SENTINEL-TIMES COMMENT

WE can’t ignore the facts.
As Victorians we are no longer doing a good job when it comes to social distancing, hand washing, using hand sanitiser, disinfecting public surfaces and staying home when we have flu-like symptoms, except to get tested for coronavirus.
We now need to double down on our attitude to the pandemic and its alarming spread in some Melbourne suburbs – so no hugging, no handshakes and no kisses when meeting friends socially as we have seen regularly over the past weekend.
But, the importance of the Black Lives Matter issue aside, the state government sent entirely the wrong message to the community when it effectively sanctioned the BLM protest recently.
Sure, only a handful of cases have so far been associated with the mass gathering but it was an opportunity for the Premier and health authorities to make a strong statement – this is not over folks, we can’t afford this type of protest at this time!
Whether Daniel Andrews and his team dropped the ball in the build up to the branch-stacking exposé or not, only he can answer truthfully, but the distraction it created at this time was an absolute disgrace.
They’ve dropped the ball and we’ve taken our eye off the ball.
And, unfortunately, many small businesses, including pubs and cafés getting ready to open their doors to more viable numbers are now bearing the brunt.
But, just as the government and health authorities have shut down several municipalities in the Melbourne metro area, they should be able to do the opposite in country areas and allow cafes and pubs to go to 50 patrons as planned.
Most country Victorian municipalities have not had new cases for months.
Again, though, that should be no signal for complacency especially given that two of the locked-down municipalities are on our borders.