My best mate lives in a country town in the UK. Over the last year, she estimates around 10 per cent of her community have had COVID-19, including her Nan who died, and our friend from school who, at 47, now has long covid. That friend’s kid tested positive without symptoms.
With Australia now on a similar ‘let it rip’ trajectory to the UK, we can reasonably expect 10 per cent of Mullum to contract the Delta variant of covid. That’s a conservative guess, and you all know why. But at 10 per cent, 360 of us will get it, a couple of dozen will need hospital care and three or four will die.
So where are we going to access that care? Lismore won’t be able to service everyone in the region. Tweed is already struggling with 60 per cent of its staff Queensland-based and not allowed across the border. And as for Queensland itself? It may as well be a different country. If a double vaccinated health worker can’t come to work here, you sure as hell can’t get a bed there.
ANY kind of medical attention will be hard to access, so if you have a heart attack or car accident, surviving it will be a dice roll.
For those of you thinking ‘but this attitude comes from fear!’ you’re exactly right. Look, Mullum is my heart’s home: I generally DO come from a place of love, I am a lifelong optimist, and I am not prone to catastrophising.
But pondering this scenario generates a fear within which challenges everything I thought I knew about myself – my very identity. And so it should! After all, healthcare collapse is just one exhibit in the COVID shit-show museum. What a time.