What Could We Have Done Better? Dr Norman Swan

It’s always easy to think what you could have done better to clean a pandemic like this. We could have closed borders a little bit earlier or more completely so that the United States were closed off, and we were closed off to the United States, but really we haven’t done too badly.

We were slow to get off the mark with lockdown, but not that slow and we did it properly when we did it. So if we go back and look again, it would really be churlish to think about what we could have done better. We could have certainly done better by our healthcare workers and why we haven’t done as well for our healthcare workers, I mean 3500 healthcare workers were infected, a lot of them in aged care. So we could have done better in aged care. The Commonwealth government could have done a lot better in aged care in terms of being pandemic ready.

And we could have done better with healthcare workers, like nurses and doctors in hospitals, particularly in Victoria by accepting that this virus spreads through the air, that’s primarily how you get it. Droplets are important, but through the air, through ventilation systems and at a distance when you’re in the same space as somebody, particularly if you’ve got somebody who’s sick with COVID 19 and spreading it.

So we could have done better with healthcare workers in aged care.

Dr Norman Swan, Physician and journalist.


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