Persistent Pandemic mars 2021

People queue for a vaccine. 246845_16 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Marcus Uhe and Shelby Brooks

After the horrors of 2020, we all thought Covid-19 was behind us, but before long we were back into the familiar constraints of a lockdown.

We first went into a circuit breaker lockdown between 12 to 17 February amid chaotic scenes at the Australian Open as fans were removed from the stands mid-game to comply with stay-at-home orders.

After a locked-down Valentine’s Day we had 14 weeks of bliss where community events, including the winter sports which completely missed-out on their 2020 season, made a rollicking return.

But as the days got shorter and the maximum temperatures plummeted, case numbers began to rise, sending us into a 14-day lockdown from Monday 28 May to Thursday June 10.

By then frontline workers had begun to get vaccinated in what was our best strategy to combat the pandemic.

We would go on to spend the entire winter bouncing in-and-out of various restrictions regarding hospitality, visitors and mask requirements.

Between Friday 16 July and Tuesday 27 July we were back in our homes as the Delta variant tightened its grip.

We were granted just seven days of freedom before we received the dreaded news that we would be back under stay-at-home orders for our sixth lockdown for what was initially expected to last just one week.

One week became two and before we knew it was 21 October when we emerged from our enforced winter hibernation and began readjusting to a new ‘Covid-normal’.

Casey and Greater Dandenong LGAs were considered Covid-19 epicentres in November due to persistent high case numbers and low vaccination numbers.

In late October Casey hit a peak of active cases with 2617 in the community.

Even late in the year, December saw the emergence of our newest holiday season ornament, the Omicron variant, hanging around like a nosey relative on Christmas day.

In early December the City of Casey had the unwanted recognition of being one of the first LGA’s in Melbourne to record a positive case of the variant.

This Christmas remember to follow the health advice and get your booster shot when available to give us our best chance of making the pandemic yesterday’s news.