opinion

Dear American protestors, we don't need you to 'save' us.

Dear American protestors,

We couldn't help but notice that on Tuesday you marched through the streets of New York in our name. 

We saw you swarm across the Brooklyn Bridge to our Manhattan consulate. 

We saw you raise signs proclaiming that Aussies are living under "the new world order" of lockdowns, vaccines and vaccine passports.

We saw you waving our flag, and we heard you chanting, "Save Australia! Save Australia! Save Australia!" — a phrase that ended up trending on Twitter.

Firstly, thank you for thinking of us. We mean that. It's been an isolating, insular couple of years battling COVID-19. So the fact that you feel such passion for the 25 million of us tucked away down here is admirable — particularly given the scale of your own struggles.

It's just that we feel your concern would be better directed elsewhere.

Because while you may believe that Australians are victims of tyranny who have had our freedoms cruelly snatched away, the overwhelming majority of us simply don't see it that way. 

We believe that we are making personal sacrifices for the safety of our loved ones and our community.

We believe that masks, vaccines and stay-at-home measures have saved untold numbers of us; not that we need saving from them.

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Watch a thank you to masks. Post continues after video.


Video via Mamamia.

We believe that we're doing what we must in order to prevent COVID-19 from unleashing its full, catastrophic potential on our population. 

Throughout this whole devastating ordeal, we have looked abroad with broken hearts as other countries have recorded daily case numbers in the tens of thousands, as they've buried their dead in mass graves, and as hundreds have waited outside overflowing hospitals desperate for ventilators and beds. 

And we've watched it all knowing that it could easily happen here. 

If it does, then we'll be the ones chanting "save Australia". But for now, you'll notice that all but a tiny few have felt the need.

Listen: The Quicky speaks to an expert epidemiologist to find out when children of all ages will finally be protected against contracting and transmitting COVID-19, and what parents can do in the meantime. Post continues after podcast.


That doesn't mean our various levels of government have always got it right. (In fact, some have made significant mistakes. But don't worry. We have a robust electoral system that will ensure we get to pass judgement on their handling of the pandemic in the coming months and years.)

Nor does it mean we're downplaying the trauma of this crisis. (What our country has endured since early 2020 will be remembered as a devastating, generation-defining event. Families kept apart by border closures, jobs lost to shuttered industries, months of being contained to the streets around our homes, and 1,357 lives taken by a fast-moving, lethal illness.)

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It does, however, mean that we know this is temporary, that we are resilient, and that we will soon return to the relative stability and liberty we enjoyed before. We know that any adjustments we must make — say, wearing masks indoors, or checking in at restaurants — will be minor compared to the genuine oppression faced by millions around the world.

In fact, may we suggest that if you are truly invested in agitating for freedom, you do so for our Indigenous people who, courtesy of generations of institutional disadvantage, are the most incarcerated population on earth. 

Or perhaps you could agitate for the people of Afghanistan who are once again under the genuinely tyrannical rule of the Taliban. 

Or for the women of Texas who, courtesy of a recent court ruling banning abortion ban, actually don't have a choice about what happens to their bodies. 

So, again, thank you for the thought. But you don't need to worry about us, we don't need saving. Promise.

Feature image: Getty + Mamamia. 

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