Statements suggesting we're all going to get COVID at some point come from a place of privilege that some Tasmanians don't have the good fortune or health to inhabit.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said earlier this week that Australians "have no choice but to ride the wave" of Omicron.
"What's the alternative? What we must do is press on," he continued.
If correspondence to this newspaper is any indication, a significant proportion of people would be happier if the borders were slammed shut. Unfortunately, the horse has now well and truly bolted, and Omicron will indeed continue to spread throughout the state.
But purposefully opting to catch this proverbial wave - and COVID itself - is not a choice everyone has the luxury of being able to make. Put simply, contracting the virus could still be a matter of life or death for vulnerable Tasmanians.
Much has been made of the comparatively favourable health outcomes for those who contract Omicron, compared to other strains of COVID, but for immunocompromised people or those with pre-existing medical conditions, it could still mean a hospital stay - or worse.
Those who are in regular contact with people in vulnerable circumstances also want to do their utmost to ensure they are not COVID-positive, especially if showing symptoms, so they do not unwittingly pass the virus on. The scarcity of rapid antigen tests has made this a difficult task.
The Prime Minister's "you can't make everything free" remarks about RATs earlier this week not only displayed a callous disregard for those unable to afford the tests, they also overlooked the fact that there simply aren't any on shelves. Unless you happen to live near wherever his wife Jenny has been popping out to get them from.
Mr Morrison's subsequent confirmation that tests will be provided for free to those on concession cards was a sensible, albeit delayed, policy shift. Yesterday's announcement by the state government that distribution sites for rapid antigen tests would be established in the North and North-West by the weekend was also welcome news.
Hospitalisation rates in Tasmania remain proportionately low, with eight people with COVID in hospitals throughout the state out of 4681 active diagnosed cases. But the main reason for this low hospitalisation rate is that the majority of those infected are younger people.
Two-thirds of the 1489 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Tasmania on Friday morning were people aged between 20-39 and the premier warned that it remained crucial that young adults adhered to mask wearing, social-distancing requirements and hand hygiene while out in public.
Noting that the spike in Omicron infections was being driven by younger people, Public Health Director Dr Mark Veitch said he expected the wave to last a few more weeks.
With 20,000 people currently in isolation throughout the state, which is already putting a strain on the economy, and little financial assistance on offer for those in industries including hospitality and retail, it is not possible for some younger people to stop going out in public altogether.
Likewise, although there is also no need to be stockpiling testing kits, people should be able to have the peace of mind to know they are available if they require them.
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