Published on Feb 12, 2022
Last weekend I was explaining, or maybe it was justifying, the next round of restrictions to my teenage daughter. We discussed why she will no longer be able to go to her friends for New Year, why her holiday job in hospitality will be affected, and what it may mean for her school formal in February. The conversation went in circles a few times before I finally said “vaccinations aim to keep people healthy and restrictions aim to ensure our health system doesn’t get overwhelmed so the people who need health care can get it”.
The Government does not want a doctor to have to decide which patient lives or dies because the life saving equipment has run out and yet this situation has happened in the USA and UK, worse in less developed countries where loved ones are buried in mass graves.
Australia has one of the best health systems globally, but a pandemic of this magnitude is unprecedented. Our health professionals must be protected from making these decisions, our children must be protected from these stories, and we as a society are all responsible.
The community are right to ask questions: Why can people go to sporting events but numbers in hotels and restaurants are restricted? Why is mixing outside different to having people in your home? The answer is data. Data collected from other countries and from Australia showing where people are catching the virus and where they’re not. The experts have analysed the data which indicates high-risk places are home gatherings, restaurants, bars and gyms. Data, including that collected from COVID test results and QR check-ins, is used by SA Health to see where people have been and what cases are connected, resulting in knowing where the positive cases have caught the virus and when. The Government analyse local, national and international data to inform decision making.
The effects of COVID will be felt for years and impact generations. Families have sadly lost and will continue to lose loved ones from this dreadful virus. COVID has been devastating for many across the country and the world. It’s changed the way we live and unfortunately many businesses have paid a high price. The pandemic has been an unexpected learning curve for everyone, including the Government.
As a Government, we lead, we continually seek new information and do our best under the circumstances. Many of the tough decisions are not popular but we are trying to keep South Australians safe and our economy strong. Importantly we listen to the experts and implement actions as required.
SA Health and the Government prepare for pandemics, but the length and complexity of what we are experiencing, no one predicted and our experts and community have been forced to learn and adapt. This state of change now that we have OMICRON is difficult, but imagine the loss of life we may see if we all threw our arms in the air and gave up!
I believe South Australia is the best state, in the best country in the world, and I also think living on the South Coast gives us a lifestyle that people worldwide are envious of. Please reach out for help if you need it. As your local MP and a member of Cabinet, I ask questions on your behalf and lobby for our community. I am proud to be working hard as your state representative throughout this pandemic. Please contact the Finniss Electorate Office, we are continuing to offer assistance and share ideas to support individuals and businesses across the electorate.
- Hon. David Basham MP, Member for Finniss.