Freedom (HLD 31)

22 April 2020

Our state has had its second day of zero new Coronavirus cases in three days. It’s obviously great news for us, and is testament to the community (Costco and Spotlight customers notwithstanding) going along with physical distancing controls.

Now don’t get me wrong – we have quite a few advantages that other places don’t have in this pandemic world. Australia itself is an island (geography home schooling lesson done for the day) (ok the mainland – apologies to Tasmania and Rottnest) and we (more or less) control who comes in. And for Western Australia specifically, well let’s face it, we are a loooong way from anywhere. People don’t just drop in to WA for a day or two on holidays, and we aren’t on the radar for a lot of the rest of the country.

It usually gives us a whiny little brother/underdog type of attitude, but by golly it’s worked well for us during the pandemic! We are more than happy to be a long way away from Australian virus hotspots. And the ability to close off regions within our state gives further constriction to the mobility of this virus.

So – our mobility, our work life, and our ability to go out and enjoy ourselves with family and friends has been controlled, but generally speaking, people are happy enough to be controlled because we can see the logic involved.

Now… America. I apologise to my US friends that we are more than likely receiving a warped view of how some Americans are reacting to the controls similarly being instigated in your country, but…. really???

“Our new normal does not mean we will sacrifice our freedoms for the safety of our country,” is a quote from one US politician, amidst the scenes of protesters hanging out of car windows yelling for other politicians to be locked up for daring to suggest they do what the rest of the world is doing.

It’s almost enough to make me scratch my head, although of course putting hands anywhere near the face is a no no.

The impression I have is that a bunch of Americans are going all “Braveheart”, with the only variation in the “They’ll never take our freedom!” cry is that the blue face paint and a horse are replaced by a car window and a gun toting loudmouth?

My question for today is – while we are all being controlled in some way or another during the pandemic, what restriction concerns you most?

Is it the ability to work and earn the same amount of pay you’d normally earn? Is it the ability to go to a sporting game? To go to a pub? A restaurant or a cafe? The ability to sit by the river or the beach with friends sharing a bottle of wine? The ability to travel – anywhere? The ability to give a hug to someone who needs one (even if it’s actually you who needs one)?

Does it all, actually, just boil down to “your freedom”???? Your ability to make choices?

I have some blue fabric paint, but you’re welcome to borrow it to use on your face if you want.

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