It’s day three of a snap five day lockdown in Perth – glory land throughout the Covid19 saga as every other city in the world struggles to keep it under control, people dying in the hundred thousands and everyone wondering when this crap is going to end.
Here, we have been marching along to the orders of Premier Mark McGowan: ruler of the state and upholder of persistent and strict border controls, which disallow entrants into Western Australia without a police approved pass. Perth has remained an outlier; not a single community case of transmission in ten months of mayhem… and Marky McGee is not about to let one single test stuff up his record.
Sunday the 31st of January. Word on the street is spreading quickly; a hotel quarantine security guard has somehow contracted the Rona. Macca acts fast – all of Perth will go into five days of lockdown. People who have absolutely nothing to do with anything anywhere even remotely close to the places this infected man has visited, must shut their lives down. We have to SHUT. IT. DOWN. The super spreader’s housemates are tested…they’re negative. 600 close contacts are informed of the grave danger they have been exposed to, and they’re all tested. They are negative. Mums all over Perth are planning McGowan’s usurpation after six weeks of school holidays is prolonged by another five days of care-for-your-own-children but no parks, no playgrounds, no play dates.
Every single western Australian is compliant. Yes sir, yes sir, how many days should we stay home for, sir? Five days he says. And masks everyone! Don’t forget your mask! DO NOT FORGET YOUR MASK! Also there is no singing allowed, anywhere at any time.
Toilet paper is gone within hours and there is no room for walking in the supermarkets. Masks are compulsory as well as check ins for contact tracing. No mask, no entry. But never mind being pulled up by the Covid marshals – the vitriolic stares from other civilians will pierce your soul and make you feel like an outsider, if there ever was one. We won’t step a foot outside of our limits; we aren’t allowed. Yes sir, yes sir, we’ll march in line to your orders, sir. Unquestioning and unequivocally trusting, the people of western australia stand united against Coronavirus yes, but too, against both the rest of their own country and certainly the world.
Days go by and testing numbers remain stable – negatively stable. Not a single second positive test is reported. The law abiding citizens of Perth are doing all the right things…staying home, doing one session of exercise per day and only going out for “necessities.” The people are exercising their acquiescence; masks are being worn in ridiculous scenarios – people are alone in their vehicle, masked. People are out walking, alone, masked. People are masking their children when it’s not one of the rules to do so. People are utterly compliant and their compliance is unnerving.
The final stages of the snap lockdown creep around. We are waiting and watching for announcements to tell us we can resume our state of incomparable perfection. Unexpectedly, the negative test results keep coming and many presume a false positive from the original germ-man. We wonder what we have endured this stay-home and mask-wear rubbish for. Why have we had to keep our children home, why have the parks been taped in plastic?
Sunday arrives and restrictions are lifted. Kids can go to school on Monday, parents can sigh a breath of relief though many still work from home – wary of being in the workplace with potential microbes hanging about.
Some rules still apply, however. Mr. Premier wasn’t going to let us off so easy…after all he does have a façade to maintain. As we moved further away from the first “positive” case and no further eruptions occurred, the love of his people faltered slightly. There was one man who tattooed Mark’s face on his arm, but he remains the sole idiot to date. We had to continue with the mask wearing, and it became the “strictest in the country.” For one case, guys. ONE. Thousands of people had to have their breathing obstructed by a stupid piece of cotton (if you’re fancy) for two entire weeks, FOR ONE CASE. When leaving the house, babies had to look at half the face of their mother and wonder where the rest went. Confused, bemused and continually grabbing at the thing hiding mummy’s smile, their mothers wondered if kids were experiencing effects for the long term. Maybe not for just two weeks of this annoying directive, but more of this would certainly see it.
At 12:01am on Valentines Day 2021, the mask rules were to be lifted. The Fringe Festival was on, and obtuse regulations were to be adhered to until EXACTLY one minute past midnight. At 9pm the same evening, the people were masked and not allowed to remove the sheath, unless to take a sip of a beverage. Immediately to be replaced, however and with not a moment to lose. The Mask Police were rife, lingering behind those who dared to dwell too long with their drink, or take a desperate sip of fresh unimpeded air. The Mask Law seemed more stupid than ever, when in just a few hours the people would be free to remove the face cover and continue living normally.
And that is precisely what happened. Most of Perth were snoozing when the veil was lifted; not only the mask rule but too the pretense of rampant coronavirus in Perth. The question became clear: what is the true agenda of Premier Mark McGowan? Are his directions those as advised by the Chief Health Officer…or the polling office?