By Rhonda Dredge
This is the kind of view many of elderly residents will have for the next few months as the CBD bunkers down to avoid the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Lynn Wenig lives on the fourth floor of a converted office block in La Trobe St.
She’ll spend time watching city buildings and the greenery grow in her planter boxes.
Lynne hasn’t braved a supermarket yet but said she would shop at the new morning sessions when necessary.
“I have reasonable stock from my quarterly visits to COSTCO, but when this runs out I will try the new 7- 8 am shop at Woolworths,” she told CBD News.
When she visited the Queen Victoria Market two Fridays ago she noticed that some of the regulars had closed their stalls.
“I think that will be my last visit for a while as the air seems to be getting dangerous,” she said.
Lynne is one of an estimated 700 high-rise residents over the age of 70 preparing for residential lockdown in the CBD.
That is not a large number but the isolation of those often living by themselves could be acute.
City of Melbourne census figures estimate that four per cent of the CBD’s population of 20,000 are over 70, with 87 per cent living in high-rise apartments.
At first, Lynne was philosophical about her new, self-enforced distancing.
She said there was still street activity in her neighbourhood. Some Chinese restaurants had closed but workmen and women were busy on construction sites.
“They seem to be doing what they need to do in La Trobe St to keep new apartments going up, and pulling older buildings down to make way for more apartments,” she said.
She also had a few observations to make about the police who were training new officers in traffic control at the corner or La Trobe and Queen streets.
“They seem to love this spot, I suspect because of all the four corner turns,” she said.
By last week Lynne was feeling more vulnerable and spending more time indoors.
“I am 82 and in the vulnerable age,” she said. “One of the sad things for me is that so many activities that I enjoy have been cancelled. Bridge club, book club, concerts, ballet, u3A Movies of Merit. Even the libraries have been closed.”
She said she was well-prepared with technology and her yoga mat.
“Fortunately, I can download books to my iPad but it’s not the same as exploring the shelves and finding some new authors to try.”
“I subscribe to the New York Times online as well as The Age and they both have a weekly book section with suggestions.”
She will try and keep fit at home by doing exercises.
“I am a yoga person so I can just roll out my mat on the lounge room floor and do my exercises.” •