Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to media during a press conference in Melbourne, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Victoria recorded 75 new virus cases on Monday, the fourth highest number since the pandemic began and the highest since March. (AAP Image/James Ross) NO ARCHIVING
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to media during a press conference in Melbourne, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Victoria recorded 75 new virus cases on Monday, the fourth highest number since the pandemic began and the highest since March. (AAP Image/James Ross) NO ARCHIVING

OUR SAY: With COVID-19, we’re not better, we’re just lucky

I NEVER thought I'd find a day when I'd be deriding Victorians over Queenslanders. It's not in the New South Wales way, and they scrapped the awful State of Origin VFL decades ago.

But here we are, and finally, NSW has come to its senses and blocked Victorians from new coronavirus hot spots from entering.

Of course, it's probably too late to protect us from the travellers already here, but we'll need another three weeks to figure that out.

Victoria had one of the harshest shutdown laws, but as restrictions eased, the multiple outbreaks and hot spots across the outer regions of Melbourne has real consequences for the rest of the country.

Postcodes of Melbourne suburbs are seen on a television screen as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to media during a press conference in Melbourne, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (AAP Image/James Ross) NO ARCHIVING
Postcodes of Melbourne suburbs are seen on a television screen as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to media during a press conference in Melbourne, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (AAP Image/James Ross) NO ARCHIVING

What has interested me about the Victorian outbreak has been how quickly we've jumped into the blame game for it all.

First, every conservative commentator in the country couldn't wait to blame the Black Lives Matter movement, because, well, apparently they should shut up and get over it.

And while large public gatherings aren't probably the ideal thing, why has nobody mentioned another large group, protesting about - get this - 5G towers spreading coronavirus, in the same breath? Perhaps it was because they had tacet approval by the prime minister, and the BLM ones not. I wonder what could be the difference?

Soon we were onto a new target, being migrant families celebrating the end of Ramadan. "They've got poor English skills", or even worse "They should bloody go home where they came from," came the predictable cries.

But was it? We certainly heard it a lot, and let's face it, in the time of crisis, our general method is to blame a minority. Why change now?

Now we hear it's to do with a breakdown in hotel quarantine. And while it's a severe breach of trust and inquiries should be made, not all of Victoria's cases are being spread by hotel workers. One case was though, and now it's running rampant.

The real reason it's spreading like wildfire? It's a highly contagious disease which spreads quickly while people are asymptomatic. Duh.

People walking along the sea front at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Saturday, June 6, 2020. Coronavirus restrictions are slowly being eased across Australia with states and territories at different stages on the road map to reopen the nation. (AAP Image/James Gourley) NO ARCHIVING
People walking along the sea front at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Saturday, June 6, 2020. Coronavirus restrictions are slowly being eased across Australia with states and territories at different stages on the road map to reopen the nation. (AAP Image/James Gourley) NO ARCHIVING

So why do they have it, and we don't?

Simple. We got lucky.

All it would've taken for this to start is for one person travelling from an area with the disease, to come up here, and have lunch in the shopping centre or sneeze in an aisle at Bunnings, and suddenly, we'd have similar numbers.

They don't have to be from Melbourne either. There are plenty of Sydneysiders who jumped in the car on June 1 and took a winter break. Hell, there were some here even when it was illegal to do so. If those people had it, they could've given it to so many of us without even knowing.

And we would've all looked around, and pointed the finger at whoever it was easy to blame, and felt better because we've never broken any of the rules, right?

RELATED: How coronavirus spread across Northern NSW

Of course, you have. At its inception, the idea of the lockdown law worked on the premise it was sufficient if 70 per cent of the population followed suit. It sounds like a low number given the circumstances, but if you think about it, while you might not be appearing on coronavirus Most Wanted poster this week, you've probably done something that isn't following the letter of the law.

Hugged someone, sneezed into your hand while having coffee with friends, had a barbie with those mates who couldn't possibly have the virus. You probably even had to go to work and do your best impersonation of social distancing, all while using the same shared kitchen and toilet which couldn't possibly be cleaned to the rigorous standards developed.

So the next time you feel like blaming a group for the next outbreak, stop and think about what it achieves. Until a vaccine comes along to solve the problem, the only reason you're not the problem at the moment is pure luck.

Grafton Base Hospital COVID-19 clinic co-ordinator Troy Armstrong at the clinic.
Grafton Base Hospital COVID-19 clinic co-ordinator Troy Armstrong at the clinic.

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