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Covid in Australia and New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand are among the last Western countries that follow a virus eradication strategy. Both have failed to fully suppress community transmission – Auckland went into full lockdown for a second time (https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/424724/auckland-s-second-lockdown-nail-in-the-coffin-for-some-businesses) in August – but both have managed to keep covid deaths very low.In fact, Australian covid deaths (850) are still lower than seasonal flu deaths (up to 4000) and suicides (up to 3000), and about 70% of covid deaths occurred in nursing homes, as a group of Melbourne doctors explain in a recent open letter (https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2020/09/a-doctors-open-letter-to-daniel-andrews/) to Victorian Premier Dan Andrews.The state of Victoria, in particular, has imposed very harsh lockdown measures (https://www.aier.org/article/madness-in-melbourne/), including a 23-hour home detention (1 hour exercise), 8pm curfew, 3 mile radius without papers, no weddings and funerals, most businesses closed, drone and helicopter surveillance, mandatory masks indoors and outdoors, and road checkpoints and house searches without warrant.The extreme covid lockdown has led to widespread mental health issues (https://theconversation.com/melbournes-second-lockdown-will-take-a-toll-on-mental-health-we-need-to-look-out-for-the-vulnerable-142172), record unemployment levels, and Australia’s worst economic recession (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-02/australian-recession-confirmed-as-economy-shrinks-in-june-qtr/12619950) on record.The Down Under approach to covid clearly is the polar opposite (https://www.aier.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/c5f7be35caee57427cb092f73cb63a5a.jpg) of the Swedish approach. It is true that Australia and New Zealand are high-risk populations with regards to covid due to their high rate of obesity and metabolic disease (comparable to the US). Nevertheless, any democratic society must ask itself if this is the way they want to handle such a situation.What is more, Australia and New Zealand have no real exit strategy other than mass vaccination with experimental vaccines and/or permanent quarantining of incoming travellers. Countries that successfully closed their borders early, such as Taiwan, Japan and Norway, will face a similar question, because unlike SARS-1, the SARS-2 virus will not go away.The following videos show disturbing scenes of covid-related police violence against citizens, including children and pregnant women, mostly in Melbourne and Victoria:(https://twitter.com/newscomauHQ/status/1291267767522533379), (https://twitter.com/RitaPanahi/status/1292979863465279489), (https://twitter.com/YellowCube7/status/1304754122667687941), (https://twitter.com/o_rips/status/1299405781654097920), (https://153news.net/watch_video.php?v=KXSA9O489WM1), (https://twitter.com/RitaPanahi/status/1301077873730568193), (https://twitter.com/WakeAustralia/status/1302397460279513088), (https://twitter.com/KeiraSavage00/status/1301674173907910656), (https://twitter.com/YellowCube7/status/1305073373521690626), (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dhNcLvNQY8),(https://twitter.com/AussieVal10/status/1297747710972276736),(https://twitter.com/RitaPanahi/status/1307270757160898560), (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5avkMQJbNQ), (https://twitter.com/7NewsMelbourne/status/1295277876665671681)

Updated: 22. September 2020 — 15:43

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