by Anne Miller
C’mon South Burnett! Do we really want to end up like Melbourne … back in lockdown, the economy haemorrhaging?
The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is still circulating in Australia.
The escalating outbreak in Victoria proves this, as do recent detections in NSW.
Just because Queensland has gone many days and recorded only three new cases doesn’t mean the danger is over.
Now that our borders are open (except for Victorians), I’m seeing more interstate numberplates on local roads.
This may be good news for local businesses but it also means it’s no time for South Burnett residents to drop the ball.
Abattoirs and hospitals are both high-risk work sites … we’ve got them both.
“It’s just the flu” is dangerous nonsense.
“I’m ok, she’ll be right” doesn’t cut it.
Neither does the complacent self-assurance I’ve seen demonstrated by a lot of people lately who really should know better.
I have attended several events over the past month where people shook hands, hugged and chatted for 20 minutes or more within centimetres of each other.
But when I photographed them, they all broke up into nice, legal “socially distanced” groups.
And the feeling that COVID-19 is all behind us is not only confined to the South Burnett’s elite.
During recent visits to local shopping centres, I’ve seen multiple examples of groups of people standing around and chatting in small groups, making a mockery of the ubiquitous warning signs and taped-on floor crosses.
Have you tried to use any of the hand sanitisers at major stores in Kingaroy over the past fortnight or so? They are almost universally empty.
There’s a big question mark over social distancing adherence in some commercial establishments throughout Queensland, too.
Been dancing lately? You shouldn’t have … it’s still banned.
Our politicians aren’t helping, either.
There was an incredible amount of political pressure – urged on by commercial imperatives – to open the Queensland border.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk basically caved.
When I suggested in a comment on a politician’s Facebook page the border should remain closed for a bit longer, the party cadres piled on … apparently I am a bedwetter who should crawl back under the doona.
In other social media arenas, apparently I am “woke” because I do not believe COVID-19 is a media beat-up created by Bill Gates and Big Pharma in some sort of 5G, pro-vax conspiracy.
Well, the bad (or perhaps, good) news is the virus does not discriminate.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a right-wing or a left-wing ratbag, you can still get sick.
And it doesn’t matter that you’re not elderly … you can still get very, very ill with lingering – perhaps lifelong – consequences.
And as the overseas experience proves, young people CAN die.
The frightening thing is that hundreds of cases in Victoria at present are “under investigation”. ie. the health authorities don’t know (yet) where they came from.
This means community transmission. Just like the UK, the USA, Italy, France, Spain, Sweden, Brazil …
Why do we think we are immune from the same thing happening here?
Because we’re special in some way? Because we’re Queenslanders? Because it can’t happen here?
Or perhaps because we’re just in dangerous denial.