Lockdown Number 5

(Mirror Article 21/7)

So here we go again…

There was a nervousness that the delta variant would take no notice of the

NSW/Victorian border (helped along by those removalists) and that we would again be

faced with a largely unimmunised population and a highly infectious virus.

And so it has played out.

Although both states hoped for a short lockdown to enable some sort of control, longer

and harder restrictions seem inevitable. The presence of positive cases visiting Phillip

Island seems suddenly very close to our up-until-now protected part of the State.

At the Medical Centre we have ramped up our vaccination rollout.

It is pleasing to see so many people biting the bullet, rolling up their sleeves and just

getting it done. The time for procrastination and ‘putting it off to see what happens’

finally seems to be yesterday’s news. People are realising that the way out of this COVID

mess is through having a large percentage of the population vaccinated. Only then can

we begin to live a COVID-normal existence, where the virus is around but not able to

create the medical havoc being played out overseas.

We are so aware of the dreadful toll lockdowns have on so many in our society and

there seems to be a cumulative detrimental effect of 5 of them. Continue to look out for

your neighbours, especially the older, isolated ones. Think how you can help with

‘random acts of kindness’.

Our mental health takes a huge hit with the dual insults of lockdowns and pandemic.

Please seek help early.

As well as talking to your doctor or mental health worker, there are now a lot of

excellent, free online services (go to www.health.gov.au and type in mental

health/COVID and follow the links to a list of services including Beyond Blue (phone

1300 224 636), which has a dedicated Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service

(1800 512 348), Headspace for young adults (03 9027 0100),

Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), Lifeline (13 11 14), MensLine (1300 789 978),

Mental Health Online at www.mentalhealthonline.org.au, etc).

Just a reminder re vaccinations.

1. Check your eligibility on www.health.gov.au

2. The Pfizer vaccine is recommended if you are under 60 but not everyone under

60 is eligible yet (those between 40-60 are eligible, and those between 18-39

who are 1a or 1b). Book through www.hotdoc.com.au and fill in all the

information, which helps smooth the process at the clinic. Otherwise, for those

unable to book online, ring the clinic for an appointment.

3. The AstraZeneca vaccine is recommended for those over 60 and we are giving

many second doses now at the clinic. Ring for an appointment. Although a 12-

week gap is best for a higher immune response, we can give the second dose

earlier (not less than 8 weeks as the level of immunity falls off) if requested.

4. The AstraZeneca vaccine CAN be given to anyone over the age of 18 if they

choose and consent after assessing their own risk/benefits. Go to the eligibility

checker online, read about the well-publicised but rare clotting disorder (TTS)

and see if it seems right for you… and feel free to discuss with your doctor.

We all hope that number 5 is our last lockdown.

Vaccination makes this a possibility.