Australia has endured some of the strictest and lengthiest lockdowns in the entire world over the past two years. As a result, the country has only recorded 242,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 2,134 deaths (The United States being at 51 million cases and 824,000 deaths, for comparison), but the economic and mental health tolls have been devastating to the country’s residents, who have been forced to stay home with extremely limited outside contact for weeks or even months at a time.
As the Omicron variant swells and the spectre of lockdowns once again looms, Australians are understandably nervous. Can they endure another lengthy period of inactivity and isolation?
The answer, at least for Thy Art is Murder frontman CJ McMahon, is a resounding no. In a statement posted to his Facebook page today, the singer claims, “I’ve done everything I have been told to do the last two years” — presumably meaning not only with regards to lockdowns, but vaccines, masking, etc. (not confirmed) — but that “I will not be locked down again.”
The full statement reads:
Looks like COVID is coming back stronger then ever yet again, or at least that’s what the media is telling us. I will not be locked down again. I will not shut my business doors and I will not be told to stay at home again. I’ve done everything I have been told to do the last two years and I will not be locked down again.Thy Art is Murder founder CJ McMahon
These past two years have been tough for ALL of us, and one can only imagine how painful and difficult it’s been for bands, which rely on human interaction to make a profit.
Covid-19 rates in Australia are rapidly rising, with 3,407 confirmed positive tests on December 16 alone, the highest single-day total ever recorded in the country. If Australia is going to lock down again, it’s gonna happen soon, but perhaps they’re at the point where they will throw in the towel on trying to keep Covid out the way they have been. There is also this: 80% of the country is vaccinated, a very high mark, and that certainly counts for something (most notably, keeping the death rate low).
Thy Art is Murder have a series of 20 live shows booked within Australia, beginning December 30 and running through March (most of them are in January), so they in particular have a lot to lose. Here’s to hoping they’re able to play the shows as planned.