Scott Morrison He gave an official COVID-19 update after the emergency national cabinet meeting of all state and territory leaders, and as you might expect, it was basically a full load of nothing.
With most of the country dealing with record numbers of daily cases just before Christmas while state governments are reducing restrictions at the same time, I (and most other Australians) have a few questions.
Big ones include: Will we be able to get boosters early? Can I access RAT for free (or at all)? What exactly is casual contact? Why does the government keep talking about “personal responsibility” when this is a public health crisis?
Morrison was expected to have answers to at least some of these questions after the leaders had all discussed them at the meeting but unfortunately did not.
Instead, he’s used to his new favorite stupid metaphor — comparing COVID-19 safety measures, like masks, to sunscreen.
At a national cabinet meeting, Scotty identified some areas where “state and territory leaders have agreed to move forward”.
The first was the masks. Shockingly, despite acknowledging that mask-wearing is “highly recommended,” Morrison has been criticized and swept up about “personal responsibility” rather than demanding that the mask be delegated.
“The wearing of masks indoors in public places is highly recommended, whether it is mandatory or not,” he said.
Then he compared it to applying sunscreen in the summer, a comparison he made earlier today’s show.
Prepare yourself for the inevitable taxpayer-financed ad campaign that shows cheerful people putting sunscreen on their bolstered arms. Advertising agencies, I am available for commission.
“People will slap on…sunscreen. There is no rule or requirement to do this. But health advice is highly recommended. It is in the same category.”
“So Australians have common sense and know what they need to do to protect their health.”
I don’t know Scott, given the plague of wrinkly white people my eyes have to put up with every summer, I’m not sure the measure cuts the mustard perfectly.
Sure, but we don’t get sunburned from each other. pic.twitter.com/UVLQcPbYhM
– Shawn Micallef (@shaunmicallef) December 22 2021
It’s funny that even the PM is like, “It’s Christmas week, my friend, I’ve stopped. Handle it yourself.”
– James Colley December 22 2021
Australians are taking personal responsibility by wearing the analogy of not making a mask, which is very funny because Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer globally, so we really don’t take personal responsibility there either
– Maxibon (thiscassgirl) December 22 2021
It’s a feeling worth reiterating that, like a bestie babe Shawn Micallef It is noteworthy that sunburn and skin cancer are not actually contagious viruses!
In addition to his silly little sunscreen metaphor, Scott Morrison has also made a slew of halftime ads, which can also be described as “wait and see” instructions.
Some of the biggest fake ads have included booster footage. Despite rumors of shortening the waiting time for booster doses, Morrison said the decision would be up to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI).
“Whether it’s five months or six months, or less, the response from all of us as governments is exactly the same and that is to increase the daily dose rates from where we’ve actually built up a reserve to more than double in the past week or so.”
He also said that 100 booster rounds are currently being delivered per minute.
There are rumors that some vaccination centers are giving booster doses to those who received a second stroke four months ago.
One of our local nurses at the Royal Exhibition Building advised that the state centers have now been walking for 4 months. Lots available from Pfizer and Moderna. Get it and let the people know!
– Dr. Lauren Hansen (she/ha) (Academatrix) December 20 2021
State vaccination centers will be reinstalled as demand for more vaccines increases and the federal government will pay GPs and pharmacies an additional $10 for Medicare vaccination appointments.
The other big news was around QR codes and contact tariffs.
Although nothing was actually announced, Morrison confirmed that a national definition of episodic communication is coming…within the next two weeks.
“We agreed today that we have to have a valid common definition across the country about what is informal contact and what are the implications of it being a requirement to isolate informal contact for PCR testing and things like that,” he said.
“We can’t have different rules in different places about what is close contact and what is informal contact.”
Scott Morrison also confirmed that QR codes will play different roles depending on the state’s COVID-19 situation. Basically, if a state has low states, codes are used to track and where there are high states, they won’t necessarily be.
“So QR codes and this process will take on different roles as we go through some states with very low cases, and they will continue to use them for tracking.
“But in countries that have very high numbers of cases. Well, that’s not a realistic proposition, but again, it could provide a very useful role.”
In addition, the government may consider rapid antigen testing (also known as RATs) instead of a PCR test for international travel. That is, if you can get your hands on one.
It’s also unclear if that will mean the rules in SA and WA will change – in both of those states, RATs are banned.
WA has also just introduced mandatory booster shots for a number of workers, as well as bringing back difficult borders with both NT and Tasmania.
So, the final takeaway? Perhaps the government will do something that may affect you.
But instead of making any political decisions, they rely on “common sense” and personal responsibility.
So keep wearing your mask (even if the government doesn’t tell you to) and don’t forget your sunscreen, I guess.