Today, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a pretty big – in the context of the coronavirus outbreak – announcement regarding social distancing and isolation. Essentially from Friday, two people can now visit another person, in another house (it honestly feels so weird to type this).
“So please know that from Friday, two adults can go and visit anyone else, and I’ve used the word ‘adults’ to say obviously if you have young children, it’s OK to take them with you,” the Premier said at a press conference.
Big news for families .. @GladysB announces from the state’s #coronavirus lockdown will be relaxed, slightly, this week.
“from Friday 2 adults can go and visit anyone else, I have used the word adults to say that obviously when you have young children you can take them with you pic.twitter.com/epIpG4sWBE
— kelly fuller (@kelfuller) April 27, 2020
But in terms of cumulative cases, NSW is leading the pack in a big way. The state currently has just over 3,000 cases, daylight second, Victoria in third with 1,349 cases. Queensland have just over 1,000, SA and WA are hovering around 500 – while Tasmania, the ACT and NT have about 500 across them as a whole.
So NSW represents about 50% of the coronavirus cases in Australia. And sure there are a lot of people in NSW – 7.544 million to be exact, so the per capita rate is naturally super low (0.00039). But compare that to Victoria, a population of 6.359 million people – a per capita rate of 0.00021.
I know these numbers are a bit whatever, we’re talking big decimal points and god knows I’m terrible at math anyways. But rumours and reports suggest Victoria are likely two or so weeks away from the easing of any isolation restrictions. And I don’t know about you, but Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has been the most impressive leader during this challenging time for the country – in my opinion.
Victoria has fewer active cases than NSW, Qld, Tas and WA. He is supported by 85% of the public. We are safer in Victoria because of what the state government has done.
— Marko Cvjeticanin (@MCvjeticaninBar) April 27, 2020
NSW, the state that let the Ruby Princess passengers loose on the rest of Australia.
The states neighbouring NSW will not feel inclined to relax border crossing restrictions any time soon.
Get it together, Gladys, short term pain for long term gain! https://t.co/fApQhaosqS
— Fiona Lake (@FionaLakeAus) April 27, 2020
We’ve of course seen some other states relax their isolation restrictions as well, with Queensland relaxing their rules from this Friday, May 1st as well. As of the end of the week, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced people could “enjoy some relief from stay-at-home rules” by going for a drive (or riding a motorbike, jetski or boat) for pleasure, having a picnic, visiting a national park; and shop for non-essential items. But, weren’t people sort of already doing all of the above..
In addition to these rules social distancing must be maintained, you have to stay within 50km of home and outings are limited to members of the same household or an individual and one friend. Like how much more vague can you get?!
And what I’m not a massive fan of is the way a lot these announcements are made. Honestly there’s just this lack of clarity – for example in NSW, can you only have two specific friends over during this relaxing? Can you have two different friends over for Friday dinner every week? Can you visit different people every day?
Re: new rule for two adults to visit any house — NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says it must be for any of 3 reasons:
1. “On the basis of care”
2. “On the basis of reducing socialisation”
3. “Everybody’s mental health”. Assume that covers coffee, lunch, dinner, BBQ & beers?!
— Chris Reason (@ChrisReason7) April 27, 2020
Victoria has a slightly smaller population than NSW.
However NSW has more than twice the COVID cases.
Victoria is NOT easing restrictions, NSW IS.
I prefer the @DanielAndrewsMP approach https://t.co/2A8NzB7J1n
— tom flynn #erradication (@tomdflynn) April 27, 2020
It just feels like this is another too soon announcement, and that we might be rushing to get back to normality. We’ve come this far, we’ve been diligent for the most part with isolation and I think we all realise that if we make strong sacrifices now, we wont get a second wave of the virus.
But almost inevitably people will make the most of eased restrictions. People will flout the rule, and no doubt push it over the line given things have been eased slightly. And look I often live by this golden rule, if Steve Price agrees with you – you probably fucked up.
NSW sensible easing of covid restrictions and increasing testing ..from May 1 you can visit relatives and friends .. in Victoria no change 🙈
— Steve Price (@StevePriceMedia) April 28, 2020
Image Source: Twitter @ScoopliveUpdate