It is great to see life getting back to normal, but we must remember that COVID-19 remains a serious risk.
There have been 5,600 deaths nationally this year so far – more than 2020 and 2021 combined – and more than 1,200 people are in hospital with nearly one third of those who’ve had COVID affected by ‘Long COVID’. Hospitals, GPs and ambulances are still being overwhelmed with COVID cases. See The Conversation article about the current situation > HERE.
I encourage everyone to ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date including first and second booster shots to strengthen immunity and reduce illness > HERE. Anti-viral treatments that can prevent serious illness for those at high-risk are also available and it is recommended that high-risk groups check with their doctor about getting this medication as soon as they are diagnosed with COVID.
After years of closed borders, we are also seeing the start of a serious flu season. While the flu doesn’t always get the same media coverage as COVID, it has been responsible for mass hospitalisations, high death rates and institutional outbreaks depending on the strain. In 2017, 29,000 people were hospitalised and 745 people died from the flu in Australia. It would be difficult for our hospitals to cope with a bad flu season and COVID-19 and the NSW government is making flu shots free from this week. Please get vaccinated against the latest flu variants too > HERE.