It is sickening.
It is appalling.
It is inhumane.
Just when you think our federal government can't sink any lower morally in dealing with Covid-19, it does.
Our 9,000 fellow Australian citizens stranded in India are now threatened with a five-year jail sentence, a $66,000 fine, or both, if they return home during the temporary ban.
It reminds me of that scene in the film, 'Titanic', when the ship has sunk and officers in half empty lifeboats refuse to save survivors in the water for fear of tipping the boat.
Our political leaders argue that they are following advice from our chief health officers, as if it exonerates them from this inhumanity.
However, what it does is position our health leaders as also culpable. Possibly more so.
It seems a number of them have forgotten at times those crucial words in the Hippocratic Oath, 'I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings...'.
Australians need to ask themselves when and how, as a nation, we lost our moral compass in dealing with this pandemic. Most importantly, we need to understand why we urgently need to find it.
In early 2020 I personally became deeply concerned when hospital patients here with Covid-19 were dying alone, that is, without loved ones beside them.
Research at the time found that the new fear during Covid was not dying. It was dying alone.
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About the Author
Jane Hasler is a sociologist, mental health professional, and mother of eight, seven sons and one daughter. After receiving her PhD from Sydney University in 2010, she has taught within Social Sciences at universities in Sydney and Brisbane, and is now speaking, writing and researching re' preventing a range of social issues, three main ones being bullying, suicide, and male violence.