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Coronavirus Melbourne: 20k vow to scream against restrictions

Frustrated Melburnians have vowed to stand on their front porches and unite in a chorus of collective screams as a bizarre way to deal with lockdown restrictions.

Residents of the nation’s coronavirus capital pledged to figuratively stand together and unleash a communal scream at 7pm on Friday as a way of venting pent-up rage while the city endures its second week of stage four restrictions.

It draws on the success of last Friday’s event called ‘stand on your front porch and scream’ which attracted a 24,000-strong group of Facebook users who marked themselves as ‘attending’ on the social media event page.

Organiser Tess Roberts created the movement as a lighthearted way for isolated residents to deal with the horrors of the pandemic.

‘Covid’s s**t. Everyone’s a bit sad. Just stand on your porch and scream until you feel a bit better. Let’s all unite in our shared depression,’ she wrote in the description.

Enthusiastic wailers joined forces in a cacophony of high-pitched shrieks, with many uploading videos of their efforts.

One social media user captured chilling footage of the night sky punctuated by the howls of defeated Australians.

‘I could hear screaming for blocks,’ he wrote on Twitter.

‘Joining in was pretty cathartic too. After a few minutes, but for the sound of rain drops, life returned to eerie silence.’

The movement prompted music legend Jimmy Barnes to released vocal tips for keen screamers.

‘I start off a little bit low and then I get higher as I go,’ he explained.

‘I find having a good scream really lets out a bit of tension, so it’s a good thing to do.’

Participants of last week’s event shared their experiences of shouting into the ether.

‘My throat hurts but my heart is happy,’ one woman commented.

‘I just yelled out and in the faint distance heard a couple more voices,’ another said.

Not all screechers were from metropolitan Melbourne, with one woman from Dandenong on the city’s outer limits joining the movement.

‘I did it. I screamed so loud people’s lights started coming on, I could hear doors opening, I ran back into my house and I just laughed my head off. I felt so good, I felt free, I could hear a couple of other people down the road … I think I’ve scared them.’

But not everyone was aware of the event and took to social media to ask others.

‘Does anyone else hear a tonne of screaming?’ they asked.

‘Weird…also it’s not in my head, it’s definitely in Brunswick East.’

The second ‘stand on your front porch and scream’ event will take place at the same time this Friday, and has been organised by Sean Icon McVeigh.

The 35-year-old hopes to continue the event each week.

‘Since the last event was a success, I thought, ‘Why not keep it going every Friday night at 7pm at least until the lockdown is over?’ he told news.com.au.

‘Just for fun and to get some of that frustration out because of this stupid COVID. It’s simple, all you have to do is go outside and scream and let it all out.’

The stage four restrictions were initially put in place for six weeks and are expected to be lifted in mid-September if the succeeded in getting daily case numbers back toward double figures. 

Virus fatalities on Thursday brought the state’s death toll to 275 and the national figure to 360.

Premier Andrews was confident Victoria’s second-wave COVID-19 curve was flattening but said that was dependent upon ‘literally hundreds of millions of individual choices and decisions’. 

While noting Victoria’s seven-day case average was falling, Mr Andrews acknowledged Stage 4’s effects would not be known until next week.

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