How Corona Virus Has Divided A Country

Remember how just two-months ago Australia was ravaged by bushfires everywhere?


Remember how helpful and concerned everyone was for the welfare of people they did not know; in states they have never even visited?


Well why are we being so selfish now?


A good majority of people seem to think we are going through some type of apocalypse, or that the world is ending because of the Corona Virus, and so are stockpiling groceries that they do not need.


ABC News journalist, Joel Werner, wrote that “33 people died in this summer’s bushfire crisis … [and] over 1 billion animals were killed in the fires”.


I remember when those numbers were the only thing people were focusing on, and they were desperate to help communities in any way they could.


But now the tables have turned.


Everyone’s mindset is more ‘every man or woman for themselves’ and ‘who cares whether that family with four kids needs pasta, I only have 5 packets left in my pantry, so I’m going to buy these last 2 bags just to be safe’.


The BBC News website posted an article about the different ways people were helping during the bushfire crisis.


There were fundraisers, celebrities were pledging money, big businesses were promising to help, people were donating toys, clothing, and food.


That is definitely not the case now.


Claudia Forsberg for the greenleft website, wrote in her article in March, “unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is unleashing some very anti-social behaviour”.


Fights are breaking out in supermarkets. People are stealing groceries from other people’s carts. Customers are verbally and physically abusing workers because of the lack of stock.


That is not the way Australians behave.


Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who already has plenty on his plate, even had to address the issue in one of his speeches.


Morrison said, “Stop hoarding. I can’t be more blunt about it. Stop it. It is not sensible; it is not helpful, and it has been one of the most disappointing things I have seen in Australian behaviour in response to this crisis”.


What a shame to see how quickly Australian’s have turned on each other.


Just a few months ago we could not do enough to help each other.


We were rushing to the supermarket to stock up on food and toiletries… for other people.


Now we are fighting each other in the supermarket.


This is a time where we should be coming together to support each other, not shoving each other aside to get to the last roll of toilet paper.


Secondary Sources




Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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About Shannon Cole

My name is Shannon Cole and I am 20 years old. I am a journalism student at Deakin University, while also working part-time as a swimming instructor. I got the opportunity to write for The Footy Almanac through one of my university units, and I also have a personal blog where I post articles (, so feel free to check that out. I hope you enjoy my articles and keep an eye out for any new ones I post!


  1. Colin Ritchie says

    It is interesting the issues you have raised Shannon, it’s hard to understand how quickly that attitude can change. It seems when you are realistically affected by something such as Covid19 then many people – not all – forget about the macro picture but concentrate on the micro – themselves. As far as they are concerned it’s survival of the fittest and bugger the rest, unfortunately, so clearly demonstrated by the two women fighting over toilet paper in a shopping aisle, incredible. How you change those attitudes will be difficult, especially when many are ignorant or refuse to acknowledge the facts. Time will tell!

  2. Interesting take on the situation Shannon. One suggestion is that panic buying is like a physchological response ie people think theyve done something albeit for their own well-being. Also, some of this systematic stripping of supermarket shelves may have been organised by profiteers.
    With the bushfires we saw lots of hugs and handshakes. I feel
    there is a conmunity goodwill displayed differently to a different disaster, less tactile.
    The toilet paper sideshow may have tarnished Australians but the overall response has been commendable i feel.

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