It was with a momentary stab of despair that I was on the receiving end of the first rumours of the impending lockdown yesterday.
This lockdown was a little bit more dystopian than previous ones. In the morning we were the state with zero cases being a little bit smug and by six o clock there were tinfoil fascists protesting on the streets with helicopters overhead as the virus reappeared in force in the western suburbs.
Melbourne seems to be a town where there are six stages of information dissemination where an imminent lockdown rumour actually travels faster through the community than any social media dissemination or news service is capable of.
As ever it was our install techs who told me first. I might have assumed that being on the showroom floor meeting clients and dealing with suppliers that I would have been one of the first in line on the rumour engine but consistently it has been the techs working with “well connected” clients and through their friends who get the first leaks from our state government.
By the time I was aware of the lock down at 3.30 it was clear that the rest of town was already battening down the hatches. The showroom went from being very busy and active with the dem rooms all singing to quiet and messily empty. At peak capacity there may be typically a dozen clients in the store’s various rooms and buildings but by half past three they had all left. This was half an hour before the official announcement of the lockdown was made.
I took opportune of the sudden demise of floor traffic to deliver a rather nice pair of Acoustic Energy loudspeakers to the far eastern suburbs and discovered that the rest of Melbourne seemed already to be getting on the road. By the time I returned along the Eastern Freeway at 430 the outgoing lanes were absolutely jammed with apparent urban refugees.
As a child of the cold war and a long time lover of science fiction … to the detriment of all other literature … this scene of people fleeing an intangible adversary echoed the stories of alien invasion and the fear of nuke strike that I grew up with. One of my favourite analogies for Melbourne under lockdown is Neville Shute’s “On the Beach”
Anyway I successfully delivered the Acoustic Energy AE520 loudspeakers to our client Tom … he is using them with a lovely Naim Uniti Nova integrated amplifier streamer. This combination is something he has arrived at after a couple of months of extensive listening both in shops and at home. I’m very glad that he will be able to run them in during his enforced stay at home … hopefully only for a week!

 Acoustic Energy AE520 

 Naim Uniti Nova