"When the going gets tough, the tough get going".
This wise old saying has been lived out by our forefathers in our community for centuries during droughts, floods, wars, and depression. And it's being lived out again by most of us in 2020.
Lives cut short, liberties curtailed, jobs destroyed, retirements shattered, livelihoods and plans marooned, and economies demolished are just some of the stark realities we face.
IN OTHER NEWS:
The far-reaching and exceptional consequences for the lives of our fellow Australians has been brought home by the legion of inquiries I've received this past fortnight.
Issues ranging in no particular order:
- How to bring home loved ones from the four corners of the world;
- How to apply for the support provisioned through the taxpayer;
- How to iron out anomalies;
- How the working holiday visa holder left without a job is to fare;
- How to conduct church services;
- How to get Passover food for Launceston's Jewish community;
- What is an essential job/business;
- Can counselling still take place?
- And spare a thought for the couple who were contractually bound to vacate (through sale) their house in Victoria but had not yet settled their purchase in Legana and so were denied entry to Tasmania because they weren't residents (all now thankfully resolved).
The severe challenges of the coronavirus require a strong response from our leaders and ourselves.
Much will be sacrificed to ensure that we can flatten the curve and protect the vulnerable and with new developments moving at such a rapid pace, perfect decisions will not be made every time.
Our best approach is to follow the medical advice given at any time.
By adhering to this advice, we can ensure that we give ourselves the best possible chance of seeing ourselves through to the other side.
As such, we need to draw on our reserves of resilience and goodwill to ensure we remain individually and socially civil.
We need to encourage each other in these behaviours as well.
The overwhelming feedback received by my office is the acceptance, indeed a willing and deliberate rising to the occasion, that we are all in this together.
So, patience, courtesies and compliance with requests from authorities are all being exercised along with the requisite physical distancing.
My odd morning jog sees fellow joggers/walkers taking wide berths from each other with a compensating big smile and greeting. Community spirit at its best - staying distant yet friendly.
While it seems we may be in this situation for some time, it is vital we continue to exercise civilities and do our bit.
And remember, it is not about limiting the freedoms of those who are blessed with good health, it is about enacting the best medical advice and doing our bit to help protect the lives of the physically vulnerable.
Every life matters. Each one of us counts.
And then, when we emerge on the other side with our full liberties restored we will all nevertheless need to retain this Team Australia approach as we pay down the huge debt burden, restore jobs and the economy, whilst also ensuring we rebuild sufficient resilience in the event of (God forbid) another pandemic or worse.
To achieve this for ourselves, our families and our nation we will need to re-embrace some old, yet tried and tested virtues - such as self-reliance, putting aside for a rainy day, shunning the entitlement mentality be it in payment of taxes owed or claiming welfare, and not putting all our eggs in the one basket to mention a few.
Talking of eggs and baskets... happy Easter and let's revive ourselves spiritually in this season of hope and renewal and bring those qualities to bear now (hope) and when we emerge on the other side (renewal).
- Eric Abetz, Tasmanian Liberal senator