A Legacy of Lunacy
The words of politicians are empty. It is their actions that tell the real story. We are now living with a legacy of policy cowardice.
The absurdity of pandemic restrictions are still with us.
This time it isn't the fault of power hungry Premiers with their privacy busting QR codes and lockdown panic. Nor is it their insane vaccine mandates given the jabs do not prevent transmission or contagion of the virus.
No, the greatest absurdity is thanks to a January 2021 edict of the Federal government.
Here's what the e-ticket advice says about plane travel in Australia
Passenger Alert – Masks Compulsory for Travel
The Federal Government mandated the wearing of face masks on all domestic flights from January 8, 2021.
Masks are also mandatory in all airports within Australia and must be worn before entering the terminal.
I've been catching a domestic commuter flight every week for the past few months and have experienced first hand the ridiculousness of the current regulations.
Before I get into that though, it's important to point out that the masks do next to nothing to prevent transmission of COVID. Study after study shows that which explains why most states have abandoned mask mandates.
That means we can catch a taxi, an Uber or a bus to the airport, stop at a store along the way and enjoy a coffee on airport grounds all without a mask.
Yet somehow, when we enter the terminal, the law mandates we cover up.
This makes no sense at all but the real absurdity is how the law is enforced.
Last week, I saw an Aboriginal lady enter the airport maskless. She walked past multiple Federal police who did nothing to stop her.
These same officers then asked a young man entering in the same group to pull his mask up to cover his nose. Others were let through with masks around their neck.
There was no rationale why some were stopped and others allowed through.
Whilst in the airport, it's okay to remove your mask for the purposes of eating and drinking. This is common sense but there is no actual requirement that you are actually eating or drinking to do so.
A nice policeman explained that to me whilst I was standing maskless with my empty coffee cup on a window ledge. As I was at the very end of the terminal he must have been directed to me via CCTV as i appeared to be his only reason to visit the area.
"You have to have the cup in your hands" he told me.
Being an obedient type, I picked up the empty cup and said, "no problem, I'll hold it until I put it in the bin".
Thus, grasping an empty cardboard cup, I was free to be facially naked in the airport. I've since employed the empty carry rule to enjoy maskless roaming whenever I choose.
When it comes time to board the plane, the farce continues. Masks are required while boarding when they can again be removed to eat and drink within the aircraft.
A cup of water can be nursed the entire flight to remain facially free.
According to these 'rules', the dreaded virus is a very selective attacker. It's not a danger in your local delicatessen but is a potential killer at the airport gate.
It reminds me that no matter what politicians say, it's what they do that matters.
Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison kept saying he was opposed to mandates.
Yet, his government imposed one in January 2021 and it remains in force today.
Perhaps he was just 'following the science'. If that's the case the science of COVID seems to vary from country to country as much as it does State to State.
Here's an example of what US airlines told their passengers earlier this year.
"Face masks will no longer be required for our customers and team members at U.S. airports and on domestic flights."
Morrison and his government could have followed their lead and repealed the airport mask mandate at any time. It could be more than justified as the ineffectiveness of the masks has become clear to all rational thinkers.
But no, Morrison's words and lack of action suggest he was just against mandates imposed by State Premiers.
A cynic might even think he was just looking for some political gain by mouthing words he thought some might like to hear.
That's why it now appears we are stuck with a ridiculous and ineffective law that is selectively enforced and easily avoided.
Like so many COVID related decisions, it makes one wonder why it's in place at all.