OPINION: Stop covid witch hunting: ‘be better than that’

Susanna Freymark

It isn’t business as usual if you’re a mayor.

Usually Kyogle mayor Danielle Mulholland and Richmond Valley mayor Robert Mustow would be out and about attending meetings and community events. Like many of us, they are in lockdown.

To keep you in touch we have a message from both mayors.

indyNRKyogle mayor Danielle Mulholland

We come together as a community, we will get through this as a community.

There’s a roadmap (developed by the state government) out of lockdowns but this relies on achieving vaccination targets.

It has come to my attention that the person who has covid in Kyogle has been named and in some instances, shamed on social media.
Getting covid is bad enough on its own.
Consider the family and friends of this person. Consider their feelings. We don‘t know the how, where, when or whys as yet so please be considerate in your responses.
Blaming this individual is not productive. It’s akin to the witch trials or the middle ages where you had to ring a bell calling ”unclean, unclean” in the street.

How we act under duress is a reflection of who we are as a society and as a community.

I expect people to be sympathetic rather than condemning in their attitudes to this person, who now not only has to battle a potentially dangerous virus but accusations and insults on social media.
Be better than that.
Empathy and compassion are much more desirable traits than unsubstantiated accusations and name calling.
Not everything is someone’s ”fault”.
To the person with covid, I wish you all the best and a speedy recovery.
For those villages West of the Range who are wondering why they are in lockdown along with Kyogle, the contact tracing has shown close contacts in these areas.
Mayor Robert Mustow elbow greets Premier Gladys Berejiklian when she visited Rappville while State MP Chris Gulaptis looks on. Photo: Susanna Freymark

Richmond Valley mayor Robert Mustow

Its unfortunate and frustrating that Casino has returned to stay-at-home orders again due to only one identified case (now two) when NSW  has almost reached the 70% vaccination rate which will see a lot of restrictions lifted for those fully vaccinated.

Business owners have been struggling and this will further impact their viability.

I like many in our community look forward to the 70% target being achieved which is predicted to be October 11 and then 80% by the end of October to give everyone a sense of direction and security.

Fortunately other areas of the Richmond Valley are not included in the current restriction giving those businesses the opportunity to take advantage of the long weekend.

Everyone take care and keep safe, hopefully we can get some normality back into our lives in coming weeks.


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