The Corona Crucible – Wed 29th July

World 16.8 million                Pakistan 270K+         Indonesia 100K+

Indonesia has officially reached 100,000 cases of coronavirus, the 24th country to do so. For a while now Australia has been sitting around 72nd on this infection list. We now have over 15,000 cases, the bulk of them in Victoria and most of those in privately run aged care facilities.

We saw the same horrific neglect in aged care happen in NSW when they were hit by the first wave of COVID-19.

Federal Defence Force personnel and Victorian health care workers are being deployed to manage the crisis. Daniel Andrews announced yesterday that all non-urgent elective surgery has been cancelled and staff are being shifted to these facilities to help bring the situation under control. Residents now have the option of being transferred to hospital.

Only a tiny percentage of aged care homes are public. I’m grateful that my mother is in a public facility, run by the state government and they have a stable full time workforce. I have reassured her that she is safe.

There’s been a long history of issues in aged care, particularly in privately run facilities. There is an ongoing royal commission into misconduct in the aged care system that began in 2018, well before this crisis. This pandemic is exposing the intrinsic flaws in the whole concept of privatising essential services like aged care, and making them profit driven.

We recorded 295 more cases of COVID-19 in Victoria overnight. I hope this means we are getting this second wave under control, but it will a while yet before we get numbers down to single digits, or to zero again, assuming that we can. I think we’ll be wearing masks for a while yet.