James Chater

Isolation nation: how Australia is dealing with its pandemic

A police officer patrols Scarborough Beach on the outskirts of Perth, Western Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/Getty Images)

At 6.20 p.m. on Friday evening, Scarborough Beach, an oceanside suburb of Perth, looked like it always does: families picnicked on grassy dunes overlooking the Indian Ocean, queues were forming outside bars lining the shore, and inside restaurants, groups chatted casually over cold beers.

Given the bustle, it’s hard to believe a city-wide lockdown ended only 20 minutes earlier, triggered on the Sunday before after Western Australia recorded its first domestically transmitted case of coronavirus in ten months.

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