Few of us would have ever thought when a state of emergency was declared in Victoria back in March 2020, that the ongoing emergency would still be in force 18 months later.
Few of us would have ever thought we would get so close to merging from this crisis only to lapse back into lockdown, time after time after time.
And few of us would have envisaged the state of emergency would eventually lead to us turning on ourselves.
For all the good things we have seen people do during this pandemic - first and foremost, the heroic efforts of our medical fraternity who are possibly still yet to face their most challenging times; the incredible generosity of people making time or donating food to charities to help those less fortunate; or the way communities have united and answered the call in ways that evoke memories for some of another era; sadly we've also seen some of humankind's worst.
The scenes we've witnessed played out live on our devices and in our lounge rooms this week do not belong in Victoria, but yet we must own them.
The long-seething undercurrent of anger and frustration at ongoing restrictions, the harshness of lockdowns and now the calls for mandatory vaccinations have proven to be a rich trifecta for a lot of a bunch of thugs and it seems some from within the ranks of the building industry.
And to sink so low as to use a space as sacred as the Shrine of Remembrance as a backdrop for a protest against a mandatory vaccination program is as repulsive as it was stupid.
So where to from here?
Apologies probably won't come, but the rest of us would be hoping more charges will.
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Why do we want to argue with the science, science that will likely save many more lives from being lost, and the need for many more lockdowns once more of us are fully vaccinated.
After all, it was highly effective in the fight against both smallpox and polio.
Regardless, there's never a case to resort to violence and the sort of civil unrest that has taken over parts of central Melbourne this week.
Broadly speaking, Australia has had a bumpy ride throughout its only recent vaccination journey.
From the federal government's own sluggish start to the race to vax the nation, to its mixed messaging, poor communications and at times conflicting advice, we slunk to vaccine shopping, we ridiculed vaccines widely used and accepted in other parts of the world, exacerbating a glacier-like rollout that has only added to the amount of time certainly Victoria has spent in lockdown.
A coalition of premiers that came together in March last year has fractured. Driven back to state-based parochial responses and to seeking to employ political responses to the national health emergency will never end well in a country that in a state-by-state crisis.
A month or so ago, citizens of this great state of Victoria shook their heads at the COVID-19 emergency unfolding in NSW as case numbers, and sadly deaths from coronavirus soared in the grips of a highly charged Delta outbreak.
Now, suddenly NSW looks like emerging from lockdown before Victoria and we are only inching our way towards a magic time - perhaps in late October, when we might get some elusive freedoms restored.
What we once took for granted we now want even more.
The chance to see family trapped - yes trapped, in Melbourne cannot be bought. It must be earned.
Probably all of us have someone we love living in Melbourne who we cannot be with. 148 kilometres and seemingly an entire world away for now.
We miss them dearly and love them even more. Those reunions will be something to cherish when they come to be.
The reality is the actions of those involved in this week's calamity in Melbourne do nothing to make any of this happen any sooner.
If anything, they put the relative freedoms we all want at risk and even further away.
But until we get enough of us double-dosed with whatever vaccine we can get into our arms, we must be patient and grateful that for now at least, we enjoy a few more liberties than our Melbourne counterparts.
And spare a thought for those doing it tougher than any of us. The reality is that even when we do emerge from all this, we will likely never truly leave it behind.
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