And in The Gong…

While the Covid-19 stats are looking a bit better for the state, and vaccination figures are very encouraging, here in Wollongong things are not so good. Yes, I know the figures look small compared with what has happened elsewhere in the world, but they still are concerning.

I updated the post before last with this graph that appeared on Facebook on Sunday:

You may see that says “Authorised by Paul Scully MP” — he is our representative in the NSW Parliament, and a good one too. There has been, though things are improving, a shortfall in supply of Pfizer vaccines to our area, resulting in the government’s special vaccine hub working below the capacity it was designed for.

There was a rather ominous news item on our local ABC on Sunday.

Wollongong Hospital has a new triage tent installed outside the entrance to the Emergency Department on Darling Street to assist with potential increases in ED demand from COVID.

The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District says the marquee will allow ED staff to access and triage patients, perform rapid testing and transfer patients based on clinical need.

Chief Executive Margot Mains says the marquee is on stand-by and will be activated if required.

(photo: Nick McLaren, ABC Illawarra)

The stats released on Sunday at 11am were as follows:

Here is the breakdown — and do note the increase in The Gong! There were 75 new COVID-19 cases in our Health District, as follows:

59 cases who are residents of Wollongong Local Government Area — 46 the previous day – 14 are linked to known cases and 45 are under investigation

10 cases who are residents of Shellharbour LGA – six are linked to known cases and four are under investigation

5 cases who are residents of Shoalhaven LGA – three are linked to a known cases and two are under investigation

1 case who is a resident of Kiama LGA – investigations are ongoing.

Update

Figures released today at 11.00 am: 787 new cases in the state, 63 in our Health District — so good news and bad news!

Details are as follows:

  • 43 cases who are residents of Wollongong Local Government Area (LGA) – 13 are linked to known cases and 30 are under investigation
  • 11 cases who are residents of Shellharbour LGA – 10 are linked to known cases and one is under investigation
  • 9 cases who are residents of Shoalhaven LGA – four are linked to a known cases and five are under investigation.

Sadly, the District is reporting the death of one person with COVID-19. A man in his 70s from the Wollongong LGA died at Wollongong Hospital. He was not vaccinated. The District extends its sincere condolences to his loved ones.

This is looking encouraging:

Gladys is suggesting 11 October as the day we relax quite a bit.

So how is Covid-19 going in Wollongong?

If you are a virus, you’d say rather well.

103 are from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD. Dr Chant says Wollongong and Shellharbour most affected.

For the 24 hour period to 8pm Thursday, 23 September there were 103 new COVID-19 cases recorded for the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District. Details are as follows:

  • 82 cases who are residents of Wollongong Local Government Area (LGA) – 18 are linked to known cases and investigations are continuing for 64
  • 14 cases who are residents of Shellharbour LGA – eight are linked to known cases and six are under investigation
  • 5 cases who are resident of Shoalhaven LGA – three are linked to a known cases and two are under investigation
  • 2 cases who are residents of Kiama LGA – both are linked to known cases  
From WIN-TV

Community acquired COVID-19 cases reported since 16 June 2021, when the first case in this outbreak was reported — 1,001.

Total confirmed cases of COVID-19 — 1,168.

From the Illawarra Mercury:

While occupants of the Piccadilly Motor Inn in Wollongong’s Crown Street have been in isolation for days, NSW’s deputy chief health officer has now officially put the building in lockdown.

A declaration that the site is a “high risk COVID-19 premises”, signed by Dr Marianne Gale, came into force at 10.30am.

The document said three rooms accommodated at least one person who had tested positive for COVID, while another 31 had an occupant deemed to be a close contact.

The motor inn contains 35 rooms in total.

Thursday’s Illawarra Mercury expanded on the story:

Pandemic hits Wollongong homeless hard as Piccadilly placed under police lockdown

Dylan Thomas doesn’t dream of going too far once lockdown ends – just down to Dicey Riley’s on Crown St to sing his usual number – Tracy Chapman’s Give Me One Reason – at Wednesday night karaoke.

But for now, even a humble dream feels a world away.

Lockdown has been an inconvenience for many. For Mr Thomas, who is homeless, beset by medical problems and who has an intellectual disability, it has thrown an already complicated existence into total disarray.

The support services he relied on for help with groceries, cleaning and doctors’ appointments vanished when the workers were no longer able to visit. His arthritis flared due to missed medical appointments, so he couldn’t walk at all and had to be hospitalised.

The 33-year-old can’t return to the emergency accommodation he had at Wollongong’s Piccadilly Motor Inn because that place – with its close confines and communal kitchen – has birthed a COVID-19 cluster and is under day-and-night police guard, with no one allowed in or out.

As a close contact to COVID-positive residents, he now has to stay isolated at Wollongong Hospital for two weeks, alone in his room.

So that’s how it’s going here in The Gong. And with schools preparing to go back:

Update

After this post published I saw this from NSW Health’s list of local Covid contact sites.

Yes, my doctor! I was there the day before…

Today’s figures were posted between 11am and noon:

70 are from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD. Down from 103 yesterday.

46 cases who are residents of Wollongong Local Government Area (LGA) – 11 are linked to known cases and 35 are under investigation

13 cases who are residents of Shellharbour LGA – six are linked to known cases and seven are under investigation

11 cases who are residents of Shoalhaven LGA – two are linked to a known cases and nine are under investigation

Adding this powerful graphic from our local member of the NSW Parliament, Paul Scully. (He’s a good one too!)

Various lockdown hacks and escapes — 61 — good sense is out there

One does despair at times — when for example seeing the abysmal level of live comments when NSW Health is updating us on the Covid situation. So it is nice to find on YouTube that sane people — even sane young people — do exist, and that indeed some are in America!

Poor things!

But how refreshing to have found this young man. I will share two of his reaction vlog items.

The first is about how workers are treated in America, compared to other countries. He does not mention Australia, but I would hope we will never follow the USA in this respect, as much as some in the government here and of course the bloody IPA want us to. The second is about health care. Enough said really. What an honest, clear-sighted and articulate young man this Jps is!

On Facebook when I shared the following video — the first of his I had watched — I said: Have a look at this nice young man — and what he is watching even more so! And take another look at ourselves too…. You may well conclude that trade unions really are necessary and that anything the IPA wants we shouldn’t do….

Now the second on medical care. On Facebook I said:

I am so glad that I live in Australia where (for example) next Wednesday [today!] I have an appointment at the Wollongong Medical Centre for some necessary podiatry. Cost charged to me? $0. Had my second Covid jab on 9th September. Cost to me? $0. Had some medications made up at the chemist. Cost to me? Around $6 each. And so on…

Even if you have a specialist consultation and are charged, say, $200, Medibank will normally refund around 75% of that.

The American Way? Keep it! Not interested! The killer for me in this video was the cost per arterial stent in the USA @$19,000! I had a stent put in at Wollongong Hospital in 2011, including 9 days in the cardiac ward. Cost of my stent? $0!

I had then — and have since maybe 6 times — needed an ambulance. Cost to me? $0!

There are many intelligent comments on that video — and an advocate of revolution. That always sounds attractive but why should it be necessary? However, here in OZ…

DEFEND what we have zealously, people, and vote in a government without those who really do want to white-ant it, even when they make the right noises because they know attacking Medicare in Oz is political suicide. As it should be!

“You can’t go to the hospital to get help, it’s too expensive.” In what civilised country in this modern world does that make sense? It’s about time for another revolution over there guys. The American people are being walked over by these big companies and all you are doing is whining about it… Hell, a lot of you aren’t even doing that! Just shrugging your shoulders and saying ‘It’s capitalism; what ya gonna do?” ISN’T GOING TO CHANGE ANYTHING! Land of the free my ass!

In the present febrile climate too I think it does not hurt to look seriously at these.

Various lockdown hacks and escapes — 51 — get vaccinated!

Yes, yesterday at 4.30 pm at Wollongong Medical Centre, leading to this modification of my Facebook header:

Given yesterday’s stats for our part of the world, it was about time. I had AstraZeneca, the 12-week due second dose.

23 are from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD: 10 from Wollongong, 12 from Shellharbour, 1 from Shoalhaven.

With very few exceptions on sound medical grounds, there is absolutely no excuse when it comes to vaccination. The words RESPONSIBILITY, COMMUNITY, and DUTY trump all the conspiracist and libertarian hogwash out there! As these good folks in North Carolina so amply show on their excellent Facebook page.

Just one of a set of excellent graphics from the good people of Chatham County N.C.

And what a pithy cartoon today on Loon Pond!

Let’s reprise that wonderful song from Engand’s Marsh family:

Yep, if you have not done it yet — DO IT!

Various lockdown hacks and escapes — 16 — good Facebook day

I refer there to yesterday, which was quite productive in my Facebook world of real-life friends, relations and ex-students, as well as what in pre-internet days we might have called pen-pals. The next entry of two will catch up on more of that.

But first the good news: my toothache seems to have gone.

And then the bad news: NSW (Greater Sydney in particular) is far from out of the woods when it comes to the Delta strain.

And in The Gong:

Finally, a photo of Sydney in 1901 from the National Library Archives was posted in the Old Sydney Album on Facebook. “George Street, near the corner of Market Street, Sydney 1901. Federation Celebrations.” I gave it a modest colouring:

My note on that:

I remember around 1953-1955 my grandfather Roy Christison telling me about being in the city during these 1901 celebrations, when the country Australia formally came into being. Indeed I think he was in Centennial Park for the great proclamation.

To me then that seemed SO long ago — but now I reflect that 1970 is back in time from now a similar distance — or the election of Gough Whitlam, for example! Yes, I am my own grandpa!

Indeed indeed!

And this was back in 1971 — not that I was in this place, but the vibe I recall from FIFTY years ago. Went to a folk concert at the Jamberoo pub sometime around then though.