The unacceptable violence at Melbourne’s ‘freedom’ rally, the quieter Sydney and Adelaide rallies and the New South Wales/Queensland border ‘invasion’ of this last weekend clearly demonstrate a rising pressure cooker of resentment against the Covid lockdowns.
The core makeup of these rallies seems to involve a coalition of convenience of two usually quite disparate demographics.
There’s the ‘I’m not afraid of anything (including Covid)’ macho men. They perhaps are usually viewed as from the right of politics. Then there’s the dreadlock, fire-twirling types normally linked to hard Green/Left politics. They are the ones happy to stand in front of bulldozers in forests. Add to that a mixture of others and the numbers reach into the many thousands a size the police can handle but only with very large police numbers.
But while the police are preoccupied controlling largish rallies what they struggle to overcome is the middle suburban pushback. Particularly in Melbourne over the weekend mums and dads could be spotted quietly gathering at local primary school playgrounds with their kids. Nothing was organised. The gatherings just happened. People mingled and chatted with or without masks while their kids played.
When ‘disobedience’ of the health autocrats orders permeates middle Australian suburbs it starts to become clear that Covid has won. It doesn’t matter if politicians sneer at the community, insisting that everyone must ‘do the right thing.’ There are too many who’ll never ‘do the right thing.’
Take criminal elements. There’s no way drug traffickers, for example, already major lawbreakers, are going to give up their trade. Illegal drug use is in every suburban street, country town and high rise apartment block across the country. After decades of ‘wars on drugs’ the drug demand remains. Drug traffickers are unstoppable and potential Covid super spreaders, as we have seen alleged in NSW.
The additional factor at play is wear-down. Sydney’s heavy Covid restrictions experience is comparatively new, starting around mid-July ramping up to full lockdown about a week ago. But Sydney tensions are already showing.
In Melbourne, 540 days have passed since March 2020 when the city and Victorian lockdowns started. In that time more than 200 days (and counting) of total lockdowns have been imposed. For retailers, pubs, restaurants, gyms, personal trainers and so on they have had some 327 days of density caps with constraints on trade and customer volume. Many report zero or near zero gross revenue for 400 plus days, and profit? Forget that for the full 540 days.
In this environment it’s no wonder that there’s a seething fury at the Victorian government for awarding public servants two pay rises since Covid started. Financial support of businesses large or small post JobKeeper is token compared to the need.
Take one example. A much loved, local, family-owned pub in Melbourne, has faced the full-blown financial garrotting of the Covid restrictions tallied above. Yet they face a land tax bill of $432,000. Council rates are $65,000, insurances $123,000 and payroll tax $60,000. That’s without utilities, payroll, supplier bills and bank demands. On paper, the family business might be asset rich but zero income quickly creates a journey to business poverty.
This is but just one example of the high stress permeating the community. It threads its way down the income ladder to immigrant refugee parents supporting large families on just one or two basic incomes.
But the stress moves beyond the financial. Humans are intensely social things. We crave touch, a hug, a smile, a laugh, a drink together, a shared meal. To be badgered, snarled at and dictated to by the persons we elected to allegedly ‘serve us’ — let alone supposed ‘protectors’ from the unelected police –has a tolerance threshold.
Sure, we’re incessantly told to behave and lock ourselves in our rooms because it’s ‘for our own good’. That message carries weight with many people for a long time. But the message has a breaking point. Witness the demonstrations but more importantly the unreported, quiet gatherings at local school playgrounds.
But its not just community ‘misbehaviour’ that spreads the virus. It’s perfectly normal and necessary activity through which the virus spreads. Melbourne now has an outbreak in a major hospital resulting from surgery on a patient with undetected Covid. Sydney has seen the same. If the virus can bypass the fully compliant medical establishment then it’s unstoppable.
It’s not the Covid virus as such that has the health technocrats beaten but the inevitably of human behaviour to which the virus has so attached itself. Logic says that the point has been reached where the elimination of Covid from the community is a fantasy.
But ‘they’ say there is a way out. The technology of ‘the jab’ will allegedly save us.
It seems inevitable that the Covid strains of the flu will be something that becomes a part of the ‘normal’ risks of living.
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