V is for Victoria – and it can still be for Victory
One of the authors behind Victoria’s roadmap out of last year’s lockdown gives a personal reflection on the last 18 months and reminds us we’re not helpless or hopeless
Some personal news (for you).
At about this time last year, we were working 20 hours a day on trying to help Victoria come up with an escape plan that would see us able to rejoin the rest of the country.
I don’t know about you, but for me, it was 112 days of slog and copping sh*t – both personally and professionally.
“You’ll never get back to zero”, they said. Well, take that - we did. And we enjoyed those last nine months while they lasted.
Victoria rejoined the world and held our heads high as the only jurisdiction that had beaten back such a huge COVID wave.
Mentally, we held onto both the joy of escape and a dread of returning there. Meanwhile, our economy boomed like the Big V.
But we also warned other states. Don’t muck around! This is bad. Don’t get all cavalier because you’ve been lucky once or twice.
Please - for your own sake – and for ours.
But what did they care? They hadn’t been there. They hadn’t been on the front pages. Hadn’t experienced the condescension nor the desperation, isolation, and the anger at those who wanted to undermine our efforts to keep the community together and safe.
“We were there, man.”
So when Delta hit, they toyed with it — treated it like a sport. Dismissed its threat like a bottom of the ladder, wildcard entry they’d beaten before and could afford to pay no mind.
From here in Victoria, we looked on in horror – for them because they hadn’t experienced those 112 days – and for us because we had.
So what was all that for, Victoria? Why didn’t we just let it run?
The reason is because we – you – did the right thing; by one another, by our communities, by our businesses, by our families, our friends and our fellow Australians.
We took it seriously. We took responsibility.
That Victorians’ effort and sacrifice has now been so easily wiped by a new variant, combined with an old complacency and disrespect for our collective experience is galling for many.
To have that bridge to the other side drawn up right before our eyes is so, so frustrating. But there is now no going back and we cannot hold onto blame, whether real or perceived. It’s just too destructive.
Now, we have to accept life as it is — as it has been imposed. We are soaking in it.
Vaccination was always going to be our ticket out, but now it’s just that much more urgent. We have to find another (the only other) way.
So – GET VACCINATED!
These days are tough. But you did well, Victorians.
You fought valiantly against a swarm of enemies. Things are not hopeless and with vaccinations at the ready, we are far from helpless.
And in case you are reading this:
1) You’re a good person
2) Your future is bright
3) The real world - with all its joy and wonder - will return to you again soon.
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