Today is the 11th of October. As of today, our lockdown because of COVID-19 is being lifted, well, partially. We have now been under a “Stay at Home” order since the middle of July. By “we” I mean, all the residents of the Greater Sydney area. Unfortunately, the government has chosen to include the Wollongong area and the Shellharbour area in this lockdown and the reasons for that I will explain in a moment. As explained previously, the Stay at Home order meant that only essential, (going to work, the doctors, shopping and medical emergencies) was permitted and only within your own Local Government Areas.
As you know I have been using the excuse that riding is for my mental health and I haven’t had any problem with this right throughout the nearly 3 months that lockdown has been in place. I have, on a few occasions, ventured outside of my LGA and this hasn’t been a problem either. My friends who also ride have also done the same thing and none of them have been even pulled over, let alone asked to explain why they are out riding. Despite the ineptitude of our politicians it seems that our police force is far more in tune with the real-life realities of what living under the lockdown actually means.
But why, when the incidence of cases in the two Illawarra LGAs has been almost nil, has the government chosen to include us in their ridiculous lockdown? Simple, traveling to and from work is permitted and a huge number of Wollongong and Shellharbour residents live here but work in the Sydney LGA. So these people have been permitted to travel for their work. As a result we are lumped in to the Sydney LGA and what cases we HAVE experienced here have been from people who have brought the virus here from their workplace or other interactions within the Sydney LGA.
As of today we are allowed to travel outside of our LGA so I am allowed to travel to Sydney to visit our son who we haven’t seen for months and to the Shellharbour LGA to visit my brother and his family and my daughter and her family.
This decision has been based wholly on % of vaccination figures which now stand at 70% of population in these areas having had their 2 jabs. It is estimated that, on present figures, the “magic” figure of 80% will have been achieved by next Monday, the 18th of October. If this is so then rural travel within the whole of NSW will be allowed but with the proviso that no overnight stays will be allowed. Since I’d be quite happy to keep doing day rides rather than expended ones until I build up my ride fitness a lot more, this doesn’t worry me at all.
BUT, (you knew there had to be one, didn’t you?) the weather forecast is predicting heavy rain for the whole of this week. Sod’s Law strikes again.
The other good thing about the easing of restrictions is that restaurants are open again as of today so our regular Friday morning breakfast date is now back on and this morning I am going to do a ring-around and see if I can find a restaurant that is open on Tuesday nights so our regular Illawarra Riders coffee nights can resume. Wish me luck.