This is an opinion piece.
In other words, there is no advice here. I have no power to advise.
I have no qualifications in medicine. I have nothing to offer politically. I am just an observer of “things”. As such I read a lot and form an opinion of what may or may not occur sometimes. Often, I am wrong. End of warning and disclaimer.
After pandemic round 1 (last year), I decided in round 2 not to be a daily doomsday scroller. You may have noticed that this year I have hardly talked about COVID.
And since we in NSW plunged into lockdown in June (was it?), I have made a point of trying to write something silly in my emails at about the same time as Gladys was telling us about the bad news at 11 am each day.
I call it wisdom but the only thing I wanted was to make at least one person smile.
Anyway, a lot of people keep asking me, “when can we get out to these heaps of jobs that are available?” As I have no power, I have not been able to answer that.
But the last week or so (as an observer of “things”), things seemed to be changing.
Dates are being talked about. From Gladys and Dan in particular. And that’s important.
Our prime minister did an appropriate thing (my view) last year by establishing the National Cabinet when the pandemic became a thing.
He didn’t have any choice really, because the states run the hospitals and that’s where sick people end up.
But he did create a vehicle where the premiers and chief ministers form different sides of politics could come together to attempt to create a national plan.
So as a result there is, sort of, a national plan or roadmap of how we get back to some sort of normality. The so-called COVID normality.
The federal government commissioned the Doherty Institute to advise on the National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID Response. Their modelling is something that has been reported as being accepted by National Cabinet.
Note here (in my words): The actual decisions and deliberations of Nation Cabinet are currently under a secrecy thing so that discussions of differing opinions don’t negatively influence the public opinion of the many. Get it?
I’m not great with needles so I hate the word “Jabs”.
Basically the roadmap out of here according to the National Cabinet is all around the percentage of people who are inoculated against Covid19.
They will all have to open up. They are running out of political and actual capital.
But from today, it’s all about Victoria and NSW. While ever they have lockdowns, the rest of the country is buffered from opening borders. NSW and Victoria also account for over 60% of the population.
So the first thing to get to is opening up these two states. Both are doing this based on 80% of immunisation.
NSW have a date that is 1 December when all people regardless of vacc status can travel freely anywhere in the state.
Victoria is behind because NSW has the momentum in vaccinations.
My view is that the rest of the National Cabinet will fall into line once NSW and Victoria are settled and open. The pressure will be immense.
So Victoria is the one to watch for a timeline to nationwide travel. They will be the last piece of the puzzle to fall in place.
If you see some stragglers there will be amazing resources thrown at it to fix it up. For example, if NT don’t get their percentages up, the other states will throw everything at it to fix it.
Which shouldn’t take long. The entire population of NT is 10,000 less than Geelong Vic and 90,000 less than the Central Coast NSW or the Sunshine Coast Qld.
So Victoria says that they should have 80% of the over 16 years population inoculated by 5 November. At that stage the rules for Metro and Regional will merge to become one set.
At this point (5 November), NSW and Victoria would be operating under similar conditions. But not necessarily opening borders. But that is when the pressure starts on the National Cabinet.
NSW opens up completely 3 weeks after that on December 1 and piles on more pressure. Victoria are 3 weeks behind but Christmas is coming. As long as NSW cases haven’t blown out in the last 3 weeks then the pressure on Dan will be enormous. Because 3 weeks is just a few days before Christmas. He won’t want to be known as the grinch that canned Christmas just for the sake of a few days.
So I reckon that Victoria will open fully about December 10.
The rest of the National Cabinet will now have the grinch status potential.
They will open up the whole country for unbuffered travel by 15 December.
That’s my prediction. But if you are planning any travel, I could be wrong!
PS Here is a copy of the VIC and NSW Roadmap Fact Sheets. Victoria’s is prettier but NSW is more definite.