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Safety and support vital despite brighter days ahead

As the second wave of COVID-19 has receded, there have been some notable moments to celebrate. The state’s 14-day rolling case average hitting zero, and two weeks of “double doughnut” days on Friday, is certainly one of them.

Premier Daniel Andrews reminded Victorians that the 14 days is no vaccine, but as the easing of restrictions continues and people acclimatise to post-lockdown life, the infection-free period should offer some confidence. This year, Christmas should be a day that can be physically shared with family and friends. Like never before, that will mean a lot.

People are starting to return to the city, but will it be enough?

People are starting to return to the city, but will it be enough?Credit:Joe Armao

Of course, it comes with provisos. As the “daily Dan” media conferences and the threat of police fines for any departure from the rules have abated, the responsibility of keeping us safe falls on every Victorian as an individual. The recent high COVID-19 testing numbers should give some assurance that we have not dropped our guard. And even a cursory glimpse of the situation in Europe and America, with infection and death toll numbers rapidly growing again, should provide a grim reminder of the continuing dangers of this virus.

And now, after much crystal-ball gazing about how life in Melbourne post-lockdown might look, we’ll be able to see how that need for individual responsibility affects the shape of our city and the habits of its citizens. Data revealed today shows that while people are happily returning to their cars to get around, they are reluctant to take a train, tram or bus. While road use is almost back to pre-COVID density, the number of commuters heading into the city via Flinders Street Station has dropped by more than 90 per cent compared to last year.

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