A World After COVID

‘The melody of nearby waves undercurrents our delighted conversation. Words tumble from our mouths, hurrying to fill the space of time apart.’

This is how Lucinda Chipman, a young Gold Coast lifesaver, describes returning to her surf club following the COVID-19 shutdown.

The 17-year-old expresses her eagerness and excitement to be surrounded once again by fellow clubbies, a feeling many members can relate to.

It was no surprise that she chose to write about lifesaving given her lengthy involvement in Mermaid Beach SLSC.

“I have always felt really connected to lifesaving, so when we were given the setting of a community place or event for the story I thought what is better than basing it in the members room of my own surf club,” she said.

Growing up it was inevitable that Lucinda would become part of the red and yellow family.

Given her father’s heavy involvement in the movement she was down on the sand from an early age.

“I started out in green caps and have now been involved for over 10 years,” Lucinda said.

“I went from being a nipper all the way to doing patrols and getting my Surf Rescue Certificate and Bronze Medallion.”

“I even plan on continuing to do more courses in the future.”

As restrictions continue to ease Lucinda is eager to reconnect with her lifesaving friends again.

“I have always loved the lifesaving community and am looking forward to getting back to the beach and seeing my friends and the wider Gold Coast community.”

“It is fantastic seeing everyone down on the beach enjoying themselves and at the same time we get to have fun on patrol together.”

Lucinda wrote the poem after the University of Queensland asked young authors to imagine Queensland after COVID-19:

The polyester material of my uniform is no longer refuge for my sweaty palms as I dig into an esky and fumble for a sprite can. The sea of red and yellow flows around me, spilling onto the street level patio. Their feet scratch on the sandy tiles as they greet each other with hearty hugs; no different to those received every nipper morning. Breath unwinds in my chest and releases through my nose. Even the slight irritation of Ana’s constant lateness stretches a grin across my face. She arrives in style, as always, sporting the patrol red and yellow with ease. Her dark skin has lost its tan and now holds the grey tinge she always complains about when the surf season finishes. The melody of nearby waves undercurrents our delighted conversation. Words tumble from our mouths, hurrying to fill the space of time apart. It was like those months were spent floating in the abyss of subconscious. A dream filled with shelves emptying and masks covering and numbers rising and population falling and time slowing and nothingness numbing. But though the world is changed forever, we return to our normalities and are reassured of tomorrow’s promise. The first rays of a newborn sun peek through the dark horizon and finally, I am not afraid.

Article by Chloe Maxwell

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