The easing of Covid-19 Restrictions in Australia

Considerations needed before lifting the restrictions in Australia during the pandemic.

Now, more than ever, I think it is really tough to have the top job in Australia, because you have to make difficult decisions of whether you choose to open up the country again or to stay in lock down to prevent the spread of Covid 19. There are both good and bad points about lifting the restrictions in Australia and this post will examine this in greater detail.

Scott Morrison who is the current leader of Australia has made some pretty sensible decisions during this global pandemic in my humble opinion. One decision that I praise him for the plan created to lift the restrictions that have been implemented in the  last month or so. He has left it up to each state and territory to make their own decisions to which phase of the restrictions that they will lift and when. This is good news for Australia’s currently ailing economy because millions of workers have been out of jobs and many are currently only surviving on government handouts. However, the large amount of money that has been set aside for government handouts is not an endless supply and sooner or later, the government will run out of money to support those people. By lifting the restrictions, it means that people can go back to exercising in their gyms, partake in religious activites, and enjoy recreational activities like going to the cinema. I believe this will have a positive impact on mental health, which unfortunately has declined dramatically due to the social distancing restrictions leaving people socially isolated from their normal support networks or from losing their jobs. Sadly, the number of calls to police for domestic violence related incidents also have more than doubled in places like Melbourne, which has been in strict lock down for weeks.

In saying that, Australia has just started entering the cold, winter months, where the   threats of influenza and other illness will also be another issue to consider. By relaxing restrictions it can mean more clusters of Covid-19 are able to break out and there will not be the restrictions that have been in place to help stop it from happening. When rules are relaxed, people can become complacent again, and lead to a second spike in the number of new cases in Australia. There is the risk of many people dying from the disease, and this is especially the case for those vulnerable people, such as the elderly or those with chronic health conditions. Another issue to consider, is the risk that we will again run out of personal protective equipment that protects front line workers from contracting the Covid-19 virus and whether or not the health care system will be able to cope with the subsequent outbreaks.

The risks of benefits of lifting the restrictions put in place to stop Covid-19 is one that needs to be carefully considered and implemented. There is a need to restart the economy and to help get people back into the workforce as there is only a limited amount of time that the government will be able to support so many people. However, careful plans to ensure that a second outbreak  in Covid-19 cases doesn’t happen is also essential to have.

Adelaide Fringe Show

Last week was a tough week with all sorts of new rules, legislations, and bans happening in Australia… I have been studying for an exam for almost three months and was going to take this exam on the 21st of March…HOWEVER, Mr Corona Virus decided to stop that from happening… 😦 The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison announced all non-essential meetings of over 500 people would need to be postponed or cancelled. So far, we haven’t received any further information as to when the exam will be. He announced this on Friday the 13th of March that this would take place on the 16th of March.

Anyways…Leading up to the exam, I like to do nothing but the bare minimum of stuff I need to do… Work, Exercise, and STUDY in all my spare moments. So I had no time to check out the Adelaide Fringe Festival (Which usually starts the start of March and Finishes Mid March), which I try to go to at least one event each year. I didn’t think I would make it this year, because…you know prioritising studying for the exam. HOWEVER, we found out on Friday 13th that the exam was cancelled, so I tried asking my friends last minute if they wanted to go to the festival…However, most of them already had other plans or have already been to the shows that I wanted to go to. All good. I will go by myself…with this ban in place, who knows when the next community event will be? Everything is being cancelled or postponed, left, right, centre.

I went to an art exhibition experience called ‘1000 Doors’…which is basically many doors…I don’t think there was 1000…but there was a hella lot of doors. If you think about it, doors are pretty interesting concepts…they hide behind them the unexpected, the unknown, and the secret. In hindsight, given the current situation the world was in, it was probably a mistake for me not to have worn gloves while opening those 1000s of doors… LOL.. anyways.

Prior to entering, they allow a gap between the previous guests and for you. There was only one rule, remember to close the doors and yes we could take photos. I was told that everyone experienced a different wave of familiarity, fear, or sensation in each type of room…I was super hyped and intrigued.  It was a super interesting experience, especially since I went by myself… I went at my own pace…it felt like a maze…and indoor adventure almost. The first door I walked through led me to an alleyway that reminded me so much of an old (and creepy) hospital corridor! Nostalgic. The lighting of each area also suited the different environments that they were trying to portray. Some cosy doors reminded me of my grandparents home in which I used to visit almost every week as a child. Some doors led to small places like a closet or a chimney. Some rooms felt like they were abandoned and made to look like a home for street people. There is one room in which you can only see through a small hole in the wall, lets you see into a super creepy room bathed in red light. Possibly an interrogation room? In some of the rooms, I felt like I was going back into time …one had a super old working radio and one a piano…I have attached some photos in this slide show here, unfortunately, because of the low lighting in some of the rooms and my haste in trying to take photos when no one was in them, led to some photos being too blurry to post :(.

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This is the Dolls House a three-storey recreation of a dolls house created by the Visionary Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi in the middle of Rundle Mall in the city centre of Adelaide. There was a long queue to go into the house and I stood among many young families grandparents, and kids to enter the magical looking building. I am amazed that he was able to build the house so quickly! He has only built something similar only one other time, and that was in Paris in France. Entering the house I didn’t know what to expect! It felt so much like a real house…with some real furniture, real fridges, sinks…yet everything was just so pink and so cute! Everything else was painted on…it really blended the real and the fake and you do feel somewhat like a doll. If someone living in a house that cute and bright, how could you not smile? I guess one downfall is one side of the house is completely made of glass so everyone can see what you are doing. LOL.

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Overall, I enjoyed my small escape from study, work, or exercise. The Prime Minister made another announcement today that because of the Corona Virus meaning that we can’t have gatherings of more than 100 people now… That will really affect big birthday parties…weddings…funerals… However, he says Universities and Schools should still go ahead as usual. He believes it’s better for kids to go to school rather than stay home and be looked after by grandparents who are at more risk of complications if they get the disease. There is also rule that there can’t be any more than two visitors at a time to aged care facility residents…they are also banning any children under 16 years old from going, except for exceptional circumstances. From the 1st of May, only those who have had their Flu Shot will be able to go into aged care facilities. No one who has come back from overseas in the last 14 days is also allowed to go in… All sorts of social gathering and activities have been recommended to be cancelled. Sounds like a really depressing time to live in aged care right now… :(…

In other terms of changes, The Prime Minister has asked ALL Australians to come back to  Australia as soon as possible and recommends no one leave UNLESS they really have to. Anyone who comes back from overseas from ANY country in the last 14 days has to self-isolate themselves for 14 days…failure to do so can be persecuted. I am really lucky that I didn’t have to cancel my trip last month to NZ and also that I don’t have to self-isolate… but unfortunately, my sister and her family are in Japan at the moment and they will be self-isolating for 14 days when they return to Adelaide this Saturday…

What a time to live in. :O

Stay Safe and wash your hands everyone!!