I am finding it hard to come to terms that the article I posted on my website “Food for Thought” on 15th March, could have such significance two weeks later.
Events since that time have moved on rapidly, we have seen the world plunged into a nightmare scenario where a global pandemic has broken out.
To date, Australia has suffered a relatively smaller number of cases of infection compared to other parts of the world. Still, there is no doubt we are embroiled in a crisis never before experienced in modern times.
Understandably, some sections of the population are fearful of the dramatic events that are occurring around them daily.
In times of stress, we have seen Australians come forward to assist others; of course, we have seen recent examples of this during the bushfire crisis and the effects of the ongoing drought. Once again magnificent efforts by a range of people including front line health workers, doctors and another’s bear testament to this.
In previous crises thorough out our history, we have seen the best and worse of human behaviour.; there has been no reason to suggest that this will not be the norm again.
Unfortunately, we are also witnessing some bad community behaviour, partly out of fear and others out of opportunism.
So how might we deal with our current predicament?
Please find below the things we should consider:
Suggestion ( Not optional)
Self-isolation, social distancing and good hygiene are not optional, follow the rules and advice by the government. Regardless of the political views, one may hold.
The possible adoption of the following: Try to only worry about things you can control. The scale of the issues relating to this crisis is far too complicated for any individual to manage or change. Seek the wise and trusted counsel amongst friends and contacts, to allay your concerns.
One would assume the responsibility of the media is to disseminate factual information to the public in such a situation. Some outlets are performing this function well, providing valuable evidence-based messages to the public. What is genuinely alarming, we see many examples of the use of sensationalism in reporting, with the potential effect of heightening people’s fears.
With wall to wall coverage, it is impossible to avoid all media reporting. Try to discern the various media channels which can supply you with accurate information. Listen to medical experts and rely on the messages they are trying to relay.
For all the outrageous strategies of some of these media outlets mentioned above may employ, nothing comes remotely close to the influence social media today plays in our lives.
Firstly one must concede what a truly wonderful piece of technology with its ability to link people to every corner of the globe. It is now a permanent fixture in our lives and in fact, it will continue with its exponential growth once the generations change. Strangely enough, the platform operates at its best in times such as these fulfilling the need to keep in touch.
Arguments that the system should always provide a vehicle for free expression by individuals have some validity with many benefits accruing from its introduction. As we have witnessed the medium has taken on a slightly sinister mode with a flood of material concerning people’s opinions on matters that are unsubstantiated and false. Very little control or boundaries are in place and the reality there is no prospect of that happening.
Think before you approach your keyboard and “vent your spleen. “, about an issue that is angering you. By all means, we should use humour to lift spirits. Ask yourself this question.” Will this post contribute to assisting us in getting through this.
Reach out to someone that may be vulnerable, near you, whether it is an elderly neighbour or a friend who is not coping with the mental anguish of their current situation.
Hope and Optimism
One can only hope Australians make their own sensible choices about their behaviours. Like significant challenges in our history, it is time to prove again what a great nation we are.
It is somewhat perverse when, for years, experts have grappled with the issue of ways of bringing people together. This crisis may create a better pathway to how we treat each other into the future?
In recent times the subject of leadership has been under scrutiny, and many examples are emerging of outstanding community efforts.
We have to be mindful when this horrendous episode has been finally beaten we do not revert to how life was before this event happened. We would be scorning a golden opportunity to lead better, more caring lives.
My modus operandi will be to lead by professional experts, stay in contact with my family, close friends at home and abroad, assist vulnerable people wherever possible. Take some time to reflect on life and how I can make a better contribution to society. Lastly, to take delight in having time to listen to my catalogue of the “Boss”, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.
PS I have made a pact with myself, this will be the last time I will comment and distribute any further material on this crisis