freedoms, then horrified by your case numbers. Then we were back to jealousy as you put it behind while we still queued for shots.So, be patient with Melburnians. We know resentment doesn’t become us. In five to eight years we’ll be ready to stop telling you we did it harder. That your war was different to ours. That we forgive you for doing it better.

Read more: The Age »

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What grotesque self entitled drivel. Obviously Halfpenny survived the global pandemic without personal or family loss from the virus itself yet bemoans public health orders that protected her. It was geography and luck that protected NSW (just look at Queensland) cancelTheAge The 'hate' is about politics, nothing to do with Sydney or NSW or its people. It's the way Vic has been treated by the PM of NSW & the media inc the Age. This article is crap with no insight, which I guess if you're someone who flies to Canberra to get your Botox makes sense!

As much as this article was touching and eye watering to what has Melbourne went through but honestly lockdown is lockdown wether it’s a 100 or 300 days ppl have lost a lot and thats what counts. Lets just be happy that its almost over There is so much wrong with this article (apart from the 15 year old comment), I don’t know where to start.

Boils down to, I don't like Dan because he is a meanie. Gladys had a lovely, sweet manner. Nuanced. Sophisticated. That article is an absolute crock of shit where do you find these people Articles like this painting Melbourne as some sort of 'Sydney pariah' - LOL. Can't get it more wrong. Melbourne doesnt hate Sydney. What Victorian whiteants mistake for so-called jealousy is contempt. Victoria (& Australia) really couldn't give a stuff about NSW. covid19aus

Dear Melbourne, We don’t think about you this much. Hope you’re well. Love, Sydney x As a parochial and proud Victorian I’ve disliked Sydney LONG before this Coronavirus was a thing WHAAAAAT Yep. The Age has been abducted by aliens alright. Good grief! People that write these rubbish opinion pieces have to stop pretending their thoughts represent the whole states. This Melb vs Syd rubbish is bullshit for kids. Keep us adults out of it thanks.

Kmart, Target hardest hit by lockdowns reveals Wesfarmers bossMajor retail conglomerate Wesfarmers says its Target and Kmart stores have been most heavily impacted by lockdowns across Sydney and Melbourne. domp WhoPaidPorter domp Yes, yet in Qld they were kept open domp Boo fkn Hoo

Just fuck off and merge with the Herald Sun already. Lol literally no one I know is jealous of Sydney or thinks their premiere did a better job. Also I hate the NSW and Fed governments, I do not hate the people of Sydney NSW did NOT do it better! They exported virus constantly and thousands suffered. Morrison secretly shovelled bucketloads of vaccine to NSW, media like barely reported that, protecting him as usual. He and Frydenberg undermined, constantly criticised DanielAndrewsMP

The article by DaveMilbo is far more reflective of Melbourne sentiment than this trash lmao this is apparently gay alcorn wrapping her arms around Melbourne What's the bet The Age will recommend voters back the Liberal Party at the federal election despite all the corruption vaccine roll-out disaster and inaction on anything.

🙄what the hell is this? Melbourne, Sydney: wherever. Australia has become an isolated, parochial joke. I’m headed back to NY where there’s so much more opportunity and open minded approaches to global problems. Peace out. I’m less and less surprised to find this claptrap in TheAge … it’s become the new HeraldScum … thank goodness for SatPaper decent journalism by quality journalists

This media rag that has allowed another knucklehead to give her opinion to your diminished readership is as tainted as all the other CostelloShitStains. This paper incited the Melb Riots, headlines and info on the webbs. One can only hope punters are awake to your motives...

Melbourne F1 boss ready for fight to keep race as Sydney hoversMelbourne F1 supremo Andrew Westacott has vowed to vigorously fight off any Sydney push to steal the Grand Prix when the contract expires in 2025 | MickLynch_Age MickLynch_Age just gotta make sure that you spend more taxpayer dollars than Sydney, easy MickLynch_Age It isn't his decision to make.

So glad I cancelled my subscription when Peter Costello (another failed LNP treasurer) took over. A fish stinks from the head down and Costello really stinks big time I 💯DISagree with Kate regarding our premiers. Ours cared for our health & acted responsibly despite considerable pushback whereas NSW had an idiot who played politics.

Sydney , yuk Kate Halfwit says what? Absolute fucking rubbish. What a load of rubbish. Whingeing about 1st world problems has never been a topic of interest for a lot of us. Blatant Dan-bashing hidden behind twee mum jokes. Why does she have a job? Hey DaveMilbo you might have to start expanding that range of yours.

Fuck right off Halfpenny, we resent Sydney because they gave us Delta to begin with, because every national media outlet is based there and did nothing but shit on us for the past two years. What is this shit? Glad to see the responses to this rather nasty article. I see what people in Melbourne mean about the Age!

Melbourne has bid farewell to lockdown — and its controversial curfewIf things go to plan, Victoria's harshest public health tools won't be needed again while the state is well protected against COVID-19 by vaccinations. Still feels like lockdown NSW also had “its controversial lockdown”. Sydney has also bid farewell to lockdown — and its controversial curfew. Remember Sydney?

Gotta keep that conflict alive hey? How the fuck else will you hacks sell a paper? This self-appointed spokesperson for Melbourne appears to have completely misread the moment and speaks for almost nobody but herself. Note the different slants in the headlines. 'You did better…' is SMH, 'We'll hate you…' Age. This is why the Age has to urgently be brought back into Melbourne governance and regain its autonomy. It can't serve Melbourne whilst being controlled from Sydney. media

Remember when used to be a half decent newspaper? What happened to you? Try reading the room one day. An article celebrating Sydney, Canberra & now Melbourne all being out of lockdown now because Australians have adopted vaccines that are now available to us at record rates would fit the general mood. Seriously, this is childish.

This person must be living in a parallel universe. The NSW Premier explained? Regularly making quick exits out of pressers full of hubris about NSW superiority was more the norm. Give me “angry dad” any day. Ridiculous air headed nonsense! What a crock of unmitigated bullshit This is why I never buy your paper any more. Such utter crap.

What an appalling, juvenile piece of writing. The narrowest of perspectives that shows a bigotry and lack of care for the community she purports to live in. This the final straw. canceltheage

GPs plan for COVID-19 surge as Melbourne exits lockdownWith Melbourne's COVID-19 case numbers still in the thousands, general practitioners like Simon Benson are preparing to get even busier as the lockdown ends. Did they use up all the COVID19 vaccines Johnson sent to Oz a few months ago? I’m trying to book my booster jab in UK. Did Sydney surge? Abc spinning it for Dan

The age is trash. Condescending bullshit. I wonder what Melbournes next newspaper will be. Because The Age is over. Sydney Did it better? HAHAHAHA they infected Victoria with Delta & now we're looking at a projected 4,000 cases a day, hitting kids, immuno compromised & anti vaxers the hardest What a load of absolute shite. Not only is the content stupid but the writing is next level bad. I’d be embarrassed to put my name agains this garbage!

🤯🤬😣 Costello sent on to destroy the age from within. A Murdoch plantmaybe ? Doing a great job. No wonder your subscribers have deserted you… This article is rubbish. We didn’t have a vaccine in 2020. WHAT ON EART IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!! Not sure I can take much more of your arms around us, The Age. The love you have for Melbourne, it's just too intense! (sarcasm font)

Victoria records 2,232 new COVID-19 cases as it hits 70 per cent double vaccination targetA further 2,232 local COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths have been reported in Victoria as Melbourne prepares for the end of its sixth lockdown. No doubt the changed vax requirement is recognition that alcohol and social distancing & other compliance measures don't mix. An infected hospo worker is able to infect many, many ppl in close sweaty proximity in pubs, clubs and bars. Sensible, necessary measure. It may as well be because of religion! Because the science obviously didn't work! LOL Wow

Nonsense This is just rubbish! Or is it satire 🤔 Is the RM Williams gift a clue? How can not seeing your adult kids as many times as you would like possibly compare the the sacrifices made by frontline workers! Seriously thisisnotjournalism Really? Super disappointed with this. Oh Sweet Moses. Get a fucking grip!!

mmstew did you read this Dont care, didnt ask It's not Sydneysiders that Melburnians hate - it's the biased useless partisan media like has become. Sick of being constantly attacked by the media for doing the right thing and preventing hundreds if not thousands of deaths. The Age is now a shit stain on our pandemic history. Hard to scrub off but we'll get there eventually.

You aren't a Melbournian. This is utter garbage. ‘Canberra Botox guru’ . I’m embarrassed for you

What are Sydney's fastest-selling suburbs?Almost 7000 new homes have hit the Sydney market since the start of October as buyers with pre-approved finance rush to secure a property before increased lending restrictions come into play. 9News Watch them go broke when they do go up in price

Excuse us, make up whatever fantasy you like Big whoop. Victoria just got stuck with a terrible government. One that doesn’t trust it’s own people. One that prefers caution to optimism, waste over innovation, spin before action. We hope the voters remember in 2022. Melbourne can be great again. Sometimes its better just to keep these thoughts to yourself while you're in the shower.

I think DaveMilbo 's article from 2020 epitomises what many of us have felt & gone through far more than this article. Even though The Shot article was written over a year ago, it’s still relevant, while The Age article, I'm not so sure. What is this madness? Berijiklian is being forensically destroyed at ICAC *today* and you're putting out delusional 'omg ♥️ Gladys' Costello cancer Just go bankrupt already Victoria is done with you

As someone who hasn't seen my family overseas, watched my life's work slide backwards because I haven't been able to travel, and otherwise suffered immensely because of close to 600 days of lockdown, piss off. Plenty of us outside of Melbourne suffered significantly. Tripe Resentment pretty clearly does become Kate Halfpenny.

What a load of shit. Not once did Andrews demand that journalists 'respect the less conference.' Berejiklian never got the Baxendale/Credlin treatment, not undermining from fed gov/state opp. The NSW hq breach that locked half the country down has been airbrushed from history. Finally some recognition that Sydney did it better. Facts don't lie. This is the article of 2021.

You gotta feel for conundrum facing the editors at The Age. ‘How can we become a populist anti-left propaganda machine without our centre left boomer subscription base noticing?’ Until the pandemic I had no idea that people in Sydney hated Victorians so much. Until lockdown ended I didn't realise that the media hated us so much as well.

The state of this. Isn't the *real issue that FOUR of Victoria's last 6 COVID19Aus outbreaks were from interstate? Nail in the coffin. What a worthless piece of shit this paper has become That’s it, keep publishing your way to irrelevance and obscurity 👍 Who cares.

Melbourne doesn't hate Sydney. Melbourne hates the media for telling us Sydney is better than we are The Age is the Josh Frydenberg of Sophie Elsworths. pass How contrived & inauthentic –– how does someone come up with this horse shit? The harsh reality for Melbourne is… guess what, little brother - we don’t care.

While I was growing up I thought I had found my newspaper, loved it! Especially Saturdays gigantic edition. Loved spending time feeling I was getting an education in what was happening in my home town, and around the world. WTF happened What a lot of rot! I don't give a damn what people make of us. We did what was best. That's all. I'm of to Sydney in two weeks and I won't be expecting any of this pointless discussion.

Ah, no. We don’t wish we had Gladys. Obfuscation and lack of clarity was all I got from watching NSW pressers. The author talks to wanting health advice to support curfew - do you want the same from Gladys? Because they also had curfews… Not sure what the point of this gratuitous fuckwittery is. What a pathetic article. The Age pouring its shit over Melbourne /- how low you have fallen. Jealous over Sydney? 😂😂😂😂😂

All I can do is laugh at you. You don’t speak for us. Why are you even doing this? Please stop. Another wave of unsubscribes coming I see. What’s going on at . Why do you troll your city so badly? You can ‘unburn’ burnt toast. The age is history. Are you just going to churn out this disgraceful crap forever cause there’s no point in trying to get your readers back?

Did it better? Dafuq? That was a complete waste of time reading that crap! I should’ve known better. Lmao did it better, or were 💉given 💉it 💉 better💉 📰 FACTS So ott. Yeah the last few months have been tough but it was okay before then. She writes like we’ve been LD the whole time. I went to the cricket at the G last summer! Also - “moved to the beach, haven’t seen son in RMs, and missing Botox’ cry me a fnk river!

Worse than the Women’s Weekly. Utter crap. costellomedia

TheAgeIsPartisanTrash Locked down for 6 months to lower the Case Numbers, now released from lockdown knowing the Case Numbers will RISE. Seems the HEALTH CONCERN has disappeared !! Wake up Australia. This just reeks of smugness.. it's gross. What the fuck On premiers: Yours parroted 'can I say, health advice, please know, pleasingly. ' Ours fronted up every single day, answering every single f-witted question fired at him by biased ill-informed MSM.

Is this a joke? Total bs We did it tough in Melbourne, because we are! No Pain, No Gain, No Guts, No Glory! When the going gets tough, the Tough get going Going! Go Melbourne! What is actually wrong with you? This is seriously damaging your brand with readers That article is demonstrably BRAINLESS & to such an obvious extent, how did this ever gain editorial approval? You're a broadhseet newspaper punching below the weight of 'Dolly' right now.

Ps. You know what they did better,spread it everywhere!

This 💩 presented as news is probably why the editor resigned I gather? Thought I was scrolling past a newscorpse shit-rag there for a sec. What a load of crap…Gladys couldn’t even use the word “lockdown” at the start of their second wave, then she let it spread all across Sydney & regional NSW. Then she took our vaccines. The Melbourne lockdown was due to Gladys. You must really really hate us Gay.

My precis of doing it better. Covid case in Sydney. Us: Lock down or it will spread. Syd: We know better. It spreads. Us: Lock down now or everyone will get it. Syd: We know better. Everyone gets it. Syd: Now you’ll all have to live with covid. Seriously. Why bother? Of all this issues worth writing about in Australia today chooses .... waffle

I don't hate Sydney or anyone living there. Is this nonsense meant to be funny? or actual observation? ( sing along if you wish....) WE ARE ONE THOUGH WE ARE MANY AND FROM ALL THE LANDS OF EARTH WE COME WE SHARE A DREAM AND SING WITH ONE VOICE I AM, YOU ARE, WE ARE AUSTRALIAN Seriously who comes up with this shit?

Man this is just pure garbage WOW the Age puts out some real ill informed; no crap articles; they have now become the new Herald Sun TheAgeIsPartisanTrash Subscription fail …

The selfish Golden state of NSW again, ey? Not against the poor (filthy rich!) of Sydney and everyone else. Just the LNP fvckups in general for the whole Australia. Melbourne, Get over it. Sydney Ok, Kate - we won't swap war stories from Perth then! Another so called journalist being a (insert expletive) 👎🏻

another stupid article!! Victoria did what was right for the people of victoria not politics! IStandWithDan AlboForPM Wrapping your arms around Melbourne again? this is absolutely childish. absolute smooth brain crap Pathetic article. Did it better? No wonder your paper is in the death throes

What a terrible excuse for an opinion piece. The Age has gone down the same path as NewsCorp - will assault, beat, and bash Melburnians to a pulp for a few clicks. Shame on everybody who works for this foul publication Oh go away! I am so, so tired of the state comparisons - but as a Sydneysider, I can say we did NOT do it better in NSW.