TikTok of everyday life in Covid-free Sydney draws envy from Americans


A TikTok user’s videos of everyday life in coronavirus-free Sydney is drawing envy from other countries including the United States where authorities continue to grapple with rising Covid-19.

TikTok user @danawang shared two compilation videos showing life in Sydney’s central business district (CBD), where life appears to have returned much to normal after the city eliminated community transmissions of coronavirus.

In the videos, scenes of people walking outside mask-free on busy streets are a reminder of what life was once like in a world undefined by Covid-19.  

Captioned “What life is like with zero locally acquired COVID cases”, one of the videos has so far received more than 895,000 likes. 

The footage was captured on 8 December, with the TikTok user writing: “Everyone is returning back to work. In fact, the state government encourages returning to offices from 14 December.”

The posted also noted that students were also back in school, while border restrictions have been lifted within the country.

Other footage shows commuters walking down the stairs at Wynard Station, as well as eating in the Pitt Street food court. 

Some people continue to wear masks. However, most appear to be going about their daily lives without the face coverings. 

The videos show how effective Australia’s response to the coronavirus pandemic appears to have been. 

After the World Health Organization officially declared the outbreak a pandemic on 20 March, the Australian government acted swiftly to institute strict lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Borders were closed to non-residents on 20 March and strong quarantine and social distancing measures were put into place. 

Under Australia’s comprehensive measures, coronavirus case numbers dropped dramatically by April, with fewer than 20 cases being reported each day. 

When a second wave hit Victoria in May, the situation was quickly brought under control with a lockdown that lasted 112 days.

Reacting to the videos, many TikTok users couldn’t help but draw comparisons to life in the US, where coronavirus cases have soared. 

As of Tuesday, more than 16.5 million cases had been recorded, with 300, 482 people dying from coronavirus, according to an online tracker maintained by the Johns Hopkins University.

“Just don’t let Americans in and you’ll be fine. Our country is a joke,” one user wrote.

“The US could never because no one listens and the government doesn’t care,” another weighed in.

While a travel corridor with the US any time soon is unlikely, a travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand is expected to come into effect in the first quarter of 2021.

A one-way bubble is already in effect, allowing travelers from New Zealand to enter Australia without quarantining, but they do still need to self-isolate traveling in the other direction.

It is unclear exactly when the new travel bubble will come into place, but New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Cabinet had agreed “in principle” to the initiative.

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