• Day246

    A Feast of Donuts

    November 2, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Some people spell them "donut" and others spell them "doughnut". However you spell the word, we all know what they are. They are those circular, sugary treats with the hole in the middle. When I was a kid I visited a very early incarnation of Chadstone shopping centre. The shops did not interest me much, apart from one store that stood in a special location, all by itself. It was the Downyflake donut shop, and for a curious child, it was the stuff of wonder and amazement.

    Because we were a very poor family, we could not afford to buy any of the delicious treats, but that did not matter. The real fascination was due to the fact that the store contained a machine that manufactured the donuts, right before your eyes. I remember standing outside the Downyflake window, mesmerised by the never ending donut parade that took place there. The final step was when the completed donut dropped into a bed of sugar. Lucky shoppers could then purchase the, still warm, delicacies and enjoy them while they explored the shopping centre.

    About sixty years have now gone past since those days. The Downyflake store has long since disappeared, but I can still vividly remember that smell of warm donuts, that so permeated the location.

    Nowadays I very seldom buy donuts. In fact, I can't remember the last time I sunk my teeth into one, however all of Melbourne has been enjoying a wonderful sequence of so called "donut days" in the past week. This does not mean that Melbournians have all gone off to the nearest bakery in search of a sugar hit, but it is an undoubted reason to celebrate.

    After enduring one of the harshest lockdowns of any city on earth, Melbourne is now finally enjoying the fruits of our sacrifice. We have seen the daily numbers of new infections drop steadily. The first milestone was achieved a few weeks ago when we dropped into single digits for the first time. Then we celebrated afresh when the numbers dropped below 5 cases a day. But the best was still to come.

    About two weeks we achieved what was almost unthinkable - a day of zero new cases. The day was christened a "donut day", because the numeral zero resembled the classic circular donut shape. This week the incidence of donut days has increased, so much so that we have now had three consecutive donut days.

    There is no doubt that this is a significant milestone in our recovery from Covid. We now have good reason to hope that we will soon be able to move to the next stage of removal of restrictions. The next major update is due next Sunday 8th November. The rumour is that we may see the hated "ring of steel" around Melbourne finally removed. This is the network of police roadblocks that stop Melbournians from venturing into rural Victoria. If that does happen I suspect that we will see an instant exodus of people from the city heading off to enjoy the countryside.

    Although that day would be a very happy one for Melbourne residents, I am not sure that the sentiment is shared by the people of country Victoria. Obviously, they are concerned about the possibility of infection being carried out of the city, along with the day-trippers.

    Another observation we have made is that people seem to be getting visibly slacker with their Covidsafe habits. I think that many have decided that the battle is now over and therefore they no longer need to wear masks or maintain safe social distancing. Maggie and I went on another bike ride today and noticed numerous walkers completely ignoring the mask-wearing rule. Many others had their masks hanging uselessly under their chins. It would be such a terrible waste of our previous sacrifices and self-discipline, if such slack behaviour allowed a terrible third wave of the virus to re-emerge in Melbourne.
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