Tuesday 7 July 2020


“I often think that the night is more alive and more richly coloured than the day.” - Vincent Van Gogh 

Welcome to the Travel Tuesday meme! Join me every Tuesday and showcase your creativity in photography, painting and drawing, music, poetry, creative writing or a plain old natter about Travel.

There is only one simple rule: Link your own creative work about some aspect of travel and share it with the rest of us. Please use this meme for your creative endeavours only.

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After a record spike in coronavirus cases in Victoria yesterday, our Premier Daniel Andrews announced the border with NSW would be closing. This is the first time in 100 years the border between the nation’s two most populous states has closed, and the last closure was also due to a pandemic, the Spanish ‘flu of 1919.

Victoria recorded its largest daily increase of 127 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, 16 more than the previous peak of 111 cases on March 28. A second wave of an epidemic could be defined as the return of an outbreak where the numbers of new daily cases reach a peak as high or higher than the original one. Melbourne is unfortunately experiencing just that, with nearly 200 new cases recorded today and another two COVID-19 deaths.

This week, the Victorian government placed the residents of nine public housing towers in inner Melbourne under “hard lockdown” due to the “explosive potential” of increasing COVID-19 cases.  The lockdown requires all residents of these estates to remain inside their homes for at least five days, placing around 3,000 residents under special punitive measures that apply to none other in Victoria. The lockdown is being enforced by a significant police presence on the estates, with officers on every floor, with no warning and with immediate effect.

Other outbreak areas have been given more than 24 hours’ notice for similar numbers of coronavirus cases. For example, an outbreak in the more affluent Mornington Peninsula has not been met with the same Draconian restrictions. The government’s justification for this action is that residents of public housing are vulnerable and living in high density with many shared spaces. But this is true of any large apartment building in Melbourne. Public housing for the underprivileged in Melbourne, however, has long been a neglected area of care and numerous problems have been chronically associated with it.

The poor and underprivileged, the homeless and the unemployed, the drug addicts and the have-nots are more vulnerable to many of society’s ills and it is harder to reach out to them and help them actively in times of crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic is now proving to be a case in point and unless a greater community effort to help these more susceptible people is undertaken, then Victoria’s outbreak may become a national problem with second wave outbreaks appearing in other states.

Tomorrow at midnight, Melbourne will go into lockdown again in a renewed attempt to stem the return of unchecked infection rates and even more deaths. We have been complacent and the lackadaisical amongst us have allowed the virus to spread, threatening the whole community once again. Stage 3 restrictions in Melbourne means another wave of isolation, enforced social distancing, the closing of gyms, restaurants, hotels, shops with non-essential wares, and of course the stopping of travel.

Looking out on the Yarra River at night, the invisible enemy at the heart of the pandemic is even better camouflaged by the darkness and the shimmer of the reflected multicoloured lights. Pretty images such as this are full of hidden dangers. Complacency and ignoring the advice of experts puts everyone at risk. Over-enthusiastic and misinformed politicians who ignore the warnings of medical experts, in an attempt to restart economies and generate “prosperity” are dangerous and morally reprehensible. Success at the polls and making of the rich richer should not be the priority in these times of crisis when one false step is followed by a return of increased COVID-19 death rates.

A grim Travel Tuesday this week, but I am writing this in a city under a renewed quarantine, where a greater infection risk and the possibility of an unpleasant death have reared their ugly head again. Take care, look after yourself, your loved ones, your community. The world in the past has survived numerous pandemics, a great many economic crises, countless social upheavals, wars, revolutions and the rule of a host of demented, violent and megalomaniac dictators. It is up to us now in these trying times to show a greater intelligence and solidarity in order to overcome this renewed threat. Be wise and prudent and survive. Dead people cannot revive flagging economies. Survivors can rebuild prosperity. The night may be dark, but countless small lights illuminate our lives with multicoloured brilliance and give us hope.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.
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