Flat White

Coronavirus: keep civil and carry on

17 March 2020

3:27 PM

17 March 2020

3:27 PM

Everyone wants their five minutes of corona fame. It’s pandemic pandemonium and there is nothing like an ongoing unfolding story to get everyone’s knickers in a knot. 

We might all be astounded and shake our heads with a smile over our nation’s obsession over toilet paper in recent weeks. 

The tantrums being thrown at the checkouts and in the aisles. 

But one thing isn’t a laughing matter and that’s the varying degrees of keyboard warrior commentary, which ends up saying more about the warrior than the object of their poisonous barb. 

Whatever anyone’s thought on Peter Dutton are, it really is despicable to celebrate him contracting an illness. That’s a pretty low act, regardless of what anyone thinks of his politics.  

As John Farnham sang, we are all someone’s daughter, we are all someone’ son. Or sister, brother, father, mother, auntie, uncle, cousin and the list goes on. 

So, when Geelong Cats footballer Patrick Dangerfield tweeted about Dutton’s diagnosis of a positive Covid-19 test result, it didn’t quite get the reaction he was evidently desperately hoping for. 

Trying to be trendy in the Twitter bubble sometimes goes down like a lead balloon. 

Dangerfield tweeted “Send him to Christmas Island and see how he likes it”. He sent the tweet to Dutton’s account as well as Channel 10’s Lisa Wilkinson and television show The Project. 

Maybe he was hoping for relevance in the midst of this pandemic that has hogged the spotlight in March that is usually reserved for the start of the football season. Who knows if the AFL season will even continue if one or more players test positive? Would the irony be lost on Dangerfield if it was a Geelong player? 

Maybe Dangerfield forgot that he himself was a dad?  

Maybe Dangerfield didn’t stop to think how his own wife would feel if someone tweeted about him in a similar fashion? 

How would he like it if every fan of every other team wished a clumsy fall would cause him a serious injury and end his career? 

Dangerfield eventually deleted his tweet that took a crack at Dutton, but only after a backlash from social media users.   

Evidently chastened, he followed up by posting “Blank tweets from now on.”  

But the damage is done. 

Many labelled his deleted tweet ‘spineless’ and ‘pathetic’, slamming him for making light of this deadly virus, the likes of which have never been seen by most Australians in our lifetime. 

Similar snide quips came from the Twitter bubble after US President Donald Trump returned a negative result. He had a Coronavirus test, after two people in a Brazilian delegation he met with subsequently tested positive for the virus. 

Some reporters were even saying “50 per cent of people would be relieved he tested negative but 50 per cent perhaps not.” 

This is dreadful behaviour. 

This pandemic has resulted in bringing out the best in many people but also the worst in human nature. 

The fragility of human life is no more apparent than what is transpiring every hour across the world. 

Covid-19 does not discriminate between victims, whether they be world leaders or homeless people. 

We all have political views but at the end of the day, we are all human beings.  

The AFL has a round for almost every cause, and they proudly promote their “respect and responsibility policy”. 

Anyone can make a mistake, but the tweet Patrick Dangerfield sent did not appear to be a mistake or accident. He had a point to make and thought he was being trendy. Instead, he came across as a nasty, ill-informed idiot. 

Remember that the Australians sent to Christmas Island from the epicentre of the outbreak in Wuhan, China had nothing but praise after their 15 days there. 

The fact Australia has such strong border policies has allowed us all to be able to live in the freedom in which we do.  

A letter of apology to Dutton’s wife and children by Dangerfield should be the go. I’m sure if the boot was on the other foot and someone attacked Dangerfield, he would be the first to tweet about that! 

Twitter is not the real world. That was spectacularly highlighted less than a year ago on May 18, 2019.  

Dangerfield would do well to remember that while he may have thousands of followers on Twitter, they are not his actual family.  

He wouldn’t want his family to have to endure what Peter Dutton’s family is going through if he contracted Coronavirus.  

This is real. This is life and death for millions around the world. 

Dangerfield would do well to stick to kicking a bag of wind and leave the running of the country, that allows him to live in freedom to play footy, to others. 

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