Flat White

The getting real we had to have

28 March 2020

4:37 PM

28 March 2020

4:37 PM

Something had to happen, it couldn’t go on forever. Coronavirus was unplanned but it will turn our world upside down. Silly as it sounds, but let’s just leave the medical issues and all the infection/death statistics to one side for a minute. Try to imagine the charred remains of the economy, if I may use a popular euphemism, once Corona heads off over the horizon. 

The green shoots of regrowth will appear very quickly and most of us will be able to get back to normal but only for a short while, until the real damage begins to take its toll. 

The cost of action can be morally justified, after all, we are talking about people’s lives and there is nothing much more important than that. Morality almost always comes at a cost and this will be big and demanding but make no mistake, it has to be paid for, somehow. 

What is normal? Alexa telling us how to bake an apple pie? Being able to turn the home air conditioner on 10 minutes before we get to our front door? Getting the latest fandango device with a new phone contract? Throwing the toaster in the bin when the control knob gets a bit out of kilter and your toast is a bit crisper than you prefer? 


The kids doing their HSC, parents spending $1000 — at least — for the end of year formal, going to Bali for schoolies week and Europe for a gap year. Living at home rent-free until they’re 30 years old or more. The constant ringing of the doorbell by a person with a brown bag full of food because the family meal is a bit late or not quite up to scratch. 

Family holidays at the beach-house up the coast, or skiing in New Zealand. A trip of a lifetime on a cruise ship with a chunk of superannuation or the grey nomad tour of Australia before retiring to a fully serviced retirement village with everything laid on. 

These things, and much more, are burned into our psyche’ and will take a few years before it becomes obvious that green shoots on a badly charred tree trunk, will not grow back into the delightful tree that it once was. 

It will be today’s 12-year-olds, the saplings in the forest that will bear the real burden of rebuilding. By the time they leave school they will need to be shovel ready. They will have to dig in, put down roots and seriously get to work. 

Hopefully, a stronger world will emerge, having learned from past mistakes, a world of resilient individuals and more self-sufficient Countries. 

Once again the tenet of the 3R’s will be important, but perhaps this time it will be  reform, responsibility and respect. 

You can read more of Peter Scammell’s work at www.dinosaurdiary.com.au  

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