Well there we were patting ourselves on the back, congratulating ourselves on how well we were handling the coronavirus when suddenly a pack of inconsiderate Victorians starting getting diseased and making our numbers look bad. Recently reopened borders have been hastily amended with crayon additions saying "except Victoria". Suddenly Victoria is the state nobody wants to associate with which at least makes a refreshing change from Queensland.
It is important not to take this out of context. This is definitely not a "second wave" as Victoria's Chief Plague Doctor assured disappointed journalists looking for a headline. No, it is simply a large and unexpected increase in cases after we thought we had things under control. Definitely not a second wave at all. In fact we don't even have a definition of a second wave and it might not actually exist, so there. Possibly we could call it the First Wave A.
I only have one friend who lives in Victoria and I'm pleased to say that
he's a picture of health despite living in a suburb where apparently
the dead carts rumble through the streets on a daily basis. I was
thinking of dropping in to visit him but after immature reflection I've decided to wait for a year or two. After all, I saw him eighteen months ago and I don't want him to think I'm clingy.
The sudden (definitely not wave related) explosion of cases in Victoria is particularly disappointing to me because my Tasmanian correspondent excitedly informed me recently that Tasmania is intending to open its borders quite soon and I could visit. Unfortunately flights to Tasmania tend to go through Melbourne and anybody arriving in Tasmania from Melbourne is currently being "made safe" with a controlled explosion at the airport. I may have to delay my visit for a while. Since the "attractions" of the visit according to my correspondent involved bushwalking in midwinter, psychotic dogs and a bath full of fish its probably fair to say I'll be able to contain my disappointment.
Back in my home state the premier announced that she wouldn't close the border with Victoria. She simply suggested that we let the Victorians know that they aren't welcome here. She didn't put it quite like that but it was a lot closer to that than you might expect from a professional politician. The problem with the NSW/Victorian border is that there are a lot of places where you can cross. Western Australia was able to seal its border largely because there's only about two roads going in to the state and if you leave them not only will you die but it will take the authorities up to a year to find your body. Assuming they bother to look.
With social shunning of Victorians now escalated as an official response to the outbreak (rather than the amusing passtime that it used to be) our premier also took the opportunity to demand that all the other states open their borders to NSW and pointed out, rather ungraciously, that most of their economies depended on ours in some way. I don't know if that's true, I do know its probably not particularly helpful to be stating it publicly.
My war gaming club which meets at Paddington RSL will have the opportunity for its first face to face meeting this weekend. I'm not sure if I'm going to go. Most of the people there are only a gentle breeze away from the grave in any event and I'd hate it if one of us were responsible for a sudden cluster in Paddington. They'd probably close the place down again for several months and delay us even more.
In the meantime if you see any Victorians don't look the other way and treat them as though they didn't exist. Show some compassion. Give them a wave.