Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin


As the pandemic stretches on – and on and on – fear and frustratio­n are fuelling an infectious wave of anger – and the Prime Minister is not immune to it

- ANN WASON MOORE ann.wasonmoore@news.com.au

FORGET the vaccine, maybe what we really need is a chill pill.

And, just like with my double-dose of Pfizer, I’ll happily wait in line for a taste of that medicine … because I am seriously sick of being angry.

Unfortunat­ely, it seems this emotion is more contagious than Covid itself.

Look, I get it. This bloody pandemic is exhausting and exasperati­ng … every time it feels like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, it turns out it’s just an emergency beacon warning of more distress.

Our buffer for bad news and capacity for patience is as wasted as a crate-full of Pfizer in Nimbin.

And now here we are, our border with NSW is closed, more than half the country is locked down and we have to wear masks for another week.

But that’s not what’s making me angry.

Indeed, while anger is the symptom, idiocy is the disease.

Flare-ups can be activated by stupid posts on social media, but also conversati­ons IRL (FYI that’s “in real life”); by stupid politician­s, but also good friends.

I’m no fan of masks, but what truly infuriates me are comments such as this: “I’m getting anxiety from walking amongst muzzled mask wearers knowing full well the reason for mandatory masks has nothing to do with Covid.

They dehumanise, degrade, instil fear and limit oxygen.”

Dude, maybe we both need to take a deep breath (of limited oxygen).

Meanwhile, I’ve had to sign in friends on my own Check-In Qld app because they don’t want the government tracking them.

I mean, whatever, it doesn’t physically hurt me to tap my thumb a few more times … but boy does it get my blood boiling.

I understand those who complain that the government, whether state or federal, has some fine form in terms of double-standards (sports crowds vs arts audiences and hospitalit­y patrons springs to mind) … but anyone who thinks this is all a conspiracy by those in power needs to get their head read.

Why would any government choose to restrict the movement of its people, enforce masks and disrupt the economy? That’s sure to win a lot of votes!

Why encourage everyone to get a vaccine … and then not provide the vaccine? If these are the moves of the new world order … I think we’re going to be all right.

And if that doesn’t make you feel better, maybe you do have something to worry about.

Research has long showed that conspiracy theories are associated with anxiety, social isolation and negative emotions.

Now a study in Ecuador joins growing research indicating that believing in Covid-19 conspiracy theories is an important predictor of distress, anxiety, and depression.

Yet instead of feeling sympathy, I just feel frustrated and angry.

Especially when I hear reports such as this from CBS News in America between a reporter and small business owner and father Scott Roe, who was in hospital recovering from Covidinduc­ed pneumonia:

“If you would have had a chance to get the vaccine and prevent this, would you have taken the vaccine?” asks the reporter.

“No,” says Mr Roe. “I would have gone through this, yes sir … Don’t shove it down my throat. That’s what local, state, federal administra­tion is trying to do – shove it down your throat.”

“What are they shoving,” asks the reporter, “the science?"

“No, they’re shoving the fact that that’s their agenda … their agenda is to get you vaccinated,” answers Mr Roe.

To which I respond: arrrgghhhh­h!

And yet, even from our own leaders, who don’t have conspiracy-induced anxiety as a defence, I struggle to find the sanity … let alone the serenity.

Look no further than Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has done anything but lead. But you might have to look long and hard, because he’s been all but absent until the last few days.

When it comes to our bungled vaccine rollout, he’s blamed premiers, he’s blamed advisers, he’s blamed ATAGI. He says it’s not a race, but actually it is a race and,

anyway, he says he didn’t mean it like that.

And finally, after scathing criticism over his inability to apologise for leaving us unprotecte­d in the midst of a pandemic, he said sorry … kind of.

“No country gets everything right, no prime minister gets everything right as well,” he said. Arrrrrgggh­hh.

No one expects perfection, but we do expect competence. Without even that, we have every right to feel angry.

And that goes to the heart of this frustratio­n – the fear that everything is not just out of our control, but out of control.

But if we feel helpless, the best we can do is to help ourselves … and each other. Rather than being cross, let’s be compassion­ate instead.

That’s a (chill) pill we should all swallow.

I’ve had to sign in friends on my own Check-In Qld app because they don’t want the government tracking them

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 ??  ?? Prime Minister Scott Morrison has done anything but lead during this pandemic and it is making people agitated and angry.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has done anything but lead during this pandemic and it is making people agitated and angry.

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