It’s almost like it never happened.
Back in 2019, many of us couldn’t imagine that the world could stop working or that a country like Australia could shut its borders and seal itself shut. And now, a year to the day after these restrictions were lifted and international borders here were finally reopened, it’s hard to believe that any of this ever happened.
Were we really able to do that? Did we really shut down the whole country, not just the borders with other countries but also the state borders?
After a year, life seems so normal, like we just stayed calm and kept going the whole time. Most of the time, things are the same as they used to be, or we’ve gotten used to the changes and try not to think about them too much.
But we did close our borders. We did put in place strict quarantine rules that lasted for about a year and a half. We really did keep everyone out of Australia. We did keep Australians from going home. Even those who were here couldn’t leave because of us.
So, now that it’s been a year since the reopening, it’s a good time to think about how we feel about it, how we’ve changed as travellers, what we’ve gotten used to, and what will always bother us.
Let’s start with the second one, which is keeping Australians out of their own country. During the pandemic, it was a hard lesson to learn that when things go wrong, your government will hang you out to dry. The people in your country will hang you out to dry.