20.2 C
Byron Shire
April 22, 2021

Lockdown lifesaver

Latest News

Shenhua gone and Breeza breathes again

In a much-hoped-for move, the NSW Government and the China Shenhua Energy Company Limited have reached a $100 million agreement in which Shenhua will withdraw its mining lease application and surrender its development consent for the Shenhua Watermark Coal project at Breeza on the Liverpool Plains.

Other News

5MW solar farm funding under question

A 5MW solar farm proposed for Myocum, located near the Byron Resource Recovery Centre, poses a ‘high degree of risk’, and could jeopardise funding for other large Council infrastructure projects, according to a staff report, to be tabled at this Thursday’s meeting.

Electricity ‘fun facts’

Anonymous, Ballina I’m surprised that a part of David Lowe’s online article of March 15 slipped under the fact-check radar (‘Tamara Smith...

An insult, Poppa

From what I can understand, Poppa Veet Mayo’s letter seems to imply that this latest COVID scare is a...

Step up, Ben

Martin Corben, Lennox Head With the cancellation of Bluesfest now would be a good time for the NSW state government’s...

Byron Drag Racers World Record

The local AAA Racing motorcycle team have set a new world record in 100cc class, as well as a top national speed in 50cc class at the recent Australian Speed Week held at Salt Lake Gairdner, South Australia.

Affordable myth

Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads There is a ‘myth of affordable housing’ in Byron Shire. Well may councillors lament the lack of ‘affordable...

Warren Kennedy, Mullumbimby

Sorry Peter Olsen I have not changed my mind regarding the appropriateness of lockdowns and other measures in this pandemic, because the evidence doesn’t support your argument.

Data does show there’s been a slight increase in deaths in 2020 over expected mortality but the number of deaths has been above average all year, not just since the start of the pandemic.

Catherine Bennett, the chair in epidemiology at Deakin University, noted that ‘our monthly increase in deaths compared with previous years is constant since January, and consistent with that expected with our annual population growth… and our ageing population.’

According to Professor Bennett, given Victoria’s population growth, the non-covid excess deaths in that state are ‘not a big discrepancy, especially when we do see some variation year to year’.

Yes, some doctors have opposed the lockdown in Victoria, just as some scientists deny anthropogenic climate change. There isn’t unanimity among doctors. But the weight of medical opinion clearly supports lockdowns, restriction of movement, and venue closures where there is active disease in the community.

This is not to deny that some people have been severely affected by lockdowns or that mental health is a concern. Some might even have died owing to what might be called ‘covid depression’ or through neglecting existing conditions; but their number is far fewer than the number of deaths which would have occurred had Australia ‘respected liberty’ like the United States has.

As I write, there have been 897 deaths owing to COVID-19 in Australia. If our death rate per million was as high as America’s by now, over 16,500 Australians would have succumbed to the virus and we’d still be experiencing increasing numbers of infections and deaths. There has not been anything like 15,600 extra non-covid deaths, so overall the measures taken have saved many lives.

Incidentally, if America had responded to the pandemic as well as Australia has their covid death toll would be around 11,800 now instead of almost 218,000.

The UK is experiencing a renewed spike owing to poor social distancing at reopened venues and is preparing for renewed lockdowns, and the Italian government has just mandated universal mask wearing in public because the virus is getting out of hand again. We can’t allow pandemic fatigue to lower our guard.

Is the minor, temporary restriction of our freedoms worth it? Hell yes!


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Pandemic plate lickers release lockdown dessert

The 2020 pandemic lockdown meant the entire entertainment industry was cancelled, but making music cannot be cancelled.

5MW solar farm funding under question

A 5MW solar farm proposed for Myocum, located near the Byron Resource Recovery Centre, poses a ‘high degree of risk’, and could jeopardise funding for other large Council infrastructure projects, according to a staff report, to be tabled at this Thursday’s meeting.

Tony Barry, Ben Chifley and FD’s Four Freedoms

Local actor-vist, Tony Barry, has taken on a lot since he moved to the Northern Rivers, and though cancer took one of his legs, Tony still manages to put in the hard yards for social, environmental and human rights causes.

Government bullying and hidden agendas

Frank Ball, Tweed Heads The treatment of Christine Holgate while CEO of Australia Post is nothing short of scandalous. Not only is it a prime example...