August 2021. After a relatively successful response in 2020, the Australian COVID-19 pandemic response in 2021 has been marred by disorganisation, mixed messaging, and contradictions. Everyone had differing views on managing the pandemic and vaccine rollout, from our political leaders to epidemiologists. Lockdowns rules were confused and contradictory. State borders opened, then closed, then opened, then closed. Even the definition of essential work was vague and open to loose interpretation. And that was before the vaccine debacle.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison infamously said the vaccine rollout was ‘not a race’ (citing our low case numbers) but the Delta variant arrived, and it soon became a sprint - but we were running last. Experts were divided on vaccine safety too - Astra Zeneca was safe, then unsafe, then safe for some but not others, then safe for all. Now Pfizer is recommended, but supplies are short. And government modelling suggested lifting restrictions with vaccination rate of 70%. But another model contradicted this. Throughout 2021 the messaging has been mixed and confusing, and has led to thousands of cases, multiple deaths, and widespread and lengthy lockdowns.

These images are long exposures of electronic COVID-19 signage in my local area. Each sign replayed a few public health messages. However, during the long exposure, they merge into one incoherent & mixed message, rendering any meaning useless. This is my response to the handling of the pandemic in 2021 and reflects the frustration of many Australians.

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