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Hell hath no fury, but there's still plenty of blame to go around

Opinion

The Premier has every right to be “absolutely furious” about the circumstances of our latest lockdown – but she needn’t look too far to find the cause for her anger,  writes Madonna King

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Annastacia Palaszczuk says she’s furious that a teenager, working in a hospital but not near others, hasn’t been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Is she just as furious that less than five percent of the population is vaccinated?

That at least one third of health workers, in the State she runs, have not had the jab?

That workers in aged care homes are today on the phone, for more than an hour, trying to make an appointment?

That Queensland police have allegedly misused data collected by her compulsory Check In Qld app?

That her online portal – which she recommends we use to book a vaccine appointment – doesn’t offer a vacancy in many areas before Christmas?

That the booking line, frequently, over the past few weeks cannot even put people on hold, because the wait to talk to someone is so long?

Is she furious that she didn’t think to check whether health workers were following a vague order to get vaccinated?

Is she furious at those responsible for issuing that order; should it have been clearer?

Is she furious that her government has allowed those low-risk Australians quarantining after domestic travel to be put in rooms next to those, from overseas, with the more insidious Delta strain?

Did she wonder how this 19-year-old – or others like her – might get vaccinated given the shortage of Pfizer, and the length of time to book an appointment?

Or that other health workers – who are contacting me with their own stories – still have not been able to find an appointment. Is she furious at them too?

Has she talked to some of our young doctors, and heard the enormous strain in their voices as they try to navigate people’s anxiety, even before any big breakout?

Or the elderly, whose ageing GPs are among many of those medicos who have quit. Where do they find a new GP? How do they manage to book online?

What about those 19-year-olds who don’t work night shifts in a hospital? What about those at university who are doing lectures online in their bedroom? Is she furious, or concerned, about those young Queenslanders?

What about our young Mums and Dads, who want to line up and get Pfizer?

Is she just furious at Scott Morrison, or could she have done more to forsee this problem – because there’s an irony in demanding health and aged care workers rush out now to be treated with Pfizer, when her own government says we’ve almost run out. Who’s the target of that fury?

I’m not furious. Just confused. And begging for more thoughtfully-crafted policy and communication, at every level.

I’m confused how a 19-year-old can be blamed for government inaction, and I worry about the implications of that. Is she furious at the hate now being sent this young woman’s way?

I’m confused, too, about the blame being directed at this teen, when the Chief Health Officer said she worked quite separately from the rest of the hospital and “the rest of the hospital shouldn’t be at risk’’.

I’m confused how a government, who fronts the media each day to gloat about keeping this pandemic at bay, is mixing strains in hotel quarantine.

How it has not checked how many of our aged care and health workers are yet to be vaccinated.

Why are they not giving vaccinations to those lying in our hospital beds, requesting one?

How can a traveller from Indonesia come and go, and possibly pass on the virus, when we can’t go between states?:

How can the government tell young health and aged-care workers to go and get vaccinated – but then say they don’t have enough vaccine.

Just confused.

And perhaps, beyond confused, how 52,000 people are allowed to cram into Suncorp Stadium to watch a football match, only days before we are ordered to cancel our holidays and cover our faces with masks.

And the government is blaming a 19-year-old?

 

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