The lockdown did lift - but, despite many parts of Australia faring well with the virus, Victoria is not. There is a ban on travel into any other state, for us; a situation which has not happened before in anyone's living memory.
We can't really get to see our grandson Jack any more, for the moment.
Up here in Castlemaine, the situation at present is not nearly as bad as it is in Melbourne, and we feel very fortunate to live here most of the time. Especially as, along with the ban on interstate travel, there is now a ban on anyone travelling out of Melbourne to the country area, unless it is deemed essential. We are still working in Melbourne 2 days per week, but as we "live" in Castlemaine (proven by our car being registered here) we are able to pass through the roadblock of the "Ring of Steel" (as the media calls it) which is now around Melbourne. Though we have to be extra careful because we want to be as sure as we can be that we don't bring coronavirus up here with us.
And since then, the situation has just become worse and worse. The lockdown is Melbourne is now very strict, with a curfew from 8pm to 5am across all of Melbourne. Melbourne has never had a curfew before - ever. Wearing of face masks, while out of the house, is now compulsory across the whole state.
This has led to Alison getting out her sewing machine and making masks. After one evening of a lot of swearing at the sewing machine, she has mastered the skill of mask-making; I've been complimented on the mask she made for me, and a number of friends have got her to make them one. So we now have very nice masks to wear whenever we're out, which is good; but we do have to wear a mask at all times when we're out, which is not so good. But - it is what it is, and we do whatever we have to do.
One of the things we're doing this week is "working from home". While this does allow us to stay up in Castlemaine, out of metropolitan Melbourne with its ballooning covid cases and curfew, it is a very much less than perfect way to work; and I am looking forward to returning to work in person next week; doing some practical things and being able to see and examine patients again.
It is now the coldest time of our winter, and there is no hope of being able to go anywhere warmer, as we usually like to - even if it's just for a week or two. But we have made the house here much more habitable by installing a wood stove in the back room - which we used to just not use in winter, because it was almost always just too cold; we had a split system to warm it, but its fan is quite noisy and we didn't like to use it much. Now we can keep the back of the house nice and warm, and quiet as well. And it is very quiet because people are much less out and about than they used to be.