There’s no shortage of flaws in the way our government has executed its pathetic excuse of a COVID response.
Here in NSW, newly appointed Premier Dominic Perrottet removed mask mandates and other COVID safety measures at the same time as a new, highly transmissible COVID variant appeared. Just weeks later, the state is now consistently hitting 20,000 new COVID cases a day.
Already, this is a shit show. Cases are soaring, most people I know have either already been infected by COVID or have a close friend or family member that has, and despite lockdown ending months ago, I still feel trapped. Not everyone can afford to just ‘live with the virus’.
Full disclosure: I am not a member of the disabled community, and I am not immunocompromised. I am a fully vaccinated young person with no other health conditions. But that doesn’t make me relaxed and complacent, and that certainly doesn’t make me less anxious about catching the virus.
Why? Because I have immunocompromised friends who I love and care about, and I can’t risk giving them COVID. Shocking news: I care about other people. And unfortunately, that’s not a mindset I’m seeing accounted for in the current COVID rules, or many people’s attitudes towards the virus.
Im so tired of hearing people say “you can’t just not live your life” and “at this point, it’s just a matter of WHEN you get it, not if” about Covid. That shit is ableist and selfish. Knock it off.
— Alexandra Rose (@alexwideeyes) December 31, 2021
The last two weeks have been incredibly distressing for anyone that can’t risk catching COVID. Previously, anyone could get a free PCR test at pretty much any time, with no referral or proof of need necessary. Obviously this makes sense, since the best way to detect COVID is to detect it early through regular testing, so people can isolate before they become infectious and limit the spread of the virus.
Except, this isn’t the case anymore.
According to new rules, people are only eligible for a free PCR test if they are a) a close contact to someone who has COVID (of which the definition has recently narrowed) or b) suffering COVID symptoms.
It’s ableist to limit free PCR testing to only these people because it ignores the fact that some of us need to get tested when there’s even a remote chance that we may have COVID, to avoid spreading it to friends and family that may not survive it.
We can’t go around making things free! We just might make an equitable society!