Aussies Are Sharing What Lockdown Actually Looks Like, In Response To Americans Labelling Our Government "Tyrannical"
"Just because we are hating lockdown, doesn't automatically make us anti-lockdown."
After living out a relatively "normal" year in 2020, Australians are now experiencing the true, harsh reality of COVID-19 — with New South Wales approaching the three month mark of lockdown and states around the country struggling to contain the highly-infectious Delta variant.
But tighter restrictions across the country have also given rise to groups of anti-lockdown protestors — with a number of demonstrations taking place across Melbourne and Sydney in the past month.
In an attempt to uncover the truth for themselves, Reddit user u/Over9000Bunnies posted: "Ignorant American here. My friends keep bringing up the tyranny happening in Australia — the lockdowns, protests, police-brutalised citizens — so I thought I would personally ask some actual Australians."
Aussies were quick to weigh in with their own thoughts on the lockdowns — explaining how they feel about Australia's handling of COVID-19, as well as the ongoing American commentary surrounding it:
1. "I think the American news has sensationalised the protests: They were sizeable and there definitely was a police presence, but there isn't widespread support for it. Just because we are hating lockdown, doesn't automatically make us anti-lockdown."
2. "First thing to note is that police here are very different to police in the USA. We have state-based forces with no other local forces (city-based, country), so the messaging and direction is consistent."
"Second is that whilst our police are no angels, I feel that there is nowhere near the amount of police brutality that you see on the regular in the USA. The reason I say this is because the US media has been entirely disingenuous with how they are reporting on the situation here regarding the protests."
3. "Lockdown has had no material impact on me or my family. We live in a regional town about 45 minutes drive from Melbourne and 80% of shopping is done local; 20% of shopping is online and delivered; our teenager actually prefers online learning; and I have been working remote for last 12 years."
"The days of the all-expenses paid interstate work trip were well in decline before COVID hit. I'm getting too old for that shit anyway."
4. "We definitely have people who are vehemently and actively anti-government, anti-lockdown, anti-vaxx. But these are the same people that think that an earthquake could be generated by the government. Sooo...yeah."
5. "We are a nanny state, living with much more rules and regulations than most countries. We all have it pretty good. But also, we get fined for not wearing a helmet on a bicycle; expect our neighbours to call the police for noise complaints; open alcohol is illegal in public; alcohol cannot be sold after 10pm etc."
"These rules change depending on location. Things are pretty relaxed, but there's no denying that our rules and regulations are a bit ridiculous. I wouldn't say oppressive though."
6. "The lockdown sucks. My partner and I are fortunate not to be too materially affected by it; we have pretty decent jobs, live in a nice enough apartment, can both work from home, have a ridiculous dog to keep us company. We do okay. This is about our sixth time under lockdown."
"For me, they really suck to begin with, but you form new routines from home and kind of get used to it after a while. I miss my friends, I miss my hobbies like metal-working and jujitsu, but my mental health holds up okay. Are they necessary though? I believe so, yeah."
7. "On the whole, I would say that we have a different culture to Americans; ours is more of a welfare state. Our public healthcare system is very far from perfect, but hey, we have one; getting a serious illness or going to the emergency room here isn’t an automatic sentence of financial ruin. I’m fine with my taxes paying for that system; Americans don’t seem to feel the same way."
8. "The national COVID-related death rate in the USA has been 44 times higher than Australia, relative to population. That’s a lot of people who didn’t have to die. Any one of them could’ve been my grandmother, my parents, relatives, or even friends my own age."
"So you wonder why we have no sympathy for the protestors? That’s why. They’re either selfish or ignorant arseholes, who are actively sabotaging the health and well-being of everyone else in the state. The public health laws that constitute the lockdown exist to protect the vulnerable among us, and these people don’t seem to understand or care."
9. "I'm sick of the lockdowns, as is everyone, but I’m glad we’ve kept our death and hospital rate so low. To put the protests in perspective, on day two there were a couple of hundred protesters and over 80,000 people getting vaccinated. The vast majority of people living here know what we need to do to get out of this and we’re doing it."
"Is it fun? No. So what, things change, no-one is guaranteed anything, adapt and move on. Life is different than we thought it was going to be, and that’s just how it is."
10. "Lockdowns are terrible mostly, but I think we've all tried to make the best of it: Reconnect with family, appreciate the little things, more home cooked meals etc. And yes, we are very tired of lockdowns — that's why we're so angry at the protestors, because the only way we're getting out of lockdown is to stay home and get vaxxed. So when a few idiots put that at risk, then it's not fair for all of us."
11. "I would say that, for the most part, people are pretty tired and feel very hard done by. But in the past (this is our sixth lockdown), being compliant and sticking together has been the only thing that got us through and got the case numbers down/rules and restrictions eased."
"Basically, everyone’s pissed off, but there’s not much we can do about it, hence the anger at the protesters."
12. "I think our biggest issue is now a fractured relationship between state governments, which are largely in charge of themselves — something that hasn’t really ever been discussed, noticed or recognised before."
"On TV, we have ads about flying overseas, but we can’t even visit our families across state borders. Australian culture is very, very different from the US, in the way that we do sort of accept our reality and just try and get on with things."
13. "I live in Tasmania and life has been pretty normal here (all things considered) since June 2020."
14. "We hate lockdowns. We hate COVID-19. We also all know enough people who are high-risk or are high-risk ourselves, to want to be able to use our hospitals when we need them. We're angry we weren't all vaccinated months ago."
15. "No one likes lockdowns, but the overwhelming majority of us understand why we need them. We are tired after being in and out of lockdowns since March last year. We may not agree with all the rules, but a lot of us comply because we understand this comes from public health directives to take this seriously."
"Everyone is frustrated we are back in lockdown, and there's blame to go all around, but we also understand that the only way out is vaccinations — so anything/anyone that is in direct opposition to that would not get much support."
16. "Australia has always, always been a nanny state. None of this is tyrannical. I sat in a park all day yesterday drinking a beer and reading my book. A hundred people were around me having picnics. One person died of COVID-19. Truly the worst place on Earth."
17. "Lockdowns suck, but they have shielded us from the brunt of what the virus can do to our populace. Unfortunately, this has come at a great social cost. Time has been lost and you can't buy back time."
"The people protesting don't have popular support though. It is abundantly clear they are simply using the anger and frustration generated by the pandemic to further their own narrow agendas, which are often not in the public interest."
18. And finally: "Tell your friends if they want to know about 'rules and authority being excessive and tyrannical' then they should look at their own backyards, in particular the travesty of justice that has occurred in Texas recently."
Do you have any thoughts about how Australia has handled the pandemic? Let us know in the comments below.
Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.