Wilcannia and Covid-19: an Australia Story

On a Saturday, morning a few weeks ago, I heard the first reports that 4 people tested positive to Covid-19 in Wilcannia. Another 6 in nearby Broken Hill, 197 miles away. That’s nearby in Australian standards. People travel those distances regularly to play football and visit family.

Wilcannia is 946 kilometres (547 miles) from Sydney with a population of 745 mainly Indigenous residents. It sits on the Baaka River, better known to European settlers as The Darling. Since my youth, the river has been notable for its long dry spells. Few would imagine its days as part of a paddle steamer route, joining with the Murray River.

The story told here is best left to the people of Wilcannia and Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), including Karla Grant and her team. We will make a few observations after you’ve made your own.

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Vaxxers, Resisters and Treaters

I don’t have a medical background
Yet, why should this disbar me from commenting on the state of the present politically and now military driven Covid-19 response. We have some incredibly sycophantic, uninformed members of the media doing exactly that right now. Other players seem to have stridently anti-social views and agendas. I am not denying Covid-19 can have extreme adverse effects on people who contract it. I do believe our response would be improved by broadening participation to include clinicians and experts who are not so tightly wedded to the vaccine or nothing outlook. The discussion that follows is based on my experience as a resident of Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales.

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