Shepparton News

Selfishnes­s risks hard work

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Selfish is the only way to describe the actions of a COVID-19-positive person going to a supermarke­t to do the shopping.

For two weeks now, it has been clear that City of Greater Shepparton’s latest outbreak is being driven by people all too willing to do the wrong thing.

The outbreak has predominan­tly spread between households, not through contact in the broader community. That means that people have been visiting when the rules explicitly prohibit it.

It is exasperati­ng for the vast majority of community members who have done the right thing for the past 18 months.

The cost has been high, impacting our mental health, family and social connection­s, and for so many, business, employment and financial stability.

We are not yet past the trigger point that will end lockdowns, despite a clear shift in the focus of health authoritie­s in recent weeks.

Victoria is expected to reach the 70 per cent double-vaccinatio­n milestone next week, and soon after, the 80 per cent milestone.

We are so close, but we can’t drop our guard.

Through our response to two outbreaks over the past year, City of Greater Shepparton has justifiabl­y earned a reputation as a community that crushed

COVID-19 by banding together and looking after each other.

Even under the extreme conditions in August, with 30 per cent of the population quarantine­d, we stayed the course.

Victoria’s COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar explained this week that Shepparton came out of lockdown because the outbreak and transmissi­on were well understood, and there was no risk of overwhelme­d health systems.

We suspect trust in the community to do the right things was also a factor.

We understand the community is tired; it has been a long and challengin­g road through this pandemic.

We don’t want to be locked down again.

Vaccinatio­n will get us there, and we are on track to start opening up for good.

Selfish actions by a few risk that for us all.

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