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Postcard from Lockdown

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END OF DAY 22: 21 DAYS TO GO...AT LEAST
Cases in Victoria in the Past 24 Hours: 723 new cases (5385 active cases) 105 lives lost.

Today was the darkest day in the fight against coronavirus, in which there were 723 new cases here in Victoria and sadly 13 lives were lost, 10 of which were in aged care homes across Melbourne. With the increase in cases, chances of lockdown ending in a couple of weeks are getting more and more remote by the day. It looks like the second wave of coronavirus is taking its toll. What is disgusting is that tomorrow at the Shrine of Remembrance, there will be anti-mask protests, mostly by right-wing conspiracy theorists (as you may remember from my post from a couple of days ago, have cited the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the reason why they are not wearing masks, even though the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is NOT enshrined in Australian law, and how many of these people who cite this document believe in human rights for everyone?). Black Lives Matter protests forbidden, but anti-mask conspiracy theorists protests are allowed is beyond me?

In just a few hours, new restrictions will come into force in the local government areas of Colac-Otway, Greater Geelong, Surf Coast, Moorabool, Golden Plains and the Borough of Queenscliffe (you can check out the restrictions for these areas at Department of Health and Human Services Victoria | Updated restrictions - announced 30 July).

As you may remember a couple of weeks ago, my laptop crashed, wiping everything (including the operating system), including the password to my previous account (indigohex2). Well, the good news is that it was fixed with a new hard drive, so I am using it as a spare in case something happens to this one. I did a lot of the online course today, and in fact, I have just finished it. I am looking for a new one to keep me sane, as well as learn something new.

Sometimes, something that is massive and that occurs on a global level makes you reflect on what you want to do with your life. And no doubt coronavirus is making me reflect on my life. Throughout this journal, you may be aware that I hope to teach English in South Korea. Well, throughout the coronavirus pandemic, I have been questioning whether it is a good idea (I struggled in a TESOL course I did last year, so I am wondering if teaching English is for me), and while going to Korea is still a goal for me, I am beginning to wonder should I do a course there and hopefully get a job there afterwards, or stick with my intended goal of teaching English. I know there are a lot of videos on YouTube about people getting non-teaching jobs in Korea, including the media. I remember in 2016, I hosted a show on campus radio and I enjoyed it, so I feel that the media may be a better option for me.

TOMORROW: Study Korean and listen to the radio.

See you tomorrow.
 
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END OF DAY 23: 20 DAYS TO GO...AT LEAST
Cases in Victoria in the Past 24 Hours: 627 new cases (5743 active cases) 113 lives lost

Today was another dark day for Victoria with 627 new cases in Victoria and 8 lives lost in the past 24 hours. There is word coming from the media that an announcement to make lockdown more strict in Melbourne will be made in the next couple of days, pending an agreement between the Victorian Government and the Federal Government. As Australians know, the Federal Government (led by the Liberal* Party led by Prime Minister Scott "Scotty from Marketing" Morrison) has been placing greater emphasis on opening up the economy following the first wave of coronavirus, which was in my honest opinion to be too soon to open the economy. For example, in my honest opinion, you can rebuild the economy after the coronavirus, but lives cannot be replaced, and I think saving people's lives should take precedent over saving the economy. Look what happened in the United States of America and several other countries, in which their leaders opened up too soon.

But unfortunately, the extreme right (the Church of the United Kingdom of Australia) protested against wearing masks at the Shrine of Remembrance this morning, and even though I am against war, I feel for war veterans, in which these far-right wing conspiracy theorists chose a site in which the war dead are remembered to push their poisonous and selfish views.

But on a lighter note, Prof. Brett Sutton (who is the Chief Medical Officer here in Victoria) is developed a cult following throughout Australia, with people designing merchandise with his face on it (not endorsed by Prof. Brett Sutton), and this was mentioned on The Project last night.

For me, I have started a new online course (to keep me sane in what could likely be an extended lockdown here in Melbourne) and listened to the radio. I also watched some television tonight. I am currently listening to a podcast I just downloaded from player.fm and looking at the latest news from the region.

TOMORROW: I will be listening to the radio, and following the news on coronavirus here in Victoria (extended lockdown to be announced sometime in the next couple of days).

See you tomorrow.

* The Liberal Party in Australia is actually conservative and not liberal.
 
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Shout outs from Perth LOL! Today I went to a local cafe for breakfast with my gf and her friend and the place was totally packed and everyone was having a good time.

Gunna keep that border closed forever and declare ourselves independent :)
 
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END OF DAY 24: 19 DAYS TO GO...AT LEAST???
Cases In Victoria in the Past 24 Hours: 397 new cases (5919 active cases) 116 lives lost.

Firstly, I am so jealous of you McGeeforShee as Perth is currently not in lockdown, but you could soon be in lockdown. We can only get takeaway here due to restrictions here in Melbourne.

Seriously, as early as tomorrow, we could find out if lockdown becomes more strict here in Melbourne. There are idiots here in Melbourne, including one who drove from Melbourne to Wodonga just to get a Big Mac who is ruining it for everyone, and as a result of these idiots, we could be in more strict lockdown. Some of these people are just plain selfish, putting their own interests ahead of the interests of the community as a whole.

So what would a more strict lockdown look like? There is a possibility that everything but the essentials (supermarkets, pharmacies and doctor's clinics) will be forced to shut their doors, and shopping will be limited to weekly. Currently, only a limited number of people can be in stores, but at my local shopping centre (Watergardens), almost all the speciality stores are closed, as well as beauty salons and laser clinics (who needs those sort of stores anyway?). Exercise will also be limited (it is currently one of four valid reasons to be outside your home). We Melbourians will find out as early as tomorrow morning if Melbourne goes into a more strict lockdown. I feel that I am prepared for a more strict lockdown, as I don't need to go out as much.

I mostly listened to the radio today, as well as an online course. I also watched some television tonight.

I haven't done this before, but I will share some of the statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services here in Victoria (where I get the statistics you see at the top of each and every post I make), and if you're a resident of Brimbank (which includes Yours Truly), it's not good news with Brimbank having the highest amount of active cases with 684 active cases, followed by Wyndham with 676 active cases and Hume with 462 active cases. But ever, Wyndham is on top with 1133 confirmed cases throughout the pandemic, followed by Brimbank at 1060 and Hume with 968 (Department of Health and Human Services Victoria | Coronavirus update for Victoria - 1 August 2020).

TOMORROW: Listen to the radio.

See you tomorrow.
 
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END OF DAY 25: 42 DAYS TO GO...AT LEAST
Cases in Victoria in the Past 24 Hours: 671 new cases (6322 active cases) 123 lives lost

Firstly, I need to acknowledge something. As you may be aware, last night's post had 19 days to go until lockdown ends, yet tonight, it says 42 days to go. This is NOT A MISTAKE, as Melbourne is now in a State of Disaster (Stage 4 restrictions), and I am now under curfew (2000-0500 every night), and now we have another 42 days to go...at least? The State of Disaster started at 1800 tonight (Department of Health and Human Services Victoria | Premier's statement on changes to Melbourne’s restrictions). I think this is because some people (mostly right-wing conspiracy theorists, but some selfish people as well) decided to bend the rules, and now everyone has to pay the price. For example, a couple of nights ago, I put up how someone drove from Dandenong to South Yarra for a 7-11 coffee, and last night, someone from Melbourne to Wodonga for a Big Mac. Well, there are repercussions from these selfish acts, and now we pay the price for these examples of selfishness.

In case you are wondering, the new restrictions (from the Department of Health and Human Services) are:

  • Victoria will enter a State of Disaster from 6pm on 2 August until Sunday 13 September. This will give police additional powers to make sure people are complying with public health directions.
  • Melbourne will move to stage 4 restrictions from 6pm on 2 August 2020.
  • A curfew will be implemented across Melbourne from 8pm to 5am. The only reason to leave home during these times will be work, medical care and caregiving.
  • New duration, distance and gathering limits will apply to shopping and exercise. Exercise will be limited to one hour a day within a five-kilometre radius of your home. Group size will be limited to two, regardless of if you are in the same household or not.
  • Shopping for essentials will be limited to one person per household per day. A five-kilometre limit will apply.
  • Regional Victoria will move to stage 3 restrictions from 11.59pm Wednesday 5 August 2020. There will only be four reasons to leave home; for food and supplies, medical care and caregiving, exercise and work or study, if you can’t work or study from home.
  • Mitchell Shire will remain at stage 3 restrictions.
  • All Victorian students will move to remote learning from Wednesday 5 August.
  • From 11:59pm on Sunday 2 August 2020 all Victorian’s must wear a face covering when leaving home.
We will get more information tomorrow when the next press conference will take place tomorrow morning. These restrictions will only affect Metropolitan Melbourne, with regional Victoria (including Mitchell Shire Council) going to Stage 3 on Thursday. If you would like to see the full statistics from today, you can check out this website (Department of Health and Human Services Victoria | Coronavirus (COVID-19) daily update).

Today was mostly waiting for the press conference, which occurred at 1430 today when the new restrictions were announced. I also had issues with the internet this morning due to Telstra being affected by an error, which caused the internet to go down, but it was back up early this afternoon.

TOMORROW: Homework Club is on tomorrow (via Zoom), and I will be watching television tomorrow night.

See you tomorrow, when it is 41 days until the end of lockdown.
 
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END OF DAY 26: 41 DAYS TO GO...AT LEAST
Cases in Victoria in the Past 24 Hours: 429 new cases (6489 active cases) 136 lives lost

Well, it is Day 2 of Stage 4 restrictions (which includes a curfew between 2000 and 0500), and once again, it is curfew. Today, the press conference was at around 1530, which meant I only watched the first 15 minutes or so of the press conference before Homework Club began, so I missed the jest of it, but I got the basic information of businesses that are required to close (which you can view at the following website- Department of Health and Human Services Victoria | Premier's statement on business restrictions). As mentioned last night, pharmacies and supermarkets are to remain open, but with supermarkets, closure will be at 1945, 15 minutes before curfew begins. On the other hand, hardware stores (such as Bunnings) will be closed to the public, as well as beauty salons and hairdressers. Again, you can read it on the Press Release from Daniel Andrews on the link embedded in this paragraph.

Today was Homework Club day (being Monday). Apart from that (and watching television tonight and going for a quick walk this afternoon), there was nothing much over the past day (although I am listening to a podcast from Australian Foreign Affairs, which I am listening to at this precise moment about Australia's dependence on the United States).

TOMORROW: I will be reading and studying Korean. I will also be keeping up with the news from around the world.

See you tomorrow.
 
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END OF DAY 27: 40 DAYS TO GO...AT LEAST?
Cases in Victoria in the Past 24 Hours: 439 new cases (6706 active cases) 147 lives lost

We are almost at the end of the first month of lockdown here in Melbourne, and it is more strict than it originally was. As you may remember last month, Melbourne was at Stage 3 restrictions, and now we are at Stage 4, which includes a curfew from 2000-0500. It was absolutely freezing this morning, and when I went for a walk, it was around 6 degrees Celsius. AND IT WAS AROUND 1300 WHEN I WENT FOR THE WALK. I later did a short course online. Tonight, I watched television, and then listened to the radio. I am currently listening to a podcast I just downloaded.

I will go through some of the statistics (courtesy of the following link: Department of Health and Human Services Victoria | Coronavirus update for Victoria - 4 August 2020). NOTE: The following list is the top 10 local government areas, please click on the above link for more information.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREACONFIRMED CASES (EVER)ACTIVE CASES (CURRENTLY)
WYNDHAM1290766
BRIMBANK1192749
HUME1054491
WHITTLESEA723464
MELTON619404
MORELAND680376
CASEY539310
MELBOURNE692298
MOONEE VALLEY584232
MARIBYRNONG350206
UNKNOWN CASES190186
TOTAL123356706
And while there are 6706 active cases here in Victoria, I should acknowledge that 5283 people have recovered from coronavirus.


TOMORROW: I will be attending a webinar tomorrow night.

See you tomorrow.
 
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END OF DAY 28: 39 DAYS TO GO...AT LEAST?
Cases in Victoria in the Past 24 Hours: 725 new cases (7227 active cases) 162 lives lost (+15 today)

Today was the darkest day for Victoria in the pandemic with 725 new cases (a record) and 15 deaths (a record). And while we are now under curfew (its past 2200 here in Melbourne), Stage 4 restrictions officially begins tonight. I watched Seven News at 4 this afternoon, and they showed images of CityLink at 2100 last night...GHOST TOWN. Seriously, I remember one time (I think it was last year), I was driving on CityLink (the western section that continues on from the Tullamarine Freeway) and there was more traffic on CityLink at midnight that night than at 2100 last night.

There were also rumors today that Prof. Brett Sutton resigned as Victoria's Chief Medical Officer, but from what I am hearing, it is not true and that he is taking a few days off.

Today, I went to the webinar that was out of Tasmania (I watched it from Melbourne through the magic of Zoom), and it was very good. I also watched some television tonight (just watched Retrograde, and next week is the last episode, and the end I felt a bit jealous for the characters).

For those who (like me) are from Melbourne, guidelines for Stage 4 restrictions are now available from the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria website (Department of Health and Human Services Victoria | Stage 4 restrictions). And remember, curfew is from 2000-0500. Regional Victoria (including Mitchell Shire Council) moves to Stage 3 restrictions (Department of Health and Human Services Victoria | Stage 3 restrictions).

And now, the return of the table (Department of Health and Human Services Victoria | Coronavirus update for Victoria - 5 August 2020).

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREACONFIRMED CASES (EVER)CURRENT CASES (ACTIVE)
WYNDHAM1397860
BRIMBANK1251791
HUME1114528
WHITTLESEA780509
MELTON658434
MORELAND714394
CASEY564326
MELBOURNE703299
MOONEE VALLEY598238
MARIBYRNONG383234
OVERSEAS50
UNKNOWN206201
TOTAL130357227

TOMORROW: I am attending another webinar tomorrow night.

See you tomorrow.
 
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END OF DAY 29: 38 DAYS TO GO...AT LEAST?
Cases in Victoria in the Past 24 Hours: 471 new cases (7449 active cases) 170 lives lost (+8 lives lost)

Firstly, I didn't mention this last night, but yesterday was 4 weeks into the second lockdown here in Melbourne (it was Stage 3 at the time), and now we are into Week 5. 471 new cases over the past 24 hours, meaning there is 7449 active cases and closing to 1.8 million tests. I watched the news today, and the city was more like a ghost town with many businesses closed due to Stage 4 restrictions.

I went for a walk early this afternoon, and it was pretty quiet in the neighbourhood. I also attended a webinar which was about the outlook for nuclear disarmament (which coincidentally was held on the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima), and we should ban all nuclear weapons in my honest opinion. I watched a bit of television, before listening to the radio after 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (which I watched on SBS Viceland).

And now the grim table of the top 10 local government areas in Victoria (Department of Health and Human Services Victoria | Coronavirus update for Victoria - 6 August 2020)

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREACONFIRMED CASES (EVER)CURRENT CASES (ACTIVE)
WYNDHAM1466906
BRIMBANK1304813
HUME1166559
WHITTLESEA806518
MELBOURNE715294
MORELAND715386
MELTON687449
MOONEE VALLEY616246
CASEY579330
DAREBIN394233
OVERSEAS50
UNKNOWN213206
TOTAL134697449
As you may be aware, people are learning new skills during lockdown, and there was an interesting article on the website of The Economist which I saw earlier tonight about people learning a new instrument (The benefits of learning an instrument in lockdown, you may have to register to access the article). I remember when I was in primary school, I took keyboard classes (at school), but I stopped at the end of Grade 4. I am learning a language, which I will do tomorrow (after putting it off for the past week) with the goal of moving overseas in the next couple of years.


TOMORROW: Learning Korean, and keeping up to date with the news.

See you tomorrow.
 
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END OF DAY 30: 37 DAYS TO GO...AT LEAST?
Cases in Victoria in the Past 24 Hours: 450 new cases (7637 active cases) 181 lives lost (+8 deaths)

Well, 30 days since lockdown begun here in Melbourne. Looking back at the past month, I didn't get to do everything I wanted to do in the first month, but I will get around to do it in the next couple of weeks. And I learned a bit of history on the forums tonight in regards to the 1918 flu. Everyone knows that there has been anti-mask protests occurring around the world, but this also happened in 1918.

Firstly, I did some of the online course, and I might take a break from it over the weekend and concentrate on learning Korean over the weekend. I also watched some television tonight and checked out the latest news from around the world. I am also wondering what I would do next year as it is unlikely that I will be able to go overseas to teach English or to study, as Australia's borders are unlikely to open until mid-2021 at the earliest. This could give me more time to learn Korean.

And now, the grim reality of the the top 10 Local Government Areas (Department of Health and Human Services Victoria | Coronavirus update for Victoria - 07 August 2020)

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREACONFIRMED CASES (EVER)CURRENT CASES (ACTIVE)
WYNDHAM1496910
BRIMBANK1375849
HUME1195567
WHITTLESEA830526
MORELAND738401
MELTON732484
MELBOURNE719295
MOONEE VALLEY624245
CASEY596343
DAREBIN413245
OVERSEAS50
UNKNOWN217206
TOTAL138677637

TOMORROW: I will be listening to the radio tomorrow.

See you tomorrow.
 
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END OF DAY 31: 36 DAYS TO GO...AT LEAST?
Cases in Victoria in the Past 24 Hours: 466 new cases (7808 active cases) 193 deaths (+12 deaths)

It is the end of Day 31, and I don't want to curse my home town (Melbourne) and my home state (Victoria), but I think the cases are stabilising (expect a big jump tomorrow). Sadly, 12 deaths in the past 24 hours, including a man in his 30s. We are now close to 1.8 million tests for coronavirus.

Today, I mainly listened to the radio during the day and watched a bit of television tonight (Only Connect, which is a UK game show that airs on SBS Viceland seems a bit hard to understand, but I am getting used to it). And finally, I got around to study Korean, which I will be doing a lot of tomorrow. Apart from that (and watching the press conference from our Premier this morning) and going for a walk, I didn't do much today.

And now the grim figures for today, and it is the top 10 local government areas (Department of Health and Human Services Victoria | Coronavirus update for Victoria - 08 August 2020):
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREACONFIRMED CASES (EVER)CURRENT CASES (ACTIVE)
WYNDHAM1539920
BRIMBANK1430863
HUME1237590
WHITTLESEA874557
MORELAND751404
MELTON747488
MELBOURNE729296
MOONEE VALLEY636253
CASEY607349
DAREBIN425254
INTERSTATE9313
OVERSEAS61
UNKNOWN227211
TOTAL142837808

TOMORROW: Study Korean and listen to the radio.

See you tomorrow.
 
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