Music festivals have returned to Australia and New Zealand, following both nations’ relative control of the pandemic. The Castaway Festival in Peth, Australia took place last weekend, featuring electronic dance acts What So Not and Slumberjack, while Alison Wonderland is set to play at a show in New Zealand in a couple of weeks, although a specific date was not mentioned. Amanda Palmer, who relocated to New Zealand, held a set of shows there this summer.
Thank you to the tireless work of my team, Castaway & the respectful cooperation of the WA health minister & WA police. Most of all thank you to all of you who attended, going against many instinctual festival behaviors to comply with the new regulations that made this possible.
— WHAT SO NOT (@WhatSoNot) December 8, 2020
About to quarantine in New Zealand alone for 2 weeks just so I can play one show
I’m gonna cry as soon as I get on stage
— ALISON WONDERLAND (@awonderland) December 7, 2020
As opposed to the United States, both Australia and New Zealand both have drastically smaller populations, with 24.99 million and 4.88 million people respectively. Although both countries had some spikes in the spring and summer, the number of cases has dropped off exponentially during the last month. Australia has seen at most 11 cases in one day since November 1, while New Zealand only saw 9. Both countries have also posted days without a single recorded case. In contrast, the United States saw 61.8 cases per 100,000 people according to the CDC.
Australia and New Zealand’s handling of COVID-19 was drastically different from the United States’ response. Australia utilized some form of universal basic income during the pandemic, while all of the nation’s citizens were mostly relegated to work at home. Both countries also closed down federal and state borders, meaning no one was allowed to come in or out of their region during the pandemic. Anybody who was allowed into the country faced stringent quarantine measures, while those who had the virus were also treated for COVID-19 to help stop the spread. The way the countries handled lockdown back in March was also very stringent, and was able to help prevent the spread of the virus early on.
A brief rundown of Australia’s policies was discussed by content creator ChampChong:
Full explanation on how we managed this in Australia: https://t.co/VdbG2Xpc5P
— Champ (@ChampChong) December 6, 2020
Although the United States has closed down its national borders, state borders remain open. Several states such as Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming never issued stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, despite the fact that COVID-19 numbers have not been decreasing. Events such as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota have been allowed to continue, with the state seeing barely under 1,0000 new cases in recent days. There was one $1,200 check distributed to Americans under a certain income level earlier this year, but it is unknown if there will be any more stimulus check disbursements.