The anniversary of the Delta lockdown in NSW marked with anxiety as there are still scars

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Pregnant during lockdown and dealing with COVID-19 deaths, Saadia Qudrat is just happy to be outdoors again.

The teacher and mother of two is now able to enjoy the sun in western Sydney, something impossible 12 months ago when Sydney was hit by the Delta eruption.

“It was pretty challenging … I also have a seven-year-old. I did distance learning for him and I was pregnant too,” said Ms Qudrat from Auburn.

“We had a lot of tragedies, a lot of deaths also because of COVID, so we managed … to be home and not be able to visit family.”

people at the beach
A Bondi limousine driver was at the center of last year’s Delta outbreak.(ABC News: Tim Swanston)
police horseback on a street
Mounted police were used to enforce restrictions in western Sydney, including Fairfield.(ABC News: Tim Swanston)

Cases began to pile up after a Bondi limousine driver got the virus from customers returning from international travel.

What started as a two-week stay-at-home order for a handful of eastern Sydney suburbs quickly developed into a 21-day nationwide shutdown that lasted 107 days.

But it was western Sydney that bore the brunt of restrictions, fines and deaths.

At the end of the shutdown, NSW saw 439 COVID deaths, the majority of them residents of the western suburbs.

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