OPINION: Human toll of virus rules on full display
RULES are rules but that doesn’t stop them from being heartbreaking at times.
The human toll of coronavirus enforced travel restrictions is on full display in Mark Talbot’s story.
We understand and respect the need for quarantine and restrictions on travellers arriving in Australia from overseas.
Still, it’s hard to accept that special allowances can’t be made for a man desperate to see his dying mother.
Especially when that man has clearly demonstrated his intent and ability to follow the rules as closely as possible, given a little flexibility.
Mark Talbot does not want the government to tear up the rule book for him.
He wants the Chief Health Officer to acknowledge the situation he and his family find themselves in. Mr Talbot intends to self-isolate in Hervey Bay. He just wants the chance to do it near his mum in her final days.
Of course, the sad reality is Mr Talbot’s situation is no doubt not unique.
It can be argued that if an exemption is made for one person, the floodgates of expectation will open.
Rules need to be made and they need to be followed, especially in a time of crisis.
Our authorities are to be commended for their efforts in keeping Queenslanders safe.
All the same, stories like Mr Talbot’s tug at the heart strings and make us wonder if one exemption, being sought by a reasonable and rule-abiding person, could really hurt.