We know we’re the cautionary tale that the rest of the country is scaring themselves with in order to keep 1.5 metres apart

The morale-boosting markers that were shared across Melbourne during the first lockdown have all but disappeared. Rainbows have peeled off fences, forgotten teddy bears are wedged between Venetian blinds and most of the chalk messages have long washed away.

“This isn’t like the first wave,” our chief health officer, Brett Sutton, said on the Saturday. By the Monday, with the daily presser citing our then record highest number of Covid cases at 532, and cement grey cloud obscuring the sun, Melbourne felt done in. Come Thursday, under a blue sky, with blossoms out and wattle blazing, Victoria clocked 723 – a number that winded the city. And now the fear is back.

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