Australia – and the world – has entered a time like none other in living memory.
Coronavirus infection rates are escalating at an alarming pace across the planet.
Until recently, many Australians seemed complacent about the impending crisis but we’ve come a long way in a few days.
On March 13 Prime Minister Scott Morrison was urging people to live life as normally as possible and insisted he would join thousands of other fans at a rugby game. Ten days later the entire competition was halted.
Last weekend images of thousands of people crowding Sydney’s Bondi Beach made headlines around a world already largely in lockdown.
But reality kicked in on Monday with social distancing crackdowns meaning hundreds of thousands of Australian jobs were lost in a single day.
With Centrelink lines snaking along footpaths across the country, the full extent of the crisis hit home with a thud.
International figures show it took three months to reach 100,000 cases worldwide, two weeks for that number to double to 200,000 and just four days for that number to skyrocket to 300,000.
In Australia, cases are also rising exponentially. On January 25 we recorded our first case. It took us about 45 days to exceed 100 cases and another 11 days to reach 1000. Just three days later we’d exceeded 1800 cases.
If there was ever a time to support each other it’s now.
Multitudes of Australians are suddenly out of work – unable to pay their mortgages and uncertain about the future.
Local businesses are now clinging for dear life, while others have already been forced to close – maybe forever.
The elderly and vulnerable are more isolated than ever and some are – quite justifiably – afraid for their lives.
So, for those of us who aren’t struggling through every day, now is the time to put others first.
Life has changed as we know it – but for now, that’s okay.
For those of us who are healthy – let’s make the sacrifice to stay home as much as possible so health workers and vulnerable groups have a fighting chance.
For those of us in jobs – let’s keep buying take away from local cafes and restaurants and let’s order products online from local businesses trying to adapt to a new business world.
For those of us who are able bodied and can still make it to the shops – let’s stop the hoarding so others can buy basic household items. Let’s remember how we came together after the bushfires and put the same principles into practice.
We’re all in this together.