Working together to overcome Covid-19

Right now, almost all of us are in the fight of our lives but this disaster will pass, just as the last one did, and the one before that. 

Rick Baek, Democrats campaigner, Qld

The measures being taken around the world to save lives and livelihoods are now extreme and immensely costly. And that’s because countries, with some exceptions, were unprepared and acted too late. 

Few people saw Covid-19 coming, yet even when governments understood the danger posed by the virus, the response was slow and muddled. 

It seemed that the advice of scientists, medical professionals, and experts was either ignored or compromised. Australia’s Prime Minister appeared paralysed, hinting that tougher measures would not be tolerated by the populace or by his political constituency. 

While few would deny people are dying, it is quite likely that most of us believe we will not become sick from this disease.

The PM took a blokey, she‘ll be right approach when he should have erred on the side of caution. Illogical calls were made and changed within a day or two. The models that show our trajectory of confirmed cases and deaths are kept under wraps. Are these signs of panic, much like the runs on toilet paper? 

When we come out on the other side of this pandemic it will show that decisive leadership, the courage to act quickly and strategically is crucial. We need to learn from this because another, slower-burn catastrophe is underway and it’s global warming.

Unlike Covid-19, we have known about the threat of global warming for decades and done little to arrest it, thanks to tactics of vested interest in fossil fuels, ideology and the adversarial nature of politics. 

People argued; ‘Why should we reduce emissions when China pollutes much more than us?’ and ‘Taking radical action to counter global warming will ruin jobs and the economy’.

How quickly the precious surplus was ditched to save jobs lost by lock-downs, if indeed this is possible.

This crisis shows us that no-one is an island. To overcome the dangers we must work together, we must understand that the actions we fail to take here, however small, could have dire consequences across the world.

This means people in the country don’t see Covid-19 as a city problem, Queenslanders don’t say it is a New South Wales problem and Australians don’t say this is a China problem. 

Actually, it’s our problem, and only by working together can we solve it 

When this is over we need to tackle climate change, we need to build a health system that is better equipped for pandemics, and we need to fund and listen to our scientists so they can give us the answers we need.

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