There’s a chance that competitive federalism will devolve into a race to see who can pull the Lockdown trigger first. This isn’t a re-enactment of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. We must avoid panicky reactions, and governments must consider health and broader recommendations, including how to mitigate the painful economic consequences of strict restrictions and Lockdown.
Governments must also be careful with their words so as not to terrify people unnecessarily. Without a single example, the implementation of limitations in South Australia risks being perceived as an overreaction. Other states are on the verge of disproportionate responses. Industry leaders urge state and territory authorities to prioritize testing and tracing, which has achieved similar results to the most severe restrictions while having a lower impact on lives and livelihoods in many circumstances.
The community and businesses that provide goods, services, and jobs are the losers in the kneejerk Lockdown competition. Willox said, “We need to avoid panicked responses and governments need to weigh health and broader advice including on mitigating the harsh economic impacts of tough restrictions and Lockdown.”