COVID-19 Statement

14 May 2020

As restrictions are gradually eased, I am cautious that, in our sincere desire to return to normal, we may plant the seeds for the devastating second wave of COVID-19 infections. In every major pandemic there has been a second wave. During the 1918 Spanish flu, 90 per cent of deaths were in the second wave. More recently, in the 2009 H1N1 swine flu outbreak, there were nearly five times as many deaths in developed countries in the second wave. The key cause was that people naturally wanted to forget about the outbreaks, only to have carelessness unleash immeasurable suffering. They say that those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. As the member for McMahon so eloquently pointed out yesterday in his speech in this place, you can never get over the loss of a loved one—especially if waiting just a little bit longer before easing restrictions may mean much less spread of the virus.

There is no excuse for a COVID-19 second wave. I applaud the great work of our community and our frontline workers—train drivers, retail workers, cleaners, nurses, doctors and so many others—who've been doing so much. Thank you to all those workers who've kept our community going. It would be a true tragedy for these gains to be so quickly erased. Remember: remain vigilant, be patient, stay at home if you're unwell, seek a test if necessary, wash your hands and keep 1.5 metres apart.