My Heart Sunk

My heart sunk when news came through this afternoon of a confirmed COVID case in Lismore.

According to the local area health service, someone who attended Goonellabah Public School on Monday has tested positive. The school has been closed for deep cleaning. And there’s a feeling in the community (as evidenced by Facebook comments), it’s only a matter of time before we’re forced back into lockdown.

The comments are mixed. For many, there’s anger, as people try to understand how someone could have come into contact with the condition after five or six weeks of lockdown. “They must have broken the lockdown and travelled to an infected area” is one school of thought. Another school of thought notes the child involved may have been asymptomatic, so there was no apparent need for the child to be held back from school.

Unlike the previous case, a man from Sydney, this involves a local family, so there’s bound to be a greater degree of anger from the local community because “it’s one of us”. A friend with a family member who works in Education says the family visited Sydney, despite the lockdown. “It’s only a matter of time before everyone knows who it is”, a family member who works in Health commented. Get ready for the pitchforks!

Me? I’ve gone through emotions from anger to sadness. Sadness, because I had only just booked a flight back to Sydney. Even though inner Sydney is now becoming a focus for the outbreak, I figured I might as well return home. I was on the verge of telling my family who are deeply concerned I would be returning to something resembling Albert Camus’ “The Plague”. Anger, because I knew this means those plans probably can’t go ahead.

Though I could dwell on this for quite some time, I thought I might share some photographs I’ve taken over the last few days.

BEFOR THE NEWS: As I walked past the Lismore Baths, I noticed they had re-opened for the summer, and after the lockdown. Sadly, it’s only for regular laps right now, and not a bit of a splash about. I’m not serious enough as a swimmer to be one of those people who likes to do constant laps. I like to do slaps, have a bit of a splash about, rest for a while, and then do a few more laps etc. I think lap swimmers would probably find me annoying, so I’m either going to look for an especially quiet time, or maybe wait until I get back to Sydney.
Lismore Memorial Baths
Behind the levee bank, Lismore
Behind the levee bank, Lismore
The public toilet in the Brown's Creek Car Park gets a new look, thanks to some awesome public art.
The public toilet in the Brown’s Creek Car Park gets a new look, thanks to some awesome public art.
Though they're labelled "budget accommodation" these days, they were mostly previously known as "boarding houses". Nearby, there's a "soup kitchen" (not sure if that's still the correct term) which had (to my surprise) a reasonably lengthy queue. #signofthetimes
Though they’re labelled “budget accommodation” these days, they were mostly previously known as “boarding houses”. Nearby, there’s a “soup kitchen” (not sure if that’s still the correct term) which recently had (to my surprise) a reasonably lengthy queue. #signofthetimes
Phyllis Street, South Lismore. Lovely, late afternoon light.
Spotted one of these at the South Lismore Bakery. Though they’re calling it a “French Pastry” these days, I remember it as an “Elephant’s Ear”. Can someone please give the coronary ward at Lismore Base Hospital a heads up?

Author: James O'Brien

Born / Currently : Lismore / Widjabul Wia-Bal - Bundjalung Live : Sydney / Gadigal - Eora Also : Brisbane, Bourke, Renmark, Wagga, Perth Pronouns : He/him/his.

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