Again? Birthing Parents Ignored Again While Hillsong Parties Down The Road

I went on my first school camp at Glenrock Scout Camp, aged around 9 or 10 years old. That place has been in the news lately, but it wasn’t a big deal then.
What I remember as a view from a bunk bed, a movie night and a cold lagoon has been used in the last few days for Hillsong’s “Wildlife” event and summer camp. Footage from the event (released by Hillsong Youth in their own social media, not leaked), shows hundreds of people singing and dancing to performers inside a massive tent, on the same week other festivals in the region have been shut down under public health order. Apparently it’s a church service, which makes it ok, right?
Less than 6km away at the John Hunter Hospital (the largest NSW hospital outside Sydney), the postnatal ward is a visitor-free zone. A mother who birthed there in December recounted how after a challenging pregnancy, long labour and c-section, she had been drifting to sleep feeding her newborn and noticed he was turning blue. Still immobile, she had not been able to reach the emergency buzzer to get urgent attention. Her baby did recover, but had her partner been present to supervise and support on the postnatal ward (as is the recommendation in the current CEC Infection Prevention and Control guidelines for NSW updated only within the last fortnight), such a terrifying near miss would’ve never occurred in the first place.
Why is this happening?
Did we learn nothing from the previous outbreak, where experts, staff and parents all agreed that a selected postnatal visitor was a “participant in care” that reduced complications and staff workload, not useless passengers getting in the way? Surely having extra hands on deck would be a welcome reprieve - a nurse I spoke with at the same hospital estimated that on their most recent workday, 15x the usual number of staff were working an overtime shift, due to the number of colleagues ill and isolating.
Unlike the previous outbreaks, we now have access to RATs to check postnatal partners/participants in care are not infectious, so why are we not using them to avoid screwing new families so royally, risking not only the mental health of mothers and birth parents but endangering the lives of their babies? 
Maybe because the RATs are so hard to come by, which is interesting, because Hillsong says they had enough for every single person to be tested before their event. I can’t imagine the friendship between PM Scott Morrison and Hillsong’s founder Brian Houston (who he suggested Trump invite to dinner, whilst he was being investigated by police in relation to allegedly failing to report child sex offence allegations) had anything to do with it, because as Scotty said last week, his darling wife buys his RATs when she just casually pops round to the local chemist.
[Sidenote that A. What a crock that is, and B. NSW’s Health Minister Brad Hazard only ordered Hillsong stop singing and dancing, not that their event be shut down. You can let him know what you think of that here.]
The pregnancy and birth/maternity system has been failing its patients for a long time, but the complete dearth of care being shown by those who claim to lead us towards those in some of the most vulnerable times of life and also their own workforce is abhorrent. It’s not even about double standards anymore, it’s about our politicians having any skerrick of moral compass because as far as I can see, there isn’t the slightest inkling that anything other than self-interest is worth consideration.
New parents, families and workers have deserved better for a long time, and this crop of incompetent politicians with their incomprehensible babble and reprehensible policies is drilling home all the nails in the coffin at once. I can not wait to vote them out, and if God exists, I bloody hope (s)he’ll deal with the others.


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