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'I dobbed in my cousin during Melbourne's lockdown. Here's why.'

In the middle of Victoria's 112 day lockdown last winter, Michelle's* cousin Kevin* wasn't trying to hide the fact he was flouting the rules.

As the state recorded hundreds of new COVID cases daily, he was posting on social media while out and about. 

He was blatantly ignoring the 5km radius rule, the four reasons to leave the house and the 8pm curfew.

Michelle had, for her own sanity, initially just blocked Kevin and his immediate family from her social media feeds so she didn't have to witness their blatant disregard for public health. 

But when the rule breaking started to involve her elderly grandparents, she saw red. 

Sidenote: A big thankyou to masks....post continues after video.


Video via Mamamia.

"I was on my daily walk. My grandparents live a couple of streets away from me, and I saw his car parked in their driveway," she told Mamamia.

Kevin lived about 30km away from the area, and as Michelle found out later, he'd decided to pop over for lunch. 

"My grandma also called my Dad to tell him that my cousin had come over if he wanted to come over too, which really made me feel like my cousin was taking advantage of their kindness and also lack of understanding about the rules and restrictions as English is not their first language, so at times they misunderstood what was and wasn't okay," she explained.

So Michelle anonymously dobbed him in to authorities. While she didn't provide his name, she did supply his registration and described his car in her submission. 

"I was so angry at him. I was so furious that he could potentially put my grandparents at risk. I didn't feel guilty at all (about reporting him), although it did cause an argument with my parents who thought I shouldn't have done it," she told Mamamia.

Michelle says nothing, disappointingly, came of her report and Kevin never found out that she'd dobbed him in. But if she had her time all over again, she wouldn't change a thing. 

"While I agree that the lockdowns were difficult for everyone, and we all missed our family, I still don't think it's an excuse to put elderly people at risk for your own selfish reasons."

Close to 38,000 fines were handed to Victorians for breaching coronavirus restrictions since the start of the pandemic until March 31 this year, according to crime statistics.

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But right now it's NSW that's logging the brunt of breaches as Sydneysiders - many of whom aren't as conditioned to a life in lockdown - break the rules.

13 members of the NRL Dragons have been fined $1000 each by NSW Police and a combined $305,000 by the NRL for an illegal house party on the weekend.

In one 24 hour period, 125 personal infringement notices were handed out to people breaking lockdown orders in Greater Sydney, with police receiving over 1000 calls in that timeframe from people who had believed COVID-19 rules were being broken.

Read: 'I live in the middle of Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. All weekend I watched people bend the rules.'

In the regions, they're not mucking around, with businesses and locals quick to report Sydneysiders who've managed to slip into their communities. 

"It goes against our culture a bit to dob in, but at the same time you could be saving a lot of lives," manager of Coffs Harbour's Harbourside Markets, Kim Towner, told the ABC.

In places like Jindabyne enjoying a bustling snow season, police have upped their presence and accomodations are screening bookings to weed out anyone trying to book from a hotspot. 

As a self-confessed "dobber" Michelle says it's important to remember what we're fighting for right now. We are still, after all, in the middle of a pandemic. As rough as the restrictions are they're in place to protect our health and to prevent us from entering into much longer, harsher lockdowns. 

"I would say that you should go with your gut and do what you think is right. Things also feel very different when your loved ones are at risk....I never thought to dob anyone in, but the thought that someone blatantly ignoring restrictions could impact my family and my life created a reaction in me that I didn't think I'd have," she told Mamamia.

*Names changed for privacy reasons. The image used is a stock image. 

Feature image: Getty.