Our Coming Bleak Winter and Beyond

These are certainly interesting times — and they are about to get more interesting. Winter is approaching and the flu season with it, leading the medical experts who have dictated state and federal responses to COVID-19 to warn that the fabled “second wave” soon will be upon us. That tertiary eruption of the Wuhan virus hasn’t actually happened anywhere else in the world, so we’ll just have to wait and see if history fails to repeat itself here. What we do know is that, be the mooted resurgence real or not, the policies that have made a shambles of the economy will remain in effect as diktats or, when rescinded, their long-term consequences. Until political leaders find the courage to reclaim responsibility for the state of the nation, the virus and far more damaging policies imposed to combat it cannot, and will not, be separated.

And after that comes the bushfire season. Mitigating fire risk and actually fighting fires require vast amounts of planning and resources, as we know from previous fire seasons, up to and especially including the last. But for the upcoming fire season, there will be much less of those resources to hand, both human and financial. How, for example, is a volunteer fire unit to ready itself for action, to build the teamwork and response structures, if social-distancing rules remain in effect as the weather warms and the bush dries to tinder? With federal state governments charting their futures in red ink, won’t the temptation be to cut back on that which is not immediately pressing? Will we see less fuel reduction being done and equipment updates postponed? Probably.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will need a well-earned holiday by then, but could there possibly be a right time for him to set aside the burden of office? The simple truth is that there is no right time, according to his critics on the Left. Whatever he does, count on the ABC and media in general to find no shortage of quotable critics — “experts” to a man — asserting he has blood on negligent hands.

That’s the thing about experts: they are the media’s ever-handy cudgels for beating up political enemies. A few months ago they were preaching climate change to us, citing the bushfires as Exhibit A.  At least one of those alarmists, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton,  switched seamlessly from the health threat of the “climate emergency” to ordaining how COVID-19 must be managed.

For all the armchair critics with your Facebook-endorsed qualifications in firefighting, public health, epidemiology and health economics, can you please offer your suggestions now for what this government should be doing to address the next crisis, whatever it might be, and the one after that? You demand oracular foresight from Morrison & Co, surely you can share the secrets of the crystal ball and the remedies it prescribes. Or is it that your vision is 20/20 only when it comes to hindsight?

For those who offer such advice, here’s a story that should encourage you to do more thinking and less talking, to consider the human and so far largely hidden cost of yur war on COVID-19. It concerns a family of my acquaintance, a family that had been shouldering the usual expenses and then some that go with raising kids and running a household. One of the children needs extensive dental work, which if done now, will avoid serious dental and health-related problems in the years to come. Another child is shy but  shows great sporting potential and was selected to go to a camp for professional training and mentoring that would likely lead to a scholarship. The other child has severe anxiety problems that require the help of a therapist each week.

Up until the economy was crippled by the experts’ lockdowns and business closures, many likely to be permanent, the parents were meeting their children’s needs thanks to the mother’s part-time job. With the onset of COVID-19, she lost that job. Oh, and the family car now needs major repairs. The parents now need to reassess their plans. Unlike governments, they cannot print their own money, so it’s looking like the budding sportsman may no longer get to go to sports camp. You can imagine his disappointment, as he does not understand that there is not enough money, and that there are competing priorities within the family that he does not fully appreciate. As to the needs of his siblings, the family will do the best they can to press ahead and as adversity makes the slope ahead even steeper.

Yes, for that family and the nation as a whole, the next 12 months will be very challenging indeed.


6 thoughts on “Our Coming Bleak Winter and Beyond

  • rod.stuart says:

    What at refreshing view from a wise realist!
    Governments as well as people get so accustomed to just whacking it up on the old credit card, that they are overwhelmed with the eventual realisation that resources are not infinite.
    We can always count on the Black Steam Train to bring us back to terra firma.

  • DG says:

    Imagine, the piles of money that go to ‘professional’ sport, that have made ‘professional’ sport at the taxpayers’ expense, cannot subsidize the young fellow. Ah, but I forgot, public money is about the construction of elaborate bureaucracies and the cheering class that will support them. Maybe no so much about encouraging kids whose families have been driven to penury by diktat. Maybe this is just to give as a glimpse of the socialist world so we’ll steer clear of it in the future.

  • en passant says:

    Three paraphrased comments that sum up the coming Winter of our Discontent:
    1. The actions taken by the Oz governments (Federal and State) have had such a devastating effect that Scomo has smirkingly achieved a Pyrrhic victory . With only 77 deaths to date at the hands of the enemy, 25M incarcerated as PoWs’ and hundreds more deaths to come, inflicted by their own hand, as their blighted lives and years of hard work have been destroyed, such will be the devastating toll that it is tantamount to defeat as this economic toll negates any sense of ‘public safety’ achievement due to the long-term damage.
    2. After the truly exceptional victory of their spears over rifle fire, the Zulu King, Cetawayo declared “One more such victory and the Zulu nation will no longer exist”.
    3. In the infamous photo of a small, naked girl, her clothes having been burnt from her skin, running from a Vietnamese village after a napalm attack an American PR officer explained “We had to destroy the village to save it”.
    Pick which quote best fits the government plan to turn Oz into a trailer-trash wasteland for sale to whoever wants it at a discount price …”

  • loweprof says:

    The quote “we had to destroy the village in order to save it” referred to a US attack on the village of Ben Tre in February 1968.

    The photograph of Phan Thi Kim Phuoc was taken following a napalm strike on the village of Trang Bang by the South Vietnamese Air Force in June 1972.

    The two incidents were unrelated.

  • paul scott says:

    I have felt even more unhappy for weeks watching New Zealand and Australia.
    I am in exile from New Zealand anyway, just part of a New Zealander’s family which our corrupt
    UN-controlled Immigration system would not let back in regardless.
    We travel around here in Bangkok without fear of the authorities, because you know, this is a semi Military democracy.
    Here unlike the facile psychopathic NZ and Australian Police Forces, I see the Thai Police roll up in China town every day with truckloads of food. This is why people here co-operate with the Police.
    New Zealand and Australia are in trouble. You are being overtaken bt Socialism which you pander to in your Education systems, Academia, Media and Bureaucracy.
    You are dying, and you do not have the guts to take the necessary action to save yourselves.
    You write, pontificate, and complain and you do nothing

  • rosross says:

    Dillon is a refreshing voice of reason.

Leave a Reply