After extraordinary determination and effort why is the NSW Premier giving up? COVID-19 case numbers are high, but nothing like other countries. What would other world leaders give to have a situation like hers to manage?
She should fight on to control the outbreak. It would be worth it in the long run. Why is Glady's suddenly presenting unrealistic images of a wonderful new world after opening up. She's not up for election so what's driving her? Who is behind this nonsensical roadmap?
We must learn from Israel. By June, 80 per cent of their population aged 12 and over were fully vaccinated. Life had almost returned to pre-COVID-19. But it didn't last. Delta changed everything. By late June cases began to climb rapidly. New infections were 16,000 plus per day by September, much larger than ours (despite their population being 9.3 million compared to our 25.5 million). Hospitalisations and ICU admissions shot up and Israel recorded the highest "seven day rolling average of cases per million people" of any country in the world.
To avoid a similar disaster we need a common sense plan that includes more than just vaccinations. How are those quarantine centres progressing; the ones Mr Morrison agreed to build in Victoria and Queensland?
And we must expand our health facilities and resources urgently. Our current resources are not enough to see us through ongoing crises. We must start training more people immediately.
We also need to keep enforcing mask wearing, social distancing and sanitising. Gladys and the Prime Minister make it sound as if everything will be rosy if we follow their roadmaps but that's wishful thinking. They need to apply some common sense.
Jenny Osborne, Yarralumla
Delta is different
The Delta variant of COVID-19 is notable because of the high viral load in an infected person compared to the original (ancestral) strain of the virus. This property of Delta has made it extremely infectious. This numerical aspect affords an explanation as to why two vaccine doses are better than one, and why mask wearing is important.
Vaccination stimulates the immune response to specific parts of the spike protein of the virus with the second vaccination amplifying that initial response many times.
The immune response is measured as antibody produced by B cells that neutralises the virus, with T-cell immunity being a significant part of the immune response in controlling infection. Whether the immunity generated can control the viral infection is simply a quantitative argument.
With a high viral load, the immune response could be overwhelmed, particularly after only one dose of vaccine. As the data shows, those hospitalised with COVID-19 are for the most part either unvaccinated or have had only one dose of vaccine.
Wearing masks (correctly) not only protects against you infecting someone else, but is a simple strategy to limit the amount of virus you are exposed to, and hence giving your immune response its best chance of combating Delta.
Hilary Warren PhD, Waramanga
Where's your mask?
We all know that some people have health problems with masking up and this is not directed at them. It's for those in the community who can't seem to realise that compliance with the current ACT COVID-19 restrictions and health directives can possibly result in a shorter lock-down period.
It's pretty simple really. The sooner we put a brake on this virus, the sooner we can get back to a semblance of normal day-to-day activity. If we want to get narky, we could simply refuse to deal with those firms who are not complying until they did so but no-one really wants to deny them the right to make a living. So, it's up to them; toe the line or take the consequences.
Our Chief Minister has been the most statesmanlike of all the politicians in his approach to the current crisis. Calm, coherent and clear-headed unlike some with their muddled messages and preference for political backbiting. He and his team deserve our support at this time. Let's give it and see if we can lose the lock-down.
Patricia Watson, Red Hill
Premier by stealth
Gladys Berejiklian has given us a clue as to how frequently she may pop up for a press conference by pronouncing vague criteria such as "when the Premier needs to be held to account". If things go pear-shaped that could be never. If, however, vaccination rates are fabulous or the virus magically vanishes, the Premier will regularly front up to take responsibility. She'd even be able to interest Scott Morrison in coming along.
Alex Mattea, Sydney, NSW
All the way with the USA
Bradley Perrett's opinion piece "How can Australia be of service?" (canberratimes.com.au, September 11) uncritically defines Australian interests as coinciding with the the interests of the militarism of some sections of the US government.
More weapons, more missiles, and more American troops in Australia will not make us more secure, just the opposite in fact.
War or even the threat of war with China is unthinkable and unwinnable.
A different point of view, with a careful analysis of Australia and its strategic interests was published in the same edition. In his article "The drums of war have a partisan beat", Jack Waterford suggested that Australia should use diplomacy, trade, and tourism to maintain strong independent relations within our region, including with China, rather than behaving as a lapdog to the USA.
Pamela Collett, Narrabundah
Time for ScoMo to go go?
I think it may be time for ScoMo to go go. Not withstanding his Hawaiian holiday when the the south east coast of Australia was ablaze, he has continued with his self-indulgent behaviour.
The Pfizer vaccination was offered to Australia more than 12 months ago, however ScoMo didn't take up the offer. I believe my 21-year-old son, who is still waiting to be vaccinated, may have benefitted from having his vaccinations at a much earlier time.
And now we have the PM taking off to Sydney whenever he chooses, so he can be with his family.
The irony is that a young family living in remote Australia has only just been granted an exemption to travel to have their very unwell young son treated (after they quarantine of course).
What's the saying? "What's good for the goose, is good for the gander". Well, in this case it seems to only good for the goose. And what a goose ScoMo is.
Janine Haskins, Cook
Dutton on the money
I couldn't disagree more with Douglas Mackenzie and Vince Patulny (Letters, September 12). In my view, Dutton is very much in touch with the scary reality of the rise of an aggressive expansionist China under Chairman Xi.
Your Saturday China expert was spot on in stating that Dutton and the federal government need to encourage more US troops to come to Australia with us hosting them and not requiring them to pay as they do now.
In exchange we should get the most up to date long-range missiles and missile technology and other weapons from them. Jim Molan is also correct in saying we need lots of oil reserves, stockpiled weapons, spare missiles and ammunition for when we can't rely on the US to immediately come to our aid. We may need to reintroduce conscription .
We need to spend whatever it takes to give us an independent capability to inflict severe damage on any Chinese attempt to attack Australia directly. You can have the best health, social security and education systems in the world but they are useless if you can't defend yourself.
If we don't take note of people like Dutton and Molan we will continue to sleep walk towards disaster.
Bill Stefaniak, Narrabundah
Free at last
I've been enjoying watching the US Tennis Open and so has the audience attending the event. Yes, attending. In New York City. No spacing, no masks, having a "normal" fun time.
So I checked out what COVID-19 is doing in New York City. There are still high rates of daily cases and hospitalisations. But New Yorkers are getting vaccinated and some forms of normal life have returned.
The sooner we get high levels of vaccination the sooner we will have more freedoms.
Marguerite Castello, Griffith
Bagged and batched
Monday's letters page was not the first time I have seen complaints from readers about dog droppings being bagged in a plastic bag and then left at the side of the path. I and many other dog owners do this regularly.
It is many years since I have taken my dog all the way around Lake Tuggeranong and instead, we go some way around and then turn and come back. If the dog defecates on the outbound leg, I bag it and leave it there to be picked up, by me, on the return trip.
If the dog waits until we are homeward bound I pick it up and take it home with me. In either case, the bag is only temporarily left by the side of the path.
George Beaton, Greenway
TO THE POINT
BOOKS ARE ESSENTIAL
I agree with Angela Kueter-Luks (Letters, September 9) on the value of reading and its "essential service" rating for bookshops. Doubtless claims can be made for other services but if bookshops why not libraries? I expect an avalanche of requests and visits when they do open.
Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla
FRANK FOR PM
Good on you and your daughter Frank McKone (Letters, September 9). It's thanks to decent people like you doing the right thing that will keep all of us in Canberra as safe as possible. While I'm here, I don't know if you've ever had any political aspirations to become PM, but you've got my vote over the current incumbent.
John Howarth, Weston
CAUSE FOR CONCERN?
Ever since COVID-19 came along we are seeing more and more deaths of people with "underlying health conditions" in hospitals. What does this say about the quality of doctors?
Michael Tang, Fadden
DO THE RIGHT THING
Stay home. The virus can't move by itself.
Rod Matthews, Melbourne,Vic
I ask Sean Murphy (Letters, September 10) what is selfish about wanting the exact same vaccine choice as everybody else? South Australia and the Northern Territory have extended Pfizer to the over-60s; why not here in the ACT?
Stuart Lukeman, Evatt
WHO COULD IT BE?
Tantalising article in Saturday's The Canberra Times ("Most MLAs vaccinated in time for next ACT Legislative Assembly sitting on Thursday," canberratimes.com.au, September 11).
So one unnamed Liberal from the ACT Legislative Assembly has yet to get their first COVID vaccination.
Who could it be now?
Kim Fitzgerald, Deakin
WAKE UP TONY
The best health minister we've ever had? After his maskless offence, and particularly for his response re the authorities being informed, I've got four words for Rhodes Scholar Tony Abbott. Two of them are "bad luck".
Anthony Bruce, Gordon
TRUE AUSSIE SPIRIT
Mr. Abbott doesn't know what the Australian spirit is. It is based on helping each other and saving people from danger; not putting people in danger by not wearing a mask. Keep dobbing in those who selfishly put their fellow Australians in danger.
Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill, Vic
OFF THE AIR
So the Liberal Premier of NSW will no longer be holding daily press conferences. That's okay. If she wants to hand control of the airwaves to the Labor Premiers of Queensland and Victoria she is welcome to do so.
G. T. W. Agnew, Coopers Plains, Qld
DON'T GIVE IN
Allowing vaccination holdouts over the age of 60 to now have their choice of vaccine strikes me as a bit like caving in to a petulant child throwing a tantrum. We should at least wait until the real children under the age of 12 can be vaccinated.
Keith Hill, Clifton Beach, Qld
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