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After a brief moment of normality and stability in homes around the country, today marks a return to the old way for families right across the Eastern Seaboard.
This comes as state governments loosen restrictions on pubs and clubs, allowing them to re-open their VIP rooms for the first time in months.
After close to nine weeks of bunkered down family bonding, young fathers around the country are now allowed out of the house to hang out at the pub with with those other local fathers who they don’t really know that well, but share a handful of state-sanctioned addictions in common.
We spoke to one local kid from Betoota Heights earlier today about what she can expect from this post-lockdown return to the problematic status quo.
“Daddy has been learning to cook and reading heaps of stories to us because of coronavirus” says little Bridie, 6.
“But now he won’t be coming home for dinner anymore because mummy says he’s allowed to play with his friends again”
As little Bridie points out, her siblings and her mother are now preparing for a return to fish fingers and Homebrand cornflakes, after daddy left the house at lunch time today to make use of his JobKeeper payment and play on the video games that makes him sad.
“I don’t know why he loves them so much” she says.
“All they do is make him go really quiet except for when he yells at mummy”
While millions of dollars have been designated to mental health initiatives during the stressful coronavirus isolation measures, it is not yet known if the government will be applying this same duty of care to families like Bridie’s – as they sink back into the cycle of poverty caused by Australia’s completely unmitigated cycle of middle class problem gambling.
So much was the pressure from gambling giants that Queensland has brought forward the easing of COVID-19 restrictions by almost two weeks to keep in line with New South Wales plans to re-open to pokie lounges.
While Bridie hopes things never get as bad as they were at Christmas time when the shower went cold for a couple of weeks, she appears confident that daddy might have learnt a few things about himself during the last two months of financial stability.
However, with the whole family now waiting in the car outside the local leagues club while mummy talks to the bartender, it looks like nothing has changed.