We gasped when they hit the hundreds in 2020, celebrated “doughnut days” when Victoria’s sixth lockdown in 2021 ended, and stayed home by choice when they soared to the tens of thousands as Omicron took hold early this year.
Karen Dawson, who is recovering from a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer, says it’s hard to watch people let their guard down while others with compromised health had to remain cautious about COVID. Credit: Luis Ascui
But sometime between then and now, we – or most of us – let out a sigh of relief, shrugged our shoulders and committed to the oft-repeated slogan “living with COVID”.
In the first four months of this year alone, there have been more than twice as many deaths than in the rest of the pandemic, with 5269 recorded as of Saturday.
COVID-19 went from being the 38th leading cause of death in 2020 to the second, behind cancer, in January this year, according to provisional mortality data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.