Members of the white middle class, they live in a terrace house in the city centre. Both are both retired. He is 77 and has severe chest disease, she is 78 and recently has had heart trouble. Hard workers, they were expecting an enjoyable retirement among friends and relatives. Instead their government has sentenced them to indefinite house arrest which, even if lifted, can be reimposed at a moment’s notice. Nobody has visited them for two months.
They are allowed two hours a day exercise out of the house (recently only an hour) but all other contacts, other than shop assistants, the chemist or a doctor are forbidden. If they happen to meet a friend when out they must not socialise.
Escape is impossible. You need a permit to travel more than 5 km, and the city and state borders are heavily policed and huge fines await law breakers. Travel overseas is also banned. Except for high officials and bureaucrats nobody can leave the country or enter it unless they do so with permission. Up to 20 people were caught trying to flee the city and between 10 and twenty of them had been hit with £2500 fines for the office of failing to comply with the requirement to to remain in a restricted area.
Who are these people ? Iranian Christians, Uighur Muslims, Russian dissidents ?
They are Australians living in Melbourne.
Victoria has the biggest number of Covid 19 deaths in the country standing at 784, the rest of Australia 872.
This strange anomaly must be of medical interest and hints at some local cause which would be of benefit to the rest of the world if it could be discovered.