There are many similarities to what happened in 1918/19 with the Spanish Flu. States fighting States, quarantine debacles, curfews, border closures, mass panic etc.. seems we have learnt nothing. Your sense of dread about how Australia emerges from this is spot-on. We are poorly led and have become too compliant as you suggest.

Rest assured however that there are indeed millions of us that are concerned and watching with great trepidation as our political warriors bungle through this. We aren’t sheep, we aren’t neutered… we are without a Captain, but the side is ready to play.

Good luck in your endeavours and don’t give up on us. I lived in the USA for over 25 years and Australia (non-COVID) is an astonishingly beautiful and (awesome) place to live. I think if you look to the Southern US States you’ll find a greater problem than what’s happening here.

Expand full comment

As an Australian in lockdown in Melbourne, I have read your last two articles with great interest. Here are two points I would like to make:

1. The tone of your article is completely patronising. Whether or not it’s your intent, you come across as an elitist highbrow whose physical distance from Australia gives you some clearer perspective then us ‘foot soldiers’ on the ground.

You suggest that anyone who viewed your interests as ‘selfish’, must have done so as a consequence of being ‘repeatedly confined to the walls of [their] own home’ and that such thinking was a ‘product of Australia’s current reality and the government’s propaganda campaign’. You seem to suggest that we are simply simple-mindedly following the government’s instructions without any original thought or consideration. Way to get a reader offside!

2. You write that you are not suggesting that Australia fully re-open and you acknowledge that some restrictions must remain. You also push back against the idea that you are advocating for a ‘let it rip’ approach. The problem is it is not exactly clear what you are advocating for except an open discussion. But what if the open discussion leads to exactly where we are now?

Sydney are in lockdown and are still recording 600+ cases a day. If we were to open the city now, how would the reality be any different to that experienced in New York over a year ago? What if this middle ground you are advocating for just does not exist?

I believe Australia’s biggest fault has been its vaccination rollout. But what else are we to do but to wait until a higher rate of vaccination?

A pandemic is a pandemic and it has had a huge toll on people’s lives all around the world, whether that be as a result of deaths or impact on one’s livelihoods in lockdown. A pandemic doesn’t offer good or bad options – we simply have to choose what trade-offs we are willing to accept and I think the point you miss is that there is a very low appetite for severe disease and death in Australia. I think this is what underlies Australia’s approach, not our blind idiotic compliance to draconian methods.

Expand full comment

Beautiful put.. I also think the author fails to consider the diversity of the Australian people. We are not all descended from prisoners and prison guards. We are rich complex tapestry of First nations people to first generation immigrants.

Expand full comment

Bugger I seem to have lost my response. In short I concur with the first respondent. Oh and I agree a leader who can lead would be good!

Expand full comment