Feat. the Front Door was a project I created for our community in the hope to uplift us all from an unknown & uncertain time in the year 2020. Over a two month period, I jumped in my little SUV and travelled over 2,500 kilometres, visiting 25 local towns & districts were I met with over 1000 beautiful people, photographing 410 front doors and essential services. The main reason behind this project was COVID-19. It is an ongoing worldwide pandemic of the coronavirus disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome. On March the 20th in 2020, the Australian borders were closed to all non-residents. Social distancing of 1.5 metres were imposed on March 21st and the state governments started to close 'non essential' services. All non-essential travel was banned. People were told to work from home if they are able to. Social gatherings and venues such as pubs & clubs were not allowed. We could not socialise with anyone outside of our home. Not even our own family members.
There was tape on the floor at supermarkets and other essential stores to remind shoppers to distance from one another. There was a limit on the number of people allowed inside stores at any one time, including staff. This included causing queues outside of the store doors and in car parks. Children's playgrounds, closed. Schools were closed, remote learning was now in place and parents are home-schooling their children.
Sporting seasons have been cancelled, the AFL & NRL are in isolation hubs, not even their own family members can attend games. The Olympics have been postponed until July 2021, The Grand National & Wimbledon - cancelled. Concerts, tours and festivals and all other entertainment events are cancelled. Family celebrations, birthdays, christenings, anniversaries and holiday gatherings such as Mother's Day & Easter are celebrated with just your household. Weddings and Funerals were at one point restricted to a maximum of 5-10 people for attendance including the bride & groom. Social distancing still applies to these special events. Churches are closed.
Most flights were grounded, cruise ships were docked, all holidays were cancelled. Only essential travel was permitted. There was a huge shortage of personal protective equipment, masks, gowns and gloves for our front-line essential health workers. Panic buying sets in and we have restrictions on toilet paper, disinfectants, paper towels, basic staple foods like pasta, rice and bread. As well as hand sanitiser.
Police were given the authority to impose fines for breaking lockdown rules and to dispense social gatherings/groups. There are daily press conferences from the Prime Minister, Premiers and other government officials. We are given daily updates on new cases, recoveries, and deaths. There are Government incentives to stay at home - JobSeeker & JobKeeper. The self-employed can apply for grants and employees are being laid off. Barely anyone is on the road or the street. Many people are wearing masks and gloves when they go outside. Essential service workers are terrified to go to work (how grateful we are to have them). Medical workers are afraid to go home to their families.
There is one thing we will have all learnt from this crazy pandemic, is to be grateful for the smaller things that we have in life.. a roof over our head, food being served on the table, having our family members beside us. Forever grateful for all of the selfless healthcare and essential workers in our nation. If we stick together and stay at home, we will overcome this. May we reflect on the year 2020 and know we have become more resilient and appreciative of what is right in front of us.