Pandemic panic has engulfed much of the planet.
As a new variant of coronavirus grips the world in fear, lawmakers in many countries seem all too eager to respond once again with the imposition of outsized, draconian measures in their attempt to stop the spread.
In the apt words of fantasy author H.P. Lovecraft: “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”
Fear is currently driving Australia to force its own citizenry into quarantine detention facilities as well as foist vaccine mandates on citizens as a condition of participating in the activities of day-to-day life.
Videos from the Land Down Under depict a dystopian world, where the mere inkling of a COVID-19 infection can get people taken from their homes and put into detention facilities.
An Australian government website reports: “Fully-vaccinated domestic and international arrivals coming to the Northern Territory from a COVID-19 red zone may be permitted to undertake seven days home quarantine.” The operative word being “may.”
Another section of the website says that those who have COVID-19 or are suspected of having it must isolate in their “home if it is suitable” or “another location if needed as decided by your public health authority.” The qualifications that define suitable are unclear.
International arrivals to certain Australian states and people whose houses are deemed unsuitable are out of luck. They “are required to quarantine at the facility closest to [their] entry into the Northern Territory unless otherwise directed.”
While at these detention facilities, they must follow a stringent set of requirements, including:
- Staying in their allocated room, unless permitted to leave by an authorized officer;
- Wearing a face mask when outside their room unless an authorized officer permits them to remove it; and
- Not leaving the quarantine zone in which they are located unless they are escorted by an authorized officer.
Video showing the treatment of the people staying in these facilities is disturbing to say the least.
Australian Hayley Hodgson was placed in a Covid internment camp despite testing negative for the virus
She was confined to a box for 14 days, offered valium when she complained about confinement, and lost her job
"You feel like you're in prison…"https://t.co/VaUoSmgx2T pic.twitter.com/fMs2HS0c5R
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) December 3, 2021
And when three men attempted to leave their internment, they were hunted down like dogs by the Australian police.
Three men have climbed the barbed wire fence to escape the voluntary quarantine camp. pic.twitter.com/YodP776qpd
— I, Hypocrite (@lporiginalg) December 1, 2021
Odious restrictions on interstate travel between various parts of the country continue to be an issue.
Even domestic travelers entering Western Australia must apply for a government pass each time they enter the state and must be fully vaccinated unless they can prove an exemption.
In one sickening case, Australia’s COVID-19 restrictions prevented a grieving family from traveling across a state border to identify their son’s dead body.
Meanwhile, in Australia parents refused permission to cross a state border to identify the body of their 20-year-old son.
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) December 9, 2021
But Australia is not unique in its draconian approach.
Europe finds itself yet again at the center of a wave of new coronavirus infections. The continent is seeing over 2 million new cases per week, and in response, countries have once again begun imposing harsh measures to tamp down on infections. Many such measures, including renewed lockdowns, have previously failed to prevent widespread transmission.
In Belgium, failed virtual learning models are being reintroduced for children in secondary schools, and many indoor events have been banned.
Austria initially announced it would impose lockdowns only on the unvaccinated. Video spread across the internet of Austrian police officers demanding proof of vaccination from people in stores and on the streets, with the threat of fines if the unvaccinated had dared to leave their homes.
Austrian police hunt for The Unvaccinated, who have been confined to their homes and face fines of $1660 for being in public (except when working).
And the human rights industry, the EU, US and much of the int’l left are silent, if not quietly approving. pic.twitter.com/Wc26Eh09EC
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) November 16, 2021
Austria switched from a lockdown of just the unvaccinated to a full lockdown of all citizens before finally correcting course and letting people leave their homes again, only to replace oppressive lockdowns with oppressive vaccine mandates.
As we saw back here in the U.S., lockdowns caused the closure of many businesses, costing many their livelihoods for a public health tradeoff that was highly dubious.
And while Europe has returned to these damaging mitigation measures, America is no stranger to COVID-19 lunacy either.
States and cities across the country have enacted a patchwork of restrictions to try to fight the virus — some more stringent than others, but many offensive to liberty.
Oregon until recently had an outdoor mask mandate, long after the science was settled that the risk of contracting COVID-19 outside was negligible.
The state still has an indoor mask mandate, one of the last in the country, and no clear metrics set to determine when it can be lifted.
Or consider New York City. The Big Apple led the charge in requiring a vaccination to do almost all indoor activities, including dining at restaurants and going to the movies. Starting Dec. 14, those requirements extended to children over the age of 5, meaning it is now practically impossible to live in New York City without being vaccinated.
While these COVID-19 measures are troubling, they pale in comparison to the ongoing, and in many cases, burgeoning restrictions around the globe. There are no COVID-19 detention facilities in Massachusetts, nor is Washington state on lockdown.
Though it may not seem like it, most of America appears to be going in the correct direction. Apart from liberal bastions like New York and San Francisco, much of the country has returned to normal.
Much of the world has succumbed to fear and madness. Americans must resist the call to join in.
Originally published at The Daily Signal.
Douglas Blair is a contributor to The Daily Signal and a graduate of Heritage's Young Leaders Program.