Amid the wall-to-wall coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic — which has ramped up in Australia in the past week — you would have seen arresting images from around the world: deserted cities, exhausted medical teams, queues a mile long of desperate people at airports and those waiting to be tested.
But not all of these images have been of people suffering, or fighting over loo roll in the supermarket. Something else has emerged.
The Quicky’s Claire Murphy breaks down your most answered questions about COVID-19. Post continues below.
People singing and playing musical instruments on balconies, people leaving notes around their local area to see how they can help their neighbours, supermarkets responding to calls to designate special times for older and less mobile people to get their essentials.
After disaster strikes in Australia, we often marvel at the strength of our communities and our ability to come together in times of hardship. In truth, this isn’t an exclusively Australian trait – it’s what unites us as humans, regardless of location or ethnicity.
If nothing else, COVID-19 has reminded us that we are all very, very human. And we are all equally as vulnerable. We can affect each other, negatively and positively.
I wonder, for those of us who find ourselves working from home, or in a more formal self-isolation, could this be an opportunity to radically rethink our approach to what differentiates us and instead turn our attention to what unites us?
What if, through this scary and uncertain time, something more positive can emerge? This might be the time that we decide once and for all to close down demonisation and anger and decisively replace it with empathy and kindness.
Amnesty International is all about protecting human rights. From this pandemic, some human rights themes have become apparent to me where we can reflect on how we can be kinder and more considerate.
Access to healthcare
Last week, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill to enable everyone in the country, regardless of their insurance status, to access COVID-19 testing. It’s astonishing to contemplate that prior to this legislative change, the test cost north of $2500 AUD.
All the countries which are held up as examples of being able to “flatten the curve” of the virus spread and severity have had early testing at the core of their response.