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Crush the Curve: Italian town with first death in Italy stopped the virus

The first epicentre in Italy was Vò, a little town of 3,000. It was shut down, fully tested and twice and nine days apart. By testing, isolating, and tracking, they reduced the spread to almost nothing, and this is despite the extraordinary discovery that when the first death happened, already 3% of the town had the disease.

At that point surely the Italian government should have immediately closed everything?

https://www.livescience.com/small-italian-town-cuts-coronavirus-cases-testing.html

Italian village reports no new infections for days after blanket testing

Zoe Tidman, Independent

Mr Zaia, Veneto’s governor, said the trial was “criticised by most sides” but that isolating numbers of undetected positive cases has resulted in Vo Euganeo being today “the safest place in Italy”.

h/t Bill H

In one Italian town, we showed mass testing could eradicate the coronavirus

Andrea Crisanti and Antonio Cassone The Guardian, March 20.

Our experiment came to be by chance. The Italian authorities had a strong emotional reaction to news of the country’s first death – which was in Vò. The whole town was put into quarantine and every inhabitant was tested.

In the first round of testing, 89 people tested positive. In the second round, the number had dropped to six, who remained in isolation. In this way, we managed to eradicate coronavirus from Vò, achieving a 100% recovery rate for those previously infected while recording no further cases of transmission.

The headline is a bit silly — mass testing doesn’t eradicate anything, but it does make strict isolation and containment easier to achieve. Now we probably need mass blind shutdowns to achieve the same effect when earlier action and mass testing then could have crushed the curve with much less effort.

70% asymptomatic or mild — good but ominous data

Italy’s death rate of known cases is shockingly high (which is why I gave up calculating it weeks ago). These numbers are similarish to the Chinese rates where roughly 80% were described as asymptomatic or mild. It probably just depends on the definition of “mild”:

… asymptomatic or quasi-symptomatic subjects represent a good 70% of all virus-infected people and, still worse, an unknown, yet impossible to ignore portion of them can transmit the virus to others…

It shows it’s possible to Crush the Curve and get rid of this virus, but it takes mass testing which we now can’t do because we didn’t act soon enough. But we may be able to do if we ramp up production of tests kits like our lives (and our economy) depended upon it.

On the plus side, this reduces the mortality rate but even so, if we lose control of hospitals we know 3 to 5 times as many people will die if we can’t offer everyone who needs it an ICU unit.

If the fact that only those presenting with the virus were being tested was accounted for, the mortality percentage would fall to more “normal” levels. This is shown by the mortality in the Veneto region, which is steadily around 2.5-3%, still high but threefold less than the ones in Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna.

In Veneto about 8% of the total population was tested. So we still don’t know what the death rate really is.

From the beginning I’ve said that hidden asymptomatic cases will reduce the fatality rate.  We aren’t going to get good numbers on that til we do mass blood testing looking for antibodies that show people have fought off an infection. These have to be done before antibody titres fall (and we don’t know how fast that happens, and whether people carry some protection for a long period or not. SARS responses appear to stay for longer, but the common cold Coronavirus infections last in the order of one year.

Estimating mortality rates is still a guessing game

The best estimates we have are from The Diamond Princess where everyone was tested and South Korea which has done more testing per capita than anywhere. Respectively, the mortality rates were 1% and 0.9%. Given that the Diamond Princess passengers were older the mortality rate in a normal demographic group might be as low as 0.5%.

On the Diamond Princess half the people who tested positive were asymptomatic (49%). But the idea that 80% of the ship didn’t catch the virus is nothing to cheer about. On board the Diamond Princess one infection became 712 in just four weeks -- two of which were supposedly under quarantine conditions.

The cruise ship Diamond Princess set off from Yokohama on January 20, with about 3,700 passengers and crew. On Jan 23 a man got sick and left the boat in Hong Kong on Jan 25th. It took four weeks to infect 20% of the ship and half that time was spent under quarantine conditions.  Of the infected, fully 178 people have still not recovered and 14 remain classed as “severe/critical”. This is a bugger of a virus.

Stay out of the way of this virus, stay home if you can, get your kids out of school. Just stop mixing for the next few weeks and see what unfolds.

 

______________________________________________

Coronavirus Background: ☀ The Demographics: the young are spared, but the severity increases with age, and slightly more for men than women. ☀ The Ro is 2 – 3 and exponential curves are steep. How Coronavirus kills: why the number of ICU units matters so much. ☀ Illness progression: Dry coughs and Fevers, Aches. In 15% of people, by day 5 breathing trouble starts. In 3% (?) by day 8 they may need an ICU (intensive care unit). ☀ The good case of Singapore but the ominous calculations of how fast the ICU beds may run out.  ☀  Proof that viruses don’t have wings and we should have stopped all flights so much earlier. ☀ The story of how American Samoa avoided Flu Deaths with quarantine in 1918. ☀ The story of Vo, the Italian town that stopped the virus. ☀ Delay = Death, statistics show mortality rates rise tenfold if hospitals are overwhelmed.  ☀

Economics: ☀ The huge impact on the Chinese economy, the awful case of Iran.☀

Beware UN advice:Ethiopian WHO chief was part of China’s debt trap diplomacy ☀

Stats and Data: John Hopkins Live Map Worldometer Coronavirus data in Australia 

 

 

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Crush the Curve: Italian town with first death in Italy stopped the virus , 9.8 out of 10 based on 37 ratings

258 comments to Crush the Curve: Italian town with first death in Italy stopped the virus

  • #
    UK-Weather Lass

    The experience of Vò is revealing of the need to test, wait, and test again until you have isolated all the potential threats (those infected)and stemmed the tide. It demonstrates on a smaller scale what needs to be done on a larger scale and testing regimes are vital to success and always have been.

    120

    • #
      cedarhill

      Logistics makes that impossible or nearly so. Compare the virus testing, etc., to millions and millions of already exposed populations. Then study the military logistics issues of supply of expendables to what is really a small subset of a population. For example, research how many people in WWII supported 50 divisions of front line troops.
      The effort is staggering. Stockpiling is staggering. Example, some labs gearing up for tests state they can do about 200 or so tests a day. Hundreds of millions times two, three or four or ?? would be needed.
      It’s almost like saying we can power the human race with windmills.

      52

  • #
    Peter C

    Still more to learn about this disease. Half of infected people are asymptomatic, yet they might be able to transmit the virus.

    These people and like a lot more with mild symptoms are not being tested, because we don’t have enough test kits and facilities. Does the Chief Health Officer have a plan to fix that? If we does will the Health Minister or the Prime Minster tell us how it will be done?

    111

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Does the Chief Health Officer have a plan to fix that? If we does will the Health Minister or the Prime Minster tell us how it will be done?

      These are the two fundamental questions to ask your local member of Parliament – both State and Federal.

      We know the answer.

      We also need, as members of the general public, N 95 masks, gloves and goggles. What are the plans there?

      81

  • #
    Deplorable Lord Kek

    French paper on hydroxychloroquine:

    “For ethical reasons and because our first results are so significant and evident we decide to share our findings with the medical community, given the urgent need for an effective drug against SARS-CoV-2 in the current pandemic context.

    We show here that hydroxychloroquine is efficient in clearing viral nasopharyngeal carriage of SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 patients in only three to six days, in most patients. A significant difference was observed between hydroxychloroquine-treated patients and controls starting even on day3 post-inclusion. These results are of great importance because a recent paper has shown that the mean duration of viral shedding in patients suffering from COVID-19 in China was 20 days (even 37 days for the longest duration) [19]”

    https://www.mediterranee-infection.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Hydroxychloroquine_final_DOI_IJAA.pdf

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    • #
      Bulldust

      Yep – and it is disappearing from pharmacies according to the latest Medcram video. I hope that is because governments are recalling to be used on the most serious cases.

      51

      • #
        Deplorable Lord Kek

        chemist warehouse has it listed as “Plaquenil” – not available without a prescription.

        that should make it hard(er) for the hoarders.

        50

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Probably a good idea to reserve it for those who are diagnosed with COVID 19
          Via the prescribed medicines scheme.

          51

    • #
      Deplorable Lord Kek

      hydroxychloroquine and azithomycin combination is the treatment.

      41

      • #
        Sunni Bakchat

        There’s also the potential for two other easily available medications at present.

        The first is Zinc and Quinine (Chloroquine, etc) as detailed in the medcram youtube videos. You can purchase Tonic Water as many have mentioned. There’s roughly 80-100 grammes of Quinine in each litre of tonic water. As Dr. Seheult explains in the video (https://youtu.be/U7F1cnWup9M), the Quinine acts as an intracellular transportation agent; allowing the zinc to chemically interfere with the virus reproduction. It’s unknown, but the effective dose may be much smaller than has been used for Chloroquine only treatment. Especially in a prophylactic setting. The safe dose of Zinc is up to about 40mg a day. 30mg of zinc a day and a glass of tonic a day is very unlikely to harm unless your doctor tells you otherwise; and may be an effective prophylactic.

        The second is Melatonin. The levels of melatonin in the body by age match closely the mortality rates by age. Good research backs this. Nobody can say there is a link. Melatonin does however show NLR3P inflammasome reduction in the lungs according to the same research (https://www.evolutamente.it/covid-19-pneumonia-inflammasomes-the-melatonin-connection/). Melatonin is very unlikely to harm you. It is likely worth taking unless your doctor tells you not to.

        20

  • #

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDQA5dEYygk
    This goes through a lot, if you can bear her “style”, to establish a likely link with 5G.

    https://www.ifapray.org/blog/coronavirus-a-surprise-or-something-more-sinister/
    This complements the above, with Christian perspective.

    https://fourfoldhealing.com/blogs/news/an-important-question-about-the-coronavirus-plus-immune-support-tips
    As does this, with pure-science perspective.

    24

    • #

      Hi Lucy

      Hope you are keeping well. It seems an age ago we went to see Dr Iain Stewart and his considerable fan club

      Tonyb

      31

  • #
    Andrew McRae

    This is the bit that is irking me because we don’t have any other indicators of achievement.

    We aren’t going to get good numbers on that til we do mass blood testing looking for antibodies that show people have fought off an infection.

    Once I had heard the news that tests were only being done on people who had either obviously bad pneumonia symptoms or had been exposed to a known case of COVID19, I figured the reported case count in Australia just does not mean what we’d like it to mean.
    When we see the case total slow down we interpret it as we the general public must be doing a really great job of social distancing, taking losses to our businesses and jobs, and fighting the virus, and that we’re winning that war. This is a façade.
    The statistic depends on the method of producing it and so is only reflective of the sub-population that it is sampling. To a very large degree that is now healthcare staff and not the general public. Think of what this looks like in the nodes and links of our social network. If any link in the chain of infection that led to you is not known, you cannot be linked to the contiguous “island” of known cases, so you don’t get tested. The only people who easily meet this requirement are healthcare staff, so it follows they are the ones being tested the most with the limited reagent supplies available.
    When the Australian case count levelled off after the 14th of March it likely only meant healthcare staff were doing a really good job of not getting infected. Without sampling of 2nd degree contacts, minor symptom presentations, sharers of public spaces, and even random testing, the full extent and rate of spread of the disease in the public will not be discovered. These official case figures may well be counting the COVID19 island and missing the coronavirus continent.

    51

  • #
    Bill In Oz

    Thanks for this post Jo.
    I feel much more comfortable here than thinking about the US insider trading post.
    But I think you missed these 2 comments by Analitic & myself earlier today on your “Where was the media when we needed them.

    “Bill In Oz
    March 21, 2020 at 8:57 am · Tucked way on the ABC online this morning is a major story about how to STOP this COVID 19 disease. It is about a small village named Vo in Lombardy where they tested every one of the 3000 people !
    “…One small town in the country’s north says it is doing surprisingly well. Vo, in the region of Veneto, is right in the middle of what Italy is calling its coronavirus red zone. But local officials say there hasn’t been a new case of COVID-19 there since March 13.

    The town had the first confirmed COVID-19-related death in Italy — a 78-year-old man on February 23. It was one of 11 villages in the country’s north which were shut down as the country’s outbreak began.

    The town swung into action — and its measures appear to be working.

    What did Vo do?
    Researchers from the University of Padua, along with Veneto regional officials and the Red Cross, decided to test all residents for COVID-19.Around 3,300 people were tested, even if they had no symptoms. We tested everybody,” Andrea Crisanti, professor of microbiology at the University of Padua… We found that an alarming portion of people were already positive for the virus.. Nearly 3 per cent — or 89 Vo residents — were infected with COVID-19.

    Even more alarming for Professor Crisanti and his colleagues was that many of the patients had no symptoms. Professor Crisanti said Italian health authorities did not seem concerned by Vo’s infection rate.So the town took charge.

    Vo put all COVID-19 patients in lockdown Every Vo resident who tested positive for the virus was put in quarantine in their homes.
    They were asked not to go out, and not to have contact with any other people,” Professor Crisanti said.The researchers decided against sending patients to hospital to prevent them spreading the disease there. In principle many people in the hospital were infected. Many doctors, many nurses, many patients. This could be a major source of infection,” he said.

    After two weeks of quarantine, the researchers carried out another round of mass testing in Vo. The rate of COVID-19 infection had dropped from nearly 3 per cent to 0.41 per cent ”

    That’s the guts of the story. But good luck trying to read it all. The ABC has inserted about 20 odd disruptive links to other stories…
    And the ABC has NOT given it any prominence in it’s news feed. But the journalist in Italy deserves a gold elephant stamp !

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-21/one-italian-town-is-bucking-the-countrys-coronavirus-curve/12075048

    THIS IS HOW THIS BLOODY DISEASE CAN BE STOPPED HERE IN AUSTRALIA IF OUR GOVERNMENTS HAVE THE BALLS TO BITE THE BULLET !

    VERY BLOODY DOUBTFUL !’
    Analitik repled
    March 21, 2020 at 9:41 am · ” Funny how I got down voted when bringing the case of Vo Euganeo up in a previous thread.
    People want real proof for isolation, there it is.
    Here are the links I gave before – they are more readable than the Auntie’s
    https://www.livescience.com/small-italian-town-cuts-coronavirus-cases-testing.html
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/coronavirus-vo-euganeo-blanket-testing-veneto-luca-zaia-a9411201.html

    By the way those two links provided by Alanalitik are excellent.. No need to use the Guardian even if they did get the story right for once !

    101

    • #
      TdeF

      I cannot resist. Having the balls to bite the bullet. That’s what’s needed.

      81

      • #
        TdeF

        And it all hinged on testing. The fact that infected people can show no symptoms is the key to this terrible killer. If we had testing, we could identify and isolate and eliminate. Testing for specific RNA is incredibly complex, which is why it is fascinating to read in the UK press of test kits for home testing in half an hour. Surely someone is just making it up? If not, rapid testing would make a huge difference. As the virus is otherwise invisble, only shutting the place will help.

        Our infection rate on a log curve is a straight line, which means pure exponential. The rate is doubling every 3.5 days. Will we have 4,000 people infected by next Saturday, 16,000 by the following Saturday? Politicians around the world are taking courage from each other. The only solution is a complete shut down for at least two weeks. And do they have the balls to bite the bullet?

        101

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          Testing?

          Testing kits?

          Cripes. We can’t even buy blinky N95 masks, gloves or goggles.

          Not to mention Chloroquine or TP.

          Zinc? I’ll be scraping the roof directly. :-)

          101

          • #
            Bill In Oz

            I knew weeks ago
            I got gloves, masks & sanitiser weeks ago.
            Toilet paper despite the dopey magpie hoarders has not been an issue for me.
            Goggles I can still get if I need them.
            And as for Chloroquine, I’m happy it’s prescription medicine so it cannot be hoarded by the greedy.

            43

            • #
              Sceptical Sam

              Well good for you, Bill.

              There’s a chink in your argument. Chloroquine is already being hoarded.

              All you need is a comrade to write the script for you. And they’re two bob a dozen.

              My doctors surgery, a family practice, doesn’t have masks. Hand sanitizer, yes. But please use it sparingly.

              Amusingly, I noticed this evening that there’s not a large bottle of Schweppes Tonic Water left on the shelf of my local supermarket. The little ones are still there – but give it time.

              41

          • #
            farmerbraun

            Oysters mate . Fat , juicy Bluff oysters . . loaded with zinc.

            31

        • #
          Deano

          But surely by not testing anyone, the results will be 0 cases. Problem solved.

          21

        • #
          farmerbraun

          ” infected people can show no symptoms is the key to this terrible killer.”
          If you saw me with the winter flu every so often over the past 40 years as a 24/7/52 operator, you would say that I was showing no symptoms, or was asymptomatic.
          Why is Covid 19 special then?

          32

      • #
        Yonniestone

        Interesting term,

        To brace oneself against pain or a difficult experience. This expression is believed to come from the days when those wounded in battle had to be treated without anesthesia and were made to bite on a lead bullet to brace themselves against the pain of surgery. Certainly this was the meaning in Rudyard Kipling’s The Light That Failed (1891): “Bite on the bullet, old man, and don’t let them think you’re afraid.” However, some authorities suggest that the term comes from the practice of gunners biting off the end of a paper-tube cartridge in order to expose the powder to the spark. In times of anesthesia and more sophisticated weaponry, biting the bullet became entirely figurative, as when P. G. Wodehouse wrote, “Brace up and bite the bullet. I’m afraid I have bad news” (The Inimitable Jeeves, 1923).

        I’d suggest our fearless leaders are more familiar with “bite the pillow” but I digress.

        61

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        I’m glad I have balls.

        The only problem is that I can’t bite them.

        21

      • #
        PeterPetrum

        I think it’s called “mixed metaphors”. But I love the image it engenders. One for a good cartoonist, I think!

        10

    • #
      Analitik

      Thanks Bill. Sometimes, I wonder why we bother posting.

      21

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Come on Alana, you’re being cryptic.

        11

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Analitic, don’t give up..
        Keep trying !
        A couple of things are happening
        1; There are a huge number of comments with lots of links..An many of the links are dross..Just designed to distract and thus lessen the impact of the post Jo put up and relevant links such as yours. the other day…And even me..I now I missed you original comment on Friday about Vo’s success in stopping the virus..

        2; I suspect that Jo herself as a young mum is currently caring for her 2 kids at home having withdrawn them from school..( That’s what I would do ! ) So Jo is pressed for time to post and review comments.. – Unlike some of us olde geezers with lots of time

        13

  • #
    UK-Weather Lass

    From an article by Ruiyun Li, Sen Pei et al, published in Science 16/3/2020

    “Our findings also indicate that a radical increase in the identification and isolation of currently undocumented* infections would be needed to fully control SARS-CoV2.”
    (* undocumented here means the person was unaware they had been infected with the virus i.e. asymptomatic , very mild or even mild)

    The authors modelled the epidemic in China and found that had these cases been identified and isolated the infection rate would have been reduced by 79% in China overall and by 66% in Wuhan.

    81

  • #
    Serge Wright

    I’ve been pondering as to why the death rates in Italy and Spain are so much high than in neighbouring countries such Germany and I now am convinced that the reason can only be because of the number of unreported cases. In other words, the number of people with the virus is vastly higher than we realise. I’m also guessing the reason the virus has spread so fast through these countries is due to social and cultual reasons. These include hugging and kissing as a way of greeting, as well as high levels of social engagement. If this is the case, the we will not see the same outcomes down here and will follow a much flatter curve…. I hope !

    61

    • #
      TdeF

      I have noted in the Greek and Italian communities, compulsive hand shakers have simply stopped shaking hands. That’s a huge change in a few days. The disaster in Italy has shocked the world.

      91

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Latest Italian data 20/03/2020 – hope its of some use.

    https://www.epicentro.iss.it/coronavirus/aggiornamenti

    “Report on the characteristics of COVID-19 positive deceased patients in Italy
    “This report is based on data updated to 20 March 2020
    “This report describes the characteristics of 3200 patients who died and were positive for COVID-19 in Italy.

    “2. Demographic data

    “The mean age of deceased and positive COVID-19 patients is 78.5 years (median 80, range 31-103, RangeInterQuartile – IQR 73-85).
    Age data was not available in one patient.
    There are 942 women (29.4%).
    Figure 1 shows that the median age of COVID-19-positive deceased patients is more than 15 years higher compared to that of patients who contracted the infection
    (median age: patients who died 80 years -patients with 63 years of infection).

    “Figure 2 shows the number of deaths by age group.

    “Women deceased after contracting COVID-19 infection have a higher age than men (agemedians: women 82 – men 79)

    “3. Pre-existing pathologies

    “Table 1 presents the most common pre-existing chronic pathologies (diagnosed before contractinginfection) in deceased patients.

    “This figure was obtained in 481/3200 deaths (15.0% of the sample total).

    “The average number of pathologies observed in this population is 2.7 (median 2, DeviationStandard 1.6).

    “Overall, 6 patients (1.2% of the sample) had 0 pathologies, 113 (23.5%)had 1 pathology, 128 had 2 pathologies (26.6%) and 234 (48.6%) had 3 or morepathologies.

    “Table 1.

    “Most common pathologies observed in COVID-2019 positive

    “deceased patients diseases %

    “Ischemic heart disease 145 30%
    Atrial fibrillation 106 22%
    Stroke 54 11%
    Hypertension 355 73%
    Diabetes mellitus 163 33%
    Dementia 57 11%
    COPD 66 13%
    Active cancer in the past 5 years 94 19%
    Chronic liver disease 18 3%
    Chronic renal failure 97 20%
    Number of pathologies
    0 pathologies 61%
    2 pathology 113 23%
    3 pathologies 128 26%
    3 or more pathologies 234 48%

    “4. Symptoms

    “Figure 3 shows the symptoms most commonly observed before hospitalization in deceased COVID patients.19 positive. As shown in the figure, fever and dyspnea represent the most common symptomsfeedback, less common are cough, diarrhea and hemoptysis. 5.7% of people did not present anysymptom upon admission.

    “5. Complications

    “Respiratory failure was the most commonly observed complication in this sample ( 96.5%of cases ), followed by acute renal injury (29.2%), acute myocardial injury (10.4%) and superinfection (8.5%)

    “6. Drug therapies

    “During hospitalization, 84% of COVID-19 positive deceased patients took antibiotic therapy, fewer antiviral therapy (54%) and steroid therapy (31%) were used. The common use of antibiotic therapy it can be explained by the presence of superinfections or is compatible with empirical therapy initiation in patients with pneumonia, pending laboratory confirmation of COVID-19. In 18.6% of cases they have been used all 3 therapies.Before hospitalization, 36% of COVID-19 positive deceased patients followed ACE-inhibitors and 16% therapy with Sartani (angiotens in receptor blockers). This data can however be underestimated as it was not always possible to infer the therapy performed from the medical records before admission.

    “7. Hospital times

    “Figure 4 shows, for COVID-19 positive deceased patients, the median times, in days, that pass from onset of symptoms to death (8 days), from onset of symptoms to hospitalization (4 days)and from hospitalization to death (4 days). The time from hospitalization to death was 1 day longer in those who were transferred to resuscitation than those who did not come transferred (5 days versus 4 days).

    “8. Deaths under the age of 50

    “To date (March 20), 36 of 3200 (1.1%) COVID-19 positive patients under the age of 50 have died. In particular, 9 of these had fewer than 40 and were 8 male and 1 male female aged between 31 and 39 years. Of 2 patients under the age of 40 are not available clinical information, the other 7 had serious pre-existing diseases (cardiovascular, renal,psychiatric, diabetes, obesity).

    81

  • #
    TdeF

    It is still amazing to me that the disease centres called schools are still open. CHildren mean younger parents means whole families infected. Morrison is taking advice from Boris Johnson’s advisers, who have since changed their minds completely and closed the schools. We must close the schools. A few weeks would not harm anyone.

    92

    • #
      TdeF

      Will someone please tell Morrison that there is no such thing as herd immunity with coronavirus. He is not eliminating the virus. He is spreading it. Senselessly and threatened the Catholic schools with withdrawal of funding if they closed. That was wrong in every way.

      102

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Did he threaten them?

        Really?

        And the evidence is where?

        I’ve no doubt he asked them. Nicely.

        He needs the votes.

        31

        • #
          TdeF

          It was in the formal letter he sent. Reported in the Australian.

          41

          • #
            TdeF

            Front page. The Australian. Thursday 19th March 2020.

            “Scott Morrison personally intervened to prevent almost 600 Catholic schools across NSW from closing in an early morning call to Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher seeking a guarantee the secton would pull back and keep school gates open.

            A letter obtained by the Australian from the executive of the NSW Association of Independent Schools, Geoff Newcombe, indicated that in a separate conversation with him, the Prime Minister linked Federal Governmnet funding to his insistence schools remain open.
            ‘He reminded me that in this situations there were certain expectations attached to the recurrent funding provided by the Australian Government to Catholic and Independent schools. He asked if I would convey this message to schools in our Association, as well as colleagues in other states and territories,’ Mr Newcombe wrote.”

            Legally under the Constitution the Federal government has no direct responsibility or power in many matters including Education, Health, Police, Electricity, Water or anything except foreign exchange, customs and the army. However as the main receiver of funds in incomes taxes and now GST, it controls all grants through a loophole in the constitution of arbitrary gifts and through this can control by blatant extortion.

            And they do. While the text of his call to the Archbishop is not known, the letter clearly threatens everyone and the Associations including the Catholic with cessation of funding.

            81

            • #
              TdeF

              We get endless examples of this, say in control of water in the Murray Darling basin. And in the establishment and control of a National Grid, Clean Energy rubbish departments. Electricity prior to the RET act 2001 was the exclusive realm of state governments, tied to their exclusive controls of minerals including coal, gas, geothermal. It is another why the entire RET scheme is unconstitutional, forcing everyone to pay for windmills and solar in their electricity bills. This is not a power the Federal government, any government has.

              Control of Universities, schools, hospitals and more is done by threat as they are the exclusive Constitutional realm of the State Government. It is similar in America. The states never gave up their exclusive rights in forming the United States. So it is the governors who are ordering people to stay home, not the President. His powers relate to international threats, defence, emergency powers.

              61

              • #
                Sceptical Sam

                OK, TdF.

                Pretty clear.

                Thanks.

                He reminded them that they have an obligation.

                A “gentle reminder” never goes astray does it.

                11

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            I am now thinking there is a war inside the govt between the N W O affiliated faction/s ( who are trying to ensure the disease spreads ) and those who are trying to help.

            It will be interesting to see whom is a particular school of thought to then map out whom are those trying to help and those who arent.

            The longer this goes on, the greater the power shift to the N W O factions is.

            The globalists love any form of “war” as it allows them to use emergency powers to get away with horrible things they couldnt in peace time, thus accelerating thier deranged agenda….

            73

      • #
        truth

        We were told all afternoon that NSW was about to close the schools..then a curt communique came out from the NSW government that said all but essential business was closing …and that was then discussed on SKY all afternoon as a complete shutdown of all business but supermarkets….pharmacies and essential services.

        Scott Morrison was interviewed during the afternoon…and was his usual wordy self …but at the same time vague and cagey.

        IMO he must have monstered Gladys at the meeting they had…told her [correctly IMO]that she was to blame for the Ruby Princess uber-catastrophe and her penance was that she consent to being rolled on her earlier subversive [in his opinion] decision to close all except essential services in NSW…and on what seemed her foreshadowed plan to close schools….just my opinion.

        No doubt she’s seething…but I thought his press conference tonight was horrible….arrogant and dismissive….and still not dealing with the lifesaving issues ie ventilators and anti-virals….not that any journalist asked of course.

        00

  • #
    Sunni Bakchat

    At the risk of repeating oneself; the problem being experienced in Europe is one of a lack of essential supplies. Sanitiser, Masks and Testing. In the circumstances the only solution appears to be to temporarily quarantine the citizenry.

    From the moment the contagion became apparent citizens went out and bought masks. Authorities asked people not to do this on the basis that masks did not stop the coronavirus unless they were properly fitted. The real issue however was that there weren’t enough masks to go around. There’s essentially not been enough masks available for the pandemic scenario we now have. Authorities suggested enough were available because they didn’t effectively protect anyway.

    What has become very apparent about masks is twofold. Firstly, people don’t believe what the authorities are telling them and are wearing masks anyway. Mostly out of fear in my opinion. Secondly, the issue of wearing masks is not a passive one. It is an active one. Wearing a mask is very effective at preventing spread from the wearer when used in conjunction with hand sanitisation. In other words, just as Jo advocates in terms of testing, the first step in getting people out of lockdown is to make available a mask for each individual to wear. This employs an offensive rather than defensive strategy that is seemingly being overlooked by many.

    Once the mask situation is understood, it is a short leap to understanding Jo’s proposition that an offensive strategy should be used in knocking this virus out. It is understandably inconvenient to wear a mask. It is inconvenient to have to queue up regularly for a test. Only a small percentage of people wearing a mask would be asymptomatic carriers. But the golden point is that it is a preventative measure just like testing is a preventative measure. Is this not obvious?

    From a cultural perspective, It is inexplicable why the bull is not being grabbed by the horns on matters. Perhaps there are reasonable delays around mask, sanitiser and test kit production. As Jo states however, start small. Go town to town, region to region, state to state. Be scientific. Be thorough. Be determined. Eradicate the virus. Why the apathetic, supine and entitled disposition of so many?

    The follow on from where we are now looks very obvious. Europeans will be locked down until enough masks and test kits become available. This is looking like being several weeks away. By which time the damage to the economic and social fabric of society will be enormous.

    It is right for the curve to be crushed to keep hospital beds free. It is not right for mask production and testing kits to not be intelligently deployed to keep society functioning in a relatively effective manner. Perhaps those running the countries of Europe have forgotten how everyday people lead their lives?

    Should the authorities not be saying to people, if you are wearing a mask you can freely circulate in society. If you don’t wear a mask we’ll fine or arrest you. Then extend this to; if you have evidence of a test showing you have antibodies or are clean, you can freely circulate. Make it mandatory for people to be tested at regular interval. This seems to be what the Chinese imposed. It is what Australia will need to eventually impose. Start small. Go large. Lets get on with it.

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    • #
      Sunni Bakchat

      This is what is desperately needed to get things moving again. From the Australian Newspaper today;

      “Oxford University says its fast test for COVID-19 that detects the virus earlier could be available in weeks. However it depends on clinical validation and regulatory approval in each country.
      The Australian reported this week that scientists at the university say they had made a breakthrough in coronavirus testing.
      The Oxford team, led by Professor Zhanfeng Cui and Professor Wei Huang, from the university’s Engineering Science department and the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research, say the new test for COVID-19 can dramatically reduce testing time, giving an accurate result as to whether a person is infected in half an hour. They say they are developing “an integrated device” so that the tests can be used at clinics, airports, or even at home.

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      • #
        Deplorable Lord Kek

        In the US, the Food and Drug Administration approved a rapid coronavirus test on Saturday that will deliver results in about 45 minutes.

        30

        • #
          farmerbraun

          Who cares?
          Apart from those making it.

          14

          • #
            Deplorable Lord Kek

            if there was a fast and accurate diagnostic test then there would not be need for 14 day quarantines and we would not be in lock down.

            50

            • #
              FarmerDoug2

              How long might it take your body to generate sufficient antibodies (?) to detect.

              10

              • #
                Sunni Bakchat

                Good question. It appears antigen testing is picking up the virus early. However the success of this virus may be linked to it fooling older immune systems into thinking nothing requiring an immune response is inhabiting the body. It may be that an antibody test may not be useful until the second phase of the virus is established.

                10

            • #
              yarpos

              Sure, but who do you trust? the ones wearing the purple triangle that says they have been tested ? or do we tattoo their foreheads?

              00

    • #
      sophocles

      Sanitizer?
      What’s wrong with soap and water?
      There’s a run on sanitizers and water but not soap …

      50

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Woops Soph !
        Lots of silent lurkers here !
        Now that you’ve told everyone
        Soap will also disappear off the shelves..
        Bugger !
        :-)

        21

      • #
        Annie

        There isn’t always availability of soap and water; that’s where the hand sanitiser comes in.

        40

      • #
        tonyb

        I think sanitisers were necessary for those out and about with no access to much better soap and water. as people severely restrict travel more hand washing can be done at home and the need for sanitiser sharply diminish

        10

        • #
          Sunni Bakchat

          tonyb, hand sanitiser offers a means to an end; to restrict the virus distribution chain at a personal level. Restricting the virus replication within the viable period, slows it up. Keeping it away from our oral/nasal areas; we stop infection in most normal situations. As you’ve stated, sanitiser is beneficial when you are out and about. It’s a valuable contribution to the tool kit of virus protection when used properly. It’s superior to a hand basin offered in public establishments. The issue is the “used properly” and the “out and about” elements.

          A personal anecdote and example; lockdown began last Monday. We thought we’d grocery shop every few days. In practicality we shopped every day as usual to avoid panic buying. We’re in a potential viral contamination environment for about an hour when we shop. We handle a ticket entering/exiting the car park, we touch packaged product, we handle a trolley or basket; we handle personal objects and money/credit cards. If you asked whether i’d use the hand basin in my local (very clean) Swiss shopping centre or hand sanitiser, I’d say sanitiser every time for these reasons; To use the centre toilets requires pushing open one or two doors doors that most people from observation have touched with their hands. Touching tap heads, soap dispensers and Dyson hand blower dryers. Using an unknown soap product for thirty seconds or more. Then pulling open one or two doors (with no paper towel available to cover your hands). Usually you are in close proximity with a person or two inadvertently in these environments due to space available, and usually the areas in question are not perfectly ventilated. Lastly if the faecal-oral route of the virus is legitimate, the mere smell of faecal matter may be enough to carry the virus (see SARS virus studies from Hong Kong). As much as we’d like to think we’re all going to stay home like good eggs; we’re hard wired to be sociable creatures and won’t cut ourselves off from the physical presence of others voluntarily. Staying uninfected whilst publicly interacting is the great challenge.

          In the second week of lockdown, the desire to not be isolated will be even worse. France, Italy and Spain have all become more strict in enforcement as the quarantine period has progressed. The authorities are actively working against people’s desire to be physically around each other. To the point of now arresting people in Spain and Italy. Thankfully this has not yet come to pass in Switzerland. Placed in the context of a lack of good masks and sanitiser, the question arises as to why are these prophylactics so scarce? Do the authorities not realise that just quarantining people won’t solve the problem for other than a short period? What will they do when people get very angry and ignore the quarantine, as is occurring in Italy?

          The “used properly” bit is even more important. If you grab you bottle of sanitiser, you immediately transfer what is on your hands to the bottle. So when the sanitiser is used, it should be liberally applied to not only your hands, but also the bottle exterior. If you’ve been using your phone, you might as well proceed to apply to your phone as well. Alternately wiping down your phone with alcohol or similar 99.9% bactericidal impregnated wipes also works. The point is there is a chain of infection. Its about breaking the chain rather than just cleaning your hands then transferring the bug straight back to your hands via a phone, keys, steering wheel, etc. To beat this bug requires constantly cleaning surfaces, objects, etc. that you regularly touch in order to minimise the chance of a face touch in between times.

          Your previous points about the cultural and environmental differences between Italy and England, and Italy and Australia are well noted. Though i suspect from clinical experience the’ll be less epidemiologically relevant than one might hope. Instead they will turn out to be cognitive distortions born of natural optimism. Sanitiser, Mask, testing and the availability of critical care facilities are the only things that will move us forward from being very unhappily stuck in our homes for weeks if not months.

          10

          • #
            truth

            All of that makes staying home sound really good…yes?

            10

          • #
            tonyb

            sunni

            ‘As much as we’d like to think we’re all going to stay home like good eggs; we’re hard wired to be sociable creatures and won’t cut ourselves off from the physical presence of others voluntarily. Staying uninfected whilst publicly interacting is the great challenge.’

            I think we have a number of issues of which TELLING people what they must do being just one. Then forcing otherwise perfectly healthy -or those in pretty good health- to lock themselves down will have huge physical and mental health implication. Especially for older people who might regularly exercise outside and if shut in their physical health will deteriorate quickly and the older you are the more difficult it will be to regain your previous level of fitness.

            Lets add in to all this the effect on relationships. A weeks Christmas break apparently gives divorce lawyers lots of business. What on earth will 3 months of very close incarceration- often in small properties or those with no garden- do to the relationships of couples and families?

            Sorry I still think this is wildly overdone and the cure-economic collapse-likely to be worse than the original problem.

            this probably would not have happened even 20 years ago as our ability to keep alive the very old with numerous life threatening conditions did not exist.

            I doubt whether ‘winter excess mortality’ figures will show much change in 2020 over the bad years of 2017 and 2014

            00

            • #
              Sunni Bakchat

              Very much agreed on the psychological front. The benefit/disbenefit balance point must surely be somewhere around the two to four week mark when it comes to self-isolation. It does not take long for a prisoner in isolation to suffer the deleterious effects of same. The psychological damage in Lomabardy as a result of the changes implemented on Saturday will be enormous. They are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

              I can see no way out of this bind for countries unless mask wearing is enforced to enable people to begin a higher level of social contact again. Some might say masks are not perfect at stopping active (as opposed to passive) transmission. It may end up being the best option until proper testing and medication become widely available.

              It appears the countries who are prioritising testing and experimental medicines have done and continue to do well.

              00

  • #
    Environment Skeptic

    Hmmm……
    “Intro to Coronavirus – 2019-nCoV – COVID-19 — Special Weekend Edition — J.C. on a bike! (#0049)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YL7c-vck4vk
    “•Feb 22, 2020
    “J.C. on a bike
    I am not a virologist, but I am a life-long biologist. And I can read about stuff. [My bolding] This is my 2nd attempt at a special episode about the current Coronavirus outbreak. Specifically, I am interested in cutting through the whirlwind of chatter on the internet speculating about the origin of this novel Coronavirus.”….

    23

  • #
    William Pitcher

    2.5L/daily of gin & (quinine) tonics will put you right. You might want to go light on the gin….

    I’m retired with no underlying conditions (whatever that means) and will gladly self-quarantine; well-supplied per above. But those whose personal docs haven’t advised to quarantine because of underlying conditions and those under 60 need to work and play for their own well-being and society’s. There now is a demonstrably effective treatment for a virus that as data increases daily is a little riskier than the flu. More data as to its efficacy arrives daily. Two days ago a internal med doc w/Afghan battlefield experience emailed to advise chloroquine was SOP at all Denver hospitals and results are consistent with Aussie and French stats. But shutting down entire populations including those with healthy immune systems may be a cure worse than the illness. The ultimate risk is that a universal, global shutdown appears — repeat, appears — to be aimed at far more than just containing a pandemic, and that could lead to massive civil unrest.

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    • #

      Letting a virus run wild without containment might lead to some civil unrest too.

      Exactly how many people can the world treat with Chloroquine in the next few weeks, and how long is it before huge new stocks come online? I can feel a sudden shortage coming on…

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      • #
        Konrad

        Jo, there are studies from as early as 2005 showing Chloroquine to be effective not just at treating coronavirus infections that target the ACE2 receptor, but preventing infection in the first place. It is cheap, off patent, easily produced and already approved for use against malaria and rheumatoid arthritis. The drug appears to deny the virus access to the ACE2 receptor.

        Trump told the public directly about this option, greatly angering those promoting the far more expensive and less effective Remdesivir which is still under patent. Remdesivir does not appear to have a prophylactic effect and may only be useful in the first stages of infection.

        The #resistance will almost certainly argue against chloroquine in the coming days, claiming that just as malaria mutated to bypass it, so will COVID-19. In the areas of symptoms, infectious period and severity of illness, COVID-19 has a large enough evolutionary latitude to make the idea of “herd immunity” far too dangerous to try. But it is virtually certain that COVID-19 gained the ability to target the ACE2 receptor as a result of a GOF program in the lab. If it did not evolve the ability to enter human cells naturally, then it could take considerable host numbers and time to mutate enough to exploit an alternative receptor pathway. Widespread use of chloroquine could deny it those hosts and time.

        It Trump’s favor against those trying to exploit this crisis is that his Compassionate Care Act (“right to try”) was successfully passed some time ago. Given the drug is approved for use in humans, safe dosage and usage periods are known and “right to try” being passed, there is no government entity in the US that can stop the private manufacture, sale and use of the drug. Just one town, city or state quarantined and all within using the drug can prove its efficacy.

        50

        • #
          Rolf

          Wrong. Chloroquine act in another way. Actually Chloroquine do not interact with the virus what we know today. What happens is a door opens to our cells so Zink+ ions may enter. Zink will then act and prohibit generating new virus. That’s why all zink additives are sold out already.

          10

          • #
            Konrad

            Yes, available zinc is critical to the efficacy of chloroquine in preventing the virus invading new cells. I wanted to stay away from the “to be used with” discussion. Currently the Remdesivir clowns are fighting a rear guard action trying to say Chloroquine+Remdesivir. Worse, there are the Chloroquine+Azithromycin claims. Azithromycin is a spectrum antibiotic that will cause gastro intestinal problems. Just great when there is a Wu from Fluhan viral load established in the small intestine. And Azithromycin for people with heart damage due to COVID-19 attack on cells with ACE2 receptors? I can’t see the harm …

            Note: I was not claiming Chloroquine interacted with the virus, as there is no evidence of that. What it appears to do is interact instead with cells with the ACE2 receptor and prevent the virus from invading and using those cells as material to replicate itself.

            00

  • #
    GD

    Just stop mixing for the next few weeks

    That’s a bit difficult seeing as how Coles and Woolies have stopped delivering, coupled with the lack of products on supermarket shelves.
    People are forced to trawl supermarkets more than they normally would in the vain hope of procuring food supplies.

    51

    • #
      GD

      As I am sick, with a cold, and have a Seniors Card, I qualified to receive a delivery from Woolies. Great!

      So I go to the website and instead of the delivery fee options being $8 or $11, all the timeslots are now $15.

      Given that Woolies are making a motza at the moment with in-store sales, isn’t that nice that they decide to hit seniors with an increased delivery fee.

      How benevolent of them.

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      • #

        There are a few other smaller providers. Specialists like Butchers, Campbells Wholesale (WA, not sure about other states), or why not call your local fruit and vege or your local butcher. They may start doing deliveries, they may be starved of customers, and your phone call might be just the ticket…

        I get your point. Here we can’t get either woolies or coles in the next week.
        And the specialist butchers were only offering a ten day wait too. That’s OK for me.

        GD Where are you based? Small stores may do a pay by phone and drive past option? They could put the food in your car boot if you have phoned through an order. I bet they would love some more customers.

        71

        • #
          Yonniestone

          Jo fast food businesses are now offering a contact free delivery option, we got pizza last night and tried it out the driver arrived gave us a quick call to make sure we were there and left the food at the door.

          We then sprayed all containers with glen 20 and passed all the food under UV sterilisation light before……….. :)

          31

          • #
            sophocles

            You could have just set a match to the packaging … then the food would be well cooked.
            Or unpacked wearing disposable hand protection …

            21

        • #
          farmerbraun

          Yep . Support your locals . You’ll need them .

          41

        • #
          GD

          Thanks, Jo. That’s a great idea about local butchers etc making home deliveries. I’m in Geelong. However, as of now, Dan Andrews has begun a lock-down of Victoria. All bets are off. We’ll know more tomorrow.

          00

        • #
          truth

          Both Woolies and Coles have stopped delivering in Sydney too….another important issue Scott Morrison is ignoring amongst all his palaver.

          If it’s vital for the vulnerable to self-isolate …its vital for the government to use its clout …or assistance…to ensure that supermarkets maintain their deliveries.

          Otherwise the vulnerable will be forced into crowded supermarkets[ if they can]…and the government had better have more ventilators ready for the consequence.

          00

      • #
        george1st:)

        Delivery cost for woolies starts at $15 but reduces as your order value increases . I pay zero for orders over $100 .
        Although I do pay an annual fee for delivery saver .
        I still think it reduces by $3 for each $50 increase in your order value .

        41

    • #
      yarpos

      “….. in the vain hope of procuring food supplies” seriously? vain hope? there has been a short term shortage of some items for a week or so. Reality doesn’t seem to match the melodrama

      10

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    Deano @ 10:54 wrote:
    But surely by not testing anyone, the results will be 0 cases. Problem solved.

    Unfortunately this is more relevant than most folks realize.

    The Seattle area in western Washington State has had most of the deaths in the USA. About 75, but it changes daily.
    But here’s the thing:
    There have been >1,500 “confirmed cases” in the State, found by focusing on those most expected to have contacted the virus.
    On Saturday morning – March 21 – authorities are opening a testing site, namely . . . KOMO News Seattle
    People at higher risk at COVID-19, health care workers and community members on the frontlines of the crisis can be tested for the virus starting Saturday morning at the Tacoma Dome.
    Restrictions apply!
    7.4 million people in Washington State. 8,000 test kits.

    I’ll make no claim as to where the blame lies, but the system, if there is one, is broken.

    51

    • #
      observa

      The system isn’t broken as there never was one to begin with. Just that the test, test, test message was a fatuous slogan. Even I could can come up with a better one- treat, treat, treat!
      Where do I pick up my fat paycheck for that?

      43

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        Here is an idea the non-system could use for starters…

        Might ring a few radio stations to make corona talkback radio run 24 hours instead of hearing about sport non stop! Saturday/today on every radio station :)

        For public mental health, we need 24/7 corona talkback radio. People out there self isolating need to be able to talk!!

        Australia could start having the worlds first 24/7 corona talkback radio !!

        24/7 corona talkback radio would be huge for those in self isolation.

        A corona mental health lifeline.

        42

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          It’s already happening via Facebook, Twitter etc

          13

          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            For goodness sake Bill….are you some kind of lumber jack or something???

            No!….live talkback radio is not the internet that many do not have. Sounds like you have been chopping too many trees down.

            Then even people with an old crystal set radio can tune in if they are lonely and uniformed, and want to know what comrades are doing or talk to them too.

            43

            • #
              Bill In Oz

              I’ve been rethinking this ES.. Yes I think you should approach the ABC to do it.
              That would be a good use for their staff & finances.

              But I hardly listen to the radio..Mostly in a car while going somewhere..Not at home ever.

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              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                Thanks…and i did sing the lumberjack song from Monty Python this morning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70Npi6PccBk

                People are our biggest resource, not polititians and banks etc.

                The people need to be heard. 24/7

                It’s the only way to keep the bastards honest. :)

                40

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBipikT-3xI “Monty Python – The Silly Walk Song (Official Lyric Video)”

                20

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                Monty Python – The Meaning Of Life (Official Lyric Video)

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAwDWZoETk4

                21

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                Maybe you should subscribe to text message updates Bill…

                11

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                In saying that Bill..text messages can be a little bit simplistic…for instance, our water company recently had water quality problems…it was only after a Spanish inquisition that i was able to extract any detail as to the water quality and what the text update meant sent earlier from the water company in my region entailed……a lot of time and effort. Allegedly, the problem was a certain amount of water that had escaped an established type of sanitation it seemed, or something like that…

                The text from the company did not in the first instance convey that detail…oh well!…In my opinion.. :)

                20

            • #
              Environment Skeptic

              .spell check again…..*live talkback radio is the internet that many do not have…

              10

    • #
      farmerbraun

      Or you can say that by not testing everyone , the results will be far more panic-inducing than they would otherwise be.

      21

  • #
  • #
    Betapug

    Off label use of Remdesivir under an FDA “compassionate exemption” apparently reversed the outcome of US “patient zero”.https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMMoa2001191

    Vaccine development time frames can not save lives in the infection first wave, but surely existing low risk meds with “anecdotally” demonstrated effectiveness should be tried? Molotov cocktails did not go through rigorous ordnance evaluation before use in WW11. Is bureaucracy killing us in yet more ways? https://nypost.com/2020/03/20/northwell-health-launches-trials-for-drugs-to-treat-coronavirus-patients/

    41

  • #
    Environment Skeptic

    The Home Corona Test Kit :)

    From: https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/19/home-diagnostics-startup-everlywell-is-launching-an-at-home-coronavirus-test-sample-kit/
    “Home diagnostics startup Everlywell is launching an at-home coronavirus test sample kit”

    “The state of testing for the novel coronavirus currently spreading globally in the U.S. is abysmal, relative to other developed countries, but there are a number of efforts underway to help improve availability. One company doing their part is at-home lab testing startup Everlywell, which has been offering a number of in-home self collection kits for things like food sensitivity, metabolism, thyroid and more. As of Monday March 23, it’ll also offer a COVID-19 sample collection kit for home use.
    ” [my bolding]
    “Everlywell’s test kit includes swab-based collection equipment, as well as shipping materials that ensure safe transport of a person’s sample as outlined by the CDC and UN Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods to help prevent any possible risk to mail carriers or couriers actually moving the packages. The samples collected are then tested by labs certified for COVID-19 testing under the FDA Emergency Use Authorization issued to help build out America’s testing capacity”

    51

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    Trying to get a test in Port Macquarie has so far proved fruitless for my wife. The reason given, and although she has some symptoms, and has been in proximity of 3 possibly infected TAFE students (she is a TAFE teacher) is that there are not enough testing kits, and triage means that she misses out. So we wait for the results to come back for the 3 (they are part of a cluster of 66), possibly on Monday.

    Right there is the basic difference between Port Macquarie and Vo in Italy – not enough tests

    Take that Australia wide, and we are so stuffed, but what angers me is that complacency meant that the government did not secure enough kits, still doesn’t have enough kits, and never will have enough kits

    120

    • #
      farmerbraun

      But, but, but, if we tested nearly everybody , and found that we all had recent exposure to a coronavirus, then the mortality statistics could be less concerning than usual.
      We can’t have that.
      You don’t have to respond Peter, but I’m guessing that you want the cancellation of all the usual Anzac Day commemoration in NZ and OZ.

      73

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        I think most ANZAC events have been cancelled, but I’m talking more about the unpreparedness of the authorities. Testing everybody is what was done in Vo, we are only testing those with close contact, and celebrities.

        50

        • #
          farmerbraun

          Bill , my farm is in the city , slightly down wind.Think again.

          30

        • #
          farmerbraun

          I have heard of no Anzac cancellations. Do you mean that the OZ armed forces will not even turn up?

          20

        • #
          yarpos

          easiest thing to do is lash out at nebulous “authorities”

          I seriously doubt that many , without the benefit of hindsight, would have placed the order for those 10s of millions of test kits (even if available). I doubt many would even have the topic on their radar at that level months ago.

          10

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        That’s dumb comment Farmerbraun !
        We now know how to stop this disease
        Test Test Test
        Find those who are infectious and isolate them all.
        But I guess it’s not a major issue to you sitting on your farm away from the cities.

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        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          I think I saw farmerbraun’s tongue placed firmly in his cheek there Bill.

          He’s a cheeky chap.

          But that just might be my long association with boys from the bush biasing my perception.

          31

        • #
          farmerbraun

          Why don’t you want to know the true mortality stats. Bill?
          You might change your view if you had better information.
          If you test every Ozzie , you will have some good data.

          02

        • #
          farmerbraun

          Fair enough Bill. I obviously didn’t explain where I was coming from.I’m a pensioner, or as we say here a “Gold” card holder. An old bloke , right?

          I said on this blog a week , maybe ten days, ago that everyone around me had a “cold”, I had it too, and I’d let you know how it went.
          And a doctor friend that I trust ventured that everybody either had Covid 19 or was getting it.It’s a contagious virus , right , and NZ , after initially quarantining correctly , then opened the gates wide , and left them open.

          Well I’m still here , I’ve still done a 12 hour day every day, I’m nearly over it , and it was nothing.
          BUT , I will never be tested because I never go to the doctor ,(other than to tell them I’m still alive and they can keep getting paid by the government for the patient that they never see), and I’ve never been overseas.

          So , if everybody like me was tested and found positive , the stats would be a whole lot different.

          Funnily enough , I bumped into another neighbour a few days ago. He contracted viral pneumonia not long after my other neighbours arrived back from China , just before the Chinese New Year. I didn’t ask him if he’d had a cold first.And he wasn’t tested because Covid wasn’t a thing then in NZ.

          40

        • #
          farmerbraun

          You guessed wrong Bill.

          02

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Good luck Peter and hope your wife is OK.
      Bear in mind that at least 80% of cases don’t result in them needing hospitalisation. It might pay to have the flu vaccination (check with the doctor).

      And as for Government complacency…well, from my experience I expect that by May (2021) we will have surplus test kits, although they might be for the wrong thing..

      61

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Not May Graeme
        July maybe !
        But by then their job should be done
        If this state government stops sucking on it’s thumb
        And pulls the finger out !

        22

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          No, Bill. This URGENT so the public servants will have to get busy, and that means 13 months not 15 months.

          From their actions I can only assume that the Federal Govt. is hoping the crisis will be over in 6 months. With Greg Hunt in charge

          20

        • #
          Kalm Keith

          Don’t forget.

          They have to bite the bullet and lick their fingers to reduce onward transmission.

          10

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Yes.

      It’s enough to give you the kits.

      KK

      10

      • #
        Chad

        Australia is not a small village like Vo
        There will NEVER be enough test kits to test everybody !
        There will never be enough consumables (gloves etc) for use with test kits
        There will never be enough analysis facilities to analyse the test swabs.
        There will never be enough tesers or trained resources to test everybody

        01

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Balls Chad !
          South Korea & Taiwan have just done all those things !
          By testing, testing testing we get to ‘See’ this dangerous virus
          And then it can be stopped.
          Otherwise we are farting around in the dark !
          Time long past for our local ‘leaders’ to have some balls and arrange the same here.

          00

  • #

    [...] Nova reports on the outcome of full-scale preventive activities in one village in [...]

    00

  • #
    Robber

    The Australian count: March 10; 100 cases, March 15; 300 cases, March 20; 970 cases, March 21; 1072 cases.
    NSW 436; Vic 229; Qld 221, all other states less than 100.
    When will our governments tell us where within our States are the most critical areas?

    31

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Accuracy in data will become an issue as things get busy…or “accidental” under reporting…

      31

    • #
      Chad

      ??the number of cases will always increase as the number of people tested keeps increasing.
      We do not even know how many tests are done each day.
      ALL that data telss us nothing.
      The ONLT useful data that indicates the progress of the Virus and actions to limit it..is the total number of Fatalities directly attributed to CV19

      01

  • #
    Another Ian

    Daily curve updates

    “Daily #Coronavirus #COVID-19 Data Graphs”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/21/daily-coronavirus-covid-19-data-graphs/

    11

  • #
  • #
    TedM

    Are we looking once more at decisions being made from the results of modelling rather than Empirical data? We are obviously ignoring what is happening in the physical world for the opinions of “some” senior medicos.

    42

  • #
    bradd

    Has anyone explained why it is desirable to ‘flatten the curve’ in Australia, so that the peak occurs in the winter ‘flu season?

    Supposedly it is to reduce the load on the health system. I would like to see evidence that the health system is under any unusual load at the moment. The underlying load will be higher when ‘flu season comes. ABC News reported the other day that a grand total of six people were currently in hospital with the virus in Victoria.

    (Related topic) After all the hand-wringing over ‘social distancing’, my wife still has to cram onto the trains to get to work.

    My own opinion is that most of the action taken so far has been on the ‘Sir Humphrey’ principle. “Something must be done; this is something, therefore we must do it”.

    117

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Not good enough mate.
      B S in fact.
      Why should everyone have to suffer from this infectious disease
      Because you have not had your eye on the ball ?

      44

      • #
        farmerbraun

        “Don’t panic Bill. We’re from the government and we’re here to help .We’ll look after you. Just give us your vote”

        11

    • #
      robert rosicka

      Bradd it has been explained many times just seems to fall on deaf ears , leave what happened in china and Iran out of it and concentrate on Italy .
      ICU beds were in such a shortage a doctor has to decide who lives and who dies , think about it .
      Heart attack victim needs an ICU bed but none available.
      Car crash victim needs a bed but none available .
      Stroke victim needs a bed but none available .
      Emergency operation patient needs a bed but none available .
      Patient with flu but younger needs a bed but none available.
      Etc etc etc etc etc which one do you unplug and push into the hall to die ?

      61

    • #
      farmerbraun

      The NZ health system has not reported any secondary complications , and the confirmed positives have been sent home with a couple of Disprin and a reminder to keep warm and hydrated.

      20

    • #
      yarpos

      The hospital system operates near capacity either due to contraints (public) or profit (private). If you think there is significant spare capacity your are dreaming. Extra capacity would need to be built, but at some stage you will hit triage based rationing of ICU level care.

      20

  • #
    Ross

    Interesting what comes out of the woodwork at times like this.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1232869/

    NB. This paper was written in 2005 after the SARS outbreak.

    If the bureaucrats in the health agencies worldwide learnt anything from SARS it should have been to look at ways to prepare for the next outbreak, which would definitely occur some time in the future. Furthering the research outlined in the paper should have been part of the future planning. But I suppose because it did not relate to Climate Change it took a back seat in priorities (/sarc).

    It will be interesting to see if anything significant happens after this crisis, in terms of future planning.

    81

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Govt is analogous to a large, dim-witted animal that needs to be driven hard to get it going in the right direction….as such there is much inertia to overcome…..

      52

    • #
      yarpos

      All those school halls we built a while ago would make good temp hospital wards with schools closing. Dont know who would staff them , but that is just mere practicality.

      20

  • #
    Mick

    NSW Government asleep at the wheel on coronavirus. Cruise ships, people shoulder to shoulder entering Australia at Sydney Airport, beaches. Their planning for the coronavirus is inadequate. They seem to only to react to problems that pop up instead of preventing them. Not good enough.

    31

    • #
      yarpos

      I guess you can pick examples in all States but Bondi and letting a couple thousand people of a cruise ship one day and locking things down the next seems odd to say the least. Just illustrates the distance between the people making those assertive firm jawed decisions everyone want them to make and what really happens on the ground in response (either agency execution or public behaviour)

      10

  • #
  • #
    Kalm Keith

    If the original article with the 12 family members shown in the photograph can be found:

    “” brother, Carmine Fusco, had died just before their mother on the same day, according to The New York Times. A day later, on Thursday, another brother, Vincent Fusco Jr., died, a family member said.
    Grace Fusco(centre) was unaware her son and daughter had been killed by COVID-19 when she died from complications of the same infection.
    Her oldest sister, Rita Fusco-Jackson, had died on March 13, The Times reported. All the children were in their 50s and it’s unclear whether they had underlying health issues.”"

    Very puzzling.

    21

  • #
    Robber

    The prime minister, state and territory leaders will meet next week to consider how to implement lockdowns on virus hotspot suburbs.
    Has anyone seen reports on hotspot suburbs in NSW or Vic?

    31

    • #
      Robber

      Of the total 296 cases in Vic, there have been 256 in metropolitan Melbourne and 25 in regional Victoria.

      40

      • #
        yarpos

        I regard Melbourne as a hotspot and wish they would stop non essential travel to or from. Whats essential? that question will be asked a lot in coming days. For this example an incomplete list might include police, emergency services, infrastructure repair (power, gas , comms, road safety) , mail, deliveries to supermarkets, medical deliveries, essential trades repairs, fuel and so on.

        30

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  • #
    Bill In Oz

    I am unsure how accurate this is.
    But I just got a message supposedly from the assistant director of nursing at Queen Elizabeth hospital.
    She says to take care when filling up at petrol pumps.
    The virus can spread via the pump handles.
    So use gloves or paper towel and then bin it.

    E M Smith on Musings from Chiefio blog
    Made the same point a coilpe of weeks ago.

    52

    • #
      yarpos

      Why wouldnt it be accurate , its just another frequently touched thing in the real world. Pumps, door handles, shopping trolley push bars, lift buttons, washroom taps, public transport grab handles you name it

      30

  • #
    WXcycles

    Latest data on percentage of deaths and percent of daily new cases for the 21 most infected countries.

    I’m not giving the Serious/Critical percentage with this as it’s become clear that from looking at the numbers, that a lot of these cases are not in hospitals. They’re instead dying at home in large numbers without ever being listed in data as Serious/Critical as they’re never being classified as such by any doctor. But they do (eventually) end up on the died list.

    This is why for many countries the critical percent is gradually falling below the death percent.

    When you see that it’s not because there are fewer serious-critical cases, it’s a statistical artifact of very sick people being turned away from hospitals and being told to go home and isolate because the hospitals are already full. They get sicker at home, without assistance, and they die there. So a rapidly increasing number of the serious/critical illness cases and deaths are not occurring within overwhelmed hospitals any longer. Which means the Serious/Critical case percentage is not a good indicator of the real situation within a country. The gradually falling or static criticals number gradually makes the situation look less serious than it really is.

    The died percent is much more reliable in this respect but it’s also going to become lagged, as it may take several days to find corpses and then to get a test result back, and add that death to the mortality list. The more overwhelmed the country the more lagged the death numbers would become.

    What this will practically mean is that within the most affected and overwhelmed countries, such as Italy now, the real death percentages may be even higher than the terrible 9.0% today, due to the lag in reporting of these growing number of hidden deaths, which may take several days to be added to the national tally.

    Which means we may be very shocked and confused by this, to see that horrifying 9.0% for Italy keep rising during the coming days as these bodies are discovered and tests processed, and the numbers finally updated.

    At which point the fuller horror of the implications of this virus will become more clearly understood. And then we can expect a much more enforced isolation to begin. Indeed this may not take very long. 1 week maximum, 2 days perhaps.

    In the order from most infected, to the least infected countries:

    1 China – Died 4.02 % – New cases increase today 0 %
    2 Italy – Died 9.01 % – New cases increase today 12.2 %
    3 Spain – Died 5.40 % – New cases increase today 15.4 %
    4 USA – Died 1.25 % – New cases increase today 20.0 %
    5 Germany – Died 0.38 % – New cases increase today 11.3 %
    6 Iran – Died 7.55 % – New cases increase today 4.7 %
    7 France – Died 3.89 – New cases increase today 12.8 %
    8 S. Korea – Died 1.16 % – New cases increase today 1.7 %
    9 Switzerland – Died 1.17 % – New cases increase today 18.2 %
    10 UK – Died 4.64 % – New cases increase today 20.6 %
    11 Netherlands – Died 3.75 % – New cases increase today 17.5 %
    12 Austria – Died 0.27 % – New cases increase today 11.5 %
    13 Belgium – Died 2.38 % – New cases increase today 19.8 %
    14 Norway – Died 0.32 % – New cases increase today 9.5 %
    15 Sweden – Died 1.13 % – New cases increase today 7.4 %
    16 Canada – Died 1.43 % – New cases increase today 18.1 %
    17 Denmark – Died 0.98 % – New cases increase today 5.4 %
    18 Portugal – Died 0.94 % – New cases increase today 20.3 %
    19 Malaysia – Died 0.68 % – New cases increase today 12.9 %
    20 Brazil – Died 1.53 % – New cases increase today 17.7 %
    21 Australia – Died 0.65 % – New cases increase today 13.4 %

    The German numbers are a good example of the problem of hidden cases. They’re adding ~2,516 cases today (similar yesterday) for 22,384 cases and they had 1 serious-critical case listed yesterday. But today they recorded 16 new deaths. But they’re still listing just 2 serious/critical cases.

    In other words, almost or actually none of those 16 new deaths today did not occur in a hospital, so the serious/critical cases were completely unknown. i.e. the situation is much worse than we’re lead to think from the numbers. It’s only the new deaths, plus the death percentage that allows us to get a better idea of the underlying situation.

    Seriously ill people are not going to hospital in Germany, they’re dying at home, so they don’t get listed as serious/critical. They die and eventually someone locates a decomposing body which tests positive and is finally reflected in the died percentage of the total cases. It’s likely that hidden serious illness and deaths at homes will emerge in a very messy way.

    On Saturday Germany (i.e. now, in our terms) is finally commencing a lock-down.

    As I write this NSW is announcing a complete shutdown of all non-essential business, services, entertainment and social activities. Only supermarkets and essential services will remain open.

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    • #
      Raving

      Most of the deaths in Canada have been from those infected in retirement homes. Elsewhere retirement home deaths are not counted in coronavirus totals because no swab is done. It is all very misleading

      51

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      I hate to say it but this is what we should expect.
      And it is what the Chinese CCP government is still hiding in all it’s statistics
      For propaganda purposes.

      73

      • #
        WXcycles

        Agree.

        52

        • #
          WXcycles

          That could explains the maintenance of the relative illness ratios with respect to western cases. The CCP only has to report the official numbers from the state medical facilities (who have actual data), and presents those as “the national data”, so it will reasonably match with numbers and ratios from hospitals external to China. But they can leave out any stats from cases of illness and death outside of the the State medical system, within people’s homes. That would cover it pretty well, plus a few re-definitions to confuse the situation further.

          62

          • #
            WXcycles

            Plus don’t admit any new cases to a hospital … well, unless they are foreigners. Thus no new Chinese cases, and a total victory for Xi, and the awesome CCP, besmirched only by lingering sick foreign devils.

            And those Chinese who are sick, but are no longer admitted to any hospitals, get taken home and welded in with no communications, and the contagion thus completely stops in a few weeks. If they live, they live. If they don’t, no matter, it won’t be getting counted anyway.

            CCP is the best, the rest of the planet remains sick for 6 months with mounting terrible stats.

            Authoritarian communism is undeniably the best!

            52

    • #
      WXcycles

      In other words, almost or actually none of those 16 new deaths today did not occur in a hospital, so the serious/critical cases were completely unknown. i.e. the situation is much worse than we’re lead to think from the numbers.

      Should read:

      “… In other words, almost or actually none of these 16 new German deaths listed today occurred in a Hospital, so the real number of serious/critical case numbers in Germany are actually unknown (but much higher than indicated). i.e. the situation in Germany is considerably worse than we’re being led to think from the official serious/critical number and its percentage with respect to the known total cases. Because the unknown critical case number in Germany was about 16 times larger than the official number. …”

      52

      • #
        Raving

        Referenced from a cbc website. Fatality rates

        https://www.cebm.net/global-covid-19-case-fatality-rates/

        22

        • #
          WXcycles

          A nice read Raving, but …

          “… The current prediction interval based on the available has a wide-ranging estimate of the CFR from 0.60 to 7.19. …”

          Most people are not the slightest bit interested in the technicalities of a CFR range though and they never will be. They don’t need to differentiate contributing factors, they aren’t interested in that. They and their families only want to know if they’re likely to die from the illness, as that’s what actually matters to them.

          If they catch COVID-19 and its confirmed by a test, and they die, the family will say they died of the Wuhan-Flu, and that’s that. Because for them that’s their lived truth, that is what killed their loved one. If someone says they did not really die of COVID-19 they are not going to agree with that, and not going to appreciate its finer points, and will call it BS. Even if technically, from an epidemiological POV, they died from something else. No one wants to know that.

          They want the percentage who die from the total known cases to assess the hazard level and the proportions of risk. That’s what I want to know, no doubt you also, otherwise we’d be reading some other topic, or analyzing a different set of numbers.

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          • #
            Raving

            Let’s compare it to something like an existential threat from global warming. In the AGW example a death rate of 2% per year would be high but could be mitigated by moving people to higher ground, air conditioning and importing/stockpiling food and water. The adverse effects are amenable to mitigation

            The covid epidemic could result in 5% global death over 1 to 2 years. Much harder to mitigate against this

            10

            • #
              yarpos

              and hard to know how many would have been part of the 60 million or so that die every year and what the real impact is.

              20

    • #
      Sunni Bakchat

      The fact authorities are telling people masks are not necessary must surely be compounding problems at the very least in closely clustered populations .i.e those living together in nursing homes and extended families. The local frontline workers here in Europe are also still largely not wearing masks.

      The statistical probability of an interaction with an infected person increases dramatically as infection distribution and saturation increase. Its approaching criminal negligence to not instruct to wear a mask. When does the need for minimised ICU occupation balance off against exponentially growing rates of infection caused by mask, sanitiser and testing deficiency?

      Before we even get to the idea of mass testing, mask and sanitiser availability would surely put a big roadblock in front of this virus.

      It’s very clear the authorities thinking is bass ackwards and behind the curve. Why would they not say “if you have a mask, wear it. But don’t go out or interact with others without wearing one, or some form of oral/nasal protection”.

      Again, it seems the most socialistic/authoritarian of societies without SARS/MERS experience are the worst affected by the virus due to their desire to not allow personal responsibility to function effectively.

      20

    • #
      Chad

      But…where is the majority of the testing being done ?
      And compare the population density 1000’s/sqr km.

      02

  • #
    Mark D.

    This is on/off topic but heard today (Sat. USA time) China has recalled to home all Chinese worker in US. So why would they do that?

    61

    • #
      WXcycles

      Same reason we did, so our nationals wouldn’t remain ill within highly infected Wuhan.

      92

    • #
      el gordo

      ‘So why would they do that?’

      Intuitively, they are saving them from mob rule and in so doing prevent a race based conflagration.

      51

    • #
      DOC

      I could think of the worst case scenario.
      WW2 with Japan happened due to energy supplies.

      Withdrawing Chinese expertise or management class from the USA is a means of
      twisting the knife of COVID-19, hoping to crash the US economy just as Trump has
      made life much harder for them. Also, the trap of China being the main manufacturer
      of essential goods for the US and the leverage it gets, has been exposed. China would
      know its vital position will not be allowed to persist, but that position is its
      source of wealth – wealth derived primarily from the Western democracies.

      To China this would be seen as being its strongest position it is ever likely to hold
      over the West and in particular, the USA. It also knows that it has only been able to
      hold control of its massive population, from multiple tribes, due to its current wealth.
      Commentators have been warning for years that what the dictatorship fears most is an
      uprising against it by its servants if life gets tough.

      30

      • #
        el gordo

        Stock markets were over valued and a correction was in order, the oil shock and virus is a nasty combo which may lead to Depression, but Beijing is not responsible for creating this economic and health disaster.

        A native bat produced the virus and Beijing has now stopped all trading and eating native animals. Which should prevent future pandemics.

        Western civilisation is not in danger, neither are our democracies, but our mixed economies may require recalibration and our alliances must surely change.

        21

        • #
          Sunni Bakchat

          El gordo, I’m not sure how you can say China is not responsible. We’ve had SARS and two versions of Swine flu from China in recent years. Would this have happened with good sanitation and hygiene? The Chinese knew the bat populations in caves around Wuhan were carrying hundreds of novel viruses. Scientists went into the caves two years ago and documented all of the viruses and presented them to the Chinese authorities. There were about 182 novel viruses in total from memory. The Chinese took no action to protect from these viruses jumping the species barrier.

          20

          • #
            el gordo

            Beijing has been slack, they should have acted to kill the bats for the sake of humanity.

            All the plagues that have infested Europe over the past thousand years have come from those native creatures. Poor animal husbandry amongst the farmers created an opportunity for viruses to jump species and cause havoc.

            So you are correct, Beijing is directly responsible.

            00

    • #
      yarpos

      I saw an article today saying that China was withdrawing all Chinese citizens from US news agaency offices in China and telling them to stay home. Different story perhaps.

      20

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  • #
    WXcycles

    The US just leap-frogged to the #3 most infected country, with 26,784 cases, the new cases are +28% of the US total cases today. A higher number of new cases than Italy.

    30

  • #
    Tides of Mudgee

    If only we’d taken note of what Bill Gates had to say back in April, 2015, it might all be a bit different today. ToM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Af6b_wyiwI&feature=youtu.be

    21

  • #
    el gordo

    Premier Gladys uses sledge hammer to flatten the curve.

    ‘NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced the state will move to enforce major lockdowns of non-essential activities, in the first state to strike out without federal backing.’ SMH

    20

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      NO EG, Premier Gladys puts the interests of NSW people first and announces the state will move to enforce major lockdowns of non-essential activities, in the first state to strike out without federal backing.’ SMH

      20

    • #
      williamx

      El Gordo,

      Re “major lockdowns of non-essential activities”

      The NSW govt will bring in those conditions within 48 hrs.

      I humbly ask.

      Is having a glass of wine or a beer or two with my canned baked beans classed as a “non-essential activity”?

      We all know that canned baked beans taste better with a shiraz or a beer,
      I just hope that my local bottle shop is classed as an essential service.
      Otherwise 6 months of lockdown just eating canned baked beans on its own will be a struggle.

      My wife has been stood down from work. Not sacked, but no pay.

      Tough times ahead for us all.. Stay well my friend.

      20

      • #
        yarpos

        I expect quite a lot of discussion and confusion about what is non essential. I suspect a standalone bottle shop might shut but one integrated with , or on the same premises as a supermarket, might be OK.

        30

        • #
          williamx

          Yarpos,

          My fear is that if the lemmings thought toilet paper was the must buy when there was no publicised intention of the govt to lockdown, then good luck with the panic when we have 48 hrs to go to lockdown of non essential services in NSW.

          Supermarkets, Pharmacies, Hospitals. Convenience stores, Service stations will be kept open. Yet the public (aka Lemmings) will panic and strip those of product. Watch the pandemonium in the next few days.

          I posted 6 weeks ago that Qantas, other carriers and the Govt was blasé. If the borders had been closed back then we could have managed it. I also stated and sent emails to govt ministers) weeks ago that C-19 is now in this country and officials need to respond quickly. They didn’t.

          My wife is a Qantas flight attendant. I need her to work to help pay our bills. She has been stood down with no pay.

          Ok so be it.

          I knew that trying to close the borders to international arrivals would affect her job and Qantas’s balance sheet.

          I accept that. I promoted that our border should be closed weeks ago even at the risk to our personal financial detriment.

          The stupid thing is our government is now going to pay 90 billion+ for stimulus with an economy that now looks extremely fragile with businesses likely to close and further job losses and exponential increase in unnecessary deaths, when they could have closed the borders and paid Virgin and Qantas 5 billion to see it out.

          Our lives could have gone on relatively normal without this madness.

          40

          • #
            yarpos

            wifes god daugter used to work Jetstar and left after gaining some education to be work in marketing at Mercedes OZ. A few months ago , she decided after an offer to go back working with QANTAS. We thought it was fundamentally a dumb choice as she had a virtually unlimited alternate career path open to her. We never imagined it would go as pear shaped as this.

            30

  • #
    DOC

    It looks as though the States have even given up on the Federal government’s
    tardiness. It’s looking as though Morrison et al are now being pushed very
    hard to get on with things. South Australia has effectively closed its borders
    by demanding a 2 week quarantine for anyone crossing its borders. Intelligence,
    guts and self preservation are kicking in, at least in some states. MacGowan
    showed he had two but not the third (guts)to execute a good idea.

    Frankly, its beyond time that all governments moved beyond the Heads of departments
    of epidemiology, got a collective measure from the entire professionals in those departments
    who would be the most up to date, most respected and strong leader or group to come
    together with the PM’s task force to get essential hard decisions and actions undertaken.
    The Rubicon has been crossed now, and its apparent that the health dangers from this virus
    have at last outweighed the economic and political. Probably seen as a minute too late.

    In the absence of vaccines, it would be timely for all levels of government to
    look for every form of chloroquine they can find. Anticipate the trials to be
    positive and mine the stuff from any source they can find to make it. If the trials,
    which will be as short-as possible are successful, and the drug or any combinations are
    proven to work early on in the disease, it could even be prudent to use them prophylactically
    making sure all the contraindications and risks are made known to the public.
    If the trials fail, the cost wouldn’t be great for the old drugs.

    40

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      SA & NT are cloaing their borders.
      So WA will not have any open land borders to worry about.
      I wonder if he will act in WA’s best interests and close the ports and airports as well.

      23

      • #
        DOC

        I believe its a shut down EXCEPT for vital supplies. The mines have sent everyone
        possible to working from home and only essential service people will be at the sites.
        FIFO people, as required, will still be coming, but only by direct flights. The reason is
        the mining provides most of the State income for the provision of services. Those refusing to
        self isolate when demanded will be forced to on Rottnest Island. The government is looking to
        ‘acquire’ two multiroom hotels for the quarantining of cases as needed. Eucla seems to be one
        control centre and the other, Kununara. Domestic intrastate travel will eventually be restricted
        as required to protect the aboriginal people ie Pilbara and north, and goldfields.

        40

      • #
        yarpos

        depends if closing means both ways, they may be quite happy for people to leave

        10

  • #
    Andrew McRae

    South Australia is starting border restrictions.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-22/south-australia-set-to-close-borders-amid-coronavirus-fight/12079044

    Anyone trying to enter the State is expected to show a piece of stonefruit or a wind turbine as proof of residency.

    90

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Been needed for two bloody weeks..
      Finally they pulled their finger out !
      Hooray !

      24

    • #
      Deplorable Lord Kek

      what if you are a climate refugee?

      31

    • #
      yarpos

      My oldest daughter and family are somewhere in the SA/WA border region right now , heading (nominally) towards WA. I get the feeling they may be having a few weeks somewhere they didnt expect. Picked a great year for the big lap….not so much. They certainly wont forget it.

      40

      • #
        robert rosicka

        My advice Yarpos is if they’re close enough to the border get there asap , WA is a great place to spend a few months or more .

        20

  • #
    PeterS

    Crushing the curve it is. One by one our states are applying stricter and stricter war-time restrictions. I just hope they don’t end up crashing the economy so badly we end up killing the patient so to speak. It’s a delicate balance. I hate to be the one making these decisions as I would not be able to sleep at night.

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    • #
      Raving

      The crushed economy will survive and recover. A crushed feckless medical science infrastructure will be more problematic. Who needs them when they can do nothing for the sickly or those over 55.

      Peole die. Those who are older know the feeling of helpessness. The lifeline that medical science affords is a fragile tool

      A failure of medicine now will encourage anarchy.

      30

      • #
        DOC

        I’m not sure how you think medicine is failing.

        If you think failure is medical when the system is overwhelmed by political stupidity,
        then I guess that’s your point of view. You might rethink that if you realise its not you
        on the frontline having to care for patients with severe illness, with inadequate protection
        and knowing if the patient infects you, you are more likely to get the most severe form of the disease. And you might also have a young family dependent on you.

        The failure of having enough equipment is due to government maybe, or due to the fact this is an unforseeable event. A State can’t afford to hold thousands of expensive ventilators in a warehouse just in case a once in a century event hits. Ventilators, like motorcars, become vintage jobs fairly quickly in the age of electronics.

        The real failure here is the over reliance on China to produce everything as we need it.
        That we can’t get masks, and drugs, etc is because our suppliers are offshore, and the world has the same trouble as we. The failure is in political – and emergency healthcare departments – in being too economical with just how much stuff we need or should have in store when some of it would be perishable with time. One would hate to be the controller of the spares department.

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          Raving

          Medicine is failing because government has abandoned it. Not worth the inconvenience or hardship to impose strict social isolation. Not worth the effort for the emergency manufacture of personal protrctive equipment, ventilatorsand auxillary heaoth care worker training.

          Contrast this to the U.S. where airlines, cruiselines and hotels are too big to fail but people can disinfect and reuse mmaks.

          I calll it ‘medicine fails’ because society deems the expenseand inconvenience of making the effort to save 1 to 5 % of the pooulation, be it successful or otherwise, not worth the bother.

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        yarpos

        can do nothing? what? you reporting from Alpha Centauri or something?

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          DOC

          SA Border closed. WA border closes Tuesday to let people get home. Seems like a quick
          reversal or 2 weeks self paid accomodation at Eucla. Have a young grandaughter schooling in Sydney that has to get back home to Qld asap to handle the NSW probable school closure. Know
          people working in Bali that will have trouble getting home somehow and then 2/52 quarantine.
          Grandson put off today due to restaurant rules. It’s all on for young and old. For retirees, its
          2 major financial hits in 13 years.

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        PeterS

        Yes crushed economies will survive. Smashed ones don’t. At this stage I tend to think we are only at the crushing stage.

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    Art Vandelay

    The best estimates we have are from The Diamond Princess where everyone was tested

    Apparently that’s not the case:

    What’s more, although Ioannidis wrote that the “entire, closed population was tested”, that’s not the case. Only 3,063 people were tested, so we don’t know for sure how many people were infected.

    http://hildabastian.net/index.php/8-secondary/88

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    farmerbraun

    I reckon Jo got this one right , right from the start .
    We didn’t need to get to this current situation.
    Obviously our betters had other ideas .
    And so here we are on the brink of total lock-down – all civil liberties suspended.
    In the coming weeks , I expect to see Americans marching towards their FEMA camps , demanding to be incarcerated.
    Looks like some round here would do the same , and never question whether they’d been had.
    It’s a 99.9% consensus.
    That’s even more than 97% I think.
    Compelling!

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      yarpos

      bit academic really if Jo is not the omnipotent leader

      we live in an imperfect world and need to get over coulda shoulda

      the real test is what happens after this, will be go back to being a cargo cult country depending on cheap sh1t from China and other places ? or will we finally realise we need to have our own capabilities, add value and not just be a quarry for the world.

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      • #
        PeterS

        Indeed this will be a real test for our leaders. If we are to recover from this crisis we need certain priorities to change. Time for a wake up call by everyone and to hold hands and re-build. The alternative is to let things go the way of countries like Venezuela. Which path we choose remains to be seen.

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      DOC

      Agreed. A month too late and having to be forced to her point of view by the statistical
      point of view by death from a thousand cuts.

      I think the problem is, we have had it too good for so long that the epidemiologists looking at this epidemic, and the politicians having to make the decisions, have never confronted nor had to consider a disease like this since the polio years.

      In WA, lead (Pb) has probably been one of the biggest problems to confront for 70years. That creates a total intergenerational deficit of epidemiological judgement in handling diseases like measles, German measles, whooping cough etc. Our politicians have been used to the easier life of ‘buying’ elections for that same period, and they only have 3-4 years before they can be replaced – hardly enough time to even consider epidemics. Suddenly both groups are confronted with an
      uncontrollable, treatment deficit disease and there is no professional experience in applying
      modern thought to what requires forgotten ancient measures.

      Remember, both groups have simply had to worry about putting a few bucks in people’s pockets and increased government services and that won all the elections. Here, not realising they had no time
      to learn the tricks of the old trade, they fell back on gently, gently, thereby worsening our
      situation. So laid back has the entire Western world been, their systems hadn’t even learned the
      answers that Singapore, Taiwan South Korea and Japan had learned from being in the firing line
      of the most recent threatening epidemics originating generally from China.

      That false sense of security, being ‘nice’, has been our downfall, along with the total inability of our governments and our businesses to see the totally forseeable problems that could arise by
      sending the greater part of our industries to China. It’s been obvious for years, but profit and taxes obviously ‘convinced’ them all that China is a great world citizen, just like us! It
      was a case of never seeing a difficulty while the sailing was smooth. In these circumstances,
      JO’s cries and graphs so early on, would have been regarded as simply crying wolf.IMO

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        PeterS

        Yes apathy sometimes makes a crisis worse. Then again hindsight is a wonderful thing and everyone is an expert after the event. Many people were critical of Winston Churchill for doing what he did with Hitler and warned he was acting too much too fast. In hindsight he didn’t act soon enough.

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    Peter Fitzroy

    By way of an update, 2 more cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed for Port Macquarie, both are men, one in his 50′s and one in his 80′s, both recently returned from overseas, unlike the first case on Friday.

    Honestly, does anyone think that any curve flattening measures which states and the feds are announcing willy nilly, are going to work?

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    joseph

    Here is the latest little doco from James Corbett. You get a background to much of what is taking place at the moment and all of the sources which are the basis for the material in his presentation are are linked on the page.

    “Medical Martial Law”

    https://www.corbettreport.com/mml2020/

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    TdeF

    It looks like Daniel Andrews is going to order the shutting of all non essential businesses and services from Tuesday. Great. About time! Everyone stay home, isolate and this killer chemical will starve to death, deprived of fresh victims. It can only exist in people and dies quickly enough outside. As Australia has shut the gates, we can eliminate this monster.

    Compared to the blitz, this is nothing. Just inconvenience perhaps. Boredom. Loss of wages. But the lives saved will be more than were lost in the entire blitz where 32,000 were killed and 87,000 injured. The toll from Chinese Corona virus this time will otherwise be many times that.

    As I wrote before, the Federal government has limited power to order this. As in the US, this power rests in the State governments and even councils. And it is particularly good if schools are closed, as children cannot be isolated from each other or their parents.

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    • #
      TdeF

      As reported in the Australian now, WA has closed its borders and the schools are shutting in Victoria.
      Scott Morrison was wrong to stop the school closures. You cannot regulate school children like adults. It is impossible. And who would miss a few weeks of school? No one. Take their work home, if they have any. Read a book. Practice. Save your parents and grandparents from a horrible fate. You should not have to argue this obvious truth.

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        DOC

        Morrison used the excuse for not shutting schools down that it would force healthcare workers
        out of the system to go home and tend their offspring. Will see, but inadequately supplied
        protective gear for such workers, with a known worse disease outcome for them, will be a
        very strong reason to depart the disease scene.

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        • #
          TdeF

          We do not need health workers as much as we need to stop this thing. Dead. Deny it any more victims and it will vanish the way it came, suddenly.

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          • #
            TdeF

            Of course we need health workers, but if this thing gets away from us, as it has in Italy, there will never be enough and they too are at great risk. The priority has to be extermination of this virus, nothing less.

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            WXcycles

            I remain hopeful the gathering crash close-down attempt is effective and people realize the need for it or the initial opportunity to quash this virus in April will slip away. I suspect its already too late to avoid a terrible situation within Europe and the US, they seem to be a week or two ahead of us in the spread and progression. We still have a chance to maintain the hospitals in an orderly state, but if people waste this initial isolation option with too much routine contact and unnecessary meeting we’ll deeply regret the results. We still may manage to suppress this, it all depends how many people caught in during the past few days of non-essential activities and movement.

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            • #
              TdeF

              The governors of California, Illinois and New York have sent everyone home, as will happen in Victoria. That is their job. Like smallpox, it is stoppable. Now there is a 45 minute test, everyone can hibernate, isolate, test, track and eliminate.

              This piece of infernal chemistry is not alive. It is utterly parasitic. Without new hosts all the time, it dies. Its strengh is speed of transfer, undetected. It must be denied new blood.

              I would suggest its ability to survive without new hosts would not exceed 3 weeks. If society can take three weeks off, it is dead. The reluctance of politicians to make hard decisions is appalling. They seem to wait until enough people have died before they act. A bit like Pedestrian crossings.

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            Konrad

            Correct.

            We wouldn’t be facing any pressure on health workers or experiencing any of the current disruption if we had just followed the science available in late January. We knew then the old SARS screening wouldn’t work, yet we did not stop the flights or make serious effort to develop more effective rapid screening.

            From a science/technology perspective, we have the knowledge and resources now to end this in Australia in two months. Our problem is the people who got us into this predictable mess are still in charge. Australia is not alone in this. Just as we are burdened with Dr Murphy, the US is saddled with Dr Fauci (But I don’t think for much longer). I wouldn’t want to be in Dr Fauci’s skates right now. He’s a long way from the solid scientific shore. His “tripple axle” and “spinning date” may have gotten “9.5, 10, 10″ from the CNN judges, but a crisp cracking sound is echoing across the lake.

            When it comes to skating on thin ice, sometimes sequined tights, a musical score by Hans Zimmer and choreography by “Fabio” may be the way to go. Other times an arctic survival dry-suit with immersion activated CO2 inflation vest with strobe and 406MHz EPIRB. Dr Fauci should review his choices.

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        TedM

        100% TdeF.

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    yarpos

    Our Aldi spy says that, in their location at least, todays announcements have unleashed the locusts again and the shelves have been stripped bare again at close of business. Just when they thought things had calmed a bit.

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    yarpos

    First mistake tuned our ABC on tonight for the fist time in 6 months

    Wuhan news of no real value but hyped as much as possible, followed by a scare sea level rise article fronted by a Gold Coast home owner who had actually been flooded by heavy rains and a high tide (and I suspect being built in the wrong place) but of course that will be the “new normal” in a 100 years. they are a disgrace.

    THEN, and interview with the PM. Faced with the opportunity to educate and inform and bring people together, the ABC of course went for ego driven point scoring and dwelling on minutae. At one stage the moron interviewer asked the PM to tell people if the should go to work tommorrow because “it was confusing”. Could he really be that stupid? he really seemed to be imagining it was a gotcha moment , rather than showing how disconnected he is from reality. God I hate the mainstream media.

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    • #
      robert rosicka

      Our leaders are puppets of the media , Trump on the other hand knows how to reverse the situation.

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    ren

    Early detection of coronavirus can determine life. In my opinion, antiviral drugs work up to about 5 days from the beginning of the infection (may I be wrong).

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      That has been the case for bout 15 years..
      It started off with all the nonsense
      About Climate change & global warming

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      • #
        TdeF

        This could be the end of the leftist political fantasy of man made Global Warming. Climate change is hard to deny. It has no definition.

        However it might be the end also of Chinese generated viruses, like the last ten. No more live bats, pangolin.

        And it might be the end of the annual flu epidemic which claimed 60,000 American lives last year, including many children.

        A 45 minute test at the airport for Corona Virus might be expanded to a test for all the common flu viruses. Why innoculate a whoel population when we can stop the flu from coming to our island in the first place.

        The question also is why we need so many tourists when a million Australians each month prefer to leave the country. What’s wrong with the place? That’s half the Australian population every year! No wonder we get the world’s bugs and no wonder we need their money, to pay for us to leave.

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    TedM

    I have just listened to the majority at least of the PM and Chief Medical Officers address.

    It is my opinion, and I have no doubt that I am correct; that this Govt has just sentenced thousands of vulnerable Australians to death by means of covid-19.

    It was interesting to hear the CMO say that it was the opinion of the expert panel (not a quote) “that he convened, that schools should stay open. Clearly choosing like minded members for the panel.

    I am totally dismayed at witnessing such bloody minded intransigence knowing the suffering and heartache that is inevitably going to result.

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    • #
      TdeF

      Yes, but the State Premiers can overrule this insanity. They have the real power, not the Prime Minister. These are domestic matters, not Federal or defence or customs or taxation.
      Health, police, education are all the exclusive control of the State Premiers, no matter how important Canberra wants to be. And Morrison is wrong on this one, sadly.

      I read that in Holland they want the children to catch coronavirus. That failed strategy dooms hundreds of thousands of people. And they will never get herd immunity.

      We have a chance to wipe out this sudden nasty piece of chemistry. Isolate it and it dies. Leaving the schools open dooms hundreds of thousands of Australians, year after year. No.

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      • #
        TedM

        Yes, but the State Premiers can overrule this insanity
        .”

        Thanks for the lesson on federal and state responsibilities TdeF. I was aware of them though.

        Yes Tdef, how I pray that they do. Unfortunately the WA premier appears to be as intransigent on this issue as the PM.

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        Konrad

        “And they will never get herd immunity”

        Certainly not anytime soon. The virus currently has far too great an evolutionary latitude. Assumptions about naturally evolved viruses like seasonal flu will not hold true for the Wu from Fluhan.

        But if we don’t give up like Dr let-them-die Furphy, if we keep fighting like Trump, then we could still win by attacking this virus’ most probable Achilles’ heel.

        It is almost certain that this coronavirus was granted its pathway into human cells by fools running with CRISPR shears. If it did not naturally evolve to exploit the ACE2 receptor pathway, then the chances of it mutating rapidly to exploit another pathway are slim.

        It is unstable, a constantly mutating RNA virus. Symptoms, speed of onset, infectious period and severity of illness? In these, it has wide evolutionary freedom. But it needs access to human cells. I strongly suspect that the Wu from Fluhan will not be able to achieve an alternate receptor pathway via natural mutation if Chloroquine is strategically deployed.

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    TedM

    Before we can crush the curve we need to crush the Chief Medical Officer and his (in)expert panel.
    Metaphorically of course.

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    bobn

    Alas in all the panic we are not using scientific analysis.
    The town of Vo tested and tested again and the infection rates had dropped away. what this shows is this easily transmitted virus acts like a controlled burn fire. It races through consuming all the vulnerable and easy target fuel but leaves behind the resistant and difficult to infeect (ignite). of course if you cluster people in hospitals and apartment building where the virus just goes round and round you’ll get higher infection rates.
    In the 1918 spanish flu outbreak Boston hospital nursed half the infected patients outdoors and half indoors. The outdoor death rate was 16% while the indoor death rate was 40%. Fresh air and sunshine kill viruses. So going to the beach is probably the best thing you can do!!!! why Aus is corralling people into infection areas is insane. Get away into the outdoors. Yes avoid crowds but also avoid the indoors where viruses persist.
    japan was early infected and hasnt shut down like Italy. japan has a flatter curve and is doing better. Why? Maybe because they are getting more fresh air. We can look at Japan as a control group of sensible restraint to compare with Italy and other countries panic. On analysis japan seems to have got the balance right (and not destroyed its economy)!

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    george1st:)

    Jo is 100 % correct and has been right from the beginning .
    There is no easy way out , deaths of elders and others, then the terrible economic outccome all oveer the world are inevitable .
    Test kits (with fast result) by the billion or an antidote sooner than later is the only saviour .
    Crushing is better than spiking or flattening .

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