It seems the Delta covid variant has crossed the Tasman to New Zealand, the result of a Kiwi going home from Sydney to Auckland. Predictably, the disease has spread rapidly and, also predictably, Jacinta Arden has locked the country down.
I’m not taking cheap shots at New Zealand – well, no more than I’d take the same shots at Victoria’s Chairman Dan, Queensland’s Queen Anastasia, or Western Australia’s Emperor McGowan. Oh, and let’s not forget ‘lock ’em down’ Steve in South Australia. Heads up kids, covid is here to stay. Lockdowns have many, many side effects that do not appear to be included in the Chief Health Officer’s decision-making process. I’m talking about people who have to home-school their kids, kids who can’t go to school, people whose businesses are going under, people who can’t pay their rent, people who don’t have other ailments treated at hospitals, people in nursing homes who can’t see their kids, people who can’t sit on a beach without being moved on by mounted police, people who can’t get their crops in because they can’t get workers, people who suffer mental health problems resulting from one or all of the above. And that’s just a short list.
Of course, if you’re rich or well-connected or an elite sports player, that’s different. Despite the political rhetoric, we’re not all in this together. We can’t all work from home. We don’t get full pay, let alone a pay rise. Some of us are locked inside after 9pm despite the fact restaurants, clubs, churches etc are all closed.
Queen Anna has brought in a new restriction – no one is allowed into Queensland from hot spot covid sites for the next fourteen days. The hot spot sites? All of ACT, all of NSW, all of Victoria. The tourist industry up here is dealt yet another blow, of course. But spare a thought for people like the FIFO worker who gets to work via Sydney, but lives on the Gold Coast. He’s flown into Sydney at the end of his shift – but he can’t go home.
None of this affects us. We haven’t been in lockdown since early last year but Blind Freddy can see what’s happening to businesses everywhere. We won’t be travelling anywhere anytime soon. Having had our car stolen has underlined the limitations imposed by covid but apart from that, we’re like everyone else – not making plans because they can be scuttled at a word from a power-mad premier.
I’m 70, Pete’s 74. We don’t want to spend these “golden years” (huh) stuck in splendid isolation. To Jacinta and the Australian premiers, please, get your people vaccinated and let’s get on with life.
I remember as a small child lining up at school for a whole slew of vaccinations – polio, whooping cough, measles, diphtheria. My mum took me along for them, armed with a banana to stuff in my mouth if I cried. I don’t think the jabs were optional and I doubt my mother would have chosen to decline. Vaccination saves lives.
I don’t have a problem with a vaccination certificate, either. I’ve got one on my phone, ready to show to people who need to see it, such as airline staff. I’ve got lots of certificates in my wallet. One’s a pension card which entitles me to certain services. One’s a driver’s licence to prove I’m allowed to drive a car (and a motor bike, for what it’s worth). Several cards prove membership of clubs so they’ll let me in. I’ve got a passport, too. And a certificate of citizenship to prove I’m an Aussie. And a birth certificate to prove I was born in Amsterdam.
Mind you, the vaccination certificate doesn’t mean I don’t have covid, just that I’m less likely to die from it if I catch the disease so I can understand those who are against having to show a certificate. But I’m happy to flash my vacc cert if it makes restaurateurs more comfortable about admitting me to their premises.
Speaking of vaccinations, a few days ago a year 12 student at a private school died of a heart condition. It didn’t take long for “…former political reporter Virginia Nicholls to take to Twitter with the shocking claim that a Year 12 student had died ‘shortly after receiving the Pfizer jab at the mass vaccination clinic at Homebush’.” [source] That was blatantly false and Ms Nicholls eventually deleted the tweet and issued an apology. But it was too late. The anti-vaxxers took up the original story and spread the misinformation to the masses.
Before you believe what you read on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like, please do a bit of rudimentary fact-checking. I typed in “did Sydney teen die from Pfizer” and came up with a page of results. Read all about it at News.com.au.
Please get vaccinated, folks. If not for yourselves and your family and friends, do it for Pete and me. Hanging around at home sucks.