Alfie Date, Australia’s oldest man at 109, knits little jumpers for penguins caught up in oil spills. You’ve just gotta love his latest.
WW can’t help wondering why Alfie Date hasn’t knitted this little fella a mask? Since the pandemic, ever-so-slightly hit the Antipodes – everyone there has been wearing face masks.
As a matter of interest, the Waverley Web travels far and wide and we have comments and information from our Australian friends. Our followers, many of whom once lived in Surrey, tell us how COVID has impacted their lives too.
One follower wrote to the Waverley Web saying she had popped out at the height of the lockdown at 7 pm to beat the 8 pm curfew and was followed by the police from her home to her local Chinese takeaway restaurant. After the meal was put in her boot she was followed by the police back to her Melbourne home. Could you even imagine such strict controls here?
Early last year, the Australians took aggressive public-health measures of physical distancing and lockdown to bring the virus to heel. They understood that an ounce of prevention is worth pounds of cure.
As part of that, they immediately brought in border-control measures, including mandatory quarantine facilities for travellers – measures used by other gold-medal countries, from Hong Kong to South Korea.
Australia is no longer in a race between virus variants and vaccines; it stopped the virus in its tracks. When the pandemic is over and the butcher’s bill is delivered, our southern twin’s tally of dead and hospitalised will be a tiny fraction of ours.
And once Australia starts vaccinating, it stands ready to outpace many other countries. Last year Australia signed contracts for a variety of promising, in-development vaccines. But it didn’t stop there. It also ramped up domestic manufacturing capacity and licensed the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Australian pharma giant CSL is now producing approximately one million AstraZeneca doses a week, in Australia. That’s in addition to the country’s contracts for millions of imported doses. Australia further insured itself by licensing a leading vaccine for domestic production.
With one million locally manufactured doses a week, Australia will soon be vaccinating at least 4 per cent of its population, weekly.