The Informer: How to clean up our 'world-class mess

NSW has asked to use ADF personnel during Sydney's lockdown. Australia's golden guy Zac Stubblety-Cook (inset). Photos: AAP
NSW has asked to use ADF personnel during Sydney's lockdown. Australia's golden guy Zac Stubblety-Cook (inset). Photos: AAP

Right now it's hard to disagree with Irish Times reporter Padraig Collins who reckons the "actual gold standard that Australia is meeting at the moment is its swimmers' performances at the Olympics".

While the gloriously named Zac Stubblety-Cook led an Aussie charge in the pool, NSW was fighting a rearguard action to get a grip on the outbreak of COVID-19 sweeping through the state.

Such is the concern NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has now asked for 300 ADF personnel to help ensure lockdown measures are met.

This plea comes after the state reported 239 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and, tragically, two more deaths today.

All up 113 of those cases linked to a known case or cluster but that does little to lessen the blow of the stats from the health service. There are now 54 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, 22 of whom are on ventilators. That total includes 10 under the age of 30.

In contrast, Victoria recorded six new local cases on Thursday, all of which are linked to current outbreaks and have been in isolation while infectious. So pleased with that news was Tasmania that it will reopen its border to the Vics from midnight after a two-week closure.

So, Back to Mr Collins. He didn't miss in his letter to Ireland from Sydney as he which stepped readers through the "world-class mess" of Australia's vaccination rollout.

He detailed the poor planning, the vaccine shortages and the reliance on "common sense" that plunged cities into lockdown. But his suggestion that the Tokyo Olympics are a "distraction" which is giving diverting peoples' attention from all things COVID-19 seems off the mark.

This, however, is a clear and present diversion. Today's utterly frivolous feature relates to that 1987 Rick Astley classic "Never Gonna Give You Up".

As of today it has an eye-openingly incredible one billion YouTube views. Given the video is largely a bloke in a trench coat with an improbable voice shuffling his feet, the advent of "rickrolling" deserves celebration.

You can understand more about that term here or watch a visual history here. It's quite a ridiculous rabbit hole to venture down so really, why not?

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This story How to clean up our 'world-class mess first appeared on The Canberra Times.