Surf & turfed

The radius for exercise shrinks from 10km to 5km in Sydney today, so I took the youngest for a last swim at Freshwater Beach on Sunday.

I’m really worried about the effect the lockdown is having on everyone’s mental health, especially young people. I wanted the youngest to feel the (icy cold) surf on her skin while she still could.

Who knows how long it will be before the current COVID-19 outbreak is under control in NSW?

It was the most glorious afternoon at Freshwater, with vivid blue sky and crystal clear sea.

After our dip, we went for a wander along the rock plateau near the ocean baths. I was just in my cossie and didn’t feel the tiniest bit cold.

The youngest was resistant to exploration at first, but ended up loving it. Here’s an arty shot I took at a rock pool …

The eldest didn’t want to join us. Trials start today and he’s feeling a little overwhelmed, as I think most Year 12 students are.

I wish younger people were a higher priority for vaccination. We need them out and about living normal(ish) lives again.

I got my second COVID-19 jab last week. Google tells me the vaccine been shown to be 95% effective in an ongoing large-scale clinical trial. In less than three weeks its protective effects will have kicked in for me.

I feel so relieved to be fully vaccinated. I’m still trying to reconcile what was going through the head of the 52-year-old Sydney denier who took COVID-19 to Byron Bay and swanned around with it – actively evading QR codes at venues – until he got so sick and ambulance had to be called to take him to hospital. His teenage daughter, son and ex-wife ended up being admitted to hospital too.

Does he still not believe in COVID? He’s listed to appear in Lismore Local Court on September 13 – it will be interesting to hear what he has to say for himself. News reports have revealed he’s very familiar with the courts, having been called before them numerous times and narrowly avoiding deportation at one point. It’s a pity he wasn’t turfed out of the country back then.

I also read an article about vaccine aversion around Byron Bay. Two Mullumbimby businesses received penalty infringement notices last week for staff not wearing masks. Other businesses even have signs saying vaccinated people are not welcome inside, because there are fears they will shed the virus.

They should consider what happened to the denier who brought the virus into their midst, plus what’s currently unfolding in the US

Just 35% of Mississippians, for example, are fully vaccinated – well below the national average of 51% – and as a result, it is one of the hardest-hit states.

While COVID vaccines are free and widely available in the United States, millions of Americans are declining to use them. This hesitancy is particularly concentrated in the South.

Hospitals are dealing with a flood of unvaccinated patients, and are running out of ICU beds. In the past month, unvaccinated people accounted for 97% of newly identified cases in Mississippi, 89% of hospitalisations and 85% of deaths.

Texas is also struggling. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins starkly announced last week that “in Dallas, we have zero ICU beds left for children.”

“That means if your child’s in a car wreck, if your child has a congenital heart defect … and needs an ICU bed, or more likely if they have COVID and need an ICU bed, we don’t have one. Your child will wait for another child to die.”

Jenkins’ comments came amid his legal battle over masks with Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who last month signed an executive order declaring that local governments could not implement mask mandates.

Madness.

Far, far away in Australia, my weekend concluded with Zoom drinks at DD’s with friends. Ah, the weird way we socialise now.

I don’t know what I’d do without my escapes to see DD each week. They keep me sane in these crazy times.

Song of the day: Madness “It must be love”

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