COVID confusion: Where am I?
GEOGRAPHICAL confusion seems to be an unexpected side effect of coronavirus, even when you’re not sick.
“Where am I?” you might be forgiven for asking, as our political leaders keep on passing on their own difficulties during the now-loosening lockdown. It seems they do not know where we are either.
We are in the regions, we might tell them, in that whole other Queensland and Australia that exists north of Caboolture and west of Ipswich.
It is where COVID-19 is relatively under control and yet it is where lockdown restrictions are, in effect, much more stringent.
The 50km limit, for example, has allowed Brisbane people to catch up with just about everyone they have ever met, but prevented a lot of western and northern near-Gympie residents from even coming to town, unless they have essential shopping to do.
It also has allowed and encouraged a great mixing of people with and without coronavirus, encouraging Mary Valley residents to visit Noosa, while not allowing them to visit Gympie’s own Rainbow Beach.
People too far out on Gympie’s eastern side have been also unable to visit Borumba Dam, but could go to the Sunshine Coast.
People from Noosa, where there are several cases of COVID-19, were easily able to visit the Cooloola Coast, and vice versa, but a brick wall may as well have been built between there and Gympie.
Now people like Opposition leader Deb Frecklington talk about easing restrictions in “Wide Bay”, which is also confusing, because the term has several meanings, some of them including Gympie region and some not.
It could be a federal electorate, which includes Gympie or a health district which does not, a differently shaped economic or planning region when combined with Burnett or even a geographical feature, that is, an actual bay.
So when people talk about relaxing things in Wide Bay, they may mean the health district which starts around Gympie region’s northern boundary, or they may mean something that includes Gympie region, even though we are in the Sunshine Coast Health District and not Wide Bay.
Confused? Me too.
And I suspect we are not alone.