Regional Victorians wake today to a slightly different world to the one we shared yesterday, but for many, the struggles of trying to earn a living through the pandemic remains just as real.
Fortunately, we've earnt some respite and our restrictions were dialled back from yesterday, but the rules now in place still prohibit many businesses from trading at anywhere near profitable levels.
At the risk of overlooking many affected industries, we're talking about the entire hospitality industry for starters.
So too the accommodation sector. Gymnasiums. Many builders and tradespeople. Many retail outlets as well. Many of these industries are a haven for younger workers, for women and for casual workers.
They have been afforded few, if any, protections during this latest snap lockdown and even though our restrictions have eased somewhat, there's still a severe restraint on trading - and that means less income for businesses, less hours for staff and even more heartache and anxiety.
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It's a wicked combination of vulnerability and risk that needs to be acknowledged.
Lockdowns create their own problems in trying to solve others, and the latest assistance from both the state and federal government this week fails to properly acknowledge this.
One of the cruellest twists to this pandemic from its onset has been the way it chooses to strike when we are most susceptible to the repercussions of a lockdown.
So with a long weekend looming, and at a time when regional Victoria might otherwise have been booming with travellers from Melbourne wanting some respite from the city, perhaps at Heathcote, the Bendigo Art Gallery, in a local café or up the river on a paddle steamer, we instead find ourselves in a two-tiered community where some can, and others cannot travel.
Sadly, the nays are in the overwhelming majority, so instead we risk becoming a zombie economy - for the time being.
Our thoughts go out to those most impacted by this lockdown and who are struggling more than others.
You simply deserve better.
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