Wildflowers & late night chemists

I am fortunate to live near a nature reserve, which – unfortunately – is very busy during lockdown. The trail is narrow and joggers huff and puff past you in a very COVID unsafe fashion.

But it was rainy on Sunday afternoon, so I convinced my sister to dodge the puddles and the crowds to go searching for wildflowers with me.

Who knew there would be so much colour in the bush in early August? Not me!

It was a beautiful walk. I collected a few buds and took them home to Baby, the last ailing rat. He’s spending his final days on this earth snuggled in towel beside a bar heater being fed water with an eye dropper.

I feel sorry for the little thing and even sorrier for it’s anxious owner … did this have to happen on the eve of the trial HSC?

And so, I found myself at the chemist last night at 8pm, pondering liquid Nurofen options … would a rat prefer orange or strawberry flavour? The pharmacist was no help, he edged away after asking me the age of the child and being told it was a rodent.

But enough with the ratty stuff. Here are some of the pretty pics I took of the wildflowers:

Nice huh? Get out amongst it – COVID safely – if you have some bush near your place.

Speaking of COVID, I was interested to see Gladys introduce Dr Richard Totaro, the director of ICU at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, to the 11am press conference yesterday.

He said there’s nobody in intensive care who’s had both doses of a vaccine.

“ICUs across the state are a limited resource and they are usually relatively full,” he added.

“Patients who have COVID who end up on ventilation stay in ICU for up to three weeks. These patients slow everything down and make ICUs fill up. We want to stop people getting sick and getting into ICU. Almost all the hospitalisation goes away, almost all the need for ICU goes away, almost all the death goes away once you are vaccinated and that’s what we want to see.”

Currently there are 349 people in NSW in hospital with COVID-19 and 67 in ICU.

Unfortunately, what all the COVID protestors fail to realise is that the aim of the lockdowns and vaccination pushes is to stop our health system from being overwhelmed. If they can do that, there will be enough nurses and doctors to treat everyone who is sick and enough ventilators to keep the really sick people alive.

The US announced 100,000 new COVID cases on Sunday, compared to around 11,000 daily cases in June. Nearly 500 deaths are being recorded in the US every day due to the virus, that’s compared to 270 deaths a fortnight ago. Vaccinations rates in the US are hovering at 50%. While that’s impressive compared to 17% in Australia, it’s still not enough for the country to reach herd immunity.

The Austin area in Texas – which has a population of around 2.4 million – currently has just six ICU beds left.

That’s what I wish the protestors got: do they want to run the risk that there won’t be a ventilator for them when they need it? Do they want to watch someone they love struggle to take every breath?

I’m getting my second jab on Thursday, but my kids and many others around me remain at risk because they’re not eligible for the vaccine yet or can’t get the one their doctor recommends. It’s not my desired scenario as confirmed cases of COVID creep closer to my door. I can’t imagine choosing conspiracy theories over safety when the reality of the pandemic is so undeniable.

At the same time, I can’t imagine how tough it must be for those who’ve been stood down from their jobs or the business owners who are drowning in debt while unable to trade.

Whether we’re chafing in lockdown or living in fear – and losing friends and family – if the virus is allowed to run rampant among us, life isn’t getting back to any semblance of “normal” until we reach herd immunity.

Oh, and I chose strawberry flavour. I think life will always be a little abnormal for me.

Song of the day: Neil Diamond “You don’t bring me flowers”

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