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    The AtlanticConor Friedersdorf9/2/218 min
    22 reads14 comments
    9.0
    The Atlantic
    22 reads
    9.0
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    • coljac3 weeks ago

      I'm in Melbourne. This article is accurate, but there's some nuance missing. Yes, we have a long and awful lockdown, even with a curfew - it's pretty crazy and very, very hard to live with. However - and this is key - there is still very broad support for the lockdown measures. That's coming to an end, as the article points out 'indefinite' restrictions on liberty are not sustainable or compatible with a free society. We now have a roadmap out of lockdown. But I do think a strict lockdown with a solid rationale and popular support is a very different proposition to, say, an unpopular government banning protests for political reasons.

    • sjwoo
      Scout
      1 month ago

      I don't understand...if Australia is forbidding its citizens to leave and come back, I can see the reason. But if an Australian citizen wishes to leave and NOT come back...i.e., they promise never to return to Australia -- why is that a problem for the country? I'd think they'd actually favor that, since that would mean less people to have to oversee/quarantine?

    • Florian
      Reading streak
      1 month ago

      My wife and I are preparing to leave the country if things don’t change in the next 12 months. We don’t feel safe to raise our kids in a police state where the military is deployed to enforce Orwellian rules and police use pepper spray against teenagers

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScout
        1 month ago

        This was very frightening to read. My heart is with you, Florian. If there is any way I can help, please let me know. (New Mexico, USA is a wonderful place to re-locate — and you know that you and your family can always crash on my couches and floor ;) — but we are also in the midst of a backslide in personal freedom here too. Nowhere near what’s happening in Australia though.)

        I haven’t been getting much sleep these last few nights. And last night was particularly rough. (A large, outdoor public art festival — the Paseo Project — was just canceled, and for some reason it hit me really hard. I had been looking forward to it for months.) I don’t like the way the world is heading. And my anxiety/stress tends to spiral when I feel a sense of shame that I’m not speaking my true feelings out loud, especially because I know that others are suffering way more than me.

        Stay strong. Stay positive. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out to me directly.

        • Florian
          Reading streak
          1 month ago

          Thanks Bill. I really appreciate it. The United States are on our radar but for now we’re holding up the fort here. Let’s catch up on a call though! It’s been a while

    • justinzealand1 month ago

      I travel frequently to Ukraine for work. Unfortunately, that also meant during the pandemic. They had an app that behaved exactly as this article describes. At first it was only in Ukrainian, so imagine a Westerner trying to face scan oneself, etc. It was creepy and inconvenient. However, it did allow me entry before vaccines, and once my covid test done at the airport cleared, and within 24 hours, I was free to work. It meant an extra day of travel, but it enabled me to work in their country. This was a reasonable tradeoff and I felt generally safer doing so. What I find off in this article is that Australia is only now doing this when Ukraine has since abandoned the app for vaccinated people, and they call it revolutionary? Hardly.

      • Alexa
        Scout
        1 month ago

        I remember reading some hot take super early on in the pandemic about Hong Kong having a similar app or maybe it was just a tracker bracelet and phone calls, some first person narrative about it. I read that and was just like ok sure it's HK...

        I wonder if there's a roundup anywhere of all the different ways countries are tackling the pandemic bits, with traveling or quarantining etc etc. Curiosity is piqued lol. Interesting insight you have about Ukraine's early attempts vs what Aus is doing now.

    • Alexa
      Scout
      1 month ago

      WOW. ok then. time to hit up my aussie friends and get the first hand scoop. i knew they were tight but i hadn't really thought about the fact that a year + in they are in this kind of situation. WILD

    • thorgalle
      ScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      It sounds terrifyingly restricted, especially when other countries are adopting more predictable travel regulations (like the EU now), after having suffered harder blows. Living internationally away from family, I know I’d feel trapped. The Orwellian phone app just blew my mind. It’s actually Orwellian: reminds me of the 1984 scene where the TV finally catches the protagonists and the thought police comes.

      1. Update (9/8/2021):

        This article originally failed to specify that South Australia's quarantine app will be required only of people quarantining at home, not those quarantining in hotels.

        The Orwellian app treatment would be something one can buy off by staying in a hotel. Quoting an Australian friend I contacted about this "those entering the country have to do a compulsory 2 week hotel quarantine at their own expense. And there are only so many designated quarantine hotels which limits the amount of people who can enter the country. I believe there is a long wait list. That is why they say there are Australians stranded overseas because they are waiting for a spot or can't afford it. It's about $3000 each for the two weeks accommodation." With those options, I might also choose to be temporarily subjected to the app 🤯

    • marius1 month ago

      In 2013/14, Christian, a good friend and travel mate of mine, and I travelled and worked in Australia for a couple of months. We loved the country, we loved the nature, we loved the people, we loved the cities. When our stay came to an end, we filed our tax return. We had to choose whether we will or will not return to Australia for work purpose in the future. I crossed “No”. At that time, I did it to avoid further bureaucracy. I questioned my "cross" at that time, as I was pretty certain that I will return and one day move to Australia.

      Today, I'm asking myself: what went wrong in Australia? One of the (previously) most liberal countries became totalitarian. Citizens are stranded abroad, citizens are not allowed to leave the country (not even intrastate travel is allowed), not allowed to leave the house. South Australia is even working on an Orwellian app to monitor its citizens.

      So totalitarian that I know, at that time I crossed the right answer: I'll never return to Australia for work.

      However, I wish it were not like that. I hope that Australians will wake up and stand up against their completely totalitarian dictatorship. By doing so, you show me (and the world) that Australian people still stand for freedom and liberal values.

      By the way - if you like my commentary, please follow me here on Readup. Or Twitter or Telegram

      • thorgalle
        ScoutScribe
        1 month ago

        Great scout! I heard some stories about not being able to enter Australia anymore, but didn’t know it was this far gone now.

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScout
        1 month ago

        Keep it up, Marius. I always appreciate hearing what you have to say.

    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScout
      1 month ago

      ‼️

    • Pegeen
      Reading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      A very slippery slope that we are all potentially facing.