As resource-impoverished Taiwan demonstrated, Australia could have dealt with this pandemic by:
- pre-emptively ensuring complete isolation from known sources by immediately grounding passenger planes and ships, preferably without costly mitigation to airlines
- ensuring as many people as possible are tested and isolated if positive
- immediately sanitising and sterilising all large indoor meeting places and public transit vehicles
- aiming to raise as much money as possible for these purposes
- A temporary $1 or even $2 per litre levy on all motor fuels would I feel be highly suitable for this purpose
- even an $2 levy at the maximum price in the weekly cycle would leave petrol at $3.60 per litre
- given Australia’s lamentable greenhouse emissions record such a price in no way stands unjust
|1946 Wisden similar to one of mine held at a bookbinder|
In recent discussions with my mother, she has noticed how Australia has not even been spraying its public transport to reduce the risk of transmission in the most ecologically necessary of all social services. In contrast, East Asian nations are spraying even external areas of their cities, as I watched on a video yesterday. Australia with its immense natural resources ought certainly to have enough money to do this so that public transport and other businesses can have their risk minimised.
As things stand, there exists a risk of a complete shutdown of public transport in Melbourne, and even of important services that hold some of my own property including a 1946 Wisden – although I have accepted my mother driving me there if the shop be still open. There is also the risk that there could be permanent changes to Australia’s economy and the shutdown of many small businesses. All of this would have been averted if Australia had responded promptly. So would (Australian rules) football and rugby games behind closed doors – a not improbably permanent move even beyond when and if the pandemic does subside.