For as unprecedented and, some argue, Orwellian the COVID response has been in the U.S., a look to our Western cousins in Australia proves that it can get much, much worse.
The Australian media are celebrating a “renewal in freedoms” following COVID lockdowns that sparked mass protests and police crackdowns as officials in one state announced vaccinated-only residents will soon be allowed “one hour” of extra recreational time.
And they’re darn proud of it. Just look at this news report:
New Freedom Revealed!
Alas, it seems that not everyone is happy with their “new freedom.”
Over the weekend, thousands of anti-lockdown protesters in Melbourne and Sydney clashed with law enforcement as they objected to public health orders implemented during a rise in COVID cases spurred on by the Delta variant.
Sydney has been in strict lockdown for over two months including mask mandates when outdoors and a curfew between 9 pm and 5 am.
Hundreds have been arrested stemming from protests over the draconian measures.
“We are in a very serious situation here in New South Wales,” state Health Minister Brad Hazzard warned residents. “There is no time now to be selfish, it’s time to think of the broader community and your families.”
‘The greater good,’ so to speak.
Hazzard on Thursday announced New South Wales residents “who have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine … will be allowed more freedoms next month.”
For those in “areas of concern,” the vaccinated adults “will be able to gather outdoors for recreation (including picnics) within the existing rules (for one hour only, outside curfew hours and within 5km of home).”
“This is in addition to the one hour allowed for exercise,” the announcement reads.
Freedom means an extra hour of outdoor exercise. You know, kind of like prison.
And there’s more great news! No, not a prison, but a “COVID quarantine facility.”
In Queensland, they’re readying a “COVID-19 quarantine camp near Toowoomba without federal government support, just one day after it halted hotel quarantine for interstate travellers.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison defended his country’s lockdowns, saying it is the best strategy against the coronavirus by prodding at least 70% of its population to get fully vaccinated.
Authorities in Australia’s New South Wales state announced they will ease pandemic restrictions for the vaccinated next month.
Perhaps the lucky folks of Australia will get two unsupervised hours outside.
State Premier Gladys Berejiklian said they could move to fewer restrictions due to reaching 6 million vaccine doses in a population of 8.2 million.
Meanwhile, the Australian media and government are celebrating the move as a victory for freedom.
Scroll up real quick and look again at the caption from 9 News Sydney: “NSW residents that are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be given new freedoms.”
New freedoms? Isn’t the headline the fact that the freedoms were taken away from people in the first place?
Their report lets readers know about their “small renewal of freedoms” – an accidental – or maybe not – admission they aren’t free right now at all.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro dangled further ‘freedoms’ in the face of those considering whether to get vaccinated.
“Having a meal with loved ones, or having a drink with friends is just around the corner, but to get there, we need to keep up momentum in the vaccination rollout,” he promised.
Speaking of the quarantine camps, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she’d like to see the camps across the country.
“This is going to be a great boost for our defense against the Delta virus in this country and, in fact, I believe we need regional facilities right across the country,” she said.
Perhaps then the Australian media can celebrate residents being given all of their freedoms back.
In the interim, they’ll continue selling you promises of being ‘given new freedoms’ as long as you do exactly what government authorities tell you to do – which isn’t freedom at all.
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