JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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More viruses imported. Govt says “OK” and plans for faster morgues

Moving at sedimentary-rock speed, the Australian government has finally put a ban on flights from Italy effective at 6pm, and only ten days too late. On the 28th of February Italy had 1700 cases and infections were growing at 30% a day. At that point it was obvious where the numbers were headed. Today France, Spain and Germany are where Italy was then. How many infections will we fly in before we do the inevitable and ban them too?

Meanwhile Western Australia “has a plan” to strangle the state bit by bit, change shopping hours and do faster burials.

All the cases are imported on planes, and all of the solutions include people getting sick. Are we missing something here?

  • Three more diagnosed cases of COVID-19 brings the total to nine in WA
  • WA has released a pandemic plan to keep delivering essential services

Dr Robertson said the three people had recently flown back from Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Health officials were working to identify the flights on which the three patients travelled and would contact the passengers who sat closest to them, Dr Robertson said.

The pandemic plan, which was last updated in 2014, provides all Government agencies with guidelines to continue to deliver essential services in the event of a widespread coronavirus outbreak.

It includes preparations for school, business and childcare centre closures, cancellations of major events and public transport, and even processes for cemeteries to implement quicker burials.

The plan also considers “special arrangements for shopping hours to avoid overcrowding”.

Some governments can say they were blindsided. Other governments know in advance their policies are killing people.

Keep sending those letters. Get radio talk back active.

Every plane has an increasing chance of bringing people who could unwittingly kill our citizens, and may themselves need precious ICU beds as well.

Rock and Hard place choices here:

We can do deaths and pain and then kill the local tourism and restaurant industry. Or we can demand a two week mandatory quarantine and skip the dying bit and possibly save those industries because we’ll all have the freedom to fly and drive inside our own state.

International quarantine is a bargain compared to domestic lock-downs.

 

9.5 out of 10 based on 62 ratings

92 comments to More viruses imported. Govt says “OK” and plans for faster morgues

  • #
    WXcycles

    We need two week mandatory quarantine.

    This is the quickest most efficient way to put a lid on the spread in Australia and Globally.

    And um … where’s the sensible Conservative ‘opposition’?

    120

    • #
      Lionell Griffith

      Part of the problem is that a politician is a creature who doesn’t want to get blamed for anything bad happening. He also eagerly takes claim to anything good happening even if and especially if he did nothing to make it happen.

      This makes their preferred action of issuing pretty words, pretty pictures, and holding conferences, making plans, and forming committees of the upmost importance. All making sure that the spending of money with the pretense of making something happening, increases without limit.

      All of which is carefully orchestrated to make sure that nothing at all really happens except the spending of the money. That way it is always someone else’s fault for not doing enough or spending enough.

      It is irrelevant to them that the public is injured by this policy more than if they did nothing and kept quiet. Their payoff is press releases and abundant appearances on the Sunday Morning Talk Shows.

      There are public displays of massive but empty games of “Ain’t it awful?” and “Now I have got you, you SOB!” in play. This allows everyone to point fingers with the pretense that someone else “Has to do something – anything!” but not them.

      I have seen this play out in so many circumstances I have lost count but here we have it again, “One More Time”. We have a chance of surviving it but at what cost? I say, give the bill to the politicians and make them PERSONALLY pay for it even if they have nothing left afterwards.

      100

  • #
    sophocles

    Just build a wall up WA’s eastern border, from the Nullarbor to the Coral Sea.
    Shoot down any incoming, turn back all vehicles, horse-drawn traffic, roo-riders and pedestrians.
    Permit all outgoing. Bye, and don’t come back now y’ hear?

    Keep it shut until the rest of Australia surrenders.

    44

    • #
      Another Ian

      But will it keep out the cane toads?

      31

      • #
        sophocles

        Another Ian asked:

        But will it keep out the cane toads?

        Wouldn’t have a clue.

        It’s not been designed yet.

        Do cane toads like desert?
        Sand and stuff like that?

        It would be a bit like Trump’s wall: add a vertical challenge for the migrants.

        20

        • #
          Bushkid

          Cane toads have already made it through in the north. It’s wet up there for at least half the year, unlike the Nullabour. Cane toads don’t do deserts.

          10

  • #
    Geoff

    Main thing to do is free flights to Italy for anyone who wants to go.

    21

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    One has to wonder whether either they didn’t care or actively wanted the virus to get in….

    I guess without a virus, you cant test all your new medical “martial law” laws can you?

    Is what it is…huh….

    /sarc

    70

    • #
      John McClure

      “One was to wonder ” is not positive action – talk the talk or walk it?

      It occurred to me, if “social distancing ” is a reasonable mitigation to slow the spread and help to eliminate the infection peaks, which will inundate healthcare services, where is the data.

      It’s very easy to create a website which documents school closures, confirmed cases, quarantine areas, etc. by region, city, town, and neighborhood. It’s also very easy to create an excel template or interactive pdf to act as a source for decision making corporations to households. Updates fee to all.

      Here in the USA, each State is responsible for policy and decision making. Each and every State has access to Federal and State CDC alerts etc…

      Yet, none of them have used common technology available to CEOs and every household to disseminate data to help mitigate the spread.

      Find the data, structure it insightfully, and give it away for free. Jack wagon politics will be onboard in a NY minute.

      10

      • #
        John McClure

        In the worst of times we gather.

        I’ve given you an idea to take positive action.

        Let’s hear your insightful solutions.

        Stop “talking the talk” – coordination and action…

        00

        • #
          John McClure

          JoNova,
          “… quarantine is a bargain compared to domestic lock-downs.”,

          Why do you believe your ports, flights, international trade is threatening?

          They never get off a ship, freight carrier, etc, in a free trade zone.

          This is about the data.

          11

      • #
        Roger Knights

        “Yet, none of them [U.S. states] have used common technology available to CEOs and every household to disseminate data to help mitigate the spread.”

        I’ve been thinking that they could partner with the neighbor-to-neighbor NextDoor app.

        01

        • #
          John McClure

          If it’s not a tween exercise it may be logical.

          I’m long in tooth, suspect this ap is foolish.

          We need data from the source to distribute freely without tweens who hope to be somethings.

          10

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Just seen 3 support crew for the formula one have been quarantined.

    70

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    O/T …but…. Politburo thinking?

    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/new-legislation-will-leave-us-vulnerable-to-more-energy-price-rises-20200310-p548it.html

    “New legislation will leave us vulnerable to more energy price rises

    “Under Premier Daniel Andrews, Victorians have faced mounting cost of living pressures. Over the past five years, nowhere have those pressures been felt more sharply than through our power bills.

    “Despite the promise of lower energy costs and guarantees of supply, Andrews and his Energy Minister still manage to send a shiver down our spines when we face yet another quarterly power bill.

    “The Victorian Parliament recently debated the National Energy (Victoria) Amendment Bill, proposed legislation that should concern every Victorian household and business struggling with these ever-increasing bills. Like every other empty promise the government has made about energy policy in this state, the government claims that this legislation will cut costs and improve our power transmission network. The reality is that it will leave every Victorian exposed to further price rises.

    “The new legislation will give the minister complete discretionary power to decide what infrastructure upgrades are needed – without the current independent, evidence-based assessments. Not only that, it will remove the need for a cost-benefit analysis or the need to open up these projects to a competitive tender process.
    ………
    “The Liberal Nationals strongly support the inclusion of renewables in the energy generation mix as we transition from coal; it’s crucial to our energy future. But Daniel Andrews’ government has allowed the construction of a range of wind and solar projects in remote parts of Western Victoria, where the ageing infrastructure simply can’t cope with the transmission of the generated energy.

    “Building new generators without the transmission capacity to carry power to the end user is like building the houses in a new estate before the roads and utilities have been completed. It’s illogical and lacks common sense.

    “Dr James Prest from the Australian National University has condemned Labor’s poor planning, likening its approach to building a “high tech, modern greenhouse”, then “attempting to get the produce to market down a one-lane bush track which is frequently flooded”.

    50

    • #
      Spetzer86

      Expecting lower prices from renewable energy sources would be counter to all known data. You’d have to be willfully ignorant to believe energy prices go down with renewables. That said, there are an amazingly high number of willfully ignorant people out there.

      60

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    What appears to be a constantly updated site covering all deaths in the USA and victims ages etc.

    Seems to have links back to relavent govt data sources with *detailed* data about each case.

    https://www.kxan.com/news/coronavirus/everything-we-know-about-the-26-coronavirus-deaths-in-the-u-s/

    Chart of U.S. coronavirus deaths

    Case State County Age Gender Death Date
    1. California Placer 70s Male March 4
    2. California Santa Clara 60s Female March 9
    3. California Sacramento 90s Female March 10
    4. Florida Lee 77 Female March 5
    5. Florida Santa Rosa 71 Male March 6
    6. New Jersey Bergen 69 Male March 10
    7. South Dakota Pennington 65 Male March 10
    8. Washington Grant 80s ?? March 8
    9. Washington Snohomish 40s Male March 2
    10. Washington King 80s Female Feb. 26
    11. Washington King 50s Male Feb. 26
    12. Washington King 50s Male Feb. 28
    13. Washington King 70s Male Feb. 29
    14. Washington King 70s Male March 1
    15. Washington King 70s Female March 1
    16. Washington King 80s Female March 1
    17. Washington King 70s Female March 2
    18. Washington King 70s Male March 2
    19. Washington King 90s Female March 3
    20 Washington King 90s Female March 3
    21. Washington King 80s Female March 4
    22. Washington King 60s Male March 5
    23. Washington King 80s Female March 5
    24. Washington King 90s Male March 5
    25. Washington King 80s Female March 6
    26. Washington King 70s Female March 6
    27. Washington King 80s Female March 6
    28. Washington King 70s Female March 8
    29. Washington King 90s Female March 8
    30. Washington King 80s Female March 8
    31. Washington King 80s Male March 9

    Average age of those who died: 77.55 years old
    Average age of men who died: 69.38 years old
    Average age of women who died: 83.35 years old

    131

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      I a mystified why I get a red thumb for posting useful intelligence that has taken great effort to dig out.

      With this thing, any intelligence is useful intelligence.

      Oh well….you cant help some people.

      110

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Info on UK deaths, age etc.

    https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/six-coronavirus-deaths-uk-location-17898181

    “Six people in the UK have died after testing positive for the coronavirus.

    “England’s deputy chief medical officer warned the start of the UK peak of the coronavirus epidemic is expected within the next fortnight.

    “Dr Jenny Harries defended the government’s decision to delay closing schools and the introduction of other stringent tactics, saying experts are assessing new cases on an hourly basis to achieve a “balanced response”.

    “But new measures – including those aimed at protecting the elderly and vulnerable – are expected shortly as cases rise more rapidly across the UK.

    “Here’s everything we know about those who died after testing positive for the virus.

    “First death

    When? Thursday, March 5
    Who? Woman in her 70s
    Where? Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, Berkshire

    “On Thursday March 5, a woman in her 70s, became the first person in the UK to die after being diagnosed with Covid-19, while at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.

    “Second death

    When? Friday, March 6
    Who? Man aged 83
    Where? Milton Keynes University Hospital, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

    “It was then confirmed on Friday March 6, that an 83-year-old great-grandfather had become the second person to die in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus.

    “The man, who also had underlying health conditions, died while being treated at Milton Keynes University Hospital.

    “Third death

    When? Sunday, March 8
    Who? Man in 60s
    Where? North Manchester General Hospital, Greater Manchester

    “A third patient died on Sunday March 8 after testing positive for coronavirus.

    “The man, aged in his 60s, who had underlying health problems, died at North Manchester General Hospital having recently returned from Italy.

    “Fourth death

    When? Monday, March 9
    Who? Patient in their 70s
    Where? Royal Wolverhampton Hospital, Wolverhampton, West Midlands

    “Yesterday (March 9) the fourth person to die after testing positive for coronavirus in England was being treated in Wolverhampton and had underlying health conditions.

    “The patient, in their 70s who was being treated for ‘underlying health conditions’, died at the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital.

    “Fifth death

    When? Monday, March 9
    Who? Patient in their 70s
    Where? Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals, Epsom, Surrey

    “Later that evening, the Epsom & St Helier Trust confirmed a patient in their 70s who had “a number of significant and long-term health conditions” had died.

    “Sixth death

    When? Tuesday, March 10
    Who? Patient in their 80s
    Where? Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals, Epsom, Surrey

    “Today, March 10, a patient who was being treated by West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, became the sixth person to die as a result of the virus.

    “The patient was in their 80s and had underlying health conditions.

    “A statement from West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Sadly, we can confirm that a man who was being cared for at Watford General Hospital, and had tested positive for Covid-19, has died.

    “For the latest updates on coronavirus follow our dedicated live blog here.

    “”The patient, who died in the evening of Monday March 9, was in his early 80s and had underlying health conditions.

    82

  • #
    Bill In Oz

    Time to say exactly what this is happening.
    IT IS A PLAGUE
    SAUVEZ QUI PEUT !
    .
    For all of Australia it has gone from 84 on Saturday to 125 now on Wednesday evening…
    That is roughly doubling in less than a week

    There always be some bloody idiots who think they know what is best for Australia and go wherever they want.
    Selfish dumbnuts ! And to be frank it is these selfish dumbnuts that the government has been listening to.

    You have been right all along Jo in every one of your posts.
    And I have supported you with more factual evidence & informed comments.

    But frankly I have grown tired of trying to persuade the utter idiots in government to adopt
    A COMMON SENSE POLICY on this PLAGUE.
    Instead it seems our elected government believes as I said the other day :
    “THIS IS THE VIRUS AUSTRALIA HAS TO HAVE”

    So now it has reached the point where I must look to my own skills & knowledge to save myself. Thankfully over the past 6 weeks or so I’ve learned here and elsewhere, what will protect me & mine from this disease. Among them are :
    No more face to face contact activities
    Stay home as much as possible and go out only when it is essential
    Stock up food and other essential supplies
    Wear a mask & gloves in public areas
    Take the supplements like Vitamin D & Potassium which help the body’s immune system defeat & minimise this disease.
    And I’ve stocked up on a ig supply of books to read as well to alleviate the boredom.

    141

    • #
      sophocles

      Bill in Oz said:

      And I’ve stocked up on a big supply of books to read

      Good to see you have your priorities right, Bill 😀
      That’s about my survival plan, too.

      2.5 book cases completed, 2.5 to assemble …

      50

      • #

        Rather than read interminable books like ‘war and peace’ I thoroughly recommend the BBC series which is fabulous and a lot more intelligible.

        10

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Masks?

      What are they?

      We’re being told by the politicians, their “experts” and their ABC they’re not needed and don’t work in any case, for the general public. Forget them says their ABC:

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2020-02-17/coronavirus-face-masks-hygiene-prevention/11958878

      On the other hand, the medical front liners and their union are saying they need to have them.

      It also includes $1.1 billion for buying equipment to protect health care staff and patients.

      This includes protective gear such as face masks, surgical gowns, goggles and hand sanitiser,…

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-11/federal-government-health-funding-package-coronavirus/12046058

      Now, that’s got to be the paradox of the century.

      Perhaps the Minister for Health would care to explain?

      No wonder the Australian people have little trust in government, its agencies and its so-called “experts”.

      70

      • #
        Deano

        Sceptical Sam – The advice about surgical masks confused me too – they’re essential yet useless?? They also pointed out a carrier could have no symptoms yet pass it on to others. Then they said you don’t need testing unless you meet quite exclusive criteria. They arranged COVID19 testing clinics here in WA at 3 major hospital sites where people who may or may not be infected stand in line alongside each other, waiting to be tested with others in the same condition. So, you may have picked up the virus 5 minutes before you’re tested, give a negative result yet think you’re safe to mix with others.

        It’s plain obvious politicians are taking advantage of a virus to conveniently get rid of those annoying elderly people that are costing too much and causing embarrassment in the aged care Royal Commission.

        70

        • #
          el gordo

          Andrew Bolt (Sky) said the main aim of the masks is to keep our hands away from directly touching the face. A sort of preventative measure.

          50

      • #
        sophocles

        They do help you not add to the droplet loading in the air once you’ve caught the bug.

        70

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      And it’s time to go work in the gardens.
      The Summer is the worst I’ve ever had in my gardens.
      Poor harvests of tomatoes, peppers, egg plants basil & pumpkin !
      A few days of intense heat which cooked things
      With mostly cooler than normal weeks .
      At least we’ve had some rain in January & February.
      But time to do the Winter garden
      Probably better for me than spending time at this screen reading and writing.
      given gym will be not part of the mix for much longer.

      20

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Now going “around the grounds”…..

    Italian daily update from : Italian Higher Institute of Health

    https://www.iss.it/comunicati-stampa/-/asset_publisher/fjTKmjJgSgdK/content/id/5292020?_com_liferay_asset_publisher_web_portlet_AssetPublisherPortlet_INSTANCE_fjTKmjJgSgdK_redirect=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.iss.it%2Fcomunicati-stampa%3Fp_p_id%3Dcom_liferay_asset_publisher_web_portlet_AssetPublisherPortlet_INSTANCE_fjTKmjJgSgdK%26p_p_lifecycle%3D0%26p_p_state%3Dnormal%26p_p_mode%3Dview%26_com_liferay_asset_publisher_web_portlet_AssetPublisherPortlet_INSTANCE_fjTKmjJgSgdK_cur%3D0%26p_r_p_resetCur%3Dfalse%26_com_liferay_asset_publisher_web_portlet_AssetPublisherPortlet_INSTANCE_fjTKmjJgSgdK_assetEntryId%3D5292020

    “Press Release N ° 19/2020 – One in five coronavirus positive patients is between 19 and 50 years old

    “22% of Sars-CoV-2 buffer positive patients are between 19 and 50 years old. This was stated by an analysis by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, which makes it very clear how the rules of social distancing must be respected in all age groups, including young people.

    “In these days we are in the news report many examples of violations of the recommendations, especially by young people – underlines Silvio Brusaferro, president of the ISS -.

    “These data confirm how all age groups contribute to the spread of infection, and unfortunately the worst effects affect frail elderly people. Giving up a party or an aperitif with friends, not leaving the area where you live and giving up returning home is a duty to protect your own health and that of others, especially the most fragile “.

    “The analysis, out of 8342 positive cases at 9 March at 10 am, shows that :

    “1.4% are under the age of 19,
    “22.0% are in the 19-50 range,
    “37.4% between 51 and 70 and
    “39.2% are over 70,

    “for a median age of 65. 62.1% are men.

    “There are 583 positive health workers.

    “The median time elapsed between the date of onset of symptoms and diagnosis is 3-4 days.

    “10% of cases are asymptomatic, 5% with few symptoms,
    “30% with mild symptoms,
    “31% are symptomatic,
    “6% have severe symptoms and
    “19% are critical.

    “24% of the cases examined are hospitalized.

    “The analysis confirms that 56.6% of the deceased people are over 80 years old, and two thirds of them have 3 or more pre-existing chronic diseases.

    20

    • #

      In the sprit of the times I have self declared myself to be a female aged 18 so that should keep me safe

      80

    • #
      TedM

      That’s useful information Steve. A bit of a worry though. I would be much happier if our Govt. shut down all air travel in and out of Oz. It’s only a matter of time before cities and towns are quarantined. The geometric progression will become more evident over the next week or two.

      And I have cataract surgery next Thursday, HMMM.

      10

    • #
      Susan Fraser

      That’s a very good reference Original Steve, good find. I’m quoting it in my letters to relevant people here in NZ. Thank you

      10

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Sky news also just reporting a NSW labor politician and staffer/s just returned from overseas in quarantine.

    60

  • #
    Bill In Oz

    I am reposting here again about the situation in the USA re Corona 19 Virus
    The CDC in the USA has made a series of huge stuff ups.
    Thus t number of infected persons and even deaths due to COVID 19
    Are not believable and should not be relied on.
    We should be also quarantining all travellers from the USA
    But I doubt this will happen
    It would upset to many selfish dumbnuts.

    Link : https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/us-cdc-flawed-coronavirus-test-strategy-has-helped-massive-coronavirus-spread

    41

  • #
    Bulldust

    Well we pulled the pin on the cruise. Technically I haven’t cancelled it yet, but we are pulling flights and hotels ATM. The cruise can wait a few days. My flight is in 6 weeks, so i am waiting for Qantas to improve their cancellation and credit voucher terms. They are putting profits before people ATM and getting slammed on Facebook for it.

    So yeah, they missus and I will hang in Perth and wait to get it with the rest of you :p I have a two day conference next week >.< There will be no handshakes, and I will make sure to sit by myself somewhere off to the side.

    80

    • #
      Bulldust

      For the curious, this was the cruise in question. With a start in New York and a finishing point in Seattle, the epicenter on the west coast, it was starting to look dubious, to say the least,

      50

    • #
      Bulldust

      BTW speaking of cruises, here are our Freo arrivals for the next few months:

      https://www3.fremantleports.com.au/VTMIS/dashb.ashx?db=fmp.public&btn=CruiseShips

      With the Aussie Peso now quite affordable, expect people to fly down here for the once-in-a-lifetime cruise to explore Australia. Throw another Covid-19 on the barbie…

      The Sapphire Princess is being brought down under instead of cruising up in Asia.

      50

    • #

      Bull dust.

      That will be a relief to us all. I was surprised when last week you were still minded to go on it.

      20

    • #
      farmerbraun

      You do know that, worldwide, doctors are pulling out of their medical conferences, which for the most part are cancelled anyway.
      it makes sense , right?

      20

    • #
      John in Oz

      We have cancelled a Singapore to Sydney cruise scheduled for November as we do not expect this virus issue to be resolved by then.

      At the moment we cannot get refunds on flights booked a couple of months ago with Singapore Airlines and can only make changes for a $260 per person fee.

      If Singapore go into lockdown we might get some monies back – fingers crossed.

      10

  • #
    Peter C

    Bad luck Bulldust but possibly wise.

    50

    • #
      Bulldust

      We will get full credit for the cruise, which was 60% of the trip cost. As long as Norwegian is still afloat, so to speak, after this all blows over, the credit will be good to use later. I am planning to buy 100 shares in each cruise company when I think they’ve hit rock bottom (RCL, CCL, NCL). You get extra on board credit if you won the stocks, assuming they keep those plans going.

      I will also be loading up my super like crazy when the Aussie market bottoms (way to go yet I imagine), as I have a few years till retirement yet. Crisis meet opportunity.

      50

  • #
    Bill In Oz

    The Guardian posts an article by a GP at the front line of the COVID 19 disease.
    Unlike almost all the Guardians stuff this is worth reading
    And I disagree about his remarks about Chris Higgins.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/10/this-is-a-mess-put-on-your-mask-diary-from-the-frontline-of-the-coronavirus-health-crisis

    61

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      A request to whoever gave the red thumb :
      please go & read this Guardian article.
      He’s just an ordinary GP.
      Trying hard to be a good GP and treat patients as human beings.
      And then add on top Corona 19 virus.

      And no I do’t like the Guardian either
      Almost it leftwing crap.But this is not.

      31

  • #

    It seems like a lot of people who have Covid19 are not symptomatic or only slightly affected. Many of these may not ever present to medical authorities and not be recorded as part of the cohort (the more of these there are the less scary become the statistics). This is the same as the flu where many people just live through the symptoms and never bother to do anything more than increase their supplementation with vitamins, minerals, lemon juice and scotch(only the best)!

    The statistics are scary but statistics only kill people when they generate fear.

    Far better would be to promote “life be in it” campaigns which invite people to improve their general health and wellbeing, reduce their visits to the GP for remedies and create a healthier society.

    Since the Viral scare – have you noticed what is not being reported on excessively? It’s like “IT” never existed (have we passed peak Greta) and what about the desire of our government to strip us of our cash – Agenda “take over the world” has not gone away, just hiding in plain site and rebelling against the children that declare the emperor has no clothes.

    30

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      The government’s agenda is to reduce demand for masks by the public
      So that the frontline medical people get good access.That’s all.

      Meanwhile at a certain aged care center I know,
      Face masks are walking out the door by the box
      As the staff make their own decisions bout what is important.

      10

    • #
      farmerbraun

      Well if you norty people will not reduce your emissions , then we will do something to make you.

      30

      • #
        Greg in NZ

        So there is a “Plan B” after all.

        I just KNEW they was lyin’ when they said they wanted to ‘save’ us from ourselves. Reminds me of another old, recycled, ‘insurance’ fable…

        10

  • #
    Andrew McRae

    A response in three parts.
    _

    Two legs are bad, four wheels good.
    Quarantine bad, Grand Prix good.
    “At least the subtotal wasn’t red”,
    croaked the CEO on his deathbed.

    _

    Scott Morrison was yesterday spotted chasing his own car down a slope in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire after the Treasurer neglected to engage the handbrake.
    The man in charge of Australia’s economic levers today conceded to embarrassing blunder, which occurred shortly after he rolled up to address an Anzac Day dawn service at Miranda.
    Mr Morrison had begun walking away from the car when the cries of frantic constituents prompted him to chase after the runaway vehicle as it began to roll. Nobody was harmed.

    _

    Assuming the current rate of exponential growth continues with virtually nothing being done to stop it for two months, the number of COVID19 cases in Australia severe enough to require an ICU bed would be greater than 25% of all ICU beds in the country on 16 May (in 9 weeks), and at least 0.2% of Australia would be infected leading to 3400 hospitalised and a minimum death toll of 1170. That is not the worst case imaginable but it’s still ugly.
    If instead we implement contagion control measures as draconian as South Korea with a similar level of success, only 0.015% of the population will become confirmed cases and implying we only hospitalise 241 and lose 37. That is a very optimistic scenario.
    The way it plays out in Australia will hopefully be somewhere between those two scenarios.

    Putting the handbrake on international arrivals is a good first step, but is not sufficient now that 1 in 4 cases are unconnected to flights implying the virus has established a foothold.

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      Andrew — any idea what our ICU occupancy rate is in EG May – August? Singapore peaks at 85% in March (in a normal year).

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        Andrew McRae

        Sorry, I do not know where to get up to date info on that.
        The reason I picked 25% is because all the other reasons for critical condition did not suddenly disappear the moment COVID19 appeared, and 25% seemed fair.
        I’ve now found an old report from 2009 which predicted 640,000 ICU bed-days would be needed per year by 2020. If their projection was anywhere close to correct, it would imply 1753 beds fully used evenly spread over the year. Subtracting from the roughly 3525 beds in total gives 1772 spare. That would appear to leave 50% of beds spare for COVID19, not the 25% I’d picked. Using 50% spare we don’t run into issues until 0.4% of the population is infected which would take only an extra 2 weeks at current rates, hardly any time at all.
        But the ICU usage is probably not evenly spread over the year, as I think you’re hinting, due to winter pneumonia etc. May be limited more by ventilators than beds.

        This is to say nothing of the “severe” cases who are not critical enough to need ICU but still poorly enough to need a hospital bed and probably oxygen. There are 3 times more people in that category.

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      Analitik

      Yes, I expect the number of Covid-19 cases to explode in Victoria following this weekend’s Grand Prix with the accompanying Robbie Wiliams concert on Saturday night.

      I established my toilet roll stash back in January when the reports first started coming out and the office is preparing for the possibility (likelihood) of working from home so hopefully, I won’t expose my parents and in-laws.

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        Bill In Oz

        Here in SA we are still in ‘Mad March’
        With the Adelaide Festival, the Fringe Festival,
        The Adelaide Cup last Monday
        And Womadelaide just finished.
        I expect we will see a spike in Corona 19 virus infections
        In the coming week or so.
        But no one is warning that this could happen.
        It might scare the punters & tourists away !

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      Bill In Oz

      Only in the USA !

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      WXcycles

      Let me get this straight. The youngest most inexperienced and foolish people that ever lived want the people with the most experience and knowledge of life, history, political scares and what is a natural weather range, to all die because they’re a dire threat to an ideologically blind ignorant faked ‘truth’, and the lie that the world will end in 11 more years, unless we turn off the modern world sans the iPhones and soy-latte machines? They won’t even need toilet paper.

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        Greg in NZ

        So, like, totally literally, um, ah, off course!

        [sic] & /sarc off

        Just letting you know I’m alive ‘n’ kickin’ over here 😉

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    Springdam

    With regard to the lead in mentioned above, it’s great that Dr. Robertson will be checking those passengers sitting CLOSE to these carriers. Unfortunately s/he is not as up to date with latest knowledge as Dr. John Campbell. Based on his latest video.he mentions research from China has shown that the virus can / could be spreading by aerosol up to 4.5 metre radius. Now I haven’t been on an A380 Airbus so perhaps someone might mention to Dr. Robertson they expand their nu.ber of checks on passengers. These people are decision makers and yet they lack the knowledge of what should be shared up to date information.

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      Destroyer D69

      With regard to aircraft passengers it is not necessarily the proximity that would govern the risk, it is the AIRFLOW in the cabin.With most pressurised cabins the cabin airflow is generally from front to rear of the cabin, and from overhead vents to floor level exits on its way to the cabin outflow valve and into the atmosphere. The rate of cabin air renewal is conrollable by the crew with higher rates using more fuel, the air being taken from the engines, with a resultant increase in loss of power the more is used in the cabin.

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    Bill In Oz

    I’ve been wondering about gyms
    I try to go regularly
    And these past few times have been careful to use hand sanitiser
    And wipe down the equipment before & after use.
    But I notice that I am a rare bird and most folk ( especially males ) do not bother to do any of this.
    Any thoughts for folk here ?

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      GD

      I’ve been wondering about gyms

      I’d stay well clear of gyms. Do your workout at home.

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      tonyb

      Bill

      There was an article in the UK papers just today advising people to stay away from gyms due to the amount of sweat, the sudden expelling of air/spit during exercise and that half naked bodies are touching equipment and other people.

      Also it mentioned that people are eager to move on to the next piece of equipment and don’t always wipe down the one they left or the one they go to. What about taking up cycling?

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    skeptikal

    Finally, one media outlet is calling this virus outbreak “a pandemic”.

    Why CNN is calling the novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic

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    Kalm Keith

    Newcastle Herald editorial, March 11, 2020: Newcastle medical academic behind US coronavirus guidelines says don’t downplay the threat here
    Local News
    Comments
    Dr Craig Dalton, Conjoint Associate Professor, School of Medicine and Public Health

    AS a prominent public health physician and academic, Newcastle’s Craig Dalton was simply doing his job when he and two colleagues, Stephen Corbett from Sydney University and Anthea Katelaris from the Australian National University in Canberra, wrote a short paper on the “pre-emptive” steps that societies could take to minimise the number and severity of COVID-19 cases.

    Through a serendipitous chain of events, the paper conceived and lead-written by Dr Dalton has become a central part of the Trump administration’s plans to counter the spread of the coronavirus in the United States. Dr Dalton said last night that he had taken a week to write the paper, which was uploaded in draft form last Thursday to an online academic journal for “open peer review”.

    Soon after, a man the New York Times describes as America’s leading immunologist, Dr Anthony Fauci – long-time head of the US government’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – became aware of the Australian work.

    Dr Fauci clearly liked what he read, because at a media briefing on Monday, the Trump administration’s coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx confirmed that a new set of guidelines for Americans to counter the spread of COVID-19 had been drawn directly from the Australian paper.

    Standing with her were Dr Fauci and US Vice-President Mike Pence.

    “All of this information came from a paper that Dr. Fauci provided from the Australians – first author Dalton,” Dr Birx, also a physician, told the cameras.

    “So you can actually look up the scientific evidence that informed each of these guidelines.”

    Dr Dalton has had more than 30 years in public health, including an early stint in the US with the Centers for Disease Control.

    In 2006, he began developing the award-winning Flutracking website, in which users fill out a weekly web-based survey during flu season to help build a “big data” picture of infection rates.

    Having grown from 400 to 50,000 followers, the university describes Flutracking as “the largest crowd-sourced public health surveillance system in the world”.

    Dr Dalton is well-placed to assess COVID-19, and his warning is typically blunt: “This is likely to be a nasty disease, particularly for the elderly, and we need a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response to contain it. It would be a serious mistake to think that this is just a bad flu.”

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    Peter C

    My comment is in moderation, probably because the link to the paper is too long. I am posting again with a shorter link.

    The paper is here. Good advise actually.
    A problem here is lack of face masks. Our chemist has none and does not know when or if they will become available.

    Pre-emptive low cost social distancing and enhanced hygiene implemented before local COVID-19 transmission could decrease the number and severity of cases.
    Dalton CB1, Corbett SJ2, Katelaris AL3.

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3549276

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    TedM

    Yes Jo preventing deaths far preferable to planning on how to bury those that die, because we didn’t prevent them from dying in the first place.

    No need to bury people that don’t die.

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    Raving

    Some few days and international air travel will mostly shut down of its own accord.

    Was glad to see my hospital visit tomorrow was converted into a teleconsult. we are learning! 🙂

    Go Canada

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    An interesting if brutal take from an Eastern European perspective:

    “On the other hand, as I wrote in a previous blog post, I do think that it’s a good idea to try to make as many young people go through the infection and become immune as early as possible. If the civilization really starts to shut down even the rudimentary functions in coming weeks or months, I sincerely hope that my country will be the first one that will just actively say “let’s go through whatever is needed, it’s better than the restrictions”. Because it’s better to sacrifice even 1% of the population (and that’s an unrealistic worst-case scenario) than to start something that would look like many years or decades of a futile fight and heavily crippled and dwindling lives and economies.”

    from here:

    https://motls.blogspot.com/2020/03/almost-all-policies-to-fight-contagion.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+LuboMotlsReferenceFrame+(Lubos+Motl's+reference+frame)

    Presumably, he takes the view that the problem would not be resolved by attempts at quarantine unsupported by military force which would not be acceptable outside China and even in China it was limited to Wuhan whilst even there some resistance to the necessary authoritarianism has been growing due to lack of trust.

    A ban on flights for a while plus enforced quarantine would be necessary until a globally available vaccine or some other solution becomes available but if the virus keeps mutating the vaccines and other solutions may never completely catch up.

    He suggests that maybe humanity should instead rely on nature to build our immunity over time rather than prejudicing human freedoms in a futile pursuit spread over decades.

    I’m not fully in line with that view since there is lots we can do to try to reduce the infection peak but in the end it is a matter of balance between the risks to those most vulnerable to the virus and the risks to those most vulnerable to economic disruption. Both risks involve deaths but to different sections of society.

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      Kalm Keith

      “there is lots we can do to try to reduce the infection peak ” ; that’s the best we can aim for at the moment, and I think that it complements Jo’s thoughts as an overview rather than rigid alternative.

      Craig Dalton’s work may add something, but I haven’t read it yet. He’s previously been interested in particulates from the mining industry here in the Hunter.

      KK

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    Karabar

    Lord save us if it becomes as bad here as it is in Italy.

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      Raving

      it’s terrifying 🙁

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      cedarhill

      Only if governments act as Italy. Get a cup, sit back, and consider a fact about Wuhan:

      Prior to the air bans and using publicly available airline schedules, Wuhan (one of three main transportation hubs of China) had daily non-stop direct jumbo jet flights to and from these cities: Sydney, San Francisco, New York City, London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, Istanbul, Dubai and Singapore (and many others from regional feeders to regional international cities including Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Manila, etc.).

      At least 3,000 passengers a day were “exported” to the Western air hubs. In round numbers, about 100,000 a month. Since the Wuhan “started” in Wuhan about the first of October, than means a minimum of 300,000 were flying directly into the major hubs. Wuhan passenger load per year is over 12,500,000.

      Presume Wuhan is “highly contagious” since that seems to be the norm in the media and on lots of blogs. This means not only has the Wuhan virus not been “contained” but that it likely has already made it’s first circuit around the globe and is part way through it’s second. These wave last 3 to 6 months before the strain(s) mutate to the point where they no longer infect humans. Thus, by now, you’ve either been exposed, contracted the virus and had no symptoms or contracted it and only had mild symptoms.

      Finally, note that Reuters reported yesterday that official Chinese government sanctioned new sites were tweeting that all the temp hospitals in Wuhan created to treat the virus are all shutting down. Read that any way you wish. Imho, it should be obvious to anyone that has ever followed the Chinese regimes that the locking down of cities simply was way too coincidental with their need to lock down the spread of dissent from Hong Kong (is was spreading into the mainland) as well as workere dissent and near revolts due to their economy. China just as likely engineered the panic as it was “trying to cover up” or “had let a bio-weapon out”, etc., etc. They’ve had decades to learn how to manipulate the Western press. Today, reports from manufacturing centers are claiming they’ll be up to full production by April sometime.

      Sadly, Western governments (who obviously can’t even read flight schedules or count the days in a month) are in the process of doing what governments always do – spend money on completely useless things while dramatically expanding their power. And all the events canceled, etc., etc., etc. Quarantines, hand washings, masks, et al, have never, ever, stopped these viruses now likely even slowed them down. All myths. One can find, on Pubmed for exmple, randomized clinical trials of the effectiveness of masks, hand washing, combinations which stated there was no statistical significant difference between those practices and doing nothing. Randomized clinical trials are the gold standard for things medical.

      So relax. You chance of dying from a respiratory virus today is no greater than on December 31, 2019. the only thing that has changed is many people with agendas, have dramatically increased you stress — and that’s a very bad thing.

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      Deplorable Lord Kek

      i read somewhere that it may be worse in Italy because close personal contact is the norm.

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    el gordo

    Dubbo tourism industry has collapsed, they’ll be needing some kind of handout.

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    WXcycles

    I took a subset of the most affected countries (Top-10 external to China) that have reported complete datasets. These include, Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Japan. The other countries were excluded for various issues or incompleteness of their data. The excluded data were, Iran, S. Korea, USA, Diamond Princess (not being updated) and Switzerland.

    Included cases | Died | % Died
    19,567 | 948 | 4.84 %

    Included Cases | Critical | % Critical
    19,567 | 1,294 | 6.61 %

    73.3% of serious & critical cases are seen to be dying in Europe and Japan.

    Thus in the best data we have at present there’s an underlying 4.84% mortality rate within the known cases and a 6.61% rate of Severe & Critical patients. In Australian terms assuming a reasonable and modest 25% unimpeded national infection that translates to:

    6.34 million Australians infected
    420,000 intensive-care
    308,000 people die

    There are numerous reported cases in Australia of people ignoring a requirement to self-quarantine. The numbers who sicken and die will continue to climb rapidly until that changes.

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      TedM

      And there are all the still active cases, some of which may yet transit to serious/critical/death.

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      Chad

      6.34 million Australians infected
      420,000 intensive-care
      308,000 people die

      If you really believe that…
      .. How much of your own money would you bet on that outcome ?

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    WXcycles

    Trump suspends travel between US and Europe for 30 days

    https://www.itv.com/news/2020-03-12/trump-suspends-travel-between-us-and-europe-for-30-days/

    Take note that about 36 hours ago Trump was scoffing at it and comparing it directly to the seasonal flu.

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      Konrad

      No good trying to bash the Trump administration. They were the first to reject the deadly advice from the WHO and institute travel bans.

      If they hadn’t acted first, Morrison would never have grown the spine to do even the little amount he has done so far.

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    Meglort

    Really need to try and reduce the intensity of the infection if (when) it is contracted:

    https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-more-emerging-chinese-research-studies-shows-that-the-sars-cov-2-coronavirus-also-attacks-the-kidneys,-pancreas-and-liver

    Saw somewhere, don’t recall where that VitC at the rate of 30-50mg/Kg body weight per day, taken at regular intervals over the day reduced the intensity. At that level what is there to lose is my thinking if you get it and you are in the higher risk profile.

    People have been cleaning out the bog roll at the supermarket, but leaving the D3, K2, Zn, C fully stocked which was amusing. Always good to meet your maker with a clean posterior at the very least.

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    Rob Leviston

    It has been reported that Tom Hanks and his wife are Covid-19 positive! They are currently in Australia. And have been very active socially, as would be expected!
    Also now a total of 5 Grand Prix crew members isolated as suspect to Covid-19. None are confirmed yet.
    Now that the WHO has eventually declared this is a pandemic, its probably high time to shut the borders! Possibly too late, but gotta start ASAP, IMHO.
    I believe it has also been reported that those infected with the Covid-19 virus, can transmit the virus, up to 5 days before they even show symptoms themselves!
    On a side note, I have an acquaintance in the Northern parts of Italy. Originally he was quite laidback and blase about the potential of the virus. He now admits he was wrong! Given what has occurred in Italy, we should heed the experience.

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