anti-protest laws
(Image: Unsplash/Clem Onojeghuo)

For all the profound -- and welcome -- changes on the part of government in responding to the crisis, it might be wise to resist the temptation to declare that the world has changed forever.

The overall response of the federal government -- Home Affairs’ tragic Ruby Princess blunder aside -- has been by and large very effective, and embraced exactly the kind of big-spending fiscal intervention that it had long attacked Labor for.

Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has gone from a pointless talkfest to an effective crisis management mechanism. Labor (unlike the Coalition in 2009) has refused to block legislation for stimulus packages. Australians have generally accepted the rationale of shutting down the economy so that lives -- mainly those of older Australians -- are saved.