When I was 5 years old, I went out to play on the verandah of our suburban Brisbane (Queensland Australia) house. There were two green snakes.

Now from this distance I remember them as “big,” but they were probably less than a metre long.

My mother had taught me that snakes were bad, so I called her. She immediately grabbed a straw broom (remember those?) and banged, swept, and yelled the snakes down the stairs.

It was high excitement for a 5-year-old!

Forward to 2015, when my wife and I lived at South Mission Beach, North Queensland.

I was in my lower-level home office and I got a phone call from my wife who was in the house – just 10 steps higher. “Come and get rid of this big snake on the terrace, and be careful!” Adeline said, “He's trying to get inside and he's not afraid of me or the vacuum cleaner”

So I shot up the stairs and sure enough, on the terrace was a large snake – this time actually big, almost 5 metres long and powerful. And he WAS trying to get into the house by pushing through the screen door, despite my wife standing guard ready to “repel boarders” with the vacuum cleaner wand on the other side of the screen.

I thought about getting my snake-catching device, but when he saw me he was leaving too fast. So, emulating my mother's actions so many decades before, I grabbed a broom and started pokking the back half of him which was still on the terrace as he slithered away. Trying to teach him the lesson: “This is not a good place to visit, best not to come back here”

So many lessons in this story.

Firstly, I now know the green snakes my mother was pannicking over were harmless tree snakes. They don't bite humans, and are actually quite shy. One stamp of the foot would have been enough to scare them away. She would have been better to use the opportunity to help me to identify them, and teach me that although some snakes are deadly, these were not to be feared.

How many times in today's world do we make a big song and dance chasing away “the baddies” we fear, when they are not at all going to have any negative impact on us? We have been caught up with media hype, and simply not stopped to investigate and identify them properly.

Secondly, Adeline DID identify the danger. Carpet snakes of that size would love to make a snack of our cats, and can be difficult to deal with. They eat wallabies (about the body mass of a German Shepherd dog). They grab it with a vice-like bite, and then quickly wrap themselves around the animal and crush it to death, breaking its bones before swallowing it whole – a process that can take a few hours. So they could manage a child, and although not poisonous, their bite would be not just painful but potentially lead to a bad infection. My wife had closed the sliding screen door as soon as she saw the snake heading toward the opening, knowing it would be difficult to deal with if it got inside. She took further action trying to run it off herself, and then when that failed, called for reinforcements.

Sensible woman, Adeline, and she teaches us lessons there too. 1. Be able to identify the TRUE dangers when they appear. 2. Take action in advance. 3. When needed, get help.

Think about it. Long term, is a pandemic that has been beaten up by the (controlled) media into a terrifying monster, going to have greater impact than the freedom-destroying changes that governents around the world have already implemented?

Identify the true danger.

Determine what actions you can take now to prepare for when you decide you need to “repel boarders” trying to get into the boat you have built to protect your family's safety, finances and general happiness. Tip: have alternate citizenships in friendly countries with strong passports, or set up at least one permanent residency in a place you can work from and live in if needed. Take action in advance, knowing it's a lot more diffcult if the boarders get in.

Take advance action.

Thirdly, if Vanuatu citizenship or permanent residency could be part of your plans, set up an appointment or an orientation call when you can explain your situation and I can prepare some options tailored to you and your family.

Get help.

And by the way – unlike Australia, there are no dangerous snakes here in Vanuatu. It actually took me a while to get used to walking through the bush without constantly being alert for them.

Lance in (dangerous-snake-free) Vanuatu