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EDITORIAL: We all must take responsibility on COVID-19

One national radio health reporter described it as ‘open slather’.

Others have suggested it reflected a type of ‘method in the madness’. Some have described it as a ‘crossroads of uncertainty’ and there’s a group saying it reflects a ‘two-bob each way’ bet that allows but doesn’t encourage people to ‘run the gauntlet’.

That’s only a snapshot of the broad range of commentary as the masses try to establish clarity on government feeling in working through the latest twists in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Omicron variant of the virus – apparently not as nasty as previous variants but more infectious – has thrown a massive spanner into the immediate fight against this disease.

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The sheer weight of infections and the natural diversity in individual responses it generates has again placed massive strain on medical services. 

We’re also seeing a growing number of positive cases in the Wimmera and people, getting used to enjoying a return to freedoms, are naturally unnerved by the latest circumstance.

It has come at an awkward time in the vaccination program, where many fully vaccinated people who catch the virus can be everything from ill for a short time and in need of medical help to being completely asymptomatic with little idea they are carrying the disease – and all the while capable of passing it on to the next person.

There is a growing sense that this latest ‘inswinger’ has even some of our most learned of experts probing in the dark and that in turn leaves the masses, which have become used to being told what to do, to become vulnerable to second-guessing.

Amid the murky unknown, perhaps the strongest message coming through loud and clear is that we’re a little way off from shaking this virus.

And with leaders desperate to avoid imposing harsh restrictive measures such as  large-scale lockdowns and promoting a concept of ‘living with covid’ there is now a push for a galvanisation of educated self-regulation.

That means our leaders, with the clearest of understanding of what it means to shut down communities, cities and states, want to maintain or introduce levels of freedom that allows society to function with some degree of normality. 

They have forced people, through process and law, to ‘do the right thing’ during the pandemic. But they have also relied heavily on people taking individual responsibility for the health and wellbeing of their communities. They want people to go about their lives but to also be vigilant and careful.

The State Government has announced updated testing procedures involving Rapid Antigen Tests and directions for people who test positive.

We also have a well-understood fall-back position in the fight against COVID-19. 

When we think we might have COVID-19, we should assume we do and immediately isolate. When generally in doubt about an environment, we should have a defensive mind-set when mixing with people, maintain distance between each other, wear masks, be conscious of circumstances involving crowds, remember to regularly sanitise and avoid delaying getting booster vaccine shots when eligible or available – these are directions we know and understand.

The entire January 12, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!