Ashley Bloomfield was back Friday to spook you again, just like the good old days. The trouble for the Government's fear campaign is it's over. It’s a bust.
It's the evolution, or the anatomy, of a campaign that for a while was highly successful. A lot of us believed the fear and the predictions. A lot of us hung on every word of the epidemiologists as they became household names and seemed to have some idea of how the future worked.
After a while reality dawned on an increasing number of us when we started asking how come little, if any, of what they said came to pass. The accuracy was astonishingly non-existent.
What it really was, was a whole bunch of worst-case scenarios. None of them actually had anything to do with you or me.
They had to do with a health system they had worked out wasn’t up to much and not only wasn’t it up to much, they hadn't done anything about fixing it. So they spooked us over death, disease, numbers, and bulging wards so they wouldn’t have the embarrassment of having to explain why they hadn't sorted out the hospitals the way they should have.
Essentially, we were doing them a massive favour.
The whole game was up come booster time. Omicron, for most, was a cold and a couple of days off. That’s why such a small number of us ended up getting a booster and to this day the percentage of the eligible population jabbed continues to slide backwards.
So, when Bloomfield fronted up Friday, he entered an entirely different arena. It’s the arena full of scepticism.
His warnings of flu and new variants won't fly. Not that there aren't new variants and flu, but it will be a miracle if the booster rate rises and it'll be fascinating to see whether the flu jab gets the uptake he needs.
Because, once again, it isn't about you or me. It's still about his inept, underfunded, and understaffed hospitals.
They don't want them full, they don’t want them overflowing, and they don’t want the hassle or the embarrassment.
What's changed, thank God, is this time we call the shots. We are making up our own minds, we have worked out in ever greater numbers for ourselves whether we are getting boosted or getting the flu shot. We have been spun one time too often to fall for it again.
Essentially in the dark old days, they overplayed their hand. Too much fear and spin has led to today, a sceptical public who aren't quite seeing the snake oil in the same light.