Happy Australia Day! (Well, it was.)
The day brought me mixed feelings of pride and shame, but not in the way many might expect.
I love this sunburnt country for both its stunning variety of spectacular and unique landscapes and also the diverse, multicultural yet authentically Australian people. Whether of British, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, New Zealander, Chinese, Canadian, Greek, Sudanese, Indian, Vietnamese, Russian, Iranian, Israeli, Salvadoran, or American heritage; we are all one.
I acknowledge that this sunburnt country was originally inhabited by Indigenous Australians before Captain Arthur Phillip came sailing into Botany Bay on 26th January 1788. These original Australians are not a race, rather a tapestry of thousands of different tribes that inhabited and worshipped this land for tens of thousands of years prior to the arrival of the First Fleet and many still do so today.
I remember the history lessons from junior high school well enough to know that Indigenous Australians have been on the receiving end of slavery, abuse, neglect, racism, and many other varieties of humankind’s worst behavioural traits. These Aussies were not allowed to participate in our democracy until 1967. This is a scar on the history of our land, and one that can’t be removed nor forgotten.
The Australia of 2022 sees Indigenous Australians still experiencing higher rates of poverty, substance abuse, and neglect, while life expectancy for our native people is significantly lower than those whose heritage lies outside the seemingly endless bounds of the borders of this great land. This is something that we must strive to improve. A job, though extremely tough, must be attempted and accomplished.
Having said all that, this is not the reason why I feel shame on this day.
My bitterness stems from the simple and indisputable fact that for the last two years there has been no Australia. Eight state and territory governments have parochially sealed themselves off from their fellow countrymen with unprecedented paranoid delusions that this is the only viable approach to keeping cases, hospitalisations, and deaths from Covid away from the germ-ridden folk residing in the states and territories that previously lay together as one on our isolated continent.
Never before in the history of this nation have the rights of a Victorian to travel to Western Australia or a New South Welshman to Queensland been so cruelly abandoned. As we have witnessed, the vaccine which approximately 90 per cent of our population have now taken has not had the desired effects of slowing this pandemic to a halt. Rather, the last month has seen case numbers of Covid explode to previously unimaginable heights which one year ago would have caused us to give up hope of ever leaving our state to see a loved one on the other side of this sunburnt country, let alone leaving the shores of the land Downunder for adventures abroad.
Over the past two years, tens of thousands of people have been abandoned and refused entry back into their own state or territory of residence for the same delusional reason that we are no longer a country. This is because of an irrational fear that they might set off a wave of Covid cases, which would inevitably lead to millions of people being forced into their homes with only very few mandated reasons to leave. Many of these abandoned people were vaccinated, and due to mere bad timing were refused entry into the state or territory they may have lived in their whole lives.
Tens of thousands of people were denied entry into a state or territory inside their own country in order to visit a loved one on their death bed, say goodbye at a funeral, or astonishingly – even to receive emergency healthcare.
Countless women living in border zones were separated from their newborns with neonatal emergencies and were denied entry from regional hospitals in northern New South Wales to be with their precious little ones just over the border in the NICU’s at Brisbane hospitals.
Not one lockdown or border closure has brought the pandemic under control, but instead has caused trillions of dollars in debt which will burden the young and yet to be born.
Of perhaps an equal amount of madness and tragedy, instead of Australians being friendly, respectful people who are always happy to lend a hand to others when things become tough; residents of the eight states and territories previously known as Australia are now the very worst of enemies due to these policies that were – and still are – catastrophically unlinked to the scientific realities of Covid.
As a result of policies created by the useful idiots that run our government and its bureaucracy, our society has been split into two warring tribes; ‘The Covid Catastrophists’ and ‘The Covid Realists’.
The first group has succumbed to the fear concocted by the majority of our media’s propaganda and power-pissed politicians and bureaucrats that every interaction with a living, breathing human could result in death by Covid. The latter group is appalled at the nuthouse-like behaviour that they’ve witnessed and have instead chosen to spend time visiting the websites of the CDC and other officially trusted medical institutions in their attempts to match real-world data with the policy outcomes of the biomedical authoritarian group of states and territories which used to exist as The Commonwealth of Australia.
The Covid Realists live with bitter rejection and shame at the nonsensical, irresponsible, and downright immoral policies that have them trapped in a seemingly permanent world of QR codes, quarterly booster shots, masked children, non-existent rapid tests, locked down aged care residents, border permits, cancelled dinner reservations, goods shortages, inflated prices, and freedoms that they’ll likely never get back – all in the name of being kept safe from a virus that half the people they know are now mildly sick from but will be back into the swing of things within a week.
The Omicron variant is not killing people like the original Covid variant was in 2020, or the Delta variant that we dealt with for most of last year. For this half of society, nothing that any government has done, including the federal government, has brought our fractured nation closer to becoming whole again.
On the other side of the fence, The Covid Catastrophists are completely fine with their new normal, where it’s accepted that mask-wearing will continue forever; pandemic or not. Overseas travel will never resume for them, and they are fine with this. Reaching herd immunity with their second booster shot is preferred as opposed to acknowledging that breakthrough infections are a common occurrence, and are no match for the highly transmissible Omicron.
While it is now accepted science that natural immunity is more durable than vaccine-induced immunity, Mark McGowan, the lunatic leader of Western Australia, has just back-peddled on his ‘rock-solid’ promise that their hard border (which has been in place for the main part of two years), will no longer open on February 5. While watching highlights of his press conference, it almost seemed to me as though he thinks that his jurisdiction is superior to the eastern states if he can simply keep it Covid-free. He is the only leader of the bunch with no road map or plans to open up to the rest of the world, and as such, any further announcements can not be taken seriously.
Something that he said left me painfully gobsmacked, which was, that despite his previous promise of opening up at 90 per cent double vaccination, the health advice he’s received indicates that the new preferred pathway may be dependent on Western Australians receiving booster doses.
That did it for me. A leader who is denying the scientific reality of what Covid has become. As Dr Jay Bhattacharya (one of three original signatories of the Great Barrington Declaration) has said and stood by since October 2020, is that Covid will cease to exist as a pandemic when enough young, healthy people catch it over and over again until it no longer troubles them. At this point, true natural herd immunity will have been reached.
I am vaccinated and believe that this is one of the most important modern-day miracles to ever come about, but to reach herd immunity with the current vaccines we would have to boost every three months forever. This is another costly policy that shouldn’t be relied upon to bring this madness to an end.
For Australia at least, it’s time that those making the policy admitted their failings and opened their minds for alternative paths out of this. There is literally nothing wrong with admitting mistakes, in fact, it is a sign of humility. Isn’t that what we supposedly want from our leaders?
I want my beloved country back, but most of all, I want to re-join a society that was once cherished here, where we could speak our minds without the fear of being called crazy and irresponsible – a society where retired sports stars can criticise their government without receiving threatening letters from the Victorian Electoral Commission.
Most of all, however, I want to re-join a society where every adult is free to judge the risks of everyday life and make their own decisions on which of them are acceptable, so that life can be lived for one of its most important reasons; to enjoy the fruits of their labour and the colours of unity, happiness, and safety that was unparalleled just a short time ago in this country.
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