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Your views: on school re-openings and the focus on daily COVID reporting

Reader contributions

Readers have their say on the impact of COVID-19 on the looming school year and the suggestion that coronavirus reporting should be compared to influenza statistics.

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Commenting on the story: SA principals warn against ‘hybrid’ model ahead of back-to-school decision

What about the children who will be starting in our government early childhood settings? They are aged from 3-5 years and ineligible for any vaccination? I know the Department will have a plan but has anyone else considered the implications for these children and their families and educators? – Emma Durdin

Commenting on the story: ‘Relentless’ focus on daily COVID cases hurts consumer confidence

I don’t believe there any easy answers for how to deal with COVID-19 and its impact on our community. Neither the “lockdown at all costs” camp nor the “open up at all costs” camp reflect my views.

So, when Steve Maras points to influenza statistics to argue that we should stop worrying about COVID-19 statistics, I was sceptical. I had a cursory glance at the publicly available stats about COVID and influenza.

In 2016, the influenza hospitalisation rate was around 1,000 per million infected Australians aged 5 to 64.

The current Omicron hospitalisation rate appears to be about 49,000 people per million.

From 1997 to 2016, there was an average of 31 influenza deaths in Australia per million infected Australians across all age groups.

By contrast, Omicron appears to have a death rate of around 2,000 people per million.

Delta is worse still.

So, when Steve Maras asks rhetorically why we are so worried about COVID when we weren’t this worried about the flu, there is an easy answer. As best we can tell, Omicron, the “milder” strain of COVID, is about 50 times worse than influenza was before COVID-19 came along.

It’s important to understand these statistics. Having them widely available and publicised is in the public interest. They rightly act as a deterrent for going out and doing things that put you at risk of catching and spreading COVID.

It’s true that we will all likely have COVID at some point. But now, as at the start of the pandemic, the priority must be making sure we flatten the curve and keep the infection rate at a level our health system can manage. – Callum Di Sario

I understand that business operations are critical to surviving the pandemic, however long it goes on, but not at the expense of people’s health.

Withholding information from people is absolutely the worst action you can take as a government. Time and again it has been shown that if people are in possession of all the information and reasons behind decisions, they will support those decisions.

In short, wrong answer. More information not less!! – Bob Sibson

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