Complacency has no part in this pandemic

Columnist Peter Leith has always been one to take time to lobby and observe. Here, he reminds us all of our duty to one another.

One morning a few weeks back, I was watching the ABC news. For 10 seconds it showed two people walking through a huge, empty, concrete-floored space that looked as friendly and welcoming as an aircraft hangar – without the aircraft. The audio informed us that it would soon be the first public, mass vaccination centre in Perth.

I surmised that we could, in the next few days, expect to see images of a kind with which we are already familiar – many small white tables, each with two chairs and close-ups of seated people being injected with a COVID vaccine. The unsmiling ‘injectors’ would be wearing the obligatory blue plastic gloves.

We have all seen it before and will, no doubt, see it again, and again, and again.

The vision reminded me of other, similar pictures to which we are all becoming accustomed.

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The images of similar wide, impersonal spaces, liberally sprinkled with dozens of neat pyramids of burning firewood.

Each pyramid contains the body of an Indian man, woman or child who has died from the coronavirus.

There have been many thousands of these funeral pyres and there will be many thousands more. Yet, we, the lucky residents of the ‘lucky country’, continue to question the necessity for lockdowns, border closures and even the wearing of face masks.

Some of us maintain the right to travel wherever we wish and whenever we wish. 

We even argue about and question the relative merits of different vaccines and debate whether we will be vaccinated at all!

Perhaps we would all do well to remember and visualise those thousands of piles of burning firewood. – and the people inside them.

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There is a complacency in Australia about the pandemic, which worries me greatly.

I have had my first vaccination. It is a social responsibility. We all have a responsibility to not pass on the virus. We have the right to terminate our own lives but not jeopardise the lives of others.

Do you agree with Peter’s point of view? Are we forgetting how lucky we are to be weathering these difficult times in Australia? Do you have a story or an observation for Peter? Send it to [email protected] and put ‘Sunday’ in the subject line.

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Written by Peter Leith



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