THE Premier Daniel Andrews is set to announce two ‘Road Maps to Recovery’ this morning as the number of new coronavirus cases is driven down to 63, with five additional deaths overnight.
We are unaware yet of the number of new cases in regional Victoria but with the vast majority of the 102 active cases linked to known outbreaks, while large swaths of the country are without an active case at all, there’s a strong case, surely, for a serious easing of restrictions in regional areas.
There’s also the reality that ordinary residents in both the Stage 3 and Stage 4 areas have developed “restriction fatigue” and are already flouting the rules, if not in public then certainly in private.
If the Stage 4 restrictions stay on in Melbourne, what then?
Will most people comply for another two weeks or a month or whatever it takes to wipe out the final impact of the hotel quarantine disaster?
Whatever the Premier Daniel Andrews announces today, it needs to have a large helping of hope attached to it, and some meaningful data that shows where the problem actually exists.
If the reality is that most of the new cases are coming out of health and aged care settings, where we hear that the use of PPE by even senior doctors, has been less than satisfactory, than that’s where your problem is… not with the general population and certainly not in country areas.
How many businesses in the state have already gone to the wall?
How many jobs have been lost permanently, not because of “this wildly infectious global pandemic” but because of the State Government’s mismanagement?
As much as we probably accept that the restrictions have to remain in place in Melbourne until they get the number of new untraced cases down to a manageable level, the government needs to be mindful of the restriction fatigue in the community and the potential for civil disobedience, if not civil unrest.
And another thing, as strong as the Premier has been standing up there day after day, he’s not qualified to lead a state of emergency and should finally hand the job over to the Emergency Services Director or whoever is best qualified and go back to being the political leader of the state, the Premier.
What do you think the Premier should announce today?