test early test often

Sydney: test early, test often.
Check NSW Health on fb for testing locations.
The 2 pillars of our orsm covid response are contact tracing and testing.
Apparently we aren’t testing as much as we were when we were shitscared a couple of weeks ago.
If we don’t test, the contact Tracys can’t do as orsm a job tracking us.
Got a symptom? Get a test.
Tests are free. Private clinics may require a GP’s referral.

What are the covid symptoms?

Say it with me:
fever (37.5 ° or higher)
cough
sore throat
shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
runny nose
loss of taste
loss of smell
Other reported symptoms include:
fatigue
acute blocked nosed (congestion)
muscle pain
joint pain
headache
diarrhoea
nausea/vomiting
loss of appetite

source

Quick, what’s a casual, non-confrontational way to tell your fave barista doods to put their masks over the mouth and nose, not just chin?

Is COVID testing free?

Is COVID testing free in NSW?
YES.
Even if you’re not an Australian resident?
YES.

Testing at private clinics
– Some private clinics need a referral from a GP to get the test, and the GP may charge or bulk bill for that appointment.
– There are some dodgy private clinics with misleading fb ads talking about charges. If you’re confused, go to a govt testing centre to be sure.
Nb Victoria beat us in testing numbers today. We can totally win tomorrow.

source

a new cluster in Sydney

It’s interesting to read that Sydney is still the main point of arrival for overseas visitors. So more people come through this city as they return to this country. And the chance of them having covid is increasing as numbers increase overseas.

The latest cases come from transport workers, who caught covid at work, driving o/s people.
Clusters then spread out from there, mostly into families and work networks.

I get quite upset when i read comments about the ‘thoughtless selfishness’ of infected people in the community. We know workplaces and extended family gatherings are key points for transmission. Being angry and nasty with people doing risky, low status work, who then spend time with (and often caring for) their families is… well, it’s poor form. Particularly from people who have the choice to work from home, self-isolate, and so on.

I don’t feel right about being nasty to infected people, who have, after all, contracted covid, and know they have infected their friends and family.

This type of angry fear leads to the authoritarian actions of police, which result in violence towards people of colour, the homeless, the disempowered. And it’s worth remembering that for wealthy people fines are just an inexpensive ticket. For the poor and disenfranchised fines mean incarceration, children and dependants left homeless, and time in the dangers of prison.

If you feel super angry about rising case numbers in NSW, that’s ok. When we’re frightened, we often get angry. If you’ve just come out of lockdown, you’re probably still dealing with the distress and tension of that experience. And being angry at people who seem to be triggering that happening again makes sense.

But you can’t change other people’s behaviour. You can only change how you respond to it. Be kinder to yourself. Stop looking at case numbers. Call a friend and tell them you love them. Go watch dogs play in the park. Have a swim. You’re doing a good job, and you deserve a break.
If you can, please donate to Sisters Inside.

Happy covid new year

If you are feeling a bit worried about the covid cases, Sydney, NSW Health on fb has the most up to date info. Our new local case numbers are low, and all are from known sources. It’s ok. ❤️👍🏼

Tip: don’t monitor it in real time. It will stress you out.
Tip2: melbourne people, maybe check the attached image.
Tip3: everyone: blaming people or getting angry will just make you feel awful. Just wash your hands, send love to friends, and do what _you_ can.
Tip4: Sydney, you rock at tight social timetables. Use that super power to avoid crowds and keep track of your movements.
Tip5: Sydney, no one can accessorise like you bitches. Mask up, peace fabulously out.

NSW Health fb updates:
They are super quickly tracing where infected people have been, and when, posting new lists of places every few hours. Following it in real time will freak you out.
The nsw health posts generally have 3 lists of places:
1. Urgent ones. If you were at these places at these times, get a test and isolate yourself immediately.
2. Less urgent, but still SRS. If you were at these places at these times, get a test and isolate immediately.
3. ‘Casual contact’. If you were at these places at these times, watch for symptoms and test if you have them.
So your jobs are as per usual:
1. Watch for symptoms. These vary as we learn more about covid, so refresh your knowledge regularly.
2. If you have symptoms, get a test.
Testing is the contact tracing super power. Testing is FREE and needs no appointment. Test early, test often.
3. Stay 1.5m away from people. Wash your hands PROPERLY. Wear a mask indoors. Your basic covid fighting super powers. You are SO good at this already.

Extra stuff:

  • check your diary and the lists of venues. Know where you were at.
  • avoid crowded indoor getherings in public places. Bars, supermarkets, public transport.
  • if you can’t (going to work, at work, essential shopping), do no.3 jobs above.

I’m thinking of this as ‘be alert, not alarmed.’
Not full-on self isolation, but no indoor restaurants, crowded shops, etc. i’m being strict about hand washing and not touching my face. I wear a mask indoors, mostly so i can help ‘normalise’ mask wearing, and help the people panicking feel safer.

And because the tracing is including my neighbourhood now, i’m also keeping track of the places/shops i visit, so i can help with tracing if nec.
Keep being excellent, frens ❤️

Balancing safety with community impatience online talk

Now we’re opening up in Sydney, I’m seeing an (understandable) impatience to ‘return to normal dancing’ that has some problems. People pushing to social dance in public bars, talk that normalises dancing, misreading public health guidelines in ways that support their POV. After all, to _have_ social dancing, individuals need dance partners. As many as possible.
A consequence of this public talk has been an increasing ‘normalising’ of the idea that it’s fine to ‘return to normal’ dancing. If enough people are talking about whether the band is playing at x venue, or what time doors open at y venue, the more marginalised questions like ‘is it _safe_ to dance at all?’ become.
A big challenge for fb group moderators has been dealing with these complex social and medical issues while themselves under covid stress. It’s hard to parse the govt’s covidsafe info and public health restrictions, it’s even harder to do that _and_ juggle your own worries about safety, the increasing frustrations and arguments of other people, _and_ a year of shitty stress. Tensions are high, and there’s no clear model for handling these issues.
Or is there?

This is a fascinating article about the role of internet discussion boards in the gay community during the AIDS crisis. There’s a chunk about how these were moderated to prevent the spread of misinformation, and to encourage collaboration.