The writer is in Australia
THE Howard Springs quarantine facility in Darwin for Australians returning from overseas has been called many things. The Government has styled it, without intended irony, the ‘Centre for National Resilience’ and ‘gold standard’. The more accurate description is ‘mandatory supervised quarantine’. In other words, we do not trust returning countrymen who have probably paid a fortune to airlines to get back here to act honourably and self-quarantine at a place of their choosing. Others have not been so kind in their descriptions of the Howard Springs facility, as fresh stories emerge of cruel treatment to ‘in-mates’ who don’t behave.
The reports of ill-treatment in Australian quarantine facilities are not new. Many of us enjoyed Katie Hopkins’s recent take on the new Aussie approach to hospitality for visitors. Not including various government ministers who kicked her out of the country, it must be noted. (I believe she is currently prospering in Florida where the treatment of a Covid recalcitrant is a little more humane than in these penal colonies of the twenty-first century).
There were the appalling accounts from the Melbourne quarantine fiasco of 2020, which resulted in a commission of inquiry but, alas, no punishment for the political and bureaucratic perpetrators. (The inquiry has been described as a ‘whitewash’). This was because no one in government actually admitted to having made the decision to employ private contractors to provide security for the hotel quarantine system, and the commission couldn’t prove who made the decision. Mates of the infamous Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, were given the contract, and were later found to be having sex with inmates, among a range of issues that included breaches of security and the absence of proper training.
The 700-plus people who died with Covid during the 2020 winter in Melbourne still account for the vast majority of Australian deaths overall attributed to Covid. That was last year. This year, despite the current spike in New South Wales, deaths remain lower and are predominantly in those aged over eighty. Stringent quarantine conditions remain in place while frightful stories of conditions in quarantine hotels are spread via social media.
One ‘inmate’ described his experience for cairnsnews.org ‘No air, no leaving the room for 338 hours, the second time in my 11 days here someone has totally smashed up their room, babies crying. I think this guy thought he was leaving today when he is actually leaving at 11.59 pm tonight. You go crazy being all alone. Is this really necessary? I myself had 9 negative tests before being denied quarantine at home and I am vaccinated. Why? What is the price of Victorians’ mental health? does anyone actually care? This guy is threatened to be gassed by authorities if he doesn’t calm down.’
Another commented about Howard Springs on Twitter.
‘Howard Springs CV Quarantine Camp in Australia for all the “dangerous” people to society. Reports now surfacing of inmates (that’s not a mistake) not being fed if they breach minor rules. Let me ask you. Does this remind you of any part of our history? Can you see it yet?’
‘I’m afraid this is an internment camp and if you can’t see otherwise you are doomed. There was a 33-year-old woman who packed her bags, walked to the fence, threw her luggage over, climbed the barrier and walked away, as stunned people filmed her on their cellphones. Police caught her 15 minutes later and she was fined nearly $4,000.’
It is extremely difficult to get to the bottom of these reports, given that the corporate media and the public broadcaster never publish such stories or investigate accusations of ill-treatment that could be seen to subvert the official Covid narrative. Nor, of course, do you ever find any of these accounts on a search engine that so efficiently silences dissent. What one can do is ask whether the stories about quarantine facilities are plausible given what else we know. And we know a lot. We know that:
· Police have been firing rubber bullets at demonstrators on the streets of Melbourne, and using pepper spray;
· The Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton has announced that two separate Covid commands have been set up with operations extending until at least the end of 2022 and possibly indefinitely;
· Victoria is building a designated quarantine facility, as is Queensland (a 1,000-bed facility at the delightfully titled ‘Wellcamp’ airport west of Brisbane);
· Residents at Sydney’s apartment blocks locked-down by NSW Health are having their alcohol deliveries policed as part of a policy to limit the number of drinks being consumed each day, that is six beers orequivalent amounts of wine and spirits with any excess alcohol being confiscated;
· Curfews have been used to lock people in their homes after 9 pm in both Melbourne and Sydney;
· Activists such as Monica Smit of Reignite Democracy Australia have been arrested and jailed for organising protests;
· Schoolchildren in Sydney have been ‘ushered’ into police-secured stadiums to be vaccinated following pressure on them related to their forthcoming Higher School Certificate exams;
· Massive fines are being issued for non-compliance with a range of public health orders;
· The NSW Government is sacking its own teachers for not taking the jab, in a State where the Premier has said that ‘for those of you who choose not to be vaccinated, that’s your choice, but don’t expect to do everything that vaccinated people do even when we hit 80 per cent [double vaccinated]’;
· Armed guards and the army have secured lockdown buildings in suburban Sydney;
· Under the newly released NSW ‘Roadmap’ out of lockdowns, the unvaccinated will not be allowed to visit the vaccinated.
Given all these flagrant breaches of human rights and democratic process, why wouldn’t you believe the stories emerging from quarantine facilities? In view of what our thug-police are willing to be seen doing in public, nothing should surprise us about what they get up to behind locked doors. I find these reports totally plausible.
It is all very well for corporate media darlings like Claire Lehman of Quillette to mock those in Australia and the United States who fear for our future and who (perfectly reasonably) compare us here to totalitarian regimes with armed camps, and accuse them of hyperbole. In her view we remain ‘a nation that still retains civic pride and community spirit’. The real story in our cowed suburbs, ghost towns, miserable apartment towers where the locked-up are going quietly, or noisily, insane, and clearly brutal quarantine camps, indicate a very different nation to that imagined by Lehman. I assume she regards these developments as a price worth paying for a low Covid death rate compared to other (Northern Hemisphere) countries. An outcome, incidentally, which has nothing to do with our extreme non-medical interventions. Perhaps she is unaware of the impressive international literature on the medical uselessness of lockdowns, and of the various explanations of Australia’s low Covid death rate.
The conduct of the political class has been akin to domestic violence and abuse. It has all the hallmarks and tactics of abusive behaviour, with the induced fear of the abused merely the most obvious sign it is happening. This has occasioned in Australia a warp-speed decline in civil life, where, according to Daniel Andrews, ‘only the vaccinated will be able to participate in the economy of the future’. What is seemingly going on behind locked quarantine doors is all of a piece with a police state that is out of control.
Destroying our dignity in order to keep us safe.