but that does not make the situation any better.
There was an "incident" in Melbourne yesterday. Someone drove a car into pedestrians. People were injured, some of them seriously. A small child is in a "critical" condition.
It is alleged it was a deliberate act.
As incidents go of course it is not nearly as bad in terms of death and injury as what seem like almost daily reports from other parts of the world. Here though it makes headlines. Our part of the world is supposed to be "safe". We aren't supposed to have the sort of problems which beset other places on a regular basis.
That isn't true of course. The city I live in is on a fault line and a major earthquake is a possibility - even if the last one that caused any real damage was more than sixty years ago. There was a bush or wild fire in the hills behind us some years ago that did a lot of damage - but not nearly as much damage as it might have done. People have been "flooded out" from time to time. And yes, there have been terrorist incidents here and people have been killed. The death of just one person in this way should concern us and tell us to be vigilant.
But there are other things which bother me about these "incidents". They are things like the effect on the people who survive such incidents. The small child in a critical condition apparently has head injuries. That child will never be the same again. If the child survives the effects will impact on that child and the child's family and on many other people for years to come. Other injured people may be left with permanent physical disabilities and they will be left with permanent mental scars even if they appear to recover. The emergency services personnel who have to deal with these things and the hospital staff who have to handle the injuries are not immune either. And neither are "bystanders" - those who witness the event but are not physically injured by it.
I cannot understand why people congregate to watch what is going on at the scene of an incident or an accident. All too often they are getting in the way, hampering the efforts of those who can do something.
I am appalled by the breathless way these things are sometimes reported. A close friend of mine once witnessed a very nasty accident. He is a doctor and, rightly, stopped to render assistance before the emergency services arrived. When they arrived he, again rightly, let them take over. As he was leaving the scene he was pursued down the street by a reporter asking him for a statement. He told me later that it had taken all his self control not to do more than say, "Get out of my way." He had just been trying to help a man he was almost certain wasn't going to survive. He didn't want to appear on television making a statement about that.
When the matter was being reported last night I turned the sound off and I looked down at what I had been doing. I didn't need to know more than I had already been alerted to in a news feed earlier.
Nobody was killed - but that doesn't make it any better.