I awoke before dawn to get a Covid test in Fairfield. Instead I found a nightmarish mess | Anonymous

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I was at work when Gladys Berejiklian announced that everyone who works in Fairfield local government area would have to get Covid-19 tested every three days if they worked outside of it.

I was at work in my healthcare job, which is 30km away from my home in Fairfield.

It was a little upsetting to learn that I would have to get tested every three days but if it’s something I had to do to help keep the community safe, it was something I had to do.

My job starts at 8am so I decided to go the 24-hour Fairfield testing centre. To be safe I went at 5am. I thought: it’s so early, people won’t be there.

Instead I found what a mess this response to the outbreak in Fairfield is.

When I got there the line of cars was so long, it was on the Cumberland Highway – they had closed one of the lanes for it. It felt way too dangerous for me to stay sitting on the highway.

Even though that was annoying I thought I’ll just go hang out at the showground and wait for its testing to open at 7am.

By the time I got there at 5.30am there were already hundreds of people blocking all three entrances. It was ridiculous.

Fairfield residents tell of frustration in massive queues for Covid tests after new rules – video
Fairfield residents tell of frustration in massive queues for Covid tests after new rules – video

There’s a clinic near my workplace and after waiting for a little while I thought, well I have to get to work, and I’m never going to make it if I stay here so I thought “screw it”, I’ll just have to drive the 30km.

The clinic near work doesn’t open until 7.30am and I got there at 6.15am. Not a single other person was there. After all, it’s not in the Fairfield LGA.

It feels so unfair how we’ve been treated in Fairfield, it feels like we’re being picked on. I know there have been outbreaks in places like Avalon and Bondi and they’ve had lockdowns but they didn’t end up with orders to get tested every three days.

I hear phrases like “the virus is targeting Fairfield”, but the virus can’t target anywhere – it spreads any way that it can. There is rising panic in Fairfield because of the way it’s being covered, spoken about by politicians and now these orders.

People who work outside of Fairfield are panicking especially, and there are heaps of us. I don’t know that many who can work from home; most of the people I know work in healthcare or are tradies. There’s no way in hell I could do my job from home.

It could have been pretty easy for the state government to work with us, to work with community leaders, but they don’t seem to have tried too hard. They even could have just defined what an essential worker is – that would have helped.

NSW government refuses to define an 'essential worker' in Sydney lockdown restrictions – video
NSW government refuses to define an ‘essential worker’ in Sydney lockdown restrictions – video

For the past few outbreaks I’ve thought Gladys has been OK. She’s done well. She followed health advice. But I think this outbreak she’s done so poorly.

I think she should’ve locked down earlier and the lockdown should have been harsher. Now, unfortunately, the people of Fairfield are paying for it.

People will get angry 100%. I’m already starting to get angry after searching for hours just to get a test.

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