Sydney covers band viciously trolled for COVID cluster
A local cover band who played at the RSL where Sydney's virus cluster started have become the punching bag for furious Aussies as thousands of northern beaches residents face scuppered plans in the lead-up to Christmas.
Nothing Too Serious, a group comprising of northern beaches residents, have borne the brunt of frustrated Sydneysiders after they were named by Health Minister Brad Hazzard in a press conference this week and mistakenly labelled "superspreaders".
One particularly strong comment written in caps lock beneath the Facebook event for the Avalon RSL Club gig last Friday reads: "HOW DARE YOU!!!!! BECAUSE OF YOU COVIDIOTS, I CAN'T FLY TO SYDNEY TO SEE ME SISTER WHO IS FIGHTING CANCER. I HOPE KARMA GETS YOU!!!!!!!"
Another person wrote: "You're completely idiotic boomers that like most boomers ruin everything for everyone else. Congrats feel proud of yourselves."
Local MP Rob Stokes went in to bat for the group, praising their "amazing work in the community".
The harsh messages come after the band's drummer caught coronavirus following the gig.
In response to the irony of the outbreak involving a member of a group named Nothing Too Serious, Mr Hazzard had this to say on Thursday: "The gentleman from Frenchs Forest … this particular person has been working in a band.
"The band is called Nothing Too Serious. Certainly from our point of view, I wouldn't say it's exactly how we feel, because it obviously is serious."
He later admitted that he should have avoided making the name public.
Speaking to news.com.au, a member of the band said they were feeling "nervous" following the influx of threatening messages on their Facebook page, and just wanted to set the record straight.
"The issue is we were named by Brad Hazzard, and he's nominated that it was our drummer who was infected with the virus, and that's where the misinformation all began. Albeit he made no reference to us being the cause, it was the implied version of what he relayed. Next thing I know our logo and video of the band are represented all over the TV," he said.
"It doesn't take much for people to put those things together. Next thing we're the focal point of what went wrong, there was no recognition by anyone to say hang on a sec, our drummer, as have other people at the event, got infected with COVID. We didn't bring it to the event."
"We were like the audience, we were no different to them in any way. We went there, under COVID restrictions and played in a COVID manner, and unfortunately as with the audience, one of us got infected. It wasn't our fault. We didn't bring it to the table."
NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant this week said her department's working theory is that an unknown infected person attended the Avalon RSL Club, when Nothing Too Serious were performing, and infected the band's drummer as well as two other people.
These two newly infected people then attended the Avalon Bowlo on Sunday, December 13, and infected a woman in her 50s working at Pittwater Palms aged care facility.
"We've all been concerned (for him), because it pointed at him, when, as it turns out clearly from the news that followed, that it wasn't him (who spread the virus)," the bandmate said.
It comes as the northern beaches face strict new lockdown measures kicking in from 5pm tonight.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced that residents will only be able to leave their homes for four essential reasons in an urgent bid to prevent the outbreak from spreading.
NSW Health has recorded another 23 cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, with 21 of those linked to the Avalon cluster while two remain under investigation.
Ms Berejiklian said the local government area was essentially "going back to the restrictions that were in place back in March".
Residents will only be allowed to leave the house for work, exercise, essential shopping and medical treatment. Ms Berejiklian has also put the rest of Sydney "on notice" that restrictions could follow in other parts of the city.
Speaking of the new restrictions, the Nothing Too Serious member said: "We're not after any form of sympathy what so ever, we just want the record straight. We are as impacted by this as anyone, we are saddened that what has happened has occurred. We all have families that we want to be with and we can't go and do that, we are a part of this like everyone, and it wasn't us."
He added that the community's response has been encouraging.
"We've all been supportive of each other, and certainly of the band. It's just a testimony to how close we are. The phones are all running hot with people wishing us well and doing whatever we can to support each other.
"You just have to look at how people are participating in getting tested, through to the support of ensuring there's food and people being taken care of, and the mental health is good as well. This is really a huge community response, it's very impressive."
Originally published as Band viciously trolled for COVID cluster