As the pandemic surges on in Victoria, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territory, we inhabitants in the other states watch and wait. Even up here in Hervey Bay, well away from the corona virus hotspot in Brisbane suburbs, let alone Sydney and Melbourne, there’s a certain tension permeating the atmosphere. Our Premier has closed the border to anyone from ACT, NSW, and Vic.
To give an idea of the distances between the eastern seaboard capital cities, a crow flying in a straight line would cover 720km from Melbourne to Sydney. From Melbourne to Brisbane the poor little bird would have to fly 1,380km. Hervey Bay is another 250km north of Brisbane. So, we’re not on top of each other.
Even so, the three young women who brought covid back with them when they returned to Brisbane from an illegal trip to Melbourne illustrated how easily the virus can spread past our state borders. In a way, we’re safer because our country is vast and our population is small. But for just that reason, it’s pretty easy for irresponsible idiots to sneak across the border if they can’t manage by lying to authorities.
I was amazed to learn that this kind of bullet-proof stupidity isn’t limited to the young and reckless. A couple in their sixties(!) have been charged with lying on their border passes as they drove from NSW to Qld.
It seems the idiocy continues down in Melbourne. Police have swooped on organisers of an intended rally to protest about shutdowns and the requirement to wear a mask. I must be a sad, naïve soul. I thought that type of entitled, irresponsibly reckless behaviour only happened in Europe and America. If everyone wears a mask and keeps a social distance apart, the virus is less able to spread. Check out the facts at the Mayo Clinic.
Still, it helps to keep these events in perspective. At the end of June, Australia had recorded 104 covid-19 deaths. That number subsequently rose to 255 – more than double in a little over a month. Looking at the graphs is interesting. Here in Australia, it seems we are experiencing a second wave after having the spread of the virus under control. The vast majority of the new cases and deaths were in Victoria and, to a lesser extent, NSW. But the numbers are still much better than those in other countries. Deaths per million population for Australia is 10.2. For the UK it’s 695, for the US it’s 482.92. See the stats for 150 countries here.
So, we all struggle on, coping however we can. Our national debt is growing exponentially. I have no doubt that many businesses, having been forced to close for a second time, will never re-open. The travel industry will continue to suffer. Although we’re scheduled to go overseas next year (that trip which was cancelled at the last minute because of covid-19) I would be neither surprised nor disappointed if it doesn’t go ahead. Right now, we’d be stupid to go south of the Qld border and although we could travel within the state, I’m happy to hide at home for now.
That’s enough of that. Here are some pictures I took of Melbourne in happier times.
It seems Premier Dan Andrews has accepted responsibility for the corona virus shambles in Victoria. And so he should. He presided over the quarantine hotel debacle, as well as the cover-up of ‘hotspots’. He implicitly sanctioned the Black Lives Matter marches by saying participants would not be fined for not following social distancing. What’s the betting he’s out by Christmas, no doubt succeeded by a woman who’ll be left to clean up the mess?