Dan O'Heirity

Victoria Has Over-reacted to Covid-19

The state of Victoria has recorded 279 new COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths in the past 24 hours. 11 of the fatalities have been linked to aged care facilities. In terms of a breakdown of the fatalities, the deaths include one female and two males aged in their seventies, two females and four males aged in their 80s and four females and three males in their nineties. I have said this before and I will undoubtedly say it again. Melbourne is in a stage 4 lockdown with police enforcing mask wearing and a curfew that runs from 8 PM through to 5 AM and yet we are seeing so few deaths that reports can actually detail the ages of those who have died from the coronavirus. Furthermore, at the risk of stating the obvious, a significant number of cases and deaths are linked to aged care facilities. This fact strongly suggests that the Victorian government has instituted draconian measures to try to contain Covid-19 at a time when the actual strategy should have been one of “ring fencing” aged care facilities whilst also placing an emphasis on educating the elderly to protect themselves from the virus.

Victoria’s Covid-19 State of Disaster Has Resulted in a Police State

I have been consistently critical of Australia’s response to Covid-19 and now the news is finally catching up with me. Sky News host Chris Kenny asks the question when we might see a “turning point” in the public debate around the pandemic. The point is forcefully made with footage of a woman being arrested on a deserted street for not wearing a mask.

The footage of the arrest is truly disturbing with the police officer using what can only be described as excessive force. All I can think is thank goodness someone was there to capture the arrest on their phone. There is another interesting angle on this arrest. Videos circulated on YouTube in the early days of the pandemic showing Chinese police dragging people off the streets. The world condemned China and yet here we are in Australia with exactly the same thing happening. I would not want to claim that Australia is a police state in the same way that China is a police state. However, there is something very wrong when the police can forcibly subdue a woman and drag her off to jail.

Australia is on a Par With North Korea for Travel Restrictions

Whilst I am on the subject of a police state, the Sydney Morning Herald carries a story about outward bound travel restrictions that are in place in Australia. Zali Steggal, Member of Parliament for Warringah, New South Wales is reported in the story as saying that the travel restriction puts Australia, “on par with North Korea, in terms of, are we now a prison state, that unless you can justify yourself to the department [of health], you cannot leave the country“. In terms of numbers, permission has been granted for 22,640 citizens and permanent residents to depart Australia between March 25th to July 31st. 91,950 applications to depart Australia were lodged during this timeframe. People who were allowed to depart Australia would have met one of the travel criteria that are currently in place. For example, one can depart Australia for urgent medical treatment not available in Australia or for urgent and unavoidable personal business. Applications can also be approved on compassionate or humanitarian grounds. Invalid reasons for wanting to travel would include going on holiday.

A Trend is Emerging in Calling Australia’s Draconian Covid-19 Measures Into Question

Sky News has been consistently critical of the Australian government’s response to Covid-19. This criticism continues in a story that reports that, “people are “justifying the unjustifiable” and allowing the implementation of coronavirus restrictions and strategies which are cruel and inhumane“. However, the more telling story comes from Sky News host Alan Jones in a story entitled, “Australians are terrified as ‘draconian’ measures continue”.

It really is worth watching this video because Jones makes some key points including the fact that more people died last year from flu with a vaccine than from coronavirus without one. Jones also notes that deaths worldwide this year from communicable diseases number around 7 million deaths. As of today, and according to a live data source, there have been 768,995 deaths from Covid-19. Furthermore, Jones notes, as I have done on many occasions, that only 1% of all Covid-19 cases worldwide are identified as being serious or critical. Now consider the fact, as Jones does, that police in Australia can now enter homes without a warrant and without requiring permission from the home owner. This is a staggering fact. Just as staggering is the fact that polls show that the public are in support of the Australian government.

First Published August 16th, 2020

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