This isn’t the song I’d planned on posting tonight. But nor was this the announcement that our State Premier, Daniel Andrews, had been intending to make today.
After twelve weeks of hard lockdown in Melbourne–which is also the amount of time we have been here for G’s treatment–restrictions will ease. G was discharged from hospital at the end of his first round of chemo on the day that Stage Four restrictions came into place. I picked him up and drove to the apartment where we are staying for the duration of his treatment.
On that day, we expected to be almost finished his treatment by now. On that day, there were over 200 active cases in our immediate local area. A few days later, Victoria recorded a daily count of 725 new coronavirus infections. Today, there are only two active infections in our local area. Today, we recorded zero new coronavirus infections.
I had recently sworn off the press conferences that our State Premier has delivered daily, for over one hundred consecutive days. But today was different. It had already been announced that there were zero new infections overnight (out of >15,000 tests), so I risked the anxiety rollercoaster. And when I saw the North Face jacket, I knew it was going to be good news. Over the past few months, a trend has emerged; if the Premier wears a suit, we are in for difficult news. But if it is the North Face jacket, we can expect good news.
And today, the news was excellent.
A journalist asked tentatively “Can I confirm you are saying we can finally get on the beers?”
“I don’t know that I’ll be drinking a beer tonight,” Mr Andrews said. “I might go a little higher up the shelf.”
And indeed, on his Facebook page tonight, he posted a picture.
All Victorians–but especially Melburnians, who’ve shouldered the majority of these brutal lockdowns–should be proud of this achievement. We aren’t out of the woods. But with the virus at trackable and traceable levels, we should be able to get back to some sense of normal. Covid normal.
Time to get on the beers.