Inside an Australian COVID Internment Camp, a Dystopian Hell Awaits

(Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)

COVID has revealed a lot over the last year and a half, but no country has been exposed more for its underlying culture of tyranny than Australia. Formerly a beacon of freedom, community, and beautiful landscapes, the land down under has morphed into a dystopian hellscape where the government blesses its residents with an hour of free time a day. The former prison colony has reverted to its roots.


Nowhere is that more apparent than in the COVID internment camps now operating in Australia. Travelers, both foreign and domestic are forced into one of the various metal buildings to serve out their 14-day sentence. There, they remain “quarantined,” only to be delivered food by faceless operatives in full protective gear.

This per The New York Times.

HOWARD SPRINGS, Australia — On Day 8 of my two-week stay at Australia’s only remote, dedicated facility for Covid quarantine, I called my 11-year-old daughter at home in Sydney to ask how her day at school had gone. All I heard was a long pause.

“Dad,” she said. “It’s Saturday.”

I looked out the window as if my confusion could be cleared by the brown all around me — the single-story metal lodging, the pathways, the bags of food that had just been dropped off by workers in face shields. It was not yet 5 p.m. and they were delivering dinner?

Such is life in a former mining camp near the northern tip of the country, in a place called Howard Springs — a temporary home for hundreds of domestic and international travelers being forced to wait around long enough to prove they’re Covid-free.

Australia has given these camps the Orwellian name of “centers for national resilience,” a turn of phrase that would be more at home in North Korea or China. And more are being built to pursue the goal of so-called “COVID zero,” though, the government has recently begun to admit that may not be possible.


The supposed collective good is the excuse used to justify such drastic violations of individual rights. Yet, the lack of science behind the idea is palpable. Given the efficacy of current tests and the known incubation period of the virus, what is the basis for needing to keep someone locked away by force for 14 straight days? The Australian government, and perhaps many of the people who live there, take a “better safe than sorry” approach, though.

The question is how long do they expect to keep this up? The internment camp strategy appears to be long-term, but are they just postponing the inevitable? It’s also worth noting that the strategy doesn’t appear to be working.

To be fair, the pushback has already started. Numerous scenes of civil disobedience have been chronicled, and a trucker-driver strike (partially caused by a backlash to COVID mitigation that has harmed the work environment) has left grocery store shelves bare.

But nothing seems to be phasing the Aussie government, including the state governments that are facilitating much of the mitigation. They have charted a path of total control and appear to have no intention of letting go of that power. Only a sustained campaign of the public fighting back, including at the ballot box, can turn this around.


In the meantime, the nightmare continues for many, though, the average Aussie is loathed to admit just how upset they are by what’s happening to them. Many nations have gone down this path in the past for various reasons. It never ends with anything except an all-powerful government doing whatever it can to maintain control. The time to change course is now before it’s too late.

As for those in the United States, let this be an example of what to never allow in your own country.


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