If you have read my last post which is a letter to the PM you will have seen that I'm quite appalled that Australian's seem to have turned their backs on their fellow countrymen. But the thing that I find sadder is that there appears to be a degree of people who simply don't understand the issue.
"Ash, how on earth have you not got COVID yet?"
I can't tell you the number of times I've heard this from friends back home. I have an impression that Australians have been so brainwashed about COVID and are so deep in a bubble that they believe that COVID is running rampant overseas and that they are so lucky that there are no cases in Australia. I have previously stated that I think Aussies believe that the Northern Hemisphere is the scene from the 'Holy Grail'
They seem quite shocked when I tell them it isn't. But what I am more disappointed to hear is that many are unwilling to take up the fight for us Aussies overseas and I have to ask why?
Twitter and Social Media are not real life, we saw that in Australia with the 2019 Election and in 2016 with Trump and Brexit. However, the kind of comments that come on Twitter towards stranded Australians overseas is very concerning. Then when you speak to your friends and family members who all say "we miss you" and "you should be here" and then go quiet when you tell them "well how about you start doing this for us?" Like another scene from Monty Python, Australians are the People's Front of Judea
They seem willing to only talk about it but not actually do something about it. As for my concern about the reality of Twitter and Social Media, I feel that it's actually reflecting real life attitudes towards Australian's overseas. This was confirmed by an excellent article in the Sydney Morning Herald. Where Australian's who have returned, even if they have completed the quarantine and are all cleared are feeling abandoned and treated like lepers by their own countrymen. Seriously . . .
Have a read of it (Click Here) but the quote from Sophie sums it up perfectly:
“It’s just that Australia seems so out of tune with the rest of the world.”
I think this is evident with State Election results of late and an unwillingness to stand up and say no more when it comes to the destruction of your state when a snap lockdown occurs for a couple of cases. Only the Premier of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian who, well imports, the most Aussies into the country and take care of them regardless of their state of residence seems to be the only one who sees common sense in all of this. The fact that Case Numbers and Mass Lockdowns are not the way to go. The other thing that is missed is that only 1% of Australians returning test positive for COVID. Considering they had to have a negative test prior to getting on a plane they are clearly getting it in the hotel. Australian's love to pat themselves on the back over their handling of COVID and as such even my American colleagues go:
"Australia has done a good job and basically eliminated it"
To which I reply, what the economy whilst loading generations upon generations in debt? I sadly know far more people who are unemployed because of Australia's policy on Elimination and know two folks who sadly took their own lives at the height of the Victorian Lockdowns because their livelihoods went under. I also then tell them how I can't go home freely or how the country has sold out its citizens overseas. When I tell people this they are shocked that a nation like Australia could do such a thing.
What is also insulting from our fellow Aussies is the double standards of Government rules. If you have the money you can bypass all "safeguards" for quarantine. Ed Sheeran and Julia Roberts jetted into Australia and bypassed the Hotel Quarantine. Flew in with a private jet, then went to a resort for the two-week quarantine. They stayed at a resort where they could basically have a two-week vacation by the pool. Australia is the only country that has shut its own residents out of their home unless they pay a high price for it. A friend even said to me, thinking they were funny "why didn't you volunteer to be his private pilot so you could come home?" but in reality, that and this kind of Twitter response I just can't understand. It suggests to me that Australian's don't understand the real problems we face at being overseas and the abandonment we have received. We are nothing more than lepers.
Ok fine, they didn't take up a seat on a plane, they didn't take a room in a hotel. But they bypassed the laws of the country. Two things here, they didn't go to Hotel Quarantine which is mandatory for all arrivals into Australia. Second, they were permitted to "share the cost". This is something that is not permitted under any circumstance. You must do quarantine solo or with your family in a hotel room. Yet if you've got the money, no problems. Why do you think this is ok?
Mirada Kerr also did this last year. she was permitted to isolate at her country estate and then was picked up by police more than three hours away, in clear breach of the rules. Tom Hanks along with AFL Players in their player hub in Queensland were also permitted this resort-style treatment. Howcome a returning Aussie can't pay the government $3000 to isolate at home instead of a hotel room with no fresh air? Even Australian Open Tennis players had to do Hotel Quarantine, they got no special treatment besides a chartered plane to Australia. When you have one rule for the elite and one for the others, this is a socialist society, wake up people!
Vaccination or not, I have great fears that Australia when they eventually reopen will be one of the most at-risk countries because there is no degree of herd immunity that was developed and a false sense of security will be prevalent. Australians haven't seen COVID, all they have seen is the case numbers both in Australia and overseas. Yes, case numbers are high overseas, but look at the recovery rates. I have no doubt that I have been exposed to COVID on numerous occasions. One time would be a probable exposure whilst working with a colleague on his first day back from recovering from COVID. Not just that but he offered me many toffees which I ate, it was homemade, made whilst he had COVID. Three weeks later and I don't have it? I have two negative tests from my trip to Costa Rica to prove it.
But the fact is, countries that haven't gone down the mass Lockdown paths are learning to live with the virus. Australia is falling behind here. It is evident by returning Australians being treated like lepers. Australians upset at their loved ones not being allowed home, but in the same breath not wanting to fight for them. Australians accepting mask mandates, snap lockdowns and the devastation of their cities and livelihoods for a couple of cases. The acceptance of the rich and famous bypassing the rules simply because they can but the average Aussie doesn't get that luxury. The kicking out of opposition fans before a game of footy because they came from interstate, but the players can stay. Australia how have you found yourself in this situation?
I think it's clear you are paying for the brainwashing and belief that the hide under the doona and all eggs in one basket approach was the right way to go. Now that JobKeeper has finished, I hope that it is the cure for this stupidity. JobKeeper is a policy that no other country had and that's why they opened quicker than you. States are now going to use the cancellation of JobKeeper to blame the Federal Government for the destruction they are doing to themselves. Remember JobKeeper was only supposed to last six months and it should have!
My word of advice to you Australia is, wake up! Become one (as the national anthem now says), reclaim your lives, support fellow countrymen overseas, let them come home and don't buy the media hype. Don't wait too long to change trajectory.