Will the new wave of COVID-19 in Australia mean a return to masks?
What drives the new wave?
“So while I will still have some protection, it’s nowhere near as strong as it was seven months ago, and a lot of people are in that situation.”
The second is that new Omicron sub-variants have arrived in Australia, including XBB and BQ.1.
“This means that if a new variant arises that we don’t have immunity against, it will spread directly through the population.”
How serious is it?
Serious illness, death and lingering health issues such as the long COVID are always a possibility for everyone, Professor Esterman added.
What are the authorities doing?
Despite a significant increase in the number of cases in all Australian jurisdictions, no other state or territorial government has so far decided to change its advice.
What can individuals do to have a COVID-free summer?
“You may not be able to wear a mask all the time, but the times you do wear it, you reduce your risk of exposure, and if it’s high-risk environments, indoor environments with people you don’t normally mingle with, so now is the time to put them on because it will save you from having to isolate yourself at Christmas.”
Will the healthcare system be able to withstand the new wave?
“If we can try to do everything we can, on an individual level, to minimize the risk of people getting seriously ill, then that will help.”