Workers – Coming Back After The Lockdown

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Workers - Coming Back After The Lockdown

by Daniel Green

They say thirteen is an unlucky number, but this coming Saturday marks exactly that many weeks since the famed Sydney Lockdown began. Expectations are that this weekend will probably be a bit riotous. And while the reappearance of Sydney traffic is something we definitely won’t miss, going back to work will be like that first sip of water after wandering the desert for thirteen weeks. Okay, maybe wandering the aisles of our once-a-day lockdown outing: Woolies.

The 70% double-vaxxed benchmark was hit last Wednesday, so if you were a bit slow on the uptake or you’re an anti-vaxxer then it’s back to Netflix for you. For the rest of us who had the big one-two – we’re back baby! It’s time to reconstruct. No matter how you feel about the last three months, rebuilding our economy and way of life is up to us. Let’s get after it!

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

It’s going to be a multi-staged approach with greater freedoms returned as the clock ticks on. But for now, as of this morning, the general rules are:

  • Proof of full vaccine required when you leave home
  • 1 person per 4m2 as well as specific caps on density limits
  • Masks indoors and on public transport
  • QR code check-ins
  • LGA travel rules lifted
  • Regional travel still not allowed

You can also go to the gym [with density caps], you can go to the pub [with density caps], go out for dinner [with density caps] and SEE OTHER HUMAN BEINGS [with density caps]. Heck, you can ever get married – congratulations! But yes – with density caps.

There is an exhaustive list here.

Go Ahead, Make My Day

The NSW Dept. of Health expects 80% double-vaxxed on 25th October. If you do that maths that’s 820k people in two weeks – about six thousand injections every hour. What an incredible health system we have to mobilise such an army of medical soldiers! There’ll still be restrictions for the unvaxxed, but for the rest of us the big changes will be:

  • Masks no longer required in offices
  • Masks no longer required in outdoor settings [except staff]
  • Pub and club dance floors are open!
  • Regional travel allowed!

You still have to check in and there’s still specificYou still have to check in and there’s still specific density limits depending on where you visit. Be sure to get across the details here.

They May Take Our Lives

December 1st. The day the limits are lifted. There hasn’t been a vaccination percentage benchmark set so we’re not quite sure why this date has been chosen, but we’re not going to argue. The gist of it is:

  • Most venues will be 1 person per 2m2
  • The unvaxxed will have greater freedoms
  • At the pub can drink standing up!

Read more here.

You Can’t Handle The Truth

Unfortunately we’re going to have to deflate your balloon a little. As much as we all want to [and deserve to] let loose, we have to treat the next few months with an air of sense and sensibility. We’re still in a pandemic after all. Some things to remember:

A somber fact. There will be a spike of cases and sadly, people will still get COVID and some will die. Regrettably, this is an inevitable part of the easing of restrictions. It’s up to us to limit that as much as possible by following the rules.

Some southern comfort. Some areas and industries are less fortunate than us including states like Victoria. And while we maintain a healthy rivalry with them, they’ve just broken the record for the world’s longest lockdown with no end in sight.

We’re ahead of the rest. As construction workers we’ve had some work liberties that other industries haven’t. Businesses like hair salons & beauty, tourism &accommodation and restaurants & pubs. If we can, it would be a good thing to go and spend your construction dollars at their venues.

The newbies. Because the government will never let construction fail our industry has drawn in a lot of new workers, some of which will be starting today. They may not understand the dynamics nor the dangers of working on a construction site.

A bit of discipline. It’s a natural desire to want to throw off the shackles of the last thirteen weeks, burn your mask and never check in again. But this would be disastrous for the roadmap out of here and not following the rules could put us back in lockdown.

Ease back into it and be kind to yourself. It’s been weird. It’s been hard. And that’s okay. If the ripper doesn’t want to hitch up – don’t stress about it. If you cut a 35×70 too short – get another one. If you run out of MIG gas – relax. Put sauce on your pie today. You deserve it.

Monitor yourself. The pandemic and ensuing lockdown is not a normal set of circumstances so you probably won’t feel a normal set of emotions. You may feel sad about returning to work, or anxious – or both. That’s okay. In the world of feelings there’s no wrong answers.

Monitor others. Equally, your co-workers may not be feeling normal emotions. We’re all in this together, so if someone doesn’t look great gently check in on them.

Ask for help. If you’re not feeling yourself then talk to someone. If we’ve learnt one thing in the last two years it’s to pay attention to our mental & emotional health and to reach out when we need.

Spend time outside. Not just because it’s the rules or for physical health – but because maintaining a balance between work and freedom is a worthwhile pursuit. Especially in the coming weeks.

Work from home if you need to. Even if you start with just one day in the office – it’s a start. Don’t worry, you’ll slip back into a full working week before you know it.

It Ain’t Over Til The Lady Sings

It may feel like the end of the pandemic but it’s not, it’s only the end of the lockdown – and it’s only the end if we do as we’re asked. Things could return to a state of crisis very quickly if we flaunt the rules and there’s still a long way to go til we’re truly free.

While we haven’t forgotten those who’ve fallen, remember, our government has managed to keep 99.999943% of us alive. Like us, they’ve done the best they can with what they’ve had.

Let’s all keep doing just that.

Let go Get It Done.