Flat White

Coronavirus: Doctor knows best (except when he doesn’t)

9 March 2020

2:30 PM

9 March 2020

2:30 PM

Australia has more than 70 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with fatalities recorded and some patients already recovered. 

We live in a world where we are meant to always be part of that cringe-worthy phrase “our community” and thinking of others. But clearly this only applies when it suits someone’s narrative. 

Australia knows that selfisolation means different things to different people. Talkback radio heard idiotic questions this week such as if you are in selfisolation can you still go and get a takeaway coffee? 

We’re relying on people to do the right thing, but it simply can’t be policed. 

No one wants to be told what to do for the good of everyone else because in 2020, everyone sees themselves as an ‘exception to the rule’. 

Our prolific rates of antivaxxers illustrate just that. Their information is always somehow more superior or more holistic than what has been proven to have been effective for the rest of us. 

It is all well and good for Dr Chris Higgins to slam media reporting of his own coronavirus case. But the fact remains there are now 70 patients who have been exposed to the killer virus because he thought he knew best.  

The perpetually outraged are jumping up and down supporting calls from the doctor, father of old Geelong Grammar girl turned Brunswick balladeer Missy Higgins, for an apology from the Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos who said at a press conference she was “absolutely flabbergasted that a doctor who has experienced flu-like symptoms has presented to work.” 

It’s easy for them to say. None of these “personalities” have been exposed to Covid-19.  


Not only are his patients and staff required to selfisolate but two patients he visited in a nursing home are also in isolation. These people are his patients. His community. 

Dr Higgins posted on Minister Mikakos’ Facebook page that he feels “she has taken a cheap opportunity for political grandstanding and would appreciate an apology.” 

He said he hesitated to do a swab because he did not fulfil the criteria for testing but did one anyway, not imagining for a moment it would turn out to be positive. 

The fact is saying sorry is often the hardest thing to do. But Dr Higgins is not the victim here. He was wrong. 

He showed symptoms whilst returning to Melbourne via San Francisco on February 29. 

He keeps saying he had a mild cold when he had returned from the United States last week, but it had almost resolved itself by the Monday morning, hence his decision to return to work. 

So, if he was that confident it was just a cold, why did he then do the coronavirus test? 

Perhaps the Victorian Health Minister simply stated what so many Australians were thinking 

I feel sorry for anyone who has tested positive to the virus, anyone who remains in self-isolation and anyone who has lost loved ones around the world who have succumbed to its devastating impact. 

Australia implemented tough and swift action when the crisis first broke out, including travel restrictions and the mercy flights from the epicentre in Wuhan City in Hubei Province, China to evacuate Australian citizens who then had to spend 14 days in strict quarantine on Christmas Island. 

The federal government was criticised, particularly by the Left who continue to pretend May 18, 2019 never happened. Yet the evacuees were just grateful to be out of Wuhan and were so thankful for the efforts to bring them back to Australia. 

Imagine if the government hadn’t implemented the action it did back in January and closed the borders to travellers who were unknowingly infected with the virus. 

The incubation period is still estimated to be between 2 and 14 days yet no one really knows for sure as there have been cases in China of 27 and 19 days respectively. 

No one knows when this world health crisis will actually end. 

But, if we really are all so concerned about our fellow Australians then where is the outpouring of sympathy right now for those 70 patients, staff and nursing home residents? 

You can bet your bottom dollar if Scott Morrison did what Dr Higgins had done, there would be protestors parading 24/7 until he resigned. No one would be jumping to the Prime Minister’s defence like they are to Dr Higgins. 

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