I understand, really I do. People are scared. And why wouldn't they be, after having been subjected to one of the greatest marketing scare campaigns ever produced.
That might make people uncomfortable but this has become as a marketing/re-election campaign, nicely wrapped up in a health scare.
Honestly, the state government message almost reads like the script for a B-grade horror movie, complete with hordes of virus infected Victorians pushing at the gates of beautiful Queensland eager to infect us with deadly COVID-19.
To put this into perspective, Victoria has a population of over 5.5 million people, and New South Wales a bit over 7 million and surprisingly, not all of them want to come to Queensland.
When you take into account total population, the number of infected people is incredible small, far smaller than the percentage of those infected with the flu last year (68,075 Qld 2019), even far smaller than those who died from the flu last year (902 across Australia in 2019). So how long do we have to see no active cases or community transmission in Queensland before we can trade normally again? Is it another 4 weeks? 8 weeks? Longer?
As the Prime Minister said Thursday, "We've got to live alongside COVID. It's not going anywhere."
The cold hard truth is that without the state borders opening and without the removal of restrictions on business, many of our local businesses will fall and unemployment will rise.
Business debt and unpaid bills have increased during the crisis, while income fell in some sectors to nothing, literally overnight. Suppliers are calling for payment from businesses before they themselves are forced to close. People are borrowing from family, friends, even their own kids.
Financial stress is on the rise, as are domestic violence and suicide. We don't like to talk about it, but it is happening.
Like I said, I understand the fear. As a compromise, if you personally feel unsafe, perhaps this is the time for you to continue to work from home, to continue to have groceries and meals delivered, to limit your contact with others.
Stay home, stay safe and let the rest of us get on with our lives. Restrictions on businesses must be lifted and the state borders need to be open to give businesses across Queensland any sort of chance.
I don't mean a chance to grow and prosper, I simply mean a chance of staying open. For many businesses it is that dire - make no mistake about it.
So when people tell me that calls to open the borders and lift restriction are from misguided instinct let me respond by saying - it's not - it comes from seeing the hurt of closing a business, it comes from the pain of having to let staff go that you see as family and it comes from the knowledge that everything you have worked towards in providing a life for your family, may come crashing down around you through no fault of your own.
Misguided are those who believe the scare campaign of a government that is doing everything it can to stay on the news and win an election!