Editor’s Desk: Russia’s war on Ukraine should teach us a valuable lesson about perspective

Headshot of Kate Campbell
Kate CampbellGeraldton Guardian
A woman shows a peace sign in front of a Russian WWII tank at the Soviet War Memorial in Berlin, Germany.
Camera IconA woman shows a peace sign in front of a Russian WWII tank at the Soviet War Memorial in Berlin, Germany. Credit: Markus Schreiber/AP

For many, the fight against COVID has felt like waging a war — two years and still going.

Then there are natural disasters that leave communities resembling a war zone, like what we’ve witnessed with the raging floods in the Eastern States.

Then there are actual war zones like Ukraine, which shock us back into the realisation of how lucky we are not to be living under the control of or next door to an egomaniacal, power-hungry despot like Vladimir Putin.

There are comparisons between all three scenarios — all have proven to be deadly and life-changing for those caught up in them.

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While the first two are battles out of our control and out of our making, the same cannot be said for the third. A war born out of greed and evil. The war in Ukraine puts things into perspective for the rest of the world in various stages of coping with the pandemic.

Haunting images from Ukraine have filled our newspapers, TV screens and online feeds. A father tearfully saying goodbye to his young daughter he might never see again before he joins the anti-Putin fight, a brave woman confronting a heavily armed Russian soldier telling him to put sunflower seeds in his pocket so something beautiful might bloom when he dies and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky’s refusal to leave his own country are just a few examples that have shocked and inspired the world.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the largest conventional military attack in Europe since World War II. That is a scary thought. And given we live in a nuclear age and throw in Putin’s unpredictability and instability, and it becomes a terrifying thought — not only for Ukraine but the world.

It put things into context that the worst we have to deal with at the moment are COVID restrictions on our social lives, the impact of those rules on our businesses, wearing a mask and if we refuse the jab, our jobs.

Those deluded people who liken the McGowan Government to a dictatorship over its mandates should feel ashamed over the comparison when a real-life dictator is waging war on an innocent country.

And the shocking scenes of Mother Nature’s fury in the east — a result of unprecedented “rain bombs” in Queensland and NSW — should have us feeling lucky too. We feel for our Eastern States cousins and we here in the Mid West still have those raw memories of what it’s like to pick up the pieces following a natural disaster.

Imagine if we had to deal with our COVID peak last year when Seroja hit? How virtually impossible would it have been to deal with those dual emergencies?

As we rejoin the world, let our defences down and head into what will arguably be the State’s worst and most trying month of the pandemic, it is important to remind ourselves that we still have plenty to be grateful for.

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