Last sitting week, I spoke in a general sense about the chaos the Victoria-New South Wales border closure has created.
Today, I want to talk more specifically about some of the (many) everyday difficulties and anomalies it has generated.
Among these are the innumerable problems associated with obtaining (and retaining) permits, especially for health professionals.
More broadly, the permits are only even potentially available to those living in certain postcodes, with residents in towns like Beechworth and Yackandandah remarkably still excluded.
Confusion likewise reigns for students and their families and, especially cruelly, for people trying to care for loved ones, including those with terminal illnesses and those going through pregnancy.
That normal movement, lives and basic livelihoods, and critically-important professions are now so disrupted around the border is all the more bemusing given that the so-called ‘ring of steel’ around Melbourne is not being fully enforced. Whether by bus, train or car (especially on back roads), passengers travelling to Northern Victoria are frequently going unchecked.
Meanwhile, across Melbourne, parking inspectors and bottle shops are apparently regarded as essential services, unlimited access is available to a drug injecting room, and COVID-positive cases have been allowed to leave their homes for exercise.
In short, the people of Northern Victoria are experiencing ridiculously bureaucratic, illogical and unequal treatment. For us, in areas with low (or no) coronavirus cases, the purported cures are actually more disruptive than the disease.