Article by Priscilla , Mirror 12/1

This month COVID turns two, and oh boy, it is really doing the Terrible Twos that most parents have to experience at some time or another.

I know that the current case numbers seem rather scary. This chart is from the very reliable Our World in Data source (at and shows exactly what happened in Australia when all restrictions were lifted in mid-December Who needs modelling from university departments when one chart tells a million words?

Pick where restrictions were released…

Restrictions lifted in 

NSW and Victoria here:

So what is the situation locally to date (January 7th)? Well, not too bad so far … in South Gippsland there have been 437 cases, with nearly 200 of them current, although in our 3960 postcode there were no cases at all until mid-December since when we have had 32, of whom 20 are current, with apparently none in Foster or Toora, although a few people are waiting for test results. So we are much better off than many places. Plus, our vaccination rates are high and from next week children ages 5-11 become eligible for vaccine protection. 

These case numbers are slowly growing, so it is a good time to remember what has protected us well so far. 

  • Be vaccinated – the number one protection against severe disease.
  • Keep up the good work of hand sanitising, social distancing, coughing into your elbow.
  • If you have friends and family going to festivals, please ask them not to jump around in the mosh pits!
  • Work from home when you can. If you need to be in an office make sure other people are not sitting too close. And that they are vaccinated. Stay home if you don’t feel well. 
  • Ask your visitors about their COVID vaccine status. If your visitors are not vaccinated make sure you only see them in well-ventilated spaces, preferably outside, and wear masks.
  • I know it is ages since masks were first made necessary so here is a reminder that cloth masks should be washed every day you use them. Surgical masks should be thrown away at the end of the day. I have seen one or two masks this week that look as if somebody has used them to wash the floor, and which probably pose a completely different health hazard to their owners. 
  • Now, as I am on about masks – there are many ways to wear a mask but only one is correct! I have seen some interesting variations on the theme of mask wearing over the past month. Please remember: these bugs live at the very back of your nose and throat and get in and out through your mouth and nose. So:
The wrong way to wear a mask is…The right way to wear a mask is…
 1.   Under your jaw. Although it might help to keep a bandage on if you have fallen on your chin.2.   Over your mouth but under your nose. This protects you from absolutely nothing, and the people around you are at-risk from whatever is at the back of your nose.3.   Over one ear. A bit big for an earring, and you can lose it in a stiff breeze. 4.   As a bracelet on your wrist (arm through one or both ear loops).     Over both your mouth and nose.        That’s it. Only one way.       

Actually, a discussion this week prompted us t remember something else about masks: during the severe smoke we had down here after the 2019-2020 bushfires, people with lung diseases (especially asthma and chronic respiratory disease) were prioritised for masks, so it’s unclear why people with these problems are now claiming them as a reason for a medical exemption for not wearing one. Just saying.  Anyway, South Gippsland (Foster) Hospital has a neat video on their website which features local people explaining why they are vaccinated. Called “I do it because …”, you can see it here. Have a look and see who you can recognise, even with pink wig and all!

Happy 2022 to everyone, and let’s hope there will be no need for any of us to write about COVID for too much longer …