Fed-up, ignorant or just downright stupid, Melbourne may yet earn itself a new moniker as the ‘covidiot state’.
As Victoria reports six more deaths and another 300 new coronavirus cases, the lockdown is bringing out the worse in some its citizens who are making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
From ignoring police checks and refusing to wear masks to travelling across the city for Indian takeaway, Victoria’s covidiots are out in force.
The disorder comes amid confusion over who should be forced to isolate after being tested for the deadly virus.
While fingers are pointed at Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who has been slammed over the past two days for providing mixed messages to the public, Melburnians are doing their bit to destroy any semblance of ‘class’ and ‘cool’ it may have once enjoyed.
Victorians won’t forget how COVID-19 numbers went from practically zero to out-of-control, but the rest of Australia may well.
With Melbourne’s nightlife destroyed, its bars closed, the Fairy Penguins all at sea and it’s sensible people locked sensibly away, Melbourne – and to be fair, all of Victoria – has suddenly become overrun by covidiots.
As stupidity takes hold, soldiers have been deployed to walk the streets of Melbourne to help keep the population in line.
When mask wearing laws went live on Thursday, most Melburnians wisely put them on.
After all, people risk a $200 fine for not complying.
But a few suburbanites not wearing masks while enjoying a breath of fresh air is the least of Victoria’s problems.
It’s hardly arguable that the destruction of Victoria’s economy is the main issue faced by everyone trapped there.
But no-one wants to die, and those living anywhere but the infected metropolitan zones of Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire sure as hell don’t want to die because of them.
Then comes along someone like Eve Black, who has become the poster girl overnight for Melbourne covidiots.
Ms Black shared footage on Thursday of herself driving past an officer at a COVID-19 police barricade.
When a police officer asked her where she was headed and why she was attempting to leave, she simply told him she didn’t need to share that information.
The frustrated officer eventually waved her through as she sped off with a grin on her face.
Former Treasurer Wayne Swan unleashed on the driver for arguing with police, adding she wouldn’t be smiling if she ended up in intensive care unit.
‘It makes me angry watching that, it’s dumb and disrespectful,’ he said on Friday.
Residents living in the locked-down areas are only allowed to leave their homes for four approved reasons – food, exercise, work or study, or medical care.
Those who breach orders will be hit with a $1,652 fine with 262 infringements already given out at checkpoints since July 8.
Since the lockdown was reinstated, more than $1 million in fines have been dished out.
While Ms Black’s disregard for the idea behind the restrictions has earned her the ire of the nation, she is sadly not alone in making bad decisions.
Just the other day frustrated police lashed out at Melburnians for breaking the rules.
Excuses ranged from people supposedly playing Pokémon to ‘KFC runs’ by hungry rebels.
‘We’re finding people in cupboards, we are finding people in garages – please stop,’ Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent pleaded.
Among the lockdown infringements issued was one given to a man who refused to leave a KFC dining room after being told by staff it was closed.
The man insisted on finishing his meal, even when police were called.
Police also found two men in a carpark in Seville.
Asked why they were outside their home, the men told police they were ‘playing Pokémon’.
Both men were issued with fines for breaching Chief Health officer directions.
Annoyed police had no choice but to fine a group of 10 people sitting around an outdoor heater drinking alcohol in Bentleigh – southeast of Melbourne.
The men told police they thought that if they maintained 1.5m distance, they were able to gather in the street.
Police also said several people had been caught out seeking or delivering massages and sex services.
Then there was the case of the ‘Butter Chicken Man’ – Noel Atkinson.
The 48 year old Werribee man – a thriving Melbourne COVID hotspot in the west – drove 32km just for butter chicken.
His journey to Indian restaurant Desi Dhaba last week cost him a $1,652 fine.
The covidiot was compensated with a year’s supply of free butter chicken from the restaurant.
Shoppers desperate to get their hands on an Aldi special buy kids table formed huge lines outside one of the chain’s supermarkets in Epping on Wednesday.
It was the same day Victoria hit a record 484 new COVID-19 cases.
Bargain hunters had been keen to catch the latest round of Aldi ‘special buys’ and were prepared to risk their health to get a popular children’s table and chair set.
One mum hit social media bragging she had been among those to get into the store and purchase the $69.99 table, admitting ‘others’ had not adhered to social distancing rules.
A huge sale at Bonds at the same shopping centre also attracted crowds.
Outside metropolitan Melboutrne, Victorians in the ‘free zones’ of the state none-the-less remain trapped within Victoria.
That hasn’t stopped covidiots trying to escape into other states and territories despite the obvious consequences of doing so – death, not the fines.
Two men were charged on Friday after they sped over the South Australian border from Victoria and sparked a police pursuit which came to an end after officers deployed road spikes.
The pair, aged 25 and 26, were driving separate cars and didn’t stop at a South Australia border checkpoint on the Dukes Highway at Wolseley about 1.30am.
A short pursuit began and back-up patrols and helicopter were called in before one car was stopped by road spikes near the Tailem Bend Hospital. The man in the second car stopped voluntarily.
A bloke named James Bartolo shared footage on Sunday of an altercation he had with police after he was pulled over at a routine checkpoint while travelling in an unregistered Mustang.
He refused to hand over his licence – which police later learned was suspended – and eventually told the officers that they’d pulled him over unlawfully by following ‘dopey Dan’s false legislation’, in reference to the Victorian premier.
Mr Bartolo revealed he did not believe coronavirus was contagious and argued that it was a hoax.
‘Who consented to that?’ Mr Bartolo asked the officers when they attempted to explain what it is they were doing. ‘Go arrest your Freemason scumbag leaders and politicians.’
‘Do your actual jobs rather than harassing innocent people like me. Stop being an embarrassment to society,’ he said.
‘You’ve pulled me over unlawfully and started to claim… that I’ve done something wrong. I’m not the one standing around with weapons and harassing people and pulling them over according to dopey Dan’s false legislation.’
Mr Bartolo went on to begin ranting about the officers’ role in facilitating the COVID-19 lockdown in Victoria.
The cop explained to Mr Bartolo that he would be charged for further offences relating to hindering an officer in performing his job, but then allowed him to leave.
The deadly respiratory infection has killed 109 Australians – and at least 571,000 worldwide – as Victoria grapples with its second outbreak.