This is a still shot from the tail end of the race replay of the seventh at Rockhampton yesterday, as published on the Racing Queensland website.
Two young blokes are clearly standing shoulder to shoulder, and two young birds are walking right next to each other up to them.
It’s what young men and women have been doing for years. It’s natural, and it’s normal.
But these ain’t normal times.
3 880 people around the world died of Coronavirus yesterday.
That’s the whole of Charleville, and all of Dayboro too.
Or every person in Jimboomba.
Gone, dead, vanished, corpses in a casket, bones in a grave.
20 Australians caught the COVID-19 yesterday.
We all hope they don’t die. We don’t want to either.
A couple of days ago Racing Queensland got the tick off from the Government to start letting punters back on the track again.
We all need it. Owners, members, gamblers, bookies, horse watchers, race day employees, girls having hens days and boys having bucks, people who like looking at nice flowers, cleaners, tipsters, touts, all of us. We’re sick of being locked up and locked out, and we want to get back to the track.
But we don’t want to die doing it, and we don’t want to kill anyone either.
That’s why the plan that Racing Queensland put up to get us there promised that social distancing would be the number 1 priority, for staff, essential participants, Joe Ordinary and Jesus Christ alike.
1.5 metres apart at all times.
“We promise” said RQ. “We’ll make sure it happens”.
And then this happens instead.
The kids are bloody idiots, there’s no doubt about that. But they’re young, and they are kids, and when you still count your birthdays and they end in teen, well death seems like something that only happens to old people, and life is such a powerful and wonderful force that all they want to do is live it.
It takes old people to police the rules and keep them apart, or at least to drill into their thick heads why they have to.
Where were they?
Who was there to keep an eye on these kids, and make sure that them being normal gets pulled up in the most abnormal time that we have ever lived through or seen.
It’s Racing Queensland’s responsibility. Not entirely, but at the end of the day. They proposed, agreed and signed the plan, not the kids.
So where were they?
Probably busy running around putting up posters telling people to stay apart.
It makes sense doesn’t it? After all, 1 in 7 Australians can’t read at a functional level, and 1-2 have reading and writing difficulties. The numbers in the lowly-educated racing sector are considerably higher. So why wouldn’t you put up posters instead of talking to them and teaching them about the virus and the risks, or at least having a club official or security guard kicking around to give them a kick.
Words don’t mean much without action.
One case of the virus, and our whole world falls down.
You bloody idiots.
And I’m not just talking about the kids.
With friends like these, who needs enemies.