The Mirror News

Another lockdown!

• The main street of Foster resembled a ghost town on the weekend with the Stage 4 restrictions having a huge effect on
local businesses and people’s way of life.

ACTING Victorian Premier James Merlino last Thursday announced a snap state-wide seven-day lockdown until 11.59pm on Thursday, June 3. From 11.59pm May 27, 2021, Victoria moved to Stage 4 restrictions.

As a result of the Stage 4 restrictions the whole state went into its fourth lockdown since the Pandemic started.

During the lockdown, only five reasons are permitted for leaving home.  They are:

  • shopping for food and supplies,
  • authorised work and education,
  • care and caregiving,
  • exercise (for up to two hours and with one other person),
  • and getting vaccinated. 

People can only exercise and shop within 5km of their home, but if there are no shops in that radius, people are permitted to travel to their closest venue. Shopping is also limited to one person a day for every household. 

Facemasks will be mandatory inside and outdoors, except in your own home. 

Private and public gatherings are not permitted, but people will be allowed to visit their intimate partner, and people living alone can form a single-person bubble with somebody else.

There was no sport allowed over the weekend and at this stage it is still not known whether the restrictions will continue after the deadline on Thursday or not.

Please remember to support all local businesses who are allowed to operate in “take-away” mode during this time,  it is a very tough time for anyone in business.

Foster Medical Centre

Lockdown and COVID Vaccination News

HOW things change so quickly. 

Lockdown again. Number 4.

A sense of déjà vu and ‘not this again.’

A return of the restrictions and of dashed plans.

A return of a widespread uncertainty and anxiety.

One moment we were going about life in an almost-normal way and the next we are in a week of state-wide lockdown. Let us hope that it is only for a week…

And yet it was always going to happen. Hotel quarantine is not a perfect solution and the virus, especially the new variants, is so virulent and contagious. 

The only upside of the latest scare it is that many more people are lining up to get vaccinated.

We have been saying it for awhile…this is the only way we will be truly safe from COVID, when the vast majority of us are vaccinated. And although the Victorian numbers are not yet great, locally we are doing pretty well. Up until last Friday we had given 1749 COVID vaccinations through our respiratory clinic! (And 1952 flu shots). We opened up Saturday morning to help cope with the increased demand and our bookings since lockdown have been pretty heavy-in fact there is about a week or two wait now.

If we ever needed a wake up call to get vaccinated then this is it. Waiting really is such a poor option. 

Other vaccines becoming available is welcome news but it remains a fact that it is in everyone’s interests to get the nation vaccinated as quickly as possible-that means, if you can get vaccinated with AstraZeneca now then you should. (And please note that the Respiratory Clinics do not yet have access to the Pfizer vaccine).

Let us mention again the vaccine hesitancy that has existed centred around the risk of clotting with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Be clear that this is a specific type of clotting completely unrelated to the ‘normal’ clotting conditions you may be aware of (like DVTs or pulmonary embolisms or strokes, etc). To date, the estimated occurrence of this is somewhere between one in 100,000 to 250,000 people.

The amount of media time this has consumed is frankly tragically ridiculous. There have been the occasional (well publicised) death before this condition was well recognised, but now (the rare) people who do get it are being detected early, treated and generally recovering well.

Have a read of the new article Dr Priscilla Robinson has written on the vaccine. Impressive to think that 10% of the world’s population (over 1 billion people) have had a covid shot!

Until this lockdown it was so easy to forget, feel complacent and secure on our island, that the pandemic had avoided us. Yet this is surely a fool’s paradise thinking. There is nothing as certain as the fact that COVID will come when borders finally open up and in time be one of the background viruses circulating around, similar in that respect (and perhaps only in that respect) to the viruses that cause the common cold. 

But know that this is not a simple viral illness we are dealing with. Let’s be reminded. Broadly, numbers overseas show us that 20 per cent of people who develop COVID-19 will develop the more severe form of the condition which may lead to serious lung problems, many requiring a ventilator; 30 per cent of these people with severe COVID will develop severe clotting abnormalities; between one to three out of these 20 will possibly die, especially if they are older or have serious co-morbid conditions.

Then more recently it has been reported that up to a third of patients who have had the more severe version of COVID-19 develop ‘long COVID’, characterized by cognitive problems, chronic shortness of breath and fatigue. In other words, chronic ill-health.

When borders open up we must have the vast majority of us vaccinated to limit the damage this virus will otherwise cause. This is a wake up call. We urge you to get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible. It’s a safe vaccine, it’s an effective vaccine, it’s free and it is available locally.

Go to health.gov.au to determine if you are eligible-but if you are over 50 then you are eligible for a vaccine at the Clinic. 

The Medical Centre is always attempting to get more vaccines. We only get 200 a week. The two ways of booking are either through HotDocs for a Thursday appointment (go to vaccine eligibility on health.com.au and you will end up on the site…it is easy to follow and makes our job easier as it saves time on the day), or by ringing the clinic.

Get vaccinated for your own good but also, importantly, for the ‘collective good’ of the community

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