Thy Art is Murder’s CJ McMahon is Fed Up with Covid-19 Restrictions
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 (we’re at 51 million cases and 824,000 deaths here in the U.S., 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.”
I completely sympathize with CJ. These past two years have been tough for ALL of us, and while I haven’t personally experienced the particular Australian brand of lockdown, I have friends who have, and I can imagine how painful and difficult it’s been.
This part of CJ’s statement, however, gives me pause: “that’s what the media is telling us.” It’s certainly true that the media can sensationalize. In this case, it’s not even clear yet that Omicron is as big a threat as it seems (early reports indicate infections are less severe than previous coronavirus mutations, although more research is needed). If that’s what CJ is referring to, I agree. But we all know the slippery slope between “the media can sensationalize” and “fake news,” so I hope CJ isn’t claiming the latter. In either case, though, I really do feel for the guy, as well as all of his fellow Australians.
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.
Thanks to MetalSucks TikTok proprietor Patrick Teal for the tip on this one.