Health experts reckon Australia may have reached the peak of its current COVID-19 wave sooner than expected, which could mean a (safe and responsible) hot girl winter is back on the cards. I would say “hot girl spring” but based on the wild and wooly weather Australia has been copping lately, we all know dryness and warmth will be unattainable for some time.

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler delivered the news on Thursday morning, ahead of a national cabinet meeting.

“The data we’re seeing right now indicates we might have reached the peak earlier than we expected to,” he said, per the ABC.

“We’re being a bit cautious about that because what we’ve seen through the pandemic is the ‘school holiday effect’, which shows numbers and transmission takes a slightly different course because of different activity in the school holidays.”

Data released by the Department of Health showed as of 4 August, 2022, there were 37,393 new COVID-19 cases reported overnight. 4,702 patients were currently hospitalised and among them, 161 were in ICU.

Butler said hospital admissions were down, but the high number was still “placing enormous pressure” on Australia’s hospital system.

Based on the abysmal stories healthcare workers are sharing on Reddit about how horrific their jobs are at the moment, shit truly is dire.

So before you break out your sexiest, slinkiest turtleneck (for reasons unknown, this is the only garment my mind associates with hot girl winter) to pair with your mask, just remember that we’re still balls deep in a pandemic.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly (a truly blessed name IMO) reiterated this, warning people that they should not become complacent.

“This is not the last wave, this is coming towards the end of this wave,” he said.

“We will continue to have to plan for that, be ready and know when that is happening and respond to that accordingly.”

As we’ve learned time and time again, COVID-19 waves go through ebbs and flows. Swings and roundabouts. So get your booster if you’re eligible and wear a mask if you’re in a crowded space. And if you’re feeling sniffly, stay at home! I don’t want my parents or Nonna getting sick.
Source: Getty Images / Graham Denholm