On July 20, Victoria recorded 341 new coronavirus cases. That same day, France recorded 350 new coronavirus cases.
Just over two weeks later, Victoria, with some restrictions in place, registered 725 new coronavirus cases while France, with minimal restrictions, had more than twice that at 1,695.
Melbourne went into a hard lockdown. Restrictions included a curfew between 8pm and 5am, a requirement to stay within a 5km radius of your home unless you were a worker with a permit to be outside of that radius, and you could only leave your home for one hour per day for exercise and one hour for errands such as grocery shopping.
Children had to stay at home and return to remote learning, parents had to work from home if possible, retail and hospitality venues closed and there was nothing to do and nowhere to go.
It has been eleven weeks, and from today, restrictions will ease a little. Because unlike Europe, our State government took extreme action. Difficult action, yes. Action with consequences for business, for workers, and for mental health. Absolutely.
But on October 16, France recorded 25,086 new coronavirus cases. Victoria recorded 1. On October 17, France recorded 32,427. Victoria recorded 2.
Lockdown has not been easy. I don’t pretend that it has. But the alternative, tens of thousands of cases per day, is incomprehensible.
And now, as we ease slowly into a covid-normal summer, everything is waiting for us.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.