Private Archive / Pictured: Dominic Janos
Dominic Janosz comes from Rzeszow. In Poland, he worked as a sports journalist. Deal with, among other things, malice. – I moved to Australia in January 2004. At first, I was there on a student visa. Later I got permanent residence and at the end of 2008 I got Australian citizenship – says Janusz. – When I was young, I was looking for my place. I loved Australia and decided to stay there permanently – he adds.
When asked about a pandemic in Australia, the Pole wonders if the word pandemic can ever be used on this continent. It’s hard to talk about a pandemic here. The virus is not taking as much toll in Australia as it is in Europe, the United States or South America. First of all, Australia’s borders are closed, and those who come into the country must undergo a mandatory hotel quarantine. This costs 3,000 Australian dollars, or about 8,500 dollars. zlotys – Janusz explains.
The virus crosses closed borders
According to a magnate who lives in Australia, thanks to the restrictions, very little of the virus reaches this continent. – This situation has been going on since March 2020. Australia has not opened its borders and mandatory quarantine will continue to be applied. He adds that despite these restrictions, the virus is still arriving in Australia.
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To confirm these words, our interlocutor gave examples from last year and a few weeks ago. In 2020, Melbourne has been on lockdown for more than three months. It lasted exactly 112 days. A few weeks ago, a motorist took a person to quarantine and infected them with the virus, then spread it across Sydney. The authorities decided to close when the cases of the disease exceeded 20 people per day. I realize that from Poland’s point of view it may seem comical, but in Australia the issue of restrictions is strictly adhered to – he emphasizes.
Fewer injuries as in Poland – complete lockdown
– At the moment we have about 100 cases per day in Sydney. Many people died. The closure is in effect until July 30, but we expect it to be extended until mid-August. The virus has spread to several other cities, including Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. A multi-day lockdown has been imposed in each of these cities. This usually takes 3 to 5 days, with cases of local virus transmission dropping to zero. There are instances where the entire state is shut down when a single instance of local virus transmission occurs. This was the case in Western Australia, for example – Dominic Janusz confirms.
Life on lockdown in Australia is somewhat similar to Poland, at a time when strict restrictions were in place. – Restaurants serve food only for takeaway and delivery. Supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and basic stores are fairly normal. Everyone who enters there must use their phone and their government profile to do what’s called a covid-checkin, i.e. scan the code and log in this way, so that later you can track their movements in case of contact with someone who is sick. Use of check-in is mandatory during closing. Apart from that it is recommended, and sometimes mandatory – confirms.
In Australia, masks have been avoided for most of the pandemic. At present, covering the mouth and nose is mandatory inside buildings. Outdoors, it is not required. Of course Australians are concerned about these restrictions and lockdowns. However, in this country, many people can work remotely, which is why it may not be as stressful as in other countries, where the technology is not very developed and does not allow remote work of such a wide spectrum – explains Dominic Janos.
Schools have been operating normally for much of the pandemic. “Distance teaching in Sydney has only been in place for three weeks,” he adds.
What about the economy and tourism?
The shutdown is taking a heavy toll on the economy. Outbound tourism is almost non-existent for Australia in the event of a pandemic. So how is this country? The Australian economy is mainly based on mining and agriculture. It is likely that these two industries covered the losses to the economy from the lack of foreign tourists. Prices for crude oil, gold, iron ore and other raw materials rose, thanks to which income appeared in the budget from other sources – which explains the economic situation in Australia, the pole in which lives.
Australia is closed to foreign tourists. But more Australians are traveling around their country. From April until closing, you can also travel to New Zealand. Despite the problems, our airlines such as Quantas and Virgin survived. Like the big travel agency Flight Center. The economy itself is not bad. Australia achieved economic growth in the second half of 2020 and in the first of this year – confirms Janusz.
New viral variants and vaccination
New species of Lambda virus have already appeared in Australia. – Frankly, Australians are more afraid of the Delta variant right now. You haven’t heard of any other differences in Sydney yet. Lambda may have already arrived, but it does not cause any greater panic or a more serious problem – our interlocutor explains.
Vaccination in Australia is very slow. Approximately 10.5 million people are vaccinated with the first dose, or just over 36 percent of the population over 16 years of age. Fewer than 7.5 million Australians have been fully vaccinated. – There was no rush to start the vaccinations. Initially, we focused on AstraZeneca, which is locally produced in laboratories. The waiting time for the second dose was three months, hence the rate of vaccination slowed down. We had a problem with Pfizer’s vaccine supply, and the government wasn’t negotiating with Johnson & Johnson or Moderna at all. Only when the delta variant appeared, vaccination was speeded up and Pfizer increased supplies – explains the pole, who lives in Australia.
To fully vaccinate adult Australians, 40 million vaccines must be administered to 20 million +16 citizens. Currently, more than 10 million vaccines have been administered. It is estimated that there will be 16 million of them by the end of August, and by the end of the year all those willing to be vaccinated will have a chance to do so. He stresses that vaccinations are not mandatory and are free.
For example, workers who care for the elderly or take people into quarantine are obligated to get vaccinated. The government is working on more changes regarding who will have to get compulsory vaccinations. Preparations are also underway to open the borders. However, I believe that Australia will not fully open its borders until the middle of 2022 – as Dominic Janusz believes.
From journalism to the IT sector
For more than 15 years, the pole has been working in the IT sector. At the beginning of my stay in Australia, I played a little more in journalism. I had an old radio set and was recording interviews for a competition in Australia. For some time, my texts were published in “Tygodnik Żużlowy”, and sometimes I recorded material for the Polish section of the Australian SBS – he adds.
Journalism has been a passion and entertainment for Dominic Janosz. You have developed a real career in Australia in the IT sector. I’m still on the highway, but without much emotion. I watch Grand Prix races, Polish league matches and other competitions. I’m always up to date with scores and schedules, thanks mainly to the WP SportoweFakty portal. I visit the British, Swedish and Danish leagues from time to time. Sometimes my 9-year-old son, born in Australia, watches the competition with me, but is not very interested in sports – adds Dominic Janosz.
He drags the wolf into the woods and his passion for the highway is not easily forgotten, even on the other side of the world. – In 2015 I was at the Grand Prix in Melbourne. There I met with Piotr Szymański and the Polish national team at DMŚJ in Mildura. It was fun to see and talk again after all these years. The last time I participated in a motorway competition was in Australia before the pandemic. I went with my son to Corey Cory for the Australian Singles Tournament – he remembers the Pole who lives in Antipods.
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