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共渡時艱                 周偉文
北京在過去一周,有超過100個新冠病毒的感染個案,由於是首都重地,中國政府立時作出戒備。中國疫情在三月已受控制,可以說社會正在從解封中恢復過來,這次是零星爆發還是疫症大規模死灰復燃現時還未可知。新冠二次爆發的危機一直是全球國家所擔心,因為一旦一個國家從隔離中開放,人們恢復工作及社會活動,人與人的社交距離就會縮短,病毒能否被成功阻隔,真的要看人民的警覺及能否遵守各衛生防護規則。全世界包括澳洲在內,都在關注北京的情況,因為澳洲也正處於逐步開放階段,如何調整開放速度,北京的情況有很大的參考性。
新冠病毒讓人類見到我們不是萬能,叫人從驕傲中醒悟過來,學習珍惜身處的環境及明白我們無法掌控這世界。在這段時間,我們要學到人不只是獨立的個體,只有重視大眾的安全,我們個人才能受到保護。只要少數人不重視衛生,很多人就可以被感染,生命受到威脅。每一個人不是孤島,而是互為影響,互相牽連。只要有人在看起來不重要的地方掉以輕心,後果可以是很嚴重的。
早前,一個在墨爾本抗議美國黑人被打的遊行,有上萬人的人參加。澳洲政府明確表示反對在這時期舉行遊行,因為可能引發社區感染。自由表達意見是人的權利,但舉行大型遊行卻提高了病毒傳播的風險。結果確實有一些參加者及家人被發現受到感染,還好現時還未有出現社區感染,但值得思想的是,在個人權利與群體利益的平衡之間,要找到合宜的決定,真的並不容易。政府只能呼籲曾參與遊行者,若發現有感染徵狀者,要立刻自我隔離,是沒有辦法中的辦法吧。
聯邦政府現時焦點放在疫後經濟重建,不少人相信要延長Jobkeeper的計劃,令經濟有更大的發展動力。總理表示聯邦政府無法確保每一個職位不受影響,暗示政府會縮減支持經費,令不少人對前景擔心。大量生意倒閉,會令到失業率上升及國民減少消費,極有可能令經濟進一步下滑,澳洲經濟要力保不失,相信並不容易。
面對不明朗的前路,只有神給我們勇氣及信心,去面對這挑戰,也願意我們一起能彼此互勉及支持,共渡時艱。

 

Walk through hardship          Raymond Chow , Publisher

 

There has been over a hundred new COVID19 cases confirmed in capital Beijing where the Chinese government is not taking any chance in response. The epidemic crisis in China was under control since March and the society has been coming out from the lockdown. It is not sure the recent cases belong to just a minor spike or point to the second wave crisis. No country wants in the wrong direction as when the society slowly reopens, so it is critical for all people to be fully alert in all hygiene precautionary measures when social interactions intensify. The world including Australia is watching closely on the development in Beijing as a reference while we are on the path of easing restrictions.
This pandemic reminds us of how powerless is humanity in taking control of the world, we should come out of our own pride and rather learn how to appreciate what around has been granted to us. This time we should also learn we are not just individual entities and we need to care about public safety as a whole. A few inconsiderate persons could put the whole community at risk. Everyone in the society is interconnected. A few careless occasions could lead to dreadful outcome.
Earlier on more than ten thousands turned up in a Melbourne ‘black lives matter’ protest, despite government’s objection and warning that it could pose great community infection risk. We have freedom of expression but not in the expense of community health. There have been indeed confirmed infections coming out from the rally though not widespread. Yes it is hard to find a balance between personal right and public interest. The government can only advise all rally participants be alert of their health condition and to practise social isolation as deemed.
The government is working hard on the economic recovery; many are expecting the Jobkeeper scheme to continue supporting this process. But some are worried as the Prime Minister expressed his reserved position on the Scheme. With more businesses closing down means higher unemployment rate and lower national spending power, thus further downturn of our economy will be inevitable.
Up against challenges amid uncertain time, only God can grant us the courage and faith to walk through hands in hands.

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