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EDITORIAL: Beware of threats in recovery period

As many of us start to tentatively breathe a little easier with the COVID-19 virus seemingly backing off towards a manageable level, we can’t afford to drop our guard.

It is a message in which we are well versed. Our political and health leaders have hammered the instruction over and over again during the pandemic.

It has heightened general awareness and armed with this new attention to detail we must ensure we spread our gaze across a wider front. 

There is a pressing need for us all to be conscious of meeting other great threats to health and safety.

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In our zest to make the most of regained freedoms as we head towards ‘COVID normal’, more traditional dangers are creeping along in the shadows of the pandemic.

The onset of warmer days and a noticeable increase in vegetation growth in response to consistent rain more than hints at a potentially dangerous fire season.

There is going to be plenty of fuel on the ground across the region and there are forecasts predicting long, hot and dry periods during summer. Apart from the seasonal threat of dry-lightning storms, people are also going out and about enthusiastically pursuing all sorts of opportunities, which can also invariably lead to an increased fire threat.

We were relatively lucky in our part of the world when fires devastated much of eastern Victoria last summer. We had a few outbreaks but nothing on the scale that burnt out so many communities.

But we know too well what fires can do and it is critical everyone across the Wimmera-Mallee and Western District remains vigilant in ensuring we avoid a summer of fire.

The last thing any of us want after a crippling and frustrating 2020 is to finish it off with back-to-back disasters.

And as more people get back on the move and back on the roads, a potential increase in road trauma is another obvious threat. Let’s be sensible.

It will be so easy to throw our cares to the wind in all we do if or when the pandemic passes. But it will be in this period that many of us will be at our most vulnerable.

That’s not to suggest diminishing a need for us to get on with celebrating life. The virus has more than galvanised thoughts on making the most of what we have.

It’s more about being wary of another adjustment period and to continue to be safe. 

The entire September 30, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire September 30, 2020 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!