For all of you who questioned my comparing Australia's approach to fighting COVID-19 with Florida, abc.net.au in Australia has done what we did. They even interview an Australian living in Florida.
While Australia's biggest states are currently in lockdown, the US state of Florida is living up to its nickname of "America's playground".
Australian entrepreneur Nick Sharp — originally from Victoria — runs several cafes and restaurants, and now owns an Aussie brew pub called Bay13, in Miami. His staff are free to wear masks or get vaccinated — or not, it's their choice.
"There's no restrictions, so everybody's free to go to work, to go to school, and to go out to restaurants or retail," he told 7.30.
Like we keep saying, everybody has the choice. If you want to get vaccinated, you can. It's widely available, it's free. Testing is still readily available.
"And of course people, if they want to, can wear masks — and that's kind of been the stance here for quite a while now."
Australia's population of 26 million is comparable to Florida's 22 million, but when you consider the figures around COVID-19, the numbers are starkly different.
Currently, Australia's daily COVID-19 cases are being measured in the hundreds, but last week Florida recorded more than 150,000 cases.
The total number of deaths in Australia is still less than 1,000. Florida has now passed 41,000, by some reports.
How can we let this go on in this country? The article continues by talking about how Americans can freely get COVID shots but only 51% of Floridians have and how the virus is totally politicized here. Then, hospital workers are interviewed.
"We're back to square one. That's why I'm frustrated," one ICU doctor said.
There has also been shock at the devastation being wrought by the Delta variant on younger patients.
"It's between the ages of 25 and 40, so it's really young patients that are dying right now," said David De La Zerda, the manager of ICU at Florida's largest hospital, Jackson Memorial Hospital.
"I never saw in my life so many deaths that I saw in the past year. It's just unbelievable.
"In about 36 hours, we had 80 new patients in the ICU, which is pretty dramatic.
"All of them are COVID [patients]. We don't have anybody with non-COVID anymore in our ICU, so that tells you how bad it is.
"And [they are] very young, really young patients [who] are also dying … so it's been pretty tough, the last 24 hours."
Dr De La Zerda said almost all his patients had one thing in common.
"Five per cent of our patients are vaccinated, and 95 per cent are unvaccinated," he said.
Former acting head of America's Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Richard Besser, said there was a lot the US could learn from Australia, but he stressed Australians should not let their guard down while vaccination rates were low.
"The variants that are circulating — the Delta variant in particular — is so incredibly transmissible that without very high vaccination rates, it will rip through communities and do incredible damage," he told 7.30.
I really hoped we were better than this in America. Could we finally learn from Australia? I doubt it but one never knows.