If you feel hard done by having to self-isolate, not attend your usual haunts or meet with friends, spare a thought for refugees and asylum seekers who are forced into cramped, unhygienic situations which exposes them to being infected by COVID-19.

The people who arrived in Australia for medical help from Nauru and PNG, as well as those in onshore detention centres, are living together in cramped sleeping quarters, sharing bathrooms and in physical contact with guards who walk in off the city streets.

We are not in this together at all, as some will claim.

We leave vulnerable, often traumatized refugees and asylum seekers, the people whose only crime was to seek safety in Australia, exposed to COVID-19.

If infections spread in detention centres and hotels where these people have been warehoused, COVID-19 will travel into our community through the guards in charge of these people.

Can we share a little humanity as well as self-preservation, and welcome those often traumatised seekers of peace into our community.

There are many who would welcome them into their homes as well as organisations set up to house these people.

South Gippsland Rural Australians for Refugees (SGRAR) held a small action asking for some thoughtfulness and compassion. You are welcome to join SGRAR’s email group. Just contact Felicia on sgrar07@gmail.com.

Felicia Di Stefano, SGRAR.