by Daniella Teran
From a distance Australia looks nothing short of another society impacted by COVID, but in the midst of all the madness is people whose eyes are filled with fear, confusion, or the wish to simply move on. Just like many of the countries in the world, Australia had to respond quickly and safely to the COVID threat by putting lockdowns in place, restricting travel and social distancing among other restrictions.
However, the debate over COVID restrictions have been brought to the limelight in Australia due to the resurgence of anti-lockdown and COVID restriction protests. The root for these reoccurring protests stem from opposing opinions, where one side believing the restrictions are necessary and the other side believing they no longer are needed.
It should be noted that not all of Australia is fighting anti-lockdown because not everyone is on lockdown. On Fox News, Tucker Carlson expresses his point of view saying that “In Australia, most of the lockdowns are in the eastern part of the country, that’s where the capital of the country is and where the federal government has the most control. Western Australia, home to most of the country’s national resources, isn’t locked down at all. Western Australia has virtually no COVID cases.” To go even further, he explains that Western Australia took on different actions by simply “controlling its borders” to control the spread of COVID. Knowing this, Rich Lowry, who is a writer from the New York Post gives an example of one of the restrictions put in place in South Australia, when he writes “The state of South Australia has developed an app to enforce home quarantines. The app will contact people at random asking them to provide proof of their location within 15 minutes’ If they fail to do so, the health department will notify the police, who will send officers to check on the malefactor.” With this in mind, it can be understood why some people might feel uncomfortable with certain restrictions in place.
Still numbers and the overall data regarding the COVID cases make a statement of its own. Writing for Reuters, Lidia Kelly states that, “A high compliance with public health orders has helped Australia keep the number of infections relatively low, with just under 85,000 total cases and 1,145 deaths since the start of the pandemic.” It can obviously seem like these COVID-19 restrictions have done its job quite effectively, but on the other hand the data revealed could just be interpreted as another reason to why these restrictions and lockdown shouldn’t continue to the citizens. In an article titled “Literally a War’: Australia State Goes into COVID Lockdown” from Al Jazeera, it is said that, “Despite the recent outbreaks, Australia still has much lower COVID-19 numbers than many other developed countries in the developed world, with more than 38,600 cases and 952 deaths.” Whether these lockdowns and restrictions continue the way they are or not, former Australian Premier of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, admits in the same article that, “This is a war and we’ve known we’ve been in a war for some time, but never to this extent.”s