Episode 320 S10-11
Australia Lockdown & Tracking
The Bitter End Ch 11
Ellen Kerr, from the Australian Royal Navy, joins us to discuss the tracking procedures and lockdown specifics in force in Australia today. In The Bitter End adventure, Erika's tracker lights up and TJ is hot on Erika's heels.
Ellen’s state of New South Whales has just endured another 100 days of lockdown. They have reached a seventy percent vaccination rate there. Given the progress, the government has lifted some restrictions for those with evidence of their vaccination status.
Masks are required in all public spaces for anyone over twelve years of age. When at the bar, you wear the mask, take it off to drink, and then put it back over your face. The logic is that viruses know whether you are taking a drink or not. Masks are required even in drive-through food lines.
Australians are now required to check-in at Covid 19 check-in points everywhere they go. When you arrive, you must scan a code with your phone, and then you are logged into that location. The government tells them it’s for Covid tracking, so if there is a positive case, they can track anyone that was there.
Suppose you can cross into another state for work or another essential activity. In that case, there are new rules to follow and new apps to use to check-in. If you don’t have a phone, you must use a sign-in sheet.
All businesses must adhere to the check-in procedures, or the government fines them $10,000 per incident. In addition, the government fines them if they are not following social distancing rules.
If you don’t have an essential reason to cross into another state, you cannot do so. Visiting with family is not an essential reason. If the government catches you traveling without this essential reason, it is a $5,000 fine.
Modified work routines ensure people follow social distancing rules. For example, Ellen works in an office with four desks. The co-workers she works with vary their schedules, so there is only one person in the office at a time.
No non-critical inner state travel is allowed in Australia. Some are opening up to international travel but not cross-regional. The government has kept anyone with jobs that take them across state lines on unemployment. Vacation hotspots in Queensland have all but shut down from the lack of visitors.
The government is allowing some freedoms to the vaxxed. They are allowed to go to the gym or get their hair done, but they must show vaccination IDs issued by the Australian government. Those who can’t produce a card are isolated in their homes and only allowed to use critical infrastructure, like grocery shopping.
Will there ever be a return to normal, and will an Australian citizen even know what that is once all this is said and done? No one knows. The government keeps telling them that they will return their freedoms once they hit the 80% vaxxed mark, but only for those who can show proof of vaccination status.
Four major networks control the news in Australia who don’t dare to question the narrative. Sky News Australia is the only news outlet that digs into the numbers and debates the issues.
When the government convinces you that they provide your freedoms, the government can easily take them away. They do it slowly so that people aren’t too uncomfortable and get used to the new system with less freedom quickly. That becomes normal, and the government can proceed with removing more and more freedoms using this method.
Businesses are adding to the problem. They are being encouraged to hire only vaccinated employees. In Australia, the state and the federal governments have not required it yet. However, tradespeople and service providers may not be allowed into homes or businesses if they are not vaccinated.
Overall, there has not been a major change in infection rates, despite the population’s dedication to vaccinating. The government and news media are blaming the new “Delta” variant for this continued infection rate. How long will new strains pop up to give governments more excuses to remove the people’s freedoms? The makers of the vaccinations did not make them to keep you from getting infected. The vaccinations help the body fight the infections. Vaccinated individuals can still get and transmit the disease.
The government is allowing citizens of New South Whales to travel internationally as of November 1st. To do so, the traveler must have a negative Covid test within seventy-two hours of traveling. Then, they must make sure that the airports they are arriving at don’t have vaccine passports and quarantine measures. When the traveler returns home, they have to have another test and self-isolate for seven days.
The Changing Earth Series
Born in 1980 in Australia, Ellen Louis Kerr, has been married for 16 years to her wonderful spouse, Brian. They have two daughters Miriam and Emma. Plus, 2 spoiled cats, 2 ducks, 1 budgie and two lizards. (What is a budgie you ask? A budgie is a native Australian Bird short for budgerigar. They are a popular pet in Australia.)
Ellen joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2003 and served for fourteen years. She has earned the rank of Leading Seaman and is an Electronic Warfare Director at sea. When she's on the shore she works in the field of electronic intelligence. Ellen was deployed to the Persian Gulf in 2005 as part of the allied task force on board HMAS Darwin for which she is now recognized as a veteran. She has also deployed to and took part in numerous exercises in New Zealand, Hawaii and South East Asia.
In her spare time she practices Hapkido and works on staying prepared for whatever may come our way. Ellen enjoys camping, fishing, shooting and four wheeling. She loves SIFI and end of the world genre material. Her favorite TV show is Firefly. She loves her ducks and motorbikes.