The Clayton’s lockdown

I hope everyone’s doing okay.

The widespread view is that government mismanagement has made this latest outbreak far worse than it needs to be.

They don’t want more lockdowns – perhaps fair enough given high rates of vaccination – but they’re not ensuring the testing (PCR and Rapid Antigen Test) capacity can properly handle it.

The economy is clearly winding down. This graph shows travel demand (measured by Facebook mobility data, so not perfect, but certainly indicative) since the pandemic began:

Travel demand
via Jason Thompson and Rohan Byrne

Actual traffic data shows a similar story. It’s not a lockdown, but travel demand is definitely down.

With the virus rampant, many people are avoiding travel, either making their own choices or due to isolation rules when exposed.

Laying low

I’m laying low by choice. Plenty of people have caught COVID-19, and Brad Hazzard reckons everyone will get Omicron, but I’m in no hurry.

There’s the impact on hospitals, the potential for longterm effects, and even for the triple-vaxed it’s not always easy going.

So I’m choosing to avoid risk where I can: minimising my shopping, making supermarket visits when it’s quiet, and avoiding events, and got a refund on concert tickets.

I went to some gatherings of friends and family at Christmas – with people using RATs and eating outdoors to help make it safe – this was before RATs got so scarce.

I’m privileged that I can Work From Home. I’m lucky that my kids are grown and moved out. It’s not so easy when family members are attending childcare or on-site part time work. Not everyone can make the choices I’m making.

And I realise I’m being quite cautious. Not everybody who can make these those choices will make them – but based on the travel data, quite a few people are.

Omicron will eventually peak and subside, but that’s how I’m looking at it for now.

Whatever you’re doing, hope you’re doing okay.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

4 replies on “The Clayton’s lockdown”

It took me a while but I guess I’m starting to accept that a lot of people want less restrictions at this stage (even if I’m not comfortable with it). However, seeing that all this is announced and planned in advance, I can also start to understand why people are angered or distressed that there are not enough rapid test kits and other forms of contingency seems to be lacking to ensure that hospitalisation rates stays low and facilities available for people of other medical needs remain available.

As I work in IT and my work involves a lot of hands-on hardware work and I continue to travel by PT to get to my workplace, I am just glad that I managed to get my booster shot recently after having snapped up an appointment in advance. I hope that booster shots remain available for others.

Yeah. Lots of people laying low at the moment. So many people I know or work with have COVID. Up until a couple of months ago I didn’t personally know anyone who had COVID.
I’m glad you got a refund easily for your tickets. I feel sorry for the performers and venue staff – but you can’t blame patrons for erring on the side of caution

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