Gladys Berejiklian Is Relaxing Isolation Rules, Despite NSW Having The Most COVID-19 Cases Nationally

Seems a tad soon.

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.

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.

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?

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.

Image Source: Twitter @ScoopliveUpdate

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