Switzerland is almost exactly half the size of Tasmania, with 8 million people. Tassie has just over 500,000. Amazing wilderness, beautiful beaches, and a laid-back lifestyle. What else could you ask for in the greatest democracy on our wonderful planet.
That all changed in early 2020. First, we heard of corona was a few news reports creeping in of a virus starting from a wet market in China. A bat apparently! Now we aren’t that far geographically from Mother China but in reality, we are worlds apart.
The public here don’t seem to know too much about world issues, only what they hear on the news from week to week, so when the murmurs of a virus came to light, nothing was really said. Everybody went about their business as usual. By February it was no longer a whisper it was loud and clear! People dropping dead in the streets, footage of Chinese people being removed from their families and taken into quarantine and even more unbelievable having the doors to their homes welded shut, with them inside.
Tasmanians like the rest of the world were shocked! How lucky we were to live in Australia. The pandemic seemed to spread like wildfire across the globe. Every radio station, television channel and newspaper covered the topic and people started to take note. Oldies getting the morning papers, delivery drivers dropping off the new stock, taxi drivers taking us home after a good meal and some drinks all mentioned the virus. Corona was the new word.
The mainstream media really focused “as they do” on pumping this into us day and night! Every station, every channel until we took notice. By the time the virus hit Australia and eventually Tasmania, it seemed the rest of the globe was in crises.
People here are a little naïve but certainly not stupid we were prepared, we listened to the government, the health officials here in Tasmania were already instructing us on hygiene and self-distancing, we felt better but not safe, after all this wasn’t any enemy, we could see to fight.
On March 17th Tasmania declared a public health emergency and two days later closed the borders to all non-essential travellers. Come April 12 in response to an outbreak in Burnie, the northwest of the state was placed into lockdown… and so it began…
This is the beginning of a three part series on the story of Covid-19 in Tasmania so far.