Now that Omicron is essentially ripping through the country, we’ve started to see the negative effects that multiple people isolating can have on supply chains and businesses. It’s becoming more and more evident as so many of us get sick that working-class people carry this nation on their backs, and we’re crumbling without them. Our leader’s absences, on the other hand, are less impactful — which is some food for thought.

You may have noticed that your local Coles is running out of meats, or your local KFC has put up signs out front saying that there’s no fkn popcorn chicken left. Hell, you might have even noticed your garbage bins out front not being collected when they were supposed to.

The fact of the matter is when you have a highly infectious disease running amok through the entirety of the country, and yet still expect everything to operate as usual, you’re bound to encounter a couple of issues.

Supply chains are broken at multiple stages — from delivery to production — all because the working-class members of the country are isolating sick. It’s only now that many privileged people who expect things to just *happen* are realising how vital these hard-working individuals are to our society not imploding.

Gail Sloane, CEO of the Waste Management Association Australia (WMAA) spoke to the ABC about the struggles that waste collection companies are currently experiencing in the pandemic.

“It’s a national issue,” she said.

“We are moving people around states, across states, working weekends, doing what we can.

“At the moment we are saying our service is being delayed as opposed to not occurring at all, but we, like all industries, are experiencing 20% to 30% of drivers on any one day not able to come to work due to quarantining.”

Sloane then went on to talk about how Australia as a nation absolutely needs waste collection services, being one of the higher generators of rubbish internationally.

“A lot of our drivers are very stressed about going home and not being able to do their roles and they know colleagues are out there working extraordinary hours to be able to fulfil services.”

When members of the current government announce they have COVID, like Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg did last week, everything remains entirely intact. Nothing changes for use when members of the Federal government disappear to isolate. After all, they weren’t doing anything anyway.

It’s a healthy dose of insight into who actually carries and looks after society, and spoiler alert: it’s not our so-called leaders.

Our politicians, who on average make $250k+ a year, can disappear for weeks without us even noticing. Meanwhile, when essential workers who make minimum wage and sometimes even below that aren’t working, society crumbles.

However, essential workers and the health system are practically begging for support, and we can’t even or even get accessible RATs for everyone.

Maybe we should start looking out for our working-class citizens, because they carry this country on their fucking backs. Sure you can’t get chicken right now, or panadol, but it’s about time you realised just why that is and about time we prioritise and value the people that actually contribute to a functional society.

Image: Twitter / @realhuntermmm