Why Australians are so compliant with COVID-19 restrictions



With COVID-19 killing more than 1,000 people in Australia, opinions about the effectiveness of strict blockades are beginning to spread nationwide.

“This is not a sustainable way of life,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently declared.

The increasing number of Australians who have endured the pain of the longest blockade in the world tends to agree with him.

But weeks ago, citizens of countries with high immunization rates, high cases and high deaths, such as the United States, France and the United Kingdom, were already enjoying great freedom as restrictions were relaxed. And they also noticed that the heavy hands of the government were trapped in the house, perhaps with the disgraceful Australian “Rarikin” firmly under his thumb.

In most cases, Australians have generally accepted government restrictions since the start of the 2020 pandemic. This was accompanied by guarantees from politicians and public health authorities that the goal was to keep people “safe” and “control their spread.” To help hospitals cope with the surge in cases.

Few people protested, even when police were given additional power, including the power to impose large fines on the spot for trivial crimes.

Epoch Times Photo
Police officers speak with the general public as part of a public health order compliance activity that took place on August 15, 2021 in Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia. (Brooke Mitchell / Getty Images)

And, of course, it is important to recognize that Australia has been very successful in keeping both case and mortality very low compared to other countries throughout the first year of the pandemic.

However, as Australia now transitions to the spring of 2021 and the 80% vaccination target begins to appear achievable, the limits of the “zero COVID” policy will become more apparent.

The epidemic of the DeltaCOVID-19 variant is not the only one that has proven impossible to contain. It means that society is beginning to notice the enormous burden and social and psychological distress caused by long-term isolation.

Not surprisingly, a recent YouGov poll found that two in three Australians believed that vaccination, rather than blockade, provided a way out of the pandemic.

Why did Australians, especially politicians, take so long to raise concerns about freedom, restrictions, and the unsustainability of the blockade?

Two main factors help explain this slow shift. The first is practical. The negative effects of the blockade will be even more pronounced in mid-2021. The second is historic. Australia’s view of rights is very different from that of countries such as France and the United States.

Three reasons explain the first factor. First, millions of Australians were trapped in their homes for the enormous number of days spent in the homes as the Delta incident surged in most parts of the country over the winter months and the “circuit break” blockade was repeatedly extended. Has increased rapidly.

Second, this year’s financial assistance was far less generous than last year’s JobKeeper aid, increasing the economic impact on families affected by business closures and unemployment. Third, we found an increase in reports of self-harm and suicide, especially in Victoria, which dramatically reduced the mental health of children and adolescents.

But it is also necessary to look beyond recent events into Australian history.

One of the most vivid features of the country during the pandemic is the authoritarian culture of Australia.

“Australian people are both prisoners and their descendants,” observed former Australian putt commentator Helendale.

But the roots of Australian authority compliance go deeper and can be traced back to the way we think about rights.

Countries such as France and the United States retain the right to have a natural or sacred origin that is completely independent of the state.

Epoch Times Photo
Demonstrator marches during a national protest against compulsory COVID-19 vaccination against certain workers and vaccine passports. (Sylvian Thomas via Getty Images / AFP)

Rights come first for French and Americans. But in Australia, in contrast, the right is considered to be the creation of a nation while relying on it.

Rights such as the right to religious freedom may be granted by the Australian Parliament, but may be revoked or dismissed.

“Australia favors democracy and the majority over freedom and rights,” says Dale.

For example, follow the steps already considered here and require vaccinated people to always carry the form of a “vaccine passport” to prove that they have been vaccinated.

Some critics argue that this creates “vaccine apartheid” and arbitrarily distinguishes between those who choose to be vaccinated and those who choose not to be vaccinated.

However, the value of vaccination is becoming more and more widely recognized, and those who choose needles want to prove that they are protected. As a result, vaccine passports are considered a government-granted right of freedom.

In France, in contrast, President Macron sought to impose a compulsory vaccine passport. Pass Sanitia —It has sparked resentful protests from those who refused such invasion by the State regarding personal liberty.

And in the United States, in addition to protests about vaccine passports, protesters with guns angry at attempts to wear masks and force evacuation have launched vaccines developed to combat COVID-19. A convinced “anti-vaccine” has joined. It was a conspiracy confessed by the government.

In France and the United States, governments and states are often considered to have the largest position, rather than being awarded by the state. threat To the right.

“Culture can be seen as a kind of social unconscious,” says literary critic Terry Eagleton.

The political culture of France, the United States, and (to a lesser extent) Britain was formed in the crucible of the revolution. That was not the case in Australia. This helps explain Australia’s unique and unique social unconscious.

So far, Australia’s social unconscious has finally begun to upset, without suffering from the oppressive restrictions that helped keep the country relatively free from COVID-19.

Anti-blocking protesters violate COVID-19 restrictions for rallying in Melbourne
Protesters can be seen marching and raising flags in Melbourne, Australia, on August 21, 2021. (Getty Images)

The Delta variant appears to have been a game changer that caused a delinquent reaction to government authoritarian behavior, indicating that even Australia cannot subside its thirst for personal freedom.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Peter culti

Rev. Peter Kurti is Director of the Cultural, Prosperity and Civil Society Program at the Independent Research Center in Sydney, Australia. He is also a part-time associate professor at the University of Notre Dame, Australia, and has written extensively on religious, liberal and civil society issues.