For the first time in months, I went outside yesterday without wearing a mask. I’ve heard others comment that it felt as if they went about naked. I didn’t feel that, but it was odd and quite liberating.
The routine of wearing a mask became ingrained quickly. There were missteps along the way – everyone has a story about how they’ve gone out forgetting to wear their mask – but generally, it became habitual before leaving the house – wallet, keys, phone and yes, the mask.
Dogs are very observant beasts and slaves to ritual. It got so that every time I put on my mask, Rigby would get excited because it meant I was going outside. Now that’s changed/
The requirement to wear a mask out in the open was eased at 12.01 am on Sunday night. You have to carry your mask with you and must still wear it when in an enclosed place, or where the crowd makes physical distancing difficult. But walking the dog, I no longer need it, nor walking to the shops.
Things have opened up more generally since the weekend. It’s not back to normal, but you wouldn’t really notice the difference through the course of a typical day. The restrictions are at the margins now, and by degree, rather than front and centre as they were for so long.
I’ll say it again: that we have made it to this point is a testament to the good sense of people of this state and the leadership that held firm to scientific principles.
While the pandemic ravages much of Europe and the states, peaking further each day; and while it re-asserts itself in places where it had become dormant, such as Japan, we in Australia can look forward to a safe and relatively healthy Christmas, touch wood. We have been lucky on many counts, but we have also worked hard – and here, in Victoria, we fought it back.
The war is not won, but there are now several promising vaccines being tested. By the first quarter next year some, at least, should be released for use.
We need to survive till then. I’m confident we can do it in Oz. But in other places, I wonder how many more must die until that salvation comes?