When there is an outbreak of Covid-19 and the South Australian State Premier enforces a six-day ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown, that’s when. I kid you not! You’d think that you were in some kind of cheesy Netflix series, but I honestly could not make this shit up.
The details: We woke on Monday morning to the news of an outbreak in the northern suburbs of Adelaide; that’s ok, we will be nowhere near there; a mere 13 cases. For some reading this, it is an unimaginable tiny figure compared to what your countries are grappling with on a daily basis. Australian authorities jump on these outbreaks fast and as a result, were able to trace the outbreak back to hotel quarantine where returning overseas residents spend their first 14 nights on Australian soil. By Wednesday morning the number of community cases had jumped to about 30 with 4000 known contacts already in isolation. This is fast- moving and how to get on top of a pandemic outbreak – isn’t it?
I arrived in Adelaide at midday on Wednesday 18th November and by 12.30 pm I was listening to the State Premier’s live press conference in the car with my son. We couldn’t quite believe our ears as he announced that a ‘circuit-breaker’ six-day hard lockdown would be enforced at 11.59pm that evening, and yes, you’ve guessed it, all weddings and funerals were ‘banned’ (he didn’t even use the word postponed). Disbelief, anger, dismay, and sadness were just some of the emotions coursing through me at that precise point in time. My son verbalised his with a string of expletives. Then we just sat in stunned silence. With just two days to the wedding and after seven months of zero community transmission, this is what you might call rotten luck. I called it something else but can’t possibly publish that here.
We just had a few hours before lockdown and even though the supermarkets and essential shops like butchers, greengrocers and pharmacies would remain open, everyone panicked including us. By the time we decided to stock up, the shops and roads were heaving – worse than heaving – gridlocked! There were no trollies or baskets available to us so we used our reusable shopping bags to load up our essentials – including a cuddly toy, a dog bed and Christmas cake (I told you we were in a state of shocked-panic. Please note that we DID NOT purchase one single roll of toilet paper and I noticed that there was still plenty of this available. The wait for the check-out took about an hour -the staff were stressed as you can imagine.
We commenced our lockdown, Flossy and her partner, plus Ziggy and Polly the Kelpie/border collies, two house-mates and me. Yes, the dogs were in it with us. We weren’t even permitted to walk them. The only time we were allowed out was to go and purchase essentials – we could not pass Go or collect $200. Just there and back and on one’s own.
The bride-and-groom-to-be decided to announce their secret news – originally intended to be incorporated into the wedding ceremony – that they are expecting a baby! Not only was that surprise part of the ceremony but also the gender reveal was to be too! (I hope you are keeping up with all this!)
By day two (Friday) the announcement came that our hard lockdown was being lifted; someone who tested positive had lied to contact tracers. Thanks a lot buddy!!
I’m hoping that I can hit the Publish key before there are any further updates to this saga but before I do, I am delighted to announce that the wedding is being hastily pulled together for the day after tomorrow – oh, and it’s a boy!
More to come!