Home / World News / Andrew Miller: Thanks to ‘State Daddy’ Mark McGowan for his efforts at trying to keep COVID from WA

Andrew Miller: Thanks to ‘State Daddy’ Mark McGowan for his efforts at trying to keep COVID from WA

“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child” quoth King Lear.

News broke over the Father’s Day weekend that our State Daddy, Premier Mark McGowan, is mothballing his COVID-19 emergency power to ground us kids behind State borders.

There are many parallels in managing a rapidly evolving lethal pandemic and trying to keep our youngsters safe as they make their way in the cruel world.

The “State Daddy” portrait painted by Jenny Davies.
Camera IconThe “State Daddy” portrait painted by Jenny Davies. Credit: Jenny Davies/Supplied

Like leaders and their constituents, parents and kids often get locked in a tussle over the ever-shifting balance between rules and choice.

April 2020 was a very different time, before vaccination and effective antivirals; before rapid antigen tests and the widespread understanding of airborne spread of COVID-19 that necessitates N95 masks and clean air.

Senior doctors, including myself, called on the Government to slow the arrival of SARS-Cov-2 so the State could have time to prepare, given we had intimate knowledge of the pre-existing frailty of our hospitals and remote populations.

We needed information from overseas; hopefully vaccination and treatments; personal protective equipment; training and facilities to deal with the threat of carnage that was all too real in other countries.

Though it could have been much better managed, discretionary travel control and quarantine were the most effective public health measures we had at the time.

Border closures and short, sharp lockdowns were so successful in fact that even the most belligerent States used them unashamedly when it suited them, while bagging WA at will.

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