It is not the first time the outbreak of a disease has hit Australia. And as always, the most vulnerable people are hit hardest
We live in dangerous times, not unprecedented times. This is not the first infectious agent to devastate Australia, but our collective memory as a nation and the great Australian amnesia have failed us. The consequences will be lethal.
The first episode in our post-invasion history began in the late 1780s and rapidly spread across the continent. There are written accounts of vast areas around Sydney Harbour where bodies of Aboriginal people were piled high in caves, and coves were filled with the floating dead. Smallpox was the agent of apocalypse during that time, and it moved like the grim reaper along our highways, songlines and trade routes from nation to nation, leaving societal collapse in its path.