Things that make you go what?! The most absurd breaches of law during COVID-19

It’s time for a break from all the heavy legal stuff and COVID-19 impacts we’ve been writing about. As 2020 rolls on, we thought it was about time to step back and review some of the most absurd breaches of law we’ve seen during the pandemic for a bit of comedic relief. From the Karens to the 5G protestors, there’s been some interesting behaviour changes in response to Australia’s coronavirus laws. Let’s take a look at some of the wildest ones. 

 

 

  • The Karens

 

‘That legislation is fraudulent. It doesn’t apply to me.’

 

‘Karen’ as a cultural term has probably been one of the most entertaining things to come out of the COVID crisis. In case you missed it, ‘Karen’ is the name now associated with self-righteous women, usually middle-aged, who enter into situations guns ablazing and demand people let them do whatever they want – otherwise they’ll sue them for breaching their rights. In other words: Karens think they’re exempt from COVID-19 restrictions.

 

For example, ‘Karen at Bunnings’ refers to a woman who refused to wear a face mask in a Melbourne Bunnings store, after mandatory use of masks in a public place were issued in Melbourne on June 19th. When staff explained to her that wearing a face mask was required by law, unless she had a medical exemption, Karen seized the opportunity to show off her lack of legal understanding and tell them that they were discriminating against her…. because she was a woman?

 

You can watch the full exchange here. 

 

In another incident, this same woman was filmed in a verbal confrontation with police where she explained that because the people of Australia had not consented to coronavirus restrictions, the legislation mandating the use of face masks was ‘fraudulent’ and didn’t apply to her. A number of Karens have since emerged, generally with a mission to start an anti-mask crusade and distress retail and public workers (who unfortunately don’t have the option to work from the safety of home).

 

Oh, the Karens. At least they’ve given us something to laugh about. In all seriousness though, what’s most distressing about the emergence of Karens in Australia is the deliberate flouting of public health orders for no good reason and a total lack of interest in community safety.

 

 

  • 5G protests

 

Back in May, hundreds took the streets of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to protest against coronavirus laws, on the basis that 5G was spreading the virus. These people believe that the radiation being emitted from 5G networks is weakening people’s immune system, thus making them more susceptible to coronavirus. Or maybe they’re the ones who believe that 5G was secretly developed and rolled out by governments as a weapon to threaten and control people. We’re not sure. Whatever the case, this kind of thinking led to protests across the country, in deliberate contravention of social distancing laws, because these protestors believe the entire pandemic is a scam. A pretty elaborate one, if you ask us.

 

 

  • KFC and Maccas runs

 

It seems that fast food and coronavirus are not compatible. Many Australians, especially those under the strictest of lockdown laws, are struggling to curb the urge for some KFC or Maccas. For these people, delivery just doesn’t cut it.

 

Take for example the KFC run in Melbourne in early July by a group of birthday partygoers. The fact that two people ordered 20 meals at a KFC outlet at 1:30 am sounded alarm bells, and when police followed through on this order they found 16 people hiding under beds, in the garage and in the backyard of a Dandenong home. The resulting fine? $26,000. 

 

Other fast-food related incidents include the bizarre decision of a man to drive from Melbourne to the border town of Wodonga for a Big Mac, costing him $1652 (and a chunk of fuel). But we think the people who take the cake here (or the burger) are three Melbourne vloggers, who took it upon themselves to hit up Maccas at 2:30 am in breach of Melbourne’s curfew laws. Then, they decided to post a video of their fast food run online (complete with a James Bond theme tune). The vloggers were fined $1652 each and have since changed their tune, calling themselves ‘shameful’ for breaching these laws. 

 

Key takeaways 

Even though these breaches of law are just plainly bizarre, there are still some key takeaways for us to remember, such as:

  • try not to film yourself breaking the law;
  • make sure you do proper research (aka ask a lawyer)  about how the legal system works and what laws apply to you before you star in a viral video stating that legislation is fraudulent; and 
  • try to curb the urge for going out for fast food, because $1,652 is one expensive burger. 

 

If you find yourself seeking further information or needing legal assistance, contact Green & Associates today on (02) 8080 7585. We offer a free 15-minute call to discuss your legal position in relation to criminal offences, business, commercial and personal matters, and estate law. 

 

*Please note that we can’t explain the thinking behind the Karens, 5G protestors and fast-food bingers featured in this article. 

 

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