Hard lockdown mark II in Western Australia pounced quickly. After ten months of no community transmission of COVID-19 and our ordinary lives, the edict came yesterday as a shock. Not that we should have been surprised. Mark McGowan, the State Premier, warned all along that, should there be a case of community spread of COVID-19, he would act swiftly.
Within minutes of the announcement, the sceptics and naysayers showed up in force on social media. But those in favour of the restrictions greatly outnumbered them. Most seem to be glad that the government took strong, decisive and immediate action.
Premiers and citizens in some other States had scoffed at the determination and actions of the WA Government during 2020 and beyond. This morning, their comments were moderate and supportive.
We’ve been blessed in this State.
Personal affects of this isolation
Lockdowns create difficulties. Kids who were looking forward to their first day at school, and others returning after a long holiday, must now stay home. Their parents need to rethink their commitments. Businesses close, employment and profit lost. Plans are disrupted.
Because isolation affects everyone, it seems churlish of me to complain. Last time, in March and April 2020 , I gladly stayed home. John and I bunkered down and quite enjoyed the quiet time. Our family looked after our needs with dedication and care.
They left food and treats, books and jigsaws on the nominated ‘plague stone’ in the strand outside our apartment. I felt my life reached a new plateau and I looked forward to doing things differently.
Like everyone, I hoped for a more normal, better 2021.
That hope shattered when my younger daughter, Anne, died tragically on 27 December. Because of Coronial Department involvement, we celebrated her life with Mass and wake nearly five weeks later.
I thought that 1 February would be the beginning of a new reality, a new normal as we got used to life without her. But, no! Hard lockdown intervened.
This time I’m better prepared with a modest supply of things we need and less anxiety about how we will cope. Unread books from Christmas sit ready to be opened.
But coffee dates with friends and starting work on a new writing project with the Family Integration Network WA (FINWA) have been postponed. Again. A walk replaces my longed-for swim.
In spite of feeling disappointed, grumpy and tired, I will make this hard lockdown mark II work. And for as long as it takes.
- My to-do list takes up an A4 page of my neatest printing. I plan to tick at least two items a day.
- Morning pages take twenty minutes every day.
- I’ll walk in the park before the sun gets too hot, and be glad I can enjoy beautiful surroundings. Julia Cameron advises walking as part of the creative life.
- A rest with a good book may not be a luxury in these times.
Hard lockdown mark II rules (in case you need a reminder)
The hard lockdown started at 6.00 pm on Sunday 31 January 2021. The government will review the situation on Friday, 5 February.
These restrictions remain in place for (at least) the next five days.
People in the Perth metropolitan area, the Peel and South-West regions must stay home. We may only leave our homes for four reasons:
- Shopping for essentials (groceries, medications).
- Medical or healthcare needs (including care of the vulnerable).
- Exercise (one hour a day within our own neighbourhood, with one other).
- Essential work only permitted. From the Government website.
Other essential actions
- Maintain social distancing when shopping.
- Maintain strict hand hygiene. Washing hands regularly with soap and water is best. Using hand sanitiser also works.
- Keep hands away from faces.
- Cover coughs and sneezes and wash hands afterwards.
- Get tested if showing any symptoms.
- Wear a mask when outside..
Just do it
We’ve done this before. In March and April 2020, Western Australians submitted to hard lockdown. We’re tough and resilient. We can do it again, for as long as it takes. I’d like to read your plans for the next few days, if you live in Western Australia.