Pedestrians reclaim suburban Gully streets in Pandemic

Bear sighted in Kings Park

Since the end of March, Victorians have been subject to the directive ‘If you can stay at
home you must stay at home’.

Fortunately one of the few reasons they were allowed out has been for exercise. It has been heartening to see so many people out rediscovering the joy of a simple walk in their local area. Footpaths and bike paths have never been so busy with pedestrians, cyclists, scooters and even some rollerbladers. Whole families took advantage of a break from work and home schooling to pass or kick a ball, and to walk streets near home that they’d never explored.

Organised sports ceased temporarily, gyms and swimming pools were closed, so alternatives were found.

Playground equipment was off limits, even in the smallest nooks between No Through
Roads. Overnight, red signs appeared at every park in Knox declaring ‘Playground Closed’ so people became creative inventing their own fun. They made their homes and gardens more interesting to passersby by placing collections of teddy bears and all manner of figurines in front windows and on letterboxes. Children have been making cheery chalk messages and drawings of rainbows on the concrete outside their homes.

Nature has provided some of the interest with beautiful autumn colours and, for those
taking their exercise between 5 and 6pm, there have been some spectacular sunsets as reward for finding a hill near home and looking westward.

As restrictions ease, there are some aspects of this difficult Covid time that may just be worth keeping.

Beth Duffy

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