I am not sure how you feel about the current policy that dictates Australia’s borders will remain closed until at least the middle of next year.
One can present many arguments for such a policy, but there are many arguments against it.
Certainly, Australia has done very well in eradicating such a potentially dangerous and invasive virus. Nobody can argue against that. However, life for all of us involves a lot more than avoiding viruses, and charting a path forward, whilst challenging, must cater to a wider spectrum of needs.
Can we be skeptical, or even cynical about the motivations for such a policy. I do try to avoid cynicism because it never adds much value, but skepticism provides an opportunity for curiosity, exploration, and the investigation of alternative perspectives.
It is true that keeping the borders tightly closed will most probably keep the virus out of Australia. I accept that.
But, if I am to believe all that is being told to me, vaccination should at least keep it at bay, if not eradicate it. The fervor of the vaccine promotion convinces me that this must be true. Otherwise, why would we be promoting it so heavily and spending so much money on it?
It is also true that we could, as a country, move very quickly to establish significant, remotely located quarantine hubs using portable accommodation units similar to those in mining camps. We have the skills and capacity in Australia to do that very quickly.
By opening such facilities, we could open the borders to international students once again. They could study whilst in quarantine and then return to the larger cities to resume their studies and fill the vital casual employment positions that currently sit hopelessly vacant.
We could also do much better with Hotel Quarantine. I have spoken at length with colleagues in Portugal who have partnered with German engineers to devise a way of placing ultra violet light into industrial air conditioning systems to eliminate all traces of viruses flowing through the hotel atmosphere.
But it feels to me that there is a lack of will to do any of these things. We cannot claim that it is unaffordable as the recent federal budget indicated that Australia’s wealth continues to skyrocket to new heights.
So, my attention turns to the Politics of elections. We saw Mark McGowan in Western Australia positively eliminate his opposition be playing the “West against everyone else” card, closing borders at will and locking the rest of the country out, separating people from their families for most of 2020, under the guise of protecting his state from Corona Virus.
Perhaps part of that is true, but there were always alternatives. McGowan knew there is a base line attitude in WA that sees the rest of Australia as being “foreign” to WA. He seduced that vote in a way that very few have.
I have written before that I believe there is still a powerful underbelly of racism and cultural superiority here in Australia. We saw John Howard tap into it with the “Children Overboard” campaign that won him an election from a most precarious position during the campaign.
I cannot help thinking that we are seeing the same thinking playing out behind a smokescreen of “covid caution”. Closing our borders to the outside world appeals deeply to the minds of those culturally superior Australians that look down their collective noses at our overseas neighbors, especially those from Asia, India, and the Middle East.
If this is true, then we have a problem. Because whilst all the official rhetoric is about diversity and inclusion, our ruling Government, behind closed doors, is celebrating racism. Could that really be the case? I sincerely hope not. But the skeptic in me thinks otherwise.
What do you think?