Gladys Berejiklian Scott Morrison NSW COVID-19
(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

There is no plausible scenario on offer from pandemic modellers that does not involve Australia either continuing to endure lockdowns and mandated mask-wearing and social distancing well into 2022, or tens of thousands of COVID cases a day and, at the very least, double-digit deaths every day.

Which of those scenarios is more politically palatable?

With the latest iteration of the national pandemic plan promising the commencement of reopening once 70% of the eligible population are vaccinated, most modelling suggests that will see huge numbers of cases, albeit with significantly decreased deaths and hospitalisations due to vaccination. Even the best-case scenario sees up to 10,000 new cases a day and 20 deaths.