Cafes have been shuttered, schools closed and the UK is now preparing for the prospect of months at home. And it could soon happen here, writes Stephen Drill.
Cafes have been shuttered, schools closed and the UK is now preparing for the prospect of months at home. And it could soon happen here, writes Stephen Drill.

Opinion: Get ready Australia, a UK-style lockdown is coming

Australia is tied to the tracks, waiting for the coronavirus train to run it over.

Life in the UK under the polite British lockdown is heading your way.

The numbers of cases you are reading each day in this newspaper are significantly underestimated based on the experience in the UK.

Too few tests and mild or no symptoms make it almost impossible to track - it is inevitable that similar measures will be put in place Down Under.

The UKs bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes have closed as the coronavirus continues to spread. Picture: Getty Images
The UKs bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes have closed as the coronavirus continues to spread. Picture: Getty Images

Last drinks were called at pubs in the UK on Friday night local time, but teenagers at the local park didn't seem to mind as they celebrated the closure of schools, most likely until September.

They were having a coronavirus party, smoking marijuana, listening to grime artist Stormzy on portable speakers and drinking vodka from the bottle.

They did have a pourer on it (they get points for organisation), so it was slightly less unhygienic, but not up to the hospital standard masks and gowns being used to stop the deadly virus.

Now we're getting ready for months of working from home, for those lucky enough to keep a job.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been desperately trying to get people to stay home voluntarily to avoid ugly scenes like those in France where people are being arrested.

They also want to stop the coffins being taken out in army trucks like in Italy, which has become so dire, apocalyptic does not seem a strong enough word to describe the carnage.

 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been desperately trying to get people to stay home voluntarily. Picture: Getty Images
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been desperately trying to get people to stay home voluntarily. Picture: Getty Images

The week started with a plea to stay away from pubs and cafes, but the nudge did not work.

Cafes were still busy, and some of the pubs barflys would not let go.

Now the temptation to get a coffee or a cheeky pint is gone.

But it may also bring an end to food stockpiling. The only place left to go is the supermarket and that now looks like an exciting outing given our options for the months ahead.

The UK health authorities have been spruiking a "game changing" test that checks if people have already had the virus and now have some immunity.

I'm clinging to the hope that works and can be done within weeks, not months.

Stephen.drill@news.com.au

Originally published as Get ready Australia, a UK-style lockdown is coming


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