The global pandemic that is the coronavirus is causing all kinds of hysteria, but not all of it is misplaced. #ShutdownAustralia was trending on Twitter yesterday, and people are demanding that we have some kind of a shutdown to limit the spread of the coronavirus, before we reach the levels that other countries have.
This was before ScoMo announced a ban on over non-essential gatherings of over 100 people – but that schools, universities and shopping centres will remain open for now.
The ABC has also recently released some pretty crazy graphs outlining how rapidly our COVID-19 cases are growing, and how we really need to do something about it (and no, I don’t mean another bullshit business surplus package).
— Anne Cuskelly (@faroutsprout) March 16, 2020
Aussies are worried that if they follow in the footsteps of European countries, (instead of Asian ones that locked down their cities amidst the virus), that the epidemic will just get worse.
— 💧Gavin Mettam (@metgav) March 16, 2020
People are calling for government action like that of China and South Korea, who have been praised for rigorous testing for the coronavirus.
Countries like these tested way more people, whereas Australia, America and several European countries are only testing people who can prove they’ve come into contact with a positive case of the virus, or those that have come in from overseas.
Can’t help wondering why Australia isn’t following the Asian model for dealing with #COVID19 – which has worked – and instead seem to be following the European model which has been a disaster. Couldn’t be racism could it? #COVID19au #shutdownaustralia
— Cate Pettit (@CPwatching) March 16, 2020
The problem with this is that there are then inevitably going to be people walking around that don’t know they’re sick because they don’t fulfil the criteria of being tested, and they run the risk of exposing vulnerable people.
The hysteria around Idris Elba is a pretty good example of that – he wasn’t showing any symptoms but got tested anyway, and found out his case was positive. The only reason testing was even accessible to him was because of his status – many others don’t have the same access.
So Idris Elba has had no symptoms but tested positive, yet we’re being told not to go for tests or call in if we’re not experiencing symptoms. That means all of us could be here chilling thinking we’re good meanwhile we’ve contacted this shit and are spreading it ???
— ebele. (@ebelee_) March 16, 2020
The reason you’re hearing about rich people testing positive (Idris Elba, Tom Hanks, Tormund, Trudeau’s wife) and not your neighbor is because rich people have access to tests and the average person doesn’t.
(Yeah… your neighbor has it.)
— John de Guzmán (@johndeguzman) March 16, 2020
While I don’t agree with the above tweet in that I highly doubt your neighbour has coronavirus, and there’s no need to panic about that – it’s definitely worth thinking about who actually has access to tests.
And for now, if we don’t have access to testing, the least we can do is self-isolate. That way, if we do pick up the virus, we won’t spread it to people that could actually die from it.
The trouble with a two-week lockdown though, is that people need to eat and pay rent, and if you’re working paycheck-to-paycheck, missing two weeks of work is straight up dangerous/impossible. That’s why people are also asking for rent freezes, mortgage freezes, paid leave and welfare payments along with a shutdown.
I mean, if we have millions/billions to inject into a business surplus, surely that’s possible. And anyway, France has just announced it’s own shutdown this morning, complete with a rent and bill freeze.
— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) March 16, 2020
At the moment, there’s no confirmation of any imminent shutdown by the government, though rumours are running rife. Maybe it’s just a matter of time. Then again, maybe it’s just Scotty From Marketing doing us dirty, again.
This article was originally published on March 17th 2020, and has been updated since.
Image Sources: Twitter