SA six-day ‘whingers’ have a point

 

COMMENT

Victorians are entitled to feel proud of what they achieved - particularly as they mark 20 days in a row with zero coronavirus cases.

They're entitled to the belief that they live in Australia's home of sport and that their baristas make the best coffee.

They're entitled to bragging rights about the "world's most liveable city" (OK, fine, that was 2019) and they're entitled to expect that Daniel Andrews will wear his North Face jacket when he delivers good news.

But despite crushing the second wave, they're not entitled to tell South Australians how to do it. Or to stop Whingeing. Or that it'll be "easy" because the lockdown announced by Premier Steven Marshall is "only six days, not four months".

Here's an example of some of that nonsense on social media in the last 24 hours.

"South Australia. Enjoy lockdown. It is NOT hard, you just endure it until covid is gone!

Happy lockdown and cheers from me in Victoria!"

Not helpful, mate.

As I suggested on Wednesday, it is not for Victorians to speak on the South Australian experience, except when it comes to panic buying. Just don't do it, please.

 

Sorry about the language, Mum.

Here's the thing. Yes, it was infuriating when Sydneysiders waded into the debate about whether Victoria's lockdown was too harsh (looking at you, Sam Armytage).

But that's not the only reason Victorians should avoid sharing their pearls of wisdom about how to get through lockdown and defeat the invisible enemy.

The situation is different.

Yes, it is only six days, as many people have pointed out. But what South Australians are going through now should not be trivialised because it won't last longer than a week (hopefully).

A week is a lifetime, especially when you can't leave the house to walk the dog or to exercise. And when funerals are not just restricted to 10 mourners, they're cancelled outright.

Ask Kristy Fairlamb, who lost her grandfather this week and can't be there to comfort her mother.

 

RELATED: Follow the latest on the South Australia outbreak

Or those who are worried about what a lockdown this close to Christmas means for the prospect of seeing their families, both nearby and across state borders.

The news was delivered by the Premier and CHO Nicola Spurrier on Wednesday with all the seriousness it deserved. But Mr Marshall made a comment on Thursday morning that sounded, well, like it was a bit of a walk in the park.

He told local radio he couldn't believe South Australians spent the last hours of freedom yesterday rushing to supermarkets when that's the only thing they can do in the next six days.

I know why. It's because these are unprecedented times. It's because people are scared.

This exchange at yesterday's press conference certainly didn't help.

REPORTER: "There's panic buying across the city, across the state, is anyone going to listen to you and not to panic buy?"

SA POLICE COMMISSIONER GRANT STEVENS: "I don't think everyone will listen and I do think people will flood the supermarkets. If you are going shopping, think about other people."

 

 

One young woman wrote on social media: "South Australia is going to turn into Victoria 2.0. Bye I hate it here."

That's the worst case scenario - a situation South Australians watched from across the border that started with a handful of restrictions and turned into a lockdown with a curfew and a ring of steel and police handing out millions of dollars in fines to Victorians who failed to follow the chief health officer's directions.

There's an outcry already from people who think maybe South Australia went a bit hard. Time will tell whether or not they are right. Not you, Cory Bernardi. You're not right.

 

South Australian Federal Liberal MP Tony Pasin was among those who abandoned party lines and suggested six days of hard lockdown might be too much.

"Obviously, the outbreak is of concern, but I woke up this morning fairly confident in the view we were pursuing a suppression strategy, unfortunately, it seems to have morphed into an elimination strategy," he said on Thursday.

"I've got constituents … who are 5000 kilometres away from this outbreak and now they'll be subject to exactly the same quarantine arrangements as people living in Adelaide.

"I don't think that's the nuanced response that we need if we're going to learn to live with this disease."

 

 

But experts say they've struck the right balance.

Deakin University epidemiologist Catherine Bennett told us: "It's the absolute pinnacle of going early."

"It's nothing like Melbourne. It's six days - it won't have the same long term implications. It's trying to keep it less than a week - going hard."

Less than a week, but not easy. So let's leave the advice to the experts. We'll just say, we're with you, SA.

Is South Australia's lockdown too hard? Are people right to whinge? Join the conversation in the comments below

Originally published as SA six-day 'whingers' have a point



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