Snap lockdowns now appear to be the way state governments in Australia will handle any outbreak of COVID-19. 

On the 8th January this year, the Queensland Government locked down the greater Brisbane area for three days, after a hotel quarantine cleaner tested positive to the highly contagious UK strain of coronavirus. Millions of people were inconvenienced, and toilet paper again disappeared from the supermarket shelves.

After three days, the restrictions were lifted, and it appears that Queensland had averted a broader spread of the virus. The hard thing to know is whether the lockdown did the job, or whether Queensland was lucky. Either way, it highlighted the ever-present risk to the community of COVID-19 escaping from hotel quarantine. 

Australia has been able to contain the community transmissions of COVID-19 quite well. Key to this success has been the travel bans and hotel quarantine. But, no state wants to be like Victoria, when COVID-19 escaped from hotel quarantine in July last year and ran through the community, killing 700 people.

This propensity to quickly lockdown has now become the COVID-19 norm for states. Today, the Western Australian Premier locked down the state's southwest region after a hotel quarantine worker tested positive. For the next five days, schools and shops will be closed, and people will again be encouraged to work from home. I am sure the Western Australian Premier hopes he gets as lucky as Queensland.

With a vaccination program yet to start, this lockdown reaction to any small outbreak of COVID-19 is something we will need to live with. I'd better stock up on toilet paper.

Quite the world we live in nowadays, is it not?
2021-01-31 23:21:34