I'VE about run out of my Dominic Perrottet-fuelled positivity. My eldest daughter spent three days self-isolating in her room last week after coming in contact with COVID at a small dinner party.
My son and his flatmates are presently sitting in a queue for testing after one of their household tested COVID positive. They were turned away from three PCR test sites yesterday.
Today, my younger daughter and boyfriend are isolating after one of their camping mates tested positive.
No doubt this and worse are befalling families throughout NSW. Rapid testing kits are almost impossible to source in Newcastle. Letting COVID rip leading up to Christmas was pure folly and I doubt even the much vaunted economy is benefitting.
"YOU can't just make everything free," says Scott Morrison
Testing clinics are operating on reduced hours and there are no rapid antigen tests available to purchase. With close to 2000 cases a day in the Hunter New England Health district, many would love a few rapid antigen tests in their home. It would reduce the queues and ease the worry for many. Public health would be improved.
But that's not how Scott Morrison sees it.
No free tests because one, he didn't order any and it is not his responsibility, (sighing at the same old story) and two, "you can't just make everything free".
Says the man who gave billions in JobKeeper to those who did not need it, and is the king of the pork barrel.
AUSTRALIA is following the UK. The UK government has been unable to cope with the spread of omicron amongst its citizens. As a result, it has placed responsibility on its citizens to manage their own safety. It has helped facilitate this by making rapid antigen tests free to UK citizens.
Some citizens test themselves before and after visiting a venue such as a pub or a football game. These responsible citizens may do the 'right thing' if they are positive: notify health authorities, have a PCR test and quarantine themselves. But others don't do 'the right thing'. If they have symptoms or a positive RAT result, they may choose not to notify authorities, have a confirming PCR test, or quarantine themselves. UK hospitals are now becoming overwhelmed.
The arrival of new mutations could become a regular event. The vast proportion of the world's population are unvaccinated. They are therefore the devil's playground for the virus to develop more infectious mutations. Omicron is one of more recent mutations. Although under natural selection, there is no future for a virus that kills its host (that is why we don't have rampaging Ebola), the natural selection process is a blind, hit or miss affair.
The next mutation that replaces omicron will certainly be more infectious than omicron. But it may also be more deadly. We will find out soon enough.
HANG your head in shame Craig Tiley and Tennis Australia. Awarding a medical exemption to Novak Djokovic to participate in this year's Australian Open smacks of nothing more than commercial opportunism. Awarding a medical exemption to Novak Djokovic is an insult to every man, woman and child that has endured two years of hardship and compliance to our federal and state laws and regulations in an attempt to keep this virus at bay.
Awarding a medical exemption to Novak Djokovic is an insult to his fellow players and support staff that have, I presume, complied in full to the requirements to enter this country. Why is it, that as an Australian citizen I have had to prove my vaccination status via my vaccination certificate to any stranger to allow me to enter a store, or a cafe, or a sporting venue, (proudly I may add).
But Mr Djokovic has not needed to declare his status to anyone at all and waltzes straight in? Let's not forget too that it was Mr Djokovic who objected to our stringent quarantine rules this time last year as he prepared for the Australian Open.
Do you think Mr Tiley that allowing Novak Djokovic to participate in this year's Australian Open would have made one per cent difference to gate takings?
By allowing this undisclosed medical exemption for Mr Djokovic, you have sold the integrity of Tennis Australia down the river and I, for one, will find it hard to attend this event ever again in small protest.
IN June 2020, then-US President Donald Trump declared: "If we stopped testing right now, we'd have very few cases actually". In Australia, we all laughed and dismissed it as just another crazy statement from a crazy man (although in the US, health officials and others concerned about the spiralling death count wrung their hands in despair).
It seems that, 18 months on, Scott Morrison and most of the state premiers have adopted Donald Trump's solution to the exponential increase in the COVID infection count. I suspect that not many people are laughing this time, especially those in health and other front-line services.
WHILE omicron and delta cases surge nationwide, the federal government continues to try to hide the true number of cases and changes the requirements for isolation when a positive test is detected.
The only thing they are interested in is the number of job advertisements - jobs we do not have people with the right qualifications to fill. One can only hope that if and when this virus passes, future governments will have learnt that this country needs to be fully self reliant and take the necessary steps to make that happen.
THERE is still confusion surrounding the rapid antigen testing formats. It's great that there is some relaxation on the Queensland's borders concerning the PCR testing and retesting, but the questions being asked are how do you prove that you have had a rapid test, or do you still line up for hours waiting to have a rapid test confirmation, or is it done then and there?
And as there is limited availability of these kits, what are the possibilities of these testing sites running out or not being able to access suitable supplies? I think supply should logically be available prior to announcing that this is the new order of testing, otherwise we will be back to square one.
While I am on this quandary, if you were lucky enough to purchase these rapid testing kits, which one should you purchase? The nasal swab one or three saliva one? Which is more accurate?
One more query, if you test positive at the border using a rapid test, will you then undergo a PCR test straight away, or will you be ushered back to the rear of the conga line of cars and wait for hours, doubling the waiting time for everyone?
LET'S compare the unimaginative and repetitive whingers campaigning on this page about Mr Albanese's fast rail plan to the reasoned and informative letters of Greg Cameron, ("Freight corridor opens door ", Letters, 4/1) and Greg Giles, ("Forget very fast ... give us a not-so-slow train", Letters, 5/1).
THE only reason we don't have a Very Fast Train is the fact we've spent 20 of the past 26 years under a do-nothing conservative government. Kudos to Albo for his commitment to a better future for all Australians. Bring on an election.
IS Anthony Albanese taking a page out of NSW's last Labor government? It spent millions upon millions on transport studies and cancelled expressions of interest and barely built a bus shed in 16 years. I would put money on this high-speed train announcement morphing into something different overtime. Remember it's coming from each-way Albo, and his mind swings from an idea one day to something completely opposite the next.
BEFORE Novocastrians get too excited about a 45-minute train ride to Sydney, I believe from memory the Newcastle high speed train station is planned for Killingsworth on the Newcastle to Brisbane line.
COMING on the heels of many promises for our esteemed city: If I remember many years ago there was talk of Newcastle becoming a separate state. If it's not too late may I please join?
THE election is on. The 40 year VFT Donkey has been whipped out of the Barn. Sadly there are still Fools amongst us that will swallow this.
THERE'S only one difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. The unvaccinated will accept everyone into their lives - the vaccinated don't.
TO Ian King, (Short Takes, 4/1), yes I have heard the Premier called Dom "Let 'er rip" Perrottet. And I think it is quite appropriate.. He has distanced himself from his responsibility and duty of care to the people of NSW around COVID. We are talking about the health of his electorate - his employer. Letting it rip has resulted in increased hospitalisations, including more in ICU and on ventilators. And, of course, more deaths.
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