Andrews and his advisers have lost perspective
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Credit:Illustration: Andrew Dyson
Andrews and his advisers have lost perspective
I have been a rusted-on Labor voter all my life and, up to now, have had sympathy with the way the Victorian government has managed the emergency. But I despair that common sense and reasonableness have gone with the latest announcements. If Labor has lost me, I suspect it has lost a lot of informed, sensible people. I am 74 so I do not want COVID-19 to get away again but I truly believe that it can be contained and defeated without the over-zealous, crushing rules that are currently proposed.
Daniel Andrews and his advisers have lost perspective. They are so frightened of making another mistake like the hotel quarantine debacle that they have gone too far in the other direction. However, to avoid one mistake they are creating an even bigger one.Yes, the virus can be defeated with over-the-top measures but it can also be defeated with a more reasonable set of rules.
Barbara Burns, Templestowe
Countries open up and the cases sky rocket
Politicians who are attacking Daniel Andrews for his cautious road map should check the daily case numbers in countries that have started to reopen. On Thursday, they increased by 664 in Austria, 1758 in Germany, 2919 in the United Kingdom, 4137 in Spain, 4429 in Israel and 9843 in France.
In all of these countries, the recent daily increases in cases per capita far outnumbered those in Victoria. Does anyone think our aged, disability and health care sectors could cope with the increases in cases seen in these other countries? Or that we will magically avoid a similar rapid and enormous increase in case numbers if we reopen too fast? Better to be cautious than dead.
Neville Nicholls, Viewbank
The curfew is curtailing our civil liberties
There are some events that warrant deep consideration of the likely consequences before any action is taken. One of these is the curtailment of civil liberties. None of which is currently more glaring than the imposition of a curfew on the population of Melbourne. While the improvements to civic revenue in the form of fines is clear, an insidious, unintended consequence is the demonisation of our police force who are required to enforce this ill-considered infringement of our civil liberties.
Victoria Wise, Rosanna
Nothing is more important than saving lives
So the police were not consulted about the curfew. Who cares? Isn’t saving lives more important than worrying about who said what? With the lockdown in progress and daily infection numbers dropping, it is clear that we are winning this fight. Stop the whingeing.
Ross Beale, Moonee Ponds
Do we want the suffering like that in the US?
The people who are moaning and groaning about the restrictions would do well to think about the consequences if they were lifted prematurely. The out-of-control spread of the virus, devastating illness, human suffering and deaths in other countries such as the United States are examples of government mismanagement of the pandemic. We are fortunate to have a premier who is leading a government that cares for Victorians.
Ellen Ryan, Soldiers Hill
Let’s be kinder, build trust and work together
It was like a breath of fresh air to read the story of Colac and its response to COVID-19 (The Age, 11/9). The lesson is that local action, community participation and building trust work well.
Perhaps these principles could be part of a framework for our next stage. Our society has been dominated by the opposite: individualism and the “winner takes all” approach to the economy, which stymie democratic principles and community trust. Rather than blaming Daniel Andrews, or listening to the bleating of neo-liberals in our midst, let us use our imagination and examine how we can make changes that lead to a kinder, equitable and sustainable Australia. More good stories, please.
Ceci Cairns, Carlton North
Release these areas
Your editorial on the lockdown of regional areas (The Age, 10/9) is timely. All areas are suffering. Nevertheless, no mention was made about the plight of the rural areas of Melbourne’s suburbs caught up in this. Case numbers are negligible or zero, better than Geelong or the like. Why then are they not released into the regional fold? Yarra Ranges Shire is the obvious one in question, with huge rural areas held back by stage four. Common sense is needed. Release these areas, give them breathing space as deserved.
Steve Odell, Chum Creek
An easing of restrictions
If the current downwards trend in new Victorian cases continues, it seems likely that by September 21 the average number over the previous 14 days will be fewer than 50 cases. If so, and given that the government’s decisions are supposed to be driven by the data, why couldn’t we move to step two restrictions on that day, rather than having to wait until September 28?
Andrew Rothfield, Northcote
A loss of trust in Dan
How aggravating to find that Daniel Andrews allowed our Chief Health Officer to be sidelined by public servants – ‘‘Sutton shut out of top pandemic response job’’ (The Age, 11/9). How can we respect anything the Premier tells us now?
Doris LeRoy, Altona
A deep respect for Dan
Over the past few weeks, Daniel Andrews has not been playing politics. Much to his credit, he has lived up to his words. The same cannot be said of his political opponents who have spent their time sending off barbs in his direction, prompted by our Prime Minister and followed up by our state’s Opposition Leader. I can only hope their actions will be remembered come polling day.
Laurie Vaughan, Bairnsdale
Stop the blame game
At this time we do not need divisive politics. Scott Morrison’s stand against the Victorian government is hypocritical and opportunistic. It also incites discord and is dangerous. While the Andrews government has accepted it made mistakes with hotel quarantine, the federal government has not taken responsibility for its mismanagement of, and laissez faire approach to, aged care. Mr Morrison needs to stop blaming and act as the true Christian and Prime Minister he purports to be.
Margaret McKenna, Doreen
Many need help, PM
Now that Scott Morrison has successfully negotiated a funeral viewing for one Canberra resident, will he ensure that the hundreds of Australians who wish to leave this country to farewell dying relatives overseas will not be stopped from doing so by Border Force? And will he importune Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce to provide four economy tickets for the Australian woman who, with her three children, is sleeping on the floor at Heathrow Airport because she cannot afford business class tickets, the only option on offer?
Stephen Williams, Wandin North
How science advances
When I studied microbiology in the early ’60s, we were never taught that you can catch coronavirus through the chin. Today many people know they only have to cover their chins while out walking. Now that is progress.
Kevin Fahey, Red Hill
Our health purgatory
Sue Green dares to write what many of us are observing – ‘‘Virus effects shine a light on fatigue’’ (Comment, 8/9). Many COVID-19 victims are not recovering several weeks or months after the acute illness. They are baffled by the range of debilitating symptoms and many face medical disbelief.
Welcome to the upside-down world. I suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome which developed from a post-viral illness. That was 27 years ago. In this other world, our illness is poorly understood by doctors and the community. There is no diagnostic test or effective treatment and scarce research funding. It is heartbreaking that people with post-COVID may join us in this health purgatory.
Jenny Meagher, Malvern East
Getting around curfews
As a student nurse, resident at a London hospital, we had a 10pm curfew. Of course, nobody checked if we were back and then the doors were locked. The solution? We stayed out all night. My mother would not have approved, but she did not know. There is always an answer to a problem. In my case, it was a key to the fire escape.
Ruth Wilson, Ringwood North
Make polluters pay
The reported transference of toxic waste by Bradbury Industrial Services to another company, now expected to clean up the mess and pay for it (The Age, 11/9), is outrageous. Avoid paying for the mess you created and let others bear the cost. This is what plastics manufacturers and distributors do. We, the public, are left to bear the costs of pollution of our waterways, oceans and food chains. It is time the Commonwealth imposed an appropriate tax on the plastics industry to pay for the prevention and removal of plastic from our environment.
Allan Dowsett, Preston
Withhold incendiary mail
Australia Post is described as a government-owned business. What Australians need and want is a postal service. Chief executive Christine Holgate appears confused about Australia Post’s role and her own role within it. Its response to the pandemic has been shambolic at a time when people needed a clear plan that recognised and respected their needs.
People locked in housing towers did not need insult added to injury by a self-serving politician – ‘‘Post boss made threat over Hanson mailout’’ (The Age, 10/9). It was a volatile situation that required sensitivity, compassion and protection. The City of Melbourne responded accordingly in the withholding of incendiary mail.
Cheryl Howard, Newham
Mail must get through
Under section 85U of the Crimes Act 1914 it is an offence, punishable by two years’ imprisonment, to ‘‘intentionally obstruct or hinder the carriage by post of any article’’. Regardless of what we think of Pauline Hanson’s divisive propaganda, or the performance of Australia Post, Melbourne City Council’s decision to block delivery of mail was illegal.
I sympathise with its wish to avoid inflaming already strained emotions, but we cannot have a situation whereby any political actor can obstruct the delivery of mail purely on the basis of objections to its content. I hope Australia Post did not do Hanson any special favours and trust that all attempts to interfere with mail delivery would be met by the same strong response, including referral to police if necessary.
Mark Summerfield, Northcote
Young, bright, capable
What can we do to facilitate a young people-led recovery? A huge increase in research grants. Tech mentoring. High-quality incubators. With the massive increase in online sales, we could support them to upscale their businesses and provide them with storage facilities for ‘‘pick and pack’’. In manufacturing, there are excellent opportunities and solutions to supply chains just waiting to be initiated.
The Morrison government is fully on board supporting tradies but what about the young people who are not plumbers, electricians and construction workers? They are the future.
Barbara Jackson, Montmorency
A new, difficult Target
Anita Ophoven (Letters, 11/9), until recently I was an enthusiastic, daily, Target puzzle participant, always keen to aim at being better than ‘‘good’’. I am now a discouraged, consistently ‘‘less than average’’ player ready to give the game away. And, yes, so many of the words we are expected to find are ones we have never heard of.
Sandra Mast, Beaumaris
It works for our state
Victorians are reluctant to advise other states these days, but if NSW wants to get more koalas into the trees, it could try our bipartisan practice of ‘‘branch stacking’’.
Kevan Porter, Alphington
AND ANOTHER THING
Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding
So Scott’s heavily marketed app wasn’t the gold standard.
Stephen Baldwin, Frankston
Keep the curfew. It stops people from congregating and partying at night, resulting in more cases.
Kathryn Wilkinson, Burwood
Brett, apart from the curfew, what other restrictions did Dan impose without your recommendations?
William Hare, Mont Albert
When Scott goes low, Dan goes high. Keep it up, Dan.
Mary Hoffmann, Richmond
The lockdown would be more bearable if it weren’t for Telstra’s disgracefully poor internet service.
Cor Lenghaus, Armstrong
At the beginning of this crazy year, no one could even spell epidemiologist.
Raeleene Gregory, Ballarat East
Victorians are now in a nursing home and Dan is the chief nurse.
Martin Baggott, Camberwell
What’s your eradication plan, Michael O’Brien? Do you have one? No, I didn’t think so.
Barry Megennis, Fairfield
Anita Ophoven (12/9), the Target puzzle appears to have DA written all over it.
Rosemary Lithgow, Maryborough
Hanson accuses people of being alcoholics, then sends them stubby holders. She doesn’t recognise irony.
Ian Greenshields, Malvern East
Australia post, patience post.
Doug Springall, Yarragon
Australia Post has a couple of weeks to deliver the stubby holders without compromising its normal standard.
Barry Whelan, Aireys Inlet
More lockdown titles for Alan Kohler: The Longest Day and One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Mike Puleston, Brunswick
Diana Rigg was one classy Dame. RIP and thanks for the memories.
David Francis, Ocean Grove
In classic Jack Nicholson style, Trump seems to be saying to Americans, ‘‘You can’t handle the truth’’.
Nick Brennan, Rowville
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