THE FIRST LESSON IS:
Professor Paul Zimmet AO
THE FIRST LESSON IS: "BE HUMBLE"
An important Community message from Professor Paul Zimmet AO
2018 Senior Victorian Australian of The Year
Recently, we have witnessed the hostility of an unruly minority, demonstrating and defying the Prime Minister and Government’s State of Emergency restrictions. They have ignored personal distancing, defied the rules on limited outdoor gatherings and activities - including sport and entertainment - and refused to follow other health and safety procedures put in place to protect us all.
These acts of defiance and selfish behaviour are of great concern. But it’s not all bad news, and I am proud to acknowledge, congratulate and personally thank the majority of Australians who have chosen to act sensibly and responsibly – they have played a major role in helping guide our proud Nation through this deadly pandemic. But, it is more important than ever to remain vigilant and compliant and keep our Nation on course, as we slowly ease out of these restrictions.
As Australians and through good choices, most of us have upheld the values of good health, family, mateship and community, fundamental principles of our everyday way of life. We understand why following the Government’s restrictions is so important to the health and safety of the entire nation and we have chosen to act responsibly! Dangerously, there are some who have chosen to act selfishly and not follow the restrictions. Each one of those individuals poses a monumental threat to us all. This hostile sector is signalling the message that they just do not understand or care that they are putting the lives of other Australians at higher risk from infection from a deadly enemy called COVID-19. Deadly it certainly and demonstrably is, we know this all too well, but what we do not know well enough is the biology of this virus, nor its mode and strategy of attack – it is a “black hole.” This lack of knowledge and understanding is in no way a reason to become complacent and ignore the extent of the damage COVID-19 can have on our bodies and our way of life – in fact, it is the exact opposite – we must respect it’s deadly powers as we would of any enemy – we must act to limit it’s destruction - we do this by being humble.
United States Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld said: “We know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don't know we don't know.”Faced with the threat of COVID-19, the first strategy or lesson in tackling it is to be humble! Yes, accept that we are dealing with a clever, cunning, and deadly enemy. It is so clever and cunning that it regularly changes its genetic profile by mutations, and thereby makes it even harder to develop a vaccine! The second lesson is to adhere strictly to the sensible, albeit strict, Government measures and guidelines. They have been clearly outlined and promoted in the website developed and coordinated by Sam Strunin. He is to be congratulated for being recognised with Maccabi Victoria’s 2019 Victorian President’s Award recognising his incredible contribution to this important organisation.
Politics aside, the bi-partisan leadership displayed by our Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Minister For Health Greg Hunt and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, as well as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (along with their medical advisers) has been outstanding. Yes, we are all in this together as has been repeatedly stated. The faster that every Australian realises that this is a real war, with a ferocious enemy, the more likely it is we can win and our community can and will emerge stronger and victorious.
With Maccabi Greetings
Prof. Paul Zimmet AO