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  • Henry Thornton

What to do about Chairman Dan

Now it is 5 weeks of Dan Andrew’s ‘Lockdown’. Dan’s long daily monologues tell anyone who seeks ‘the light’ little, except that Dan is on the job and disinterested in discussing difficult matters like the hotel quarantines, cheap, untrained ‘guards’, refusing Commonwealth Defence Force help, heavy handed police actions. Everyone I know believes he has bungled bigtime.

This Sunday we are almost certain to hear that ‘the numbers’ are not good enough to ease constraints and we are all required to spend more time in Dan’s ‘lockdown’. One especially slippery comment I thought I heard was ‘Christmas’ might be the time for easing, but perhaps I mis-heard. I am becoming very unhappy. So far I have acted like a perfect Dan’s man, but it is time for someone to devise a better approach.

Today I propose two alternative plans: the libertarian option and the ‘simple economist’s proposal. The ‘libertarian’ solution is to outline a few sensible suggestions – masks in crowds or on public transport, drink in moderation, sleep sensibly and obey the laws of the land, not the dictates of Chairman Dan. The only argument about this is ‘there are idiots everywhere’, and as a society sensible people cannot rely on the behaviour of idiots.

Too radical, I hear you say. Perhaps, but I have another proposal that I would be willing to explain to Chairman Dan. Keep rules so that idiots can be taken away by the plod, (eg pregnant women in pink jammies who had a silly idea.) I will list the ideas in some sort of order and encourage comments.

1. Allow citizens to invite their children/grandchildren/elderly relatives home for lunch or dinner.

2. Allow citizens to invite close friends to visit their home, perhaps with a moderate limit on numbers.

3. Allow citizens to employ house cleaners and gardeners, perhaps one of each once every two weeks.

4. Allow citizens to talk with relatives or friends in groups of, say 4 to ten.

5. Allow citizens to play golf in groups of four.

6. Allow citizens to travel to holiday homes and allow relatives and close friends to visit.

7. Let cafes, pubs and clubs to operate subject to relevant ‘social distancing’ in place.

8. Strongly suggest suspected Covid-19 illness to be diagnosed, and require those tested to live in isolation until results are known. If test shows those tested have the illness, staying indoors must continue until another test shows illness is over. (Such people may be allowed to walk for an hour a day with mask and a sign that says 'Infected. Say away'.)

9. Borders may be breached if those crossing the borders are tested and found free of Covid-19, names and addresses registered and there is a good reason to cross the borders – to attend school, to work, especially in agriculture, in medical emergencys like the lady who lost one baby of twins by being forced to travel to Sydney for an operation, resulting in a long wait to fly to Sydney rather than a short drive to a Queensland hospital.

10. Abolish state borders in favour of registered ‘hotspots'.

What may not be done.

1. Allow ‘bigshots’ to cross a ‘closed’ border due to cash or other apparent incentives at borders paid to the state government (or the border minder).

2. Break curfew, except with an excellent reason.

3. Travel on public transport without a mask.

4. Be ever so slightly rude to a policemen.

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