Lockdown No 6 of Australia's second-biggest city Melbourne will be extended, authorities announced today as the State's lawmakers struggle to quash a stubborn coronavirus Delta variant outbreak. Almost seven million people in Melbourne and surrounding Victoria state were scheduled to exit a four-week lockdown on Thursday, but state premier Dan Andrews said it would no longer be possible with case numbers rising by 92 overnight. It is the city's sixth lockdown of the pandemic, and includes a curfew, the closure of playgrounds and strict limits on exercise.
Melbourne now marks a cumulative total of 210 days of COVID-19 lockdowns since the pandemic began. Businesses that have up till now stayed open are struggling to survive with more and more closing down permanently. School schedules have been disrupted with many children disadvantaged by non-F2F learning. Many people have lost their jobs and livelihood. Relationships have frayed and families are struggling to maintain much-needed contact with loved ones at a distance. Hospitals are refusing to treat patients due for "elective" procedures and visiting loved ones in hospital is well nigh impossible. The psychological burden for many is proving to be untenable and people are cracking under the strain.
In the meantime, the vaccine roll-out has been bungled and the public has been confused and misled by mixed messaging from bickering politicians and public health "experts" who cannot agree on basic principles of epidemiology. Political games and opportunism are rife, while misinformed civil libertarians are putting themselves and others at risk by their reckless behaviour and vociferous baseless ranting. O tempora, o mores...
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