facing the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic with rapid spread and highly contagious, people in many countries wear masks in public places has become a habit and consciousness. Wearing masks has played an important role in the global epidemic. However, in Australia, the federal government at the beginning publicly said that people did not need to wear masks, and some people were even discriminated against or abused for wearing masks. With the recent outbreak of the second wave in Victoria and other places, more and more experts, media and business people began to call on the Australian people to wear masks. Local governments such as Victoria also began to implement the mandatory “mask order”. The federal government’s stance on wearing masks was finally relaxed.
since the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak in Australia in March and the second wave of epidemic situation in early July in early July, Australian Prime Minister Morrison and the federal health officials have repeatedly stressed that ordinary people do not need to wear masks. Only those with severe symptoms such as cough and medical workers need to wear masks. Therefore, in supermarkets, shopping malls, public transport or public facilities, it is rare to see Australians wearing masks. According to Australian health ministry officials, “there is little evidence that wearing masks in healthy people can prevent the spread of the virus.”. Even at the height of the epidemic in April, Morrison once again responded that “ordinary people are not recommended to wear masks. People with symptoms can wear masks to prevent transmission to others.” < p > < p > the mainstream media in Australia also followed the government’s stance and publicly advocated that “there is no need to wear masks”. Moreover, many Australians even have a prejudice or discrimination against wearing masks. When entering the country from Sydney International Airport in early March, few airport staff or passengers except Asian Americans wore masks. When wearing masks in the airport car rental company waiting for the car rental procedures, several Australian passengers who were also in the queue saw it and quickly bypassed or stood at a far away place. Local media reported that since this year, there have been a number of incidents of discrimination or abuse against Asian Americans wearing masks. Since the first ten days of July, a large number of new coronavirus cases have appeared in Weizhou, which has sounded the second round of epidemic alarm. As of August 4th, novel coronavirus pneumonia cases were diagnosed in 18730 cases and 232 cases were dead. Among them, the number of newly diagnosed cases was the most alarming. In recent weeks, the number of new confirmed cases increased by three digits per day. Community infection has become a fact. In view of this, the state government decided to issue a mandatory “mask order”. According to the daily mail and Broadcasting Corporation of Australia, Melbourne and Mitchell County, the capital of Victoria state, implemented a mandatory “mask order” in the early morning of July 23. Residents must cover their mouths and noses with masks or scarves when they go out, or they will face a $200 fine. Daniel Andrews, governor of Victoria, said wearing masks is a low-cost, high reward strategy that helps stop the spread of the virus. He wants the people of Victoria to get used to it. < / P > < p > in New South Wales, where the number of confirmed cases is second only to that of Victoria, the local government also encourages people to go out and wear masks, but this is not a mandatory measure. The Australian federal government’s position on wearing masks has also changed. The Ministry of Health recently suggested that people should wear masks when they can’t maintain a 1.5m social distance. Federal health minister Greg Hunt even demonstrated wearing masks at a news conference recently. < p > < p > it was noted that with the rebound of the epidemic situation in Weizhou and the compulsory orders of the Weizhou government on masks, the number of articles calling for wearing masks by mainstream media in Australia has gradually increased, and more and more Australian people have begun to wear masks, especially in supermarkets or shopping malls and other public places. Supermarkets and pharmacies selling masks in the capital, such as market makers, have imposed restrictions on the purchase of masks. More than a month ago, we saw many medical masks from China in the supermarket, but when we went back a few days ago, they were sold out. According to media analysis such as the Australian financial review, there are several main reasons for the Australian government to change its stance on wearing masks. First, there is strong support from the scientific community that wearing masks can effectively block the spread of new coronavirus. On June 1 this year, the British medical journal Lancet published an important study on the impact of non drug interventions such as social distance, masks and goggles on the new coronavirus. The study showed that all three measures can reduce the risk of infection. Tony Blakeley, an epidemiologist and public health medicine expert at the University of Melbourne, believes that wearing masks can reduce the risk of new coronavirus transmission by 50% to 80%. On June 5, the World Health Organization (who) updated the guidelines on the use of masks, suggesting that all people in areas where the epidemic is widespread should use medical masks in clinical areas of health institutions; in community-based transmission areas, it is recommended that people over 60 years old and people with potential diseases should wear medical masks when they are unable to maintain social distance. It is suggested that governments should encourage the public to keep a social distance when the epidemic situation spreads widely and it is difficult to maintain a social distance When away, such as in public transport, shops or other crowded environment, wear masks. Secondly, at the beginning of the outbreak, medical protection materials such as masks in Australia were in serious shortage, and this situation was relieved later. There are some masks in the federal medical strategic reserve of Australia, but they are basically used by the medical department, and some are used by the nursing homes. There is only one mask manufacturer in Australia and most of them depend on import. At the beginning of the outbreak, countries all over the world were scrambling to buy medical protection materials such as masks. The closure of borders in many countries led to the interruption of the global supply chain. Masks were extremely scarce in Australia, and many hospitals did not have masks. Many front-line general practitioners could only use one medical mask once a week. It was not until April that the Australian government purchased medical materials such as masks from China and the United States, and expanded the domestic mask production line, so that the shortage of masks was alleviated. Thirdly, the voice of Australian society and public opinion for wearing masks is rising. ABC host Norman Swann said the suggestion not to force masks was a “missed opportunity”, especially in curbing family transmission. The Australian financial review also explained the benefits of wearing masks in terms of economic benefits. According to the report, many medical experts and economists believe that the implementation of wearing masks in public places under the epidemic situation can make the society obtain better public health and economic benefits at the same time, and reduce the compulsory demand for closing public places. Australian business tycoon Sean Burnett hopes that the Morrison government will issue a nationwide “mask order” to stop the spread of the epidemic, and at the same time allow retailers to keep pace with the requirements of customers entering stores to wear masks. However, the Australian federal government is still hesitant to implement the national “mask order” despite the coming of the second wave of epidemic and more and more voices calling for the implementation of the “mask order”. At the level of the Australian federal government, it is still suggested that most people do not need to wear masks, and other parts of Australia do not need to follow the compulsory wearing of masks in Victoria. According to the Federal Department of health, at present, the spread rate of ANZ coronavirus in the community is very low, so it is not recommended to use masks routinely in the community, and wearing masks can not replace other preventive measures. Morrison also said recently that Victoria’s proposal is not a “universal proposal” to the people of the whole country. ABC pointed out that some Australian experts still have different opinions on the issue of wearing masks. Craig Lockwood, an associate professor at the Joanna Briggs Institute at the University of Adelaide, believes that wearing masks alone is not enough to protect people from the new coronavirus. Holly shearer, an infectious disease control expert at the University of New South Wales, says many Australians don’t know how to use masks properly, and some may be exposed to greater risks. According to shearer, wearing masks can actually give people a false sense of security, with Australians often touching masks and faces without washing their hands. In addition, the shortage of medical masks is also one of the reasons why the Australian government does not encourage people to wear masks. Bruce Thompson, Dean of the school of health at Swainson University, said the federal government is discouraging healthy people from wearing masks because they are “in short supply.” our supply chain is not enough to meet everyone’s needs, and hospitals need masks more. The “pursuit of freedom” culture and individualism in Australia have also led to many ordinary people refusing to wear masks. A Melbourne resident wrote on the social networking site: “I just take my children to the park for a breath of fresh air and release my anxiety and tension under the chaotic situation of the government. Am I going to be deprived of this freedom now?” The Daily Mail reported that more than 50 masked objectors gathered at a Melbourne stadium every Saturday night to challenge police power with the Victoria Charter of human rights and responsibility act and share “experience” on social media on how to avoid being fined for violating blockade restrictions. It is reported that on the first day of the implementation of the “mask order”, police issued fines to more than 100 people who violated the “mask order”. According to the Australian financial news network, many Australians believe that wearing masks is uncomfortable, inconvenient and even useless, and they do not want to “spend unjust money and suffer”. More people are afraid that wearing masks will be criticized by others.