On the ABC I read today that when Dr Brendan Murphy was asked if Australia was likely to employ lockdown measures such as those being used in Europe, his response was:
“It is potential that could be the case, but that may be focal.”
Poor Dr Murphy! To say a sentence like that and then have it splattered across the media as the voice of authority and wisdom! Not only was it quoted but it was highlighted in blue! As though it told us something clear and graspable!
I heard from a friend who works in the health industry that Dr Murphy was supposed to be moving to a new role at the beginning of this year but, when COVID19 broke out in China, there was going to be some delay in installing his replacement and he was pulled firmly back by his puppet strings.
Honestly, I do feel for the man. I don’t think any of this is simple. I don’t think choices are clear. But what would be nice, would be some honest to goodness leadership!
Europe is drowning in this horrible virus and here we are with so much precedent to work from, and we’re being almost as indecisive as they were. Meanwhile, Singapore, Hong Kong and Vietnam (who have been in the direct path of the virus for much longer) are relatively unscathed. Why? Because they acted fast and decisively! And, it has to be said, they have faced this kind of enemy before and so there is probably an element of fear in their populations which is missing from us complacent Westerners. There is a lot of talk about Spanish Influenza but I don’t think there’s anybody alive who actually remembers it.
So I call on Australian politicians to put down their enmities, their vote-winning focus, and their access to Social Media and general anger torrents, and just do what needs to be done! Please!