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Covid-19 update

What do we know?

As at 1st October 2021 Western Australia has no cases of Covid-19 in the community, the WA economy is thriving, and people in the state have freedom of movement and association without the need for masks. At least three people who deliberately breached quarantine requirements, or allegedly provided false statements so they could get to the AFL Grand Final, are in police custody for more than the period of their required quarantine.

On the other hand, people in New South Wales and Victoria are subject to lockdown conditions which have been continuing for many weeks, ill-defined "essential workers" have allowed some shops to be open when their services are far from really essential, there are hundreds of new Covid-19 cases each day, people who breach restrictions are given little more than a slap on the wrist, and they are now demanding that other states open borders and allow Covid-19 to be rampant everywhere.

What I have said all along is that too many people will ignore quarantine restrictions, act as if Covid-19 is no worse than the common cold, or demand their personal 'right' to freedom of movement ignoring their responsibility, that comes with that right, to make sure they are not putting others at risk. Our inter-state and international borders are, in fact, open already. The limiting factor is the number of spaces available in adequate quarantine facilities because people are allowed in providing they can spend 14 days in such places. The only way to ensure that quarantine is done properly is for everyone to go into supervised quarantine facilities, such as Howard Springs, in the Northern Territory. Inviting people to quarantine at home will not work because a small number of people will ignore that requirement, to the detriment of everyone else.

Western Australia has shown that it is possible to live without Covid-19 in the community. Ships have arrived at WA ports with infected crew members, but the virus has not got into the community. The only downside at present is the ever-present risk of someone deliberately flouting the rules and bringing the virus into the state. Those people should be held responsible for the total cost of any outbreak, including the costs of shutting down businesses for an extended period and the costs of hospital treatment, if any arises. Maybe a potential charge of manslaughter, if anyone dies as a result of such an outbreak, might get people to realise the significance of their actions.

Why haven't all the states followed WA's example?

The Liberal Party in NSW, in tandem with the Liberal Party in the Australian government, has been focussed on the economy, instead of putting the health of the people first. They are reluctant to take any action which might make them unpopular in the short term, but have ruined the economies of multiple states by insisting that they know better than anyone else, and, of course, neither of them could concede that a Labor Party government in WA could do better - that would be political suicide with an election sometime between now and the middle of May 2022. If you want examples of financial management and mis-management you need only look to WA and NSW respectively.

© 2021 Steven Secker, Social Justice Advocate