Try and have a “good time” children!
By Rhonda Dredge
Down at Boyd Park, the playground has just reopened, and a new QR-code has been pasted prominently on the seat next to the swings by the City of Melbourne.
It is a rather large sign that won’t be missed by parents should they approach the monkey bars with their kids looking for a bit of fun.
Next to the playground is a designated work-out area where bodybuilders can go through their weight-lifting reps.
Unlike parents, who are banned from supervising their children at the same time, bodybuilders are entitled to work out together without checking in.
The aim of this latest micro-COVID regulation is to send a message to parents that they’re not meant to socialise at the playground.
But try telling that to mums as they arrive expectantly, hoping to swap a few tips with others in lockdown.
The first mum arrives at 9.17am on the third day of spring, the morning the council tapes had been slashed to allow access to … the sandpit.
She scans the code and gets her daughter happily onto the swing, just before a second mum arrives who is clearly ready for … a chat.
Talia Sales is a mother of two from England who wants the economy opened up ASAP so her mum can visit.
“I just thought I’d come before the rain,” she said, scanning in efficiently with a smile. “I live five minutes away.”
She is happy to do whatever the government asks so her daughter Phoebe, who is eight months old, can get to meet her grandmother.
“Me and my partner have been saying for months they should have a QR code in playgrounds,” Talia said, helpfully. “They have them everywhere else.”
Twenty-two-year-old bodybuilder “Nicholas” is from Canada. He returned to Melbourne a week ago after two weeks of quarantine in Sydney and is a bit grumpy.
He finds the restrictions “way too harsh” here, so harsh that he’s stopped scanning QR codes, even at cafes.
He’s not afraid to speak out but he doesn’t want to be identified because he’s on a visa and thinks his views will be unacceptable.
Vaccination was made mandatory in his Canadian home state of Quebec on September 1, but he has made the decision not to have a vaccine.
“For me honestly if 80 per cent of the population is double vaccinated what’s the point of making it mandatory?” he said.
Nikki Edgar, a barista, at the nearby House of Cards is in favour of the playground being re-opened, even though she said people would try and bend the rules.
“People sunbake on the grass so why not open the playground as well? The playground is a destination. You go there for a good time!” •
Caption: Talia Sales checks in for Phoebe’s session on the swings.