Not on the Beach, or Death in Bondi?

by Warwick Anderson

In the Covid-19 pandemic, Australian beaches have been imagined simply as anomalous spaces of contamination, shorn of their ecological and sociological complexity, their actual life worlds. The understanding of viral transmission has been reduced to a mechanical model of contact and contamination, with some alien and stigmatized groups recognized as having special proclivity for carrying and communicating the pathogen–stranger super-spreaders–on safeguarded and sacralized sites, such as the beach.