Flat White

Australians ‘open’ to becoming RAT addicts

7 January 2022

4:00 PM

7 January 2022

4:00 PM

Sudafed-style ID checks are about to be brought in to make sure Australians don’t end up as RAT addicts. 2022 is already hilarious…

The move has been suggested after a nationwide shortage of Rapid Antigen Tests (predictably) manifested when state premiers mandated them for interstate travel during the Christmas period. This situation was made worse by a country full of hypochondriacs prepared to line up for over eight hours at a time for a PCR test (despite not having any Covid symptoms) then being told to go home and test themselves.

Demand and supply are relatively basic concepts, but what unfolded in Australia this week serves as proof that neither politicians nor health officials have ever run a business involving supply chains. Instead, Australians were treated to panicky press conferences where premiers begged people to remain calm when pharmacies ran out of RATs. That’s a tough ask after nearly two years of ‘Black Death’ rhetoric.

The reason history’s intelligent politicians stay away from ‘fear’ is because it cannot be turned off when politically convenient. Fear burrows its way into society where it festers, growing so strong that terrified citizens will turn on the very same politicians who taught them to be afraid.

A perfect example played out in Victoria on Wednesday when Premier Daniel Andrews found himself in the centre of civil outrage. His government encouraged and ultimately facilitated Novak Djokovic’s medical exemption in apparent defiance of Victoria’s draconian health orders. Victorians, bullied and traumatised into accepting years of punishing pandemic legislation, raged against their beloved leader within moments of the announcement.

If Prime Minister Scott Morrison had a single politically savvy bone in his body, he would have made sure the federal government approved Djokovic’s visa and left Daniel Andrews to fight his way out of a self-made political nightmare. Instead, Morrison fronted a press conference hoping to parade the Liberal Party’s ‘tough stance on border control’ – which works against illegal immigration but not so much against citizens, tourists, and lucrative sports stars. Morrison’s stern address made the Liberals look authoritarian, which is not exactly ‘on brand’ leading up to the next election. Just quietly, it didn’t do the Victorian Liberals any favours either.

So, why the ID checks to buy a RAT?

Unlike restricted drugs, there is nothing remotely harmful about a RAT. You can’t overdose on them (although you might be able to torture nearby relatives), and they’re not dangerous to use unless you’re the sort of person the ‘don’t iron while standing in a bathtub’ instructions were written for.

Like all things in this Big Brother government, the purpose of an ID system is to track how many RATs are being purchased. Under the new plan, people will be allowed to buy ten RAT tests every three months. Not only will this uncover obsessive testers, it is probably being set up to catch bulk-buyers hoping to make a buck re-selling RATs for top dollar on the black market.

The ridiculousness of a ‘sneaky Covid testing kit trade’ is just as embarrassing as Australia’s toilet paper wars.

After first swearing that he’d ‘never do it’, Morrison immediately back-flipped (apparently because Queensland sooked at National Cabinet) and promised to make RATs free. By ‘free’ Morrison means they were added to the eye-watering Covid bill that our great-great-great-great grandchildren will pay off.

Making people pay for their own RATs was considered terribly unfair and cruel by state premiers at National Cabinet, but firing those same poor people from their jobs if they refused to get vaccinated – is not. It’s ‘Covid-logic’ – don’t question it.

All you need to know is that there are no RATs in stock at your local pharmacy, but that you definitely need to buy them to access essential things (like travel), but don’t buy too many – unless the government tells you to – and don’t even think of flogging the spares on Ebay.

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