In the wake of a devastating bushfire season, Australians were shaken, and the government may well have been humbled. Could it be that, in the wake of such a crisis, Australians were able to find the kind of psychological fortitude that remains lost to so many others? We are still in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the globe. There has been panic and ineptitude from many quarters, and the confidence in community that is required in situations like these has been severely tested. But Australians are showing that there is a path forward.
Weeks before the World Health Organization called it by its name, Prime Minister Morrison set in motion a far-reaching plan of action to meet the challenge of the pandemic—and to do so before the it had taken hold. In addition to leading the charge for a vaccine, robust and immediate measures to ready testing at the necessary scale were undertaken, and special clinics were established to handle an influx of new patients.
The response sets it apart from much of the world, including countries with enormous resources that were not properly mobilised. But it’s the timing of the response that seems the most remarkable. Even though the Chinese government eventually applied overwhelming energies to containing the spread of the virus, it did not act quickly enough—and indeed, acted against its own interest in downplaying the risks for too long. Australia took aggressive action from the start against what it rightly understood as the coronavirus pandemic. And with a strong stimulus package intended to head off the worst of the economic impact, the higher consciousness continues to be there.
The world is watching, and more. With one of the most well-known people in the world, Tom Hanks, receiving supervision from Australian medical professionals after a coronavirus diagnosis, the signal could not be clearer. The combination of readiness and expertise, together with a strong sense of community, have made Australia a model for the world as it grapples with the pandemic. For Australians, there is only the strength that comes from enduring.