Slow and steady beats the virus odds
“You know how you feel when you don’t know how you feel? That’s how I feel.”
This quote reflects how I was feeling when I heard the Premier’s announcement regarding the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne on Sunday. Two days later, I sit here with a sense of paralyzing fear of what’s to come. Particular behaviors by some Melbourne residents have not instilled a confidence or faith that all will be well. I feel worried and sad, as Melbourne is a city I had grown to love but now have a lingering reluctance ever to return.
Just a day into Melbourne’s newfound freedom, my insecurities have heightened, and this quote continues to describe my state of mind. Only I know how I feel now. Just this morning, I felt physically sick and experienced what can only be described as a panic attack in response to a series of pictures on social media, showing bars with lines of patrons waiting to gain entry. A barman, not wearing a mask, was pouring a drink. Patrons appeared to be having a grand time but, again I ask, where were the masks? Don’t even get me started with the expectation that people will line up orderly at shopping centres, waiting to get into K-mart and other stores! Are you kidding? Go home; there is no hurry. As I sat on my bathroom floor, panic and fear set in as I asked myself, “How can people be so stupid and careless?”
Looking back to when restrictions in regional Victoria were eased, our approach was a lot more staggered. Services were very slow to open up, and we did not open bars at the stroke of midnight with crowds lining up to gain access. We returned to our new normal in slow and cautious steps. I believe this was a safe and sensible way to reemerge from isolation. It may not be living life or the ideal scenario as some people seem to think they are entitled to, but this virus doesn’t care about your life or mine for that matter. That moment you become complacent is the moment it grabs hold of its victim. It can be a super spreader, and before you know it, we can find ourselves back up to the 700 case range again, worst still, we may find ourselves in a similar position to the UK if we continue to act so recklessly. How does that sound to those people out partying with no masks?
Considering my home city of Geelong’s success in recording four weeks with zero cases, I feel proud to live here. Yes, indeed we have paced ourselves, tested the waters before proceeding too fast. It seems to me that this is the sensible way to move forward, rather than being out at a bar at one minute to midnight or lining up at Spotlight to be first through the doors. What’s the rush anyway? Why are so many people intent on risking the lives because they feel hard done by? I speak for many when I say to those reckless Melbournians, while you continue to act so recklessly, please do us a favor and stay away from regional Victoria. We don’t want such behavior or attitudes in our hometowns.
Of course; I want Melbournians to have their freedom, I have family in Melbourne myself. BUT, from the reports and pictures emerging today, there’s a clear cut group within the city who just don’t seem to understand that common sense must prevail. Think yourself lucky that everything seems to have opened at once; we didn’t have this luxury, and we didn’t complain. Be thankful that virus cases are down to just two today; while you’re at it, take a look at other countries who currently find themselves inundated with COVID-19. Bet they wish they were us right now. Also, consider why they find themselves in such a dire situation. Want to be in a similar mess? Keep going, and you’ll be there before you know i