NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that we’d need to learn to live with COVID deaths if we want to end lockdown in October.

Speaking to both Tracey Grimshaw on A Current Affair and Leigh Sales on 7:30 tonight, the Premier explained what living alongside the Delta variant would look like once the state hits 70-80% vaccinations.

“We can’t pretend that we’re going to open up and even if you have 30 or zero cases, that it will stay that way,” Berejiklian said on ACA. 

“Living with Delta means accepting a higher number of case numbers, but lower numbers of people succumbing to the disease. That is what we need to do, protect human life.”

Berejiklian went on to compare COVID to the flu (which she claims she doesn’t like to do) and said that we need to accept that there will be deaths when we open up.

“We have to be confronted by the fact that we are going to see case numbers go up, I don’t like to use this comparison, every year, we lose between six and 800 people in New South Wales alone
because of the flu. They die because of the flu,” she explained to Grimshaw.

“Unfortunately, as horrible as it is, we have to confront ourselves with the fact that that is what life will be like. In New South Wales, as horrible as it is, we have lost around 70 people in the last couple of months.”

“We will lose a lot more,” Grimshaw interrupted.

In another interview on ABC’s 7.30, Leigh Sales asked Berejiklian what she thought of other Premier’s comments that reaching a COVID zero was still viable. She said that belief was “completely unrealistic” and just “not possible.”

“To suggest that living with Delta means zero cases is completely unrealistic, doesn’t happen anywhere in the world,” she said.

“To have zero cases, no deaths and get to complete vaccination, that is not the real world. Our path is different, a lot of countries had thousands of cases a day, got the vaccination rates up and have seen reduced hospitalisation.”

In both interviews, it seems Gladys Berejiklian is adamant that COVID deaths will be a necessary and expected sacrifice for the state to ‘go back to normal’, something that was echoed by Scott Morrison in question time earlier today. Others, however, will wonder at what cost our freedom comes.

All adult Aussies (yep, even if those of us under 40) are currently able to get the safe and effective AstraZeneca vaccine through a GP. Click here to see which clinics are offering it, and talk to a doctor to see if it’s right for you.

Alternatively, you can triple-check to see if you’re eligible for the Pfizer vaccine here.

The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.

Image: Getty Images / Lisa Maree Williams