14 September 2021

UPDATED: College back for Term 4, but Berry, Barr remain tight-lipped on broader return to school

| Lottie Twyford and Genevieve Jacobs
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Yvette Berry

Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Education Yvette Berry speaking at a previous press conference. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

UPDATED 3:00 pm: Year 12 students have been given the green light to return to school at the start of Term 4, ready to sit their AST exams in mid-October, but school will definitely not be ‘normal’.

Year 11s will return to school on Monday, 18 October.

Preschool to year 10 will continue remote learning for at least the first four weeks of Term 4, but discussions will take place in the coming weeks regarding what a staged return to face-to-face learning could look like.

Today’s announced returns to school will depend on the ongoing COVID-19 situation in the ACT.

While Mr Barr acknowledged that all year 12s will not have full protection against COVID-19 because of the time required for double dosing and then the two week period during which the vaccine becomes effective, he said many within this cohort would have some protection.

He said there will be COVID-safe protocols in place and, because it is a small cohort, the risks can be better managed. One of these changes is likely to be less of a focus on classroom work and more on preparation for the ASTs in the coming week, he said.

Education Minister Yvette Berry confirmed that having fewer students at schools will make it easier to physically distance, and it may allow for having students spread across multiple rooms for their ASTs.

READ ALSO Next to no chance of catching COVID-19 from a public toilet, ANU finds

Mr Barr reiterated that a vaccine will not be made mandatory for either students or teachers at this point, but he said there is currently a priority vaccination program in place for teachers that has experienced a strong take-up.

Around 4,000 year 12 students have already booked or had appointments for jabs through the ACT Government mass vaccination clinics.

Despite the fact that there is no vaccine currently available to children aged under 12 years, Mr Barr said the ACT Government’s decision not to allow younger cohorts back to school is based on epidemiological advice which he said suggests that unless the broader population around the children is vaccinated, the virus can still spread.

Speaking at today’s midday press conference, Mr Barr said the Lyneham High cluster had demonstrated how the virus travelled within school groups as it had been transmitted between students and then onto their parents.

The cluster of cases related to the school is currently the third-largest in the Territory’s outbreak, with a total of 46 cases having been linked to the school.

He also noted the heightened risk of plunging entire school communities into quarantine, given the size of such cohorts, and the impact that would be likely to have on the Territory’s essential services.

Education Minister Yvette Berry said she understood the frustrations faced by families and could relate to them personally, with two school-aged children of her own.

“I know that we all want to see a return to some kind of normality.”

She said vaccination thresholds for students aged 12 to 15 years will be “just one of the elements taken into account by the Chief Health Officer” when it comes to those further discussions around the re-opening of schools.

READ ALSO Florist thanks Canberrans for support after being listed as an exposure site

Childcare, early childhood education services and before and after school services will remain open to children of essential workers for the next four weeks. Specialist schools will also remain open.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith confirmed that around 170 doses of vaccine were discarded yesterday after the ‘technical issues’ at the mass vaccination hub led to long queues and some people needing to reschedule their appointments.

Canberra Liberals MLA Giulia Jones said yesterday’s events at the AIS were a complete mess, and today’s announcement was disappointing given a roadmap was expected.

The Canberra Liberals called it a “roadmap to nowhere”.

Opposition Leader Elizabeth Lee said that it had been unacceptable to announce a four-week extension to lockdown, with very few changes to restrictions and financial support.

“Thousands of Canberra businesses are yet to receive a cent from the ACT Government and over four weeks into a lockdown, this is beyond unacceptable. It is cruel,” she said.

She also said that parents and teachers are now no closer to seeing certainty or a long-term plan for the vast majority of our students returning to the classroom.

READ ALSO It’s all COVID but where is the rest of government?

New locations have this afternoon been added to the ACT’s COVID-19 exposure site list.

7-Eleven in Mawson is now listed as a casual contact exposure site for Saturday, 11 September from 12:25 pm to 1:30 pm as is Woolworths Woden on Saturday, 11 September from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm and on Friday, 10 September from 2:45 pm to 3:45 pm.

Check the full updated list of exposure sites, including ‘monitor for symptoms’ locations at the ACT Government COVID-19 website.

Andrew Barr

Chief Minister Andrew Barr at this morning’s COVID briefing. Photo: Lottie Twyford.

UPDATED 12:40 pm: The ACT will endure four more weeks of lockdown until 15 October as COVID-19 cases continue to stubbornly multiply and a significant number of new cases remain infectious in the community.

“I know this isn’t the news a lot of you wanted to hear today,” Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said at today’s press briefing.

There were 22 new cases overnight, 14 of which are linked to current exposure sites. But only two cases were in quarantine during their entire infectious period and at least 13 spent part of their infectious period in the community. Ten people are hospitalised, two in intensive care and one is being ventilated.

“We will do our best to contain this virus,” Chief Minister Andrew Barr said. “It’s not a choice between a good option and bad options; it’s a choice about what’s least worst.”

He said the alternative pathway to continuing lockdown is tens of thousands of cases and “more despair and misery”.

Dr Coleman said there have been eight different infection incursions into the ACT, 50 cases whose origins are still unlinked to known cases or sites of transmission, and that number was not decreasing.

“That number of cases suggest potential unidentified chains of transmission in the community posing risks for the unvaccinated. Public health and social measures are the only way we can reduce the risk of unidentified chains of transmission,” she said.

The median case is a 26-year-old male and Dr Coleman said 82 per cent of positive cases were unvaccinated, consistent with the other two jurisdictions with outbreaks. The effective reproduction rate (ERR) is holding at one, but two-thirds of the ACT’s cases have been infectious in the community.

“Extending these restrictions that limit your ability to move freely around the ACT is not the decision we wanted to make but the one we had to make at this point in time,” Dr Coleman said, pleading with Canberrans to stay the course and protect the community.

Mr Barr said that the path forward is also complicated by the growing number of COVID-19 cases in neighbouring areas.

“NSW has been problematic for the nation and incredibly problematic for the ACT, given we sit wholly within that state and we are seeing incursions of the virus from the greater Sydney area.

“We have been at risk from NSW, we are at risk from NSW, and we’ll continue to be at risk from NSW in the weeks and months ahead. Our objective is to get as close to zero as possible. Today has not been a good day on that performance objective.”

Mr Barr said there would be minor changes to public health directions to allow for increased COVID-safe small business operations, including contactless click and collect, limited private appointments for real estate viewing and some additional outdoor activities, including golf and tennis.

A midpoint review will be conducted in two weeks’ time.

Business and community financial support measures are being extended and expanded. Tax and commercial rates relief has been doubled and extended to December. Utility concessions of $1000 are available for the 31,000 most vulnerable ACT households.

Mr Barr said there would be further financial support and disaster payments announcements made shortly in conjunction with the Commonwealth. Additional announcements are also expected regarding mental health and community services. The next ACT budget will be delivered on 6 October with further investments in community support.

There will be limited returns to school during Term 4, beginning with Year 12 students on 5 October and Year 11 students from Week Three, commencing Monday, 18 October.

Students from pre-school to Year 10 will continue remote learning for at least the first four weeks of Term Four, although the plan continues to be a return to face-to-face teaching at some time during the final term.

Mr Barr said high levels of vaccination in the Territory would support a safer pathway forward for the ACT, especially as the virus spreads through our community and across the Canberra region.

The national 70 per cent and 80 per cent vaccination milestones are likely to be met from mid-October onwards, driven by NSW, Victoria and the ACT which represent 60 per cent of the national population.

“This next month is a period of uncertainty, and the next few weeks will be challenging but what we are certain of is that a highly vaccinated Canberra is a safer Canberra,” Mr Barr said.

“That will lead to a safer Christmas, safer holidays and a safer 2022.”

UPDATED 11:55 am: The ACT has 22 new cases of COVID-19.

Of the 22 new cases, 14 are linked to current exposure sites or close contacts, eight are under investigation.

Only two of the 22 were in quarantine for all of their infectious period. At least 13 were infectious in the community.

Yesterday, the ACT recorded 13 new cases.

There are currently 10 people in hospital and two in intensive care. One person requires ventilation.

Yesterday, 3721 tests were conducted giving a good level of surveillance for the virus in the community.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr also announced that the ACT’s lockdown will be extended for four weeks to 11:59 pm on 15 October. A checkpoint will be undertaken after two weeks.

In NSW 1127 new cases were recorded. A woman in her 80s and a man in his 50s – both from western Sydney – died in NSW in the last 24 hours. They had each received one dose of a COVID vaccine.

Victoria has announced 445 new cases and two deaths.

AIS COVID-19 Vaccination Centre

The AIS COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic before opening. There were long queues at the testing site yesterday. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

10:00 am: Supermarkets and other essential retail have once again dominated the new exposure sites listed overnight by ACT Health. This comes as Chief Minister Andrew Barr is today expected to provide detailed information on the ACT’s outbreak and plans for the next few weeks.

While no new close contact exposure locations were added to the ACT Government’s COVID-19 website, several new casual contact sites have been listed.

Woolworths Metro at Franklin has been named a casual contact site for Saturday, 4 September between 2:20 pm and 3:30 pm.

Woolworths Mawson is a casual contact exposure site on Thursday, 9 September from 6:15 pm to 7:20 pm, Friday, 10 September from 3:15 pm to 4:00 pm and Saturday, 11 September from 5:15 pm to 6:15 pm.

Capital Chemist Mawson is also a casual contact site on Saturday, 11 September from 12:35 pm to 1:45 pm.

Molonglo Dental Surgery also appears repeatedly. It’s a casual contact exposure location on Wednesday, 8 September from 9:50 am to 3:30 pm, Thursday, 9 September from 9:20 am to 4:00 pm and Friday, 10 September from 9:50 am to 10:45 am.

In Canberra’s north, Amcal+ Pharmacy Belconnen is listed as a casual contact site on Wednesday, 8 September from 9:10 am to 10:25 am and ALDI Amaroo is on Saturday, 11 September from 10:30 am to 11:00 am.

Casual contacts must complete the ACT Contact Declaration Form, immediately quarantine and get tested in line with ACT Health requirements. The number of mandated tests a casual contact is required to undergo varies depending on how long ago the exposure site was visited.

READ ALSO Lockdown compounds loneliness for dementia patient Steve and wife Lorraine

More than 25 additional ‘monitor for symptoms’ locations have been listed overnight in Belconnen, Charnwood, Wanniassa, Fyshwick, Narrabundah, Hawker, Yarralumla, Mawson, Amaroo, Holt and Gungahlin.

Most of the listed businesses in this category are supermarkets, shopping centres, bottle shops, petrol stations, post offices and chemists.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr is expected to provide a detailed ‘roadmap’ of the public health settings for the next few weeks in the Territory.

Yesterday, 13 new cases of COVID-19 were announced, with 10 confirmed to have been infectious in the community for at least some time.

He’s resisted pressure to reveal what exactly this plan might look like, although he did hint last week and again over the weekend that further clarity will be provided around schooling arrangements for term four.

READ ALSO It’s all COVID but where is the rest of government?

Yesterday, the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) announced that the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for 2021 NSW HSC students will be released at 9:00 am on Thursday, 20 January 2022.

The ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies (BSSS) mirrored this announcement for ACT students. In a statement released by the BSSS chair Roberta McRae, it was noted that university offers for ACT and NSW students are processed simultaneously.

“The later release of rankings will not affect University applications through UAC as they are processed in the same way and at the same time for all students,” it read.

The ACT Scaling Test is currently scheduled to go ahead on Tuesday, 12 October and Wednesday, 13 October.

With school holidays set to begin this weekend, parents, students and school communities are hoping for further clarity around what next term may look like.

Master Builders CEO Michael Hopkins is renewing calls for the ACT Government to allow construction workers to enter the ACT from low-risk areas in NSW.

He said he has written to the Chief Minister to request these changes, citing a need for specialist tradespeople to enter the ACT to complete some jobs.

Testing in Yass

People are tested from their cars at the COVID-19 clinic at 1-5 MacDonald Street, Yass. Photo: supplied.

This comes as the NSW Government reimposed stay-at-home orders in Yass after the region recorded its first positive case in over a year. Residents had only a short period of freedom after the initial lockdown was lifted over the weekend.

The AIS mass vaccination hub experienced long queues yesterday. Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said one factor was someone programming next week’s appointments into yesterday’s schedule.

“The team was drawing up the vaccines out of the vials into the syringes had been enthusiastically drawing up a lot of vaccine to ensure that they could get through all the additional people … they actually ended up with a bit of excess supply having been drawn down into the syringes,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

The excess of vaccines resulted in people being called back late at night to come and get vaccinated.

Speaking on ABC Radio this morning, Ms Stephen-Smith said the team has not yet determined if any vaccine had been wasted.

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The ACT should allow children to go back to school based on ACT Vaccination thresholds and not wait for National Vaccination thresholds as well as have a clear detailed plan for doing so before the start of Term 4.

The following is a statement from today’s ACT government press conference 15th September 2021. The Deputy Chief Health Officer stated that children’s return to school will likely align with NATIONAL vaccination thresholds. This aligns with Chief Minister Barr’s (recently changed) narrative of now easing restrictions when the nation achieves vaccination thresholds and not when the ACT achieve vaccination thresholds alone.

Why is the ACT not able to distinguish between opening up the ACT vs. opening up the ACT to other states vs opening up the nation internationally. These are and should be three separate considerations and stages.

Why exactly are children in the ACT waiting for the vaccination rate of adults in the three most lagging states (Western Australia, South Australia and QLD) to meet a criteria when ACT children have

o a higher vaccination rate in their own state,
o a rate which will be met weeks earlier than national levels, and
o a border to protect them from people travelling from these states?

Sign this petition and have your say if you believe

o Schools re-opening should be based on ACT vaccination thresholds achieved and NOT National vaccination thresholds achieved,
o A clear detailed plan be presented to the people of the ACT for re-opening of ACT schools when vaccination target rates are met, by the ACT.
o And, that a plan should be presented before Term 4 begins.

Here is the petition link https://chng.it/s2vmhNvQry

The comments in riot act used to informative, entertaining and fun and brighten up my day. Now it seems to be the same people making petty political point scoring comments each day, I’m over it. No more reading the riot act, just makes me angry!

Hmm, so I’ve had my two jabs, but say the bloke down the street hasn’t. He’s in lockdown, as am I. Every day on the news, get vaccinated, get vaccinated – it’s becoming a broken record. I’m asking myself now – what’s the point. There’s going to be people that will not get the jab whatsoever. Suppose 95% of the population has two jabs, and there is a breakout in some suburb, is it still going to be endless lockdowns? I thought that herd immunity comes from mixing with the herd

Herd immunity is almost certainly impossible to achieve with this virus. Which is why we are going to have to start getting used to living with it sooner or later.

Unfortunately some people are still living in a fantasy land.

You are right chewy (for once I am agreeing with you) and believe most leaders bar maybe WA and to a lesser extent QLD see this too.

But that is only part of the equation. The main question is when do you move towards moving towards the living with phase. On that front Barr has actually indicated when that will be, not in terms of dates but the events in terms of vaccination levels as to when that will happen. Where Barr differs from NSW though is in saying passing the magic vaccination rate isn’t the trigger but a few weeks afer when that final vaccination becomes effective.

Here is a fact the chief minister has made it clear when that will be,

Yes Barr has indicated those amounts, however he has provided exactly no detail as to what types of restrictions might be changed. In fact the actual plan says nothing other than any change will be decided by them at the time.

Then when you consider the vaccination limits he is talking about are grossly out of step with the agreed National Plan and not based on any reasonable assessment of risk, it’s hard not to think they have absolutely no idea what they are doing.

We will be in lockdown for months based on their public and printed statements.

You can say what you like about NSW but at least they’ve put together an actual plan, outlining actual reopening steps that balance all impacts.

Victoria is meant to release their plan on Sunday, that will be very interesting reading.

What nonsense Chewy. As I said in another post that is all your perception and not facts clearly blinded by your dislike for Andre Barr. He could do exactly what you want and you would still complain.

CaptainSpiff4:11 pm 14 Sep 21

Awful decision by ACT government. It seems like the only opinion which matters is that of the CHO and her number crunching crew, who are happy to keep their little science experiment going as long as possible. So of course we get lockdown, and will keep getting more of it. Surprise surprise.

As somebody said, “the worst part of a snap 7 day lockdown is the first month.”

This country has lost its senses.

When considering the dire impact of a further lockdown on the community does the Chief Nanny only listen to what the ACT Chief Health Officer (appropriately abbreviated to ACTCHO) says, or are there also representatives from big and small business, education, parents, aged care, travel etc who should also have a voice at the table when these decisions are being made? It is extremely dangerous in any crisis to exclude or limit alternative viewpoints. Decisions like this should be the result of a consensus based on broad advice on the full impact, not just upon medical advice on how best to counter a virus without regard to the effect upon the whole community. The cure has become worse than the disease. But then genuine consultation and listening to the community has never been a strong point for this government. It has a proven history of ignoring the community and doing whatever it wants.

‘Students from pre-school to Year 10 will continue remote learning for at least the first four weeks of Term Four, although the plan continues to be a return to face-to-face teaching at some time during the final term’.

If, as stated, the restrictions are going to be reviewed in 2 weeks time then why is students status for the next 6 weeks set in stone?

Do they not get the benefit of a review? Or is this the same set and forget policy that the government put in place last year in the first lockdown when it stated that students would be online learning for a whole term just to change that narrative 3 weeks later (on the morning that two petitions were going to be tabled in parliament, so therefore ensuring they were not on the record).

Students too deserve to have the decisions that affect them justified, explained and reviewed at regular intervals, not a set and forget statement in the last week of school.
There has been more discussion; effort, justification applied to real estate sector (property viewings etc) and construction sector. Where is the same level of respect, time, engagement and consideration for schools, teachers, students and their families?

Kicking the can down the road for 6 weeks is unacceptable – this sector too deserves regular review, analysis and balanced decision making., not a we’ll get back to you in 6 weeks time approach.

There is a big difference and a lot of options between all students back and only YR 11 and 12 back. Where is the analysis, planning, timeline, pathway and associated justifications for this sector? And, the support for students, teachers, schools and families? I look forward to hearing about it all in the next press briefing.

daveinhackett1:31 pm 14 Sep 21

On my walk this morning I saw a group of several people on the front verandah of a house having a nice chat, with two NSW-plated cars in the driveway as well as a local car under the carport. Of course I can only surmise what their actual circumstances were – the vibe was one of visiting relatives . . .

Stitch Jones4:51 pm 14 Sep 21

Did you report them to your local Commissar?

No mention of those who may have the second jab , being any better off than those with say no jab.?

Thats going to get a number of people mumbling, and I suspect also me when I receive my 2nd shot in 9 days.

Absolutely ridiculous decision. And to think people were condemning the anti-lockdown protestors earlier. There needs to be a referendum right now on ending lockdown in this country. It is obvious the restrictions don’t work if we haven’t been able to get the cases down for a month. Other countries are just living with the viruses and accepting the deaths that inevitably come with risks of life such as car accidents, the flu, contact sports. If you are overweight or have underlying conditions simply don’t go outside! It is your choice! Let everyone else be responsible for their own decision making.

I’d rather have lockdown than a ventilator!

Google User,
Well done. The only choice here is between lockdowns or everyone dying or being in the ICU.

Whilst I don’t agree with Sam’s position, the lack of logical thought being given to risks and potential alternatives on this issue by government truly is astounding.

Other than your obvious dislike of Barr what gives you the impression the government hasn’t considered the alternative risks? Including risks to business, risk to mental health.

The fact that they are delaying any form of reasonable reopening or even an outline of a proper plan to do so. Along with trying to change the terms of what was agreed by national cabinet amongst other things tells me they aren’t balancing all risks.

They are still concentrating far too much on potential COVID risks to the exclusion of almost all other issues.

Over half our adult population are now fully vaccinated, the high risk groups are much, much higher. The government should be doing better than what was dished up today, which wasn’t a plan in any form of the word.

That is your perception not a fact. I rest my case.

Except its not my perception it’s literally what the chief minister has said and what they have released publically as their “plan”. COVID issues are all they are considering at present.

Seems you haven’t actually read their “pathway forward”.

Oh dear. I rest my case.


Chewy again totally your perception. You even linked to a document that contradicts your very first statement which was:

“ The fact that they are delaying any form of reasonable reopening or even an outline of a proper plan to do so.”

I clearly read that document differently to you, but what I don’t claim is my perception as fact unlike yourself.

So I provide the document that fully supports my argument and yet you still try and spin it away.

I said they are delaying any form of reasonable reopening. Exactly as their document outlines it is not in line with what was agreed by Barr in the National Plan.

You can’t just ignore the fact that what is in that document and their statements do not align with the proposed national targets.

12-15 year olds were not included in the Doherty modelling targets, deliberately.

Adding 2 weeks restrictions for supposed “vaccine effectiveness is not based on science because the vast majority of people will have had their vaccines well before that 2 week period. It’s clearly an attempt to shoehorn a risk averse position to remain with higher restrictions.

The National Plan talked about national vaccination rates being triggers for different phases under the assumption that borders would be open and we didn’t want cases travelling to lower vaccinated areas. The state premiers have negated the need for that additional control because they’ve announced they aren’t going to be opening the borders anyway.

If you’ve read the ACT document, can you point out the parts where they are considering overall societal impacts non COVID health issues, mental health, business, education etc when deciding to reduce restrictions further as you are claiming they have?

Oh wait, they give a list of factors that they will consider to reduce restrictions that includes none of those things.

I said the plan doesn’t have any form of detail in it. And it doesn’t. Where is the advice for specific types of businesses, where is there any certainty?

So yes, I agree your reading of that document is your own perception. Unfortunately it isn’t a perception supported by the facts and evidence provided.

I’m sure you are the one that tried to spin it. Like it or not it is a plan and a plan that uses the same language and metrics that are coming from Morrison and co.

Anyway I hope you feel better after stirring that essay. Confirming yet again the lack of plan and consideration for Anthony but health is your perception not fact.

so you can’t respond to any of the points made and now deliberately lie about the contents of the documents referenced.

Hardly surprising though considering your slavish support of the ALP no matter what their position is. You must truly get dizzy at times with all that spinning.

The extension of the lockdown for another four weeks (at least) is an appalling decision by the Barr Government. It demonstrates that this government does not comprehend the impact of lockdown on the ACT community, particularly our children. It is crucial that restrictions ease – particularly for those who are fully vaccinated.

Andrew Sutton12:35 pm 14 Sep 21

I am sick and tired of our Chief Minister blaming NSW for our predicament. He had every opportunity to close our borders to Sydneysiders, but he chose not to do so. It would have been much easier for that to occur as opposed to putting a ring around Sydney.

I think it is fair to say with today’s announcement that the lockdown has been a failure. Another day of high figures, one less than the record. We were told when lockdown began over a month ago that it would be a short, sharp lockdown of just a week. That would flatten the curve and eliminate it. Now we are being locked down for an extra month until the middle of October.

When will this end? Nobody believes that lockdown will end on the new date in the middle of October, it will just keep getting extended further and further ad infinitum. Will this be the third stolen summer in a row? What about Christmas? Is that still on? Will we just have endless lockdown into next year and beyond?

Is this what life is going to be like from now on? Being locked in our houses 24 hours a day? I would suggest that a lot of people simply don’t want to have a life like that, and a lot of people will be seriously thinking that a life living like that simply isn’t worth it.

The political science suggests that the lockdowns will continue until the federal election, as it is politically beneficial. A similar approach has been used across other countries.

Unlike you, I’m not locked down 24 hours in my house. I go out for exercise. But your choice.

If there hadn’t been lock down, the situation could be far worse. It would help though if everyone did the right thing.
I was in a supermarket yesterday and the person after me was not wearing a mask. I asked where her mask was. The supermarket owner or staff should have been the ones asking her that. Especially as recently they have been a hot spot when someone knowing they had Covid, visited.
“WAKE UP, SHEEP”, she shouted (or perhaps, SHEEPIE…but who cares) and other words straight from the anti-mask, anti-vaccine, ‘instruction manual’. She complained about not being able to travel, as though it’s only her.
I’m a carer and my mother can rarely leave the house because of Covid, and my family can’t visit, even though my mother is dying. It would also be nice to have a break myself. However, we understand these measures are necessary. Madame “WAKE UP, SHEEP”, made it about herself. Plus not wearing a mask, what if she were carrying Covid? She could spread it to those around her. I could take it home to my mother. Such self centred selfishness by people like his women. This is one of the reasons we are still in lockdown.

Maya, how about you put yourself in others shoes? How do you know the lady didn’t have a medical reason for not wearing a mask. Also what does she owe you? I’m amongst the thousands of Canberrans doing the right thing following the rules all to keep you and your mother safe. I have a family fully vaccinated sacrificing to keep the most vulnerable of the population protected. I assume you and your mother would have been vaccinated by now? If so what can you possibly expect more of others and rather than thanking the majority why are you shaming the odd few that flaunt the rules? Are you paying more taxes so that others can continue to sacrifice to keep you safe? In fact I’m being taxed to find the NDIS. So doesn’t this speak of your own selfishness? The reasonable thing for a person to do in that situation is not to walk up to a massless person and try to change their view but to give them a wide birth. Sorry to say but you yourself have put your family unnecessarily in danger. Do not blame others as there will always be the irresponsible few but I’m sick of others complaining as though the majority who are doing the right thing owe you anything and it is us letting you down.

Extremely unlikely she had an exemption for wearing a mask. Was young, fit and healthy looking. Very doubtful a person with a genuine exemption to wearing a mask would shout (be able to shout it they had a breathing problem) the anti-mask and anti-vaxin slogans that she did. Sheep, comparing this to Nazi Germany, saying she was a free human being, etc. She shouted she had an exemption, but when challenged on this, did not make the claim again. I did put myself in her shoes and found she was a rabid anti-masker and when questioned anti-vaxir.
She does affect others about her. By not wearing a mask if she is infected with Covid (could be unknowingly) she is spreading virus laden water droplets from her breath. Very recently that shop had someone with Covid, knowing they had Covid, visit. I bet they weren’t wearing a mask either. But not wearing a mask and spreading Covid is okay according to you. Sam, “how about you put yourself in others shoes?”

Not everyone who wants a vaccine has had that luxury of having one yet. Being older, naturally my mother and I have been vaccinated, because we were able to get AZ early. My mother because of age and me because of being the primary carer. However my mother is very elderly and of those fully vaccinated, it is the very elderly who are still most likely to catch Covid.

You comments were nonsensical. Talking about taxes and the like. What has NDIS got to do with anything? I didn’t walk up to her, she walked up to us.

Most people are doing the right thing. The few like her, who won’t wear a mask, and those who still think it’s okay to shop when Covid positive, are endangering others.

Unfortunately there will always be people who do the wrong thing and a blanket lockdown won’t change that. An ongoing lockdown disadvantages those of us who do the right thing, such as getting vaccinated or wearing masks.
Maya, while the woman walked up to you, it seemed it was after you initiated the encounter.

Brindie I disagree lockdown disadvantages the fully vacced. If you said it didn’t reward I would agree though. But end of day the greater good is what needs to be protected.

I know one thing I wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of any chief Minister/premier or indeed the PM. With this whole mess there is no decision ghat will please everyone. And for ever argument for there are equal arguments against.

“ But not wearing a mask and spreading Covid is okay according to you.” I clearly state I’m one that follows the rules and wears masks even though I’m fully vaccinated. It’s comments like these that speak to your ignorance and the self- serving nature of your world view that has pushed me further into the anti-lockdown “let her rip” camp. I have done nothing but followed the rules and kept the vulnerable members of society safe at my personal expense and people like you think it should be all about you and your mother should have endangered species status like the last white rhinos. Sorry to say but society is not all about you. Good luck to you because in a few weeks we’ll be hitting our 70% targets and the discussion will be moot. See you on the other side of lockdown where I will (legally) not be wearing a mask or social distancing!

100% agree Maya123….this small percentage of..ahem….’people’ have no empathy for others just ‘it’s all about me and what I want right now’.

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