Inside Australia’s Covid internment camp
It all began when a friend of hers tested positive. She recounts how investigators came to her home shortly afterwards, having run the numberplate of her scooter to identify her as a ‘close contact’. They asked if she had done a Covid test, and in the moment she lied and said she had, when she in fact had not yet. This set in train an extraordinary series of events.
“So then the police officers blocked my driveway,” she says. “I walked out and I said, “what’s going on, are you guys testing me for COVID? What’s happening?” They said, “no, you’re getting taken away. And you have no choice. You’re going to Howard Springs. You either come with us now, and we’ll put you in the back of the divvy van. Or you can have a choice to get a ‘COVID cab’… I just said, “I don’t consent to this. I don’t understand why I can’t just self-isolate at home, like a lot of other people are doing.” And they just said, “we’ve just been told from higher up where to take you. And that’s all that there is.”
She was ordered to pack a bag and was told that she could be released once she tested negative. Collected in the back of a rented van, she was then transported to Howard Springs. On arrival, she was told that she would have to stay there for the full 14 days:
You literally get put on the back of a golf buggy with your bags. And these people are in hazmat suits and everything. They don’t want to come near you because they think you’re infectious. And they literally drop you to your room. And they leave you. They don’t come and say anything, they don’t check up, they don’t do anything. You get delivered your meals once a day. And you are just left.
- HAYLEY HODGSON, UNHERDTV