We are back in lockdown.
It started with flare ups in a handful of suburbs linked to errors made in the process of hotel quarantine of returned travellers. While the government has accepted responsibility, in reality it stems from the same place as most problems in the world – human beings not doing the right thing.
Unfortunately, as anyone who lives in a bushfire-prone country knows and that we tragically learned last summer, spot fires can turn into blazes and blazes produce flying embers that start more fires and thus a handful of people not doing the right thing leads to a whole state back in lockdown.
It’s generally agreed that the second lockdown is harder than the first. Like a prisoner being granted parole, tasting freedom and then being told “oops, we made a mistake, back into jail you go”. The first time around we were “all in this together” but now we watch our fellow Aussies in the West attending footy matches with 30,000 people and the ones up North enjoying local attractions while just over the border theatres are reopening. Borders are now closed to anyone from this pariah state.
I’m fortunate to live outside the state capital which has just been moved to Stage 4 restrictions including a 8pm to 5am curfew. The rest of the state has returned to the Stage 3 restrictions we were under in the first wave. In addition, the government has issued a statewide mask mandate.
Fun With Fabric
The rescheduled Great Ocean Road Running Festival has gone virtual again and they have extended the time to complete the runs from two days to a week to allow for participants under Stage 4 restrictions to complete the distances as they can only exercise outside for one hour a day. Is it churlish of me to be jealous that they can score an Ultra Marathon medal by running 10km a day for 6 days while I have to do the whole 60km in one hit?
Probably. And no, I don’t want to swap places.
We were fortunate as a country to flatten our curve quickly with a rapid shutdown when the first wave started. We didn’t see the horrifying numbers reported out of other places. So it never seemed all that bad for most of us.
I got three reality checks in this past week.
1. A Dystopian Movie
The mask rule came in last Sunday night. As I drove the Youngest Son to school on Monday for his last day of on-campus learning for this term (with a return to remote learning as of Thursday), the sight of all those kids in masks walking into school was unsettling and I’ll confess I got teary.
2. Bad Neighbours
The news report that a cluster had emerged, including at least one death, at a nursing home only three kilometres from my home brought the virus right into my suburb. The dangers seem more real.
3. Close Encounters of the Virus Kind
Two days ago we were informed there had been a diagnosed case of COVID-19 at our son’s school. Yesterday we were informed by DHHS that the Youngest Son has been identified as a close contact of the infected student. He is now in quarantine, limited to his bedroom, his desk in the living room and the bathroom (which he shares with his brothers so has to sanitise each time he goes in or out). He cannot sit at the dinner table with us for meals. He cannot enter the kitchen and must ask for assistance if he needs to eat. Treating your own child like a leper is not something I remember from the parenting books. So far he has not shown any symptoms for which we are thankful and we hope and pray that it stays that way.
I’ve always been grateful that we have not been as hard hit by this virus as so many other places in the world and I know I am fortunate to have a safe place to shelter.
I still feel that way but I’ll admit that reality has given us a kick in the shins this week and that is not a comfortable feeling.
Stay safe out there wherever you may be.