auschwitz
Australia, blogging, Travel

Life is Normal Down Under

Australia has been likened to Nazi Germany! Is it true? As an Australian, you’d have to question the rationale of such a comparison. Yet this is the power of media to sway opinion and spread propaganda and fear across the world.

Decide for yourself: Here’s a snapshot of my life in Australia Nazi Germany:

  • This morning I walked my dog.
  • Yesterday I attended a craft group, went to the shops and library, had coffee with and visited with a friend, used the internet and had a tradesmen call.
  • Last week I went on holiday – 3 hours drive away from home, stayed in a cottage enjoying wine tastings, a degustation meal and visiting local spots and tourist attractions. The townspeople spoke about how many tourists had visited and how business in the town had never been better!
  • Two weeks ago, I was in the city to conduct some business – I saw no protests nor any old ladies being beaten by police.
  • Masks are not mandated at the moment, as the state currently has no Covid cases.
  • I am double-jabbed.

Sounding pretty normal to you?

It is.

Suburban Aussie normality.

Yet according to media reports overseas, my life here in Australia is anything but normal and police are arresting people in the streets!

One WordPress blogger wrote things were, “so crap down under.

As she lived outside Australia, I was surprised at her comment. So I asked her in what way was it crap, as life in Australia seemed pretty normal to me? This is her response:

Life is NOT normal at all down under. Australia has one of the toughest lockdown policies in the world. People are being arrested for going outside and walking their dogs. They are forcing people into “camps” if they are unvaccinated. People are being beaten and pepper sprayed from the cops if they are not wearing their masks. it is like NAZI Germany, and Australia is supposed to be a free country. It’s just sickening what’s going on down there.”

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auschwitz fences
Left: Life in Australia Right: Auschwitz

If this was true of my country, I must be deluded, and the Nazi henchmen poised to arrest me when walking my dog are clearly using a cloaking device.

I’m blissfully unaware of any Nazi-like practices by the Government, (although I would agree with the blogger that my Government is a bit crazy – but that is more in regard to their retrograde climate denial policies than anything else).

International borders to Australia are open in some parts, with more to come when vaccination rates rise further in coming weeks. Australians have dragged their tails in getting immunised due to fewer Covid cases and a Government that was sluggish in ordering stocks of appropriate vaccines.

Social and monopoly media do replay sensationalist news-worthy segments across many media channels to attract revenue. The videos are seen multiple times on different sources and from various angles with the resulting tendency of the viewer and our brains to generalise and think it’s happening everywhere, every day, in the whole country. A country so vast it takes a week to cross it by train. As with floods and fires, it is also with protests. They usually only affect a small part and a small minority.

More worrisome is the media reports and videos that may sway opinion so much that readers think they’ve a better handle on life in my world, than me living in it. The power of video!

Having said that, I don’t really blame the blogger for reacting with fear, because this is what she believes to be true. This is the influence of the media, and it’s more like propaganda than reality.

I responded to the blogger thus:

The power of the media to influence perceptions overseas is amazing as it is nothing as you describe, as I am Australian and I live here, although in one state there have been a few ugly protests mainly involving right wing activists, which have been highlighted in the media, it is nowhere near the Nazi Germany that you describe. The videos you have seen have unfortunately led to people thinking the worst. And this is an example of the power of propaganda! That is where the media is acting like Nazi Germany, and you and lots of others can only go by what you see. I don’t blame you for thinking this way, but it is incorrect.

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As Australia moves forward, the unvaccinated population may not be totally free to attend public venues, but they won’t be forced into any Nazi-like camp!

It is a person’s right to not be vaccinated, but is it not also the Government’s right to protect as many people as it can, in the public space? Isn’t that why we have a police force? To protect public spaces from danger, or nefarious individuals?

Shouldn’t it also then be my right as a HIGH-RISK person not to be unknowingly placed in a dangerous situation, if I choose to attend a public space, especially given the lengthy contagious incubation phase of a virus before obvious symptoms manifest? [The emphasis on being aware and knowing who may be unvaccinated and a potential carrier is important to me].

It is not rocket science.

We all comply with certain codes of behaviour to keep our society safe. Is this so vastly different?

What are your thoughts?

Have you seen some dire reports of our life down under?

What is your take on them?

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142 thoughts on “Life is Normal Down Under”

  1. You have to wonder where she got her misinformation. After your reply, I wonder if she searched for more reliable information, or just continued to assume that we are so hard done by.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. She thanked me and supplied me with a link to a video about a protest. It contained information that spanned across the two years of the pandemic to support its position and kind of suggested it was all happening together now. She is not the first blogger to speak this way in response to reports on our country.

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      1. It is gratifying to know that you were able to widen her perspective and help her see through the problematic video. You have brought to my mind two things that resonate:
        1) the thrall media (and it comes in so many forms now) has over us consumers; if we are not aware and/or careful, there is just so much fake/doctored news out there
        2) conversations are essential in fostering understanding, especially when there are apparently dissenting views presented; if only we could have more of these

        If just occurs to me that even in this very global environment we find ourselves, we are still very quick to point a finger at differences.

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  2. The impact of this misinformation is so scary and damaging. While I’m not aware of these kinds of reports about Australia, it unfortunately does not surprise me right now. Just awful!

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    1. I am so glad to hear that you haven’t heard these kinds of reports about Australia. That is encouraging and I say that with relief. With so much media being syndicated and simple re-hashing of articles being the order of the day, I wonder if any one hears the real news – the important issues for all the world!

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      1. Sadly, news with an agenda seems to have taken over. That’s definitely the case here in the U.S. It’s nearly impossible to find and trust a message from the news. I’m sorry to hear that you are experiencing this mess in Australia.

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          1. I do my best to find unbiased sources. As far as the pandemic is concerned, I have a family member who is an ER doc in a major city nearby. So this has been a helpful resource to help me filter through the media bs and determine what to believe.

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    1. I do strongly believe in the freedom of each individual and it is something that is being put into another’s body, so like conscription – I feel there should be a way to opt out. But if you opt out, you also should have to wear the consequences of opting out of society, as conscientious objectors may have had to do.

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      1. OK, I’d go along with that, even if I will never agree that— oh, never mind. But people who think the vaccine is [insert ludicrous idea] don’t think they should wear ANY consquences.

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        1. Exactly! The anti vaxxers want it both ways and the wildest reason is that the word Lucifer is contained in the name of one of the vaccine’s ingredients. But we concur, so enough of that. You sound tired, my dear! Is everything okay?

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  3. There used to be a saying, back in the 60s or 70s, ‘If you’re not outraged, you’re not informed.’ These days people seem to have adapted that to, ‘I’m outraged because I’m not informed.’ Here in the USA, there’s an old saying that ‘Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.’ These days people avert their eyes from the truth.
    I have zero sympathy for people who parrot mistruths like the blogger you mention. The information is out there. People just need to make a little effort to identify it from the mountain of crap that is on the internet. Unfortunately, a lot of people are lazy and/or stupid and just look for ‘news’ that tells them they’re not those things.
    Sorry, rant over. I guess I must be getting old!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hey Graham, thanks for your great comment, which also gives a historical perspective.
      It would be fantastic to see education encourage more critical analysis of news and information sources in our community. I guess the education system might catch up to counteracting the negative effects of proliferation of opinion passed off as news on the internet in time? I was initially incensed when I read the blogger’s comments, but then I thought there may always be a level of ignorance and fear-driven emotion when emotive news reports rather than factual balanced reporting nurtures the rise of divisiveness, because it also gains traction and views for the publisher! (not my aim though). All the while this perpetuates further ignorance and fear driven reactions. I hope the voice of blogs can go some way towards balancing that?
      I will continue to rant with you with my sensible shoes and walking stick as long as I am able.

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      1. I agree with your sentiment about education encouraging more critical analysis of news and information. I do think there’s the potential for that. The problem though is that education, at least in this country, is overseen by government. Unfortunately, our leaders are amongst the greatest spreaders of disinformation so the likelihood of them encouraging critical thinking is slim or none.
        I read this week that the U.S.A. has just been added to the list of ‘backsliding’ democracies (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/22/us-list-backsliding-democracies-civil-liberties-international). It’s certainly warranted. There are significant threats to the electoral process, which could make it next to impossible to oust a government here by democratic means.

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        1. Now that is a real concern and an avenue for nefarious persons or organizations to gain a foothold in power and perpetuate it via propaganda. Democracy is a flawed beast, but the distortion of information and the extent of its widespread reach is sounding alarm bells for me too.
          You are also correct about government steering education strategies, although there is also a significant and growing private sector here that has a certain level of independence. Even so, they still have to adhere to a national curriculum standard. I have faith that the teachers union, which is quite powerful, could block overt dumbing-down of standards, but like everywhere, if an employee, (in this instance, a teacher) wants to keep their job, they are beholden to perpetuate the views of the executive or head in order to keep their job. Terrible.
          Journalism seems most obviously affected in this way.
          I was pleased that Australia was okay according to the global state of democracy indices and noted Singapore was considered a hybrid regime! Interesting reading.

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      1. I think it is an expectation from educators that students do this in order to attain higher marks, but there is no active method by which it is taught to those who don’t have a natural inclination.

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  4. O my, I can report from South Africa that we live in crazy times. False news, real anti- vaxx resistance, ignoramus behaviour. We are waiting with bated breath as indications are that the fourth covid wave is expected over the holidays. Here more than 900000 people did not pitch for their second Pfizer jab, young people are resistant, over 50s are being enticed with vouchers to vaccinate. Crazy times. If your lovely country with its functioning society and systems and government is falsley portrayed as not free and fair, there is less hope for us. Sad how false news and cherry-picked narratives are fed to gullible people and used as click-bait. Warm regards and enjoy your more than free and normal life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so sorry and quite shocked to hear of the situation over there in SA. I really hope things turn sound soon.
      This is the extent to which false news can be damaging.

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          1. Yes. From a reliable news source: ” A new Covid-19 variant has been detected in South Africa.
            According to eNCA the Variant B.1.1.529 has been found in Botswana and Hong Kong and has an extremely hight number of mutations. At this stage, experts say they are unsure if the current programme of Covid vaccines in SA will work against the new variant. Professor Alex van den Heever of the Wits School of Governance says it is still early days, so the question is out on whether this variant escapes the current vaccines in SA.
            “It is worrying that such a variant has occurred, but I think it is also inevitable in a way that we are going to see this. The real question is whether past variants and vaccines will still protect us against this particular variant. And I haven’t really seen any analysis of that yet,” he said.”

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              1. Calmness and hopefulness and care must be our weapons. I find solace in the knowledge that scientists and doctors are working together globally, for the greater good. This example needs to find its footing among ignorant, spiteful people.

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              2. I also have faith but not faith witout question or common sense in the scientific community working for the solution to this disease. We are in so much better a position than in centuries past. I think more of that and am hopeful. Stay safe.

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    1. Thanks, Derrick. Are most care workers vaccinated?
      There are some here that have been suspended on FULL PAY, as they were not vaccinated, but where is the incentive for them to get the jab? To get paid for not working isn’t a great outcome for anyone.

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      1. That suspension on full pay is ridiculous. Quite a number are anti vaccination. We understand that the compulsion for Care Home staff is effective from 11th of this month; frontline NHS staff have until April

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  5. These days, writing a blog and reading others is as close as I get to social media. The various forms of social media seem to be a vehicle for good things of course, but also disinformation and promulgating hatred. So I’ll stay out of the way, and out of the way of mask-refusers too, who’ve made their choice, but deny me mine to stay safe. It would be nice to be able to see who’s chosen not to be vaccinated too, so I could keep away from them.

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    1. A way of identifying the unvaccinated, with the intention of giving them a wide berth, without removing their privacy or civil rights would be ideal, Margaret. The Covid check in app in my state can be linked to one’s vaccination record so that businesses can admit only those who are fully vaxxed. But what if the business owner is anti-vax? Do we as a consumer know that?

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I think my preference would be tattoing them on the forehead (so it can be seen even if they should for some bizarre reason wear a mask over their mouth, and hopefully, nose). But of course I’m just daydreaming.

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  6. Hi Amanda, wow what a crazy comparison! As a half- German with Aussie Permanent Residency, I definitely disagree with that Nazi statement. Pretty dumb comment, that person is definitely not informed enough about the atrocities that happened in Germany back in the 1940’s. Some people really need to learn to think before they speak… Hope you are well, but reading about what you did last week, sounds like you are? 🙂 Blessings and hugs from Spain

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    1. Hello Espana!
      Yes I am fine, albeit a problem back injury but fighting it all the way! I agree that it was rather an extreme comparison to make but listening to a snippet of the shock jocks and skynews yesterday made me realize that they actively promote a rise in listeners. They do their level best to incite controversy and drama. Their language was vitriolic, and perhaps in that way, it was closer to Nazi propaganda, than the reality on the ground here.
      As you mentioned – they are not informed enough and therein lies the issue with the increasing monopoly and syndication of media. Many reporters are pushed for time and simply rehash stories written by others. Like Chinese whispers, they grow tentacles.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I haven’t heard about that but what I have read from other bloggers living in Australia is that you definitely have tougher border restrictions while most countries opened up earlier their borders for tourists. But media potrayal is always dangerous.

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    1. Yes we did indeed have tougher border policies, Tanja that is true, because for a long while, we didn’t have access to vaccinations and our Government thought we might come up with our own vaccine. They backed the wrong horse. We did create a vaccine (at the University of Queensland), but it kept throwing up false positives for HiV so it was seen as unacceptable.
      The Aussie society is generally happy with border closures as travel has become problematic at the moment. All the Covid cases here have all been introduced from someone returning from overseas or an international visitor. As an island it was easy to close the borders until things settled down. Not so easy to do this in Europe.

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  8. Wow, I do think comparing any Covid restrictions, whether real or false news, with Nazi Germany is highly offensive to the millions who died under that regime. So even if the things she believes were true, that is too extreme a reaction. Over here in the UK I’ve heard about some protests in Australia but not camps for the unvaccinated, pepper sprays etc. We do get the sense from our media that your government has been so tough in locking down that while it was very effective at stopping the spread of the virus at first, you’re now in the difficult position of having much lower immunity (fewer infections plus complacency about the need to get vaccinated). I know Australian friends have been frustrated at the tightness of the lockdowns at times and looking from over here I’ve been amazed at the low case numbers that have triggered a lockdown. Only time will tell whether your government’s policies have been the right ones, or ours (probably not!) or any other …

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    1. Compared to the UK, the number of cases we have is inconsequential. My mind is blown every time I look at the UK stats. IN our state of Queensland, we have very good contact tracing for Covid positive cases and the reason for the lockdowns at such low numbers is to give the contact tracers time to catch up and notify all close contacts. In this way, we have been very effective in our state at completely containing outbreaks. This has meant that the rest of us can continue to live normally, albeit with a closed border. But is a closed border such an onerous thing? Some people think so. I don’t. I was planning to be in Sweden for my sixtieth birthday, but that won’t happen now. Life is unpredictable and we get so comfortable being able to do everything we want to do and grow to expect all the privileges the modern world can offer.
      Yes, we are in a difficult position now because of sluggish Government responses to sourcing vaccines. But it certainly hasn’t hurt our economy which is booming.

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      1. I think for a large proportion of the population the closed border isn’t such a bad thing – an inconvenience rather than a major issue. But I have UK friends who haven’t seen their sons and grandchildren, living in Australia, for several years now. I have an Australian friend in Canbara who has a very elderly father in Northern Ireland whom he’s unable to visit, fearing he may never see him again. And those are just a couple of examples known to me personally.

        And you say you ‘continue to live normally’ but from what I hear from my friend in Melbourne that isn’t the case. During lockdowns the rules are very tight – you can’t meet with friends or family, restaurants are closed, you can only go within a certain distance of home and only for essentials. I know from the two lengthy and one shorter lockdown that we’ve endured how damaging that can be to people’s mental health and in many cases (e.g. in hospitality) to their livelihoods. It isn’t sustainable in the long run so there needs to be a Plan B, surely?

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        1. The highest level of restrictions that were in place prior to vaccinations increasing in the state of Victoria, (Melbourne) – Sarah occurred for 100 days but are not in place now. The rules and circumstances in each state are vastly different. Over the last two years, we had a very short lockdown of a few days here and there with one month when restaurants were still open doing takeaway only, so yes we continued to live normally for the last two years in the state of Queensland, apart from that one month. It was not a problem really. It kept us safe from Covid until many more got vaccinated. Victoria was in lockdown for 100 odd days, but nowhere else in our vast country was affected in the same way.
          Here is the current situation in Victoria.
          https://amp-abc-net-au.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/amp.abc.net.au/article/100648730?amp_js_v=a6&amp_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQKKAFQArABIIACAw%3D%3D#aoh=16378374485809&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.abc.net.au%2Fnews%2F2021-11-25%2Fvictoria-new-covid-cases-and-deaths%2F100648730
          Many people are separated from family around the world, but your friend in Canberra could have left Australia anytime he wished throughout the last two years. We are not a prison!
          The problem for him would be coming back. But again this was possible too, but the traveller just had to quarantine for two weeks first, a practice that our country has often used to keep out disease before we had modern medicine, and it has always worked. As it did this time. Some folks do not want to do or pay for quarantine.
          We also had some international visitors arrive during the past two years: those who successfully applied for a travel permit. All our covid cases and the current Delta outbreak were from an unvaccinated driver who drove international arrivals and flight crews to their quarantine lodgings!
          Some businesses have suffered, but I have yet to personally come across one of them. Tradies and construction industries are flat out, rural towns are booming and crying out for more workers to cope with the influx of visitors to country towns and the economy is booming. Sales of cars are off the scale… even recent rain has farmers raking in huge sales of produce – this doesn’t really sound too bad overall, does it?

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  9. Amanda, I am dubious when I hear any label or name calling as a means of debate. People who do not know facts tend to throw them around like a shortcut to make you not like something without doing any homework. Using the “Nazi” label is one of those. It needs to be a very horrendous thing to equate something to the Nazis exterminating over six million Jews. Yet, it is a very overused label meant to create fear in the uninformed or those who choose not to be informed. So, unless someone (politician, reporter et al) is referring to genocide or to an autocratic power grab of other countries, we should probably ignore such a label. Keith

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  10. We all have to close our eyes and ears these days to false rumours spread mainly by social media and then taken up by some mainstream media with an axe to grind. It is highly offensive however, to compare any restrictions on freedom – including the very severe ones in Austria – with those of Nazi Germany and it insults the memories of those who died under that despicable regime. I think most governments are flying blind, just trying to do their best for the people – and maybe trying to gain some kudos for themselves at the same time, but that’s normal.

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    1. I am critical of our government sluggish response to sourcing vaccines, Mari, particularly when the pharmaceutical companies approached them and were ignored. However, you are right that there is no rule book for handling Covid and the different responses will be analysed by the historians in later years. No doubt our Government thought they were doing the right thing. Unfortunately, there is a pattern developing of a do nothing and wait policy emerging. In response to fire, floods and Covid. That should concern voters.

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      1. I agree and I have a similar problem with our government not enforcing rules sooner and not cracking down on those who deliberately break them, even though I know the evidence confuses them. More worrying is that it has become a party political fight in some countries and this is completely wrong. If ever we should be working together it is now.

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  11. I’ve not seen or read one thing that has suggested that Australia is now like Nazi Germany. I’d politely suggest that everyone needs to learn about the concept of ‘primary source’ which means a first-hand account of an event or topic that has not been modified by interpretation or opinion. For instance asking you how things are where you live.

    I agree with you: “We all comply with certain codes of behaviour to keep our society safe.” Getting vaccinated is no different. End of discussion.

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    1. I do agree Ally. Primary sources are way better but we also need to factor in the lack of balance in the re-telling by folks/reporters who may have their own agenda. Reports may not always give the full picture but a mere snapshot of a small part. In this case, the blogger told me she did have friends living in the part of Australia that was the hardest hit. Even so she didn’t think for a moment that this is not what was happening across the rest of the country and later linked one video to support her argument. She had not been given the full story. It seems to be a constant that we must be wary of when viewing media.

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    1. Logic won’t work on people who are so passionate about an issue as anti-vaxxers often are – what is the term for that, Janis? Confirmation bias? Cognitive dissonance? The person only listens to information that supports their views. Closed ears never learn anything.

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  12. Amanda thank you so much for speaking out on our countries behalf. We have enjoyed wonderful freedom here in Western Australia BECAUSE of our lock downs, and lock outs. It’s tough for people wanting to see family who live elsewhere – I get that, but better to be alive to see them at some later stage, than six foot under having caught Covid in the loving arms of a visiting relative.
    Did you listen to Jacqui Lambies wonderful speech for the anti-vaccers (pro-deseasers). I thought she said it perfectly, they have a right to choose, while the rest of the country also have a right to react appropriately to their choice, by refusing them entry to certain places.

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    1. I haven’t heard Jacqui Lambies speech, Chris, but if your summary is any indication of the content and message then I am in agreement with her. Anti-vaxxers are people and our citizens and whilst we don’t agree with them and would like them to see our point of view, they won’t always do so. This is part of the responsibilities and experience of living in a democratic society wherein opposing views can be expressed freely.
      However, and it is a big however, anti-vaxxers do not have the right to potentially endanger others by their actions and choices.
      My son had told me about Lambie’s speech so I will go listen to it.

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        1. Jacqui said it so passionately and the message was the same as my belief. My daughter was impressed. She may not be an eloquent orator but she is engaging and I like that she has a lot of common sense! We need that in Canberra .

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  13. There are so many social media lies told of this pandemic & the mandates that are in place to protect us all, even those who can’t (medical reasons) be vaccinated are too quickly judged by those who are vaccinated & I’m sure it swings both ways. But no way are we as a nation suffering the horrendous injustices on humanity that nations throughout history have suffered & still suffer from today.

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    1. Lies proliferate in all kinds of media now. It has become a buyer, or listener, beware society in a way. Reporters once upon a time presented reports and the viewer made up their mind. Now we are presented with the reporter’s view alone and it is more often than not one-sided. The reporter wants to keep his job that he worked so hard at University to gain, so why would he present an argument that shows his boss or their interests in a bad light. The CEO’s as well think they can control the hearts and minds of their employees. We must be vigilant and analyse coercive media presentations. I rarely watch the commercial news anymore. It riles me up too much.

      It should be called Views not News.

      Good point about mentioning those who are exempt medically from vaccination. They are the legitimate minority – several doctors have mentioned that very, very few meet the criteria for exemption, although many ask for it. They presumably have something to identify them as such so that they are not disadvantaged by the new rules?

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  14. Well said. This pandemic has brought out the best and, unfortunately, the worst in people. And the media as a whole has a lot to answer for with their persistent use of inaccurate and inflammatory language and the tendency of journalists to present their opinions as facts. With regards to the slow provision of vaccines, it seems to have been forgotten that, at the end of last year, the EU blocked the delivery of millions of doses, which our government had paid for, and sent them to Italy. That move certainly did not help with supply.

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    1. Thanks for raising that point. Who got the vaccines and how it was prioritised may be further scrutinised in years to come. But then if our borders were closed, why shouldn’t Italy get the vaccines when they were overwhelmed and our measures here would protect us.
      Still, Pfizer’s early approaches to Government were ignored, weren’t they?

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      1. But you can’t have it both ways. Yes, Italy needed the vaccine supply but then people complained when we did need it and didn’t have the stockpile. And did we ever get reimbursed, either with a new supply of vaccine or a refund of the millions of dollars which were paid? I decided long ago I was not going to be annoyed by what was beyond my control. Everyone in my extended family is vaccinated and that’s all we can do.

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        1. Agreed – it is all we can do is to get vaccinated. I believe there has been trades of vaccines all along. We got some from Singapore when NSW had the sudden onslaught but we have to give the equivalent amount back from our stocks in December. Interesting that you can no longer access A-Z at the health hubs here…. they have Pfizer and Moderna.

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            1. It is good that none are not going to waste!
              And PNG are in dire straits.
              Hoping you have a nice day too, Carol. Did you get much rain from this current patch?

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              1. We’ve had at least 200 mm in the last week and it’s raining again today. The gardens are looking very lush and the bonus is that it’s not cold. But very humid. Much more to come if the forecasts are correct.

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  15. I am in full agreement with you. My son was even trying to spout some of that rubbish at me. I came up because we are waiting to see if Germany closes it’s borders to us. Fortunately my daughter bought refundable tickets and travel insurance. I’m keeping positive thoughts. I’ve watched the media spin old footage over and over so I stopped watching. People make up so much without any real facts.

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    1. You are wise to be so scrutinising of the footage, Marlene. It skews the thoughts of so many, who are not.
      Wise also to buy refundable tickets. You are so close to leaving now, it feels like it will all go smoothly. Fingers and toes crossed for you.

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      1. Thanks so much for the finger and toe crossing, Amanda. 🙂 If the trip doesn’t happen, at least we were able to spend this time with my son and his wife. We also bought trip insurance, just in case something goes array.

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  16. I know people who don’t want to get the vaccine for various reasons. I don’t call them ‘anti-vaxxers’ because I think that word seems as denigrating as declaring a country is like Nazi Germany!
    Getting the vaccine does not eliminate the possibility that I can get Covid and spread it. I can be vaccinated and potentially endanger others, just as the non-vaccinated can. So, to me, the only reason to get the vaccine is to reduce MY risk of serious disease. Most of the unvaccinated people I know are already at extremely low risk of serious disease by virtue of their age and health… as are the thousands and thousands of kids under 12 who haven’t been vaccinated.
    It is up to me to keep myself safe. It isn’t up to everyone around me to do that.

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    1. Thanks for your input, Margy but my medical background has me convinced there is merit in a virus being transmissable post- vaccination in an immune reactive person. As the severity of illness will almost always be to some extent lower, the capacity to spread should therefore be less. Less coughing, less airborne virus.
      New strains are still a can of worms. Your suggestion that the unvaccinated are not at serious risk does not seem to tie in with our experiences here.

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      1. In our province, the average age of those who died from Covid is 78. Seventy two percent had 3 or more pre-existing health risks consistent with aging. Seniors were the first to be fully immunized (over 90% of them have had both shots and most now have had the booster). Despite this, the number of seniors dying per week is still considerably higher than all other age groups combined. The least vaxxed group are younger than 35. They have, by far, the least hospitalizations, the least ICU admissions and a death case rate of 0 per 100. To me that suggests that there are certainly age groups that are at lower risk and while the vaccine might make these people even safer, it is the elderly who are at highest risk, with or without the vaccine.
        It is hard to say what Australia’s outcomes are or will be. It is like calling the score of the end of the game when you are only in the sixth inning.

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  17. Sorry to be late on to this. I think that blogger misrepresented reporting and picked up on daft internet falsehoods. I haven’t heard a single such report about Australia at any time – yes, stronger restrictions on international travel than here in the UK but other than that there’s been no reporting of draconian measures. Unfortunately there are too many people who blindly believe unofficial internet “reporting” instead of thinking through what they’ve been “told”.

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    1. Indeed, many listen to one video and adopt that message as gospel truth without verifying anything. I am so glad to hear that the tall tales about Australia aren’t so widespread.

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  18. I don’t know what’s more dangerous – ignorance or idiocy. I certainly don’t equate Australia to Nazi Germany! That’s ludicrous at best! I believe your country has handled the COVID-19 pandemic better than the U.S. While the majority of our citizenry has taken the scourge seriously, there is a pocket of lunacy that still views it as a government plot. One of my closest friends – who is currently spending the Thanksgiving holiday with me – feels it is just that. He also considers it from a biblical standpoint, which is an entirely different view. But he says he can’t get vaccinated because of health issues. Even if those weren’t a factor, though, he wouldn’t get vaccinated. That’s a personal choice – one that each individual should be able to make.

    I’m glad Australia is turning the tide on the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. is doing the same, albeit slowly – no thanks to right-wing political ideology!

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    1. I fear that the worst is yet to come for us in Queensland as we have had next to no cases. Once the borders open in 2 weeks, we will get cases as people from down south, stream across the border. There are hundreds of cases in the 2 southern states each day and the international borders are now open. Still we are at least somewhat protected now by vaccination. I will be maximising my outings prior to Dec 17 and minimising them afterwards, for a while at least. All the Xmas socialising will no doubt spread things around more. I hope you and your friend can enjoy the time together despite your difference of opinion.

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  19. I think it is a bit too free here in Australia’s national capital. 97% of Canberrans over 12 years of age are double-vaxxed. However I compromise by wearing a mask indoors even though I am healthily double-vaxxed.
    Making comparisons to Nazi Germany and Pol Pot is totally disgusting and should be condemned without equivocation.

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  20. I haven’t heard anything about Austrailia and I watch the news alot! It sounds like you live in a beautiful county and my friends who have traveled there on vacation, love it!!

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    1. Glad to hear that there are not prolific reports of Aussie life being similar to incarceration, Mya. It is great that we are correcting the record. Even though it stubbornly persists in some people’s minds.

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  21. As a German, I find the analogy preposterous, even repulsive. How can you compare a temporary lock-down with the suffering of people during the NS regime in Germany in the 1930s? This is an insult to anybody who was dispossessed, expelled, enslaved, incarcerated, starved, tortured and killed during that time. Having said that we have similar idiots in Germany at the present moment who see themselves as the “persecuted”. Most notably, a few months back there was an 11-year-old girl who compared herself to Anne Frank because she had to have a scaled down birthday party and the guests who were there against the rules had to be quiet. There is a crude yet appropriate saying in German: I can’t eat as much as I want to vomit when I hear this.
    I feel that besides being an insult to victims of real dictatorship, it is also a case of “crying wolf” – when a real threat to democracy will one day arise people will liken it to the misinterpretation of what is happening today and ignore it.

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    1. The girl comparing herself to Anne Frank must have been unaware of Anne Frank’s real life experience. It is interesting how each subsequent generation feels harder done by when faced with a challenge that the previous generation would not worry about. Are we getting softer with each generation and more whingey?
      I agree with you about the Nazi analagy! Preposterous and nowhere near accurate, Eklastic.

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      1. Naw, she knew or rather her parents knew. She was instrumentalised by them. Anne Frank’s Diary is read in excerpts already pretty early on in German schools. I think we have become soft in this regard because our resilience has not been trained. We’ve had peace in central Europe for 80 years – my father lived through 2 world wars, my mother through one, they have known hyper inflation, economic depression, a pandemic, etc. My generation (at least in Central Europe) has never seen war or any of these events. We had it pretty cushy as a whole, not withstanding individual hardships. If I think of my mother: getting married to a soldier on furlough in 1943 and after a week having to say goodbye and seeing him go back to actual fighting, how horrible that must have been.

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        1. Indeed, Knickers the early 20th century was no walk in the park for those living in it. We are incredibly lucky to be living in this time of relative peace and prosperity in some parts of the world. Yes, we are all a little bit soft now and expectations much higher. Although I do not wish for a reckoning, I wondered love to see more gratitude of what we do have.
          It is worrying that the Anne Frank story can be twisted to have any similarity to a kids birthday party.
          And your Mother – the heartbreak is difficult to imagine. How did she cope?

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          1. To you last question: We think, fine. She never talked about it, though. But we didn’t know about PTSD etc. And as a child, you just accept your parents the way they are. My father was very short tempered and he could get very loud (although I do not remember insults and only generic swearwords, very civilised ones by today’s standard at that). But he could also hold a grudge and not talk for days on end if he was upset. At the time, even as a young woman, I never connected it to anything he might have experienced during the war years but it must have affected him. I also learned very early that people who had had bad experiences talked little about it but other people who’d stayed home and never left our town would brag about their exploits and negate the bad things war and the NS regime brougth about.

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            1. I am conflicted about the parochial rose coloured glasses of the people who never left the village, Knickers. I can see how they lament the positive things about the regime, but negating the bad is something that is a little icky for me to think about. Yet I understand if their world is very skewed by never having travelled to see other perspectives. One thinks that travel might be a good part of a child’s education. My kids were lucky enough for us to afford to take them on trips to countries very different from their own. Not everyone can do this though.
              As for your Mum and veterans, the term battle fatigue was a euphemism for PTSD. I have known many veterans that took to self-medicating with alcohol in an attempt to deal with anxiety or trauma. Such things as war are incomparable and it must have been a very difficult thing to deal with both for the veterans and for those at home. Someone mentioned to me this morning that her own mother never knew where her son was or how he was doing for two years after the war finished. To not have closure or news of a loved one, must be difficult to bare on a daily basis and I admire their tenacity in coping without the modern therapy supports we sometimes have at own disposal.

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  22. It is a matter of perception. The trend is to sensationalise incidents into major news items. In India a minor road accident can be reported as a caste/religious/ economic/political incident. It is not a vehicle hitting another vehicle but …an intolerant Upper caste Hindu driver ramming a Low caste/ Muslim (vice-versa) drivers car as he belongs to a specific political party. Foreign media laps it up, seldom verifying details, as it sells.
    It is not that angels reside in the country but plain facts get mutilated.

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  23. The blogger probably thinks you’re just an apologist for the regime, a sort of holocaust denier if you will. Nothing can convince a person who doesn’t want to be convinced. I’m Aussie too and I haven’t seen any concentration camps where I live. Although… maybe they’re masquerading as wellness centres.

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    1. Masquerading as wellness centres. That is funny. The Nazi reference came completely left of field and unexpected. From, ‘things are crap down under’ to Nazism is quite a leap. Perhaps she might reconsider her comment in retrospect?

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  24. Well stated. As soon as I hear any Nazi Germany comparison I hand my head in disgust and shame because of what the Nazis did to innocent people. I actually hear more comparisons of Soviet Communism. I usually ask several questions: Have you lived in a Communist country? Have you ever talked to anyone who lived in a free society that the Communists took over? For some reason, the answers are “No” followed by a “but” – sorry – not buts because they are excuses.

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    1. Hey thanks for your comment Frank and good point about referencing a political system without any personal experience of it.
      It is heavily judgemental to make assumptions on idle or random information without sound evidence.
      In fact, I just heard that term communist spoken about by a friend in New Zealand, saying that the kiwis all think that their leader is a communist! Some parts of the North Island of NZ have been in lockdown for 100 days…rivalling Melbourne’s record of 110 days. During which time the state leader’s life was threatened, effigies of him burned in the streets and his family intimidated. Behaviour intolerable in a functioning society. More helpful would be to pull together and support each neighbour or friend in any way you can – be it a phone call or message, written letter or ordered delivery. These small measures can support mental health in the community.

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        1. As you say you have some loud people but there are loud and quieter folks in many countries. It can be more of a problem when people listen to those loudmouths.

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