Every morning Sydney hosts its 11am Covid-19 ritual. New South Wales Premier Gladys solemnly records the newly infected, newly hospitalised, ICU entrants and the dead. Our chief health officer, Kerry Chant, performs a short liturgy: “Test…Isolate”. These announcements are then reannounced in various formulations over the next half hour interspersed with urgent calls for us to vaccinate. The media then asks the same questions it did yesterday using today’s numbers. This allows for further reannouncements and even more urgent calls for us to be vaccinated. We are also reminded that this is the only way out of lockdown. Other Australian states go through a similar daily process.
As an unvaccinated person, the liturgy is of particular interest to me. In my uninfected state my main concern is to avoid Delta. If it is as dangerous as we’re told, it will come looking for me. It will then be time to action the “Test……Isolate” strategy. Let’s say I find myself in an exposure zone or one comes here, I’ll need a PCR test. If the PCR test works and I remain uninfected then I get on with my useless life.
Yet, if the test works and I become both an infected and infector, it will be time to implement part 2 of Kerry’s “Test……Isolate” plan. Go straight to my meticulously designed isolation chamber with the ensuite and stay there awaiting further instructions. This is easy if you’re living by yourself especially if you’re a doomsday prepper. The rest of us will be relying on family or housemates to keep us fed and in contact with the rest of the world.
So you’re in the isolation chamber having completed your “Test….Isolate” civic duty. Covid-19, from hereon known as Spike, is happy because no-one has interfered with his plan to raise a family and move to your lungs. This is where Kerry’s plan seems to be short an action or two. It was this concern that prompted me to go looking for the rest of Covid-19 survival manual.
What do I do if I am sick?
I started my research by entering “Covid-19, NSW Health” into my search engine (not Google). Found a number for the National Coronavirus Helpline which I rang. Like most of Australia’s public utilities, it operates in a state of perpetual startlement at the number of people seeking to use the service: “due to higher than expected volume your hold time is longer than 4 minutes”.
10 minutes later, a very pleasant woman answered and wanted to know my reason for calling. I told her I want to know what to do if I get sick and I suspect it is Covid-19 related.
She replied: “Get tested, then you must isolate for 14 days”. I quickly realised that “sick” was a trigger word for Kerry Chant’s “Test…..Isolate”.
I needed a new strategy so I asked what should I do if I test positive. I was told I would need to isolate for 14 days. If, during that time a member of my household also became positive, say a week after my 14 day isolation, we would have to reset that 14 days to zero and start again. She also explained, it could take 72 hours for the PCR test to register my new infected / infector status. This seemed better designed to support Spike’s aims than mine.
Helpful as this woman was trying to be, none of these answers was touching the question I was struggling to formulate. OK, I have been tested and am in isolation, what should I do then if I start feeling sick. She gave a short chuckle and said, “It might seem strange to you but no-one has asked that question before?”
She gave a short chuckle and said, “It might seem strange to you but no-one has asked that question before?”
Does that seem strange to you? It didn’t to me. These roles seem to be tightly segmented. More questioning and I was told a telehealth contact with my doctor might be another option. I needed to talk to my local medical centre, so I tested that one out but they too were receiving “a larger than usual number of calls”. After half an hour on hold I gave up.
Settle down. We’re monitoring you
Somewhat daunted but ever hopeful I figured there must be an answer out there in the universe somewhere so I gave the National Coronavirus Health Line another call. This time I was told that if I test positive I will be handed on to the Public Health Unit which handles people post-infection. I was given the number so I called. This time my call went through quickly. As a potential infector I had also attracted an enhanced status. Obviously, I was now past the “Test….Isolate” phase, so I asked:
“What should I do if I am sick”.
The response was peremptory and conveyed a degree of annoyance:
“You need to test and isolate. The people at the Coronavirus Help Line should have been able to tell you that”.
I explained that they did and continued: What I meant was, if I am in isolation and increasingly unwell.
She replied: “Don’t you worry about that. We’ll contact you”. I could almost feel her patting me on the head.
It seems this is part of a monitoring service that keeps contact with people after they are tested and assumed to be infected. Little is known about this shadowy service and what it does. As far as I know, it offers none of the treatments that groups like the I-Mask FLCCC are promoting. In recent times, I have had some interaction with doctors and nurses and spoke to a nurse who had filled a similar monitoring role so I asked her what they offered someone who is sick. She said Panadol. I am sure more is done than this but this information gathering is NOT easy.
On ABC radio’s AM program a little more insight was given on the process but not much. The program interviewed Dr Mark Nichols, Vice-President of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society. He explained how patients enter ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and gave a hint as to what happens before they get there.
Dr Nichols: “We’ll get a patient who will, say, come in through the emergency department. They’ve been watched initially, they’ve been identified as having Covid and then monitored at home and identified that they’re getting sicker and then they’re moved to the emergency department and then they’re moved up to the wards where they receive oxygen. They receive, they start receiving a cocktail of drugs to help them with regard to the Covid but some of those patients end up getting worse and we then have to move those patients to the intensive care unit for more oxygen….”
How do we monitor?
While it is a great comfort to know that we are being monitored through this process, I am aware of at least two people who recently died at home. Did they receive the appropriate monitoring? What treatment did they receive?The words of Paul Marik speak powerfully here:
The NIH is completely silent on the treatment of early patients that have symptoms. So the early symptomatic patient, their treatment algorithm is to this day stay at home until you become cyanotic and stop breathing then you go to the ED….and obviously, the rest of the world follows the US … to tell people to stay at home, isolate till they go blue is an absurdity”.Professor Paul Marik Frontline Covid-19 Care Alliance in conversation with Dr Mobeen Syed on 1st July 2021
I was seeking the answer to one question here and I am still seeking it. Will I need to get sick to find out. Before you scream, “Test….Isolate”, I am talking about after Spike is in residence. I know I am going to be monitored but asking about the process and any treatments shouldn’t be this hard. A search of the NSW Health website offers the same liturgy of “Test…..Isolate”.
For all this you say to me just get vaccinated. Yet, vaccination won’t stop me from getting infected or infecting other people. Vaccination as the path to freedom is clear but its role in protecting my health and others is astoundingly dubious no matter how often the opposite is asserted. What seems to be clear is that it reduces the viral load which may make my experience with Spike less of an adventure. It may also reduce my infectiousness but it seems the same might be achieved through various treatments. It could be done swiftly and without the unknown side of effects of an experimental vaccine.
Meanwhile, the growing number of people in their NSW isolation chambers might take comfort in Spike’s benign purpose. We are told the virus doesn’t want to kill its host. It simply wants to be hosted. Well, it’s not clear whether this virus clearly understands this role. We might be dealing with an amateur or inexperienced virus. It seems this one is best tamed quickly. That has been the nature of my questioning and the reason I have shared this story.
Habituation and the questions we can’t ask
There are many other questions we might address aside from the official reticence to discuss treatments. One might wonder how have we come so far in such a short time?
Vaccination passports will divide us into two classes. This was laughed off eighteen months ago as the product of a tinfoil hat wearer’s febrile mind. Now, our state representative for the Blue Mountains where I live is calling for a vaccine passport trial. Meanwhile, our local Federal representative is engaged in a public spat with the Federal Foreign Minister over who is the bigger vaccine enthusiast. Our Prime Minister has openly promoted vaccine passports.
No job without a vaccine was once considered equally ludicrous. Now, it is very real. I will lose my own job next month if I fail to submit to the jab. Many workers are in a similar situation and will have to decide on feeding themselves and their families over submitting to the vaccine. This will affect police, paramedics, airport, health workers and an increasing number of people whose jobs involve close interaction with the public. For many in the public sector, this will be state mandated but in others, such as retail, a strong pressure will be applied to workers through their employer.
We now hide our faces and compel our children to do the same as we prepare them for vaccines that they must take to protect the rest us because THEY ARE THE SPREADERS. We openly discuss vaccines being given to children as young as two. What must these two year olds make of a world where the featureless faces of mask wearing strangers is the norm. Their Mum, Dad and older siblings join this strange cult when they go out. (see blank face experiment).
We tell Google and authorities like Services NSW every shop we go to, how many times.
We provide a local dobbing service for our neighbours to secure their civic responsibility. Not only has the virus infected our biology but is even eating away our our social fabric. This is all part of a lockdown program. Such programmes were once considered the sort of extreme acts that other countries engaged in but we now conduct and police them thoroughly and ruthlessly.
All of this is predicated on the belief that we face a dangerous virus and there is no alternative other than the vaccine. To question this is to open yourself to the label of unpatriotic. That’s another innovation. All this has been achieved in a mere 18 months. What will the next 18 months bring?