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If COVID-19 becomes and epidemic in Australia I strongly suspect we're going to collectively cop it worse because of racism.

Racist policies are unjust and that's enough to dismiss them, but on top of that they're going to make it all much worse.

I'll explain a few ways.
To start, the travel ban - which was against both current research and WHO guidelines - is arguably acting to exacerbate the spread both here and elsewhere.

Citizens of China (for example) rather than come directly here go to other countries that have less health infrastructure.
This means that not only is the disease less easily monitored, its effects are harder to mitigate and its spread increased.

The ban arguably breeds more bans, which breeds more bans. It's a terrible policy and clearly racially motivated.
Despite this, after a recent dip in cases here (not anymore) the gov further lauded that policy, using it to justify their racist border bs more generally.

On health.gov.au in the "what are we doing" section, 4/7 points are basically "we're guarding the border!"
One of the points says they're providing medical advice to Chinese Newspapers and on WeChat, which I'm sure is something much appreciated by... Italians?

I mean who is that aimed at otherwise? Can't be the Chinese community here for sure.
The Morrison gov's investment in the "a White Australia Policy is as good as a vaccine/medical funding" approach is now means that, when it fails, they're desperately downplaying the threat.

Having convinced people that their shit is working, now it's not, people are panicking.
An example of the way this plays out is arguably in messaging about stockpiling.

Experts have been saying to do it for a month or more now.

The Victorian government has it on their health website and has for a while.
In general most authorities concerned with disaster preparedness say 2 weeks should be on hand just in general, pandemic or not.

But when a disease is out and about, giving people the option not to unnecessarily go out is a pretty great idea.
It mitigates the spread, and as importantly, it makes people less panicked and likely to do things that are bad ideas.

Like shanking someone for toilet paper in Parra Woolies.

Preparing gives psychological comfort, it's a good thing.
But because everyone's been told it's all fine cos Border Force stops viruses, not as many have prepared as they would have had they not had a racist gronk as a PM.

The run on toilet paper isn't caused by people being shit, or the need to shit, it's because of racist shit cnts.
Now rather than responding to this panic with a mea culpa and efforts to give the public a realistic path to preparedness combined with a sound understanding of the threat, he's out and about saying that stockpiling is for dumb cnts, no worries.
I swear to God they've got toilet manufacturers out announcing that they're ramping up production.

As though it's just toilet paper that people are panic buying, and as though production and not the way supply lines are disrupted by disease is the problem.
Look around and see how many people are laughing at the toilet paper thing & not linking it to the racist dogs whose shit is the cause of the panic.

Ran out of regular supply of nappies today & this is the aisle at Aldi.
Lucky I bought in bulk over several weeks a while back because I was following this stuff closely.

If you weren't, and especially if your gov said everything is fine, why wld you do so?

& wanting to have nappies or milk or bleach is not shit. Of course people are freaking out!
Government messaging in aid of racist policy is directly contributing to a panic that will exacerbate any epidemic in Australia.

It is harming vulnerable people in our community: inspiring hate crimes, increasing scarcity via panic, spreading disease. Before COVID-19 even hits.
And when/if it gets here in an even bigger way than it already has, it will continue to effect those people even more.

Pigs in parliament have their own troughs when shit gets really real.
So please.

Pretty please.

Shut the fuck up with the played out toilet paper jokes.

(I say that having made at least one)

And think about what factors are creating a run on a whole bunch of essential goods. Things we use to live day to day.
There's more I could say but judging by my uncharacteristic profanity I'm getting too worked up.

So I'll reshare the final tweet of my disaster prep thread, because it still stands:

Clearly not finished.

People are focussing on fucking toilet paper and not the other things selling out: bleach, long life milk, flour.

Because with toilet paper it can be dismissed as irrational. Funny.
It lets you off the hook:

"Haha all these fckwits buying toilet paper how much are they gonna sht"

Not:

"The decision to stockpile necessary goods in the face of a potential epidemic that could kill 1 in 30 people is a logical decision, why weren't we doing it earlier"
The humour & absurdity of it allows us to stop interrogating. It makes light & that lightness then applies to the epidemic itself.

For every panicbuyer there's a gronk laughing, rolling out "it's no worse than the flu" & justifying their lack of preparation with another's panic.
Both of these are their own type of absurdity, their own type of selfishness and human fallibility.

And both of them are at least in a major part propelled by racist government policy and messaging.
You legit had officials arguing that the WHO's stance on Australia's border bullsht was a product of nefarious Chinese influence.

This despite the WHO releasing a meta-analysis dismissing the efficacy of such policies in 2014.

Nefarious Chinese time travellers?
Oh yeah, and that "it's not as bad as the flu" line has been trotted out by Trump and it is usually accompanied by its own eugenic logic.

"Only 2% (WHO says 3.4 now) die, and mostly the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions"...
Aside from the fact that such conditions include asthma, which is hardly rare, most of the people I know that fall into that latter category are from communities targetted by this government.
The disease is going to kill, and has killed, people who have done all the right things. Who've prepared and practiced hygiene and have good health and so on.

In order to rationalise that seemingly senseless death, people will reach nonetheless to blame.
I quoted Sontag in the past; "the disease becomes adjectival" - people are classed as dirty, deadly and deserving in order to maintain the perception of a just world.

Racial logics are right there waiting to usher along that rationalising.

It's already occurred.
Racism drives the spread of the disease. It hampers preparation for it. It then disrupts the response.

Racism renders those infected as deserving and thus casts the disease itself not as something that can be countered but as a force of balance, of order.
The act of fighting and persecuting those who are blamed for COVID-19 supplants and subverts action against the disease itself.

"It's the lepers and the Jews!" Not the rats or the sanitation or the overcrowding. Plague or not, germ theory or not.
Then, those who seek to fight that racism often end up enlisted in the cause of the virus.

They accept the framework and so downplay the danger of the racialised virus as an effort to counter the racism that caused it.

Stuff like this irresponsible meme:
So even anti-racist endeavours can end up dovetailing with racist policy to exacerbate the disease.

Not least by encouraging those participating in anti racist action to be more vulnerable to the disease...
This thread courtesy of the busride & the fact I'm still fucked up by a conversation with a brother & sister w/ kid in the lift, after they saw the bag of nappies I was bringing up from storage.

Say I'm making too much of race in this, but this is true:
I was a bit angry when I wrote this thread.

Apologies for all the typos 😬
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