I stand with Dan. That was a hashtag I saw on Twitter a couple of days ago. As a newbie to Twitter, it prompted my first Tweet because ‘I stand with Dan’. My reply was the result of yet another vile interrogation by a reporter insulting Premier Dan about his birthday dinner. Why was the media making an issue of Premier Dan having his birthday dinner with his family? Were they trying to catch him out for Covid-19 safety breaches? Of course they were. How low can they go?
Why is this happening?
Well, it’s tough in Victoria at the moment. Victoria is the only state in Australia that has gone into a second lockdown despite having the toughest and longest lockdown of any other state the first time around. Premier Dan has been urging people to do the right thing to keep ourselves and others safe while at the same time showing empathy and understanding. There has been a deluge of information about what doing the right thing means. You can’t avoid it. Despite this, something went terribly wrong because people didn’t do the right thing. And Premier Dan is being blamed for it.
Don’t get too smug friends
Victoria is my adopted state after moving here from my birth state of Tasmania just over two years ago. I have embraced my new state and have no regrets despite the fact that Tasmanians must be feeling pretty smug now. It’s been 61 days since their last positive case of the virus. But don’t get too smug friends with your Instagram pics of doing normal things such as staying in your fancy lodges, going to the zoo, driving all over the state stopping here and there for lunches and dinners in cafes, pubs, going to the State Cinema …. We only have to look at other places that seemingly had the virus under control to realise it’s not over yet.
On the eve of the latest lockdown
My kids have also embraced this state. They made an exodus from Tasmania after graduating more than ten years ago and have called Victoria home since then. They love Victorian life; two of them have married Victorians and they have Victorian babies. My daughter was so upset when I was leaving to get home before midnight on the eve of the latest lockdown. I thought she was crying because she was going to miss me. She was. But she was more upset about the media portrayal of Victoria and I don’t blame her.
It’s just plain cruel
Sicktoria, COVID- 19 Pandemic, The tragedy of Sicktoria; eVICted – Victoria in lockdown as rest of nation shuts door on infected state (The Courier Mail, 8 July 2020); Mexicans shut out (Daily Telegraph, 13 July, 2020). They are just some of the latest headlines. But this one from my own birth state took the cake. The new island state (Hobart Mercury, 9 July, 2020). Pushing Victoria out to sea and replacing it with Tasmania. This is a pandemic. Be kind. It can happen to any state. I bet the media have been having a great hoot trying to outdo each other with their fancy, but unkind headlines.
When are you going to resign?
In amongst all these media headlines the incessant criticism of Premier Dan has been unbearable. The usual catchcry from the media is “when are you going to resign?” And this … “Daniel Andrews is now clearly the worst-performing, most unsuccessful premier or territory leader in managing COVID-19,” Greg Sheridan of The Australian wrote. And this … Victoria paying heavy price for ‘gross incompetence’ of ‘arrogant’ Andrews. Thats just the tip of the iceberg.
Why the media brutality?
It all started when the Government used security guards from a private firm to patrol quarantine hotels full of returned travellers from overseas. Health professionals have traced the source of the spread of the second wave of the pandemic in Victoria back to the security guards. According to one whistle blower they only had four minutes training. Now that may be inadequate. But come on! What kind of training does a security guard need to know that it’s wrong to;
- Sleep on the job
- Have sex with people in quarantine
- Take people shopping
- Get footage for porno movies on the job
- Refuse testing for Covid-19
- Drive for Uber when told to self-isolate
- Take people in quarantine to Macdonalds, Seven 1, KFC
- Allow families in quarantine to move between rooms to be with other family members
So if anyone is to blame it’s these f*** wits. They were knowingly doing the wrong thing. Not Premier Dan. I stand with Dan.
PS I still love Tassie.