THE COVID train is coming. You have a one-in-50 chance of dying if you catch COVID. Think about a train. If you run across the rail tracks, you may be hit by a train and die. This is more likely if you are slower, such as if you are already sicker or older. I would prefer to cross the rail tracks by going over the rail bridge. There is a very, very small chance of the bridge collapsing onto the rail tracks and me dying. I would join the vaccination platform with other people. There is a very, very small chance a train may derail and jump the tracks and kill us. However a different train may blow lots of steam over us. We may get sick from this, so we may move to another platform. An unvaccinated person's risk of dying is similar to crossing the rail tracks. Vaccination is less risky by going across the bridge. However there is still a very, very small risk of dying. In the future, a booster jab will be like moving to another vaccination platform as different trains arrive. For children, the Fat Controller tries to avoid Thomas and Henry having accidents. The COVID train is coming. Think about risk and how to protect yourself, family and friends.
SATURDAY'S interesting editorial ("Vaccine concern is supply not demand", Opinion 7/8), sadly predicts "a sustained period of nationally unprecedented levels of infection, illness and death", even if the current NSW outbreak diminishes as quickly as last year's. It goes on to underline the necessity to get people tested and vaccinated as quickly as possible, noting that the stumbling block, at least in some areas, is vaccine availability rather than "vaccination hesitancy".
There's nothing to disagree with in any of this, nor with the conclusion that the Delta variant finds lockdown weaknesses very quickly and we need to be careful; except that the question of what constitutes a lockdown is not addressed. I contend that the so-called lockdown in Sydney could more accurately be described as a "mockdown", as some mordant wit in one of the online blogs has dubbed it. What else could you call a lockdown which allows tradespeople and property investors to drive repeatedly through its boundaries into previously virus-free areas? What would you call a setup which, at least early in the piece, compelled mostly poorly paid essential workers to spend vast amounts of time (while probably losing large chunks of their inadequate wages) getting tested every three days, and then allowed them to go to work before they got their results?
Case numbers are climbing daily, and all the while government spokespeople are saying we have to learn to live with the virus, helped along by front-page headlines in newspapers and lead stories on TV. Some of those spokespersons are blaming the populace for not being able to cope with shambolic mismanagement at every level. It looks like a system set up to fail.
BEING locked down now was in some ways inevitable because we all knew that somehow Sydneysiders would get in and therefore so would the virus. So now we are being punished and attempting to do the right thing. I can not have two single friends over for lunch but a panel beater and dry cleaner and Bunnings are seen as essential services and they are open. All very confusing. Why are we still allowing people back into this country as most of them left during the pandemic? It's another inconvenient truth that we need to keep ourselves to ourselves and have the jab; it's the way out.
REFERRING to Hunter MPs calling for more test sites (Herald 7/8/21), NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard steps in it.
"That involves somebody to take the test, somebody to take the sample itself to a pathology, it involves people actually running the test at the pathology lab and ... someone then sending the result back to the individuals," he told reporters.
Well thanks, Mr Hazzard. Now that we understand the reasons I'm sure we are quite prepared to wait endlessly for COVID testing. Do you really want more tests or what? These possibilities must have been considered previously, surely. It's called planning. Or is Prime Minister Scott Morrison rubbing off on you too?
I RECEIVED my second jab on Wednesday (AstraZeneca). Prior to receiving the needle you are required to fill out three pages of questions, mostly about any history of blood clots. This makes you want to walk out and wait for the Pfizer.
Such a process makes you second guess certain vaccines. Are these questionnaires the same for the Pfizer injections? Government and health officials need to eradicate these fears and uncertainties through clarity and assurances, not mixed messages from state health ministers or sensationalist media hype. Stop the BS and get suitable vaccines out to the centres, then en masse get the nation safe town by town; state by state in alphabetical order. Get it done, but have the vaccines and infrastructure in place prior to opening mouths.
WELL what a shock: a pub wanted to extend its trading hours and there was opposition from neighbours ("City pub plans to extend hours", Herald 6/8).
If one doesn't find it suitable to live near a pub, then why move near a pub in the first place? This is a decision that should be carefully considered well before the moving stage. I certainly hope that common sense prevails and that the latest application from the Hotel Delany to trade for an additional two hours each night is approved this time around. After all, this basically boils down to a long existing business wishing to slightly change their business model. Plus, the business in question is located in an area zoned as B4 mixed use.
So regarding opposition to the proposed extension in 2017, I don't believe for one moment that any of the nearby residents had a leg to stand on. Especially considering how well known the pub is and how long the pub has existed for. I mean, call me skeptical, but I sort of doubt that any nearby resident who complained about the proposed extension lived in the area before the pub was built, back in 1924.
ONCE again Shortland looks like a gold mine for developers. Another DA for Sandgate Road; a 32-room development with in my opinion inadequate parking spaces, again. The exact location is already overpopulated with little parking.
Local shops opposite are struggling as customers can't find parking due to the multiple existing developments with inadequate parking. Not to mention bin night. Tuesday bins go out; Wednesday morning traffic plays dodge the bins. This is a main road. Shortland residents are getting fed up with money hungry developers pushing families out. Fair go for families, residents and businesses. Families before money.
EMPTY streets. It feels like I have the town to myself. No traffic to speak of. Hunter and Darby streets and Honeysuckle Drive are almost void of vehicles. No construction trucks or lollipop people, save a few, all traffic lights green. Just the dulcet tones of the rare and almost extinct Newcastle hoon revving up the motor on Industrial Drive. I know our town's economy is suffering, but it is a strange kind of freedom indeed.
TODAY I was walking past the skate park at Bar Beach. There were at least nine children talking together (definitely socially distanced) while waiting for their turn in the bowl. Delta is in our schools and being spread by children. Come on Newcastle Council, show some leadership and close off these communal areas. Parents how about a little responsibility and supervision during our lockdown. We don't want it to be going on for months like Sydney.
I WAS recently admitted to Belmont Hospital for day surgery. I went in a day before my surgery as I take blood thinners. Every staff member from the ward cleaner to every nurse and doctor I met were really terrific. I was settled in and had a good rest prior to the surgery. Anyway, enough about me. Thanks to every person I met at Belmont Hospital on August 4 and 5. You are doing a great job. Thanks.
MANY thanks to John Witte (Letters, 6/8), for reminding me of 70 years of grief regarding our older LGBTIQ community members. Sadly, the wounds never heal.
SYDNEY people can do no wrong with Dr. Kerry Chant thanking them for being honest. Mother Goose protecting her little flock of geese.
GREAT letter from Glenn Jones (Letters, 6/8). Not only has Pauline Hanson's One Nation party supported every piece of anti-worker legislation proposed by the Morrison government, One Nation senators Hanson and Malcolm Roberts are both refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19. What sort of a message does this send her loyal band of easily-led followers?
I READ that the Catholic Church is asking for action on climate change. Perhaps if the church leaders all got together and demanded that the big leader in Rome contact his boss in the sky to act and do something about it, it might not cost anything to try. He/she up there might listen and fix the problem. After all he/she is said to provide. Maybe he/she needs to step up to the plate. While they are at it, why not chuck in and request to end the virus as a bonus?
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