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The human body

The Price of COVID


Richard Holden | Benjamin Law | Sam Mostyn | Yasmin Poole

While many of us (sorry Melbourne) spent 2020 believing we had escaped the worst of the pandemic, 2021 brought forth the ugly reality of living with the virus. Even as the nation returns to something that feels like normal, beneath the thrill of gigs, gatherings and barista coffee, it’s clear the pandemic has changed the picture for good.   

We’ve seen our governments and fellow citizens succeed at some things, fail badly at others, and discovered who ‘essential’ workers really are. After two years of arguing about how to ‘balance’ public health and the economy, what have we actually learned?  

Chaired by author and broadcaster Benjamin Law and featuring economist Richard Holden, business leader and CEO Sam Mostyn and youth advocate Yasmin Poole, this talk will explore how the last two years have challenged our health systems, and shown us what went missing as we globalised our economy.   

The incomparable Virginia Gay will close the conversation with a monologue from Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of Cyrano – twice thwarted by COVID outbreaks on its journey to opening night 

What will happen as fortress Australia wakes up from the COVID spell? 

The Reckoning is presented by the UNSW Centre for Ideas and Sydney FestivalUNSW Sydney is the Education Partner of Sydney Festival.