Last August the government released coronavirus modelling from the Burnet and Doherty Institutes. This modelling was used to justify ongoing lockdowns and the adoption of a 4 phase plan to open back up.
Their modelling predicted that there would be 280,000 coronavirus cases in Australia in the 6 months after we reached an 80 per cent vaccination rate. We reached 80 per cent in November last year and six months later we had recorded 5.9 million cases, not 280,000. They were only out by more than 20 times!
Hopefully Australian governments will ignore the latest round of modelling and reject the Burnet Institute's, and others, call for a return to futile COVID restrictions.
I have sympathy for the dilemma facing modellers because I agree with Yogi Berra that making predictions is very difficult, especially when they are about the future. The more pressing problem is that we should not use much of the data on coronavirus for decision making at all because so much of the data gives a distorted view.
The NSW Premier, Dom Perrottet, put his finger on that this week when he revealed that the coronavirus hospital numbers include everybody in hospital *with* COVID not just those in hospital *because of* COVID. So as case numbers rise across the community we would expect to see more cases within hospitals. If you have a broken leg, and just happen to have COVID, you get counted as a coronavirus case in hospital.
The real story is probably closer to the number of coronavirus cases in intensive care. Just 18 Queenslanders are in intensive care with COVID, a number well down on the 50 that were at the height of the January surge. And, keep in mind that, again, not all 18 of those cases are necessarily in intensive care because of COVID.
That is not to deny that there are not pressures on our hospital system. But they seem more due to a bad flu season (the health advice is that this year's flu is worse than omicron), nonsensical isolation periods and the continuing impact of vaccine mandates.
Why is it that people with coronavirus still must isolate for 7 days when you can have the flu and go wherever you like? The United Kingdom got rid of isolation periods six months ago. The NSW Government revealed this week that 2700 health workers were stuck in COVID isolation as wards were at breaking point.
The Queensland Government does not seem to have released similar figures but we know that the impact of vaccine mandates is even more stark. Last year the Queensland Government said that 4000 health workers were told to leave work because they were unvaccinated. It would be good to have them back now given that the Queensland health system can't guarantee basic services. But still you cannot work in a Queensland hospital without getting the vaccine.
The mandates were never justified but they are especially not now given that we have the real evidence that they do not stop transmission. As the White House's Cheif Medical Officer, Dr Anthony Fauci, said this week, "One of the things that’s clear from the data [is] that even though vaccines - because of the high degree of transmissibility of this virus - don’t protect overly well against infection, they protect quite well against severe disease leading to hospitalisation and death."
If you are just as likely to get COVID from a vaccinated or unvaccinated nurse then there is no point to mandating vaccines. Better to be seen by someone when you are sick than not at all.
We have been constantly told to follow the science during the pandemic. Well, the science is in on vaccine mandates. They do not work and they should be scrapped to ease the pressures on our health system.