Opinion

Fleeing lockdown? What were you thinking?

Ian Bushnell14 August 2021
Coast traffic on Nelligan bridge

Coast traffic on Nelligan bridge on Thursday afternoon. Photo: Kellie Whittington.

If you’re one of those Canberrans who fled the capital to the South Coast as soon as the COVID lockdown was announced, shame on you.

Yesterday afternoon a convoy of vehicles lined the Kings Highway on the way to their coastal bolt holes or hastily booked accommodation to wait out some or all of the seven-day period.

Sure, you may not have been anywhere near the list of contact sites, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t come into contact with someone else who was.

This is delta, super transmissible, a threat to young and old alike, and even in some cases vaccine-resistant.

How will you feel if you start to show symptoms in a few days and realise that due to your selfishness, this dangerous variant has made its way to the South Coast, expanding the virus’s reach?

What part of the ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr’s message to go home and stay there didn’t you understand?

Why did you feel you were exempted from doing what the rest of Canberra felt obliged to do?

Didn’t you consider what the people of the South Coast might think about a sudden influx of people from the latest COVID hot spot?

When your lot swamped testing sites on the coast when you got down there yesterday, didn’t you realise that your actions undermined the very purpose of the lockdown?

And just because you might be lucky to have a holiday home down there doesn’t make you a local, no matter how much you might say you’re supporting struggling local businesses.


READ MORE: Rural risk to unvaccinated ‘getting higher every day’


Canberrans had been counting their blessing while the other capitals and regions succumbed to lockdowns, with some even joking that the much-maligned bubble was keeping us safe.

But many of us, and the government, knew that it was becoming harder and harder to avoid the fallout from Sydney where ‘go early, go hard’ has been spurned for a peculiarly NSW approach.

How’s that working for you, Gladys?

Mr Barr wasn’t about to make the same mistake and could not have been any clearer about what Canberrans needed to do.

The only issue is why he left the lockdown until 5:00 pm, giving the entitled plenty of time to beat it to the coast.

OK, there may be practical reasons to give people some reasonable notice, but COVID flight seems to be a recurring theme of lockdown announcements as people flee to safe havens, unaffected areas or other states.

You might even still work from down there, and I bet the laptop was one of the first things packed.

Hell, being a forward-thinking organised Canberran usually relied on to hit your targets, you may have been already kitted up, ready to go when the inevitable happened.

Enjoy your freedom but remember this: it’s not just taking COVID with you that’s possible, you could also bring it back.

All in this together?

Note that some of the ones you left behind have kept their dignity.

The panic shopping that marked yesterday afternoon was ridiculous.

queues in coles Woden past the toilet paper

Canberrans rushed to the supermarkets despite being told that supermarkets will remain stocked throughout the lockdown. Photo: Lottie Twyford.

Being told there was no need to stock up seemed only to feed the fervour as frantic shoppers poured into supermarkets, forming long queues.

So you may want to toss an extra pack of loo paper in the 4WD before heading back, just in case.

Original Article published by Ian Bushnell on The RiotACT.

What's Your Opinion?

3 Responses to Fleeing lockdown? What were you thinking?

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Ulrike Zachmann Ulrike Zachmann 9:50 am 16 Aug 21

Yep that was the reason Covid traveled to regional areas. People hear the word lock down and off they go somewhere else, those that can do so. I remember the lock down that was not a lock down at all in Bondi. Ah people shopped got their hair and nails done and frolicked on the beach with gay abandon. The failure to enforce mandatory mask wearing in shopping centres and public transport was shameful. The whole thing was shameful as well as Gladys’s almost anti masker stance where she said that masks were just the last in a line of prevention measures and not that effective. Now she changes her tune. Also you couldn’t get a vaccination anywhere even while they bleated on about vaccinate vaccinate. Well it could be seen coming back in June. They knew or could not claim not to know how infectious the Delta variant was as they ample warning from over seas. What can you say to such a ship of fools?

Jenny Phillips Jenny Phillips 7:58 pm 14 Aug 21

Could not have said any better. I live in regional Victoria so I am well aware of the issues relating to virus spread and lockdown. NSW should have been completely locked down when the virus first made its appearance, now its spreading like a wide fire and its will take time and a lot of effort and compliance before we are all save both regionally and in our cities.

Di Hall Di Hall 6:28 pm 14 Aug 21

So well said. Bloody selfish people!! The reason we are in lockdown. Shame shame!!

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