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The wrong way to “live with Covid”

January 9, 2022

Opinion by Greg Ray

Careful what you wish for.

That’s what I’m saying to Australia’s numbskull business leaders who pushed so hard for “let it rip” pandemic policies.

They got their puppet politicians – that pigeon-pair of Trump-loving wingnuts, Scomo and Parrothead – to give them what they wanted and it’s backfired. And now none of them knows what to do, except run for cover, or find new ways of profiteering from other people’s troubles.

I can almost understand the argument from a month ago. It seemed like – since the pandemic wasn’t going away – maybe it might not be a bad idea to relax our guard a little and let cases increase a bit. After all, Australia has a very high vaccination rate, and most people got their vaccinations quite recently. So perhaps this was the best time to let some more infections feed through the community and for us to make a move towards “herd immunity”. If that’s what our leaders were thinking then they sure went about it all wrong.  

We had just got a new strain, Omicron, from a poor part of the world that the global business leaders didn’t think needed to have vaccines. Omicron was much more infectious than the Delta strain that preceded it (and remember, Delta was much more infectious than Alpha etc) but Omicron was reputed to result in milder illness. So if Omicron spread maybe the damage would be light.

But as everybody knew, we still had dangerous Delta waiting in the wings for some nitwit to give it the green light and “let it rip”. Which is what happened. No slow, careful adjustments of precautions, with safety nets in place. Nope, just drop our guard completely and see what happens.

Dangerous Delta was waiting in the wings

Surely the geniuses in charge of Australia and post-Gladys NSW must have recalled something from the “flatten the curve” days. The idea that even if the hospitalisation and death-rates per 1000 infections were going to be low, a small percentage of a very big number is still an awful lot of people. So if everybody gets infected in a big rush, then the nation’s hospitals will be flooded with cases. We all knew that would happen, and yet the dingbats in charge decided to drop all precautions in the face of two separate and highly infectious strains of the novel virus. Nobody sensible would have done that.

Also, nobody with any sense would have done so without making the slightest effort to prepare for the inevitable mess that we all knew would follow a full-on “let it rip” abandonment of leadership. True, we finally started getting access to rapid antigen tests, but the brainwaves in charge decided that the best way to deal with those was to let profiteering parasites and vampires handle the distribution process. Some of the same rip-off merchants who scored big out of the badly designed Jobkeeper scheme decided the rapid tests were their next parasite opportunity.

What provision was made to ensure the health system would be insulated from the avalanche of cases? None, as far as I can see. That health workers would be warned, vaccine-boosted and reinforced with useful help? None, I gather. That aged care homes would be protected? Not much by the look of it.

Threw our health system under a bus

Scomo and Parrothead: what did you do? You sucked up to your big business mates and, copying the worst of the US mistakes, you ignored every single thing we had already learned about the pandemic. You screwed up. You threw our health system under a bus. Now the hospitals are buckling. GPs are on their knees. Ambulance services are keeling over. Entire supply chains are stuffed.

So what are the numbskulls doing about it? They want people to stop having tests because the system is swamped. They want workers with Covid – including health staff – to go back to work. They want hospitals to stop saying people died of Covid if they can find some other thing to blame for particular deaths. Between the pair of them Scomo and Parrothead have organised it so we have no real idea how many people have the infection. Even under Gladys NSW wasn’t counting people receiving hospital care at home as hospital cases. Now we are being told to manage at home as best we can. Buy a RAT test from some vampire retailer at three times the fair price, if you can find one at all.

And what about Scomo and his wise remark that it would be irresponsible to hand out free RAT tests? This bloke heads a government that throws tens of millions of dollars at its mates and cronies with never a backward glance. The biggest pork-barrelling pig-circus in Australian political history. Suddenly he cares about financial responsibility? What a joke.

Well it’s our bad luck now. Scomo and Parrothead made this mess and they clearly don’t have the faintest idea what to do now other than bend the figures, make up nonsense and rely on their mad mates in the big business media to cover their sorry arses.

A pox on both of them. A pox on their daft Yankee role models. And a pox on their stupid big business mates who pull their stupid strings.

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