Covid catastrophe

The Federal Government’s latest $130 billion ‘rescue mission’ to essentially pay the wages of recently stood down employees in Australia for the next six months is a staggering indication as to the seriousness of the dilemma facing this nation.
Less than three weeks ago Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a $17 billion package in the fight against the effects of this coronavirus.
That significant investment – one which ripped the much-vaunted ‘back in black’ surplus from the Coalition’s grasp – dominated the news cycle for a mere matter of hours before more international horrors consigned it to background noise.
This monster was clearly out of control.
That effort was then overshadowed by a larger $66 billion package announced on March 22 which allowed small businesses up to $100,000 in cash payments, loans of up to $250,000 and welfare recipients an additional $750.
Less than a week later that too was torpedoed by this latest $130 billion announcement as the Government desperately tries to position the economy to bounce back when the danger of the virus passes. The problem is that no one knows when that will be.
The Government knows it must invest in the nation at a time when business is on its knees and unemployment is skyrocketing.
Unfortunately the overriding health issue that is COVID-19 is not going away any time soon and, the longer it remains a threat, the more likely it is that the faltering pulse of the economy will need an intensive care bed itself.
Clearly there are very dark days ahead and the lockdown of business and society in general will surely become more severe.
The Government has just struck a deal with private hospitals to effectively expand the nation’s bed numbers by 34,000.
Clearly it has sound advice that this nation is a long way from getting on top of this pandemic.
It might be hoping for the best but it is planning for the worst … a sensible position.
But as much as the Government is doing to shield us from the problem, it is the responsibility of everyone to remain isolated and keep away from people as much as possible.
We are the ones on the front line and everyone has a role to play.