Social distancing measures are ramping up in Australia, with many medical experts now calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to implement a nationwide lockdown, following the introduction of similar measures in countries such as New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
But, as many countries including Australia brace for the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, China relaxed some of its lockdown measures this week, more than two and a half months after locals were ordered to stay in their homes.
Australian man Tim McLean lives in the epicentre of the crisis, in China’s Hubei Province, with his family, and the New South Wales man has spent the past two and a half months in lockdown in their apartment.
Now, the Ulladulla native has opened up on what life is like there following the health emergency as he spoke to the ABC’s Four Corners program after new rules were issued permitting residents to leave their homes for one hour each day.
“Well we’re here, there’s people everywhere … Happy happy!” he said. “I think we’re on the right side of it all now.
“We’re officially allowed out of lockdown for an hour a day to go and do what we need to do.”
Footage filmed by Tim shows him and his partner visiting the local supermarket for the first time in months, where people were still required to line up and have their temperatures taken before entering. As they enter the store, which appears to be fully stocked, he can be heard saying: “Look, no chaos! Australia get your heads together, organise yourselves and do it properly.”
The footage shows supermarket workers wearing protective clothing, including hair nets and plastic visors, while local police can still be seen out on the streets.
Offering up some advice to his fellow Australians, Tim urged people to “relax, prepare, keep yourself busy and keep positive”, as he assured people that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Wrapping up his report, Tim adds: “If I can survive 100m away from a hospital full of coronavirus victims, anybody in the world can survive. Just take precautions.”
Many people commented on the video and thanked Tim for spreading a positive message, amid the serious news and important health warnings being issued by governments around the world.
One person wrote: “Finally something positive, and a great relief to see. Here in Seattle, Washington, we’ve just started our lockdown or stay at home order today, and this video is truly encouraging. Thank you, and let us beat this virus !!!”
Another user commented: “Way to go Tim. Best wishes from Australia and glad to see you survived two months of hell.” While another said: “This is good news, it’s refreshing to see people in the streets again in this video. Lockdowns and self isolation has just started here, and hopefully we will all survive this dark time.”