One month anniversary of Tasmania’s borders reopening to COVID

Peter Gutwein won last year’s state election in part because his government helped make Tasmania one of the safest places on earth.

Less than a year later, the coronavirus is in the community in high numbers – 7,439 active cases as of Friday.

Fortunately, hospitalizations are low.

About 93% of Tasmanians over the age of 12 have received two doses of the vaccine, and more than 40% of children aged 5 to 11 are also reserved.

But the government’s call for Tasmanians to keep calm and carry on is a world away from the stark warnings of 2020.

At a press conference in October, Gutwein said the state was well prepared to open in December, pointing to modeling prepared by the UNSW Kirby Institute.

In the worst-case scenario, the state was seeing an average of 387 cases per day.

Obviously, Omicron had other plans.

Attendees of the Taste of Summer event were asked to wear masks.(ABC News: Maren Preuss)

Some of what has happened over the past month was expected – families have been reunited and tourists have returned to the state.

But even Deputy Prime Minister Jeremy Rockliff admits feedback from businesses has been “mixed and varied”, with some popular hospitality venues struggling to stay open or reduce hours as staff are forced to self-isolate.

The state’s perpetually strained health care system is under additional and severe strain, and a growing number of aged care homes are reporting outbreaks.

Meanwhile, stressed Tasmanians have taken to social media to get a grip on changing rules, locate rare rapid antigen tests and share exposure sites.

One group lists their goal: “Clearly the government is failing to update everyone, so I did this to keep up to date with exposure sites so people are aware!”

There is anger and fear in the community.

The promise was a return to COVID-normal; At a press conference in early December, Tasmanian Health Service Secretary Kathrine Morgan-Wicks said: “If you want to make the most of your summer, get vaccinated.”

The few events that have taken place have reported relatively low visitor numbers as many Tasmanians choose to stay home.

For so long the focus has been on keeping Tasmania strong and the transition to life with COVID seems somewhat abrupt.

It’s hard to believe that just a few months ago, Mr. Gutwein locked down half the state and urged police to throw the book on COVID-positive Tim Gunn after he escaped the state’s quarantine. ‘hotel.

Just over a month later, the virus was circulating rapidly in the community with the approval of the same leader, who cited high vaccination rates as key protection.

The fallout for Mr Gutwein – who has so long boasted of keeping the virus at bay – remains to be seen.

The work was cautiously critical, calling for additional support for people and regions in need and clarity on the return to school in February.

The Greens were much less reserved.

People wearing masks and one without.
A number of people have attempted to circumvent entry protocols into Tasmania.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

On Twitter, executive Cassy O’Connor called the planes “Omicron tubes” and suggested the Prime Minister was committing eugenics by failing to protect vulnerable populations.

On another occasion, she told a government-linked social media account at “GFY” – “fuck you”.

Speaking last week, Mr Gutwein called “some political speeches … quite shameful”.

School hasn’t started yet and no child will be fully vaccinated at that time.

Previous modeling based on cases predicted by the Delta strain would peak in April.

Tasmanians have been warned that coronavirus is coming.

Whether its systems are up to snuff – and what comes next – remains to be seen.

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