A photo of Chinese doctor and whistleblower Li Wenliang, who died from COVID-19 in February after alerting the public about the dangers of the disease (Image: AP/Kin Cheung)

Never, in most of our lifetimes, has trust in our institutions been thrown into such sharp relief as in this time of COVID-19. By a hair’s breadth, Australia’s decision-making has hopefully saved it from the type of calamity engulfing the US and the United Kingdom.

But we have to remember this is thanks to our recognition of the rights and duties of people to do their job, by speaking up about critical issues, even when it might make them unpopular.

In Australia, it was everyday health professionals and university-based experts who first alerted and motivated us, as a community, on the need to get serious about our response. Get out of the pubs and restaurants. Cancel the bloody football. Just in time.