Like Dr Cranky's we are the state of Victoria Australia which unlike other states has undergone the longest lockdown anywhere in the world. Measures have included a limit of 5km movement except for going to work in the few areas that are operational. It's now been relaxed to 25km.
Fortunately bike shops could undertake urgent repairs and now we are finally allowed to refurbish bikes for sale and donation but under strict conditions.
Some of the effects have been extra stress on our shop managers who spend at least an hour a day cleaning. There is also a Covid protocol with checklists to be completed.
Our volunteers have been limited to 4 per day and even with many volunteers self excluding we have to run a roster to limit volunteers. This contradicts our previous policy of allowing anyone to volunteer any day.
Everyone must wear masks and disposable work gloves which can be difficult and the enforcement is another stress for the managers.
For cleanliness reasons our kitchen is closed so we now get in takeaway for volunteers everyday.
Any sales and servicing is click and collect with no interaction with the public.
Fortunately we have been the beneficiaries of some government largesse which has to some extent allowed us to continue with our work.
One of the unfortunate side effects has been a dip in the diversity of volunteers. At our next online meeting rebuilding diversity, especially women will be on the agenda.
The flip side of the lockdown is that the state is finally getting under 5 new infections a day and the restrictions are gradually being relaxed.
Geoff Smart Back2Bikes Port Melbourne Australia
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