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The Informer: Freedom, but what at cost for 'crash test dummy' NSW?

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet knows COVID-19 cases numbers will increase when the state opens back up. Picture: Sylvia Liber
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet knows COVID-19 cases numbers will increase when the state opens back up. Picture: Sylvia Liber

This weekend may just be the calm before the storm.

"Freedom day" (but don't call it that) is almost here for NSW, where coronavirus-related restrictions will be significantly eased on Monday as the state takes its first steps towards living with COVID-19 and making harsh lockdowns relics of the past.

With significant sections of Australia currently subjected to similarly severe limitations on life, and nowhere immune from an outbreak, those outside NSW will be watching with bated breath.

Every other jurisdiction can, after all, learn from the most populous of Australian states as it effectively takes on the role of a crash test dummy in becoming the first to open up despite significant case numbers.

This will happen at an interesting time, with NSW having on Saturday recorded its lowest daily number of locally acquired coronavirus infections since mid-August.

New Premier Dominic Perrottet is under no illusions about the fact the decline in case numbers will not persist.

"We know that as we open up, case numbers will increase," he said.

"But what has been key to keeping people safe is our high vaccination rate."

So, now, we wait to find out the price of freedom.

While COVID-19 has figuratively shaken the foundations of society, the Earth really did move on Saturday morning.

Two weeks after Victoria's biggest ever earthquake, which had a magnitude of 5.8, more than 100 people contacted the State Emergency Service to report what turned out to be a 4.8-magnitude shake near Murrayville, close to the border with South Australia.

If you're looking for something a bit lighter, have a read of this inspirational story about a mother who is attempting her first marathon today, just two-and-a-half years after being unable to even run around the block.

Or check out Girls Take Flight, a new song and music video recorded entirely during lockdown and featuring girls from across the country.

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This story Freedom, but what at cost for 'crash test dummy' NSW? first appeared on The Canberra Times.