With intensive care units (ICUs) in Australian hospitals being swamped with patients who have COVID-19, the following should be of interest to people who are reluctant to be vaccinated.
According to the NSW Health COVID-19 Critical Intelligence Unit the chances of being in an ICU bed in any given week if you're unvaccinated is 60 per one million people, compared with eight per one million people who have two or more doses of the vaccine. Unvaccinated people are five to eight times more likely to end up in ICU than those who are vaccinated.
Other countries are seeing similar results. In the United Kingdom, a study looking at cases of the Omicron variant found that unvaccinated adults are up to eight times more likely to be hospitalised for COVID-19 than those who have been vaccinated.
Being up-to-date with vaccinations, including booster doses, not only helps protect us but also helps protect others around us from the worst effects of COVID-19. It really is that simple.
Since mid-May the ACT has had the highest per capita rate of hospitalised COVID patients in the country.
If I am not mistaken, for much, if not all, of that time the ACT has also had the highest or second highest per capita rate of reported new COVID cases; more than double the rates in NSW and Victoria.
Reporting and analysis of these comparisons, along with expert commentary as well as the raw numbers would be most welcome.
It would be particularly interesting to know what our government and public health officials have done, are doing, or plan to do, to relieve the ACT of these unwanted distinctions and to begin to relieve our health workers of the associated burdens.
Even if the ACT government isn't willing to act we could all show support for our beleaguered health workers by wearing masks.
Who will you vote for in the next ACT election? I am resolved not to vote for the Barr regime ever again. Judder bars on every road, shaking my old limbs to pieces, legislation to force me to use a bus or bike even when I need to carry bags of compost home for my wife's garden, and our money going on trams and support for our druggies rather than housing, health and education.
I have a solution. If Barr and co will stand up and admit they got it wrong on trams and they will divert the millions into the far more important issues then I will consider voting them in again to give them about 25 years in government.
Such courage by a politician must be rewarded. Who will join me?
Re your editorial "PM should hold his nerve against allies" (canberratimes.com.au, July 17) it makes more sense for Labor to take a collaborative approach when needed.
Albanese's decision to reinstate emergency pandemic payments due to unforeseen circumstances, should not be seen as a backflip.
In fact, it is a sensible policy adjustment in response to current circumstances. A similar approach to climate policy would be helpful.
The unprecedented swing to the Greens and teal independents in the last election has indicated that a large proportion of voters want stronger action on climate. There is also pressure from Pacific island leaders for our government to cease plans for new fossil fuel projects.
"The wind does not break a tree that bends", as the saying goes. Flexibility can be a sign of strength, not weakness.
Adam Bandt has stridently insisted that, because of the increase in the Green vote, his party has a "mandate" for tougher climate change action.
His vote may well have increased but if you add the Green and teal votes together (first preference) that "mandate" comes to approximately 18 per cent of all voters.
In other words, 82 per cent of Australians voted either for Labor's 43 per cent target or something less than the 43 per cent.
Mr Bandt's argument is very unconvincing.
Proposals to lower Canberra's speed limit to 40 or 30km/h are fine as far as they go; they just don't go far enough. Imagine the benefits of reducing the limit to five km/h. No more carnage on the roads. Damage from any accident, even a head-on, would be negligible.
Just imagine the reduction in insurance premiums, and third party insurance could be eliminated entirely. And the fuel savings! Come on government - stop pussyfooting around. Five km/h limits now.
Your recent editorial misses the point about the reasons for lowering speed limits in the ACT: it's part of the strategy to coerce us into using the public transport system while at the same time raising revenue to pay for our red elephant, the tram.
It has to be so slow that the tram's maximum speed of 75 km/h seems fast by comparison.
I read with interest the article by Noel Whittaker concerning the cost of leaving retirement villages ("Tallying up the costs when leaving a retirement village", canberratimes.com.au, July 15).
Unfortunately, Noel's article didn't address the real problems of people moving from retirement villages into aged care. Retirement villages are not required by law to provide any of the capital gain back to residents who move into aged care nor provide capital gain to their estate should they die before needing to move into aged care.
A few case studies might have helped. I know a woman who sold her home, put that money into a retirement village, received none of the capital gain and could only afford a very tiny room in the aged care facility. My own mother "bought" a two bedroom apartment in a retirement village for approximately $400K some 20 years ago, she received none of the capital gain when it was sold for $1.2m; all she received was her original investment (minus fees).
My mother had to turn around and find more than $500,000 to buy her $900,000 one bedroom apartment in aged care. My mother is relatively well off.
This is all thanks to the Howard Government who in 1997 introduced the current Aged Care Act, and turned aged care into a business rather than a service. This is the basis of the current aged care problems spelt out in the findings of the Royal Commission.
The introduction of the 1997 Aged Care Act also saw the Howard Government devolving responsibility for retirement villages to the states and territories. Retirement villages are now the goose who lays the golden egg for developers. This has to stop.
The most important message in the jolting national State of the Environment report is that human wellbeing is dependent on the condition of our natural environment.
As First Nations peoples would say, "healthy country, healthy people".
Environmental protection means much more than conserving beautiful landscapes and endearing fauna.
Increased environmental funding and improved environment laws are needed but alone will not fix the problem.
We need to address the drivers of this destruction, particularly our ever-expanding economic activity to service our growing population and levels of material consumption.
Green growth is seductive, but a myth.
Instead, we need to move towards a wellbeing economy not focused on an expanding GDP, but which can be sustainably supported by our fragile physical environment.
The ACT and federal governments' moves towards wellbeing budgets are small but welcome first steps in this direction.
The article "'Shocking' report of environment in crisis", July 19, p1, 4-5) reveals that former "environment" minister Sussan Ley refused to release the latest (and damning) State of the Environment Report before the May 21 federal election.
It appears that, as a reward for her silent loyalty, she was appointed by now Opposition leader Peter Dutton to be his deputy.
Sometimes politics is a very cynical game.
Having bagged his workplace for its untrustworthiness and faith-destroying environment, it is time for Scott Morrison MP to move on to a permanent pulpit elsewhere, preferably one that is not supported by the taxpayer ("Scott Morrison church sermon decries government interference and warns of Satan's Plan,", canberratimes.com.au July 19).
We're being told Albo's done a "backflip" over the COVID relief payments. Fine, but when are we going to wake up to the fact that a backflip has you ending up facing the same way? How about calling it, more accurately and pointedly, a "U-turn"?
Until recently I believed that a "special" at the supermarket was an item that was cheaper than usual. Imagine my surprise when I saw avocados on "special" this week at $1.10. That's 10 cents more than last week. That's not my idea of a "special".
Peter Dutton declining to table the Australian Defence Force's 2020-21 report reveals yet another subterfuge of a flailing administration, which treated the electorate with disdain by acting as an autocratic, clandestine coterie, bestowing Treasury and posting largess on ingratiates, even during "caretaker" mode.
Access to the antiviral drug has been expanded. To obtain it, you must have tested COVID-positive and you then need to talk to a doctor - by telephone, of course (because you're positive) - to get a prescription. But telehealth is now stopped. Where's the sense in that?
As I was smugly consuming my coffee and croissants outside the Ainslie Football Club and watching the dogs crapping on the playing surface, I was grateful it wouldn't be my face getting ground into the dirt in a tackle. Surely the ACT has enough open space so evacuating dogs and footballing humans don't have to share.
Bradley Perrett says people who defend China hate the US. I think it is perfectly clear that Bradley hates China. How long since he has trotted out anything but the same old hate memes? I don't think printing him serves the nation one iota.
So, the ANU is withdrawing from compulsory funding for the Post Graduate and Research Students Association. As a post-graduate, good. When are they going to apply the same attitude to the Sports Union and University Union, which if actually providing a service would, and should be, self-supporting?
I refer to the misguided optimism of Minister Chris Steel that Canberrans will welcome his ludicrous proposal for a blanket 40 km/h speed limit in the suburbs. Those of us who live outside the People's Socialist Republic of the Inner North have no viable alternative but to travel by car. By all means lower the speed limit in the inner north but do not seek to impose it on those of us who rely on a car.
Alan Whitcombe asks what the attraction is in relation to the Tour de France (Letters, July 20). I would have the thought much of the scenery ranges from interesting to spectacular.
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