Will Australia Return to Mandatory Mask Wearing?
Posted on July 4, 2022
Here is a Tweet from Sydney Airport around six hours ago. It’s just a Monday morning during school holidays in the third year of a global pandemic with flights cancelled due to sick aircrew and staff.
There are few masks to be seen. They were recently dropped as a Covid-19 mitigation measure at airports and in general Australian life.
And that, as part of a package of widespread Covid defence easing, is how this mess happened.
That will soon be changing—masking-up that is. The commercial damage inflicted by the stupidity of politicising Covid-19 will take at least another year to unravel, unless it’s permitted to worsen.
I Tweeted the following earlier today as part of a small thread:
Denying that compulsory mask wearing slows the spread of Covid-19 is a fraud. Not slowing the spread of Covid-19 is gross negligence. Which premiers, chief ministers, health ministers and advisors want to be liable? Return indoor mask mandates this week.
Liable that is for pain and suffering, loss of life and economic damage having chosen the wrong public health direction.
In the meantime Australia also now has record influenza, a monkeypox epidemic and just in—diphtheria-of-the-throat.
These diseases are all airborne.
Surely, we can all get on the same page with diphtheria-of-the-throat, that hasn’t been in New South Wales for 100 years and whose presence eerily amplifies the menace of Covid-like anti-vaccine thinking.
Yes. Most children in Australia are vaccinated for diphtheria. In fact, Australia has 11 vaccine brands that cover it from an early age usually combined with whooping cough, polio and tetanus.
Which is all to say, masks will soon be compulsory again—at least indoors in public.
Professor Sharon Lewin, inaugural director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity whose “Doherty Report” forms the basis of Australia’s now outdated National Covid Plan, is calling for them. Right-wing media is even calling for them. Epidemiologists have always been calling for them, albeit for some.
The latest shtick of those experts who do not approve masks, is that they are “undemocratic”: they claim that “mask fatigue” trumps public health and that public health policy should be set by popular vote.
Well, to quote Ukrainian journalist Nataliya Gumenyuk, in The Guardian this February:
There is a famous phrase, ‘4am Kyiv is bombed’. Every Ukrainian and Russian kid knows it. That’s how the announcement of the German bombardment of Kyiv in 1941 sounded.
Ukrainian psychologist Olha Koba added in the New York Times of March:
When people are happy about the death of Russian soldiers, it is explicable. There is a subconscious understanding that this soldier will no longer be able to kill their loved ones.
Which is why Ukrainians are united in their response to a foreign foe trying to takeover their lives. They’re not cowards. They’re fighting back.
Yet, we are told that a piece of facecloth against a foreign viral foe is scary.
When Australia’s National Cabinet officially adopted the Doherty Report’s modelling in August 2021, World Health Organisation adviser and University of New South Wales infectious disease control expert Professor Mary-Louise McLaws said in NewsGP—the official publication of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners:
Over a thousand deaths is acceptable? We’re reeling now from the 22 deaths in the current NSW outbreak. We are aiming at a low bar.
Yesterday, Australia recorded its 10,000th Covid-19 death. Professor McLaws wanted faster vaccinations across a broader age demographic intertwined with other Covid mitigations.
But today, roughly 35% of Australia’s adult population still has not had its 3rd (or booster) dose. Children are lagging in their 1st and 2nd doses. And Australia’s immunisation advisory body ATAGI is still delaying the general rollout of a Dose 4.
A piece of facial cloth isn’t scary when your nation is under attack.
The only true fear lays inside politicians who forget that their ballot box performance rests not with their decisions, but in how well they sell the right decisions.
That is called leadership and its antithesis is groupthink.
© 2022 Adam Parker.
Picture credit: Official Tweet by Sydney Airport July 4, 2022. Twitter.