The daily Covid infection numbers in NSW look bad, no doubt about it. But the time has come to tweak the nerve wracking daily ritual of a media conferences.
Before we proceed let me make it clear that here in this little piece of Greater Sydney is someone who believes Covid is real and dangerous.
It is also someone who has faith in the vaccines and indeed in the scientists who produced them.
And furthermore, someone who believes our politicians and health bureaucrats are doing the best they can to keep us safe, but who do make mistakes from time to time.
But surely there has to be a better way than an 11am media conference televised live where the premier, the health minister, the chief health officer, the police commissioner and others repeat themselves day after day.
The only things that change are the infection rates, the number of people tested the previous 24 hours, and the number of people in hospital, including in intensive care.
Maybe the time has come for a tweak by emphasising the number of people admitted to hospital each day and how many in intensive care.
And how is the capacity of our hospitals been tested so far.
But let’s take a look at two three day periods in August.
Just eight people were hospitalised due to Covid in the 24 hours to August10.
But the number in intensive care actually fell from 67 to 60.
In the next 24 hour period to August 11, (today) 17 people were hospitalised due to Covid, while the numbers in intensive care went up by just two people.
In the 24 hours between August 4 and 5 just four more people were hospitalised with Covid, while the number in intensive care dropped from 53 to 51.
In the next 24 hour period, 14 people were hospitalised and the number in intensive care went from 51 to 50.
I do like the emphasis on the fact a tiny number of people in intensive care have been vaccinated with one jab. Not one of these people so far has been fully vaccinated.
That’s why these are the numbers the premier should be talking about.
But the premier and her team also need to focus a lot more on the vaccination rollout, which surely is a positive signal to those who are still hesitant to go and get the jab.
More than 14 million jabs have now gone into Aussie arms – now that a good story, especially after such a slow start to the rollout.
There’s no way the daily media briefings in their current format are good for anyone’s morale, so we need to change that, even if it’s just a change of emphasis from one set of numbers to another.
And finally, I urge everyone involved, including my media colleagues, that this is no time for quarrelling and finger pointing and gotcha moments.
Every single one of us should be aiming to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.