Editorial April 30th 2021

Welcome to this week’s editorial, This weekend is going to be a cracker. Great weather predicted with highs of 23C, big blue skies and cool crisp Autumn nights. Celebrating the weekend with us will be the sold out crowds who have come form far and wide to enjoy this year’s Narooma Oyster Festival. Adding to the influx on the coast will be the throng who wind their way down from the west via the Clyde Mountain or from places north. The region will be abuzz. From the calamity of the bushfires, floods and Covid we appear to be going OK in regaining some of our past “normality”. Our local cafes seem to be trading well and our local providers, trades and services share anecdotes that business is steadily rebuilding. Fortunately we are all out and about, able to once again enjoy the freedom of travel and the pleasures of socialising. Schools and workplaces seem to have returned to near normal and our weekends are filled with the many things we used to moan about such as driving kids about endlessly in the pursuit of their sport and entertainment or committing ourselves to the many weekend chores that require a trip to the hardware store or tip. And we are free to do so. But we can’t lose sight of the fact that the rest of the world, outside our South Sea bubble is doing it hard and living in fear of the next outbreak or mutation of Covid. Both North and South America remain under siege from the virus, Europe is on edge and Africa is about to explode on a scale that will match India. But we are OK in our bubble. For the time being. Alarmingly though, and justifiably, we have now developed a reluctance to get the jab. Vaccine Centres are empty, demand is down and the hesitancy and caution around AstraZeneca is concerning. It wasn’t all that long ago that we saw metropolitan visitors, like Spanish Conquistadors, arrive in our region with their “pox”. At the time the outcry was that we are Amazonian like, with all too few medical resources, and that the Outsiders should respect our fragility and stay away. But now we have a weapon in the Covid fight. We can all get the jab, in readiness, should the “pox” return. We can prepare. We have time and with the steady rollout we have access. But will we? This week it has been revealed that the trust in the AstraZeneca jab has fallen with continued anecdotes of ill effects and with the very rare, but real, deaths attributed to blood clotting. The fact of the matter is that the “pox” is very real outside our little bubble and would love to find its way into our community. The fact is that it will return because we can not remain in a bubble forever. We must look at where we are and know our medical resources are already under pressure, that we are remote and we remain susceptible to Covid while we are not immunized. When the opportunity does come for the jab we, each and all of us, must take it. Will you? Until next—lei