COVID-19 infections are on the rise again in parts of Australia, especially Victoria. But while this is still very far from the much-touted “second wave”, it is risking yet another government panicking and rushing to impose lockdowns again. It’s also exposing the incompetence and double-standards at the top.

Melbourne is dangerously close to a second hard lockdown that may spread way beyond just the six local government areas where the virus is most active.

This is a national problem, not a Victoria-only problem[…]The hit on the sclerotic Australian economy would be significant.

The LGA maps also show that the transmissions are spreading closer to the city and a seventh area – Maribyrnong – is showing worrying signs.

As New Zealand has already learned, government bragging about “eliminating” the virus was hollow and nonsensical. The virus was never going to be eliminated, only managed. So far, they’re not managing nearly as well as they boasted.

Would hard lockdowns in the affected areas, no doubt bringing in the army and all sorts of other measures, be enough to stop the spread?

Or have Victorians pretty much had enough of lockdowns and are ready to take the punt on the killer virus?

There is no doubt that Daniel Andrews will have a difficult time if he needs to put the genie back into the bottle and force people to stay inside.

He would be a fool to try it (which means that it’s definitely on the cards). There is mounting evidence that hard lockdowns do little to manage the virus. Andrews, like Jacinda Ardern, would almost certainly face a popular revolt, as well.

People have just had enough. Especially after the absolute fiasco of governments allowing, or at best nodding and winking at, massive BLM rallies, while sending police to harass beachgoers, park users and fishermen.

His problem will be the many mixed messages that his government has sent.

First with the extent of the lockdown, which took away commonsense as a valuable tool for ordinary people.

Shutting down national parks when people were gathering in their hundreds to exercise around the Botanical Gardens is a classic example of bureaucracy gone nutty[…]

There have been fewer than a handful of infections caused by the Black Lives Matter protest but it has become symbolic of the mixed messaging.

While Andrews did discourage people from attending, the messaging was slow and weak.

Ardern and her government’s messaging was not just weak, it was blatantly insulting to the “team of five million”. Some health experts are now trying to blame everyone other than the BLM marchers for abandoning social distancing protocols, but this is hypocritical finger-wagging. Even if true, why should everyday Aussies and Kiwis keep themselves locked away while leftist governments’ chosen favourites get to have their little festivals of placard-waving, kneeling and fist-shaking?

Ardern painted herself into a corner by boasting about eliminating the virus: from then on she was either committed to keeping border lockdowns in place for the foreseeable future, crippling New Zealand’s economy, or looking like a braggadocious liar when infections inevitably resurged.

Having painted herself into that corner, she backed herself up onto her tippy-toes by playing such obvious favourites with BLM protesters. Like Daniel Andrews in Victoria (with only a slightly larger population than NZ, crammed into a slightly smaller space), Ardern has fumbled and stuffed the response to COVID-19.

Now the infected chickens are coming home to roost.

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Another Labor COVID Stuff Up

Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In last decade or...