THE ‘Kick a Vic’ approach, initially adopted by the South Australian and then NSW and Queensland governments, is probably understandable.
Our Premier started it.
In response to a decision by the South Australian government to reopen its borders to people from Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania in mid-June, while still requiring visitors from eastern states to quarantine upon entry Mr Andrews uttered his now infamous sledge.
“I don’t want to be offensive to South Australians but why would you want to go there?”
He’d like to have that moment back again.
But the result has been widespread negative sentiment and suspicion towards Victorians when pity and help might have been be more appropriate.
And those unfortunate enough to have found themselves interstate are starting to feel the chill, if not the outright animosity.
That might still come.
The fear and loathing is being fuelled by a series of unfortunate incidents, predictably highlighted by the interstate media.
Bagging Victoria is now a national sport.
“A monster mistake by the Victorian Government, which incorrectly gave the green light to a teenager and his family to travel to the south coast, after being tested, only later to be told he was actually positive,” was how a recent incident was reported north of the border.
The family from Melbourne was staying in the Merimbula-Tathra area for five days, where they met up with extended family members from north of Sydney.
The incident has sent shockwaves through the Sapphire Coast prompting NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to consider a new level of restrictions.
“The potential for contagion from Victoria is extremely high. The potential for stricter assessment for exemption certificates is extremely high,” she said, foreshadowing a lockdown in her own state as a result of what’s going on in Victoria.
Canberra has turned against us too after three people linked to the Melbourne outbreak tested positive in the national capital which has been without a coronavirus case for months.
A Gippsland local, staying with her mother at a NSW retirement village, was instructed by the village committee to get tested, even though she has been staying there for a month.
They wouldn’t take no for an answer and insisted on five days of quarantine while the results were pending.
The natural fear of aged residents to coronavirus, redoubled by a Victorian in their midst, makes the response entirely appropriate.
We can’t go interstate, but it’s got to the point now where Victorians are very much pariahs in their own country.
Is that too Mr Andrews’ fault?
Loose lips sink ships they say, and he is the captain of our ship… so you be the judge.
Fortunately, the interstate Premiers are trying to be kinder to us Vics and the PM even offered some understanding overnight.
“It’s going to be tough… but we’re all Melburnians now in this fight,” said Scott Morrison.
But don’t expect that sort of reception for ‘Mexicans’ anytime soon from the general population north and west.