JoNova

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The world watches Australia and NZ tracking to zero — can we extinguish Coronavirus?

Soon after isolation began, Australian and New Zealand cases started to fall as fast as they rose

This is what Crushing the Curve looks like, and if works it will set the new standard, and change the way the rest of the world views this.  It isn’t over yet, but still – something is working and the international press has just started to get excited.

Be aware the figures may jump next week, as testing in NSW has ramped up and everyone can now get a free test. But testing is already high per capita, with a very low positive test rates. (12,000 tests done in Australia yesterday and 99.8% were negative).

Australia has 25 million people and found just 18 new cases yesterday. New Zealand with 5 million people, got five new cases.  Obviously these numbers look great from the US and UK where 700 people are dying every day.

Daily Mail, UK:

Australia is steamrolling the curve!

[The] Nation records just 17 cases in one day – including three states with ZERO infections – as the country’s road to ending lockdown is revealed

New York Times:

“Vanquish the Virus? Australia and New Zealand Aim to Show the Way”

Both nations are now reporting just a handful of new infections each day, down from hundreds in March, and they are converging toward an extraordinary goal: completely eliminating the virus from their island nations.

This is my kind of man:

Dr. Michael Baker, a physician and professor at the University of Otago in Wellington, became a prominent voice outside the government pushing for elimination of the virus, not just its suppression.

He argued that New Zealand, an island nation with a limited number of cases, should think of the virus more like measles than influenza — something that should be made to disappear, with rare exceptions.

One man like this may have saved thousands of lives. In other nations a random pick of the loudest expert in the room may have produced an expert fan of the dreadful herd-immunity plans. Great leaders must take the blame for not picking the right expert, but some leaders got a head start.

Then what? Keep the borders, clean each state, open accordingly…

Read Crush the Curve, nothing has changed. We use hard borders to keep the virus out until there is a treatment or vaccine or the virus learns to act nicely. Given that billions of dollars and lives are on the line, with satellites and ships it can be done. Viruses can’t fly by themselves. People can still come to Australia and leave, but temporarily (for a few months or a couple of years) all flights inbound need a two week quarantine.Unless, of course, the other nation is Virus-Free too!

Australia is already talking to New Zealand about reconnecting flights at some point. Fantastic.

With hard state borders, Australia can open in sections. The NT (see below) is there already. Schools are opening.  In the giant state of WA, there are smaller sub regions with hard borders. That means rural areas might not have to wait for the big cities to open up their local economy.

These virus-free “clean zones” will grow and the infected zones will shrink. And as I keep saying, we will beat this, every biotech lab in the world is looking and there are so many options and so much money to fuel research. We don’t have to have a vaccine — we can solve this with monoclonal antibodies, with CRISPR, RNAi, stem cells, anti-virals (and other anti-virals, and so many options — even maybe sheep drench).

State by State

NSW — The largest outbreak in Australia has shrunk almost as fast as the other states

A shrinking exponential curve can shrink exponentially fast. Even though NSW needs a different scale graph to all the other states, it is now also recording very low numbers. In the last five days, 6, 6, 5, 5, 7. Next week with more testing, that may change.

NSW, State Covid-19 cases, Australia, April 2020

NSW, State Covid-19 cases, Australia, April 2020

Victoria — New cases in the last 5 days: 1, 7,  2, 1,  6.

 

VIC, State Covid-19 cases, Australia, April 2020

VIC, State Covid-19 cases, Australia, April 2020

QLD – new cases in the last 5 days 0,6,0,2,2.

QLD, State Covid-19 cases, Australia, April 2020

QLD, State Covid-19 cases, Australia, April 2020

WA: New daily cases 0,1,0,0,2

To know when the (hopefully) last cases will be identified, we have to look at individual case transmission. The last two new cases are so far listed as known local, and unknown. Hopefully they will find the outbreak. There have been four new “unknown” source cases in the last two weeks in WA, suggesting that there is some asymptomatic spread going on, and the state needs to do more testing.

This graph may not be as impressive as it looks.

WA, State Covid-19 cases, Australia, April 2020

WA, State Covid-19 cases, Australia, April 2020

SA, New daily cases 0, 2, 1, 0, 0.

The big question is how long with the stragglers straggle on for? Can we zap them before winter?

SA, State Covid-19 cases, Australia, April 2020

SA, State Covid-19 cases, Australia, April 2020

The ACT (Australian Capital Territory)

Things are looking good, but after 6 days straight with no cases there were  2 single cases in the last five days.

Borders between NSW and the ACT are still open.

 

ACT, State Covid-19 cases, Australia, April 2020

ACT, State Covid-19 cases, Australia, April 2020

Tasmania has already had a cluster outbreak that was bigger than the first wave

It shows how easily one mistake, one cluster can get out of hand. Health workers picked up a case, likely from a Ruby Princess patient. More than 70 health workers became infected, two hospitals were closed and up to 5000 people had to be quarantined. 

And this was in a regional area with a lower population.

This is why it is not worth trying to live with this virus if extinguishing it a realistic option.

TAS, State Covid-19 cases, Australia, April 2020

TAS, State Covid-19 cases, Australia, April 2020

Northern Territory  — how long before we declare the NT to be free of coronavirus?

After two weeks with no new cases, and no known local community spread, the NT will surely be one of the first regions in the world to extinguish the virus. Given state borders are closed, it is only sensible to ease up on restrictions which has started to happen. NT children have already returned to school.

Is it possible there still may be some cases sneaking asymptomatically through the local population?

NT, State Covid-19 cases, Australia, April 2020

NT, State Covid-19 cases, Australia, April 2020

In Australia, the demographics show a younger spread

Death rates are lower — probably because covid-19 hasn’t romped through nursing homes and the 80+ generation. Instead, in Australia the infection spread through a young and middle aged group and not in the 80+ super high risk category. This may be due to infections coming from Chinese students, who mix with other students, and not their Grandparents. And that other infections came from people on long haul flights from the US, Europe and Iran. Even in the Cruise ship category, the average age of the Diamond Princess was 58, not 85.

Australian Testing per capita is as good as other leading nations

Given that the case load is so low, this means the number of positive results per test in Australia must be one of the lowest in the world.

Australia conducted 12,000 tests on the 22 April to find 20 cases announced on the 23rd. That’s just 0.16% positive.

National testing rates Covid-19 cases, Australia, US, Italy,  April 2020

National Testing for Covid-19 cases, Australia, April 2020

 

There must be lessons here

While NZ has done a tougher lockdown “Alert Level 4″, Australia’s was not as severe. Many workplaces stayed operating. The fast isolation successes are amplified by climate and geography. It may also be the large compliance rates, and not such a toxic politicization.

Good things include:

  • Warmer weather which degrades viruses faster indoors and out. (In Australia, parked cars get sterilized every day in February.)
  • UV radiation which destroys germs (and helps generate Vitamin D).
  • At the end of summer not as many people are vitamin D deficient. Their immune systems have a chance.
  • Big houses and a low population density means home lockdowns have more “social distance”.
  • Lots of cars, which means less public transport (greens are going to hate this virus).
  • Early action. New Zealand may have started earlier than most nations (every day matters). Perhaps Australia did. Both were too late to stop a trillion dollar loss. So no Gold Stars.

Hopefully our Northern friends can follow this (or parts thereof) as their summer comes (and hopefully we don’t fall off the cart).

It’s possible that nastier mutations arose in Italy and New York, in which case the back-patting may be more lucky than anything, but Australia did fly in virus samples to infect ourselves from Rome, Milan, Iran, London, Indonesia, Cuba and California. If there were nasty strains anywhere in the world, in early March, we did our best to get them.

Neither country used masks (correct me if I’m wrong New Zealanders). This was silly, as it would have sped things up. But we barely had enough for the Doctors. So the experts told everyone they didn’t work, and could they send their spares to St Vincents Hospital in Sydney.

The Australian-NZ solutions are not the answer for everywhere (especially in large cities in cold lands with high rise apartments) but they are a few more datapoints than we had two months ago. And there’s hope…

Dedicated to the ANZACS who paid the price so we can live free.

Commenters, please read carefully before asking the same old, same old. Let’s try to be constructive.

The most important posts:

 ______________________________________________

Coronavirus Background: ☀ The Demographics: the young are spared, but the severity increases with age, and slightly more for men than women. ☀ How Coronavirus kills: why the number of ICU units matters so much. ☀. ☀ ☀ 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

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.7/10 (60 votes cast)
The world watches Australia and NZ tracking to zero -- can we extinguish Coronavirus? , 8.7 out of 10 based on 60 ratings

291 comments to The world watches Australia and NZ tracking to zero — can we extinguish Coronavirus?

  • #
    Sunni Bakchat

    If a person tests positive under the broader testing regime now in place, will they be placed under mandatory quarantine e.g. locked and guarded in a hotel; or will they be required to self-isolate at home? If the latter, will self-isolation mean complete isolation or can they stay with their family?

    60

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Sunni, If they are living with family at home in community
      Then all these contacts must self isolate, be traced & tested.

      The interesting thing is that apart from North West Tasmania
      There has been hardly any community transmission.
      Most infections are from travellers coming to Australia
      And their immediate contacts.

      Meanwhile within Australia all the various social distancing measures
      Have helped restrict the spread of this disease from travellers to locals.

      And that is working !

      139

      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        How did 31 people catch it at a wedding?

        And 9 at one table at an upmarket birthday party?

        70

        • #
          R.B.

          “Hardly” is not an actual quantity. A bit subjective.

          We had 12 baggage handlers get infected in Adelaide. 7 family members also got infected but were diagnosed before spreading it further. One wife worked at a pharmacy while her daughter worked at a supermarket (my local). Nobody was infected by them.

          I’m wondering if extreme measures are only needed because of the 1 in 100 who is completely inconsiderate, or drunk, and Taiwan and HK have coped so well because of considerate behaviour was well entrenched before the crisis hit.

          81

          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            Wonder no more.

            The answer is hardly anything other than yes.

            Corroborated by a Melbournian cockroach who drove his Porsche at 150 kph down the Eastern Freeway while high as a kite and rushing home to eat his sushi.

            Ask the families of the four police who were killed whether “1 in 100 is completely inconsiderate, or drunk”. Maybe it’s 2 in 100, given the driver of the semi that ran into the police is under investigation.

            24

          • #
            Bill In Oz

            RB Thanks for the reminder
            Yes I forgot about the wedding party in NSW
            And the Adelaide Airport ‘community transmission spread.
            I’m sure that there are others.
            But there has been a flood of information
            It’s hard to keep track of it all.
            Still despite those incidents of community transmission.
            We in Oz are now on top of this foreign CCP virus.

            10

      • #
        Hanrahan

        The aim of mitigation was to “flatten the curve”. Our curve is a pancake.

        The logic of flattening is to prevent the case load overwhelming available hospital beds as occurred in Wuhan and Italy. Dr John Campbell, would be a nurse educator in our system, who has done daily reports, was very pessimistic about Britain’s NHS to cope.

        The need to flatten the curve has passed, we now need to navigate getting back to normal but the toxic political divide in the West makes that well near impossible. The moment Trump relaxes, or more correctly, convinces State Governors to open up their states EVERY subsequent death will be called his personal responsibility. It would not be much better here.

        Strangely the US “death from all causes” is less than normal. That can’t continue as social stress ramps up.

        20

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    If they hadn’t allowed the Ruby Princess passengers to disembark, they might not have needed to introduce their draconian measures.

    243

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Travis, the release of ~2000 passengers off the Ruby Princess
      Was a huge debacle by the NSW Health dpt.
      But travellers from overseas
      (Returning Australians & Foreigners visiting )
      Were were being allowed to bring the virus into Australia.
      For example the Barossa Valley outbreak here in South Australia
      Was brought here by two separate groups of tourists
      From Switzerland and the USA.
      In other places people returning from Iran & Italy, the USA
      Brought the virus with them
      And then introduced it to Aged care homes
      Where they worked.

      258

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        How curious/
        I make a comment which is purely factual.
        And get two red thumbs
        Maybe there are trolls here
        Who don’t like me mentioning the Swiss & US tourist groups
        Who introduced this foreign virus
        ‘Into the Barossa valley.
        But not willing to comment.
        I wonder why ?

        1410

        • #
          Annie

          Maybe because, like me, they would find your articles interesting if they were more easily readable in proper prose. I find the ‘blank verse’ format very irritating; it doesn’t flow.

          140

          • #
            Sapel Mirrup

            I think that may be due to the app or software Bill is using. This line feed issue crops up from time to time depending on your m.o. of entry as a commenter.

            Personally I don’t mind it here, as his posts are usually short, and it doesn’t restrict my reading nor my comprehension thereof.

            100

            • #

              Travis, the biggest travesty was not the Ruby Princess, but that we allowed the flights to keep bringing in a potentially fatal new disease when we already knew it had caused China to shut down a large part of its own economy.

              Brendan-let-them-die-first-Murphy — our chief medical officer — is painted as a hero in the NY times, but his advice was wrong. We could have avoided every domestic lockdown if we started mandatory quarantine earlier.

              PS: Commenters please stay on topic at the top here.

              214

              • #
                ghl

                Hi Jo
                I think this is relevant.

                The phrase “social distancing” is a strange one, being a poor description but having a vague air of knowledge or a bit sciency.To describe spaces in a supermarket queue I would say “distance” or “seperation” I have heard that style of presentation before, now where was that? When “global warming” became “climate change” became……. Lack of precision make ideas harder to counter, it impedes rational thought.

                Al Gore and David Blood formed Generation Investment Management in 2004.
                GenerationIM web site from March 28 2009
                http://web.archive.org/web/20090328131153/http://www.generationim.com/sustainability/challenges/pandemics.html

                More:-
                http://web.archive.org/web/20091123011347/http://www.generationim.com/media/pdf-generation-thematic-research-v13.pdf

                Browse the above pages, follow some links for the full effect. Note the references to Global Warming,water and pandemics.
                Also remember who planned our Murray Darling water trading regime, that the farmers are so unhappy with, under a merchant banker as Minister for the Environment. Well it was not designed to keep the farmers happy. Markets are created for people to make money.

                Check out who planned our water market. Some familiar faces. https://wentworthgroup.org/members/

                And so to the Corona Virus.
                Secret models, hidden code. Sound familiar?
                https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/04/23/delingpole-why-must-covid-19-decision-makers-be-clouded-in-secrecy/

                If you have rats in your walls you do not have to watch them to know what they are doing.Doing ratty things, living ratty lives. It is what they know, what else would they do? For politicians and merchant bankers it’a all about your money. It is what they do. I don’t know how Fat Albert and his henchmen are making money from a pandemic, but it is what they do. Goverments that should be doing due diligence and running ‘one rule for all’ societies are co-opted to support one gravy train after another.

                The western world is lacking investigative journalists, there are so many obvious avenues of enquiry.

                Now, finish your coffee, stroll in the sun, calm and concentrate your mind and write to your MP and local newspaper.

                40

          • #
            Sapel Mirrup

            Just for fun, I’ve re-framed the above comment of Bill’s into a poem:

            How curious!
            I make a comment which is neither spam nor spurious,
            And get two red thumbs.
            Maybe there are trolls here in galorious sums
            Who, of mentioning the Swiss & US tourist groups, are not desirous.
            (Those foreigners who introduced this foreign virus
            Into the Barossa valley.)
            But are not willing to comment at all-y.
            I wonder why?

            h/t to Ogden Nash

            92

        • #

          I can find no way to click a LIKE button for Jo without (shudder) joining the F-thing. So sometimes I thumbs up the nearest agreeable comments, partly as a sort of proxy. Hardly anyone here is irritating, and in years I can’t recall red-thumbing (?) anyone–so don’t look at me.

          13

  • #
    Sunni Bakchat

    If the increased testing is not random, how will the health authorities be able to obtain a sample of the population that can be extrapolated to show the overall rate of infection in Australia?

    131

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      The increased testing is inviting all persons with any symptoms to have atest.
      It’s been like that in SA for the past 10 days.
      And still almost no positives

      87

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        I just heard on ABC Radio 891 that almost 50,000 tests
        Have bene done here in SA so far.
        In a population of 1.7 million.

        44

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Great way of collecting you dna without a warrant.

          Not that they would admit they may use the samples for anything dodgy…

          106

          • #
            Kalm Keith

            Steve, I’m sure that all information acquired will only be given out to commercial interests, that includes universities, after names have been removed to maintain privacy.

            Each case would be allocated a number.

            16

          • #
            Meglort

            Lol…and perhaps insert a nanochip ;-)

            We saw an analogue version of that in the Running Man so should not be a surprise to too many!

            In another database not subordinate to any fluffy privacy undertaking, the pseudo-anonymised primary index from the governments tracking app is linked to the chip id.

            Tracked and traced.

            51

          • #
            Kalm Keith

            I understand that my number is 24601.

            22

        • #
          Kalm Keith

          I suspect that a Doctor could determine whether a patient has CV19 inside 15 minutes.

          True, it may not be to 100% certainty but close enough to then initiate lab testing.

          Why complexify things with apps and “tests”.

          14

    • #
      sophocles

      There has been random testing in NZ near the supermarkets in order to get a better idea of community content, and this is continuing.

      Face masks of some sort are more common. Many are are improvised from trades’ dust masks (nothing wrong with that) and some of the better looking and interesting ones are home made. About 50% penetration in Auckland so far.

      72

      • #
        Greg in NZ

        Shame PM Cinders never wears one at her regular media love-ins.

        Come to think of it, neither do any of the reporters.

        What’s up with that!?

        60

    • #
      NigelW

      Sunni, as Bill mentions, testing is now open here to anyone with any symptoms (my brother-in-law works for BAE, and his persistent dry cough had him get tested Wednesday, negative for everything, including a cold). The elephant in the room, as Jo mentions, is asymptomatic spreaders.

      72

  • #
    Rodger

    Address the Elephant in the room. As soon as the 1st boat arrives, as soon as international flights land, what then?
    Will there be a Vaccine? Will we need to isolate all inbound passengers for how long?

    102

  • #
    Yonniestone

    Yes keep border protection strong but more importantly don’t make allowances that benefit the few and endanger the many, I’m still very concerned about international students getting easy access to and from our country without proper screening, while most Australians have taken the potential danger of CV19 seriously there are those that don’t care about our country or its people.

    Taking a sense of pride in national preservation must be resurrected within the population for this to succeed but we’re up against it with the strong influence of the left via politics, education, ABC and MSM, the social fear of being labelled something through PC doctrine must be crushed for anything to work successfully.

    161

  • #
    C. Paul Barreira

    South Australia is already advertising internationally for tourists to visit. No closed borders here. Pyrites rules.

    45

    • #

      That is a shame. I guess West Australians will keep the border shut and just fly right on over SA then?

      71

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        I have not seen any advertising for foreign tourists
        Or even interstate tourists.
        Nor has the government made any announcements that it was starting to advertise for tourists.

        21

      • #
        Bulldust

        I crossed the country twice by car, there and back, so to speak. Both times I didn’t overnight in SA. Eucla to Broken Hill is a bit of a drive.

        10

    • #
      Ian Hill

      Where is the advertisement Paul?

      20

      • #
        C. Paul Barreira

        I’m a very bad sleeper and spend most of the night reading an iPad because one can read it in the dark: discretion being the better part of hanging around (and it was useful during the blackouts of 2016). Anyway, from memory, the first ad was for Eyre Peninsula on a page of American Thinker (start here; much of what’s published there is awful but just occasionally something appears with genuine merit). Ditto the second. Neither was very large. The third, which took a whole page which one then closed to reach the required webpage was, again from memory, in Issues and Insights (homepage here). It seems odd but what I see differs from desktop to iPad (or, presumably, other mobile “device”).

        20

        • #
          Ian Hill

          Thanks Paul.

          I had a look and clicked on a few articles but it didn’t come up. Like looking for a needle in a haystack. I suspect the ads were placed some time ago, maybe last year and paid to run for maybe twelve months. No-one from SA would think to stop it. Or do you think this was recently started?

          10

          • #
            C. Paul Barreira

            I think you are right, but I did see one a few hours ago, again on Issues and Insights. Two interesting aspects: one, that it appeared on the front page of the site and, secondly, that it was not advertising specifically for tourists but designed more as an infomercial for South Australia. Presumably it was Google advertising, but the workings of Google are quite a mystery. You could say something similar of government in SA.

            10

            • #

              in other words it is not consciously being advertised. I get all sorts of travel adds from OS destinations and I don’t immediately consider this to be the governments of those countries opening up their borders.

              00

  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    Excellent summary Jo everything clearly explained without uneccessry politicing.
    Australians can be proud of their achievement and we’re all grateful for your work.
    GeoffW

    184

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    “with hard state borders…..”

    sooo….

    With pourous, open borders philosophically insisted upon by half our politicians, the US is basically screwed,
    and we can forget that Australian vacation (or extend it by two weeks for quarantine). And those elites that bought
    hideaways in New Zealand planning to jet back and forth?

    80

    • #
      sophocles

      … Queenstown, the South Island mecca for the wealthy in NZ, on the shores of Lake Whakatipu, is a Covid-19 “cluster.” So good luck to ‘em :-D

      110

      • #
        Greg in NZ

        It used to be a mecca for us po’ folk too -

        meh, they can have it now.

        Guess it gives new meaning to the term Cluster Whak*

        [hint: 'wh' in Maori is pronounced 'f' and 'a' as 'aah']

        31

    • #

      Richard, indeed. The tragedy unfolds in the US.

      I humbly suggest:

      1. Hard state borders (two week quarantine) until clear to zero. Supply lines, trade, open of course. I would even split states into small regions (just for a few weeks) so some areas can be set free of lockdowns asap internally.
      2. Masks mandatory til “zero”.
      3. Vit D — supply it free, test levels.
      4. What do we do about high rise apartments in big cities? Perhaps mass testing, masks indoors, higher room temperatures, use air filters, UVC cleaning lamps, increase airflow as much as possible to flush the building faster. Perhaps testing sewage from apartments would identify clusters, then test and separate infected people. Get them out of the apartments so they don’t infect loved ones.
      5. Preventative measures to boost everyone in high risk apartments — Vit C, Zn, Se and hopefully antivirals on a temporary basis.

      113

  • #

    I think of the mega dollars for whoever gets the vaccine sorted first. I think of the mega dollars for whoever gets a treatment for it. I think of the mega dollars for whoever gets the ventilator and hospital situation sorted out.

    I really wonder if there’s anyone out there working on a test for this Wuhan CCP Virus, a test which can give 100% accurate results in a matter of minutes, say five to ten minutes. Surely there’s mega dollars in that.

    Then, with that test in place, we have a situation where it can be used at airports and cruise ship terminals, mandatory, to screen incoming people. If they are clear, then they can proceed with whatever they plan to do in Australia. If it comes back as positive for the virus, then into isolation for two weeks before going anywhere else. All this is in addition to having the relevant medical documentation in place.

    I don’t care if it offends the tourist industry, or the education for money industry, or whatever, it’s part of what we have to do from now on. Remind those industries of what is happening right now, and if they want that situation back in place again, and then see how they accept it.

    Same with leaving the Country, test them as well. We don’t wnat to be seen as an exporter of the virus.

    Tony.

    243

  • #
    Bill Nichol

    There were data entry errors in the late March period for NZ on the Worldometers Coronavirus website. I have been recording the official Ministry of Health daily new cases since we went into our Level 4 lockdown (stricter than anything in Australia, only essential workplaces can operate unless people can work from home, no takeaways, no travel except for trips to supermarket, doctor, pharmacy, or between the two halves of your bubble, as we have with my mother-in-law, only short car trips travelling for exercise at a park or beach.

    We certainly had new cases on 27 & 29 March, and we didn’t have nearly 150 new cases on 28 March. The recovery from the peak not quite as dramatic as on the Worldometer graph.

    Two days data entered against one date I suspect. The cut-off between one day and the next on Worldometers is GMT midnight, during March in NZ this cut-off was 1pm in the afternoon, now midday.

    Daily new case numbers in NZ from 26th through 31st March — 78, 85, 83, 63, 45, & 88.

    April case numbers from 1st through 24th — 61, 89, 71, 82, 89, 67, 54, 50, 29, 44, 29, 18, 19, 17, 20, 15, 8, 13, 9, 9, 5, 6, 3, & 5.

    These case numbers are for the period ending at 9am NZ time, from a daily press briefing at 1pm.

    52

    • #

      Thanks Bill. Do you have a graph? I’d rather get it right. Worldometer cuts daily data at midnight GMT so data from countries a long way from London looks lumpier than the 24 hour reporting that matches local times.

      42

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    Congratulations Jo.

    This has been an amazing series of highly complex posts: a huge effort.

    KK

    283

  • #
    PeterS

    Yes we can indeed be glad our restrictions have gone a long way to minimise the impact of the virus. However, it’s not the only factor. Our natural environment, isolation, general health of the population, and other factors also have contributed to our amazing success. They should not be ignored otherwise we can become too complacent if we place all our faith into believing it was only due to the restrictions.

    80

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Yes Peter,

      I believe an overlooked element of the disease;

      ” Our ,,,,,, general health of the population.”

      A cursory look at cases and deaths per head of population showed Italy, the European Union countries and New York all showing the same feature: higher rates than countries with less open borders.

      Open borders, medically, seems to translate into greater susceptibility to the worst features of CV19.

      KK

      33

      • #
        PeterS

        I wouldn’t go that far. It’s far too early to have a good understanding of all the factors. In time we might. I’m actually more concerned about what we should be doing to avoid it happening again, and preparing to tackle it better next time if we fail to avoid it. It’s a two pronged defence strategy that will involve a lot of discussion, will and hard work. If we don’t do it then it will happen again and suffer from it, and one day it will be much worse.

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        • #
          PeterS

          Looks like someone here wants to have another pandemic. How sick.

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          • #
            Bill In Oz

            Yes Peter!
            There are more than 2 though !
            From watching the red thumbs
            I’d say there are about 6
            “Let it Rip” fanatics here.

            00

            • #
              bobl

              Problem is Bill that this is largely a science Blog , Jo doesn’t censor views not in keeping with her own. I have a different take, I think sending mild cases home to sit it out while infecting everyone for 100m around is dumb, and even mild cases should be physically quarantined. I think allowing travel out of infected regions is likewise dumb. I don’t see the need for places with no virus to be locked down. We could have virus control AND some semblance of an economy.

              Scientifically I also can see the case that TotalDeaths=DeathRate x Time. The “Let her rip” strategy can lead to fewer overall deaths if the vulnerable are properly protected (physically isolated) minimising DeathRate and minimising Time Factor (Let her rip strategy or live virus immunisation). Live virus vaccines do this very well. Cowpox all but wiped out smallpox. The current strategy maximises Time and also tends to maximise DeathRate because you can’t protect the vulnerable properly for years without a cure it’s a very bad strategy.

              You recoil at the “Let Her Rip” strategy because you perceive that it’s somehow inhuman or cruel, but the fact is that absent a vaccine it’s the lowest cost strategy – the math doesn’t lie.

              While I advocate for a geographic isolation strategy which would crush the curve better than the dumb strategy we have now, I do think that scientifically suppression it’s a big gamble on a vaccine or treatment that may never come and we may in fact be acting against the longer term interests of the people.

              I see both arguments, it’s wrong to see this as a black and white issue it’s not. “Let her rip” while protecting vulnerable people is a perfectly valid strategy which at this point probably has a higher probability of success than suppression even if we don’t like it, because there isn’t a cure.

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              • #
                Bill In Oz

                Bob, The nations with a “Let it Rip” strategy
                Are the Netherlands & Sweden and
                Brazil under Bolsanaro.

                If you check the numbers you will see
                That each of these nations has a much higher death toll than Australia
                The Netherlands : 4409 dead.
                Sweden : 2192 dead
                Brazil 4057 dead

                Australia with a eliminate the virus strategy has 73 dead.
                The evidence speaks for itself !
                Source : htps://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

                There are lots of nations which thought they could do a herd Immunity ‘strategy’.
                The UK was one of them.
                And as a result the death numbers soared.
                And then the UK went for a full lock down
                FAR TOO BLOODY LATE !

                Now the UK has 20309 listed as dying in hospital
                With another estimated 10,000 deaths in Aged Care Homes.
                I wonder when the relatives of the dead
                Realise what has happened and go after the theoretical ‘scientists’
                Who killed their relatives ?
                If I was in the UK I would be very angry.
                Suing the callous bastards comes to mind.
                But I suspect that many of the angry would not wait for justice from a court.

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              • #
                bobl

                Bill, your analysis is unscientific as it ignores time, yes deaths to date are lower because you are suppressing the infection. By doing this you are also suppressing immunity, the path to herd immunity is stretched out to say two years, while a Let her rip strategy gets herd immunity in 2 months. To compare these strategies you need to know total deaths after both reach herd immunity. Two months of let her rip VS 24 months or more of suppression.

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              • #
                Bill In Oz

                Sorry Bob
                That’s garbage.
                There is a need to be blunt about this CCP Wuhan foreign virus.
                It broke out or was accidentally spilled out
                In November.
                The big spread started all over the world in Mid to late January.
                We got infected people in late January.
                It arrived in Sweden around the same time.
                Since then 2000 + dead in Sweden
                Since then 73 in Oz.
                Facts Bob
                When will pay attention to them ?

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        • #
          PeterS

          Two sick people. Any more?

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  • #
    Sunni Bakchat

    If testing is now more broadly available to the general population in Australia, will this extend to those who are in quarantine after arriving from overseas?

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  • #
    Raving

    Many examples of clusters growing quickly in ships meat packers and long term care settings. There are new and growing clusters of this type in Canada. British Columbia and Alberta are 2 examples wherethe infection was declining but has seen rapidr resurgence of late.

    These cluster environments have intense close contact and sometimes cold forced ventilation. Meat packers, supermarkets and ships (?).

    Not familiar with Aus but climate chilled office spaces and buses might be worse in summer than winter. Yes, Aus is headed to winter and maybe that means less chilled common spaces

    Aus should be testing and monitoring these closed, and known places of rapid virus spread.

    Here is a link for Canadian cases. The provinces are linearly connected and currently isolated fromeach other. There is essential transborder traffic with the US

    Good luck with eradicating the virus from Australia. Yes I believe the possibility is in reach

    https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/tracking-every-case-of-covid-19-in-canada-1.4852102

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    • #
      sophocles

      Aus and NZ were lucky: the virus hit us towards the end of summer when, as Jo points out, the population’s vitamin D levels were at their best.

      In three months time, both nations will reach their annual Flu Season and we will see. That’s when so much of the population will be in Vitamin D Deficiency territory, unless the message gets out and people take positive steps to keep there levels up. Then and only then, it won’t be able to get a fresh foothold. But I’m a pessimist: I can see it going bad.

      All the deaths and hospitalizations in the Northern Hemisphere I think were highly likely to be of the Vit-D Deficient. It was noted — and I noticed the noting — that in New York, the African-Americans were of high concern. Who were the most likely to be Vit-D Deficient?

      Most, if not all, of the deaths in NZ fit that profile: elderly who kept inside. Out of the sun. It’s a pity Vit-D measurements weren’t made.

      It’s not so much the colder temperatures but the lack of Sunshine.

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      • #
        Steve of Cornubia

        I believe vit D deficiency is significantly more prevalent among obese and older people generally, irrespective of climate. This might be part of the reason both groups appear to be over-represented in the deaths.

        Also, I read somewhere that the majority of vit D deficiency in Australia is due to obesity rather than lack of sunlight, but I assume that a deficiency due to obesity would be even worse in winter.

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        • #
          Slithers

          Yes Steve and it so easy to improve your Vit D levels with over the counter medications. With the obvious proviso that you don’t go mad and take the entire bottle in one go then buy another!
          Where are the WHO and MSM with this simple sensible action?

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          • #
            bobl

            Doctors hate complementary medicine.

            Don’t hold your breath for any mainstream doctor advocating dietary measures or traditional medicine. For example Many Australians use Eucalyptus oils when they have a cold and our environment is almost saturated in aerosol Eucalyptus oil outside of cities. We know Eucalyptus is a disinfectant active against cold pathogens. How much does environmental Eucalyptus factor in low contagion in Australia?

            Well never know because few doctors even consider Eucalyptus is a disinfectant let alone active against corona viruses

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            • #
              Bill In Oz

              Yes, I agree. And I use complementary medicines a lot.

              For ‘quacks’ the big issue is their legal obligation
              To adhere to the “Standard of Care” mandated by their profession
              And the government regulatory bodies .
              I have challenged GP’s lots of times on this.
              And reply with a smile.
              I suspect that the best way of knowing what they actually believe
              Would be to get a look inside their own medicine chests at home.

              01

            • #
              Steve of Cornubia

              “We know Eucalyptus is a disinfectant active against cold pathogens.’

              Eucalyptus has been used in cough drops etc for decades – at least – but I have never seen any evidence that it works. Do you have a source?

              00

        • #
          WXcycles

          Ah, good point. Most of the initial cases in Australia were people in the working-age groups 18 to 60, thus fitter, lower in weight, mobile, more likely to get adequate sun coverage in Summer. Consequently few deaths and serious/critical cases. Once that age group stopped moving about the virus was mostly out of hosts and the ones it had apparently got well fast or fought it off completely. Lowering weight plus walks on sunny winters days may be a wise response.

          What bothers me is the northern countries of South America plus Central America, their infection spread is galloping away at present. “Lance” reported last week the disease was much worse in the north of Brazil and that President Bolsonaro had decided against a lock-down on economic grounds and sacked the health minister. Now we see the results of that playing-out in the spreading rate within Brazil during the past week. I would have thought they wouldn’t be so Vit-D3 deficient.

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          • #
            Bill In Oz

            This looks like it will become a major major plague in Brazil.
            And that is happening mostly because the president is incompetent.
            I wonder if he can be removed by the Brazilian Congress ?
            Impeached perhaps?

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  • #
    ianl

    >” Given that billions of dollars and lives are on the line, with satellites and ships it can be done” [Aus internationally isolating until something nice happens]

    Nova going supernova. (Not unexpected, given the panic driven trend here. The “curve” has been smashed, now the goalposts must be moved).

    You can’t pay for the ships and satellites and pollyanna grab-bags without hard currency from exports. No one will loan you the money, Nova.

    The export income (~$250bn pa) from the mining sector depends on a constant flow of FIFO, skilled personnel, machines, parts, transport, commerce and … endless. Since the investment is from outside the country (Aus banks are now too woke to do this), and Aus does not do manufacturing of these things, the flow of all these things is mostly inwards, with product flows outwards.

    My colleagues and myself were discussing about 2 weeks ago the possibility that this panic for isolation could well result in the only “overseas” activity being between Aus and the Land of the Long White … for quite some years. So we were ahead of the curve, you see.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      I don’t mind a sceptical outlook.
      But truely Ian you are ‘denying’ the reality here in Australia

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    • #
      RickWill

      BHP had record iron ore shipments from Australia in 1st quarter 2020. Prices were firm as well.

      As far I as know, there are no offshore FIFO mining workers coming into Australia now that the mining boom has passed. The only FIFO workers are from internal locations.

      Australia has extended visas for the seasonal fruit pickers who were already in the country at time of borders closing.

      There is nothing stopping goods from entering Australia – at least until and if they are verified carriers of the virus. Melbourne is still getting its two or more daily shiploads of big screen TVs and other goodies from China. There was some union action over offloading one Chinese vessel in Melbourne recently – that was union restriction, not government.

      Commerce does not need interpersonal contact for it to continue. in fact it is likely more efficient without the long lunches and overseas junkets.

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    • #
      Graeme#4

      I believe that in WA, no FIFOs now come from interstate. If they want to continue working in WA mines, the interstate FIFOs have to now live onsite. WA FIFOs are allowed to fly back and forth between the mines and their residences.

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      • #
        Bill In Oz

        I saw on Facebook some comments by FIFO’s living in Bali
        And how the international borders lock down could not be implemented because of this.
        Ummmm ?
        The borders were closed and foreigners living in Indonesia all went home.
        Australians & families I imagine decided it was safer here than in Indonesia.

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    • #

      Ianl, if you read “Crush the Curve” you’ll find I’m just repeating exactly what I said. no goalposts have moved. I could have just cut and pasted that post. Would anyone have noticed?

      Who needs a loan? The helicopter at the RBA has been hitting Control-P $.

      WA cut the state into nine zones with hard borders and big fines of $50k for crossing them. Part of that was 1. to protect the mines and gas fields. 2. to protect indigenous communities. and 3. Because how were we ever going to fly in all the Covid patients from Leonora or Halls Creek, or anywhere in 1 million sq km of space to the only ICU’s in the state which could be 3000km away?

      International trade stays the same in a zero Covid plan. Unless the countries not able to get rid of the virus have crippled economies and can’t afford to buy iron. And if the world goes to pieces our main export will be gold. And if we were faced with actual poverty we might even dig up Uranium.

      I believe all FIFO’s are now on long rotations and if they come from interstate they must do mandatory two week isolation.

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      • #
        Bulldust

        The stats are always readily available for WA at the DMIRS (formerly DMP) web site:

        https://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/About-Us-Careers/Latest-Statistics-Release-4081.aspx

        The WA story has been about iron ore for several years now, with petroleum (mostly LNG and condensate) coming in second. Our major export destination for iron ore is China… so yeah, that is awkward when trying to admonish their government for poor behaviour. Not like India is going to suddenly jump up and take hundreds of millions of tonnes of iron ore. So we are in a bit of a bind there. Lucky for us, Brazil, as the main iron ore competitor, is struggling somewhat to get the tonnes out, so prices have stayed high, while the exchange rate tumbled. Net positive for people pricing in Australian dollars.

        Yes, we had interstate and international (Bali) FIFO workers in WA. I believe that has been halted for now.

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    • #
      Streetcred

      It is hubris to think that this virus can be 100% eradicated … it will always be and it will always have access to Australia lest we become a cave dwelling hermit nation.

      30

  • #
    peter

    Australia is steamrolling the curve!

    Really? Taiwan has had 6 deaths and 488 cases. And they have kept their bars, cafes, restaurants and beaches open. I got chased off the beach again yesterday! Makes Australia look ordinary. So don’t mention the “T” word?

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Taiwan did the common sense thing
      And shut down all Chinese travel in to Taiwan
      In early January.
      We did it three weeks later.
      They hit this foreign virus fats & hard.
      WE were much later…Mid March !
      Talk to Murphy & Hunt why they waited so long
      About their incompetence !

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    • #
      RickWill

      Taiwan did not have a curve to crush. They were the first to close their borders to China and already had population tracking system in operation.

      Per capita, Taiwan is the second wealthiest nation on the planet. They are smart people. By comparison Australia was slower and less effective; ending up with a CV19 curve in need of crushing. There are some good lessons to be learnt from Taiwan but not sure if western countries are smart enough to learn them.

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      • #
        Bulldust

        The main lesson from Taiwan is “Don’t trust China, China is asshoe!” I jest, but it is ingrained in the culture, given their history with the mainland.

        And yes, I know the Asshoe guy was from Honkers. I actually ordered a couple shirts, one for a mate. I think my missus has dibs on the other :)

        20

  • #
    Sunni Bakchat

    Would some people decide not to be tested?

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  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Trending to zero *without* the suggested govt “snitch” smartphone app.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      That is good news.
      But some countries have found them essential.
      Poland is one of those countries.
      We were discussing why Poland was doing so well
      Compared to Germany right next door.
      I suspect it was the use of a smart phone ap.
      The ABC had a story about it this morning.
      Whatever works !

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-25/coronavirus-poland-tracking-quarantine-selfie-app/12173884

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    • #
      el gordo

      Rowan Dean reckons if they get a 60% App take up, then all restrictions can be lifted, I second the motion.

      This along with increased testing should eliminate the virus from our shores, there is a plan for 50,000 tests a day

      ‘Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy wants to dramatically increase the number of daily coronavirus tests in Australia.’ Oz

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      • #
        WXcycles

        Unfortunately Rowan’s comments are making no sense.

        An app does not tell you if someone has CHICOM-19. And does not tell you if they contracted it from someone until the third party contact is tested. And it’s only backward-looking. It is not preventative, it can only be used to understand a contagion that already took place, which you did not know about via another means.

        First you need a positive test of a suspect cases, and then obtain their travel path and its timing. i.e. if they have a device registered on a local network provider ISP the govt can obtain the record of their device’s movements and see if they interacted in time and space with any other known confirmed case.

        This is all before they talk to either confirmed case about their specific movements and specific interactions between the two cases. So they don’t have to rely on the honesty, initial cooperation level, or the memory quality of either case. And they can do all that now without an app, using just signal triangulation logging.

        So why do they want an app at all?

        I think they want us to volunteer to use an app because if we don’t they will run into major legal obstacles using mass tracking with the available triangulation method. But if we volunteer, hey, they can mass track without the legal restrictions.

        But don’t think for one second that triangulation is less accurate because GPS itself is nothing more than elaborate triangulation between multiple satellites with a precise time code. And yes, you can do exactly the same thing precisely with phone towers and a precise time code between the tower and your phone. If fact the military uses ESM (Electronic Support Measures) in many current RAAF aircraft to locate and track all active emission sources (radar, radio, phone, etc.) over regional distance, with enough precision to provide “weapon quality” guidance all the way to and emitter hundreds to thousands of kilometers away. Because active signal triangulation can be just as accurate as getting a GPS fix on location.

        It’s just that in an urban context a signal may sometimes bounce off another building before a cell tower picks up the reflection of the original emitted signal. But it’s still very accurate at location and can make predictions of real location if combined with a precise model of the urban reflective surface paths back to the various towers that can see the signal. Thus can predict and narrow down were the emitter is located. So you can bet that’s available now.

        And that would be used, if legal impediments were not constraining it. But can no doubt be used with court orders, so is still an option for later. But if you can get people to broadcast their location voluntarily in an app, you can get most of the data you need right now.

        So there is no need for an app, per sec, most of what is desired is available already, the app would just be nice, but it’s not essential. So say you have a new case and the govt retrieves their recent triangulation data, they can determine if they crossed paths in time and space with another positive case, without any GPS app.

        Plus you could attach a GPS tracker to the ankle of all known cases, to confirm they are actually where they’re supposed to be during self-isolation under threat of prison time if they wander off. Make it an agreed binding condition of their self-isolation. This also tells you where to pick them up if they do wander. If they take it off, instant mandatory prison time. If they do wander with the GPS on the govt can already obtain triangulation data on everyone in the near proximity and time window and can test and monitor these already.

        And that should reveal where 100% of people’s devices are, with respect to the wandering active case with a GPS ankle bracelet, without requiring any mandatory govt ‘spy-app’ on our phones.

        Whereas an app with 60% take-up provides only precise tracking on ~60% on the people a wanderer with a GPS comes into contact with. So much less suitable! What about the other ~40% of contacts you don’t see? The government would still have to go back to triangulation data anyway to obtain the missing data.

        So the govt could scrap the app approach if they needed to and pursue a legal path to obtaining mass real-time triangulation tracking during national emergencies instead. But then they’d need to try to force people to carry a fully-charged registered connected device, as a condition of going outdoors and only for a period shorter than the battery life of the device … else fines.

        Messy … let’s implement a voluntary app instead, and hope enough people adopt it to be useful to avoid forcing people to be tracked. That’s not a bad compromise really, if people are up for it. It’s certainly better than nothing, for the people who want and need real time tracking of virus cases in the community to speed up testing and isolating the correct people and excluding others.

        I have no doubt that if the contagion situation were more serious they’d go for a 100% involuntary tracking option for 6 months.

        No Rowan, you can’t predicate lifting all restrictions on the basis of 60% app uptake. The app is just a backstop for if all else fails, so the failure will be less damaging, it is no solution, just an emergency response tool to a mess that already occurred. The restrictions are to prevent future community outbreaks altogether. What I would do is ensure that every foreign traveler, Australian or not, is made to wear a GPS ankle bracelet for 2 weeks beyond their 2 week quarantine period, as a further limit on spreading. Track the cases and the travelers, not everyone else.

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          OriginalSteve

          Correct. It only make sense if you want ongoing covert surviellance of your popukation.

          Logic says most people will install it and then forget about it, so there in lies the danger.

          Globally this is being pushed out, which tells me it was planned from the start…which suggests a plan all along

          “Yes children, you can have your freedom as long as you wear this tracking ankle bracelet”

          Yeesh

          *face palm*

          Its ironic…on Anzac Day, celebrating those who fought for our freedom – they would likely be horrified at how fast we are throwing it away….

          Where have all the adults gone?

          Yeah so bite me for telling it how it is..

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        • #
          OriginalSteve

          By the way, my post, above, 18.2.1.1 wasnt aimed at anyone specifically, more a general observation.

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      The app is just misdirection so that nobody has the time to question what real action the government should have taken.

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    • #

      I think the Ap is unnecessary. I wonder if the Frequent-flyers in charge want the mass Ap so they can reopen borders and do their schmoozing without a two week quarantine themselves on return.

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  • #
    Robber

    Well expressed Jo. The other key trend is the total number of active cases versus recoveries. From a peak of 4,800 active cases, Australia now has just 1,462 active cases, and the average number of daily recoveries in the last week was 240, dropping to 100 in last 2 days. We can eradicate this virus in the next 2 weeks.

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    • #
      C. Paul Barreira

      This represents one of the most interesting aspects (well, to my inadequate mind, anyway). Sweden, much lauded in some quarters, has deaths vastly outnumber recovered cases. Deaths as a percentage of Coronavirus cases are very high in several European countries, including both the UK and Sweden. Notwithstanding the favourable circumstances of Oz (and NZ; perhaps, too, South Africa), not least the timing of the academic year, one really does wonder if we are talking about the same virus. For the differences are so great.

      Like Kalm Keith above remarked, we owe Jo a great debt of gratitude.

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      • #
        Bill In Oz

        A friend came home from seeing family in South Africa recently.
        She described seeing the army using helicopters
        To spray disinfectant on the townships from above.
        To disinfect the public places and all outdoor surfaces.
        I’m not sure what I think of this.
        But I’m glad we did not need to do this.

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  • #
    Choroin

    Nice summary Jo.

    God I do hope we learn from this and have a highly distributed and maintained national stockpile of PPE and ongoing support for some critical PPE factories or perhaps highly dynamic factories capable of quick retrofits with equipment and plans in place to swing into gear if and when necessary.

    How do we spend all these billions and take such a hit economically without learning and actually building on this experience? If we don’t, then my remaining confidence in this nation will probably die a painful death; the climate alarmists already killed half of my confidence already.

    And of course, enjoy your Anzac Day Australia, and God bless all the diggers.
    Lest We Forget

    … and let’s hope we don’t forget our duty to future generations by building on this experience, getting prepared for next time, and finally distancing ourselves from China.

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  • #
    Mike Jonas

    It all looks good in Australia and New Zealand now, but it concerns me that we are not looking at the whole equation. I accept that it is very difficult if not impossible to look at the whole equation, because there are so many unknowns. But here’s a possible scenario: America, having gone through the horrendous pain of mass deaths, opens up its economy and gets going again full bore. Australia and New Zealand open up cautiously, get hit by new outbreaks, and clamp down again. This happens repeatedly over the 18 months that it takes to develop a vaccine. By the end of that period, the Australian and New Zealand economies are shot to pieces,people are in dire straits, and now just as many people are dying of other things (including suicide) as were dying in America at the height of the Wuhan virus epidemic.

    OK, so that’s only a scenario, and just like the IPCC global warming scenarios it might never happen. But I’m not convinced. Our government’s original strategy was to try to keep the Wuhan virus within hospital capacity. They have gone away from that strategy, and headed into highly authoritarian territory which is severely hurting those who had least to start with.

    OK, that’s water under the bridge. From where we are now, I think that the government should recognise that inner cities are different to rural areas, and that Wuhan tends to hit in pockets (Burnie, eg.) rather than uniformly. The responsibility for handling Wuhan should be put back on the people, with all local communities setting their own rules – yes with guidelines from central government, but only guidelines. But if there’s an outbreak somewhere the central government can shut them down for a while. That way, the economy gets going again much faster, and the country as a whole learns a lot more from the range of local experiences.

    The country runs a lot better with personal responsibility within a national framework rather than under central control. It’s time to try that, right now, before too much more damage is done. If the people of Bondi want to have a party on Bondi Beach, go for it. If Bondi gets an outbreak as a result, shut them down and others will learn from it – but if there isn;t an outbreak they will learn from that too.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      The integrated State & Federal strategy is working.
      Why change what is working ?
      Doing your more local thing would inevitably lead to major stuff ups
      And the virus getting entrenched instead of being destroyed.

      811

    • #
      el gordo

      The backpackers at Bondi should go home, troublemakers.

      Oz and NZ can eliminate the virus and make us the envy of the western world. Schools return, the footy season kicks off and the people rejoice at being able to enjoy the simple pleasures that they once took for granted.

      Over the next four weeks most restrictions should be lifted.

      44

    • #
      sophocles

      Mike:
      Oxford University are a bit more optimistic than that: they say (operative word!) they can have a one shot vaccine ready in about three months. If they should be successful, it may be that mass vaxes will be available before the end of the year.

      About the end of October, Aus and NZ will be back into Summer. Our summers are hotter and, especially, sunnier with higher levels of UV than the Northern Hemisphere, because the planet is closer to the sun then.

      Our closest approach is c. Jan 3rd – 5th.

      I am concerned about our Sickness Season (August to September) this year. That could trigger another lockdown. We will find out then.

      In the mean time: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3256336/ you could entertain yourself.

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      • #
        Mike Jonas

        sophocles – good news indeed. Let’s all hope that it works and is available in high volume quickly. If we all argue for ever afterwards about who was right, well that’s heaps better than most of the alternatives.

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    • #
      C. Paul Barreira

      The country runs a lot better with personal responsibility within a national framework rather than under central control.

      Replace the word “national” with “federal” and the point becomes much clearer. Add a role for regional collections of local government areas and things become more a bit more promising again. All this provided state and federal governments overhaul regulatory frameworks in the interests of new businesses, especially small, including self-employed. Which regulations inhibit employment? Are they necessary? If not, delete. Oh, and ignore bleating special interests looking for “stimulus”.

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    • #

      Mike, Fair point. I worry about that too. If we get to zero-virus and keep the mandatory quarantine we can ramp up most of the economy. But if the pollies insist on having flights open again, then yes, we can expect outbreaks. And if Burnie’s 5000 person lockdown had hit in a capital city, then it might have needed to be a 1 million person lockdown.

      There is a big difference between zero virus and one last roaming case.

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    • #
      WXcycles

      What about the people in Perth who have their son come home to visit from Bondi?

      No, the people in Bondi need to follow the Law for reasons they may not even understand.

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  • #
    Ted Bullpit

    Probably a good idea to read this ZH article just released…

    https://www.zerohedge.com/health/data-stop-panic-end-total-isolation

    This mindless lockdown is just crazy.
    Isolate the elderly and high risk groups short term until it’s largely over and let the virus spread through the healthy population members. That is too much like common sense rather than rote learned school rhetoric though…
    But pat yourselves on the back claiming your curve flattening did the trick and then detail your culpability for the real world consequences of this lockdown.

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    • #

      Ted, just another guy running on the 1918 Flu plan, 100 years out of date.

      His idea is fine if we don’t mind killing or locking up the over 70s. Not a world I want to live in. No kids, sorry you won’t get to meet your grandparents.

      What if herd immunity is worthless, and people can catch this every winter. How’s all that death-for-nothing looking?

      I don’t think the US citizens will feel pleased if the rest of the West gets rid of the virus and goes back to normal life but won’t allow flights from the USA because they have endemic disease running out of control.

      Scott Atlas MD looks like another desktop jockey who isn’t working on the front line and thinks medical staff will be OK with risking their lives and working in a warzone for months on end.

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        Environment Skeptic

        No Jo i disagree. First and foremost it is not about name calling/objectification/denigration “desktop jokey”.

        90% of deaths off the top of my head are among those who have comorbidity in any age group, not just grandparents and over 70′s..

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        • #
          Choroin

          It’s not just the deaths that matter, it’s the long term health effects for survivors – of which there are many.

          Allowing this horribly novel bat virus to consume a larger population of our country right now is just stupid when it doesn’t need to be that way.

          The entire world economy is broken now anyway, because it was fragile as heck before the crisis, awaiting a catalyst; so Australia reopening too quickly won’t help put exogenous Humpty back together again, and politicians and pundits don’t like to admit it, but the Aussie economy is internally lacking with much higher risk to exogenous forcing (outside of the control of all the kings horses and men in Canberra) than most western nations.

          Why increase our long term pain in an already bad situation for some short term backslapping that just ends up as a face slap?

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    • #
      WXcycles

      This mindless lockdown is just crazy.

      Is it? How quickly we forget. From early February, why the “crazy” lockdowns were essential:

      *Estimating case fatality rates in the early stage of outbreaks is subject to considerable uncertainties, the estimates are likely to change as more data emerges. The current prediction interval based on the available has a wide-ranging estimate of the CFR from 0.60 to 7.19. https://www.cebm.net/global-covid-19-case-fatality-rates/

      The 0.6 number isn’t good, but the 7.2 number range is a global catastrophe. The lock downs are not “crazy”, not doing them would have been considerably beyond crazy.

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    • #
      Aaron Christiansen

      Isolate the elderly and high risk groups short term until it’s largely over

      This seems obvious the world over now. Study from China shows one cluster of 2 cases outside, the rest in hospital or home / inside. Area after area coming out with numbers like 40-60% of all deaths are from LTC / nursing home outbreaks.

      Strange that such an obvious strategy gets translated to “No kids, sorry you won’t get to meet your grandparents.” when it quite clearly says “until it’s over”. “…locking up the over 70s. Not a world I want to live in.” but no worries locking everyone up?

      Too weird.

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      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Aaron, you seem to trust the Chicom data.
        I don’t know anyone else who does.
        What secret info do you know ?

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  • #
    RickWill

    One significant factor in where Australia is on crushing the virus was abandoning the Grand Prix:
    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/mar/12/two-more-haas-team-members-tested-for-covid-19-on-eve-of-australian-grand-prix

    Lewis Hamilton was vocal on the need to abandon:

    “I am really very, very surprised that we are here,” he said. “I think it’s really shocking that we are all sitting in this room. There are so many fans here today and it seems like the rest of the world is reacting, probably a little bit late, but we have already seen this morning that [US president Donald] Trump has shut down the borders with Europe to the States and you are seeing the NBA being suspended, yet Formula One continues to go on.

    “It’s a concern I think for the people here – it’s quite a big circus that’s come here and it’s definitely concerning for me.”

    No doubt his words were influential – the event was cancelled the next day. And it was not the government taking action but the organisers.

    Imagine holding that event with typically 250,000 participants and spectators from around the world mixing in close quarters in the centre of Melbourne.

    Pail Little and GP committee copped abuse from many spectators over the cancellation. I doubt many recognise how many lives that decision saved.

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    • #

      AGreed except it was almost criminal to allow all those people to fly in from overseas thinking they could go to a big race then cancel at the last minute.

      They should have canceled it with three weeks notice. There were already plenty of warnings.

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  • #
    James X

    Thanks for all the good work JoAnne.
    What I haven’t seen discussed is the need for a reliable serum or other test for determining if you have had the virus. I visited my GP two days ago to get my flu, pneumonia and shingles vaccines. My question to him was can I have the test to see if I have it and how useful is the test to see if you’ve had It and now have immunity. He said I can’t have the test because I don’t meet the criteria (this has since changed in NSW) and that the serum test for immunity is not reliable. Surely we need better stats on how much immunity is in the population before making final decisions on changing strategy from a proven solution?
    Isn’t it about time we became much more self reliant as a nation? We used to manufacture most of our own requirements – not anymore. I have a 3D printer and the technology is advancing in leaps and bounds. With focus and determination we could become a clever country again, No?

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      Doc

      It’s almost as though the people controlling this until
      now didn’t want to officially know how many were immune.
      To know that would create a gigantic problem with the
      spacing and isolating laws by demands to be ‘freed’ from
      restrictions. There are economic advantages to be had,
      but the control complexity would destroy the isolation
      controls. ‘Damned if……….. ‘.

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      • #
        Bill In Oz

        But DOC, from way back in February Jo has been saying that this foreign CCP virus.
        Is a disaster for about 20% of the people infected with mild or no symptoms for the other 80%.
        And governments also knew this as well.
        The issue is nobody knows which of us will be in 20% made sick
        And which of us will be in the 80% with mild or no symptoms.

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        • #
          Bill In Oz

          20% in Australia is ~ 5 million

          55

        • #
          DOC

          Bill in Oz
          There is another reason why knowing the immunity factor is important. Testing for antibodies
          in known identities will assist in chasing plasma donations to harvest those antibodies.
          The US is currently harvesting and using them for hospitalised patients, I believe for those with moderate and worse disease. Harvesting adequate volumes of plasma will be dependent on having an adequate number of ‘immune’ (?) patients with good titres of antibodies.

          The other thing, on another popular note is, despite the FDA ruling that HCQ should only be used in the hospital setting due to rare cardiac arrhythmia problems, the drug is widely used
          around the world, and in the USA, in and out of hospitals. The problem with widespread, anecdotal support in a disease that is heavily benign (by the numbers) is, it’s very hard to prove the case that the drug is responsible for the cure. It would seem that while the trials are being conducted, both the drug and the disease can be relatively benign, so perhaps officialdom is turning a blind eye until the results of trials come in. I gather there are a huge number of said trials in action currently. Another item of interest would be to see how
          autoimmune disease struck patients taking hydroxychloroquine compare in getting the disease
          and their outcomes compared to people not doing so.

          In summary, I guess two of Jo’s mentioned treatments are now in action.

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    • #

      James, the problem is it is much harder than people realize to get accurate tests. When our bodies are hit with a new virus our immune system throws a random assortment of antibodies at it. We randomly generate what must be millions of different lock and key combo’s (that are always circulating in our blood.) If one of those “sticks” and scores a win, other cells recognise that, the whole defense force goes on red alert and production is ramped up. But some of those antibodies won’t help much, they might not stick well to the virus, or they might stick, but to the wrong bit and not slow the virus down much. I would guess people could even end up with an armory of several different antibodies which work together, but not separately, and we don’t know yet if only one or two of these are the key essential ones. We don’t even know if antibodies are essential — our immune system has other options as well.

      Some survival may be just random luck of how many hours it took for the right antibody to strike a virus. Or it may be innate immunity (which kids do really well). Cell mediated immunity. Or our cytokine inferferon system.

      So someone could survive Covid but not use the antibodies they are testing for. Or the antibodies they test for may have cross reactivity with other coronaviruses.

      There are false positive and false negatives everywhere.

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  • #
    Ross

    Why do we take the information at face value? It looks like fact checking is not part of journalism any more.

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/04/23/why-you-cant-trust-the-uks-daily-covid19-updates/

    A note on NZ. Do not be fooled into thinking we have done a good job. Over half the deaths in NZ have come from one rest home (at least some of those who died had non intervention requests in place). Everyone knew back in late January, at least, that the elderly were most at risk. We all know that rest homes have major issues with infections every winter and we only had to look at where the first major cluster of deaths occurred in the USA –the rest home in Washington.
    It was late March before the Ministry of Health asked all District Health Boards to check rest home procedures. That should have been done in early February and extra funding given if it was needed to help them ramp up there procedures (the Government has been throwing money at everything else).

    NZ only closed its borders (and then it was only a lose closure) when public built up to a level that it was politically unsustainable not to do anything.

    I think with proper, early border control and help for the elderly we could have easily contained the issue without a lock down.

    As others have said NZ and Australia have been lucky to be coming out of summer, on top of relatively low density living.

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  • #
    Serge Wright

    To manage the virus with the least impact to people’s health and the economy requires a strategy that allows the virus to propagate through society without exceeding the health care services capacity. The end goal MUST be to have the virus pass through as quickly as possible. This is where we are failing with the current plan, because we have idle health services, meaning we are clamping too hard and causing excessive economic impact down the track. A plan of elimination where no vaccine exists is a plan that will only even destroy your economy because you would remain closed other countries stopped purchasing your bonds, at which point you have reached 4th world status with inevitable collapse.

    Looking at the management of each country, I still think Sweden has the best plan. Yes, many old people have died, but they are managing through the virus without killing the health system and they will reach herd immunity in May in their mayor cities. In 2 months they will be back to normal with an open economy and we will be still stuck at the beginning of the virus phase with only a large pile of debt to add to our troubles.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      But in New Zealand and now in Australia
      The aim is not manage the virus
      It is to destroy it.
      Then we have almost all of our normal lives back.
      And the economy will come out it’s hibernation
      With a whole lots of extra demand
      Because there is so much we have not been able to do
      For 2 months.

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      • #
        Serge Wright

        The problem is that the virus exists in every other country and is here to stay. Even if we did eliminate the virus in Australia, it would mean that we would need to keep our borders closed indefinitely and that would almost completely kill global tourism and seriously impact trade and business. It would be a disaster that never ends.

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        • #

          Read the post Serge.

          Hard borders are short term and not that economically destructive (not like domestic lockdown which is).

          What do we lose to the economy through insisting on two week quarantine? We lose tourists, and we lose the chance to fly to Bali for a weekend. We’ll survive. We replace foreign tourists partly with domestic tourists. It’s not the end of the world.

          Hard borders stop when:

          Another country reaches zero and joins the virus free safe zone.
          If we get a treatment or vaccine.
          If the virus mutates and gets manners.

          Can someone find numbers on the loss of foreign tourists as a % of GDP. And also the dollars locals spend on foreign travel (because that could be spent at home).

          We build hotels, not hospitals. That’s how we prepare for future outbreaks. We need a plan where the minute we hear a deadly virus is circulating we quarantine it instead of waiting for local infections to spread and post hoc locking down.

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          • #
            Serge Wright

            I did find some numbers Jo.

            In 2018, overseas tourists contributed $57 billion or 3.1% of GDP and international students brought in $32 billion. But the lockdown impact goes well beyond these two industries. For example, we have many industry specific experts that need to fly in from overseas to assist with solution designs or project deployment activities and with closed borders this creates significant disruption. Our economy is also somewhat of a ponzi scheme these days by the way we import about 350k new migrants each year which adds about 1% GDP but is also part of the combat scheme for our aging population. Disruption will also occur at our ports and airports with imported goods requiring to be treated and transient staff needing to be managed or quarantined, which will slow down trade. Also, the huge loss of jobs from travel, tourism and hospitality industries creates a large group of newly unemployed people that require welfare support, creating a doubly whammy effect for the economy.

            I’m a engineer and not an economist, but from my own BOE calculations, I would think that an eradication program with closed borders would still cause a drop of around 8-10% GDP, which is massive. Without a vaccine this economic sacrifice would be all in vein if we were forced to open up the borders in a few years to join the rest of the world in achieving herd immunity, because there was no other option. In the case of a coronavirus, no effective vaccine has ever been developed because of the nature of the virus and the probability of finding a vaccine any time soon is unlikely.

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            • #

              Serge, thanks.

              We won’t lose international students who are serious. They need to do 2 week quarantine and stay for months. No running back to mum and dad each holidays.

              We won’t lose 3% of GDP either. Though we will lose some. How much do Australian spend on foreign travel? Most of that can be spent in Australia instead.

              Plus we will become the over-wintering choice de jour (with NZ) during the northern winter. People who want to avoid covid will come here for a 3 month holiday starting with 2 weeks quarantine.

              Plus if we make that 2 week quarantine as nice as possible, we will attract the high end rollers to 2 week pre-holiday stays in approved Quarantine stays in Broome or Cairns. They might just have fun. We need to work in strict rules but I’m sure it can be done.

              With better testing we may be able to limit quarantine to one week. Let’s say by one week 80% of cases are obvious and the rest are testable through PCR? It might work.

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              • #
                Richard Ilfeld

                And then there is my home — 12.7 per cent of direct jobs, and an estimated 20% of the total economy in Florida
                is tourism. This is over a third in beach counties and around Disney. 70-30 domestic/foreign, but the foreign average spend is higher.
                And tourists are taxed like little piggy banks (yes, its and outrage) so our local taxes are low. Average stay between 4 and 5 days.
                Makes for a grim outlook if we can’t beat this, especially since we can’t grow oranges anymore….more gifts from the orient in greening and canker.

                10

            • #
              Aaron Christiansen

              Without a vaccine this economic sacrifice would be all in vein if we were forced to open up the borders in a few years to join the rest of the world in achieving herd immunity, because there was no other option. In the case of a coronavirus, no effective vaccine has ever been developed because of the nature of the virus and the probability of finding a vaccine any time soon is unlikely.

              I see people putting their faith in some sort of vaccine, however:
              1. some people who have had COVID-19 do not develop many antibodies at all. The article discussing this (Chinese hospital cases) suggested it could make a vaccine ineffective for those people. probably not an issue for them, as they were mild symptom patients, however they will shed wherever they go.
              2. Sweden has around 50% seasonal flu vaccination, yet 500 and 700 deaths from 13,000 seasonal flu cases in the past 2 years.
              3. No SARS vaccine. No MERS vaccine. (Quickly googled to confirm after reading this earlier, happy to be corrected)

              I’m very interested to see how Sweden turns out, as a non-vaccine strategy with a couple of unfortunate LTC outbreaks that make their death numbers look bad. If they nail down future detection and ramp up elderly protection protocols, they’d be in a much better position than waiting for a vaccine.

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        • #
          RickWill

          The virus does not need to stay. It appears every country has shifted from an exponential rise to exponential decline with reproductive number being well above 1 to now below 1 in most countries. That means the virus is eventually deprived of hosts.

          There is no rocket science needed to keep reproduction below 1. A Maintain social distancing where there are high rates of infection. B Establish effective contract tracing so any outbreak can quickly lead to all likely new infections.

          It is reasonable to conclude that by the time an effective vaccine is developed there will be no virus to apply it to. That has already happened in Australia with proposed testing – there are no longer enough cases to to get a representative trial sample of the population.

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    • #
      Slithers

      Serge, what chance will the Swedish tourist or businessman have of getting a visitors visa to Aus. or NZ?

      40

      • #
        Serge Wright

        The Swedes will have the same chance of getting a visa down here as anyone else, but like all visitors will need to sit out the 2 week quarantine, which will be seen as a strong deterrent. Visiting Sweden on the other hand will be the same as pre-corona.

        20

    • #
      Mike Jonas

      … a strategy that allows the virus to propagate through society without exceeding the health care services capacity. The end goal MUST be to have the virus pass through as quickly as possible.“: While I agree that it’s a reasonable strategy, I can’t agree with “MUST”. The problem with this Wuhan thing is that there are so many unknowns that it is simply not possible to know what approach is best, or even whether any given strategy is good or bad. If a cure or effective vaccine comes through quickly, then a total clampdown would turn out better than letting the virus propagate. But what if it doesn’t??

      40

  • #
    Doc

    The difference in the mentality of
    Politicians! How would you feel in NYC?
    Gov. Chomp has reportedly ordered aged care
    centres to take COVID-19 infected patients
    or risk losing their licenses!

    The complete lack of insight or basic level of
    healthcare, at the highest level of State
    government, is appalling. What am I missing here?
    This is reported on Fox, Tucker Carlson this day.
    This is unbelievable, but on the same program,
    the governor’s media frontman brother , on CNN, who is just
    recovering from the virus, was reported out breaking
    quarantine and threatening a cyclist who called him out.
    Confidence building?

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  • #
    Gary

    Who thinks we can get rid of viruses? Bill how many viruses are on you right now? I know you’re full of bacteria and waiting for a vaccine is a load of bacteria.
    listening to the media makes me sick, so I think I’ll go outside and climb on my 135 hp motorcycle and ride,I might be able to dodge a police roadblock or catch some more viruses, we are supposed to be temporary Australians anyway.Should I hide or ride?

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      My first car was 36 hp.

      22

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Gary, if you are on a temporary resident visa
      And do not like the way Australia is dealing with this foreign CCP virus
      Just go home to wherever you come from.

      018

      • #
        liberator

        Bill, I think you misunderstood Gary’s comment about “we are supposed to be temporary Australians anyway”

        That’s what motorcycle riders are called – “temporary Australians” or even “organ donors”. Why? because riding a motorcycle is high risk, we are too highly represented in the road toll figures. His comment had nothing to do with being a resident on a temporary visa.

        I want to go riding as well but can’t due to the social distancing” requirements. Why riding a motorbike solo and not making contact with anyone is a risk I’ve no idea – but I can’t go for a ride and its driving me crazy and it looks like Gary is as well.

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        • #
          el gordo

          Yes, good of you to clarify, only a few weeks more and we’ll be back on the road.

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        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Yes I misunderstood his meaning.
          I’m not a motorbike rider.
          Curious I see plenty of riders here in the Adelaide Hills
          Riding solo
          But I guess that is not the same
          AS doing a run with your mates

          11

    • #
      Steve of Cornubia

      When ‘that guy’ doesn’t have a motorcycle, he has a “135hp motorcycle” LOL

      Sorry mate, couldn’t resist.

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      • #
      • #
        Gary

        Yes Steve I know,135 hp motorcycle is in the lower range in this day and age of 200 hp sports bikes,but mine is an adventure bike,and it’s not a KTM.
        I’m thinking of jumping on it now and riding down to the coast to watch the sun set and blow the cobwebs out

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  • #
    Macspee

    A couple of things: they are in the Northern hemisphere coming out of winter we are coming out of a hut summer – a difference is to be expected and we are not yet in the flu season.
    How does this compare with the dreaded SARS epidemic that was to kill thousands of Australians but we did nothing much?

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    • #
      el gordo

      What we should discover is that our flu season has virtually disappeared, because the masses are more aware. Its called social engineering for the common good.

      Ebola and SARS were more encapsulated in particular areas, but Covid-19 is a virulant nasty piece of work. The reason Morrison acted so quickly, in calling it a pandemic, is because intelligence had informed him that it might be a designer virus.

      Hope that helps.

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    • #

      SARS didn’t spread asymptomatically.

      Since it killed 10% every developed nation in the world was watching.

      We stopped it with strict quarantine and temperature checks. Only people who were sick could spread it. Symptomless spread is so much more infectious, and we should have stopped all incoming traffic once we knew that.

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  • #
    Slithers

    Slightly O/T but, is it not strange that the Chinese have just announced they have started human trials of a vaccine that was effective in Monkeys
    My suspicious nature about all things Chinese thinks they waited for another possible vaccine to enter human trials.
    Any bets that the Chinese vaccine is 100% effective and patented, I wont speculate as to when that patent application was filed.

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    • #
      shannon

      I think the “overall” picture Worldwide is all about …making money ..again. Vaccines bring in $$$$$$ ..Am I suspect of China and its “Lab sponsors”…..All perfectly timed…you bet !
      They are laughing ………1) Cause a World economic downturn….2) Have a magic vaccine in the pipeline ..3) The West HAS to still buy off them at any cost( blackmail)….even if we upped our manufacturing(this will take time…we havent got)…4) China has reduced their population….another winning card for them !! The World will hopefully learn from this “costly” lesson.

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  • #
    Slithers

    Another o/t thought.
    Why is it that the WHO and MSM have not been advocating simple ways to minimize the effects of COVID-19 for the SEVEN Billion humans who have no immunity to it?

    Get your Vitamin D level checked and take appropriate action if it is low?!!!!!!

    90

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      I’ve gone for a vitamin D supplement already. And I’ve added vitamin C and zinc, the former in hope. I’d go for the hydroxychloroquine if I thought I was in a problem area (and could get it). But at 25kms from town and 1 from my nearest neighbour I’m in almost continual isolation.
      Cheers,
      Dave B

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  • #
    Gary

    For those of you who are locked inside you could read”The Invisible Rainbow” by Arthur Firstenberg (you can get it on Kindle).

    21

  • #
    Rod

    Interesting to see that Jo has had the most consistent messaging around this and when governments have actually followed similar travel restrictions etc it has been a great success. Shows a great deal of presence of mind I think. I respect your questions. Good Job.

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  • #
    tom0mason

    Along with ongoing tests on hydroxychloroquine as a possible prophylaxis to prevent symptomatic COVID-19 disease after known exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, and tests to show if early preemptive hydroxychloroquine therapy can prevent disease progression in persons with known symptomatic COVID-19 disease, … see https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2020/04/24/preemptive-coronavirus-therapy-positive-update/ for some of the latest reports.

    Ron Clutz has also found that the US military are investigating oleandrin extract as a prophylactic and/or a treatment for viral infections.

    “We found that at non-toxic concentrations, oleandrin was efficacious at slowing and halting viral growth in tissue culture assays” for the Ebola and Marburg viruses, Dye said in emailed answers to questions.

    Because those viruses are enveloped, just like COVID-19, the lab is pressing ahead to do similar tests on the theory that the extract may have similar effects on the coronavirus at the center of today’s pandemic, he said.

    Because oleandrin already has wide user in cancer trials and comes from a plentiful flower product, it has advantages in getting to market more quickly should Fort Detrick’s tests and then subsequent clinical trials find it is effective and safe, he added.

    More at https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2020/04/24/ole-oleandrin/

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    • #
      Slithers

      Hi Tomo, that is a very interesting article, there are lots of Oleander in Aus. I will watch for Aus investigations into that poisonous plant with a less toxic flower.
      Perhaps that comes under Military Secret Laws though!

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  • #
    JH#6

    And then again maybe these reasons had not much impact at all.

    Looking at all these charts (and other charts from around the world) may be this Prof is onto something.
    40 days to peak. 70 days till its “gone”.

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/the-end-of-exponential-growth-the-decline-in-the-spread-of-coronavirus/

    Stay same people. JH#6

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    • #

      Unfotunately Ben-Israel does “Viral Numerology”. At Week four the deaths begin and the democratic leaders and the people all change their behaviour. In nearly every country lockdown or social isolation on a big scale leads to the flattening of the exponential curve.

      http://joannenova.com.au/2020/04/viral-numerology-coronavirus-fades-after-6-to-8-weeks-due-to-magic-or-something/

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      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Jo, Yes I think Ben-Israel has been studying all about the CCP Wuhan Virus here:
        https://feliciabender.com/the-numerology-of-covid-19/

        A vast source of misinformation
        Or BS.

        00

      • #
        macha

        Yes, flatten to stop hospital overload. Thats it.
        Risks are taken every day, its called living.
        Crushing is dying.

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        • #
          Environment Skeptic

          Agreed macha.
          From: https://www.aier.org/article/open-up-society-now-say-dr-dan-erickson-and-dr-artin-massihi/

          “Open Up Society Now, Say Dr. Dan Erickson and Dr. Artin Massihi”

          “Sheltering in place decreases your immune system. And then as we all come out of shelter in place with a lower immune system and start trading viruses, bacteria—what do you think is going to happen? Disease is going to spike. And then you’ve got diseases spike—amongst a hospital system with furloughed doctors and nurses. This is not the combination we want to set up for a healthy society. It doesn’t make any sense.”

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          • #
            Bill In Oz

            Strangely at complete odds with what I have read in Australia.

            The Weekend Oz reported that infectious diseases are down for the past 2 months

            Why ? Well all the social distancing and the lock down has restricted the capacity of germs to spread & find new victims generally.
            And as each infected but isolated person recovers from their disease
            The virus or bacteria are disappearing. The following disease were reported as having LOWER incidence in Australia
            Measles,
            Whooping cough
            Pertussus
            Shingles

            My gosh, some doctors might be losing business if this keeps up !

            00

  • #
    bradd

    I saw an article in the Herald Sun that should be front page on every newspaper.

    It said that the number of cancers being diagnosed in Australia has fallen by 20%. This is largely because the government has shut down screening and people are reluctant to visit their doctors, having been terrified into submission by the Covid panic. The number of pathology tests has fallen 50%.
    Even if only 5% of the delayed cancer diagnoses lead to premature death, that comes to around one thousand excess deaths in 2 months in Australia. It could be much higher. Compare to 74 Covid deaths. The excess cancer deaths, however, will never be measured.

    Add in all the effects of delays on heart disease and a myriad of other diseases.

    My own story: 3 years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had no symptoms; the warning signal came from a routine annual blood test. The cancer was aggressive. If the diagnosis had been delayed by 2 months, I would probably not be alive today. But I can tell you, that if there had been a ‘lockdown’ three years ago, I would not have bothered with going to the doctor for such a routine test.

    The massive overreaction to Covid will lead to far worse health outcomes than the virus itself. I am told repeatedly “if it saves just one life it is worth it”. That is an utter fallacy.

    My GP’s surgery (3 doctors) is nearby. I have looked inside half a dozen times in the last few weeks. There has not been a single patient to be seen; in normal times there would be 5-10 people waiting all hours of the day.

    I had a scan at the hospital a couple of weeks ago. The scanning department was completely empty of patients apart from me. I didn’t even need to make an appointment. How many people who need scans are not getting them?

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Thanks Bradd,

      That’s opened up a problem that many of us haven’t been aware of.
      We were aware of under-treatment of known cases but unfortunately there are a number of issues like this that our politicians and “government experts” have not seen or just ignored.

      In politics there’s a requirement for any action to be media friendly so words and phrases like crushing, social isolation and curve flattening do the trick.

      Real world activities like “thinking”, process analysis, avoidance of damaging actions and sound planning are way too 1950s to be bothered with.

      An important point. The opportunity cost of preparing for a crisis that never existed has a serious side that’s been invisible to politicians.

      KK

      Formerly Kurve Krusha.

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      bradd. The 74 Covid deaths are not the point. It’s the thousands we avoided that was the reason to get rid of this virus.

      All along I’ve said the pursuit of herd-immunity would mean we lose our hospital systems for months on end and that’s not a world we want to live in. I was gob-smacked that any public health servant would suggest the 1918 flu plan for a virus that was consuming whole ICU wards and eating PPE to the point where elective surgery had to be cancelled because we didn’t have the masks.

      The number of untreated heart, stroke, cancer patients is another argument for Crushing the Curve and getting those hospitals back to normal asap.

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      RickWill

      Even if only 5% of the delayed cancer diagnoses lead to premature death, that comes to around one thousand excess deaths in 2 months in Australia. It could be much higher. Compare to 74 Covid deaths. The excess cancer deaths, however, will never be measured.

      The 74 deaths simply reflect Australia acting soon enough and effectively enough to avoid massive loss of life – the toll will end up at about 100 for Australia given the number currently in critical care. The number infected in Australia and most other places was doubling every 3 days. If there was no action then after a month there would be a thousand times more cases and more than a 1000 times more deaths; at least 100,000 CV16 deaths due to just 1 month delay in Australia.

      If you analyse the data for each country for the number of deaths they already had when they acted effectively to limit spread to the number of deaths they end up with it is factor usually around 60 times typically 5 to 6 doublings. For example Italy had 463 deaths when they locked down. They will end up with about 30k deaths before the virus is crushed – 64 times or 6 doublings.

      UK had the shortest period of doubling of all nations. They sat persistently on 2 days per doubling for a long time. They implemented lockdown when death toll was 335. They will end up with around 40k deaths; a factor of 119 or almost 7 doublings.

      The maths is not complicated. The average time from being infected to death is 20 days. So if the number infected is doubling every three days then the difference in deaths between uncontrolled spread and effectively zero spread is 6 doublings or 64 times from the time of effective controls.

      Sweden provides an interesting contrast. They implemented their first controls on 21 March when there were 20 deaths then tightert control on 28th March when there were 105 deaths. They still have restaurants open. Sweden now d=has 2152 deaths but there is no limit in sight. Their reproductive number is around 1 so they are tracking along at around 100 deaths per day with no reduction in sight.

      The draconian action required in most western countries has avoided total chaos. The essential services and supply lines have been protected and no one should be short of the essentials for life. People quickly forget how mad it was before the lockdowns were implemented – completely irrational buying of toilet paper is one example; yet those irrational people had it when the stores ran out.

      On the topic of cancer screening, I had a blood test lined up during the first week of the Australian lock down. There was no one else in the pathology clinic when I visited and one of the nurses volunteered that they would prefer not to be there due to the risk. My GP consultation in the same week for a prescription renewal was a government paid phone call. If I was in the UK or USA there is no way I would have been presenting at a pathology clinic during the first week of shutdown. In fact if my local clinic had its usual number in it I would have gone away and came back when it was less crowded.

      One of my son lives in the UK and he has changed his main grocery store from a large supermarket to a corner store that never has more than a few people in it. He pays a bit more but prefers to keep his distance from others.

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      Mike Jonas

      Bradd – Good comment. It’s like Bastiat’s broken window – the jobs you see versus the jobs you don’t see. But in this case it’s the deaths you see versus the deaths you don’t see.

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      Slithers

      Slithers Law at work!
      There will be Consequences.

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    WXcycles

    Countries with more than 2,000 active cases, sorted by daily spreading percent:

    % New v Active | Country | Active Cases | New Cases
    55.5 … Ecuador … 20,777 … 11,536 (south and central America are losing it)
    16.2 … Brazil … 21,670 … 3,503 (spread steadily getting worse)
    13.7 … Mexico … 7,937 … 1089
    11.3 … Bangladesh … 4,446 … 503
    10.0 … South Africa … 2,668 … 267
    9.9 … Belarus … 7,590 … 751
    9.9 … Pakistan … 8,932 … 883
    9.9 … Qatar … 7,706 … 761
    9.4 … Russia … 62,439 … 5,849 (losing fast, their isolation is too ineffective)
    9.1 … Saudi Arabia … 12,926 … 1,172
    8.8 … Colombia … 3,653 … 320
    8.5 … Chile … 5,805 … 494
    8.1 … Moldova … 2,271 … 184
    8.1 … Singapore … 11,107 … 897
    7.7 … India … 18,171 … 1,408
    7.4 … Egypt … 2,723 … 201
    7.3 … Iran … 16,021 … 1,168
    7.3 … Ireland … 7,937 … 577
    7.0 … UAE … 7,457 … 525
    7.0 … Argentina … 2,455 … 172
    7.0 … Ukraine … 6,853 … 477
    6.8 … Canada … 26,117 … 1,778
    6.7 … Indonesia … 6,520 … 436
    6.4 … Spain … 104,885 … 6,740
    6.1 … Morocco … 3,114 … 190
    6.0 … Denmark … 2,281 … 137
    5.5 … Sweden … 14,865 … 812
    5.4 … Belgium … 27,492 … 1,496
    5.4 … Peru … 13,518 … 734
    5.0 … USA … 761,802 … 37,960
    4.6 … Romania … 7,033 … 321
    4.5 … Poland … 8,454 … 381
    4.4 … Germany … 42,439 … 1,870
    4.4 … Dominican Republic … 4,719 … 206
    4.4 … UK … 123,614 … 5,386
    3.9 … Turkey … 80,575 … 3,122
    3.7 … Panama … 4,749 … 174
    3.5 … Philippines … 5,953 … 211
    3.3 … Serbia … 6,245 … 207
    3.2 … Japan … 10,837 … 344
    3.0 … Switzerland … 6,088 … 181
    2.9 … Israel … 8,861 … 255
    2.8 … Italy … 106,527 … 3,021
    2.6 … Austria … 2,669 … 69
    2.5 … Netherlands … 31,996 … 806
    2.1 … Portugal … 20,715 … 444
    1.8 … Czechia … 4,688 … 86
    1.7 … France … 94,090 … 1,645
    0.9 … Norway … 7,232 … 62

    Countries with more than 200 deaths, sorted by percent died:

    % Died | Country | Total Deaths | New Deaths
    15.08 … Belgium … 6,679 … 189
    13.92 … France … 22,245 … 389
    13.60 … UK … 19,506 … 768
    13.46 … Italy … 25,969 … 420
    13.27 … Algeria … 415 … 8
    12.25 … Sweden … 2,152 … 131
    11.74 … Netherlands … 4,289 … 112
    10.49 … Hungary … 250 … 11
    10.25 … Spain … 22,524 … 367
    9.19 … Mexico … 1069 … 99
    8.39 … Indonesia … 689 … 42
    7.18 … Egypt … 294 … 7
    6.93 … Brazil … 3,670 … 357
    6.63 … Philippines … 477 … 15
    6.32 … Iran … 5,574 … 93
    5.64 … USA … 52,168 … 1,934 (% died dropped slightly today [0.02%] which is unusual for a Friday)
    5.59 … China … 4,632 … 0
    5.58 … Ireland … 1014 … 220
    5.54 … Switzerland … 1,589 … 40
    5.44 … Romania … 567 … 22
    5.25 … Canada … 2,302 … 155
    4.91 … Denmark … 403 … 9
    4.64 … Dominican Republic … 267 … 2
    4.61 … Colombia … 225 … 10
    4.54 … Poland … 494 … 40
    3.75 … Portugal … 854 … 34
    3.72 … Germany … 5,760 … 185
    3.52 … Austria … 530 … 8
    3.19 … India … 780 … 59
    2.94 … Czechia … 214 … 4
    2.93 … Peru … 634 … 62
    2.71 … Japan … 345 … 17
    2.54 … Ecuador … 576 … 16
    2.48 … Turkey … 2,600 … 109
    2.24 … S. Korea … 240 … 0
    2.12 … Pakistan … 253 … 18
    0.90 … Russia … 615 … 60

    % New v Active | Country | Active Cases | New Cases
    0.5 … Australia … 1,460 … 8

    % Died | Country | Total Deaths | New Deaths
    1.18 … Australia … 79 … 4

    No new national recoveries data released so far today.

    Queensland had 2 new cases during the past 24 hrs (from 2,275 tests), for 1,026 total cases (from 94,977 tests). Hopefully the dribble of cases ends by April 30th and we get 14 days of no new cases to reopen the QLD economy from Friday the 15th of May.

    Such an opening date would be just 1/3rd the duration of a foreshadowed “at least 6 months” process discussed in mid to late March by the PM. Which means we make more money sooner, spend less of the budged/allocated money on economic and financial supports, and can afford more for stimulus to fire our economy out of the initial malaise and make revenue sooner, plus reduce the projected Federal debt growth.

    Projected numbers for some key larger countries on the current trends to see when they are likely to reach over 100,000 cases, after which the totals tend to grow quickly (if not already in recovery).

    Brazil = 1st week of May (spreading getting steadily worse, not hopeful they’ll miss the worst)
    India = 2nd week of May (spreading speed reduced greatly, but not enough)
    Africa = 3rd week of May (spreading slowly increasing, moderate in a few countries, some improving)
    Indonesia = 4th week of May (spreading has slowed, they can stop this if they go hard now)

    This is only to provide perspective on what May looks like (for now). It would cumulatively be a lot worse than April and implies June would probably be by far the worst month of the ‘first-wave’. It would not take much in terms of more effective isolation policies and social adjustment to drastically lower the numbers. The virus was globally growing new (confirmed) cases at +1.129 times more each day, on March 24th. Isolation policies have dropped that to ~+1.03 now.

    If that 1.129 expansion had continued without isolation we would have got tens of millions of cases by end of April, global disorder and global supply-chain failure. Which would have produced a lot more emotion, tension and blame than now as well. The isolation prevented this, and a stronger isolation with better PPE will end the virus just like taking oxygen away from a flame, it will shrink quickly then suddenly stop completely.

    Countries which don’t do same are going to remain isolated, countries that do eliminate the virus will open much sooner and relatively normalize economic activity. This is the antithesis to the assertion that If Australia imposed strict quarantine on travelers it will be isolating itself, and suffering massive costs.

    The reality will be just the other way around, we’ll re-open much earlier, rejoin linkages with countries which have done similarly (and it looks likely China may be one of them).

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    nc

    Easy to control borders when surrounded by water.

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      Oz is an island and surrounded by water, but we are only 3km of shallow water from PNG. Border protection in the Torres Strait will have to improve drastically from “T.I. time”.

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    Meglort

    It is positive, and clearly the unstated intent would be elimination.

    The degree of control needed most efficiently to allow every instance of the virus to fail to replicate itself in another host.

    In hindsight we should know what that degree is with enough strategies and restriction permutations being applied around the world to figure it out.

    The implication though is not dawning on the general community, that industries providing or relying on international travel and tourism are mostly dead. Once they get retrained and aligned to another, they will not largely go back to that when Humpty is put back together again, on the assumption it is.

    The human capital excess capacity can be surged and reapplied with little complaint if it means a job and a future versus personal ruin.

    It looks to me like the government is drip feeding the obvious to the oblivious in a gentle way to ease them on the transition to the new paradigm.

    Locally for the moment, Australasia 2.0 with south pacific and regional states reachable using a functional domestic travel capability, where no CCP Virus is known and strict border controls as are in place as they are now.

    The comments from IATA this week on the age of economy fares was interesting.

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    Rob Leviston

    I am feeling confident.
    Where I live, there has not been a new case for over 3 weeks. I am more relaxed, even though I am out in the community everyday! Take basic precautions of keeping distance, hand washing etc. But hey, will probably keep me from getting the normal flu or common cold!
    Whatever the end result here in Oz, things will start to look different as we move forward!
    Can we ever look at China again in the same way we did before all this began?
    Interesting question!

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    Robber

    Further benefits of social distancing: The incidence of influenza, chicken­pox, measles and a host of other communicable diseases has plummeted as social distancing breaks the chains of transmission. There was an average of only six laboratory-confirmed cases of flu diagnosed daily in April, a fraction of the 623 daily cases confirmed this time last year.
    “The reduction is dramatic,” said La Trobe University epidemiologist Hassan Vally. “If I was to guess I would suspect that we are going to change our behaviours from this point on. To what extent it reduces these other diseases in the long term is going to be a really interesting question.”

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      RickWill

      I doubt the changes in social distancing will be enduring. Probably big crowds at the 2021 Australian Grand Prix, ANZAC memorials and football finals. In fact there may be big crowds at the rugby league State of Origin.

      We may see a few more Australian wearing masks on planes. As well as less flying for a while. Maybe people will work from home more often. Older children might be encouraged to stay home if they have a cold and front on-line rather than in person.

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      Bill In Oz

      Yes the article in today’s Weekend Australian is very interesting
      All the following viral infectious diseases have almost disappeared in Australia with the lock downs we have introduced.
      Measles
      Chicken Pox
      Whooping Cough
      Singles
      Pertussis.

      There are probably more.

      All of them side effects of destroying the CCP’s Wuhan Corona 19 virus !
      BTW, I wonder how many red thumbs from CCP loving trolls I’ll get for daring to say that ?
      :-)

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    TdeF

    In Australia in 1918/19 we were one of the last countries to be infected with Spanish flu. It was horrific. 15,000 Australian dead. And this flu spread in the trenches of WWI and I believe brought it to an end, as it killed mainly fit young men, 20-40. It was unlike the pandemic of 1891 which killed older people. In Australia about 5,000 children lost one or both parents. Almost everyone suffered terribly.

    In an attempt to contain the outbreak, Australian authorities instigated a combination of strategies.

    Schools, theatres, dance halls, churches, pubs and other places of public congregation were shut, streets were sprayed, special isolation depots were established and people were compelled to wear masks in public. Movement by public transport was restricted and state borders were closed, with quarantine camps established at border crossings. Attempts were made to produce a vaccine using a mixture of victims’ sputum, streptococcus and staphylococcus concoctions.

    So we have really done well this time. 77 dead. 6,500 infected.

    I do not believe there will be a second wave, where in 1919 the second wave was much more deadly and took out older people. And in some Pacific islands, 25% of the population.

    The reason is that this time we know if a single person is infected. Testing will not find more. It’s mainly to stop the spread as we still have patients taking a long time to recover. And planes keep landing with infected people.

    You can hide unsymptomatic people like children but one in five of the people they infect will end up in hospital. And Australia will know immediately. And we can react like never before. We have never had such incredible diagnostics and communications and speed. Flying a Hercules full of nursing staff to Northern Tasmania. Unbelievable. None of this was possible in 1919. And they totally lacked our understanding of viruses, what they were and how they worked and how to stop them. DNA had been discovered but no one knew what it was. Now we can read it.

    Stopping a virus or any communicable disease gets down to isolation, the most powerful weapon against viruses and all diseases in our human history. And this fragile virus cannot live outside the human body for long in human terms and must be passed on before it is killed by its host. Plus the antiseptics, cleaners, disinfectants we have today.

    So the real question is whether we can take what we have learned and apply it to all the killer viruses, not just this one. I would love to ban the flu from Australia. Not accept the latest mutation from the European/American winter. Test everyone at the airport and sea ports. We are an island deep in the Southern hemisphere with only 2% of the world population and as with the Spanish flu, we have huge advantages. Ban the lot. It can be done.

    And when the analysis of the costs is done by economists, what price do we put on Australian lives? On this Anzac day we remember the 100,000 Australians who died in two wars and double that number who were injured often terribly. In this second war against a deadly virus, we have lost only 77 people where Britain has lost 20,000. I am beyond understanding when when Australian commentators ask if it was worth the cost. How many games of golf or restaurant meals or trips to the casino or the beach were lost forever?

    It all seems so unbelievable, unfair, surreal as it must have done in 1918 and 1939. But thanks to all Australians this war will be over in weeks, not months or years. And forgotten as quickly.

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      TdeF

      Lest we forget.

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      Peter Fitzroy

      I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the 1900 bubonic plague pandemic which continued to around 1910, in several waves in Australia – the NLA has an excellent summary

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      Slithers

      Hi Tdef, When I was a child herd immunity was strenuously practiced. Children were told to go out and play ‘Mud Pies’, this exposed Young children to lots of nasties when their immune system was tooled up to fight off invaders!
      Modern children do not get this exposure ((cheap and effective) instead big Pharma make millions even billions selling vaccines that kill or main some rare individuals.
      Cost benefit or Usury?

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    Peter Fitzroy

    If we do manage to extinguish this outbreak in Australia, will we become like those Solomon Islanders, basically a hothouse flower?
    I believe Jo has already posted about this, and the answer lies in economics, which is increasingly gaining a voice in the ‘bounce back’ viz lowering safeguards, deregulation of the labour market, etc

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    TdeF

    As an aside, I am flabbergasted at the timing of the Saudi demolition of oil prices in coincidence with the world virus shutdown. Talk about bad timing! Just when the entire world’s cars stopped running.

    I note that the Trump government is buying up at low prices. And the Australian government is building a huge reserve and new storage facilities. After all, it’s hard to stop all those ships, so you have to store it all. So while providing a buffer for the oil companies, at least two governments are stocking as never before. What this means for future petrol and diesel prices is unknown, but the other big group suffering loss of sales are petrol/gas stations. And aviation fuel.

    From a scientific point of view, it will be interesting to see if putting in a few months of no cars, CO2 levels are in the slightest bit affected. Of course not. Nor by plant life. CO2 is in gaseous equilibrium between the ocean and the air but the whole Man made CO2 sc*m is based on the idea that humans control CO2. Which is ridiculous and demonstrably untrue.

    Like the virus, simple science principles control everything. And someone always believes the wackiest ideas. Herd immunity is fatalism presented as scientific advice, the observation that not everyone di*s.

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    R.B.

    It’s possible that nastier mutations arose in Italy and New York, in which case the back-patting may be more lucky than anything,

    It’s been 2 weeks since Singapore had 2000 cases, but only 12 deaths. 2 weeks after Italy hit 2000 cases there were 100 times more deaths. Italy reached 2000 cases in early March while Singapore only reached it 2 weeks ago so Italy probably had many more cases. Still, the huge difference suggests that there are some very different strains going around.

    Then there are the curiosities. Belgium criticised Netherlands for it’s lacklustre approach. Both have plateaued at a bit over 100 cases a day but Belgium has about twice as many deaths a day. Is this because coronavirus cures cancer as it does in New York (according to the stats). Strangely, Belgium has 10 000 recovered cases, Netherlands has zero. The latter are obviously not recording this. This lack of uniformity is making it hard to judge what approaches work the best as in most gain for least pain.

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    • #
      RickWill

      This lack of uniformity is making it hard to judge what approaches work the best as in most gain for least pain.

      Only 1 country gets a high distinction, Taiwan. On China’s doorstep so very high exposure. Implemented border controls when they had 1 CV19 death. Now there are 6 deaths in total. Study what Taiwan did. Apply their method and there is next to zero economic impact. Taiwan is supplying a little new money to offset loss of Chinese tourists. They are forecasting annual GDP growth to stay on track at 2%.

      In fact Taiwan closed its borders to China on 23rd January after China closed Wuhan off from the rest of the country. Meanwhile people leaving Wuhan were boarding international flights to effectively spread the virus globally.

      Taiwan warned the World Health Organisation about the danger of infection from the coronavirus in DECEMBER 2019. Imagine if that inept organisation actual protected human health rather than feather the nest of its smug, egocentric administrators. I cannot bear to listen to Tedros – he should not be there.

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    Geoff Sherrington

    Suggestion for the near future of Australia. Not need, not original, but not much discussed yet.
    When international air travel opens again, what is wrong with allowing entry here ONLY if the traveller can prove clean, by either testing or voluntary isolation for 2 weeks or how long it takes.
    Jo has stressed several times that the high risk of new oubreaks comes from incoming internationals. Worse than that, they can multiply their danger by several hours in an aircraft cabin. Geoff S

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    Geoff Sherrington

    Discussing harm to Australian economy, it is complicated.
    Serge Wright above got figures for recent trade in educating foreigners, $32 bn a year. We do not lose $32 bn if we suddenly stop. We lose less because we no longer have the costs to service that industry. We no longer have to provide food, clothing and shelter. The people who serviced the students are free to move to other work, not just to go on the dole. And much more could be put into the equations.
    Similarly with the Serge Wright estimate of $57 bn for overseas tourism here. Is that tourism a necessary function? Can we not rise above being lowly handservants to tourists, by a restructure of our efforts to produce new wealth rather than recycling existing wealth? I would like to see a lot more Australian workers in primary industry, especially when Australia has apparent natural advantage. Like, why do we not grow 100 % of our need for rice, then a lot more for export?
    The old arguments have failed. We used to say that the cost of labour in Australia is too high, that we cannot complete with cheap countries. Well, by the time you depend so much on serving grog to tourists and uni students, you have shown the world that you ARE cheap labour. Geoff S

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      TdeF

      And twice as many Australian tourists head overseas each year. If they stay home, our internal tourism will double.

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      Kalm Keith

      Geoff, Serge has given you something to work off, he made good points.

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      Bill In Oz

      Most of those overseas student are here right now.
      Most of them got back here to Australia after the Chinese New Year.
      Ans the universities are still offering online course for these international students.

      The big change is that suddenly the casual work that almost all of them did whiile studying
      In cafes, restaurants tec.
      Has completely disappeared.
      So now many of them are asking for financial help from the Australian government.
      The Commonwealth government is saying if you cannot support your self, go home.

      But I suspect that hardly any of them will want to go home.
      The disease has run rampant overseas.
      Who would want to go home to that ?

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    TdeF

    And to answer the question, can we eliminate this virus. It should be obvious by now, we are nearly there. That’s a great relief against the gainsayers, the worriers, the herd immunity pushers, the fatalists.

    It’s not as if we do not know how to live without Wuhan Flu. We did not have it last year.

    And this year we do not have all the other flus either. Whooping cough. Measles. Everything is better.

    Car traffic is down immensely and we are functioning! The internet is changing our lives.

    And food deliveries finally have the scale to prove viable. And at home schooling. Forget school of the air. And doctors are visiting patients from home and specialists too.

    The NBN is actually making a difference to people’s lives, at last.

    Whatever comes of this, we have lost 77 lives but we have gained a great deal. And pure logic has eliminated the virus, or almost.

    And all the other viruses to which we have become resigned, complacent, accepting. No longer.

    If we can stop Hendra for the Melbourne Cup, we can stop any viruses. Hard borders, as we have had to fruit fly for 50 years. Now we are going to save more than the apple crop.

    And get our food delivered. And reduce congestion on our roads. And reduce our consumption of imported fossil fuel. And eliminate all those killer viruses we never wanted but accepted.

    At what cost? 77 lives. All lives are important. That is what ANZAC day is all about. Now we can have better lives, free from the tyranny and the rolling tragedy of diseases no one wants. It’s a huge change of attitude, even in the medical world. We no longer have to be sad victims. Australia and NZ have shown what can be done. And it’s faster and cheaper and far safer than those half baked m*rderous European approaches.

    And at the end of the day, WHO and the Chinese government has to answer for this.

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      Kalm Keith

      A few points;

      “At what cost? 77 lives”.

      The facts are that many of the deaths in Australia and around the world occur in Nursing Homes. Additionally, those deaths outside nursing homes also involve older people who may have been going to leave of natural causes inside of a few weeks anyhow.

      The CV19 plague is a multifactorial event and the comment;

      ” those half baked m*rderous European approaches.”

      Is a bit harsh considering the head start given CV19 by the previous European administrations over the life of the EEU which left a community poorly set to face this health crisis. The damage was done earlier by having virtually open borders healthwise. They are paying the price of being guided by Bruxelles.

      In Australia we have had our first demonstration against the Shutdown by ordinary citizens.

      This is an issue that I’ve raised on several occasions and been rubbished with a ; “she’ll be alright mate”.

      Yesterday I went into a small suburban spot with about 15 Small retail outlets. As I came out of the newsagents I passed 5 shops.
      The first was a coffee shop. Closed. The signs taped to the doors said; “Closed, in possession of the leaseholders. Entry only through owners, contact,,,,,,”.

      The second was a small art shop selling paintings and statues. It was open an had one staff member visible.

      The third and fourth had both been cleaned out and had signs say; To Let.

      The fifth on the corner was a well known franchise selling buns with a pick you own filling. Open.

      It doesn’t take much imagination to picture the plight of the building owners getting no rent. The plight of the former occupants and business people trying to make a living? That bit of entrepreneurial spirit: crushed. Just pay off the Bank debt from future social security relief.

      What has amazed me, and several others, is that the plight of these people whose lives have been crushed are invisible to a number of contributors to this blog.

      We are not Italy. We are not New York.

      This destruction of people and spirit is appalling.

      KK

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        TdeF

        I doubt that the people on the Ruby Princess were going to die in the next few weeks anyway is true. That’s convenient rationalization of tragic deaths but a lot of what is put out in the press. These were people who were not sick when they boarded and did not expect it to be a death sentence to go on a cruise.

        European administrations like the UK (Boris), France, Holland, Sweden were all sold on ‘herd immunity’. Nice in theory it is again a rationalization of the awful idea that lives do not matter and you can do nothing anyway. Australia disagrees.

        A lot of businesses are marginal, not least Virgin airlines who owe $6.8 Billion, $0.5billion to the staff. Many small businesses fail anyway, 50% in the first year and 90% in five years. Few survive. And shopping centres are being murder*d by the internet, which is why Frank Lowy and family sold out completely six months ago.

        The spirit is good. The destruction is minimal and people recover. Compared to the wars and especially to the Blitz, it’s hard to know what people are complaining about. And there are plenty of positives.

        Change is a problem for most people. And this crisis has produced a lot of changes. Some permanent.

        I would rather focus on the positives and there are plenty of them. And it’s only been three weeks! You would think people have suffered for 3 years. In three weeks boredom is probably more the problem for most. When did Australian diggers become so soft?
        The Man from Snowy River would just go home. Not his problem.

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        PeterS

        There are now fears the death toll from delayed cancer and other diagnoses could far exceed the death toll due to the virus. If this is true then we must do something about it and get people to resume their tests.

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      WXcycles

      And to answer the question, can we eliminate this virus. It should be obvious by now, we are nearly there. That’s a great relief against the gainsayers, the worriers, the herd immunity pushers, the fatalists.

      Many people in my street ignored social-distancing yesterday and had a party. So we may see a rise in 7 to 10 days if asymptomatic cases were still present.

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        Bill In Oz

        Yes WXCycles, I’m seeing the same here in the Adelaide Hills
        People being more relaxed about the social distancing
        And hardly anyone wearing masks.
        lots of cars on the roads now also during the day.
        ( No parties though )
        But I suspect that all tis is a result of our success here in SA.
        Only 2 new cases in the past week.

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  • #
    Bill In Oz

    Off Topic :
    The break has arrived
    Heavy solid rain in South Australia
    Extending into Victoria & NSW
    http://www.bom.gov.au/products/national_radar_sat.loop.shtml

    Lovely to hear it on the roof.
    And spot on time
    The 25th of April, ANZAC day.
    Ain’t nature wonderfull !
    Not so the Gorebullist BOM

    20

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    Here’s a possible codicil, as we learn more.
    Florida, among the 50 state, is doing pretty well, especially per capita,
    and super especially considering how many of our early cases were disembarked tourists.

    Florida was facing dire predictions: the state is full of old farts like me.

    Turns out we are pretty good at social distancing. Mostly single family units and owner driven cars.
    Few apartments with elevators, highrises with revolving doors, or mass transit where ya gotta touch what others touch.
    Lots of sun — even the spring breakers probably got sick in the bars not on the beach.
    Gov deSantis (R) took much grief for not being as nasty as his northeast bretheren, but maybe the four metro counties
    he did lock down were enough?

    Not nearly as good here as Australia, but much better than much of the US in spite of looser rules…at leas so far.
    And even most of our nursing homes, and we have a lot, avoided disaster.

    We still have very much to understand, both about this virus and the nuances of public health in populations. It’s not an experiment you’d ever want to run,
    but places where the differences aren’t hugely obvious seem to be getting very different results.

    60

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Good analysis.

      01

    • #
      WXcycles

      Richard, doing OK in Florida has quickly become a “relative perception“.

      I looked into New York City areas figures this morning and they were much worse than I’d expected. The percent who have already died is currently 10.86% (of 287,452 cases, for 21,908 dead) with 10,007 new cases today, so still spreading at 4.3% per day.

      Recoveries are not given in the data but can be easily calculated thus.

      287,452 total cases – 234,326 active cases = 53,125 ‘resolved’ cases

      53,125 resolved cases – 21,908 known dead cases = 31,218 Recovered Cases

      In other words, it takes just 3 days of new growth of active cases to replace this 31,218 recoveries, which recoveries accrued over the course of the entire disease progression to date! So even with the spreading percent down to just 4.3%, NYC area is still not close to recovery. The active disease continues to grow much bigger numbers every day. Once the numbers get this big even slow residual spreading rapidly grows active case numbers day after day. Which results in poorer treatments, making recoveries slower, and deaths become increasingly likely.

      Of that current 234,326 of known active cases, at least 11% of them will die. And that proportion will very likely rise to about 15% during the first half of May.

      11% of 234,326 actives = 25,800 more dead still to come from the current active cases

      So … 21,908 existing dead + 25,800 more dead from actives = 47,708 dead est. for NYC

      Except the active cases are still rising at ~10,000 per day for NYC area, and at least 1,100 of those new cases each day will also die on top of this 47,708 already expected to die. So this will probably produce (at least) another 25,000 dead … and potentially 40,000 more. But going with the lower number …

      21,908 existing dead + 25,800 dead from actives + 25,000 new dead = 72,708 dead NYC area.

      Except as that occurs the died percentage will keep rising to about 15% as opposed to the current 10.86% died. So realistically the NYC area alone will produce ~100,000 dead, by the end of this infection wave, +/- 10,000 dead.

      And NYC is still to get NET new daily active cases below (daily recoveries + daily deaths), because the isolation within NYC is still too leaky and inadequate to get it done. It’s still not strict enough to end the NY region-wide spread. So if they don’t get new active cases lower each day, and recoveries higher each day, this fast NET active case load rise could go on right through May. And ~15% of these will die … with no end in sight.

      There will be serious demoralization and social and political pique if that is permitted to occur. And this above ignores what’s probably tens of thousands more people who are dying outside of hospitals, who will probably never get counted among the COVID-19 deaths.

      So I’m glad Florida is doing so much better than that Richard, and I hope it stays that way. Florida today:

      Deaths 1,055
      New cases today 306
      Active cases 29,098

      This is not a disease to take lightly, per Florida and Texas Governor’s talk of ‘opening-up’. Which IMHO is the result of some very warped, “relative perception”. Personally, I think it’s insane (and false-economy) to talk of breaking down community isolation just to restart the local economy with this virus circulating freely in the USA.

      It needs to be completely crushed and the more that’s delayed via political prevarication and procrastination the more damaging, horrifying and necessary this will become. I’ve progressively coming to the view that the US is it’s own worst enemy with respect to dealing with COVID-19, and that doing what obviously must be done, i.e. a much higher level of nationally enforced isolation, for at least 1 month to completely halt its spread and turn the situation around, is unlikely to occur. Instead, US State Governors insist they’ll reopen soon, and all will be well with the active community spreading.

      As a result I think Australia needs to now prepare for a near term international situation where the USA suffers major cumulative social, govt, institutional, financial and economic damage from COVID-19 which goes far beyond what it should have. That’s my outside perception from the other side of the planet, looking at the US’s dilemma today.

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      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        Pure speculation WX Cycles as each country reports corona differently, especially when the virus is associated with preexisting conditions.

        Also, indirect deaths/suicides/malnutrition caused by the lockdown and the economic impacts on health itself are not being reported or just plain same old same old being ignored, although i did hear something about family courts experiencing a 20% increase in family court interventions. Far less than the tip of the iceberg when looking at the harm the lockdowns are doing in my non expert opinion.

        Crushing the virus is no more than a slogan since no lockdown is perfectly hermetic other than in the imagination.

        27

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          The only fantasy happening is in your head E S.
          ‘World of Meters’ is based on the data provided by governments of each state.
          Some states provide fabricated data – for example China, Vietnam & North Korea
          But we know that.
          Some states are incapable of providing accurate data because of their level of development
          For example Indonesia or Afghanistan or Ecuador or PNG.
          And we know hat as well.
          But most developed states are providing data which is accurate.
          Sweden is providing accurate data
          So is Australia.
          So is New Zealand
          So is the USA etc.
          Time for you to get out of you imagination and deal with the facts.

          11

        • #
          WXcycles

          Crushing the virus is no more than a slogan since no lockdown is perfectly hermetic other than in the imagination.

          Which is fine because the virus isn’t everywhere, isolation only has to be good enough for long enough to wipe it out. You want to act like wiping out virus has never occurred before. Not imaginary, it’s occurring now and has happened before.

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        • #
          Steve of Cornubia

          Lockdown actually doesn’t need to be absolute, just effective enough to get the RO below 1 and keep it there till the virus essentially disappears. The accepted wisdom at present is that it will not be eradicated but will be a seasonal or occasional event, like the ‘flu, but what we’re doing now, with social distancing etc, is buying time for the folks in labs all around the world to develop effective treatments or, even better, a vaccine. Also, lockdown means ICUs don’t get overwhelmed by a tidal wave of critical patients, thus saving lives in the near term.

          50

          • #
            Bill In Oz

            Steve you write:
            1: “Lockdown actually doesn’t need to be absolute, just effective enough to get the RO below 1 and keep it there till the virus essentially disappears.” Yes that’s true. But the level of lock down depends on the circumstances in a given location; things like the population density in a place and how many people are infected etc. So there is no one size fits all.

            2: “The accepted wisdom at present is that it will not be eradicated but will be a seasonal or occasional event, like the ‘flu’”
            Steve, Who’s wisdom is this ? I know of no medical authority in Australia who says this. I suggest you are reading too much foreign crap mate. Instead ( if you are Aussie ) stay with local authorities like Jo who write this blog

            3 : Australia is wiping this foreign bit of CCP Chemistry out completely. That to be frank is the strategy which will give all of us our normal lives back.
            Any other strategy will bring us all undone with episodic bouts of the killer disease. Surely you don’t want that ?

            14

  • #
    DyPrime

    Dr. Erickson COVID-19 Briefing (part 1 of 2)
    Two Bakersfield doctors cite their testing data to urge reopening

    “Millions of cases, small amount of death”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3115&v=xfLVxx_lBLU&feature=emb_logo

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Situation in Bakersfield California USA
      Interesting.
      But Bakersfield is only the 9th biggest city in California – 280,000.
      So it is not quite as representative as San Francisco or LA or San Diego
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakersfield,_California

      01

    • #
      Gary

      Red thumb, someone who cannot accept the truth,sounds like Knut Wittkowski was right all the time, who would know,he has only been at it for forty years,now we get the truth from two front line doctors with forty years of experience between them, we need to keep our immune system strong and interact with people if you didn’t get it the first time, watch again and again till it sinks in

      10

  • #
    DyPrime

    Dr. Erickson COVID-19 Briefing (part 1 of 2)
    Two Bakersfield doctors cite their testing data to urge reopening

    “Millions of cases, small amount of death”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3115&v=xfLVxx_lBLU&feature=emb_logo

    51

    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      Link did not work very well…It does not conform to Jo’s bias towards crushing/broadening the curve.
      Here it is.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfLVxx_lBLU

      [Are you suggesting we only allow one side of the virus story ES ? ]AD

      34

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        No not at all AD. Posting new and more up to date data and even out of date data is allowed that i can see so far.

        23

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Then it’s a pity you are posting misinformation about Sweden ES.
          How can 2092 dead in Sweden be better than 73 dead in Australia ?

          That’s nuts !

          22

          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            Different reporting methodology.

            The numbers do not describe comorbidity very well. If the deaths were with the flu and not from the flu.

            And we need random antibody testing when we can afford it to get a better feel of percentage in any population that have already been infected at some time by the new corona flu and have antibodies, and the percentage in a population that do not have antibodies not infected yet. These numbers are vital in my non expert opinion so far.

            We cannot afford to dismiss “Dr. Erickson COVID-19 Briefing” We are lucky to have real doctors on the front line reporting what is unfolding. (unless someone can show they were paid actors or something like that)

            21

            • #
              Bill In Oz

              I’ll be frank E S
              You are being damnable & inhumane
              When you say that just because a person has co-morbidities
              When they died from this CCP Wuhan COVID 19 virus,
              Then the CCP Wuhan COVID 19 virus, did not ’cause’ the death.

              We are talking about people who were managing
              Their medical conditions, whatever they were.
              People who had an natural expectation of a long life.

              Why are you being a defender of this foreign bit of DNA
              CCP Wuhan COVID 19 virus, ?

              03

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                Spare me the insults/misrepresentations Bill

                I am defending my position of being in the middle. I now believe the vulnerable should be protected and isolated if necessary, and the rest of us with good immune systems should be good to go, especially children. I no longer believe in lockdown of the healthy as well as the vulnerable.

                From: https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-why-lockdown-may-cost-young-lives-over-time-134580
                “The government should obviously do whatever it can to protect as many lives as possible. But it is important that the challenge of COVID-19 isn’t framed simply in terms of lives at risk from the virus versus the economy. Prolonged periods of unemployment, the stress of job fragility and poverty can also claim lives. Timely thought and action is needed to reduce that risk too.”

                52

              • #
                Bill In Oz

                The healthy spread it to the vulnerable
                Your strategy if adopted would
                Kill and main the vulnerable.
                That’s inhuman and damnable.

                04

              • #
                Bill In Oz

                PS ES, It’s a long while since
                I even looked at The Conversation..
                Generally speaking it’s an alarmist
                Global warming propaganda website.

                But the article you linked to is a month out of date
                And focusses on the UK.
                Not a mention of Australia.

                So it is three times condemned as worthless.

                00

  • #
    cedarhill

    These curves follow the normal pattern of all respiratory virus or so many science and math folks point out.

    52

  • #
    WXcycles

    Countries with more than 2,500 active cases sorted by percent daily spread:

    % New v Active | Country | Active Cases | New Cases
    27.5 … Mexico … 4,502 … 1239 (finally losing it big)
    23.9 … Brazil … 25,991 … 6,201 (totally lost control)
    21.9 … Peru … 16,834 … 3,683 (totally lost control)
    10.3 … Belarus … 7,950 … 817
    9.9 … Qatar … 8,419 … 833
    9.4 … India … 19,519 … 1,836
    9.3 … Chile … 5,931 … 552
    8.8 … Russia … 67,657 … 5,966
    8.6 … Saudi Arabia … 13,948 … 1,197
    8.2 … Pakistan … 9,588 … 783
    7.8 … Egypt … 2,898 … 227
    7.3 … Iran … 15,485 … 1,134
    6.8 … Colombia … 3,842 … 261
    6.8 … UAE … 7,855 … 532
    6.7 … Argentina … 2,565 … 173
    6.7 … Ukraine … 7,142 … 478
    6.5 … Bangladesh … 4,745 … 309
    5.8 … Indonesia … 6,845 … 396
    5.5 … Canada … 26,464 … 1,466
    5.3 … Singapore … 11,679 … 618 (hot, sunny, clean, rich educated with a strong govt, but still failing)
    5.0 … South Africa … 2,802 … 141
    4.6 … Japan … 11,215 … 519
    4.6 … Serbia … 6,476 … 296
    4.6 … Ireland … 8,265 … 377
    4.5 … USA … 788,233 … 35,419
    4.4 … Poland … 8,623 … 381
    4.3 … Morocco … 3,201 … 139
    4.1 … Sweden … 14,980 … 610
    3.8 … UK … 127,714 … 4,913
    3.8 … Spain … 105,149 … 3,995
    3.7 … Germany … 40,836 … 1,514
    3.7 … Belgium … 27,991 … 1,032
    3.7 … Dominican Republic … 4,831 … 177
    3.6 … Switzerland … 5,995 … 217
    3.6 … Turkey … 79,485 … 2,861
    3.5 … Panama … 4,865 … 172
    3.1 … Austria … 2,509 … 77
    3.1 … Romania … 7,144 … 218
    2.8 … Portugal … 21,235 … 595
    2.8 … Israel … 8,664 … 240
    2.2 … Italy … 105,847 … 2,357
    2.0 … Netherlands … 32,531 … 655
    1.8 … France … 94,280 … 1,660
    1.7 … Philippines … 6,008 … 102
    1.7 … Czechia … 4,681 … 79
    0.4 … Norway … 7,260 … 30

    Singapore’s main problem is it’s a major node within a global travel network, a ‘hub’ and all the major hubs get hit first and hardest, because a highly contagious virus responds more to direct connection than other factors. Look at the countries either side of Singapore — what a mixture!

    Countries with more than 250 total deaths sorted by percentage died:

    % Died | Country | Total Deaths | New Deaths
    15.26 … Belgium … 6,917 … 238
    14.00 … France … 22,614 … 369
    13.69 … UK … 20,319 … 813
    13.51 … Italy … 26,384 … 415
    12.87 … Algeria … 419 … 4
    12.06 … Sweden … 2,192 … 40
    11.86 … Netherlands … 4,409 … 120
    10.72 … Hungary … 262 … 12
    10.24 … Spain … 22,902 … 378
    9.49 … Mexico … 1221 … 152
    8.37 … Indonesia … 720 … 31
    7.11 … Egypt … 307 … 13
    6.83 … Brazil … 4,045 … 375 (died % rising fast)
    6.77 … Philippines … 494 … 17
    6.33 … Iran … 5,650 … 76
    5.73 … Ireland … 1,063 … 49
    5.65 … Romania … 601 … 34
    5.65 … USA … 54,256 … 2,065
    5.59 … China … 4,632 … 0
    5.53 … Switzerland … 1599 … 10
    5.44 … Canada … 2,465 … 163
    4.95 … Denmark … 418 … 15
    4.65 … Poland … 524 … 30
    4.61 … Dominican Rep … 273 … 6
    3.76 … Portugal … 880 … 26
    3.75 … Germany … 5,877 … 117
    3.54 … Austria … 536 … 6
    3.14 … India … 825 … 45
    2.76 … Peru … 700 … 66
    2.72 … Japan … 360 … 15
    2.54 … Ecuador … 576 … ?
    2.51 … Turkey … 2,706 … 106
    2.11 … Pakistan … 269 … 16
    0.91 … Russia … 681 … 66

    % New v Active | Country | Active Cases | New Cases
    1.6 … Australia … 1,243 … 20

    % Died | Country | Total Deaths | New Deaths
    1.19 … Australia … 83 … 4 (currently)

    At writing there are 1,104 known active cases remaining. Oz will probably go under 100 active cases next Sunday. But community spreading is not consistently staying low enough yet, too many people are relaxing isolation when we need to go hard to finish it completely before any attempt at reopening, which will certainly fail if it’s not completely wiped out first.

    Unfortunately the QLD Premier seems to be determined to snatch a defeat from the jaws of victory, too impatient to grandstand in the media but it’s not over yet, we’re at the beginning of the end and she needs to hold her horses. Giving people the impression it over is the wrong thing to do and the QLD Health Minister needs to get on the box make the reasons clear.

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    • #
      WXcycles

      Extracted a list of countries teetering on developing a more widespread infection but remain under 2,500 active.

      Countries with less than 2,500 active cases, but more than 150, sorted by daily spreading percent above 7.5%.

      % New v Active | Country | Active Cases | New Cases
      30.0 … Maldives … 160 … 48
      22.0 … Sudan … 177 … 39
      20.8 … Senegal … 331 … 69
      17.6 … Eq. Guinea … 250 … 44
      17.4 … Mali … 258 … 45
      17.2 … Thailand … 309 … 53
      17.0 … Somalia … 364 … 62
      14.7 … Bolivia … 709 … 104
      12.5 … Kuwait … 2,217 … 278
      12.3 … Jamaica … 253 … 31
      12.1 … Iraq … 453 … 55
      12.1 … Albania … 282 … 34
      11.8 … Guatemala … 389 … 46
      11.5 … Cameroon … 768 … 88
      11.2 … Mayotte … 232 … 26
      10.7 … Sri Lanka … 327 … 35
      10.0 … Denmark … 2,358 … 235
      9.6 … Kazakhstan … 1,930 … 185
      9.6 … Armenia … 846 … 81
      9.5 … Algeria … 1,358 … 129
      9.4 … Nigeria … 925 … 87
      9.1 … Afghanistan … 1,228 … 112
      8.1 … Moldova … 2,385 … 194
      7.8 … Bosnia Herz … 837 … 65

      50

    • #

      I am glad that QLD is moving forward here – its high time.

      There are any number of stupid restrictions which do nothing for stopping virus spread that can be axed easily.

      I for one am tired of the constant barrage of “we aint seen nothing yet” from many, still in doomsday mode. We have done well, its now time to move on and start dismantling restrictions – in the US data shows 10 000 more deaths for each 1% increase in unemployment (thats over 800 per year here). Businesses have been totalled and we need to quickly assist by dismantling what we can…and try to stem the coming increase in suicides…

      I am not saying to stop them all but QLD can easily move to the SA level of restrictions. The border between QLD and NSW needs to be opened, its seeing huge traffic anyway…

      41

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        The USA data is crap and irrelevant to Australia Aussie.
        Don’t even bother quoting it !
        The USA is a separate creation
        To misquote Charles Darwin.

        But yes here in Oz we have almost
        Broken the back of this foreign virus.
        The time to ease back is getting closer.
        I’ve read of some of the restrictions there in Qld.
        They are tighter than here in SA
        And why exactly that is so is a puzzle to me.
        But Pallachook today announced some loosening.
        So enjoy..
        We are getting our normal lives back mate

        11

  • #
    MudCrab

    There is probably very little to be concluded from the NT graphs.

    Thing to remember is that the overall figures from NT are so low that they are basically noise.

    Second point in context of our discussion is that ‘isolation’ seems to be a myth. Been speaking with a contact in Alice. The word is that all the ‘locals’ left town, but mainly because they could no longer buy alcohol rather than a major health panic. As for everyone else? Business as usual. My contact reports he was still playing in his tennis comps.

    Any recovery in NT was in spite of ‘isolation’, not because of it, and in all pragmatic analysis probably had a LOT more to do with the relatively low population density and the better weather. The report I read back several weeks ago is that the virus dies rapidly at temperatures of 24 degree or more.

    Comparing Australia to Northern Italy or New York is pointless.

    60

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Luck Alice Springs !
      Only 2 days drive from the nearest city
      North or South.
      Of course population density is important.
      But there are nowadays a lot of places in Australia
      With a very high population density.
      All our big cities are loaded with them.
      In fact the greens have been pushing
      For high density living for decades
      As the way to stop Australians buying & using cars !
      So much for that bit of Greenist rubbish thinking

      00

    • #
      WXcycles

      The report I read back several weeks ago is that the virus dies rapidly at temperatures of 24 degree or more.

      Theoretically yes mudcrab, but actually no, what you’re saying there is complete rubbish, look at the countries involved within the lists I posted above, then go check their observation data.

      I’m fairly sure the temp does not drop below 24 C much in hot humid Singapore, Indonesia or equatorial northern Brazil. You think the “virus dies rapidly”, actually? It’s RNA code so does not die, and for whatever reasons it’s in fact NOT disappearing as the dodgy paper you read suggests.

      The opposite is occurring within the data available, the virus is spreading considerably faster within the hotter moister counties than in the cooler drier ones, the reality is the OPPOSITE of the theory’s expectations, and your belief.

      Why? Because apparently it’s underlying contagiousness is being enhanced more by heat and moisture than the code is being eliminated by it. That is the implication within the data we have. This has already been discussed at great length? Did you not pay any attention? Your statement above that the, “virus dies rapidly at temperatures of 24 degree or more“, is idiotic, because the data shows the spreading is more virulent above ~24C and the symptomatic cases are just as severe.

      Got any data to show what you are claiming is not completely irrelevant garbage? I’ve a whole lot available data which shows the theory that it will fade in heat and moisture is nonsense for this particular virus. You should be able to figure that out by now with just a 30 second look at the data available that your remark is rubbish.

      Your analysis is usually much more sensible on other topics, why is it so weak and faulty here?

      52

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Well said WXCycles.
        We sort of hoped that this idea was right back in February
        When all the infections were in cold northern hemisphere countries.
        And I suspect that some tropical countries
        Based their policies on this idea
        ( Eg Indonesia & Ecuador )
        But the way that this CCP Wuhan rna has spread since then
        Proves it very wrong.

        30

  • #
  • #
    Streetcred

    https://realclimatescience.com/2020/04/effectiveness-of-the-new-zealand-lockdown/
    [Please add some comment and description when you post links.]ED

    00

  • #
    bobl

    I have been doing my own epidemiology, there is a clear break at around 15C daytime Max where infection rate drops dramatically. I presume where microdroplet transmission fails. This occurs in the timeline everywhere I’ve looked. Stockholm Max is around 7C so they have a way to go before it gets warm enough for “social distancing” to actually work.

    New York is in the teens this week and has been approaching the magic 15C for a few weeks in two weeks of stable days over 15C we should see a bigger turnaround there NY is probably closer to herd immunity than anywhere else so even without the weather proving I’d expect a level off.

    34

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Then please explain Brazil Bob
      Tropical country with 61,888 infections
      and 4205 deaths.
      And lots of the deaths in the Amazon city of Manaus.
      Please explain Ecuador, a small tropical country
      With 22,000 + infections
      and 576 deaths.
      Please explain Mexico
      With 13,800 infections
      And 1300 people dead.

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/brazil/

      The rate of spread in these tropical countries is also high.
      So although your hypothesis his interesting
      And I would actually love to be right,
      It does not explain the facts.

      11

    • #
      WXcycles

      I have been doing my own epidemiology, there is a clear break at around 15C daytime Max where infection rate drops dramatically. I presume where microdroplet transmission fails.

      A claim with no data.

      The spreading percent data shows very clearly that this particular virus spreads substantially faster in warmer and moister countries, than in colder and drier countries. This real-world data shows that your theory that warmer = less transmission, is obvious utter nonsense bobl.

      Why do you keep continually pushing this irrelevant delusional drivel when the data shows it could not be more misguided?

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  • #
    Environment Skeptic

    Some Sunday night viewing….”This is a improvised on-bike discussion about antibodies, immunity, vaccination, and antibody dependent enhancement of viral infections.”

    From: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcMPzatObYA
    Vaccines, ADE, and Convalescent Plasma — Special Report — J.C. ON A BIKE (FULL UNCUT RIDE!)

    11

    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      Good to see the world is watching out there. Though i do not endorse everything the author says, it is none the less informative in my entirely non expert opinion so far today , this evening.

      01

  • #
    Hanrahan

    Australia was kissed on the ring: No land borders and it hit in the middle of a hot summer [We, in the north, are still having 30deg days]. A recent study in the US tested the half-life of the virus at different temps and humidities and it was mere minutes on hard surfaces, with temps of 75 dF , humidity above 20% [not sure of that]. UV also killed it quickly.

    I reckon going to the beach and soaking up some sun is ideal therapy. Why is it illegal in most jurisdictions? D3 is the great preventative anyway.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      I’d like it if the myth of Australia
      As the land of Sun & Surf
      was resurrected !

      That was the land of my youth & young adult years.
      And it was killed by the threat of skin cancer
      From sun exposure.
      We became with Philipp Adam’s help
      The land of Slip Slap Slop !
      And it’s only in the last 5-10 years
      That we have rediscovered the need of sunlight
      To make Vitamin D3 – to stay healthy !

      20

    • #
    • #

      Hanrahan, going to the beaches is (or was) illegal because we have one law for all, and if 50% of the city went to the beach the virus would spread even there.

      So yes, though it seems crazy, while sun and swimming would make people healthier at low risk of catching the virus, as Bondi shows, it’s hard to make one law for all and not end up with an unacceptable risk.

      What do we do, offer lottery tickets to the first 100 online in one hour time tabled beach slots, and tell the others they can’t go?

      10

  • #
    Rock Doctor

    Lucky Australia and New Zealand being islands. It doesn’t work so well for the rest of us.

    11

    • #
      MrGrimNasty

      You don’t need to be an Island to have robust border controls – the UK is a joke, record numbers of illegals taking a pleasure trip across the English Channel amidst (the rather overblown) pandemic. The situation was declared a ‘major incident’ back in 2018 by the Home Secretary and nothing has been done except make it easier to pick them up and bring them here.

      They still claim most are genuine refugees, whereas obviously, having passed through numerous safe countries already, they are not. This could be stopped dead, with a robust policy of return to France, no questions, no exceptions. Instead the only voices heard are the ones saying it’s our fault for not picking up all-comers and transporting them to the UK safely! We even signed the UN migration compact which essentially says that.

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/04/24/record-breaking-month-migrant-channel-crossings-500-arrive-since/

      Anyway, back to the point, the progress of the virus in NZ/Oz so far, is more a result of other random stuff than the policies adopted, time will show that.

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      Bill In Oz

      Almost all countries used to have strong borders.
      These existed o control disease outbreaks as well as to keep out the unwanted.
      Australia has strong borders because we Australians have always wanted them.
      Not because we are an island

      The only reason that strong border control have disappeared in other countries is ideological
      The solution : change your ideology !
      Dump the open borders ideology !

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      • #
        WXcycles

        The only reason that strong border control have disappeared in other countries is ideological
        The solution : change your ideology !
        Dump the open borders ideology !

        Spot on, the rationale for open-borders has always been irrational, it leans to style-over-substance, to virtue-signalling, to centralist-control of a remote, disconnected, unrepresentative and anti-democratic globalism with an exploitative parasitic dictatorial ideologically propelled ruling-elite “world-government”, pumping out stupid memes and dictates which are inefficient, misguided, time and money wasting, and obviously wrong. There is no ‘right’ holistic global policy that can be applied to everyone, a global-government with no borders is a non-starter. That meme should have been debunked and rejected by larger powers 40 years ago. Instead that mentality and set of false memes has been left to fester, largely unchallenged.

        The entire pandemic was possible only because governments hesitated to honor the national taxpaying voters who elected them, over globalist interests and ideological memes. The result is the avoidable economic damage and disruption of lives of those taxpaying voters.

        The policies we are about to implement during May and June could have been implemented in early Feb with far less damage, if our border control was logical and rational, and our politicians less concerned with ideology and style over substance (we already saw the infection cases popping up within multiple closely connected countries). Our economy would not have shuttered in that case, we would have just done what we are about to do instead. Cruise ships would never have been allowed dock at the heart of a major city’s berth, airlines would not have been allowed to keep dumping corona virus in Australia like they did without quarantine.

        Our borders failed, Iceland’s border failed, even Israel’s border failed (much of it a giant concrete wall). Bad globalist polices and memes serve to easily defeat even strong borders and controls. This is not just a lesson about the CCP and UN agencies or EU Commission that we need to learn, it’s also a lesson about the damaging globalist memes and “world view”, and its effect on even the countries with remaining strong borders and natural isolation. It damages countries to tolerate and accommodate these failed globalization memes. We’ve tried these ideas and they’ve failed us repeatedly.

        Ideas -> Ideals -> Ideology -> Mass Delusion -> Globalist Parasitic Utopia -> National govs repeatedly failing the taxpayers and voters

        How many more times do we plan to keep making that mistake? All those failed ideas have done is promote weakness of heart mind, economy and country, endless institutionalized codified normalized and imposed endless gross error, engendered national decay, plus also openly states it DELIBERATELY AIMS to create vast economic damage, and is creating and entrenching social demoralization and failure.

        This is the opposite of what these ideas were supposed to do — for us.

        The only redeeming justification for such ideologies and internationalist organisations is if they serve us better, and they don’t!

        Just like ideological communism in China, these ideas of globalizing control and government must go away — NOW. Like the CCP monstrosity these international ideas have failed the people. The “United Nations” mechanism was supposed to be about each NATION governing better their Sovereign Territory. It was never supposed to be a usurper of global power and central control by a bunch of deranged, parasitic ideological watermelons, who habitually work against those Nation States and their people.

        That was never supposed to happen, no one agreed to that at any point, no one in 1948 wanted that result, no one believed that was what the UN was for. Our borders are Sovereign borders and they are to protect our health and best interests, because no one else ever will. And nor should should such people ever be trusted.

        They actively work against our borders, our Sovereignty, our economy and our people’s interests. They repeatedly bite the hand that feeds them. We used to fire .303 cartridges at people who did such things to Australians, but now our press panders to them at the National Press Club, and Canberra gives them banquet dinners.

        The solution : change your ideology

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          WX, agreed but it’s totally rational to allow open borders if you are a property developer looking to increase home prices, or a left wing politician looking to import more left-leaning voters.

          Also works for companies that want cheap labor. All three of these interests will call anyone who points this out a racist for saying so.

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      Steve of Cornubia

      The UK & Ireland are island nations, too. They could have closed their borders just as effectively as Australia did.

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  • #
    WXcycles

    There’s strong “weekend” noise within today’s data (from Sunday). The deaths should be about double what was reported today. This is the most noise-affected data to date, so any derived percentages or analysis would be misleading. Unfortunately people look at the weekend data noise and presume things are improving. But it isn’t, the NET active infection is growing sharply each day.

    The new cases growth on Saturday was ~89,000, or ~6,000 more than China’s entire claimed infection level, accrued over 6 months, so things are not getting better or becoming more mild, it’s just not going as bad at such a frenetic pace. There will be about an additional 2.4 million cases added during all of April. India and Africa will add to what’s begun to occur in South and Central America, during May, and many more millions of new cases will be added. But the data flow from these areas is unlikely to be representative of the real scale of symptomatic cases, and resulting deaths (many of which will go unrecorded).

    But given there’s a general realization and acceptance that global deaths lag global total cases data by about 20 days (including a lag in processing the tests for new cases), I’ll illustrate what this equates to. Last Friday’s (more representative) deaths data was 197,095 deaths. With that general assumption these deaths have resulted from the total cases number from ~20 days prior, on the 4th of April (1,201,186 cases globally).

    24th April = 197,095 Total Died
    4th April = 1,201,186 Total Cases

    197,095 deaths is 16.41% if these 1,201,186 cases.

    In which case ~16.4% of the known cases on April 4th have died today.

    So ignoring the weekend noise present, we can presume we really have ~3,000,000 cases today. 16.41% of 3 million means we’ll have around 492,000 dead within 20 days (from yesterday), i.e. 492,000 dead on May 16th, 2020. So ~500,000 dead on ~17th of May.

    That 16.4% proportion which die, is unlikely to improve as the trend is towards slow increase in mortality over the past 2 months. In which case we could get to half of 1 million deaths as soon as the 15th of May. As that date is passed the total cases will be rising faster within multiple very high population developing countries. We’re on a path for about 9 million total cases on the last day of May and producing about 1.5 million total deaths by the end of May.

    The recent indications from spreading percentages in South and Central America suggests the virus case curve is going to accelerate again during May as the developing world joins the developed world. If that occurs the total cases at the end of May could very greatly exceed 9 million cases. If such re-acceleration occurs and is sustained at a higher level the total cases could easily exceed 15 million by the end of May.

    And if your dismissive and think the died proportions given above are pessimistic (for no particular reason, except you just don’t like data) they’re not, just the reverse, they’re the optimistic case.

    Consider this sobering US quantitative fact: Of the 174,194 “resolved cases” in the USA today, 68% of them recovered, while 32% of them died! If this proportion of died remains true for the rest of the USA’s 987,160 known cases today (812,966 active) then US deaths from the current known total cases would be 317,000 dead.

    32% of resolved cases in the USA are a death.

    So expect the number of US deaths to exceed half a million before this is over. And if US States with community-spreading reopen now the final US death total would become millions of dead.

    With these sorts of real-world observed died proportions in the USA now, all talk of a “let it rip” approach, should be instantly dismissed. Such people are simply ignoring the numbers and trying to discredit them with one excuse after another after another excuse.

    -

    No edgy contrarian youtube link will change the fact that 32% of all resolved cases in the USA are a death.

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    Bill In Oz

    WXCycles I have friends in Argentina.
    I have checked out what is happening in Argentina via https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/argentina/
    And also via Facebook posts.
    But neither is very helpful.
    Apparently Buenos Aires has a strong long down
    With everyone staying at home since early March.
    But Argentina traditionally ( and even by it’s constitution )
    A strong commitment to free entry by anyone from South America
    With no visa requirements or ‘borders’ as such.
    And such people are given free hospital treatment -such as it is.
    Such a situation would set Argentina up for a mass COVID 19 problem
    So I wonder if you have heard anything

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    thingadonta

    It’s becoming more obvious that this virus relies on stealth, spreading quietly and best in closed spaces in cooler conditions (just like in a bat cave?).

    Countries like Australia and New Zealand have had at least 3 advantages with this disease, they are not very densely populated, the virus arrived in late summer (it doesn’t spread as easily in heat), and they are both islands- meaning its easier to control the borders.

    Studies have shown this virus interferes with the ‘innate immune system’, which is the body’s first line of defence, it dampens this down considerably so that by the time the body ‘realises’ it has an invader, the disease is well advanced. Children’s ‘innate immune system’ in particular is sharper, so doesn’t get so easily fooled. Its reminiscent of AIDS a little in that it targets the body’s immune system itself upon entering the body, which makes it a well organised stealth invader. (If you want to say, rob a bank, knock out the guards and the alarm system first, as quietly as possible). This sort of thing indicates a virus with alot of natural selection behind it, millions of years of it in the caves of bats.

    Nasty things these bat viruses, millions of years of evolution has made them extremely virulent and adaptable-Rabies, Nipah, Ebola, Lassa, SARS 1,2 and MERS are all bat viruses. They are the only flying mammal, and there may be a good reason for this, mammalian anatomy and physiology may not be as robust as true bird anatomy and physiology when it comes to fighting off viruses, and birds also seem to do better than bats with regards to harbouring and resisting viruses. This may also be a reason why the dinosaurs (birds are also dinosaurs) got ahead of mammals early in evolution, perhaps dinosaur and bird body systems are simply more resistant to the multitude of viruses out there.

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    Laura

    “Crush the Curve”… More like “Crush Freedom”.

    The Government has succeeded in terrifying the population (including Jo). Let me be clear. This is a test run and anytime the Government wants to do this again (and they will), most people, without having the ability to think critically anymore, will become hysterical with fear and DEMAND any draconian measures the Government cooks up to “keep us safe”. Pfffft!

    Jo talks about quarantining Australia, and uses Samoa in 1918 as an example. Really Jo? This is a so called world wide pandemic. It is orchestrated. Should we all live in a plastic bubble in Australia, to keep us safe until we get a vaccine? C’mon.

    Where’s the Jo that helped blow man made global warming out of the water?

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      I’m the same Jo I always was. Speaking my mind. Following the evidence.

      IF some freedom lovers don’t wake up soon they will miss the best chance they’ve had in the last thirty years to score wins. Like national borders that mean something. Like leaders who don’t just believe everything one committee tells them to believe.

      Real science is apolitical. That’s where I’m at.

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    philf

    I watched the Bakersfield CA video. Time to start back to normal.
    philf USA, PA

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      Environment Skeptic

      Me too…i agree… Back to normal is good..”Time to start back to normal” is even better in my own opinion

      I agree philf

      Thanks.

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    • #
      WXcycles

      In the USA 32% of all case resolutions die.

      “Oh, but the national data is completely useless!”, say dangerous fools who want everyone to ignore such data.

      No the US National data is not “useless”, it shows very clearly that within the USA a confirmed case of COVID-19 has a 1 in 3 chance of dying. Those are hard numbers.

      For a comparison, in Australia this same number is 1.47 in 100 COVID-19 cases die.

      1 in 3 dead, verses 1.47 in 100 dead.

      Take a hint!

      Your national performance so far unspeakably abysmal, but you reject the good ideas which plainly work, to adopt the worst possible ideas, that don’t work. So just as the USA clocks over 1 million total confirmed cases today, the mantra is, “Let’s re-open, the danger is negligible, the worst has passed, open up now!”

      What a great idea! “Let’s get back to normal!”

      The US is currently headed for a minimum of ~320,000 dead, and US active cases are still a veeery long way from a peak. So if such a “re-opening” actually occurred the resulting peak in active cases in the USA would be literally about 3 more months away.

      Because the USA’s economy WILL be closing down again, before it finally peaks during an unforgiving remorseless crescendo of death, in the multiple millions.

      US States isolated when there were only ~20 K total cases, nationally, but now when there’s 1 million US total cases, and 810,000 active, with 32% of all resolved cases ending in death, they want to open up.

      I’ve not seen a more stupid idea than this, I’ve seen many really, really stupid things occur, but nothing will ever be more stupid than this. The USA will surely clean-up at the 2020 Darwin Awards.

      The toxic mix of greed and a willfully ignorant foolish culture in the USA has now goaded governments into playing Russian-Roulette with the population, not just debt-bloated fake market and fake economy. “The data is just fear-mongering!” No, evolution gave us a fear-response for extremely good reasons, it’s highly beneficial for survival in danger. It’s not a disadvantage or undesirable at all to be afraid enough to act correctly when the danger’s real. When you have a highly contagious disease producing 1 in 3 deaths as outcomes in the USA today, that isn’t fear-mongering — that’s the real deal.

      The outcome of a widespread re-opening in the USA at this point is completely predicable, though I guess you really, reeeally need to go to the beach.

      Exceptionalism on a stick.

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    Macha

    Gov policy should be balanced. Good medical services require strong economies. Venezuela comes to mind for the wealthiest in the world back in the 80′s to broke in 00′s. Just like managing road deaths and smoke diseases…Do just enough not to overload hospitals. Investors need to build wealth to sustain a thriving economy and a strong welfare system will come from that, not vice versa.

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