Masks, no gatherings!

| March 20, 2020

Dear Mr. Morrison,

The number of people that COVID-19 is affecting is increasing at an alarming rate as each day passes by. If further action is not taken immediately, then Australia would soon fall victim of this deadly virus.

After all, it only took Italy 20 days to get from 200 to 20,000 cases so Australia needs to start being cautious. However, there are simple procedures that have proven to be highly effective in keeping people safe and stopping the spread of the virus.

Wearing Masks

Our media is broadcasting the opinion that masks are not needed in this situation and will not do anything to protect you or other people from the coronavirus.

However, in times like this, it is essential to be learning from the countries that has experienced success in their battle against the virus such as China. Zhong Nan Shan, an esteemed epidemiologist and pulmonologist of China who was the first to enlighten the public that in fact, this new virus does transmit from person to person has made it blatantly clear, that wearing a mask is the most crucial practise to protect yourself from the possibility of contracting the virus.

China has definitely taken his words seriously, just one stroll along the crowded streets there, you will find no bare faces in sight. The results of this discipline certainly speak for themselves as things are almost back to normal in China. From all my research, I have concluded that the opinions on masks from our medical professionals is merely just a case of the classic tale ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’.

In reality, I don’t think health officials actually believe that masks are useless, but it is their knowledge on the unfortunate truth that Australia just isn’t capable of producing masks for its 25 million people population.

For those who have been able to get their hands on this now scarce resource in Australia from waiting in the endless lines at pharmacies, have now been disappointed upon finding out that these overpriced masks, turned out to be fakes.

My mum carried out this experiment herself by cutting open one of the masks from our local pharmacy and confirmed her suspicion that the Meltblown filter (the middle layer of the mask) wasn’t present at all. Fake masks that are doing no good and people not wearing masks at all, has to come to a stop in order to ‘flatten the curve’ of the coronavirus model.

Even if Australia does not have the resources, we can turn to other countries that have bigger production scales for help. According to the New York Times, China’s production rate for masks has increased twelve times after the outbreak, so it is definitely possible to obtain them, and we need to do so at whatever cost because we need to put the lives of the Australian people first.

Limiting Gatherings to 8 People

Australia’s new rule of banning any gatherings with over 500 people, just isn’t going to be effective enough. A recent 6 additional cases of the virus stemmed from one wedding and these are only just the confirmed cases meaning there might be more to come.

This case proves that a relatively smaller gathering is no threat to the ferocious speed at which the virus spreads at. Similar gatherings to this wedding such as church sessions are going on as normal and the risk they come with seems to be completely ignored by the public. In fact, when reading the weekly update of one of my local churches, not one word regarding the coronavirus was mentioned.

No reminders of constantly washing your hands, no reminders of banning all physical contact, no reminders of staying home if you feel unwell. The thought that people are still not taking this grave situation seriously and making no adjustments to their current lifestyle is extremely disturbing to me. Easily preventable events like this are recipes for disaster.

Today, America announced their decision to ban all gatherings that exceeds 10 people. This reduces the possibilities of contracting the virus significantly and educates the public on the seriousness of the issue at the same time. I believe this is something that Australia should follow suit and put into action at once.

While somethings concerning the coronavirus are highly debatable like ‘Should Schools Shut Down?’ due to the many pros and cons it has but there should be no divisive opinions on banning all gatherings. It is such a simple decision to make that won’t affect the Australian economy so much or the people so there is no reason not to do it.

Could you please take my opinions into consideration as they do not require substantial effort and do not cause great inconveniences but will still be highly effective in keeping the people of Australia safe.

On the March 16 coronavirus update, the Minister of Health stated that an estimated 20 percent of Australia is going to contract the virus and I know for a fact that if these estimations are correct, Australia would not have enough medical faculty or resources for the patients and life for everyone would become a living hell. That is why it is essential that the government should start taking action simultaneously before it is too late.

Otherwise, Australia could soon find itself in Italy’s place.

You can sign Victoria’s petition here.