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  • Day273

    30 Days Without Covid

    November 29, 2020 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    According to the calendar it's been over two weeks since I last posted a footprint. That could be because (a) not that much has been happening or (b) I am becoming slack or (c) both of the above.

    Actually, it would be very misleading to say that nothing much has been happening. In fact, it has been an exciting time for Australia, and Victoria in particular. We were always told that 14 straight days without a new Covid infection would mark a significant milestone in our post Covid recovery. That point was reached two weeks ago.

    At the time it was a real reason to celebrate. For the first time in months we could dare to believe that there was going to be a life after Covid after all. Even better has been the fact that the run of "donut days" has continued unbroken. Today marked the 30th such day. Since 14 days represents one Covid cycle, we have now completed two such cycles. The experts are now cautiously telling us that we have achieved Covid elimination in Victoria.

    Apparently there is a difference between Covid elimination and Covid eradication. We might not have fully eradicated it yet, but elimination is surely the next best thing.

    The improving situation in Victoria has meant that restrictions have been even further relaxed. We can now entertain up to 15 people per day in a private house. Of even greater significance for the Ghostriders, we can now have groups of up to 50 people participating in outdoor events. This means that we do not have to count all our riders to make sure that we have no more than 10 riders in any group.

    Last Thursday was the first time we were able to put these new guidelines into effect. It was our first unrestricted ride in many months - and it felt wonderful. Even the weather played the part by providing us ideal conditions for riding.

    One of the most unpopular things we have had to endure for the past few months has been the compulsory wearing of face masks when outside the home. We have now been told we need only wear these masks when in close proximity to other people. This means that we can enjoy the freedom of "bare faced cycling" once again. It is amazing how important such things become when you no longer have them. It certainly felt great to be able to ride and breathe freely again.

    Eighteen riders met for this very important ride, although we did divide into two smaller groups for the ride itself. The ride itself went mostly according to plan, although we did get slightly lost at one point and one rider had a fall from his bike. These minor mishaps did not stop us from smiling the whole way. It was great to be alive and share fun with the friends we had missed for so long.

    So what else has changed ? The state borders are progressively starting to open - just in time for Christmas. It is now possible to travel between Victoria, NSW, Queensland and Tasmania, without having to quarantine on arrival. Western Australia is taking a more cautious approach and seems determined to stay closed until the next Ice Age.

    And what about South Australia ? That is the only sour note in an otherwise positive report. Over the past two weeks South Australia has experienced a new local outbreak of cases. This has grown to around 30 active cases in a significant cluster. Having seen just how quickly such outbreaks can spread through a population, it has obviously been a cause of concern.

    The initial response of the South Australian government was to throw the entire state into a complete lockdown for 6 days. The extent of this lockdown was even more extreme than we experienced in Victoria. After only three days of this lockdown, the governemnt did an abrupt about turn and called it all off. They are now reliant on contact tracing to prevent further spread, but they have not been entirely successful in this as every day brings another 2 or 3 new cases.

    For the past few days I have been back in Melbourne, while Maggie has stayed down in Inverloch to enjoy a well earned rest. The remaining short time before Christmas looks like it will be the busiest we have had for a long time.
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