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Melbourne Odds and Ends

Oh, fabulous day!

Today, Melbournians emerge with our unkempt hair and our huge grins into our new ‘COVID-normal’ life.

Because we have done something extra-ordinary; we have got our case numbers from over 700 a day to 0, and 0 deaths, for two days running. Two Double Donut Days! To put that into perspective, on the 5th August we had 715 cases while Belgium had 334. A couple of days ago Belgium had 15, 622.

I don’t want to gloat, but rather celebrate our achievement. We got here with a strict and long lockdown which has been very hard for so many people. So much repair will be needed.

Today, for the first time for months, we can sit down for have a coffee and a meal. We can go into a shop that is not an essential service ~ art shops! We can catch up with friends outside ~ I am off for a picnic with friends! We can leave our homes for whatever reason we like. (Previously we had only been able to leave for 4 reasons.) We can live our lives.

With caution, of course. There is no room for complacency as we have not eliminated the virus. Recognising that the home is one of the most dangerous places, visiting indoors is restricted to one family a day. Sitting with family and friends is something we have been longing to do, but because our guards are down, it can be the place where the virus will spread. Indeed it was larger family gatherings that rapidly spread the virus in June.

I can visit my Mum! I am seeing her on Friday, and the thought of taking her out for a coffee brings a smile to my face.

For a couple more weeks we can only travel within 25 km ~ the trip to Mum is 22km! There is still no travel in or out of metro Melbourne. Mandatory mask wearing will stay for quite a while yet.

To be honest, I am still a little dazed by it all, and still thinking it through, reflecting on that strange liminal time. Undoubtably I will have more to say in later posts, but for now I will enjoy my friends, my Mum and a latte in a glass rather than a takeaway cup, sitting at a table. And celebrate the simple things, the important things.

29 replies on “Oh, fabulous day!”

So glad for you Anne. It felt so strange when we were able to live fairly normally again. Many of us continued to be very cautious for some weeks. Unfortunately I notice that many have given up hand sanitising, which will be a problem if there is an outbreak here again. All the best to you, enjoy a good Melbourne coffee for me! x

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I think we will be cautious for a time too, but it is so easy to slip back into pre-virus habits. I think one of the dangers is subconsciously thinking “I know this person, so they won’t have the virus”. At least we know what we don’t want to go back to.

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congratulations to all in your part of Australia…

and the “art shop” that you can browse in, ask questions and have a real dialogue – instead of possibly mail order. I know that feeling, when I thought was ordering a higher weighted card and got another packet of the lighter weight. Finding out later that if I had been in the store, it would’ve been “board weight” and being able to select 3 instead of a generic packet…

but I wonder, which business will re-open – lots didn’t here (NZ), but then some did and then promptly shut up shop again…many still don’t seem to be on what was January/February normal hours or even 7 days a week. And it wasn’t just cafes but clothing and other stores, that somehow had come to the conclusion that the bottom line would drift even further into the “red”

but also out of the mess – some people grew a different kind of business which is starting to show up.

It’s turned out lives upside down in many ways…ways that maybe needed to be revamped … looking forward to hearing of your adventures at the “art store” and of course at the cafe 🙂

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It’s a good reminder Catherine that things won’t automatically go back to old normal. We will certainly look to the experience of NZ, where you have done so well. As for the art shop…I love to browse too, to see exactly what I am buying, compare prices, ask questions etc. I had my coffee inside, sitting at a table and in a glass! Bliss!

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You lucky little Show Off!!

Oregon still hovers around 400 cases every day, but you wouldn’t know anything was any different. Most people wear masks, but everything except pools and schools are wide open for business.

Our leadership could take some cues from other places….but they won’t, so I’ll just keep avoiding everyone, washing my hands like a madwoman, and treating everything that comes into my house like nuclear waste.

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It sounds like you have no option but to be that way. Leadership is the key, I think. There was opposition to what our state’s Premier was doing, as it was very restrictive, but most Melbournians supported the measures. We could see that he was following the medical and public health advice of the Chief Health Officer.
Sorry to be a show-off, but we are feeling pretty damn good at the moment!

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Well done to you and your fellow Melbournians. I’m celebrating for you! Our NSW restrictions have been relaxed for a while but from what I’ve seen many and hopefully enough of us remain careful and cognisant of the risks while enjoying the simple delights of life outside our own household bubbles. Enjoy your picnic and coffees out and visits to art shops and… stay safe 🙂

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NSW has shown us that it is possible to have small numbers and deal with them, and continue to enjoy life. Now it is up to us to keep going with good hand hygiene, social distancing, masks and so on. I feel that for a while the motivation to not go backwards will be strong. It has shown us how it is the simple things that are most important.

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Thanks Laura. It has been a good day, and perfect weather. I think there is a strong determination, at the moment, to not go back into lockdown. We will have to keep that up over many months though. I am so blessed to be able to spend time with my Mum.

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The Offspring and I have had smiles on our faces as well. No freedoms yet, but we are so proud of Victoria, and Victorians and in particular, Melburnites for doing the almost-impossible. It’s a lot easier to stop a virus like this one from spreading when the cases are few. Stopping it in its tracks when new cases trend upwards of 700 per day? What we’ve done is nothing short of miraculous.

As you and others have pointed out, the difference between /here/ and almost everywhere else in the Western world is stark. The numbers over there are literally too big to get your head around, and they’re still growing.

The only thing that makes me see red now is when people like the Treasurer use our victory to try to discredit the man who made it happen. Yes, we were the ones who had to do without, but name me one other politician who would have thrown his own political career under the bus to do the right thing and save lives? I truly hope Josh never comes back to Melbourne because he does not belong here. We are heroes. He is…just a Liberal.

-massive hugs from Warrandyte-

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We have done something to be very proud of, and we have a beautiful Spring day as our reward!
I have been outraged by Friedenberg too. The comment that really made me mad was that his children have lost 100 days of school that they will never get back. I bet that made his children’s teachers hopping mad too! I have yet to hear of a Liberal who has said “Well done Victoria. You have done something remarkable.” Oh, I could carp on about them, but why waste a lovely day by stooping to their level?
This might make you smile
https://www.theshovel.com.au/2020/10/27/news-corp-folds-after-running-out-of-things-to-criticise-victoria-about/
Big hugs and smiles to you too. Enjoy the day!

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That is a fantastic achievement! I am glad the Welsh government have gone further than England with our national 17 day firebreak lockdown but I wish they were bolder. I know people find it very hard – much harder than I do with my big garden, no need to work to earn, lovely area etc. and I know the economic cost is high too but we need to get this thing stopped in its tracks not keep faffing about trying to keep the numbers just low enough. Enjoy your shopping and coffee and seeing your Mum – you have earned them!

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I agree Sue. Our Premier always argued that we can’t fix the economy until we have the health side of things under control. Now it seems that our case numbers are low enough to be able to contain, track and trace, while starting to repair the economy. Well, that’s the plan!
I hope you are coping okay with your isolation. Sending you hugs!

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Thank you Anne, I am back on my perch! I like the sound of your premier – she is being very sensible and as long as no-one starves or goes mad with the restrictions she will be proved right in the long run. Our lot are whimps and in thrall to their mates in big business.

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Good news! By now you’ll have been out and about having that latte in a glass and enjoying some hard won freedom after such a long lockdown. England is currently in another lockdown, Scotland, not as yet. But the discipline is waning, Anne. Visiting other people’s homes has been going on regardless for months, which sounds like the cause of rising case numbers once again. And so many differing opinions too. We’ve lost some unity for sure and it remains to be seen where this leads us. It might also make people more lax knowing there may soon be a vaccine coming. Oh well, enjoy your freedom and shopping, you’ve earned it, and carry on staying safe :>)

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