In the last several weeks, Melbourne has introduced shockingly draconian anti-Covid measures, imposed on the metropolis of some 5 million souls. What tragedy was responsible for spurring officials to leap into action? To blame was a fractional uptick in the number of coronavirus deaths – seven to be exact, and all involving citizens above the age of 70 years old.
The media jumped on the "new single-day record in Victoria," which brought the state death toll to 56. I repeat, 56, and the overwhelming majority of those cases involved elderly people in nursing facilities, some of which are under investigation for their handling of patients. While it goes without saying that elderly lives matter, do seven elderly deaths really warrant the shutdown of one of Australia's busiest cities?
Despite the extremely low death rate, Melbourne residents – or shall we call them what they really are, prisoners – must adhere to the following rules:
No traveling more than 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from their homes;
No traveling to other states inside of the country;
Those under house arrest are permitted to leave home for just one hour each day for exercise;
Only one person is permitted to go shopping per family each day; shopping is to be done within 5 kilometers from home;
Unlike traditional prisons, visitations are not permitted to house arrestees;
All school activities are to be conducted online;
All businesses, services and construction cancelled;
Organized sport, forget it;
In the case of funerals, try and delay your demise if at all possible, otherwise, expect just 10 guests;
Ditto for weddings;
Curfew in effect between 8 pm and 5 am.
These restrictions will be in place for (at least) six weeks.