Facing lockdown 2.0, what did we learn the first time? 'Leadership and solidarity'

10 July 2020

With Victoria re-issuing stay at home orders and NSW and ACT possibly not far behind, it's worth looking at how lockdown worked the first time. What went well? What have we learned?

As it happens, six weeks ago a team of experienced Australian and UK psychologists published a book on this exact topic.

Political leadership and public solidarity were the two most important factors in the nation's success at controlling COVID, they found.

While the US and the UK had succumbed to in-fighting and blame, and seen their case numbers soar, Australians had shown great concern for each other.

Societies that stick together make it through, they concluded. And this solidarity is strongly shaped by leadership.

The conclusions of Together Apart: The Psychology of COVID-19 hold true despite the alarming spike in cases in Victoria, said Alex Haslam, co-author and professor in the UQ School of Psychology.

"It's that concern for each other that's going to get us through this — it's our biggest resource and a key source of our resilience," he told Triple J Hack yesterday.

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