By Andrew Wicks
Yes, Scott Morrison has COVID. But jokes aside, how did the most protected man in the country fail to protect himself?
Late last night, the spirit of pandemic (not so) past visited the Morrison household. Via a media statement, written in his inexorable style, the Prime Minister confirmed that he tested positive to COVID. “I am experiencing flu-like symptoms and will be recovering over the next week. I am continuing to follow health guidelines and am isolating(sic) at home in Sydney. Jenny and the girls have thankfully tested negative,” he said.
Now, while the public’s COVID-marginalising-leader-catching-COVID schadenfreude is well established (see: Dutton, Boris), the nice people of Twitter have poked some holes in his story. In his statement, Morrison said he was testing himself “daily since Sunday.” However, on that day, he was in Queensland, meeting with the Premier, Deputy Mayor and all those coordinating the flood response in that state. Users are rightly asking, why did he suddenly start testing on Sunday, and who else did he infect on his travels?
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has tested positive for COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/iUbFUQ8Z65
— James Massola (@jamesmassola) March 1, 2022
There’s more. As Sally Rugg asked on Twitter, “why no PCR test for two days while symptomatic?” Moreover, how did his PCR test return a result in just a few hours, when it takes the rest of the populace days, primarily due to the lab testing (and transportation) required? Unless, of course, Morrison has a travelling lab that follows him around wherever he goes, or he’s lied about when he knew.
But while there should be no joy in celebrating another’s COVID, Morrison’s case is a moment of reflection, where we should think about all the regular citizens who were put in danger through his policy to favour the economy or the individual; those who faced work or school or the necessities of life, those who had no choice but to work, or somehow survive with zero financial assistance or sat in completely unprepared aged care facilities, disconnected, watching their friends die as they hope it doesn’t walk down the hall. We should think of them as we wonder why the most protected man in the country couldn’t protect himself.
But therein lies the trap. When one actually experiences what we’re all fearing, you’d assume that perceptions would change. Charles Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge chose to push his actions beyond mere platitude when he experienced the breadth of his awfulness. He chose to use his power to save the ailing Tiny Tim from death. As Dickens wrote, “Scrooge was better than his word…he became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.”
Whether Scott Morrison will come to the same revelation on the other side of his COVID-induced fever dream, we do not know. But we know where he stands, as we’ve lived it. In the words of the man himself, we should be “living with the virus” and “we should treat it like the flu.”
Scott Morrison knew he was having covid symptoms when he did this. pic.twitter.com/3T28g1DaWr
— Occupy Centrelink (@OccupyMyGov) March 1, 2022
God bless us, everyone.
This article was originally published on The Big Smoke.
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