Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.
Canberra’s coronavirus restrictions were eased slightly at the end of last week and will be further eased at the end of this week. Some restrictions will remain but we can now connect again with friends and family, albeit in small numbers. Stay-at-home provisions have applied since Delta arrived here nine weeks ago. During that time, I have taken great comfort from the competent, calm, compassionate and informative approach of public health officials in our local government. The health team and the government could not have been any clearer about what they needed us to do, and because no sector of the community were given preferential treatment over another, Ken Behrens* largely did what was asked of us. I think it is fair to say that at times our Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerryn Coleman, outshone others in the spotlight. I’m such a fan.
One of the many strategies to help us open safely has been to get as many Canberrans vaccinated as quickly as possible. Just prior to lockdown, approximately 48 percent of the Canberra population over 12 years of age had had one dose of one of the Covid vaccines, while just shy of 25 percent of us were fully vaccinated. Now 98 percent of us have had one dose and 83 percent of eligible Canberrans are already fully vaccinated. Howzat! Thankfully the rest of Australia is not far behind us. Unfortunately, a small number of Canberrans have died over this period and our hearts go out to their families. The vaccines are very effective but as we have learned there still can be breakthrough infections. There is also likely a growing group of Canberrans whose vaccine protection is waning and who, therefore, will need to get a top up quite soon. It does sound like there will be no rest yet for the public health team and frontline health workers who have been working so tirelessly to keep us safe.
Today, my shout-out is to Canberra’s health workers, and Dr Coleman in particular. Thanks for caring. As Dr Coleman is originally a sand-groper (that is, someone from Western Australia), I thought I would choose my Friday song from a singer/songwriter from that state. Today, I have chosen Andrew Winton, performing his song Number’s Down. How apt, don’t you think? The chorus is very easy, so sing it with me.
Take care, everyone.
* Each day over the last nine weeks, members of the ACT government have held a press conference to keep Canberrans informed of how the Delta outbreak was unfolding and the necessary steps to keep us safe. During one of these press conferences, there was a sub-titling error that referred to Canberrans as Ken Behrens and henceforth the name has been adopted wholeheartedly by the Canberra community.