OPINION: True-blue calm is the way to help us all

Derek GoforthMidwest Times
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Camera IconFile image. Credit: Jitalia17/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Try to remain calm.

It’s the Aussie way.

I don’t think the previous sentences need much explanation.

The impact of COVID-19 may be minor, or it may be major.

Even by the time this article goes to print, the region may be in a very different state from what it is as I write this.

But what I hope, (I use the word “hope” purposely) is that even though the situation may change, our attitude towards each other does not.

Australia is known throughout the globe as a nation of “mates”.

It may be a stereotype — the chilled out family throwing an impromptu barbie together, enjoying a beer and sharing funny stories.

But stereotypes are more often than not rooted in culture.

I am a proud Australian, I consider myself well and truly adopted into the Aussie way of life.

My experiences from day one in Australia have been affirming of the “mateship”.

I can recall experiences of good Samaritan behaviour during our first few weeks and months that reminded us why we travelled to the other side of the globe to live.

I will never forget the dozen or so people who went out of their way to dig us out of the sand, or the two plumbers who made sure we had water for the weekend in Mullewa, even though they had clocked off hours before.

So you can imagine how my heart hurts from some of the experiences of the past weeks — but also how I have seen many people rise up above the panic and display behaviour worthy of any true-blue Aussie.

In my neighbourhood, for example, we have organised lifts for the elderly to ensure they can get early access to the supermarkets.

Social media is to blame for a lot of the misinformation and fake news, but it has also played an important role in bringing people together and ensuring the most vulnerable are cared for.

Even in a brief scan of social media groups I found more than 50 dedicated to helping friends and neighbours.

I know we are worried. I know our ultimate aim is to protect the ones closest to us.

Do not let this be to the detriment of our responsibilities to our wider community.

Don’t take the last loo roll unless you really need it. Look out for your neighbours and share resources as there are plenty to go around.

If in doubt, be an Aussie!

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