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Ho, Ho, Ho – Covid is coming

Opinion

Ho, Ho, Ho – Covid is coming

Jane Stephens says Christmas preparations need to start earlier this year, as we ready ourselves for the border to reopen.

A squeeze from a grandparent or a snuggle with an infant niece or nephew. Festive cheer and a table groaning with food. Paper hats and silly jokes. This might be the Christmas of fantasies and it is making a comeback big time this year.

But planning has never been more important, and not just for the gift list. Replenishing hand sanitiser, paracetamol and tissue supplies is advisable.

A week before Christmas Day, fully vaccinated people from other states, even if they live in a hotspot, will be allowed into Queensland without quarantining.

It will be heart-swelling, joyous stuff for many. I know hugging my West Australian daughter will be a present in itself.

Queensland is a trailblazer in its opening plan. The states with active outbreaks have outlined how they will live with COVID-19 in the future, but Queensland is the first ‘clean’ state to lay down specific timelines for allowing the virus in.

Our Chief Medical Officer has warned us repeatedly that the virus that has so affected the southern states will ride shotgun as people cross the border.

The CMO has said that worse-case scenario, we will have 1200 daily cases next year, but it is more likely to hang around the 400 mark.

It will be a brave new world for us and we have to be ready.

Lost in the cacophony of social media-disseminated vaccination misinformation is the essential titbit that while those of us who are fully vaccinated might get sick, we are unlikely to need hospitalisation.

But we will all be exposed to COVID-19 and most of us will get it.

So this year, more than previous ones, requires planning for Christmas.

We need at least 80 per cent of the population to be double dosed and have their immune systems firing by December 17. When we get there, restrictions will be in our rear-view mirror.

The government is even saying we won’t need to wear masks, but I reckon having hand sanitiser and a festive-themed face mask on hand will be a good idea, just to be on the safe side. At Christmas lunch, it will be more a case of pass the roast veggies but please hold the side of COVID, if you don’t mind.

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Jane Stephens is a USC journalism lecturer, media commentator and writer.

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