DIGEST

Informer: Change is on the horizon

NSW residents will be able to 'get on the beers' from Monday. Picture: Shutterstock
NSW residents will be able to 'get on the beers' from Monday. Picture: Shutterstock

I've never struggled to think ahead.

Be it saving for a home, booking a holiday or planning dinner with friends - I've always been the organiser of the family.

But as 'freedom day' in NSW nears, planning for the future feels somewhat strange.

It's like those things we once took for granted - eating at a restaurant, a trip to the movies, hanging out with friends - happened in an alternate universe.

But that weird, far away universe will become our reality again from Monday (in NSW anyway).

Monday, October 11 seems to be a popular date.

The federal government has also announced that Monday will signal the start of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for Aussies with severely compromised immune systems.

It was also revealed that fully-vaccinated healthcare workers across the country would no longer need to self-isolate if they come into contact with a COVID case from October 11.

That's a pretty big move; especially when you consider the fact that Victoria recorded a new national record of more than 1800 new Coronavirus cases overnight.

The rising cases numbers have prompted the VIC government to bring in a school mask mandate for children in Year 3 and up.

Royal Children's Hospital expert Jane Munro said the decision was a good one.

"It is backed by good science. It is simple, it is safe," she said.

"There are no health risks for a child wearing a mask. It is easy to do and it is also common sense."

In Tassie (where vaccine hesitancy has been high given the state has basically remained COVID free) a survey has found that locals have become increasingly willing to roll up their sleeves and get the jab.

Tasmania is also looking into its home quarantine policy after a teen breached the order to visit a supermarket last week.

Both very good moves considering the closed borders between states and territories are expected to open at some point this year.

Nurses in NSW are also concerned that opening things up so soon will increase pressure on the health system.

"As the community looks forward to reintroducing some normality into their lives from next week, nurses and midwives don't get to share in that luxury," nurses' union secretary Brett Holmes said.

"They've had very little reprieve since the pandemic hit our shores some 22 months ago and it's far from over."

He's not wrong - the Doherty Institute predicted a rise in cases this month despite the fact that 80 per cent of Aussies aged 16 and over have now had the jab.

It's pretty much inevitable that cases will rise as people start to enjoy the 'freedoms' coming our way.

Like many others, I've already booked a night out, some time with friends and family, and a hair appointment - even though a large part of me is paranoid that all that could be ripped away again in a heartbeat.

So as we step into this new, but very familiar universe, let's make the most of it. And let's keep each other safe so that planning for the future doesn't seem so scary anymore.

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