This is a frustrating time – we are all feeling various shades of tired, overwhelmed, and angry about the Covid-19 Delta outbreak in NSW, and in particular the way the virus has swept across Sydney and into the South Sydney suburbs.
State and federal governments have started to present their plans for opening up the state and the nation again. We frequently get reports on the proportion of the state (of people aged 16 and over) who are partially or fully vaccinated, and so it is tempting to think “we are nearly there” – and to resume our lives with as much normalcy as possible. However, if we wish to avoid future long lockdowns, we must try to keep in mind not just the impact of Covid-19 on ourselves and our families, but also other people living in our communities.
There are still people who have been unable to get vaccinated – either because they haven’t been able to get an appointment, they have health conditions that mean vaccination presents more of a risk than a benefit, or there has not been adequate translation of health advice to multicultural communities.
The nature of the Delta variant means that children are more likely to be infected and get very sick – but smaller proportions of young people have been able to get vaccinated at time of writing.
There are people who need to work that are working in high-contact or high-risk environments – such as those working in warehouses, delivery, and retail. For many, it is not always possible or easy to stay home if unwell.
These points reinforce that we still have a long way to go before we can feel confident that this outbreak is under control. There are important policy decisions to be made, and while it will not completely stop hospitalisations and deaths, there needs to be considerations about who will potentially be left behind if we rush to open up.
What can we, as citizens who want the best for each other, do in the meantime?
- Continue checking in with QR codes or other sign in options wherever you go.
- Avoid large gatherings.
- Seek help in getting vaccinated if you haven’t been able to get an appointment yet.
- Try to stay home when you are sick.
- Look after your mental health – if you are feeling more tired, “out of sorts” or unmotivated than usual, it might be worth speaking to a mental health organisation about how you’re feeling.
We will get through this time, but we must not try to rush – both for our own sakes, but also for others living in the South Sydney community.
For information and support, some numbers are:
Counterpoint Community Services: (02) 9698 9569 or
Its Covid Vax Assist number is (02) 9062 5161 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Aboriginal Medical Service Cooperative Limited, Redfern: (02) 93195823 or http://www.amsredfern.org.au/
Lifeline: 13 11 14 or https://www.lifeline.org.au/