For as bas as the US lockdowns have been, Australia has taken quarantine to extreme levels, monitoring their people and not letting them out of their homes.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Emma: Hi, Brittany.
Brittany: Hi, Emma.
Emma: Today I wanna talk about what is going on in Australia, and, if you’ve been paying any attention to the news and sort of what’s been going on in the world, you might have heard a little bit about Australia coming up as an example of kind of over the top government control. And if your parents listen to the news or if your parents kind of stay up to date on this stuff, they’ve probably mentioned Australia to you. But we wanted to take a whole episode to go into detail on sort of why this matters and what’s going on specifically. So to give just a quick rundown on the current situation so that you guys know what we’re referencing. Basically, Australia has some of the strictest, COVID lockdowns in the world right now. And what they’re setting up in a couple of states because Australia’s kind of like America, where it has different states within the country. They have a lot less than we do, but, there have their own laws that they set. And then there are still like national laws. So some of the states in Australia have set up some really crazy COVID protocols where basically, the words that one state used was, you must stay home and only leave if you have a reasonable excuse. Which is crazy because what does that even mean, What does reasonable excuse even mean? I would have some fun with that if someone tried to ask. But they’re also setting up these quarantine camps called well camps. And this is a really scary thing to me. Basically, if you test positive for COVID, they send you to, it’s like a big hotel dorm type thing. Outrageous, yeah. In the middle of the state. And they make you stay there until you test negative. And some people are saying, oh, it’s not a camp. It’s, they have pools and it’s comfortable. And, you know, it’s this nice thing to go do.
Brittany: You’re still a prisoner.
Emma: You’re still a prisoner. It doesn’t matter how comfy the prison is if you cannot leave by law. So they basically are setting up COVID jail, which is super scary. they have had one of the strictest travel bans. Their borders I think are still closed. If not, then you have to quarantine for a really long time when you get there, even if you’re testing negative. And there have even been stories of police showing up at people’s front doors. This is the crazy one to me, police showing up at people’s front doors because they saw that they had made TikTok outside. And they somehow tracked down where these people were, showed up at their house.
Brittany: There are nuts.
Emma: Yeah, there’s one story. I’ll link an article of a woman who the cops showed up at her front door and made them, made her show them her TikTok drafts to make sure that she wasn’t making any more talks that showed her outside walking around. So that’s all really scary. And you know, it’s unfortunate, and when you’re hearing that, you might be thinking, well, that’s too bad for Australians, I feel for them. But, why does this matter to America? And Brittany, do you wanna maybe talk about why we should care or why this is important in America when Australia is so far like thousands of miles away?
Brittany: Yeah, well, we should always care what’s going on. I think you might be able to say like, all right, when it happens in like more Eastern, like Middle Eastern, even Asian countries it feels more far off. Cause our cultures are slightly different. But in the Western world, which is, you know, Australia would count as that this is something that could very well happen here. Everything sets a precedent. And now we are different people. Like we have a different mindset. Americans are a little bit more stubborn. But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen here. You know, that’s that famous, that famous quote, oh, that couldn’t happen here. Right. And then it does. So I think we should be terrified about this because one, it’s showing our government that like, oh, this government did it. Maybe we could try it. Yeah. And two, I think it’s crazy to me to see that the people are so compliant. Yeah. That they’re going along with it. So very, scary. I think we should absolutely be paying attention. You know, Australia is, is dubbed the third, I think it’s the top three freest country in the world economically. Yeah. So, cause it’s not a dictatorship, it’s not a socialist country. It is technically a liberal democracy, but how liberal of a democracy can you be when you’re literally locking your people up? It’s so crazy. And I believe there was only like one case. Their whole thing is that you have to have no cases. So this wasn’t an outbreak. This was like one or two cases.
Emma: Right? Yeah. That’s the craziest thing is, you know, people are wondering how did Australia get so bad? How is it still like this? And people are going along with it. And I think one of the biggest reasons why is because right when COVID first came out and was first kind of spreading around the world, Australia was really proud that it reached COVID-zero. Where it basically had no cases they could say confidently that nobody in Australia had COVID. And they did these really crazy lockdowns kind of similar to what they’re doing right now. And everyone praised them around the world. And even the American media, American commentators, and politicians would point to that and say, this is what we could do if everyone would just stay home in 15 days to slow the spread and, you know, all those catchphrases that they had. But the dangerous thing is, you know, people went along with that in Australia. So now every time the government sees, oh, well we have some cases we need to lock back down so that we can reach COVID zero again. And that’s such a dangerous way to operate because, you know, COVID is a virus. It jumps from person to person. And I am not a scientist. I’m not someone that is particularly well-versed when it comes to how viruses spread. But I did go to biology class, and I do know that these things run their course, one way or another. And no matter what we do is people, no matter how much we lock ourselves down or deprive ourselves of so social interaction, viruses are going to spread and it’s going to happen. But when Australia has been praised for the last year and a half for how strong it’s locked down and how strict it’s been, it’s going to keep doing it now. And that’s kind of something that we see is that history repeats itself. And when people allow the government to take away their rights and treat them as if they’re totally disposable and they have no freedom and their liberty doesn’t mean anything, if you let the government start getting away with that, they’re gonna keep doing it over and over. And this brings up sort of an interesting conversation about the Bill of Rights because in America we, have a Bill of Rights, we have a specific part of our constitution that has all of these amendments that have to do with things that the government can’t do to us. And it’s, you know, the government can’t take away your right to exercise your religion. They can’t take away your right to gather or to have free association or to own a gun. And that doesn’t mean the government doesn’t try to take those things away from us. But ultimately it’s held accountable to those things in the Constitution when lawsuits happen and when it things go to the Supreme Court, that’s what they use to determine what’s okay and what’s not. And it’s used to keep our government in check, but in Australia, they don’t have a bill of rights. And that’s a big problem because their government is basically allowed to sort of do whatever it wants. But the thing that I’m, that I wanna talk about here is that it doesn’t really matter if we have a bill of rights, if nobody understands it, nobody cares about it. Yeah. If everyone thinks, oh, the constitution’s just some old document written by old men, that’s not relevant anymore. It needs to be updated. So I, think this is a real warning to us that if we don’t start to care about the Bill of Rights, and if we don’t understand it and know what it is and how it affects us in our everyday lives, we could actually end up looking a lot like Australia.
Brittany: Which is extremely scary. Now, one thing that is a little bit encouraging, you know, I talked about how the Australians are different people than Americans are just kind of prone to protest. That’s how we started, right? We started as a country saying, no, well, you know, enough is enough. But for any person, I think there’s a breaking point. We’re enough is enough. Yeah. And I think the Australians have hit that wall. So you are seeing now a lot more Australians protesting the lockdowns in the streets the last couple of weeks or months. And that’s super encouraging. And I think it raises the question, why aren’t people protesting more in America now? People have been, there have been a lot of really cool protests, unfortunately, and this is so funny to me, people have deemed these protests, domestic terrorists sometimes. Yeah. While meanwhile, you know, the protests are going on and people are allowed to burn things and, yell in the streets, but for some reason that’s okay. In fact, I think the CDC even came out during the protests and said something like COVID, like, you’re okay to Right. Not socially distanced. And in these instances, and it was so silly.
Emma: Only BLM protests though.
Brittany: Only BLM protests, but not if you’re protesting the lockdowns that makes you a terrorist. So absurd stuff. And so you gotta wonder why we’re not, protesting more now, my answer to that would be it’s, we haven’t lost as much as Australia now. We’ve lost too much, in my opinion. I think we should all be protesting, but I think we still haven’t hit that point because there is still a little bit more freedom. Right. I think, I know in Hawaii it’s been bad. Oh yeah. Somebody posted something on their Instagram and had police show up. You have been quarantined in hotels or it was bad at least. So it has gotten bad in certain areas, but I think for the most part people have felt like if they have that little inch of freedom, then there’s no need to protest all the terrible things that are happening. Yeah. But there’s still a lot of terrible things happening. I think the worst thing that has happened in America is I had a couple of friends who lost parents not from COVID, from other things in the hospital, and they weren’t allowed to be with their parents when they died because of the COVID rules. And so you have people, right? Not only is it sad for the people who are losing their parents and can’t say goodbye, but imagine dying and you have to die alone. In a gross, you know, well, not like dirty, but just like a sterile, creepy hospital bed and you’re all by yourself. That’s not how humans were made to, to live or to die. So I think that was really egregious and I’d love to see more protesting over things like that.
Emma: Me too. And kind of in that vein too, I think what’s been happening to a lot of kids in public schools has been a huge wake-up call for people. That’s something that I’ve seen a lot of protests for people who maybe wouldn’t be super political usually, but their kids have not been able to go to school and they’ve been stuck at home trying to learn from an iPad eight hours a day. And it’s been, really hard for people’s mental health. And I’m sure that this is something that the listeners can understand, whether you’re homeschooled or, or you go to a co-op or a charter school or you go to an actual school, public or private, being isolated and not being around people and having your situation changed so suddenly like that and not being able to have that human interaction is really hard. And we’ve seen a lot of really sad things come out of that, especially among our children in this country. And I think that’s something that’s woken a lot of people up, especially parents who are protesting. And we see school board protests and people showing up in these huge numbers, even in their local counties and that kind of thing. And it happens a lot in states like California that have really had the worst lockdowns of all. So I do have some hope that people will hit that breaking point where they’re not willing to put up with anymore. I sure hope so. I really hope so. And I hope that people can see that this really isn’t political. It’s not about whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or somewhere in between. It’s about being able to see that this is harming people and that the government shouldn’t be able to just snap its fingers and completely change our way of life without hearing from us about it. So, that’s sort of, you know, I’ve been encouraged to see Australians pushing back and I do think Brittany, unless it gets a little worse here, we might not see more people protesting in America, but.
Brittany: With the vaccine stuff, like, and this is gonna air a couple of weeks after this has happened, but I know in New York they’re threatening to call on the National Guard and to fire health workers who haven’t been Yeah. Vaccinated. So I do think with the vaccine, mandates, we might see things get bad enough where that people start protesting. So we will see.
Emma: I think so too. Yeah. And, again, it’s another thing that’s not political and people like to say, oh, if you don’t wanna get the vaccine or if you think it shouldn’t be mandated, you’re just a crazy right-winger or you’re an anti-vaxxer, but you can be someone who got vaccinated or who believes that the vaccines are helpful or are a good piece of technology without necessarily getting one yourself or without wanting to force it on other people. Exactly. Right. That’s like the core idea of freedom and of personal liberty is that you support people’s right to choose what’s best for them, even if it’s different from what you might choose for yourself. Exactly. Because people are different. We have different needs, we have different health liabilities even. So, that’s kind of the overall, thing with Australia is, hey, let’s, take a look at this, and let’s make sure that we don’t let our country get to that point where we don’t have that individual freedom. And I, hope and pray that Australians are successful in pushing back against their government. And I’m very proud to see that people are, saying enough is enough. So.
Brittany: Absolutely I agree to work.
Emma: Yes. We’re gonna wrap it up here today, guys. Thank you so much for listening and we will talk to you all again soon.
Brittany: Talk to you soon.