Raising the BARR – Week ending 16 September 2022

Raising the Barr


Late last week I read a really troubling article about COVID and our terrifying trend towards treating it like the common flu.  The article was in The Conversation and written by Michael Toole and Brendan Crabb.  Below are the key pieces from their work.

Already in 2022, we have had more than 12,000 deaths from COVID.  By comparison we had 2,000 COVID deaths in the combined years of 2020 and 2021 when we first wrestled with this new pandemic and put into place some pretty significant rules about when and where we could move and what that movement needed to look like.  Turns out these rules were in fact important protections, whether we liked them or not.

By comparison, in 2017, which was a particularly bad flu season, there were 1,255 deaths from influenza.  In 2016 this number was 464.  So 12,000 COVID deaths in 2022, and still increasing, is nothing like a normal flu season.

It is estimated that 2,000 Australian children have had a parent die from COVID.  If you yourself have been spared the death of a parent as a child, then I challenge you to reach into your inner-child and wonder to yourself how that might feel.

On any given day there would be an average of 6-7 people in hospital with really bad flu conditions.  By comparison, on any given day there can be more than 5,000 people in hospital suffering from COVID.  There is nothing common flu about this.

This year alone more than 3,000 residents in aged care homes have died.  These 3,000 people would have had, in most cases, loved ones deeply affected by their death and that death, as a COVID death, came earlier than it otherwise would have.  Australia seems to have turned a blind eye and blind heart to this tragedy.

And finally there is this sobering thought – the 12,000 deaths this year have occurred at a time when 95%+ of our community is double, triple or quadruple vaccinated. Imagine what that number might have been without any protections from vaccination.

It is no coincidence that the major rise in COVID illness and death falls into line with the removal of rules and restrictions to protect us all from COVID.  We are now in a phase of “living with” COVID and being expected to take personal responsibility.  Meanwhile, with more than 10 million Australians having had COVID, we still don’t exactly know what effect “long COVID” might have on people’s health.  Nor do we know how many of the 10 million already infected Australians might experience long COVID.

It really is difficult to argue against these numbers in a bid to be treating COVID like the common flu.