Australia opens up

David Ahern

David Ahern

David is the editor of The Majellan

A loud collective sigh of relief can be heard around the country. After two-years of on-again off-again lockdowns and restrictions because of the pandemic Australia is at last opening up.

Borders have opened to international visitors and Western Australia has signalled its intention to open up to all states and territories in early March.

The easing of restrictions is great news for many families who, sadly, have been separated for many months. Parents haven’t been able to see their children, grandparents haven’t been able to hug their grandchildren and siblings have had to rely on social media including zoom to stay in contact.

After such a long period of restrictions, lockdowns and interruptions to daily life, it’s the good news we’ve all been hoping for.

There’s no doubt COVID-19 has taken a huge toll on individuals and families.

The media reports on the number of daily deaths but it’s important to remember that behind the numbers are real people who have left loved ones behind.

Australia is approaching 5,000 deaths and it’s been heartbreaking for the many families who have been adversely affected by the virus. Hospitals and nursing homes have been off limits to family members trying to comfort sick relatives or say goodbye which has only added to their trauma.  

Elective surgery has also been a casualty of the virus with people needing treatment for a range of health issues facing numerous delays.

Little did we know at the start of 2020 that a pandemic was about to hit which would greatly impact our lives. The early reports out of China talked about a new debilitating virus that attacked people’s lungs and ability to breathe. It was called COVID-19 and it soon tracked its ways around the world, including to Australia.

The first national lockdown was announced in March/April of that year and over the next 20 months various states and territories would experience restrictions and a series of lockdowns.

Victorians have faced the harshest restrictions, enduring a massive 263 days in lockdown.

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