The Australian Intercultural Society (AIS) hosted an online discussion ‘Path to Freedom: What we all must do to end COVID Lockdowns” on 6 September 2021. The panel of experts including Professor Julie Leask is a behavioural scientist and professor in the Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Dr Norman Swan is a board member for the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth and Associate and Professor Nick Golding who is an infectious disease modeller with a focus on globally-important pathogens. The panel was moderated by author and ethists Dr Leslie Cannold.
The panelists explored how do we get to a world without lockdowns, how do we live with covid and most importantly how do we get there. The discussion started with Dr Norman Swan outlining the importance of lockdowns, briefly comparing the target and approach of lockdowns in Australia both at both national and state level. Dr Swan highlighted that according to the modeling if NSW had not gone into lockdown NSW would have had 10,000 cases of covid a day by 1st August 2021.
Following on Professor Julie Leask discussed the importance of public health policy makers to consider the human factor by involving the community and weighing up the effectiveness and evidence of policy, giving consideration to both disease and mental health outcomes.