OPINION

Railing against only COVID solutions achieves little

Railing against only COVID solutions achieves little

I'M worried for Australia, where the COVID-19 rip current is starting to become very apparent.

The ocean of our population contains a seething, angry, frightened element who can now find each other via social media and share and feed their anger.

This erupted in Australia on the weekend when there were protests in capital cities across the country.

Images of maskless people marching, carrying placards with slogans indicating they were fighting for freedom, have been played across the world.

The rest of the world has to be feeling bemused watching the people of the "lucky country", who have stayed relatively safe and possibly been a little smug, erupt after just a taste of what they've endured.

The COVID experience has been so different within the boundaries of Australia.

The poor folk of Victoria, who quietly endured a severe 112-day lockdown last year and have gone there again this year, have had to hear about friends having a beer at the pub in Queensland, or attending festivals in the Northern Territory.

In regional NSW, we have had it so good that there are still doubting Thomases who are scoffing at the over-reaction to a "man flu". Heaven help us if it gets here.

There are still an alarming number of cases coming out of Sydney, and yet there were thousands of people marching to proclaim their freedom. It's hard for the rest of us to comprehend.

Those Victorians who have patiently home-schooled their children, lost their jobs or income, stayed within the confines of their four walls - and who didn't participate in the Melbourne protest - must be shaking their heads at the scenes in Sydney and Brisbane. All of that work, all of that restraint, all that pain, all of those days not seeing loved ones - put under threat by mass gatherings of unmasked people.

I'm a great believer in freedom. I don't think wearing a mask is limiting it. It's a pain in the behind and I don't know how people with bad asthma are coping.

Also, I'm unsure whether we are covering our bases - social distancing and hand sanitising seems to be a bit passe this time around.

But honestly, we are in uncharted territory and the facts show that last time around, lockdown and other restrictions worked.

While the people in some regions have not been the ones to bear most of the pain, we are thankful to those who have.

It won't bring back their lost income and good mental health, but it is the truth.

We are facing something bigger than our boundaries and bigger than the government.

Getting angry at the only solutions we seem to have is not going to fix it.

Marie Low is a freelance journalist based in regional NSW.

This story Railing against only COVID solutions achieves little first appeared on The Canberra Times.