A Covid-19 Tale of Two Days a Year Apart
Posted on August 31, 2021
As August 2021 comes to an end and with it another Southern Hemisphere pandemic winter, Australia has been in a global Covid-19 health crisis for 18 months.
The colloquial name “Covid-19” alone should shake us. This coronavirus, originally called the Wuhan Strain, first reared its head in 2019 and today, it is far from over. Covid-19 is unlike any recent prior pandemic we’ve seen. It’s not Avian flu nor Swine flu. Though bad, they petered off with time. Covid-19 instead, continues unabated: a global mass-killer so serious it’s sparked an unheralded race for vaccines.
Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state, achieved notoriety last year experiencing two Covid Waves.
Wave 1 came via cruise ships docking in another state, New South Wales, at Sydney harbour. It infected Australia whole. Wave 2 though, was a product of its own making through deficient hotel quarantine.
Today, Victoria once again finds itself in a hard lockdown already two month’s long against a Covid-19 Wave 3.
Named after the Covid strain “Delta”, it too began in NSW through hotel quarantine deficiencies—but owing to a deliberate state government policy there, denying Sydney the right to lockdown early and hard, it’s infected every other Australian state and territory like Wave 1 but to unequal degrees.
In Victoria, the result has been tragic. NSW infected Victoria twice. It took Victoria just four weeks to eradicate Delta the first time—once again achieving Covid-Zero. The second time around, Delta hid in Melbourne at least a week, incubating before exploding.
Today, NSW is reporting a daily community caseload consistently above 1,000—an Australian record. Melbourne looks set to break 100 daily cases soon despite a nightly curfew but NSW’s failure has shifted the pandemic debate.
Australia through its National Cabinet, an emergency body of state and federal governments formed to deal with the pandemic in 2020, has agreed to move the country from a policy of Covid “eradication” pending vaccination to one of “living with Covid” driven by vaccination.
Called the “National Plan to Transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response”, it’s a set of loose goalposts underpinned by two variables:
- Scientific modelling by a body called the Doherty Institute that’s mapped the risks of re-opening Australia at various levels of its 16-year-old-plus adult population vaccinated and under various modes of movement control.
- The availability of Covid-19 vaccines which in Australia means, AstraZeneca and Pfizer first up.
To this we overlay an oligopoly of media conglomerates controlling the newsprint, radio, free TV, cable and video streaming message. The problem of course, becomes a paucity of reportage diversity. A time once existed when publishers competed for the edge, the break, the scoop, the angle. That’s no more.
More than ever, Australia’s 24-7 media now comes with the baggage of political agenda. In the era of greed that’s typified the 21st Century, that means projecting policies that serve corporate wealth accumulation.
The sad fact is, whether or not they know it—and surely most do—it’s the reporters, journalists, opinionaters, anchors, hosts, editors and news directors who then daily ply an endless loop off Covid-defeatism.
Which explains the comparison that follows you’ll likely not see outlined anywhere but here.
One year ago today, Melbourne recorded 73 community cases. Today, it had 76.
1 year ago today, Victoria’s chief health officer said those numbers were “not good” but added Victoria’s strategy was “providing the right results expected”. (This was at the time when Victoria was well on its long road down from 700+ daily cases.) Today, with cases now slowly rising as part of the Delta Wave he said the same.
1 year ago today, Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews said that he would be announcing a “road map out of lockdown” that coming Sunday and all would be dependent on future case numbers. Today, he said the same but we’re waiting on those details tomorrow—Wednesday.
1 year ago today, Victoria was recovering from a Covid Wave that was its fault through faulty hotel quarantining. Today, Victoria was recovering from a Covid Wave it was given by NSW through faulty hotel quarantining.
1 year ago today, Victorians were tired but determined to see its Wave defeated. Today, Victorians were tired but confused because this time, they’d done nothing wrong but a media was beating them around their heads that NSW’s fait accompli meant that risk was now their only hope.
And that’s where we are.
In an uncontrolled global pandemic where the longest military conflict in modern history has just concluded in a defeat, those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.
This is what you get from generations that have never tasted victory nor been able to hope. Politicians and the media have been able to collude in creating a health strategy that triages the strongest over the weak.
This was last seen in 1930s Europe with an industry-backed madman both Fuhrer and chancellor, dictator and owner of the nation’s message. A suicidal megalomaniac who when the going got tough first tried killing everyone. And when that failed, he killed himself.
© 2021 Adam Parker.