If the slogan of 2020 is “We’re all in this together”, perhaps it should come with an asterisk: *except for those with less, who are hurting more.
Covid-19 hasn’t torn through Australia as it has the United States, Brazil, India and much of Europe, but the economic impact has exposed gaping inequities in almost every facet of our lives.
While some people simply packed up their desks and took work home, more than 1 million others in Australia are jobless and others only technically still “employed” because they are receiving federal government wage subsidies.
In Melbourne, where the pandemic hit hardest, the virus carved a conspicuous path through the most disadvantaged and culturally diverse parts of the city: the west, north and outer south-east.
“We should not pretend that everybody is in this equally,” says Dr Stephen Duckett, the health program director at the Grattan Institute. “People who are suffering are less well-off, and have poorer, precarious employment. So when people say, ‘Look business is hurting,’ that may be true, but these people are bearing the brunt of this.”
Covid-19 has had far-reaching impacts all around the world – including on how defence forces operate.
Australia’s defence minister, Linda Reynolds, announced today that an Australian maritime patrol aircraft would operate out of Kadena air base in Japan and help enforce UN security council sanctions on North Korea.
In a statement, the Australian government pointed to quarantine requirements:
“The Poseidon aircraft and its crew will deploy from RAAF’s 92 Wing and quarantine at Kadena Air Base in line with Japan’s Covid-19 entry requirements.”
The Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft is to “conduct airborne surveillance to monitor and deter illegal shipments of sanctioned goods”, with operations due to begin late this month and conclude late in October. It’s the seventh such deployment since 2018, but only the second this year.
Victoria reports 16 new cases and two deaths