This is probably because, as a pandemic leader, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has been a bit like Amy Poehler’s character in the movie Mean Girls.
“There are no rules in this house,” Mrs George assures her daughter’s friends when they come over after school. “I’m not a regular mum, I’m a cool mum.”
Similarly, Berejiklian has prided herself on not closing borders or imposing strictly enforced rules every time disaster looms. The vibe being: I’m not a regular premier, I’m a cool premier.
But it’s not just Berejiklian, Health Minister Brad Hazzard has also contributed to the permissive parenting vibe: “Hopefully common sense will prevail,” he said at a press conference when asked about the definition of essential items. Then he made a confusing dad joke about essential oils.
But there is a flaw in this approach because Sydneysiders are like a pack of clueless teenagers. We’ve seen the evidence this past weekend, with everyone inventing their own lockdown rules to live by.
I had this confirmed when a friend said to me: “You can do anything you like, you just have to have a story.” Meaning, you just invent something that fits the criteria and you can go on living your life as per usual.
Which is probably why a lot of people cite takeaway coffee as essential. The queues on street corners are akin to communist-era Russians lining up for loaves of bread.