(TheRedWire.com) – In land size, Australia is six times larger than California, but it has only 2.7 million people. Despite the country being a strong advocate of Democracy around the world, it appears to have a different take on freedom than the United States. In 2021, two Australias emerged. One-half of the country followed its usual patterns. People packed sporting venues and restaurants to capacity. In the other half, lockdowns defined the pandemic experience.
When Australia initiates a restriction, it looks very different from the US. Much of what is happening Down Under would be unconstitutional in the US. Yet, in Australia, limiting freedom is seen by many as a collective agreement to do what’s best to protect society against COVID-19. Some of what they initiated seems insane. Let’s take a look.
Whacky COVID-19 Restrictions
Australia is approaching a crossroads with COVID. In 2020, the country expressed pride in riding out the storm and breaking up the impact of the virus on society through extreme measures. Now, doubt and fatigue are settling in on half of the country. New South Wales is home to the country’s two biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne. Each is struggling to overcome the Delta variant, and officials instituted extreme measures to curb the virus over a tiny number of infections relative to the population.
So, what are some of the extreme measures?
Throughout 2021, the Australian government prohibited citizens from leaving or returning to the country, effectively locking people out of their homes. Recently in Sydney, police gave hefty fines to three mothers with strollers for talking in a park. In Melbourne, officials roped off playgrounds with police tape. If you try to travel outside of your designated zone, you must quarantine for a minimum of two weeks in a hotel or remote camp under tight government supervision.
Under a heavy police presence, residents are under a strict 9 pm curfew and are only allowed to exercise outdoors for an hour per day. Residents must wear a mask outdoors regardless of vaccination status and cannot go outside a three-mile perimeter from their home.
If a police presence isn’t enough to enforce the government mandates, the government is sending Australia’s military to enforce the lockdown in Sydney. Officials say the military presence is needed to enforce government orders as things will only worsen if people don’t follow government-mandated rules.
If one doesn’t follow the government’s rules and gets caught, the fines are costly for non-compliance. How would they know if one is following the rules? The country developed an app contacting people randomly, asking them about their location. If they fail to provide the requested information within 15 minutes, the health department notifies the police and sends officers to ensure compliance.
In 2021, Australia created a bureaucratic state of oppression under the guise of public health. While Australia isn’t a dictatorship, what’s happening Down Under is a reminder of how precious freedom is and quickly it can erode even in an established democracy.
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