Grim reality

In Australia, low Covid-19 case loads have given us the luxury of considering vaccination as a non-essential option. But that won’t always be the case.

The alarming rate at which the NSW Covid-19 outbreak has escalated shows how the Delta variant is a game-changer.
A few days ago Premier Gladys Berejiklian referred to the situation in her State as “literally a war” as cases rose at a rate never before seen in NSW.
As five of Australia’s eight states and territories struggle to contain the spread of the highly infectious variant, the nation is facing the reality that the comparative safety we have enjoyed through much of the pandemic is temporary.
The speed at which the virus has spread through Sydney and the Eastern States is a warning to the rest of the nation.
Our international borders cannot stay closed indefinitely and – even if they did – the chance of the Delta strain spreading across Australia is high. Studies still show that vaccination is our best chance of reducing the severity of illness and preventing death from the Delta variant.
In Australia, low Covid-19 case loads have given us the luxury of considering vaccination as a non-essential option.
But that won’t always be the case.
In a recent ABC article, infectious disease experts warned that Covid-19 would become a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” in Australia, with the high infection rate of the Delta strain making herd immunity – which typically protects the minority of unvaccinated individuals – an “impossibility”.
Every day each of us make decisions based on the weight of risk.
We choose to take medications because we deem the possibility of side effects to be a lower risk than the disease itself.
We choose to drive because we believe the risk of a fatal accident doesn’t outweigh the convenience of fast travel.
At the moment, the risk of contracting Covid-19 may seem low.
But it will not always be this way.
In the past three months more than 50 people have died from Covid-19 in NSW – one as young as 27.
This virus does not discriminate and it cannot be permanently kept at bay.
The choice is ours.
And it’s a choice that must be made not only based on the risks associated with vaccination, but also, the almost inevitable and much higher risks associated with contracting the virus itself.
It could be a matter of life or death.