BA.4.6, a subvariant of Omicron, quickly gaining traction in the US and the UK, is able to evade immunity acquired from vaccination and prior infection. It is likely to be followed by BA.2.75.2 - an even more evasive subvariant (Illustration by Andrii Vodolazhskyi)
NOOSA - The full weight of nine governments and the public health bureaucracy continue to succeed in persuading the Australian population that Covid is not something to worry too much about.
One result of this nonsense is that in five of Australia’s eight states and territories, Covid infection is showing positive growth, with Queensland and South Australia looking likely to soon burst out into major expansion.
Most recently the States have assisted their goal of abolishing Covid as a disease of concern by conspiring not to publish daily data on cases, hospitalisations and deaths.
Such secrecy and manipulation around data can be added to subversive acts like not mandating or even encouraging mask-wearing, as exposing the population to infection by Covid.
Should I remind you that Covid is a dangerous disease which can kill and, in a large proportion of cases (4-8%), leave victims chronically ill with what is termed Long Covid.
Long Covid is a serious neurological disorder similar in character to ME/CFS, an incurable condition I know much about having suffered from it for over 20 years.
“I would not want that for my worst enemy,” as was my dear mother’s highest expression of dislike.
With 12,520 covid deaths so far this year, and 25,000 forecast for the whole year, Covid is not only not over but it has become the biggest killer of Australians.
Meanwhile the powers that be are trying to convince the rest of us that deaths are lower and the pandemic over. Even as new variants are breeding and we await the next upturn in disease.
“We're in a strange place with Covid in Australia,” says the eminent scientist Professor Brendan Crabb AC.
“A hard to reconcile ‘comfort’ with high cases (10 million plus), death (heading to more than 20,000 excess deaths in 2022), stretched health care and high chronic illness contributing to a labour market crisis.”
“It’s disappointing to have health advice ignored at both state and federal level and both sides of politics wanting to do less and less,” echoes Dr Dan Jago.
More variants are on the way and this means more cases, more hospitalisations and more deaths are on the way.
By Christmas, variant BA.2.75.2 will have settled in. How are governments going to explain the damage and distress that is going to cause.
And as far as it only being frail old people who need to worry about Covid, those happy go lucky days for younger Australians are over.
In NSW since June there have been about 40,000 workers compensation claims for Covid, half the total for all causes. These did not some from the disabled or elderly.
But injuries in education were up 50%. Being a teacher is now more risky than being a construction worker. Bundled up in that crowded classroom with kids and Covid.
Anyway, given the silence about Covid imposed by governments and public health authorities, you you probably have not caught up with the latest (last week’s) Covid statistics.
There’s been a big step up in what’s called the Reff, the reproductive number of the virus - which tells us how many cases on average a single person will pass on to others.
The critical number for Reff is 1 – above that, cases are growing in the community; below it, theyre reducing.
Happily, cases in Australia are still reducing but at a slower rate as the Reff moves inexorably upwards towards 1.
Last week the national Reff was 0.91, up from 0.86. Once it passes 1, we have a big spread problem.
The states in which the Reff is growing are Queensland (0.98), South Australia (0.97), Tasmania (0.94), Victoria (0.9) and NSW (0.88).
Last week there was an increase in deaths in Queensland (up from 62 to 71) and Tasmania (up from 2 to 3).
People in intensive care rose in both NSW (27 to 29) and Queensland (6 to 9).
From this data we would expect Covid to once again soon emerge as a significant problem in both Queensland and South Australia.
New Covid variants are on the way and our governments are doing nothing to stop them.
Source: The statistics are from Professor Adrian Esterman of the University of Adelaide; the analysis is mine