Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (Image: AAP/James Ross)

This week our columnists have been stirring the pot, and readers have stormed our inbox — and some of you aren’t happy. Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer’s blamed Daniel Andrews for Australia facing economic disaster, while Adam Schwab asked whether the lockdown was causing more damage than the disease itself.

On Daniel Andrews:

Ian Douglas writes: You rightly observe that the Andrews government has a huge reckoning to come. The staggering mishandling of hotel quarantine has driven this entire wave of health and economic disaster.

My family has seen this first hand. My father was fit, healthy, and engaged with his community until he was infected in his age care facility. We held his heavily-restricted funeral two weeks ago, with most of the extended family left to watch a video stream. A life destroyed and a family left gutted because of an absurdly careless approach to quarantine by the Andrews government.

Everyone else in the country got it right. Now everyone in the country is paying the price for one government’s incompetence.

Phil Gadzinski writes: Usually I find the articles your masthead produces pretty insightful and balanced. One wonders if you may have been purchased by Rupert last week. 

Allocation of blame to one individual for the results of thousands of individuals’ behaviour and choices shows a deep misunderstanding of complexity. People are non-linear and unpredictable, behaving irrationally at the best of times.

We aren’t a communist state — although I’m assuming you wish we were and then this may not have exploded right?

What hasn’t helped with a more broader sense of societal responsibility is the constant bashing of the first round of restrictions and reductionism of the impact of the virus by other media commentators and the LNP in this state. We aren’t all in this together really, are we?

It might be more useful to be thinking unilaterally and more supportive in reporting  of how we can all really  get through this together and bringing the nation together, instead of firing the broadsides while we are trying to shore up our own ship. Ruby Princess ring a bell?

Roger Keyes writes: Well, thanks a lot Crikey. A lot of blaming, but not many reasons given. HOW is the Andrews government to blame?

If you are really interested in who’s to blame, perhaps you could look right at the capitalist system of exploitation, and our very dysfunctional education, health, and transport systems. I think that it all goes back to the roots… individual ownership, competitive existence and lack of communal responsibility for our general well-being. I think that we are dreaming if we think that we can suddenly turn our system into one that cares for the common wealth. How could any leader cope with such a revolution single-handedly? 

Reg Badger writes: I agree and yet disagree with this article.

The real blame is something we have all in our various ways visited upon ourselves by cutting working conditions to not just the bone but well into the marrow.

This wholesale destruction of working conditions and wholesale replacement with so called contract workers and the like is a shame of ours beyond all measure.

On the cost of lockdown:

Jackie French writes: I managed to read  to the end of Adam Schwab’s piece yesterday, mouthing the myth of a low death rate for COVID-19, ignoring expert opinion across the world: we do not know the long-term health impact on those who have even asymptomatic infection yet. We do know it includes strokes, blood clots of lungs, kidney failure and much more.

Your editorial asked who is responsible for our mounting crises? Those who spread the myths. Shame Crikey, shame.

Beth Gaze writes: I have enjoyed Schwab’s writing in the past, but his writing on COVID is completely useless. What expertise has he got to sound off on the deadliness of this disease? He is beginning to sound like a columnist for The Australian — not what I read Crikey for.

Pat Green writes: Adam should look at what is happening to the US economy, and then read up on the research about long term effects on “recovered” (and frequently younger) COVID sufferers, and then have another look at his conclusions.

Rosemary Jacob writes: Death rate is far from being the only consideration.

It is becoming clear that many of those infected do not fully recover. They are left with a chronic fatigue syndrome condition because of damage, possibly permanent, to organs. Incurring a disability which may be permanent is sometimes worse than dying!

The living grieve for the dead, but they have to assist the disabled, often long-term.

It might be a labour of love — but what about those with no family to care for them?

Let us know your thoughts by writing to [email protected]. Please include your full name to be considered for publication in this column.

Peter Fray

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