In Victoria we are now well into Week 4 of our one-week lockdown. It started on 5 August after a mystery infection of the Delta strain of COVID-19 was detected. Now it’s raging across the state with no end in sight. So far only three people have died. That’s still three people too many. Compare that to last year when 800 people lost their lives to the virus in Victoria. The experts say the low death rate is directly related to the effectiveness of the vaccine. Even though the vaccine doesn’t prevent the virus, not dying from it is a damn good reason to get vaccinated.
No more happy Doughnut Days
Let’s turn our attention to some more numbers. So from one mystery case a little over four weeks ago, the seven-day average is now 170. That’s up by 25 from the previous day. There are 1 700 active cases and over 1000 public exposure sites.
The Premier Daniel Andrews announced that these figures would continue to rise. Despite that, he was aiming to eliminate the virus even though he was met with nasty criticism from the other state premiers. The bad mouths probably didn’t notice that zero cases marked the ending of Lockdown #2 in Victoria and the Doughnut Days that followed. But then that wasn’t Delta, the most highly transmissible strain of the virus yet. So Dan has finally conceded defeat against elimination. Now the focus is on living with the virus and getting as many people vaccinated as possible.
Just get vaccinated
The current lockdown has been extended until 23 September to give people time to roll up a sleeve. After that time there may be some easing of restrictions if 70 percent of people have had at least one jab. But other restrictions may stay in place until the end of October or later. Restrictions such as the number of visitors you can have in your home and the number of people you can hang out with outdoors. It seems unlikely mask wearing, and social distancing will be lifted for a long time – if ever. So, just get vaccinated. There are no alternatives folks.
Is this blackmail?
If 70 percent of people are vaccinated that means there’ll be no more lockdowns. Or so we’re told. Delta will still be around, but we’ll be sharing the planet with that bitch for some time to come. I’m a bit sceptical though given how much most state premiers love lockdowns. For example the premier of Western Australia, Mark Macgowan locks down at the whiff of a new case. My thoughts are that a snowball will freeze over in hell before lockdowns are a thing of the past. However, there is one premier who has been revered for her anti-lockdown status. Read on.
The ‘gold standard’ state
Just north of the Victorian border, the New South Wales (NSW) premier Gladys Berejiklian was once heralded a hero in her response to COVID -19. Her goal was to keep her subjects happy by avoiding lockdowns. People in lockdown in other states were in awe of her ‘gold standard’ response. “Why can’t Gladys be the Prime Minister of Australia?’ asked a colleague at one of our Zoom meetings.
Gladys for PM? No way
He, like many others, had forgotten the reason why the rest of Australia is in this mess. Let me recap. Truck drivers, removalists, car drivers, all laden with virus infected individuals, leaving NSW in their vehicles, crossing state borders, driving all over the place, stopping at take-away food shops, public toilets, service stations, spreading the virus from state to state. That’s before they even got to the big cities to load and unload in busy supermarkets, multi-level apartment blocks and the like. They did everything they could do to spread the virus.
But is seems Gladys’ great management of COVID-19 has turned out to be nothing more than good luck. Lately our neighbours in NSW have been recording over 1500 new infections a day. A peak of 2000 is predicted. After that there will be an easing of restrictions according to Gladys. That is provided vaccination coverage has hit the 80 percent target. Could that be blackmail again?
Back to Victoria
The number of new cases continues to grow. That’s bad. But the number of people getting vaccinated also continues to grow. And that’s good. Yesterday, on 7 September almost 37 000 people had a jab at state-run vaccination hubs whilst another 73 300 appointments were made. This means that we are on track to reach the 70 percent vaccination target by 23 September. And will that still mean the end of lockdowns for Victoria? It’ll be interesting.