PETER Dolan has interesting points, ("Infectiousness doesn't drop off", Letters, 1/12). I agree with your last few words; "Vaccinated (people) are far less likely to develop symptoms "and that is why if everyone was vaccinated we would not have over 532 people in hospital with COVID and 71 in intensive care at present in Australia. This is an illness of the unvaccinated; you ask any intensive care specialist or nurse. Alas these people can get very ill and die and they transfer resources away from people who may need the ICU bed for highly risky surgery. The ICU resource is finite.
Double vaccinated individuals can get ill, but are 16 times less likely to end up in hospital than their unvaccinated friends. No vaccine is perfect. But the vaccines have been very good; a person with the Delta variant and unvaccinated spreads the illness to between five to eight individuals. At the height of the recent COVID wave in South Western Sydney health district, there were more than 500 cases a day. Now, with a vaccination rate in that area above 95 per cent, there were 70 cases on Wednesday.
Given Mr Dolan's argument, we should have higher cases with higher vaccination rates. Lived reality does not match the argument Mr Dolan puts forward.
Vaccinated people may pick up the COVID infection and have the same viral load; they attack the virus quicker thus shedding the virus for less time, thus infecting less people. Also the virus they are shedding are covered in antibodies; less harm. Hopefully those viral particles land on immunised people, causing far less severe sickness.
Chris Marley, Adamstown
Freedom fighters? Not quite
WELL said Carl Boyd, (Short Takes, 30/11). Maybe if the anti-vaxxers were half as "woke" as they claimed, they'd lighten up and spend their leisure time doing activities that are much more relaxing, like going to a pub, going out for dinner and/or to a movie. They'd be very free to engage in all of these activities and more if they went out and got themselves a couple of painless and harmless jabs.
To anyone here in Australia whining about their supposed loss of freedom, I would recommend a visit to a third world nation for a comparison and to reassess just how much "freedom" they think they've lost. I would also recommend a visit to a war torn nation (and/or anywhere where governments are overthrown, leaders are assassinated, and citizens don't have the right to vote, let alone even speak out against the government) to any Australians who actually believe that we are living under a dictatorship.
Adz Carter, Newcastle
Not all factors accounted for
I READ the letter from Steven Busch with interest. Landholders have many reasons for opposing the Hunter Gas Pipeline on their properties - environmental, water, business impacts, and more. However, in response to the comparison to solar panels and wind turbines, there are some specific differences between the two projects.
Renewable projects do not involve widespread clearing of many hectares of bush, as the pipeline will. They are usually placed in already open areas. The other main difference for landholders is that the Hunter Gas pipeline will be forced onto landholders without their consent. My personal experience with solar and wind projects is that they are negotiated in good faith with the landholder and are on a lease basis, not a permanent easement with a one off payment. A significant contrast to this project. At no time has the proponent of the Hunter Gas Pipeline offered to pay landholders ongoing, annual, lease type compensation. Also - what landholders can do with their own land is quite different in each of these two scenarios - renewables as opposed to a gas pipeline.
Meg Bowman, Hunter Gas Landholder Rights Alliance Incorporated president
Community outweighs conscience
PETER Dolan, ("Belief drives all types of decision", Letters, 1/12), has had more to say about voluntary assisted dying, yet again raising the shibboleth favoured by the Catholic Church, that VAD will lead to coercion of elderly relatives (preferably rich ones), who will be persuaded to quietly shuffle off despite their glowing good health. Thus, as right-wing NSW Police Minister David Elliott abhorrently put it, if the NSW Parliament passes the VAD bill it will be enabling "State-assisted murder".
Mr Dolan then turns to the issue of the "conscience vote". For those politicians with a conscience that could present problems. At the extreme, in the federal parliament, would Scott Morrison need to seek counsel from the likes of Barnaby Joyce, Matt Canavan and George Christensen? Why not just return to fundamental democratic principles and require parliamentarians to vote in accordance with the wishes of their electorate? If, as is widely reported, there is overwhelming support within the community for voluntary assisted dying and there is no valid reason to override that support, isn't the task of the parliament simply to enact the community's wishes?
John Ure, Mount Hutton
Don't let problems grow old too
IT is a great relief that the NSW lower house passed the law to allow voluntary assisted dying, as this may prevent the record numbers of men over 85 years old who now take their life rather than eke out the last years without care or dignity. I believe there would otherwise be even greater numbers, as the federal government has passed a law indemnifying aged care operators from criminal or civil action for the cruel and inhuman practice of strapping the aged into chairs or beds for lengthy periods. This, despite the Royal Commission into Aged Care pointing out that such practices were a gross violation of human rights.
On receipt of the report of the royal commission, Mr Morrison pledged that his Coalition government would act on the strong recommendations to stop the abuse and neglect of the aged in care. Little has happened except handing out multi-million dollar contracts to major accounting firms to produce plans to save money on the care of the aged, not provide improved care and comfort.
Typical of this attitude is the fact the health minister set up a new National Aged Care Advisory Council that was composed of representatives of consumers, diverse communities, carers and operators but left out the main caring group, the nurses the commission found were a major deficiency of the aged care workforce. This was in clear opposition to the recommendation that found that some 33 per cent of the 180,000 aged in care had major medical conditions that needed daily nursing care.
As a 92-year-old, my fellow aged and I are increasingly being treated as profit items of the for-profit friends of the government. We had hoped that, if the reforms had been put in force as promised, then the choice of so many of my aged group would not be the terrible and lonely death of so many it the past. Unfortunately, without a change in attitude by the Morrison Coalition or a change in government at the coming election, that horrible choice will still be forced on us.
Frank Ward OAM, Shoal Bay
Lifeline - 13 11 14
I'D like to thank Brad Luke, because no one else will. He came and was seen as a Liberal man in a Labor town, and rose to become deputy lord mayor. Well done, Brad. Hip hip hoo roo.
Dave Wilson, Bar Beach
The Transport Department says a loose nut is at fault for new ferry problems. I reckon that would be the loose nut that decided to build them overseas.
John Bonnyman, Fern Bay
MICHAEL Hinchey, you'll be glad to know I catch the bus to work while I save for my electric vehicle, which comes with the guilt trip that reality deniers won't admit lithium mining kills fish and animals, plus the massive amount of water needed. What I am doing is educating myself on the whole when it comes to our dependency on energy. Clean energy does not exist; to say otherwise is simply reality denial.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
THE public is correct when they ignore the ongoing scare tactics and rumours related to this new virus variant, but in saying that we should not be complacent, or ignorant of its potential. Time will tell of this strain's potency and effects, so until we are 100 per cent sure we should avoid possible contact with those carrying or have been in contact with those that have, and continue to be cautious by adhering to existing safeguards. An interesting scenario is, liken this variant to someone travelling from Africa and bringing in an unknown species of snake and allowing your children to play with it because the species is unknown and you're not sure if it is poisonous or not. Let's not become too complacent with the present lack of information and advice.
Graeme Kime, Cameron Park
WHEN is this country going to grow up? Most of us have isolated for almost a year, yet these smart pollies and airline companies in my opinion completely disregard the general populace and their general well-being for profit. Who really knows anything about this plague and who can really predict the final outcome? I, for one, am seriously concerned that the government and large companies are allowed to put profit above the country's health and welfare. Most of us have avoided overseas travel based on safety reasons; yet again these smart so-called leaders have given us another Ruby Princess. Not very clever.
Dennis Crampton, Swansea
WHAT a churlish letter from Peter Devey, (Short Takes, 2/12), nitpicking over the historical accuracy of the musical Hamilton, and Callan Purcell's feelings about performing in it ('Actor's role getting Rad Kids into the room where it happens', Herald 26/11). You don't go to a musical for historical accuracy. And it's entirely up to Mr Purcell who he feels he's representing when he goes on stage - it's a performance, not a state dinner.