It’s one of those clichés that we often draw positives from adversity but anybody doing it tough during the current pandemic will quickly dismiss that kind of gratuitous cheering up. Nevertheless there are some good things that have emerged over the past six months as a result of the COVID calamity and for what it’s worth here’s a judicious selection below.
Health & Hygiene: Social distancing and hand sanitising may not have wiped out the virus but they have done wonders in raising our general level of cleanliness. Cases of the common flu have dropped a phenomenal 99% and in June this year only 208 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza were reported – compared to 30,567 at the same time in 2019.
Aviation: With reduced airline services Sydneysiders in the flight path are at least getting a break from the constant aircraft noise. Also good to see that Sydney Airport is losing big time on their shamefully exorbitant car parking fees as the terminals resemble a ghost town. Tough!
Narcotics: With greatly restricted international air travel authorities are claiming that less illegal drugs are entering the country. The Sinaloa Cartel will not be happy. The recent internal border closures and restrictions have also seen a curtailing of the movement of drugs within Australia – notably pot and meth.
Entertainment: At last a temporary halt to the number of US and British, half dead, has been pop and rock stars descending on our shores to plunder the nostalgia circuit. With no summer music festivals we can also look forward to zero MDMA casualties. And it would be great to see the smaller club and pub venues get the jump on the bigger concert and stadium shows when it comes to revitalising the local music scene.
Television: The commercial channels have all increased their news services to report on the pandemic and Channel 7 has even incorporated an advertorial ‘meals to cook at home’ segment in the middle of the six o’clock news. The real excitement however, is the recent announcement that Channel 10 is bringing back Family Feud, supposedly to help out those families that are doing it tough during the pandemic. Wow!
Stigmas: With unemployment approaching 10 per cent and hundreds of thousands receiving Job Seeker and Keeper, the words ‘dole bludger’ have quickly disappeared from the current lexicon. There’s no stigma in asking the Government for a handout as everybody from the lowliest worker to the captains of industry are doing it.
Socialism Isn’t So Bad After All: Being branded a socialist in Australia was once almost as bad as being called a communist but the Government’s largesse during the current health and economic crisis is surely socialism at its best. The normal capitalist dog eat dog society has been supplanted by the spirit of “we are all in this together” as Government cash flows in all directions.
The Trillion Dollar Bill: It’s bad luck for those hedonistic millennials who will be paying off the Government’s massive pandemic spend for decades to come. The baby boomers aren’t exactly laughing but most of them get to leave the building without picking up the tab.