Melbourne’s stage four lockdown paired with its strong police enforcement has been described as one of the strictest and longest-running coronavirus lockdowns in the western world. Melbourne after six weeks of stage four with its standout feature a nightly curfew and not allowed outside 5km from your home will continue for another six weeks with only minor tweaks.
Melbourne’s stage four lockdown saw the city make international headlines, but for all the wrong reasons. British Commentator Katie Hopkins when describing Melbourne’s lockdown to her global Parler following warned that other governments may be inspired to follow the Melbourne model.
It would appear that Hopkins’ native Britain is softening its citizens up for a second lockdown as the Northern Hemisphere’s summer ends and the cold season begins. Today in England what is termed the ‘rule of six‘ comes into effect where private indoor and outdoor gathering limits are being reduced from 30 to 6.
The justifications for the tightening of these gathering limits is because daily new case numbers are now over 3,000 when they had been averaging around 1,000 per day. The deaths in the UK attributed to the coronavirus this year stands at 41,628 out of a country with a population of 68 million.
It was back in late June when the second lockdown softening began for UK citizens. The city of Leicester in the English midlands was the first city to go back into a second lockdown and was the first locally targeted lockdown on June 30.
On July 24th a face-covering mandate was introduced in indoor shops and public spaces, the penalty for non-compliance was set at £100. On July 31st Boris Johnson announced that they would be delaying the further easing of restrictions.
On July 30th Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire went back into lockdown with people banned from meeting others from different households. The lockdowns were eased on September 2 with households allowed to meet one other nominated household in a support bubble.
The city of Bolton on September 8 took the step of closing all pubs and restaurants restricting them to take away and forcing them all to shut from 10pm to 5am. Health Secretary Matt Hancock and the British Government are reportedly considering implementing an England wide curfew during those same hours.
The British would have been watching the operation of Melbourne’s curfew this past six weeks and see a largely compliant populace and the local police force crushing all dissent. The correlation of the curfew with declining daily case numbers (even though Melbourne’s curfew has no medical basis) would make the UK authorities see it as a model to emulate.
The heavy police enforcement of Victoria’s second lockdown has alarmed and concerned many but during the UK’s first lockdown British police were equally overzealous and intrusive in enforcing lockdown. They would patrol apartment complexes to check social distancing, telling people off for being out in their front yards and their government snitch lines received hundreds of thousands of tip-offs. Plus UK police were arresting and charging people for social media posts many years before Victoria Police started recently.
While Melbourne has drones and helicopters to monitor citizens after curfew the UK is deploying Covid-secure marshals to patrol city centers and towns to observe that social distancing and proper hygiene is taking place. These marshals do not have enforcement powers but can alert the police to any breaches of restrictions. In West Yorkshire, these covid marshals are called street rangers.
If the UK is following the Melbourne Model back into lockdown then fears in the UK that Christmas will be cancelled are well founded. The coronavirus pandemic did not hit the western world until March this after the Northern Hemisphere winter. In December the UK will be in the midst of the cold and snow of winter where flu like viruses thrive.
The UK Government in its messaging has followed the Dan Andrews nanny state lecturing and hectoring public messaging. Blaming the young for socializing too much and not taking the virus seriously and threatening further lockdowns to make the populace follow the rules.
The second lockdown will have the same mental and economic devastation that Melbourne’s second lockdown has had and is still having. After experiencing the joy of reopening and the freedom to leave your home thinking that pandemic induced lockdowns were a thing of the past, going back into lockdown the psychological demoralization is severe.
The UK is pursuing the Melbourne model back into lockdown despite there being only five coronavirus related deaths this past month. But the Melbourne model of lockdown is always based upon the fear that cases could soon spiral out of control and the healthcare system becoming overwhelmed. The fear of what if this gets worse not what is actually happening in the present.
It appears that despite the increased skepticism of lockdowns in response to pandemics including from modeling and medical experts that they do more harm than good through their economic and human cost governments and those running health departments are prepared to yo-yo their citizens in and out of lockdown. They claim the only solution to the pandemic is either elimination of the virus or a vaccine.