NSW Health check travellers as they disembark a train from Melbourne (Image: AAP /Bianca De Marchi)

Though little else appears to be getting done, the global coronavirus pandemic is at least reminding us of the nature of risk and risk assessment, and how little the latter has to do with the former in absolute terms.

Here, Victoria is getting yelled at by the rest of Australia for a new flare-up involving a few hundred cases, and the country has locked down against us. Meanwhile in the UK, with the thing still raging -- 500 new cases a day, 44,800 deaths so far -- lockdowns are easing, people are being given vouchers to dine out, and the gyms are reopening next month.

The UK is not the US, where virus denialism has become a right-wing cause; it remains a relatively rational society. The push to reopen is clearly coming from the capital, but the absence of a unified pushback suggests that it is largely being consented to -- that the risk assessment of the publics of the two countries is at variance.