black lives matter protesters in adelaide
(Image: AAP/Morgan Sette)

For the last three months, Australians have been lab rats. Since the coronavirus hit our shores, we’ve become unwitting participants in a perverse social and scientific experiment that would probably never get ethics approval. 

By closely monitoring these population-wide experiments, we’ve learned an awful lot. We know that social distancing, avoiding gatherings, spending months in dismal hibernation is probably the most effective way to keep the virus under control. 

We’ve also learned a lot about who we are as a country. In Australia, the Ned Kelly myth has been shattered by two months of well-behaved, narc-ish compliance with one of the strictest, most heavily-policed lockdowns in the western world. It’s a sharp contrast to the United States, where protesters took up arms to demand the right to get a haircut.