It’s 50-50 now whether Melbourne, Australia, will move into Step 3 lockdown—what I call the “Step of Freedom”—on October 19th (or October 26th as originally planned).

It was meant to be a time when all retail throughout Victoria would reopen, when hairdressers and beauticians would once again thrive, when limited gatherings between friends would occur in homes, when outdoor cafes and eateries would once again seat guests and when all intrastate travel restrictions would be waived. When Victorians would walk the streets without the spectre of uncontrolled Covid-19 reaching for their lungs.

The Covidiots didn’t care.

And Victoria’s premier Daniel Andrews ultimately succumbed to their political and media pressure: removing the 8pm-5am curfew too early, bringing forward Step 3’s date and sending mixed messages to the public about spending more time out (one hour extended to two hours of exercise per day).

So, a Covidiot malignancy of greed was freed, culminating in acts of unmasked selfishness at Melbourne’s beaches over the weekend, putting every Victorian’s lockdown sacrifices in danger.

It merely compounds my disappointment in him: not for making mistakes as with hotel quarantine mismanagement, but in senselessly covering them up.

Dan Andrews and his chief health officer, Brett Sutton, were once the leading visionaries in Australia’s Covid-19 response at a time when supposedly banned cruise ships were spewing Covid sick onto Australia’s shores. Australia has never had national leadership in this regard.

Now, the premier has second-guessed his thinking which I fear will end in irrevocable disaster pending the arrival of a vaccine in 2021—or at least a treatment capable of mitigating against death till then.

While the talk of lawsuits is vogue right now—of a lunatic suit against the right of governments to impose curfews as if they’ve never been used in the history of the Free World; of a suit directed at taxpayers against governmental mistakes that have prolonged the lockdown—the real cause of action is against those who have peddled fear and misinformation for perceived personal gain: the hoaxers, the conspirators, the malicious players and their minions on social media who’ve acted publicly to spoil the best laid plans humans can make in the face of an unprecedentedly contagious novel coronavirus.

The Covidiots.

The plan was working! All the premier had to do was stay his course.

Well, listen up has-beens. Karma hits and when it does it often feels like a virus.

Update October 6, 2020—Andrews and Sutton Remain Hopeful

When asked whether Melbourne could still reach its required Step 3 target (a 14-day average of <5 daily cases and <5 mystery cases in total) by October 19th at today’s daily press conference just concluded, Brett Sutton said:

These may very well be the very last outbreaks Victoria sees. I hope that’s the case. And we can get on top of them, those same principles of isolation and quarantine can manage them. Even though this has gotten to a point where it’s spread very widely […] It may still well be mid-October.

He said that even if we see further heavy cases in the near future, time remains for them to “eventually drop off” the daily average as needed.

Dan Andrews added that while October 19th still loomed less certain as the trigger date for Step 3, he remained hopeful. I pray he’s right, he knows that the only pressure he’s ever truly faced is that of overpromising, because only Covidiots play politics with a pandemic.

© 2020 Adam Parker.