I tweeted these thoughts out earlier, and thought I’d post them here too.
Some thoughts on Melbourne’s COVID crisis, just over halfway through the 6-week lockdown (likely to be extended)
The daily numbers are an essential quick summary view of how it’s going, but sometimes agonising. There’s collective relief when they drop, but anguish and dismay when they rise.
The early leaks of numbers each day sometimes cushions the blow of the press conference headline announcement. I end up focusing a bit more on the detail.
Like in many other countries, aged care has emerged as a disaster. I am lucky that I don’t have any close family members in aged care at the moment, but I have in the past, and I really feel for those who do now.
There are issues with aged care in the best of times. In some places the staff are stretched when everything’s going well. Throw in the extra precautions essential in a pandemic and sadly I’m not surprised things have gone badly wrong.
I watch the daily press conference when I can. The ongoing pandemic exhausts many of us – can only imagine how it affects those at the pointy end of it – both in leadership and the frontline.
Many people watch the daily pressers in full. A side effect of this: I’ve seen comments from people disliking the aggressive questioning from some journos. This is not something people normally get to see/hear.
Likewise: Oppositions naturally play the blame game, but I don’t think that’s what most people want right now. We want leadership. Positive constructive suggestions. Voters can deal out recriminations at the next election.
We’re in dire straits, though some parts of Melbourne clearly have more cases than others. Worst-affected areas seem to be related to the spread in the past few weeks through specific workplaces and family connections.
Did they mandate masks/face coverings too late? Perhaps, though one can argue that early on, pro-mask research wasn’t as strong, and masks didn’t make sense when PPE supplies were stretched and there was little or no community transmission.
Despite well-publicised sceptics/contrarians/conspiracy theorists videoing their own idiocy, I walk around my neighbourhood and near everybody is wearing a mask. Hopefully it’s similar across Melbourne, and hopefully it’s helping a lot.
I wouldn’t like to predict where things will go from here. Hopefully things are about to improve.
But in the mean time, stay safe, everyone. #StayHome #WearAMask