The situation unfolding in Queensland has been extremely uncomfortable to watch.
Not because of the potentially devastating impact of community transmission thanks to this often invisible virus, or because of the deception by the three people who went about their business with blatant disregard for the health of others.
The icky factor was the media coverage. Describing the people at the centre of the coronavirus breach as teens was misinformation. Using the word “teens” suggests the three individuals were simply careless because of their age.
But they weren’t teens – all three were adults. Yes, one woman was aged 19, but that’s still an adult. These women should have known better and should be treated as such.
The other contentious element of the coverage was naming the women.
There are two elements at play – the first is the alleged crime of deliberately breaking laws and disregarding public health directions. The second element is the fact these women are patients with a health condition.
Naming and shaming people who continue to put others’ lives at risks is not a new concept in this pandemic.
Many people blatantly ignoring the rules or advocating for “freedoms”, such as choosing to not wear a mask in Victoria, are filming themselves and uploading to social media for some instant fame.
For many people, the threat of coronavirus may appear to be a hypothetical situation.
Climate change can have the same impact – the issue is so big that it’s hard to see how individual actions can be effective.
What we know about COVID-19, and can see very clearly in Victoria, is that the virus is invisible and deadly.
On Sunday afternoon, it was revealed that two more Tasmanians decided to breach quarantine and remove themselves from their public health directed hotel lodgings.
It is selfish and potentially deadly behaviour to act without regard for the health of others.
These are all adults who should know better.