‘Hermit nation’: World’s astonishment at Australia’s response to COVID-19

The NYT has oversimplified, as one would expect.  It was only the State of Victoria that had severe lockdowns and a significant death toll (819).  In my home State of Queensland deaths were negligible (6) and there were few everyday restrictions.  I live my life pretty much as I ever did

Even in Victoria however there is a huge contrast with Europe and the USA in the death rate.  Deaths in Victoria seem to have ceased now in fact. As I read of the huge difficulties elsewhere in the world, I feel I am living in an oasis of civilization

The world is flabbergasted by Australia's response to COVID-19, but one major newspaper reckons strict rules have turned us into a “hermit nation”.

Articles published internationally over the weekend highlighted Australia's monumental success, reporting that Saturday was the first day of no community transmission cases of virus in 145 days.

The New York Times ran a piece saying Australians now embrace the isolation they tried to escape for so long, but that our rules are so strict they’ve essentially turned us into a “hermit nation”.

The author wrote that our rules were so strict they “seem like something out of China or North Korea”.

“The virus has turned this outgoing nation into a hermit. Australia’s borders are closed, internationally and between several states.” the author wrote.

“Rather than chafing against isolation, though, Australians these days are more willing to smile in the mirror. Island living looks like a privilege when the world is pestilent. “

American current events opinion website Business Insider said we had an advantage over most countries from the start.

“It’s an island with relatively low population density,” they wrote. “But its rules were still far stricter than in many other countries.”

With Victoria reporting another day of zero cases on Sunday, it appears the state is on track to easing restrictions this coming weekend.

More rules are set to be scrapped on November 8, including the 25km travel radius for Melburnians, and now it has been revealed that even more restrictions could be eased than previously thought.

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said on Sunday that some of the rules around gatherings could also be changed on November 8.

“We can always make consideration of what the caps might be in certain settings, what the density quotients might be and some of the specific industries that might come on board in terms of being able to operate,” he said.

Australia’s success comes amid sharp rises across the rest of the globe.

The US reported 99,321 new Covid-19 cases today – the highest single day number of cases recorded for any country to date. It marks an alarming jump of almost 11,000 more cases compared to yesterday.

Meanwhile the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a national lockdown after passing one million coronavirus cases, and France is recording around 50,000 new cases daily.


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