Only nine days after the Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was OK to go to the footy and to church he has abruptly reversed course and begun a long-awaited closure of public places.
After a first Sunday press conference announcing his second stimulus package in a week, Morrison was at a second conference on Sunday night at 7.00 pm announcing the closure of pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes, gyms and places of worship from noon today.
The hasty announcement was motivated in part by numerous instances of Australians dining out and communing at the beach despite warnings to ‘social distance’, and by moves by the NSW government to take unilateral action.
Schools are still open this morning, but they too will likely close tomorrow.
So far manufacturing facilities are not affected.
The speed with which the federal government has changed its position from going to the footy to total closedown shows just how fast things are moving.
However three months after the appearance of the coronavirus in China, and a month after its spread reached disastrous proportions in Italy, it also slows how tardy Australia has been in managing the virus threat.
In the months ahead much will be expected of the leaders and staff of front line workers in health care, but also those in essential areas that must stay open such as retail and manufacturing.
The water still must be treated, the electricity still must flow, foodstuffs must still be processed, and other essentials such as medicines and face masks manufactured and distributed.
So much will depend on those in the frontline of Australia’s manufacturing supply chains, now thrust from the backdrop to essential service status.
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