Will COVID Become Australia's 9/11?

from the trading-away-the-liberties-of-others-for-temporary-safety dept

Civil liberties in Australia are on the verge of extinction, thanks to the government’s response to the COVID crisis. What has been heralded as a triumph of science and quick responses has drifted towards something far more totalitarian that imposes its will on the country’s citizens, restricting them from living their lives, much less enjoying supposedly guaranteed liberties.

Change has been a constant in response to this pandemic. But in countries considered to be part of the “free world,” some balancing has been put in place to contain the spread of the virus while preventing citizens from being subjected to extreme measures usually only deployed by dictators.

Australia has proven particularly resilient. But while people here in the US have entertained thoughts of kidnapping governors in response to minimal restrictions on social interactions and shopping, the residents of Australia have endured severe restrictions that seemingly only get more severe as time goes on.

This is the exchange of liberty for safety — an exchange that’s been made involuntary by government officials. The arrival of the Delta variant has again complicated matters. And already severe restrictions are becoming draconian, thanks to the government of Australia believing there’s no involuntary sacrifice residents won’t make to keep COVID infections to a minimum

Conor Friedersdorf has compiled a compendium of Australia’s latest COVID prevention efforts — many of which haven’t been seen in countries that aren’t being run by Supreme Leaders or Presidents-for-life.

“Australia’s borders are currently closed and international travel from Australia remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” a government website declares. “International travel from Australia is only available if you are exempt or you have been granted an individual exemption.” The rule is enforced despite assurances on another government website, dedicated to setting forth Australia’s human-rights-treaty obligations, that the freedom to leave a country “cannot be made dependent on establishing a purpose or reason for leaving.”

Australian courts have, so far, sided with the government and its increasing encroachment on civil liberties and personal freedoms. They have found that the government’s needs outweigh the complaints of the governed in these COVID times, under the assumption these extreme measures are not only justified, but temporary.

But it’s not just travel in and out of Australia that has been restricted. Travel within the country has been affected by COVID policies, turning a cohesive nation of states into separate territories whose boundaries are enforced with “papers, please” demands from people trying to do nothing more than move freely within the borders of their homeland.

Moving around one’s own city or town is being restricted as well, enforced by a government-owned-and-operated app.

[T]he government of South Australia, one of the country’s six states, developed and is now testing an app as Orwellian as any in the free world to enforce its quarantine rules. Returning travelers quarantining at home will be forced to download an app that combines facial recognition and geolocation. The state will text them at random times, and thereafter they will have 15 minutes to take a picture of their face in the location where they are supposed to be. Should they fail, the local police department will be sent to follow up in person.

While not technically a crime, the involvement of law enforcement makes existing within the confines of a single town — but not abiding by quarantine requirements — something indistinguishable from criminal activity. It’s not just law enforcement in the mix in Australia, though. It’s also the military, which has been sent to places the government feels contains too many citizens unwilling to stay under the government’s thumb.

Australia has deployed hundreds of soldiers to Sydney to help enforce a Covid lockdown.

A Delta outbreak which began in June has produced nearly 3,000 infections and led to nine deaths.

Australian Defence Force soldiers will undergo training on the weekend before beginning unarmed patrols on Monday.

In COVID-era Australia, those who refuse to respect the constantly shifting, tending-towards-totalitarianism policies will be greeted with a show of (possibly unarmed) force by local cops and the government’s military.

Soldiers will join police in virus hotspots to ensure people are following the rules, which include a 10km (6.2 miles) travel limit.

State Police Minister David Elliott said it would help because a small minority of Sydneysiders thought “the rules didn’t apply to them”.

All of this is already concerning. But beneath the policies imposed out of supposed concern for the public’s safety runs an unhealthy undercurrent. Once countries put drastic measures in place in response to unexpected threats to public wellbeing, they’re rarely eager to roll them back once the crisis has passed, or even lessened.

What remains to be seen is whether Australia can maintain that performance without permanently ending core attributes of life in a liberal democracy, including freedom of movement, peaceable assembly, and basic privacy.

If the government likes its new powers, and its ability to keep its citizens contained, it may decide the crisis has no definite end in sight. And with the virus continuing to mutate (as all viruses do), these severe, but temporary, precautions and restrictions may become permanent — allies in the government’s never-ending War on COVID.

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Comments on “Will COVID Become Australia's 9/11?”

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Samuel Abramsays:

Opposite ends of the spectrum

It seems the problem with the US and the problem with Australia are opposite:
In the US, there are far too many anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers who violently attempt coup d’?tats whereas in Australia, there are far too many people who trust the government such that it leads to totalitarianism.

But here I am, stuck in the middle with you?

Samuel Abramsays:

Opposite ends of the spectrum

It seems the problem with the US and the problem with Australia are opposite:
In the US, there are far too many anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers who violently attempt coup d’états whereas in Australia, there are far too many people who trust the government such that it leads to totalitarianism.

But here I am, stuck in the middle with you…

Samuel Abramsays:

Re: Re:

COVID-19 has killed over four and a half million people worldwide.

Don’t give me that bullshit about how it’s an "imagined" threat.

Unless you’re talking about Terrorism, which isn’t an imagined threat either, but the response that the US and other western countries have made thereto has made the problem worse.

Anonymoussays:

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Actually, it has probably killed over 15 million.
Terrorism is the imagined threat. It’s in the name.
Without global effective vaccines, responding to a pandemic with travel restrictions is the correct response.
Responding to terrorism with acts that increase the chance of radicalization (e.g. discrimination by society and/or law) is one of the responses terrorists count on.

Samuel Abramsays:

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Okay, but it’s just a graph. Without the article (or with the article locked behind a paywall) there’s no way to contextualize it. How do they arrive at that 15 million figure? Is it the people who died because COVID has stuffed the hospitals with patients? Is it how COVID has led to vulnerabilities to other diseases?

I’m sorry, but your job is not done.

Samuel Abramsays:

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That is true. Meanwhile in, in NY State, over 28 days, it’s 701 deaths. Scotland had 185 deaths, but it has 1/4 the population of New York State, so a 1/1 comparison would have Scotland’s deaths be 740, which is about the same.

Florida is not the entirety of the US. Why aren’t you comparing us to NY State?

Davidsays:

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The difference here are vaccines. Australia’s no-COVID strategy worked reasonably well until more "freedom-loving" countries incubated the Delta variant. Now Australia can afford less well staying behind on the vaccination curve and mitigation strategies have to be applied while it catches up.

But catch up it does.

Just because states like Florida celebrate their death cult (about 2300 people killed last week, and with a steady 30% increase of deaths per week for the last month) does not mean others want to.

Take a look at Germany that does not play Florida games, had caught up with the U.S.’ headstart in vaccination quotas, does not have lunatics like Ron De Santis in place and has had about a tenth of the fatalities Florida had last week.

Australia has been better at the "suppress the spread early" game, Germany has made good progress with its vaccination curve (after a rather painful period that earlier mitigation would have made easier).

Neither really have reason to rejoice or praise themselves for things that could have been done better.

But that’s nothing compared to the loonie state of the U.S. that celebrate fanning an epidemic because of the great story it tells about freedom and responsibility and religion and faith.

It’s one thing to bungle a response. It is another to gleefully sabotage it.

Samuel Abramsays:

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The US is not a monolith. Some states are pure shitshows (like Texas, Georgia, and Florida). Some states have their act together for the most part (like California, New York, and Massachusetts). It’s possible those other countries are trying not to be like Texas, Georgia, and Florida, but could bear being California, New York, and Massachusetts.

Anonymoussays:

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The US is not a monolith.

I?d argue that this is a big part of why the U.S. response has been shit.

It’s possible those other countries are trying not to be like Texas, Georgia, and Florida, but could bear being California, New York, and Massachusetts.

With the U.S. and its shit response creating one big Petri dish for more variants to mutate, I?d tend to disagree there.

PaulTsays:

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"You might want to ask Bloof and PaulT what England is doing wrong?"

Tories, incompetent populists (but I repeat myself), and the need to be running around pretending that they haven’t totally screwed the country and the union with Brexit so COVID makes a nice distraction.

Having basically lived an uninterrupted normal lifestyle for months without any meaningful restriction (barring the minor inconveniences of masks and being unable to travel as much as normal), I’m glad I don’t live there.

Davidsays:

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I think part of the problem is hard to assign blame for: the U.K. banked on its homemade vaccine from Oxford/AstraZeneca and reserved its output to country-internal use to a degree where AstraZeneca got into several conflicts with the EU over not meeting their contractual output. Banking on a single national horse (and giving second-class access to it to the rest of the world) certainly made some sense in light of Brexit policies’ goals.

It turned out that the mRNA vaccines were quite more effective preventing severe outcomes of the Delta variant, and also more effective in reducing its spread even though breakthrough infections do occur.

When the respective decisions were made, the Delta variant just was not on the radar.

Relying mostly on Pfizer/BionTech, the U.S. happened to bank on the right horse. Most of the EU, in contrast, had a compound strategy ensuring access to a comparatively wide spread of different vaccines, so they were comparatively able to pivot to the most effective ones as the situation developed.

So the main advantage the U.S. had over the UK here is that they were lucky. Too bad they are still blowing it.

Bloofsays:

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Right wing populist rule, same as Brazil, India, Florida… Their initial plan was do nothing, resist any sort of control measures because they thought it’d be mostly old people and the poor who’d get sick and die as protecting Brexit, their donors and ‘the economy’ was more important. Of course that changed when Boris caught it, because like most things it’s not really an issue to conservatives until it happens to them. Unfortunately their handling of the pandemic meant the disease had already spread far and wide and now it’s nigh on impossible to put that genie back in the bottle, especially after they’ve revoked all social distancing and mask rules and vowed never to lock down again.

Stevesays:

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Its like the freedom to own guns, which Australia severely restricts (thank god). Or the freedom to have the highest prison population ratio in the first world.
Or the freedom to offer ?freedom? to the rest of the world by invading them, exploiting them and then abandoning them.
Or the freedom to have the most expensive and least efficient health care system in the first world.
In Australia we trust one another and our government to generally do the right thing. This mostly goes wrong when they suck up to the US by doing things like participating in the invasion of other countries.
Freedom in the US is a smokescreen to make the population think they have self determination, yet a huge proportion of the population do not even vote.

Rekrulsays:

I’m fearful of governments restricting people’s freedom also, but…

We’ve seen how well voluntary compliance has worked in the U.S. A huge segment of the population won’t even wear a mask in public or get vaccinated, which are the barest minimum to be asked of them. It’s been a year and a half of this virus, we’ve had vaccines that anyone over 12 can get for at 5-6 months now, and there’s still no end in site. The republican death cult is going to ensure that this damn pandemic never ends.

My only consolation is that it keeps killing off the unvaccinated.

Samuel Abramsays:

Re: Re:

It’s been a year and a half of this virus, we’ve had vaccines that anyone over 12 can get for at 5-6 months now, and there’s still no end in site.

I can’t speak for all of the US, but at least in NYC, the third wave is (much smaller than the previous two](https://gothamist.com/news/coronavirus-statistics-tracking-epidemic-new-york). The vaccines and masks are working to contain the virus, even the delta variant. You have to look at this from a holistic perspective (and I don’t mean the quackpot holistic medicine).

Jeroen Hellingmansays:

Re: Re:

I think we will have to live with the virus for the foreseeable future: we cannot root it out, only reduce its impact. We also cannot maintain the current rules for much longer, however, seeing that vaccination is highly effective at preventing deaths, I think we should simply drop all restrictions once everybody has had a reasonable chance to vaccinate themselves (except for hospitals and a few other places where immune-compromized people come together), keep a close eye on possible dangerous mutations, work on updating vaccines if needed, and accept that people who refuse the vaccine from that point on are mostly a danger to themselves — and that fear of that danger will be the only thing that will enable them to overcome their fear for needles. We can nudge them, help them by having mobile vaccination services that work discretely, but not force them.

That One Guysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

and accept that people who refuse the vaccine from that point on are mostly a danger to themselves

But they’re not.

As with unvaxxed people outside of pandemics if the only people their stupidity was killing was themselves it wouldn’t be a problem, or at least it would be a self-solving problem, the issue is that by acting as virus-friendly plague carriers they provide a welcoming environment for those viruses to infect those that have legitimate reasons not to get vaccinated or worse for the virus to mutate, potentially into strains that the current vaccination efforts aren’t effective against and which can cause more flare ups of infections.

Dropping restrictions would only make that worse as if there were no restrictions in place to slow the spread then when it did it would spread like wildfire and we’d be back to square one scrambling to contain the latest strain.

Jeroen Hellingmansays:

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There is indeed a group of immune-compromised people who would have to take special care. That is, unfortunately, nothing new to them. You also have the risk of new mutations to develop, but most vaccines so-far protect reasonably well against those as well: remember that the mRNA vaccine aims at the virus’ weapon, its spikes, a mutation to those is far more likely to make the virus less effective (that is also why the vaccine in most cases works better than natural immunity: your natural immunity could attack some other aspect of the virus, good enough to heal you, not good enough to arm you against mutations on those aspects). We already have to be on the look-out for mutations of many other viruses that are out in the wild. With vaccinations, we basically restore the status-quo from before 2020.

Rekrulsays:

I’m fearful of governments restricting people’s freedom also, but…

We’ve seen how well voluntary compliance has worked in the U.S. A huge segment of the population won’t even wear a mask in public or get vaccinated, which are the barest minimum to be asked of them. It’s been a year and a half of this virus, we’ve had vaccines that anyone over 12 can get for at 5-6 months now, and there’s still no end in site. The republican death cult is going to ensure that this damn pandemic never ends.

My only consolation is that it keeps killing off the unvaccinated.

Samuel Abramsays:

Re: Re:

This article is veering pretty damned close to the shit I see on sites like Reason where they equate masks, vaccine mandates, and lockdowns to fascism.

Except Tim isn’t doing any of that. He’s not against any of those. He’s asking the question as to whether it’s prudent for law enforcement and the military to be taking those steps.

Rockysays:

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He’s asking the question as to whether it’s prudent for law enforcement and the military to be taking those steps.

Ie using COVID as an impetus to circumscribe rights and introduce pervasive surveillance of the public, just like how 9/11 was used to pass the Patriot Act.

Seems some people just read the headlines and switches to ranting idiot mode without actually reading the articles.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

He’s not against any of those. He’s asking the question as to whether it’s prudent for law enforcement and the military to be taking those steps.

So how does a country enforce its rules on masks, vaccines, and lockdowns without some way to back those rules up and ensure that people face some measure of consequences when they spread a deadly disease without regard to their fellow countrymen?

Samuel Abramsays:

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So how does a country enforce its rules on masks, vaccines, and lockdowns without some way to back those rules up and ensure that people face some measure of consequences when they spread a deadly disease without regard to their fellow countrymen?

You should know by now that Law Enforcement doesn’t actually enforce the law but discriminates. This is especially true in Australia, who discriminate horribly against Aborigines who they once held in chains like animals.

That One Guysays:

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Which doesn’t actually answer their question it just changes it a little to ‘what way other than the police or military then does a country have to enforce steps designed to keep a pandemic in check in spite of some believing that their personal comfort trumps the lives of everyone around them?’

Samuel Abramsays:

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But how do the Police and Military enforce the COVID restrictions without abusing their power? That’s also something worth exploring, and that’s also why I brought up the angle of Aborigines being marginalized in Australia.

I’m not saying there’s a simple solution or that COVID restrictions are oppressive or even unnecessary. It’s just that Tim has a point about the Australian authorities being, um, well, authoritarian.

That One Guysays:

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That question applies if you’re going to try to enforce the rules at all and the answer is the same: put in place checks and oversight and punish violations to try to keep any abuses to the minimum(‘zero’ would be good but humans being humans probably not possible) and hope that corruption doesn’t make those efforts worthless.

Anonymoussays:

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Answer the question. A country doesn?t want to devolve into a Petri dish clusterfuck like the United States, and has to shore up its rules thanks to the United States devolving into said Petri dish clusterfuck creating more new variants; how do they enforce the rules and ensure that people face consequences when they flout said rules in ways that could fuck over public health?

Anonymoussays:

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How do you make sure that the police and military don’t abuse their power, especially in a country without a constitution like Australia?

There?s no real way to make sure that the police & military don?t abuse their power. But I?d rather have the police & military around to help enforce rules that ensure that dumbasses who flout rules and endanger themselves and others? health get arrested and face legal consequences, not just the trite-but-true posted-a-million-times-on-social-media ?they blatantly ignored the facts and rules, got sick and got what they deserved? consequences.

As well, looking at the U.S. right now, it seems that the constitution and putting state?s freedoms on a pedestal hasn?t really helped that much. The governor of Texas got COVID-19, likely spread it at a maskless rally he went to and hasn?t faced consequences from anybody at the state or federal level. Instead, he and his party killed Roe v. Wade. Meanwhile, Gavin Newsom of California is facing a threat in the form of a recall election that the state?s constitution allows, and he could be replaced with a Republican governor who could take the Democratic majority in the Senate away by picking a Republican Senator to replace Feinstein?. Maybe constitutions aren?t all they?re cut out to be?

Samuel Abramsays:

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The governor of Texas got COVID-19, likely spread it at a maskless rally he went to and hasn?t faced consequences from anybody at the state or federal level.

Greg Abbott hasn’t faced consequences at the state level because the state legislature is gerrymandered beyond all recognition. And Texas would be a democratic majority state if it weren’t for SCOTUS-legalized voter suppression.

I wouldn’t say this is a constitutional issue but the radical right gaming the system such that they "lock in" their autocratic rule.

missraosays:

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Do you meant this Australian Constitution that we don’t have?
https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/Constitution

How on earth did you come to the conclusion that any country without YOUR constitution doesn’t have a system of laws and accountability for our police, army and government?

Plus if it all goes pear-shaped, the Governor General can use the power invested in them by the Queen to dissolve our Federal Government and call an election.

Samuel Abramsays:

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And if you want to know how it could be enforced: it could be enforced by immigration enforcement (Australia’s an island after all), or inspectors inspecting private property. I wouldn’t mind cops and military if they had a check on them. But there isn’t. That’s what I’m worried about.

But like I said, as with ICE in the US, there’s the whole

Eldakkasays:

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I wouldn’t mind cops and military if they had a check on them. But there isn’t.

What do you mean there isn’t a check on them? Of course there is.

For starters, other police/military personnel. The police and military can be arrested by other police if they break the law. Judges can issue arrest warrants brought to them by other police or by the DPP (or whatever the state’s name for the equivalent is). Some states have independent (allegedly) crime commissions that can investigate the activity of the police and military acting within their state (the military is not inviolate, state agencies have investigated military activities that have breached state laws, e.g. when 6 naval trainees died on a submarine during a training exercise in the 80’s I think it was, the state the event occured in investigated and charged for negligence the captain of the submarine).

naschsays:

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inspectors inspecting private property.

And then what? Mail them a fine for noncompliance? And if they don’t pay, then what? In order to enforce a law, at some point you must involve law enforcement. And if your response to that is going to be, again, that police abuse their power, that doesn’t solve anything. That means your answer to how to enforce Covid restrictions is to not have Covid restrictions. And we see how well that is working in places in the US.

Anomalous Cowherdsays:

Infectious Disease Regulations

When I came down with tuberculosis five decades ago – in the United States – I had two choices: either I could go to the TB sanitarium voluntarily OR I would be arrested and taken there in chains. There have been laws on the books for CENTURIES to contain highly infectious diseases by quarantine, and if necessary legally enforced non consensual quarantine.

Those laws worked. In fact, they worked so well that in the 2020s – in the third decade of the 21st century – people have completely forgotten about epidemics and pandemics and infectious disease control. You have all benefited from the tireless efforts of public health workers and programs, but you don?t realize it precisely because IT WORKS!

We live in an age of comparative freedom from fatal contagious diseases, but that?s not because disease has been eradicated – that?s because governments around the world constantly monitor the spread of infections and take action. Sometimes the actions they have to take are not popular. Too bad. Get over it.

Anomalous Cowherdsays:

Infectious Disease Regulations

When I came down with tuberculosis five decades ago – in the United States – I had two choices: either I could go to the TB sanitarium voluntarily OR I would be arrested and taken there in chains. There have been laws on the books for CENTURIES to contain highly infectious diseases by quarantine, and if necessary legally enforced non consensual quarantine.

Those laws worked. In fact, they worked so well that in the 2020s – in the third decade of the 21st century – people have completely forgotten about epidemics and pandemics and infectious disease control. You have all benefited from the tireless efforts of public health workers and programs, but you don’t realize it precisely because IT WORKS!

We live in an age of comparative freedom from fatal contagious diseases, but that’s not because disease has been eradicated – that’s because governments around the world constantly monitor the spread of infections and take action. Sometimes the actions they have to take are not popular. Too bad. Get over it.

That One Guysays:

Thanks maskholes

While it’s certainly concerning that various governments are making power-grabs like this with basically pinky-promises that they’ll give that power up when it’s no longer needed there’s a dark irony that those screeching the loudest about ‘My freedoms!’ and refusing to show even the most basic of personal consideration for the health and lives of those around them are by and large the ones handing governments worldwide all the rope they need to hang those freedoms.

That One Guysays:

Thanks maskholes

While it’s certainly concerning that various governments are making power-grabs like this with basically pinky-promises that they’ll give that power up when it’s no longer needed there’s a dark irony that those screeching the loudest about ‘My freedoms!’ and refusing to show even the most basic of personal consideration for the health and lives of those around them are by and large the ones handing governments worldwide all the rope they need to hang those freedoms.

Jetsamsays:

Not all of Australia

The article makes it sound like the entire country is having a problem. I live in the third-most populous and second-largest state in Australia and things are pretty peachy right now. There was one full-state compulsory lockdown around May/June last year and there has only been one occasion when I’ve had to wear a mask. Our state government was smart enough to lockdown hard and early, unlike in NSW.

We’ve had about 1100 cases and eight or nine deaths since the beginning and the economy has not crumbled as predicted. If you’re looking for a shining example of getting it right then look no further.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Not all of Australia

Can you follow up by actually addressing the issues regarding the further erosion of privacy and freedom laid out in this piece, since you skipped right over it?

I refuse to accept, on any level, that the police and military should be a frontline defense against a public health crisis. Australia (and some European countries) seem to disagree and think high fines and oppressive policing is the key to solving the problem.

Davidsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Not all of Australia

I refuse to accept, on any level, that the police and military should be a frontline defense against a public health crisis.

They aren’t. The frontline defense is a mature populace acting on the regulations designed by scientists acting on best current knowledge and implemented by competent politicians.

Police is for putting out remaining embers, military should not really get involved except in catastrophic situations.

Australia (and some European countries) seem to disagree and think high fines and oppressive policing is the key to solving the problem.

They are not key. At best they provide some flanking. You cannot really compare the situation in a nuthouse like the U.S. with countries where religion is not considered a valid substitute for science and where the state is responsible for providing an amount of education necessary to form a qualified judgment about issues pervading modern life.

Rockysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Not all of Australia

Australia (and some European countries) seem to disagree and think high fines and oppressive policing is the key to solving the problem.

On a tangential note, it has been shown that fines rarely stop people from doing stupid things but if you publicly shame them the abhorrent behavior stops almost immediately.

If one where so inclined, bringing back public pillories and stocks would probably resolve a lot of societal problems…

Jetsamsays:

Not all of Australia

The article makes it sound like the entire country is having a problem. I live in the third-most populous and second-largest state in Australia and things are pretty peachy right now. There was one full-state compulsory lockdown around May/June last year and there has only been one occasion when I’ve had to wear a mask. Our state government was smart enough to lockdown hard and early, unlike in NSW.

We’ve had about 1100 cases and eight or nine deaths since the beginning and the economy has not crumbled as predicted. If you’re looking for a shining example of getting it right then look no further.

missraosays:

Situationally illerate American propaganda

Shame on Techdirt for jumping on this bandwagon. The story you are telling lacks context both locally and internationally.

We are not the only country (even democratic) to use severe lock downs to manage the virus spread. Check New Zealand.

Locally, NSW botched their initial lock downs and let the virus out. Their rubbish government is now faced with the choice of letting the virus free (which has a long list of consequences) and coming in heavy handed. Considering the damage these lock downs do to the economy, and that the economy is what pays the government, I cannot believe they have taken this lightly.

It is an irrational fantasy that the government is on a mad power trip, two seconds from a complete reversal of all freedom. It shows a naive ignorance of what actually goes on in totalitarian states. Do we have secret police disappearing people? No. We have police publicly enforcing our legal laws. With freedom of the press to document it and full accountability.

If they don’t start easing up once the vaccine roll out is at 80%, I’ll come help protest.

Until then, keep your delusional special-snowflake "the rules shouldn’t apply to me!" whinging to your Facebook echo chamber.

Rockysays:

Re: Re: Situationally illerate American propaganda

It is an irrational fantasy that the government is on a mad power trip, two seconds from a complete reversal of all freedom.

Which is not what Tim says, he refers to the slippery slope of once a government implements and exercises more control of the citizens they seldom relinquish that power especially if there’s a convenient excuse available.

It shows a naive ignorance of what actually goes on in totalitarian states. Do we have secret police disappearing people? No. We have police publicly enforcing our legal laws. With freedom of the press to document it and full accountability.

You show a na?ve ignorance on how governments accrue more and more power over the populace. And in regards to freedom of the press, just look at what happened to Annika Smethurst and Ben Fordham when they reported on new laws that would give the police et al more powers to secretly surveil the public which was the reason why most of the larger media banded together and started Right To Know.

Until then, keep your delusional special-snowflake "the rules shouldn’t apply to me!" whinging to your Facebook echo chamber.

How about you improve your reading comprehension, because nowhere in what Tim wrote does he say or imply that.

missraosays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Situationally illerate American propaganda

Tim’s article promotes the idea that "My right to freedom" is more important than rules that benefit the community. It does encourage "the rules don’t apply to me!" thinking.

As for 9/11, COVID is not the same thing. Anyone can be a terrorist, forever. But eventually we’re going to have to let COVID run it’s course. So to say that enforcing a public health mandate to save thousands of lives until we can get a suitable vaccination level in place is going to lead to Australia forever living in a quasi-lock-down? It’s not the same situation, and I don’t see it ending the same.

Our government is trying to sneak into more power, they definitely are. I think some kind of shake through would be very beneficial to Australia. But NOT in the middle of the pandemic when we have the option of getting our vaccination levels up to a herd immunity level.

I will pick my moment to protest so I’m less likely to cause my fellow citizens illness and possibly death.

Rockysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Situationally illerate American propaganda

Tim’s article promotes the idea that "My right to freedom" is more important than rules that benefit the community. It does encourage "the rules don’t apply to me!" thinking.

No, he promotes the idea that eventually the rules will not benefit the community any longer for the simple reasons that governments tend to hold on to powers they granted to themselves "for the good of the country" and the cost of that is less liberty. And that will foster the idea of "the rules don’t apply to me!" because people will trust the government less and less.

As for 9/11, COVID is not the same thing. Anyone can be a terrorist, forever. But eventually we’re going to have to let COVID run it’s course. So to say that enforcing a public health mandate to save thousands of lives until we can get a suitable vaccination level in place is going to lead to Australia forever living in a quasi-lock-down? It’s not the same situation, and I don’t see it ending the same.

And you totally missed the point he was making. It’s not about terrorists or people railing against lockdown, it’s about using an event as an excuse to implement laws that’s invasive and which curtails liberty.

Our government is trying to sneak into more power, they definitely are. I think some kind of shake through would be very beneficial to Australia. But NOT in the middle of the pandemic when we have the option of getting our vaccination levels up to a herd immunity level.

If you think something is wrong you speak up, you don’t wait since it’s extremely likely you may then be confronted by a fait accompli.

missraosays:

Situationally illerate American propaganda

Shame on Techdirt for jumping on this bandwagon. The story you are telling lacks context both locally and internationally.

We are not the only country (even democratic) to use severe lock downs to manage the virus spread. Check New Zealand.

Locally, NSW botched their initial lock downs and let the virus out. Their rubbish government is now faced with the choice of letting the virus free (which has a long list of consequences) and coming in heavy handed. Considering the damage these lock downs do to the economy, and that the economy is what pays the government, I cannot believe they have taken this lightly.

It is an irrational fantasy that the government is on a mad power trip, two seconds from a complete reversal of all freedom. It shows a naive ignorance of what actually goes on in totalitarian states. Do we have secret police disappearing people? No. We have police publicly enforcing our legal laws. With freedom of the press to document it and full accountability.

If they don’t start easing up once the vaccine roll out is at 80%, I’ll come help protest.

Until then, keep your delusional special-snowflake "the rules shouldn’t apply to me!" whinging to your Facebook echo chamber.

Lostinlodossays:

Meanwhile in the US:

This is a concern on many on the right and in the centre of what could happen if the government enjoys lockdown living too much.

It?s not a long move from where we are (and were) to Australia.

Especially since the biggest advocates for restrictions break their own restrictions time and time again, and again, and again, ad nausea.
Rules for the, not for me.

I?m in strong support of a vaccination passport. And ?papers please?.

Get vaxed or stay home. An no, I don?t care about the liberties of a few thousand people who can?t get vaxed out of 330 million plus.

Lostinlodossays:

Meanwhile in the US:

This is a concern on many on the right and in the centre of what could happen if the government enjoys lockdown living too much.

It’s not a long move from where we are (and were) to Australia.

Especially since the biggest advocates for restrictions break their own restrictions time and time again, and again, and again, ad nausea.
Rules for the, not for me.

I’m in strong support of a vaccination passport. And ‘papers please’.

Get vaxed or stay home. An no, I don’t care about the liberties of a few thousand people who can’t get vaxed out of 330 million plus.

sinsisays:

an app as Orwellian as any in the free world

At the moment if you return home from overseas or a virus "hotspot" you need to self-isolate in a medihotel for 14 (?) days at your own expense. The app, currently being tested and opt-in, will let you self-isolate at home. No big deal.

Our military isn’t like yours in the US so we don’t have soldiers with guns patrolling the streets, think of it more like your National Guard, who get called out for things like natural disasters.

Here in South Australia it’s been tight a couple of times but we’ve had 891 cases and 4 deaths so I reckon we’re doing it right.

sinsisays:

an app as Orwellian as any in the free world

At the moment if you return home from overseas or a virus "hotspot" you need to self-isolate in a medihotel for 14 (?) days at your own expense. The app, currently being tested and opt-in, will let you self-isolate at home. No big deal.

Our military isn’t like yours in the US so we don’t have soldiers with guns patrolling the streets, think of it more like your National Guard, who get called out for things like natural disasters.

Here in South Australia it’s been tight a couple of times but we’ve had 891 cases and 4 deaths so I reckon we’re doing it right.

charliebrownsays:

I Know Our Government

"If the government likes its new powers, and its ability to keep its citizens contained, it may decide the crisis has no definite end in sight."

Yes, well, with our government (greetings from Australia, by the way) I practically promise you that this will be the case. I’m already fed up with signing in every time I go grocery shopping. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I understand why they want it done and while the virus is prevalent, I’m happy to do it, mandatory or not. But I can’t wait until it’s over. For some reason, I’m not expecting it to be. Ever.

charliebrownsays:

I Know Our Government

"If the government likes its new powers, and its ability to keep its citizens contained, it may decide the crisis has no definite end in sight."

Yes, well, with our government (greetings from Australia, by the way) I practically promise you that this will be the case. I’m already fed up with signing in every time I go grocery shopping. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I understand why they want it done and while the virus is prevalent, I’m happy to do it, mandatory or not. But I can’t wait until it’s over. For some reason, I’m not expecting it to be. Ever.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

Actually, it has probably killed over 15 million.
Terrorism is the imagined threat. It’s in the name.
Without global effective vaccines, responding to a pandemic with travel restrictions is the correct response.
Responding to terrorism with acts that increase the chance of radicalization (e.g. discrimination by society and/or law) is one of the responses terrorists count on.

Samuel Abramsays:

Re:

This article is veering pretty damned close to the shit I see on sites like Reason where they equate masks, vaccine mandates, and lockdowns to fascism.

Except Tim isn’t doing any of that. He’s not against any of those. He’s asking the question as to whether it’s prudent for law enforcement and the military to be taking those steps.

Samuel Abramsays:

Re:

It’s been a year and a half of this virus, we’ve had vaccines that anyone over 12 can get for at 5-6 months now, and there’s still no end in site.

I can’t speak for all of the US, but at least in NYC, the third wave is (much smaller than the previous two](https://gothamist.com/news/coronavirus-statistics-tracking-epidemic-new-york). The vaccines and masks are working to contain the virus, even the delta variant. You have to look at this from a holistic perspective (and I don’t mean the quackpot holistic medicine).

Jeroen Hellingmansays:

Re:

I think we will have to live with the virus for the foreseeable future: we cannot root it out, only reduce its impact. We also cannot maintain the current rules for much longer, however, seeing that vaccination is highly effective at preventing deaths, I think we should simply drop all restrictions once everybody has had a reasonable chance to vaccinate themselves (except for hospitals and a few other places where immune-compromized people come together), keep a close eye on possible dangerous mutations, work on updating vaccines if needed, and accept that people who refuse the vaccine from that point on are mostly a danger to themselves — and that fear of that danger will be the only thing that will enable them to overcome their fear for needles. We can nudge them, help them by having mobile vaccination services that work discretely, but not force them.

Davidsays:

Re: Re:

The difference here are vaccines. Australia’s no-COVID strategy worked reasonably well until more "freedom-loving" countries incubated the Delta variant. Now Australia can afford less well staying behind on the vaccination curve and mitigation strategies have to be applied while it catches up.

But catch up it does.

Just because states like Florida celebrate their death cult (about 2300 people killed last week, and with a steady 30% increase of deaths per week for the last month) does not mean others want to.

Take a look at Germany that does not play Florida games, had caught up with the U.S.’ headstart in vaccination quotas, does not have lunatics like Ron De Santis in place and has had about a tenth of the fatalities Florida had last week.

Australia has been better at the "suppress the spread early" game, Germany has made good progress with its vaccination curve (after a rather painful period that earlier mitigation would have made easier).

Neither really have reason to rejoice or praise themselves for things that could have been done better.

But that’s nothing compared to the loonie state of the U.S. that celebrate fanning an epidemic because of the great story it tells about freedom and responsibility and religion and faith.

It’s one thing to bungle a response. It is another to gleefully sabotage it.

Stevesays:

Re: Re: Re:

Its like the freedom to own guns, which Australia severely restricts (thank god). Or the freedom to have the highest prison population ratio in the first world.
Or the freedom to offer “freedom” to the rest of the world by invading them, exploiting them and then abandoning them.
Or the freedom to have the most expensive and least efficient health care system in the first world.
In Australia we trust one another and our government to generally do the right thing. This mostly goes wrong when they suck up to the US by doing things like participating in the invasion of other countries.
Freedom in the US is a smokescreen to make the population think they have self determination, yet a huge proportion of the population do not even vote.

Rockysays:

Re: Re:

He’s asking the question as to whether it’s prudent for law enforcement and the military to be taking those steps.

Ie using COVID as an impetus to circumscribe rights and introduce pervasive surveillance of the public, just like how 9/11 was used to pass the Patriot Act.

Seems some people just read the headlines and switches to ranting idiot mode without actually reading the articles.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

He’s not against any of those. He’s asking the question as to whether it’s prudent for law enforcement and the military to be taking those steps.

So how does a country enforce its rules on masks, vaccines, and lockdowns without some way to back those rules up and ensure that people face some measure of consequences when they spread a deadly disease without regard to their fellow countrymen?

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"You might want to ask Bloof and PaulT what England is doing wrong…"

Tories, incompetent populists (but I repeat myself), and the need to be running around pretending that they haven’t totally screwed the country and the union with Brexit so COVID makes a nice distraction.

Having basically lived an uninterrupted normal lifestyle for months without any meaningful restriction (barring the minor inconveniences of masks and being unable to travel as much as normal), I’m glad I don’t live there.

Bloofsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Right wing populist rule, same as Brazil, India, Florida… Their initial plan was do nothing, resist any sort of control measures because they thought it’d be mostly old people and the poor who’d get sick and die as protecting Brexit, their donors and ‘the economy’ was more important. Of course that changed when Boris caught it, because like most things it’s not really an issue to conservatives until it happens to them. Unfortunately their handling of the pandemic meant the disease had already spread far and wide and now it’s nigh on impossible to put that genie back in the bottle, especially after they’ve revoked all social distancing and mask rules and vowed never to lock down again.

Samuel Abramsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

The US is not a monolith. Some states are pure shitshows (like Texas, Georgia, and Florida). Some states have their act together for the most part (like California, New York, and Massachusetts). It’s possible those other countries are trying not to be like Texas, Georgia, and Florida, but could bear being California, New York, and Massachusetts.

Samuel Abramsays:

Re: Re: Re:

So how does a country enforce its rules on masks, vaccines, and lockdowns without some way to back those rules up and ensure that people face some measure of consequences when they spread a deadly disease without regard to their fellow countrymen?

You should know by now that Law Enforcement doesn’t actually enforce the law but discriminates. This is especially true in Australia, who discriminate horribly against Aborigines who they once held in chains like animals.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

The US is not a monolith.

I’d argue that this is a big part of why the U.S. response has been shit.

It’s possible those other countries are trying not to be like Texas, Georgia, and Florida, but could bear being California, New York, and Massachusetts.

With the U.S. and its shit response creating one big Petri dish for more variants to mutate, I’d tend to disagree there.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Answer the question. A country doesn’t want to devolve into a Petri dish clusterfuck like the United States, and has to shore up its rules thanks to the United States devolving into said Petri dish clusterfuck creating more new variants; how do they enforce the rules and ensure that people face consequences when they flout said rules in ways that could fuck over public health?

Samuel Abramsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

But how do the Police and Military enforce the COVID restrictions without abusing their power? That’s also something worth exploring, and that’s also why I brought up the angle of Aborigines being marginalized in Australia.

I’m not saying there’s a simple solution or that COVID restrictions are oppressive or even unnecessary. It’s just that Tim has a point about the Australian authorities being, um, well, authoritarian.

Samuel Abramsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

And if you want to know how it could be enforced: it could be enforced by immigration enforcement (Australia’s an island after all), or inspectors inspecting private property. I wouldn’t mind cops and military if they had a check on them. But there isn’t. That’s what I’m worried about.

But like I said, as with ICE in the US, there’s the whole

That One Guysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

That question applies if you’re going to try to enforce the rules at all and the answer is the same: put in place checks and oversight and punish violations to try to keep any abuses to the minimum(‘zero’ would be good but humans being humans probably not possible) and hope that corruption doesn’t make those efforts worthless.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

How do you make sure that the police and military don’t abuse their power, especially in a country without a constitution like Australia?

There’s no real way to make sure that the police & military don’t abuse their power. But I’d rather have the police & military around to help enforce rules that ensure that dumbasses who flout rules and endanger themselves and others’ health get arrested and face legal consequences, not just the trite-but-true posted-a-million-times-on-social-media “they blatantly ignored the facts and rules, got sick and got what they deserved” consequences.

As well, looking at the U.S. right now, it seems that the constitution and putting state’s freedoms on a pedestal hasn’t really helped that much. The governor of Texas got COVID-19, likely spread it at a maskless rally he went to and hasn’t faced consequences from anybody at the state or federal level. Instead, he and his party killed Roe v. Wade. Meanwhile, Gavin Newsom of California is facing a threat in the form of a recall election that the state’s constitution allows, and he could be replaced with a Republican governor who could take the Democratic majority in the Senate away by picking a Republican Senator to replace Feinstein…. Maybe constitutions aren’t all they’re cut out to be?

missraosays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Do you meant this Australian Constitution that we don’t have?
https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/Constitution

How on earth did you come to the conclusion that any country without YOUR constitution doesn’t have a system of laws and accountability for our police, army and government?

Plus if it all goes pear-shaped, the Governor General can use the power invested in them by the Queen to dissolve our Federal Government and call an election.

Samuel Abramsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

The governor of Texas got COVID-19, likely spread it at a maskless rally he went to and hasn’t faced consequences from anybody at the state or federal level.

Greg Abbott hasn’t faced consequences at the state level because the state legislature is gerrymandered beyond all recognition. And Texas would be a democratic majority state if it weren’t for SCOTUS-legalized voter suppression.

I wouldn’t say this is a constitutional issue but the radical right gaming the system such that they "lock in" their autocratic rule.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Not all of Australia

Can you follow up by actually addressing the issues regarding the further erosion of privacy and freedom laid out in this piece, since you skipped right over it?

I refuse to accept, on any level, that the police and military should be a frontline defense against a public health crisis. Australia (and some European countries) seem to disagree and think high fines and oppressive policing is the key to solving the problem.

Samuel Abramsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Okay, but it’s just a graph. Without the article (or with the article locked behind a paywall) there’s no way to contextualize it. How do they arrive at that 15 million figure? Is it the people who died because COVID has stuffed the hospitals with patients? Is it how COVID has led to vulnerabilities to other diseases?

I’m sorry, but your job is not done.

Eldakkasays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I wouldn’t mind cops and military if they had a check on them. But there isn’t.

What do you mean there isn’t a check on them? Of course there is.

For starters, other police/military personnel. The police and military can be arrested by other police if they break the law. Judges can issue arrest warrants brought to them by other police or by the DPP (or whatever the state’s name for the equivalent is). Some states have independent (allegedly) crime commissions that can investigate the activity of the police and military acting within their state (the military is not inviolate, state agencies have investigated military activities that have breached state laws, e.g. when 6 naval trainees died on a submarine during a training exercise in the 80’s I think it was, the state the event occured in investigated and charged for negligence the captain of the submarine).

naschsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

inspectors inspecting private property.

And then what? Mail them a fine for noncompliance? And if they don’t pay, then what? In order to enforce a law, at some point you must involve law enforcement. And if your response to that is going to be, again, that police abuse their power, that doesn’t solve anything. That means your answer to how to enforce Covid restrictions is to not have Covid restrictions. And we see how well that is working in places in the US.

Davidsays:

Re: Re: Not all of Australia

I refuse to accept, on any level, that the police and military should be a frontline defense against a public health crisis.

They aren’t. The frontline defense is a mature populace acting on the regulations designed by scientists acting on best current knowledge and implemented by competent politicians.

Police is for putting out remaining embers, military should not really get involved except in catastrophic situations.

Australia (and some European countries) seem to disagree and think high fines and oppressive policing is the key to solving the problem.

They are not key. At best they provide some flanking. You cannot really compare the situation in a nuthouse like the U.S. with countries where religion is not considered a valid substitute for science and where the state is responsible for providing an amount of education necessary to form a qualified judgment about issues pervading modern life.

Rockysays:

Re: Re: Not all of Australia

Australia (and some European countries) seem to disagree and think high fines and oppressive policing is the key to solving the problem.

On a tangential note, it has been shown that fines rarely stop people from doing stupid things but if you publicly shame them the abhorrent behavior stops almost immediately.

If one where so inclined, bringing back public pillories and stocks would probably resolve a lot of societal problems…

Samuel Abramsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

That is true. Meanwhile in, in NY State, over 28 days, it’s 701 deaths. Scotland had 185 deaths, but it has 1/4 the population of New York State, so a 1/1 comparison would have Scotland’s deaths be 740, which is about the same.

Florida is not the entirety of the US. Why aren’t you comparing us to NY State?

Rockysays:

Re: Situationally illerate American propaganda

It is an irrational fantasy that the government is on a mad power trip, two seconds from a complete reversal of all freedom.

Which is not what Tim says, he refers to the slippery slope of once a government implements and exercises more control of the citizens they seldom relinquish that power especially if there’s a convenient excuse available.

It shows a naive ignorance of what actually goes on in totalitarian states. Do we have secret police disappearing people? No. We have police publicly enforcing our legal laws. With freedom of the press to document it and full accountability.

You show a naïve ignorance on how governments accrue more and more power over the populace. And in regards to freedom of the press, just look at what happened to Annika Smethurst and Ben Fordham when they reported on new laws that would give the police et al more powers to secretly surveil the public which was the reason why most of the larger media banded together and started Right To Know.

Until then, keep your delusional special-snowflake "the rules shouldn’t apply to me!" whinging to your Facebook echo chamber.

How about you improve your reading comprehension, because nowhere in what Tim wrote does he say or imply that.

That One Guysays:

Re: Re:

and accept that people who refuse the vaccine from that point on are mostly a danger to themselves

But they’re not.

As with unvaxxed people outside of pandemics if the only people their stupidity was killing was themselves it wouldn’t be a problem, or at least it would be a self-solving problem, the issue is that by acting as virus-friendly plague carriers they provide a welcoming environment for those viruses to infect those that have legitimate reasons not to get vaccinated or worse for the virus to mutate, potentially into strains that the current vaccination efforts aren’t effective against and which can cause more flare ups of infections.

Dropping restrictions would only make that worse as if there were no restrictions in place to slow the spread then when it did it would spread like wildfire and we’d be back to square one scrambling to contain the latest strain.

missraosays:

Re: Re: Situationally illerate American propaganda

Tim’s article promotes the idea that "My right to freedom" is more important than rules that benefit the community. It does encourage "the rules don’t apply to me!" thinking.

As for 9/11, COVID is not the same thing. Anyone can be a terrorist, forever. But eventually we’re going to have to let COVID run it’s course. So to say that enforcing a public health mandate to save thousands of lives until we can get a suitable vaccination level in place is going to lead to Australia forever living in a quasi-lock-down? It’s not the same situation, and I don’t see it ending the same.

Our government is trying to sneak into more power, they definitely are. I think some kind of shake through would be very beneficial to Australia. But NOT in the middle of the pandemic when we have the option of getting our vaccination levels up to a herd immunity level.

I will pick my moment to protest so I’m less likely to cause my fellow citizens illness and possibly death.

Jeroen Hellingmansays:

Re: Re: Re:

There is indeed a group of immune-compromised people who would have to take special care. That is, unfortunately, nothing new to them. You also have the risk of new mutations to develop, but most vaccines so-far protect reasonably well against those as well: remember that the mRNA vaccine aims at the virus’ weapon, its spikes, a mutation to those is far more likely to make the virus less effective (that is also why the vaccine in most cases works better than natural immunity: your natural immunity could attack some other aspect of the virus, good enough to heal you, not good enough to arm you against mutations on those aspects). We already have to be on the look-out for mutations of many other viruses that are out in the wild. With vaccinations, we basically restore the status-quo from before 2020.

Davidsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I think part of the problem is hard to assign blame for: the U.K. banked on its homemade vaccine from Oxford/AstraZeneca and reserved its output to country-internal use to a degree where AstraZeneca got into several conflicts with the EU over not meeting their contractual output. Banking on a single national horse (and giving second-class access to it to the rest of the world) certainly made some sense in light of Brexit policies’ goals.

It turned out that the mRNA vaccines were quite more effective preventing severe outcomes of the Delta variant, and also more effective in reducing its spread even though breakthrough infections do occur.

When the respective decisions were made, the Delta variant just was not on the radar.

Relying mostly on Pfizer/BionTech, the U.S. happened to bank on the right horse. Most of the EU, in contrast, had a compound strategy ensuring access to a comparatively wide spread of different vaccines, so they were comparatively able to pivot to the most effective ones as the situation developed.

So the main advantage the U.S. had over the UK here is that they were lucky. Too bad they are still blowing it.

Rockysays:

Re: Re: Re: Situationally illerate American propaganda

Tim’s article promotes the idea that "My right to freedom" is more important than rules that benefit the community. It does encourage "the rules don’t apply to me!" thinking.

No, he promotes the idea that eventually the rules will not benefit the community any longer for the simple reasons that governments tend to hold on to powers they granted to themselves "for the good of the country" and the cost of that is less liberty. And that will foster the idea of "the rules don’t apply to me!" because people will trust the government less and less.

As for 9/11, COVID is not the same thing. Anyone can be a terrorist, forever. But eventually we’re going to have to let COVID run it’s course. So to say that enforcing a public health mandate to save thousands of lives until we can get a suitable vaccination level in place is going to lead to Australia forever living in a quasi-lock-down? It’s not the same situation, and I don’t see it ending the same.

And you totally missed the point he was making. It’s not about terrorists or people railing against lockdown, it’s about using an event as an excuse to implement laws that’s invasive and which curtails liberty.

Our government is trying to sneak into more power, they definitely are. I think some kind of shake through would be very beneficial to Australia. But NOT in the middle of the pandemic when we have the option of getting our vaccination levels up to a herd immunity level.

If you think something is wrong you speak up, you don’t wait since it’s extremely likely you may then be confronted by a fait accompli.

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