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​The landscape of our country seems to fluctuate often these days. We go from periods of relative freedom to sudden bouts of lockdown with seemingly nary a warning. It’s a stressful time with daily lives being affected, and people are understandably upset.

What I would like to touch on in this article, however, is the fact that not all locations are seemingly equal in regard to this, and it’s an easy thing to forget. Canberra is a separate biome with its own territory, and as a result enjoys many freedoms now that the rest of the country simply doesn’t. Masks aren’t compulsory, restaurants are open, people are free to travel outside of Canberra – essentially, daily life is to an extent, normal.

This is not the case in NSW. With recent happenings in Sydney, masks are a requirement in public settings, with fines that can extend up to $13,000 if not followed. Travel is discouraged, there are limits on gatherings, and space has reverted to one person per four square meters. Compare that to ACT which is still one person per two square meters, and you begin to see the disparity.

Now I’m not trying to levy an envious mood with this comparison – there are many places that are better, many worse. I’m just trying to shine a light on the fact that our diocese is made up of two areas, regional NSW, and the ACT. And regional NSW falls under the stricter NSW mandates, while the ACT does not.

We need to be aware that though we are living in the same diocese, the environment may not be the same for everyone. Some may be dealing with more stress, more pressure than others, and we need to be conscious of the entirety of the situation as we communicate with one another.

On the opposite side of this, some may not be able to seemingly understand or relate to the frustrations that are ongoing. Not because they’re unwilling to, they just may not have been exposed to it and thus haven’t understood the severity.

It’s a stressful situation to be in. But we are all in this together, and although at times it may be hard, understanding and love can go a long way in helping to push through this storm.

 

by MIcah Wagner
Micah Wagner undertook an internship with the Diocese, assisting in various communication projects.
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