Anyone who thinks COVID restrictions in the United States are excessive should see what is being done in Australia. Nationwide lockdowns have forced Australians to stay in their homes with extremely limited opportunities to go out. The restrictions now in place are among the most draconian in the world, despite the fact that Australia has otherwise been able to endure the pandemic with minimal COVID deaths.
Australia under extreme lockdown
When the pandemic first emerged from China last year, Australia was quick to enact lockdowns and travel restrictions which sensibly aimed to minimize the threat posed by a virus which was new and unknown.
There is nothing sensible about the latest round of extreme lockdowns which has been imposed on Australians in response to minor scattering of COVID cases.
Ironically, the success which Australia experienced in minimizing deaths from the first wave of COVID has now inspired the country to settle on absurd expectations for the latest resurgence of the virus.
Australian authorities, rather than working to minimize the damage, have decided that their mission is to ensure that there is not a single case of COVID in the entire country.
If the aim is to prevent deaths then this policy appears to be a miserable failure. Being locked inside indefinitely to prevent a few dozen deaths is proving to be detrimental to the physical and mental health of millions of people.
In parts of the country individuals are prohibited from going more than three miles from their homes and are granted only a few hours each day to exercise or buy necessities.
The state of South Australia has begun to enforce these restrictions by randomly contacting citizens and demanding proof of their location within 15 minutes.
Public protests are obviously prohibited under these rules and police have responded forcefully to gatherings which have occurred in spite of these prohibitions.
Many Australians likely do not even know who to direct their protests to; restrictions are not being imposed by elected representatives but by obscure bureaucrats empowered by emergency response laws.
Left to their own devices these bureaucrats may never agree to give up their emergency powers, given that their goal of zero COVID cases in Australia might be completely unachievable.
Even Australians who are not actively protesting are, however, beginning to lose their patience. It is easy to see that the effects of the lockdowns have been far more harmful than the effects of the virus.
Whether it is an insane ambition or merely an excuse to keep emergency powers in place, the zero COVID goal threatening the lives and livelihoods of far more Australians than it could possibly save.