WE’RE all in this together.
Well, that’s the message going around since the coronavirus became a pandemic.
I just wish it was true.
After all, there have been some simple, but inspiring and enriching, acts of kindness and caring.
All lost in the tsunami of cyber crap; of vile abuse, character assassination and vitriol of the basest variety – and nearly all launched from the safe anonymity from behind keyboards.
These faceless cowards – whose IQs can be benchmarked by their semi-literate drivel – have created a storm of hate, anger and vengeance that has filled my newsfeeds on Facebook since COVID-19 took hold of the world.
And while coronavirus has me seriously concerned for my health and that of my loved ones, I find people using this horror disease as an excuse to victimise and/or bully the already suffering to be much more frightening.
In an era where our humanity is on the line, we have become inhumane.
An Echuca woman last week diagnosed with coronavirus was forced to come out to the world after hundreds of haters attacked her and her daughter the only way they knew how. From the shadows.
Minutes after the Riv posted her story, people opened fire on social media and started accusing her of doing the wrong thing, not adhering to the COVID-19 restrictions and worse.
I can’t even repeat the words some people used to describe her. Some thought she should be jailed; incredibly, some even wanted her dead.
Now, I’m not defending her actions.
Should this woman have immediately self-isolated after getting off her cruise. Yes.
Even though the ship’s captain told passengers there was no risk and they needn't isolate because they hadn't actually docked anywhere, she probably should have contacted a health professional for clarification.
But her actions weren’t malicious. At worst they were misguided; due to a lack of understanding and confusion.
Two days after she got off the boat, tens of thousands of people had congregated at Bondi Beach.
The mass gathering received worldwide condemnation.
We figured, like Judy, they must be selfish or completely idiotic to risk not only their lives but others.
However, at the same time, shops and schools were still open and hairdressers and beauticians were allowed to work.
Many people were expected at work, and their children to attend school, and thousands were still using public transport.
So this is what the woman, along with 2000 other passengers, walked out to find. She didn’t spend time on Facebook watching the news during her cruise.
Unfortunately, she put her trust in the ship’s captain and upon seeing what the rest of Australia was doing, simply went about her daily life.
It was a mistake – one for which she is now paying. Imagine if this was your mother, grandmother, sister, aunt or wife?
Would you still wish them dead if they had made that mistake?
I’m the first to hold politicians and governments to account when they’ve done the wrong thing; but you have to remember this is an unprecedented situation and were all just fumbling in the dark.
Times of crisis usually brings people together; brings out the best in all of us.
Just look at the recent bushfires, or the drought, where the whole country pulled together to help their own.
But for what could be the biggest challenge in Australia’s written history – short of war – this pandemic is not just pulling us apart, it is tearing our sense of community to pieces.
Fear breeds hate, and it’s nearly always due to ignorance – so educate yourselves.
Facebook does not deliver the accurate news; health departments in state and federal government do; properly researched data and updates delivered through the mainstream media do.
Anonymous websites; trolls, the angry, disenfranchised, the ignorant and the idiots do not.
We are part of living history right now, and it will be talked about for generations to come.
How do you want to be remembered?
Especially by your children and grandchildren.