In the six months since Covid 19 started devastating lives and destroying jobs and businesses in Australia we’ve all had to adapt to the new, weird normal that’s become our lives.
We’re not alone, however, and compared to countries like the US, Britain, Brazil and Italy, Australia has got off lightly, or at least that’s the way it was looking just a few weeks ago.
So why have we succeeded where others haven’t? In short, it’s a combination of a quick reaction by all levels of government who all relied on good scientific advice and the cooperation of a concerned public.
“We’re all in this together” became the theme tune for a nation determined to overcome the virus.
It only took a few weeks for that concerted community effort to bring results. Across the country we’d controlled outbreaks and knocked the disease down to manageable levels.
And then just as we thought we’d won it’s suddenly charging back in Victoria and threatening to do that in NSW as well.
If we’re not very, very careful here, WA could be right back in lockdown as Covid 19, that invisible enemy, breaks out again.
Right now there are a few things going our way. One is a very low incidence of the virus in WA, while the other is our ability to effectively quarantine our vast state.
But there’s another invisible enemy too, and that’s complacency. As the Victorian outbreak has shown, the virus thrives just as soon as we drop our guard, and there are signs we’re doing that.
Andrew Robertson, WA’s Chief Health Officer, puts it well.
“Handshaking, hugging, returns to general behaviours from prior to COVID are now evident within the community and within the media,” Mr Robertson said.
“It’s evident that people believe the risk to them is low. Unfortunately this disease has not gone away, and it is not the time for complacency.
“Practicing good hand hygiene, physical distancing, and staying at home when you are unwell must be part of our lives from now on to maintain the community safety and the gains currently achieved.”
We’d better listen to that solid scientific advice because if we don’t we could soon be back in a lockdown even worse than the first. Just look at Victoria.
The ability to effectively quarantine the state has played a big role in controlling the outbreak, but now that’s under threat thanks to Clive Palmer’s indescribably selfish High Court challenge to the border closure.
Seriously, has Australia ever seen a more odious political figure than Clive Palmer?
He almost defines the word narcissist. He’s simply incapable of thinking about anyone other than himself.
Look at him: Clive Palmer is Australia’s answer to Donald Trump, with an even worse addiction to coke and junk food by the look of it. It’s hard to match Trump on the bulshitometer, but Clive’s determined to give it a damn good try.
He’s trying to open-up the border so he can get over here and recruit some candidates so his ridiculous ego-trip of a political party can contest the state election.
Why does he want to do that? Well he thinks that if he spends enough of his ill-gotten loot he can buy just enough votes from gullible people to get the opposition elected on his preferences.
If Clive Palmer’s voters were chickens they’d be voting for Colonel Sanders.
Last time he spent $60 million and got just over 3% of the vote in the federal election, but that was enough to do the trick.
He’s figuring that having effectively bought the opposition victory they’ll be suitably grateful to him to see things his way in disputes with his Chinese mining partners, so he can pile a few more billions into the bank.
And because of that he’s quite happy to see the borders back open and the rest of the state once more exposed to a virus that could kill people and ruin livelihoods. Problem? What problem? He’s OK!
Yeah, thanks big fella, we all really like you over here in WA, I can tell you.