Australia

Historical tastes were overturned as blockade enthusiasts did not feel any pain.

Australia has been stress tested by a pandemic and the results are mixed. I have good news. With the demonic exceptions of Victoria, our government and public health systems have proven to be mostly competent and well-organized. Internationally, this turned out to be rare. But there are some tough lessons.

Risk management needs to be discussed openly before the next crisis. Illness can be controlled by shutting down everything and putting citizens under house arrest, but that is not ideal. It might be necessary if everyone faced a similar threat, but in this case it wasn’t. Society cannot guarantee the safety of all, so the goal must be the old-fashioned notion of seeking the common good. Throughout history, most societies have preferred their youth as a simple matter of survival, so it should focus on the future. In this pandemic, we reversed it. That was a bad decision.

The Queensland border remains closed to most visitors from New South Wales.credit:Getty

Alas, we have lost the ability to have a frank conversation. There are many reasons for this, but let’s poke one very sensitive bear. The most enthusiastic blockade enthusiasts come from privileged classes who live and do not work in the frontline suburbs. They work in white-collar jobs, often in the public sector, where wealth is growing by working from home. That’s not what a cleaner, guard, cook, or factory worker can do. As usual, the poor suffered the most.

The Morrison administration has experienced most of the good pandemics, but the real test lies beyond the transition from economic life support to economic restart. We have succeeded in building a safety net under most economies, but the budget is the line between triage and recovery.

Place of originHistorical tastes were overturned as blockade enthusiasts did not feel any pain.

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