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A letter from your country cousins in the time of COVID

I’m writing this from lockdown, at least I think I am.

Our town is not in lockdown, but my daughter and I have found ourselves at home after a trip to neighbouring Tamworth to the orthodontist, apparently on the same day someone from Newcastle who didn’t know they had COVID made the same trip.

We are puzzled, but secretly a little gleeful about the idea of spending time at home. And I don’t think we’re on our lonesome there.

My 15-year-old was advised she could still go to school and to work at the supermarket, but I had to stay at home.

We both felt crook – probably just from the idea of it all.

So, following a test, we are isolating until we discover that we are COVID-free.

Along with everyone else we have relished the patches of virus-free freedom that have come our way, finally seeing family and friends when it is safe to do so.

We have celebrated the return to business of our small-town economy and felt inspired by Olympians who have achieved against all odds.

But, aren’t we all feeling a little bit freaked out about trying to pelt along at a normal pace when the world itself is still limping?

Things are not “normal”. There is optimism, and there is stupidity, and it is a very fine line when it comes to COVID.

We have seen people ping-ponging around the state and country, falling over themselves to return to life as we remember it.

I don’t blame them. In our regional town, we have seemed far removed from the desperate sorrow of multiple graves in Indonesia.

We have even seemed far removed from the 300-plus new cases a day in the Sydney region.

But the truth is, it only takes one train ride, one day trip, one impulse to overlook the restrictions to go and see friends to tip our world on its head.

And, unlike Sydney, we aren’t prepared for it.

We don’t even have a resident doctor at our hospital.

We don’t have much of a vaccination rate.

There’s a much higher demand for a vaccine than there is actual vaccine.

We all shop together, go to children’s sports together, go to the same service providers together.

If one of us gets it, we might be hello-ing it all the way down the main street to the bulk of the population.

My husband and I both had our first AstraZeneca shot fairly early.

We, of course, have to wait three months for the next one, so are still not fully vaccinated.

In the meantime, some of the region’s vaccines appear to have gone down to help out Sydney.

That’s great, but what happens if someone brings our unvaccinated town the return gift of the virus?

There is massive confusion about the rules and regulations. You cannot work them out with common sense.

And, as always, we are torn between our love and gratitude for living in the country and our feeling that we are the forgotten tribe.

Our country is a long way from a great vaccination rate.

I’m calling on our powers-that-be to remember that while we might have been “safe” to date, we are very, very vulnerable.

Marie Low is a freelance journalist based in Gunnedah, NSW.

Why Two Cats Creative uses WordPress​

There is no one solution that is perfect for everyone, but for most people serious about their business and building their online presence, self-hosted WordPress is the best fit.

It allows you to own all of your content, and you aren’t left hanging if the platform (i.e. Wix, Weebly etc) decide to close their doors, or remove functions that you rely on.

Your WordPress website is also open to unlimited growth. You can start with a basic site and then evolve to include e-commerce, memberships and much more. You aren’t restricted like you are with other platforms that are closed.

Additionally, the SEO potential of WordPress is powerful. WordPress is extremely SEO-friendly from the outset and it only gets better when you use SEO-friendly themes and plugins.

Clients often come to us because they’ve already got a website built with Wix or Squarespace, but as their business has grown, their website is unable to grow with them. For example, they need features that the other platforms don’t offer (or, not at least without their monthly fee sky-rocketing). 

Having said that, some smaller businesses do just want a presence and that’s it. They don’t care about being found on Google, they don’t need anything fancy, and they don’t want to pay someone to maintain their website. If that’s the case, then one of the other platforms may be a better fit.

You may have heard that WordPress is more complicated to use but we make it as user-friendly as possible and we will guide you every step of the way.

We use WordPress because it is a future-proof solution that gives you the most options, no matter how much your business grows.