This is not a restaurant review, or a commentary on dining out, per se. This is my commentary on some things that are impossible to share quickly with my small but diverse audience who occasionally read my thoughts (thanks, by the way). I have a lot of intelligent people who contribute to my considerations, and provoke my desires to debate, but they are all equally aware that I am not easily perturbed, and reasonably easy to fire up. I hope they all know that I care and if they are close enough to me they respect my ability to point out my perspectives.
These few paragraphs are about my reality. I am writing this for all and sundry, so it is not directed. It is not an opinion piece for a newspaper (which are sadly on a sharp decline from an integrity perspective), and it is not an attempt to get a bunch of likes. I’ve now written over 350 reviews about dining establishments and I keep on doing it, but any hack could see that it is not to instigate a follow, or acquire a like.
My mood, and my emotion, are not isolated to a pandemic. I am one of the most emotional people I know. I am one of the most excited and depressed people I know too, but close friends and family know that is because of some of my life experiences, and the tragedies I have got though. In any case, I am generally sad about the pandemic (naturally), but also about the lockdown, and the reactions to it, both positive, negative, and neutral.
Again, caveating, but for the last time in this short piece of thought, the current place we are in, in all parts of Australia, is exceptionally brilliant. Apologies to my friends, family, and colleagues, in the United States of America (USA) but we have a population of around 26 million with less than 1,000 deaths from COVID-19, and the USA has over 606,000 deaths with a population of almost 330 million. That means that in Australia less than 4 people in 100,000 have died from COVID-19. Basically, you are more than 50 times more likely to have died in the USA than Australia from COVID-19, even if some statistics are flawed, that is important to keep in mind.
Now that I’ve started, my next thought draws on the stat about less than 4 people in 100,000 who have died in Australia. That stat will not change quickly (we all hope), but with vaccination we are almost ensured it will not, unless there is a serious issue with the vaccine, or a mutation. There seems to be a couple of unarguable general propositions about the vaccine. One is that it protects those who get it from the worst impacts of the virus, and the other is that about 1 in 100,000 people seem to die for no good reason from it (I know it is blood clots).
Let’s dissect the first proposition. Delta is tearing the world apart, because it is: between more contagious, and twice as contagious, as Alpha. It is anyone’s guess what the difference would be if Delta came first. However, evidence suggests that as bad as Delta is, the impact of the vaccination is dulling its deadly impact. I understand the initial proposition from the Australian authorities (this is easier than just passing blame to one Government body) is that certain age groups should take one vaccine over another, based on the threat of dying from the vaccine as opposed to the virus.
Well, in certain age groups the mathematics are crazily against taking a certain vaccine. Most gambling professionals would be stacking their bets on anyone under 40, and especially under 30, ending up dying. The undeniable fact is that at this point in the pandemic there have been less than 160 contract COVID out of 100,000 people, and less than 2.5% of those people have passed from the virus. If you start to do the statistics based on your location, or your age group (or both), and comparing those to the complications of certain vaccinations, the odds are ridiculously simple.
Now that we have established the base line, and one that I urge you to try to argue against because it would generate more comments from this blog than have ever been found, let’s get to our way out. I am not being provocative at all, but our leaders have given us an absolutely ridiculous target. Before reading further, if you have time, this article is neutral and sums it up well. While there have been good intentions, no country has raced to the 70-80% as expected. I am not going to try to prophesise, but is it possible that in each and every one of those countries (and ours) they have been subject to the “silent” or worse, and not fairly called, the “despicables”?
In other words, there are a lot of people that are not going to admit to being hesitant about taking the vaccine when you run up to them shouting like a crazy person that you have had the vaccine. Believe it or not but there are a lot of people that don’t tell you anything personal about themselves, and that includes those close to you. There are anti-vaxxers, who will not have the conversation with you, because you have already demonstrated on social media that you think you are amazing and superior to them. So they will stay silent and completely fuck it all up for us.
I have not sworn in my writing, except to swear that I will never stop going back to Lake House, and will always order two scoops of ice cream because one is barely enough. However, I will take a chance and say that anyone who thinks that getting a jab in their arm makes them superior to others is seriously deluded. We will not get to 70% vaccination by the end of 2021. The State and Federal Governments of Australia, educated by their people (ie, they will do what the majority will vote for), will have to decide whether lockdowns are still the answer in summer. My assessment is we will not get to that.
There will be a point in time in September, or at the latest October, where the Governments will give a final opportunity to the entire population to get vaccinated or risk the results. We all know the economy is important to all of us in some sort of balance with life (a balance on life that we value more than a lot of other countries) but at some stage there is a line in the sand. As long as all people including youngsters have the option, we need to go back to free borders, and freedom. We are reasonable Australian people, and there will never be a shoot out, or a rebellion, but we have always had the right outcome eventually.
I love this country and I do not dispute lockdowns. To propose the biggest clique that has arisen in all eternity, the time has come to have a discussion. On the basis that the discussion will never happen, we need to be realistic about how amazing our Governments have been (yes, with a lot in their favour circumstantially), but also start to not just accept lockdown extensions, and not just accept zero tolerance for tragedy. On this note, we have not accepted the 958 deaths from COVID-19 that grow by the day, but put that against the total 169k deaths in Australia in 2019 and you do have some perspective. Further, more people died in road tragedies in 2019. I am not about to say that there is a correlation between traffic accident deaths and COVID-19. When COVID-19 spreads it is horrific.
My whole point is that we have been very lucky through circumstances, through public acceptance of lockdown conditions to protect each other, and now through access to vaccinations, that we should understand our privilege. There is no issue with deciding to not get vaccinated at all, but you need to accept that it creates risk for yourself and your loved ones. It is simple science and there is no doubt. You do not need to be yelled at to make it more sensible, and those people yelling are not becoming more sensical either.
I would not be doing my personal duty if I didn’t upset everyone I know. If you are purposely going against lockdown rules (whether the spirit of the rules, or the actual technicalities of the rules) you are a selfish person. On the flip, you are losing sleep worrying about selfish people you need to set your sights on objects that are worthwhile. If you are still a bit sore about being called selfish, please get over it, and reflect on why you are a bit sore. Maybe it is because you know you have slightly bent the rules and your conscience is telling you. If you want to go and yell at people because they are meeting up for a coffee, go for it, but you are complete proverbial too. Some of those people were thinking about killing themselves this morning, and some have been subject to domestic violence overnight. So get over yourself.
We are not in this together. This has been the most separating aspect of life in Australia ever. When it ends, and politicians (and our friends), try saying how united we are, you should remind them what a proverbial they were during this crisis. I know people who literally hate where I came from as if Hitler was their leader. I know people who thinks Gladys should be subject to medieval law. Seriously who would have those types of jobs. They pay relatively nothing, and they only reward those who get told “yes, yes, yes” each and every day. You think these representatives are being told “yes, yes, yes”?
To close, we are screwed. Lockdown worked last year so politicians will hold on to it. Vaccinations will never hit 80%. Certain vaccinations during lockdowns are riskier to take than the chance of catching and dying from COVID-19 (statistically it is proven). I believe the norm for East Coast Australians in the next 12 months is to break rules slowly more and more until they mean nothing. By next winter the world will have moved on, deaths will not be important to politicians, and everything will be normal but very scary.
As a final note I am not emotionless. My colleague in Houston had their son-in-law see almost 10 people in cardiac arrest last week due to COVID-19, and the 20k cases a week in Texas take their toll. It is devastating and I don’t want my family and friends, and their family and friends, to suffer. If it could save one of my loved ones, I’d lockdown another few years, but that is simply not the equation.
As of 15 August 2021 Australian deaths from COVID-19 are 958 and population was 25.36m (as per Census 2019) and 25.8m (as of Worldofmeter)
As of 15 August 2021 USA deaths from COVID-19 are 621k (per Google, but 606k comes from article quoted below) and population was 328.2m (as per 2019 US Census Bureau)
As of 15 August 2021 there have been less than 40k COVID-19 cases in Australia. With 958 deaths there have been 2.4504% of people die of the virus.
The article is interesting because the whole hesitancy is not examined, but it does show that those who can get the vaccine do not always choose to get it, even if it is easy to get access to.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare there were over 169k deaths in Australia in 2019.
1,195 people died on Australian roads in 2019 per RoadSafety.Gov.Au