First let me recap. For four consecutive years, Melbourne has been ranked the most liveable city in the world. But now we have a world record of a different kind. We have achieved the world’s longest COVID-19 lockdown. Melbourne already held that grisly record last year but that has since been disputed. But there’s no point arguing over a record like that because it’s nothing to be venerated.
And our rival is …..
Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina spent 244 days in lockdown since the start of the pandemic. The city has been under tough restrictions during the cumulative lockdowns. At the same time many regional areas outside the city have enjoyed relaxed restrictions while the capital has been toughing it out. The police have had a strong presence ensuring people are following public heath orders. This all sounds a lot like what’s happening in Victoria. But if people think police are being heavy handed here in Melbourne, just take a look at the situation in Buenos Aires.
Back to Melbourne, specifically 8 pm on Sunday 3 October 2021
That’s a significant date. The date the latest world record for Melbourne was achieved. Victorians who have been living in Melbourne since the start of the pandemic have spent 245 days in hard lockdown. And we still have another three weeks to go. And I wouldn’t be surprised if another three weeks turns into another six weeks, or even sixteen weeks, or more …… The Premier, Daniel Andrews has been hinting at an extension on the end of lockdown given the toll it’s taking on the health care system. Since 29 September, Victoria has been recording over 1000 new daily infections. And that’s while we’re in lockdown. What the hell is going to happen when we’re out of lockdown?
Another significant date and time – 11.59 pm on 8 October
In order to appease the situation of what might be coming up, the Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton announced that masks may be removed for consuming alcohol outdoors from 11.59 pm on 8 October. Yes, I know that sounds ridiculous but allow me to translate. Five adults who are fully vaccinated (doesn’t include me – yet) can go and have a picnic together in a park and get plastered. Although the mask mandate for drinking was lifted at midnight, people who are permitted to imbibe in parks must wait until daylight hours. There’s always a catch.
“From midnight tonight, the directions will change to allow the removal of masks outdoors for the consumption of alcohol,” Sutton said.
And now to what lockdown means for me – in no particular order
Months of isolation. Loneliness. Silence. Not being able to see my son, daughter-in-law and grandbabies who live only 17 kms from me. No motivation to accept calls from friends in Tasmania (that’s weird I know). Working from home. Spontaneous online shopping for things I don’t need. Spontaneous online shopping for things I do need like food and birthday presents for the grandbabies. Click and collect. PayPal. Negative thoughts. Grey hair. Masks. Saving water despite endless hand washing – the water saving relates to the rest of my body. Lockdown clothes. Relaxed manners – burping, farting. Border closures. Anguish. When can I see my daughter in Tasmania? And my friend in WA who happens to be at the end of the line with cancer?
Things I am thankful for in no particular order
Not having to go into shops. Online deliveries. No one in my small but close-knit group of family and friends has contracted COVID – 19. Maybe that has a lot to do with the fact we’re all following public health orders. Not having to shower every day. Social bubbles for people living alone. Youtube. Zoom. What’sApp. Spotify. My hoop. Miracle Miles with Leslie Sansome. Teaching online. Online recipes. UberEats. Upskilling in areas of IT and playdough making. Writing this blog that no one reads. The BCA (Blind Citizens Association) quiz every Saturday night.
Finally, I use the pronoun ‘we’ because Melbourne is my adopted city and there is no other place I would rather be.
Photo of one of my Angus catching up with an episode of Bluey. Plenty of viewing time during lockdowns.