Journal 1 September 2021
DISCLAIMER. This article is the result of a collaboration of medical, military, academic, consultants and lay people. I have merely strung the threads together and woven the article below.
LEARNING TO LIVE WITH THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC – A POINT OF VIEW. A copy of the article may be downloaded by clicking on: AUSTRALIA IN CRISIS
“Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it” Pericles – Ancient Greek Statesman.
I have been back since Sunday 29 August 2021, The trip from Greece – Turkey – Singapore and finally Melbourne was quite a journey. I was briefly detained in Turkey over documentation, followed by an overnight stay in Singapore. A gruelling and extensive screening and interrogation at Tullamarine airport and finally a bus trip to the fortress like IBIS Novotel in the heart of Melbourne.
The last few days collecting my thoughts on the past 17 months in isolation and collating material from a number of assets and sources for this article. For the record, I am not against vaccinations or wearing of masks, (I have been vaccinated and wear a mask when required). I am however against the manner in which the Covid-19 pandemic has been managed.
Some 18 months ago I wrote an article, that society can learn from history, not to panic and to follow the guidelines being provided at the time. On reflection I find no changes to my thoughts and in fact I am highly critical of how Australian State Premiers have failed miserably and divided the nation by the lack of cooperation and selfish self centred attitudes to other Australians.
Like Damocles of old, death looms over all of us, yet what is important is to strive to be happy and enjoy life in spite of the crisis Australia faces. A crisis that if not managed correctly will overwhelm its capacity to face challenges in a pragmatic and logical way.
Over the past 17 months, Australians and indeed the world have been fed a daily dose of fear and uncertainty. These two iniquitous companions have the capacity to bring Australian society to its knees and engulf it into chaos.
State governments have all gone their own way creating small kingdoms separated by borders and it’s people in lock-downs and curfews. However State governments have failed to take notice of the scientific and professional communities who have repeatedly spoken against the draconian measures being implemented by State Premiers.
THE GREAT BARRINGTON DECLARATION. The Great Barrington Declaration is a conglomeration of thousands of infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists as well as lay people who have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies by governments. Although the Declaration was published on the 4 October 2020 and the coronavirus has mutated beyond the Delta strain, the declaration remains relevant to this day.
As professionals and as a group they recommend an intelligent, pragmatic and commonsense approach to what they call ‘FOCUSED PROTECTION’. (To read more about the Great Barrington Declaration. (visit the following link: https://gbdeclaration.org)
THE DOHERTY INSTITUTE. The Doherty Institute Modelling Report to advise on the National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID. (Visit the following link: https://www.doherty.edu.au/news-events/news/doherty-institute-modelling-report-for-national-cabinet)
ALTERNATIVE AUSTRALIAN APPROACH.
We must learn to live with COVID-19 if Australia is able to remain a player on the world stage. The following are points of view are intended to eradicate fear within society.
1. A zero COVID-19 strategy is unsustainable and ill advised.
2. We should promote COVID-19 awareness but suppress COVID-19 hysteria.
3. We should acknowledge that some public officials have been employing COVID-19 hysteria as a means to control behaviour. The press on the other hand add fuel to the fire by reports of hysteria and this fear has become embedded in the minds of society and it is constant because it is the current issue. There are those in society who choose not to want to follow laws enacted by a democratically elected government and enforced by our statutory authorities, will ultimately suffer the consequences of their actions and/or non actions.
4. The mainstream media appear to have a penchant for dismissing rational, science based arguments in favour of attention grabbing headlines and sensationalism.
5. COVID-19 hysteria should be treated like any other health condition.
6. Therefore, it needs to be managed by a Health Promotion Program similar to AIDS.
HEALTH PROMOTION PROGRAMME
1. Education of the science around COVID-19, by educating the public about the COVID-19 virus such as the modes of transmission, symptoms, risk factors, vulnerable populations and/or survival/mortality rate in healthy versus at risk populations).
2. Education on how to minimise the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus, including the ramifications of not doing these small things.
3. Reassurance that getting the COVID-19 virus is generally not a death sentence, as some people perceive.
4. The current vaccines, rapid antigen testing, competent contact tracing and robust public health institutions, are but tools that can be used to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 FACTS & REVELATIONS.
It is a well known fact that vaccines DO NOT prevent you from getting COVID-19. They simply mitigate the risk of developing adverse outcomes. A vaccine provides acquired immunity by stimulating the auto immune system; it is never intended to be a cure.
There is an excellent likelihood that booster vaccines will be employed in the near future. This has already been implemented in most European countries. Implementation of boosters starts on the 12 September 2021 in the USA.
An interview on the topic of Covid19, the pandemic and the lies that are being propagated to society. https://thehighwire.com/videos/pfizer-vp-the-thing-to-be-terrified-of-is-your-government/
NATIONAL APPROACH TO COVID-19.
- Under the Commonwealth, State Governments can do as they wish with regard to health and policing. Therefore it’s important that a united approach is taken before matters escalate beyond redemption
- Why is a national approach required? We are a population of 25 million. There needs to be the same approach used by all states and territories similar to our multitude of harmonised laws.
- Why? There are adverse economic and psychological consequences if one standard is not applied to all states. This was recognized as long ago as the 1890s and was a main driver for the creation of the Commonwealth of Australia.
- Business depends on a consistent standardized approach.
- Membership of the National Cabinet should be expanded and a national COVID-19 strategy needs to be developed on the basis of all relevant stakeholders such as State, Federal, Business entities, Unions, heads of all major industries.
- We must accept that 100% vaccination is an unrealistic goal. Individuals need to be treated as adults. They have the right to accept or refuse vaccination.
- It is Unfortunate that the rules about hand washing, social distancing etc, are meaningless if elements of the population don’t follow them as amply evidenced by people that don’t home quarantine and others that go to work knowing they have COVID. Hence the draconian measures we currently have in place. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, it’s called Democracy.
- Vaccination, rapid antigen testing, risk assessment approach, and strong public health institutions should be used to prevent lock-downs. Acknowledge that there is a portion of the population for example, approximately 5% who will develop long term-COVID-19.
- Nonetheless, majority of people will recover from the condition relatively unscathed.
- Acknowledge that it is a novel virus and long-term consequences will need to be researched, analysed and managed by the government and relevant health institutions, health care workers.
- Assert that COVID-19 is a virus, therefore, it will mutate. Accordingly, there will be novel strains that may or may not be more dangerous than previous COVID-19 strains.
- Public health and/or educational institutions and/or researchers need to be vigilant about the latest developments and have total transparency in their decisions.
- Our health infrastructure needs to have the reserve capacity to deal with future strains. Herein lies the dilemma for the government, open up with the attendant stress on the State health system or close down with the consequent economic costs. However is it not better to open up the health system and invest more in supporting it rather than locking down the entire society?
Some nations are creating centres for Covid-19 and anyone presenting with symptoms are immediately medivaced to these places, this left the rest of the health system “business as usual”. It is believed that Australia is constructing such centres to meet future pandemics.
PANDEMIC KEY MESSAGES
- The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected individuals, communities, and small businesses.
- Small businesses are the cornerstone of a modern, democratic and thriving country.
- Prolonged lock-downs are associated with adverse health and psychological consequences, particularly for vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, single people, migrants and people from low socio-economic background. These chronic health effects will only be evident in years to come and compensation will be sought.
- An Australian society that strives to maintain a healthy balance of mind and body requires, access to fresh air, sunshine, clean water, good food and the means to dispose of waste products. This is so important to those placed in isolation or quarantine.
- Failure to have access to the basics is creating a dismal environment that will have negative mental and physical outcomes. https://youtu.be/6VzPMuKrGsQ
- Risk approach should be used for all members, whether they are Australian or not or follow the example of other nations like Singapore who use the colour system. For example green, yellow and red light system or as demonstrated below:
- Green indicating low risk), yellow being medium risk and red for high risk.
- Green countries with high vaccination rates, good health care system, health care system with transparency and integrity.
- Rapid antigen test on arrival, proof of vaccination, screening form, for example a recent visit to yellow or red country, contact with COVID-19 infected person.
- Fully vaccinated passengers from green countries should be allowed to come to Australia without quarantine. Overseas students for example who have been vaccinated and tested prior to and on arrival should be allowed to live within closed communities associated with their parent educational institution.
- Nationals from yellow and red countries should be quarantined and placed in communities with access to fresh air, sunshine, good food, and water and allowed to exercise.
- Consider an open state borders policy to allow medical institutions, law enforcement and military assets to return to their main role and responsibilities.
- Consider an Australian Immunisation Register, so that those that need to know about being vaccinated can access the register to confirm. Similar to the World Health Organisation vaccination certificates, (yellow card).
While it appears that the needs of the many may overcome the needs of the few, such a register may conflict with privacy issues as was the case in the UK. In the UK their central system was found to have in excess of errors for 700,000 people. Privacy in this case will be lost and the information will be used by governments for other purposes, for which individuals did not give consent.
CONCLUSION. Australia’s future prosperity depends on trade, investments, and immigration and open borders. Investing in our natural resources and increasing opportunities in areas such as education, migration, foreign investments and attracting the brightest minds will enable Australia to compete on the world stage as equal partners.
Peter Adamis is a Freelance Journalist/Social Media Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Environmental & Occupational Health & Safety Training Consultant. A Bachelor of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health & Safety, (Monash), and Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management.