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663 走出新冠的陰霾

Out of the Covid murkiness

澳洲新冠個案再次上升, 從個多月前每天兩萬多宗感染個案, 死亡個案20多宗, 大幅增加至每天4,5萬多宗感染, 接近100宗死亡個案。傳染病學專家指出現時爆發還未見頂, 可以達每天10萬宗感染以上, 那時不單醫療系統將會崩潰, 死亡人數也會大增。專家們呼籲政府要重新設置口罩措施, 降低病毒傳播速度, 相信可以減少感染及死亡人數。不過, 聯邦及各州政府, 並未接納這些意見, 仍然相信接種疫苗及加強劑, 足以應付危機。

政府在訂定疫情政策時, 當然有權不接納純粹醫學專業意見, 不過政府有責任向公眾解釋, 為何不隨這些專家的意見,並且得到社會的認同和支持。今天澳洲人口死亡新冠病毒的並不算高, 每百萬人約400人, 各州政府可能覺得情況令人很滿意, 不願意更多地干預社會的運作。但最新的民意調查顯示, 超過60%澳洲人贊成重新在公眾地方引入一定程度的佩戴口罩, 反對的只有20%。而且專家和公眾都認為這些措施可以降低公共醫療系統的壓力。很可惜, 我們的政客總是後知後覺, 沒有扮演領導者的角色。

到底大流行完結了嗎?接近3年的折騰已經令到澳洲社會出現各種問題。醫護人員的壓力與離職潮、教師因疲於奔命耗盡而轉行、救護員服務因為人手不足而多次進入紅色危險戒備狀態、小生意隨時沒有足夠員工或沒有生意而倒閉、海外留學生不少沒有回來、工作員仍拒絕回到辦公室上班、大部人都在等候自己成為下一個的感染者, 或是憂慮自己會否將成為長期新冠症狀患者等。明顯地認為我們已經平安度過新冠大流行, 是自欺欺人的說法, 很可惜, 我們的政客卻又拿不出甚麼前瞻性的說法, 來鼓勵集體陷於抑鬱中的澳洲社會。

是的, 今天我們有很多方法去面對新冠病毒的挑戰, 我們有隔離措施、疫苗、治療的藥物,比兩年半前大不相同。我們是應該可以更有信心, 去面對重建倒退了的社會的挑戰。讓我們在感恩之餘, 更求執政者能有遠見, 並且有承擔及願意與人民溝通, 特別是與長期受到忽視的多元文化社區有更多的溝通, 帶領澳洲走出新冠的陰霾。

周偉文 社長

Out of the Covid murkiness

Covid cases are on the rise again in Australia. More than a month ago there were just over 20000 cases a day with some 20 fatalities; now it comes to over 50000 cases daily with some 100 fatalities. Infectious Disease Specialists are warning for more to come, up to 100,000 cases where our medical system would crash as more people rush in and die. Thus the government is being urged to enforce mask mandate so as to slow down the infection and supress the death rate.

In working out Covid strategy the government may not just follow medical advice, but to gain more public support the government needs to explain why the advice is not taken. Our Covid death rate is still very low in below 400 out of a million; hence the various State governments are not motivated to enforce stricter measures in the society. But the latest poll indicated that over 60% Australians would go along with some forms of mask wearing in public area, whilst only 20% objected. Both the medical experts and public are convinced that such measure could ease pressure on our public health system. Unfortunately, the politicians have been inert in their leadership role.

Is the pandemic really done? The Australian society has been grilled for almost three years. Health workers are falling under enormous pressure, teachers are quitting due to the workload, paramedics are stressing under red code, small businesses are closing with no staff or no customers, overseas students are lacking, people are staying home for work… they all live under anxiety of the infection and the long-Covid. Obviously, it is a joke to say that we are all over from it. But the government has no proactive idea to cheer up our gloomy society in overall.

Yes there are many means such as quarantine, vaccine, medication for us to cope with Covid compared to over two years ago. We should have better confidence to rebuild our society upon all the challenges. As we give thanks, we hope people in power could have the vision and the accountability to work together with and lead the public out of the murkiness of the pandemic, especially for the long neglected ethnic minority communities.

Mr. Raymond Chow, Publisher

663 期《同路人》原定於7月15日出版, 惟在出版當天, 總編輯感染了新冠病毒, 工作人員要進行七天隔離, 因此本刊出版延遲兩周, 謹向各讀者致歉。

The Sameway Issue 663 was scheduled to be published on 15 July. However with the chief editor diagnosed with Covid-19 positive on 12 July and put into isolation for 7 days, the issue was cancelled and publication delayed to 29 July. We apologize to our readers for the inconvenience caused.