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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When more borders means more freedom

The bickering in Australia over borders is a prelude to the world

Australian states are fighting about borders. The WA premier swatting down the NSW calls to open with two words “Ruby Princess” — the disastrous failure to allow a cruise ship of coronavirus cases to spread from Sydney to every state of Australia.

The border debate is bizarre. From a pure medical point of view there is zero, no, nothing, none, not one reason to open borders between states when one of those states has a highly infectious, deadly new virus present in the community. There is only risk.

The decision about opening borders is all economic. Is it worth it? The problem is that none of the economists know what the cost is, so we end up with Medical Swamp Experts, who don’t know the answer either, making economic judgements and calling it “medical advice”.

Australian states border battle

Which borders to open? Within the hard borders is real freedom from both the virus and Big Government.

Virus free states are Golden Zones of freedom

The view from within a Golden Zone is very different. In a state with no virus (as far as we can tell) — the costs of letting in just one new case of virus are potentially astronomical. One undetected case could spread for weeks, causing the mass closure of hospitals, aged care centres, and so much economic damage with uncertainty and a second wave of lockdowns.

A virus-free state has almost all the normal freedoms within its border and Western Australia is opening up, people are booking holidays in droves in the South West. Phones are ring ‘off the hook’. People can shop free of fear.  Groups of 20 people are allowed to gather indoors, and 30 outdoors.  Swimming pools, libraries and gyms are opening on a limited 20 person basis.

The calls from states with uncontrolled infections like NSW to open the borders are purely selfish. The precious state of freedom-from-the-Wuflu is too valuable to risk. For those few state leaders which have cleared the virus the situation suddenly looks very different. The only thing that stands between freedom and pandemonium is the state border. More borders means more freedom. West Australians can’t fly out on holiday and they can’t invite family from the East to visit. But 99% of the freedom of their everyday lives are within grasp.

Freedom from the virus means freedom from Big Government

WA is a microcosm of the world. If many other states clear this virus they will not want travel from the US and the UK (etc). The giants of The Western World have powerful orbital pulls but so does the Golden Zone. The future depends on how many nations end up in each cluster: Virus 1 or Virus 0. The Western World balances on the cusp. If states (European nations) open up too soon, and keep the virus circulating, their risk analysis is different. Twenty or thirty nations are close to the Golden Zone or headed there.

As long as the virus spreads, even at a low level, there is an ever-present need for the claws of Big-Government. Call me ambitious, but there is no true freedom while an untreatable mysterious virus runs free. I want real freedom, not to have governments needing tracking, or calling for mandatory vaccination, constant testing, potential re-lockdowns.

Those who oppose the shackles of Big Government might want to start with science, not politics, and get rid of this virus. It’s possible, especially in summer.

How much is your freedom from Big Government, as well as disease, worth?

The West Australian premier slapped down the NSW premier with two words “Ruby Princess”

Mr McGowan said the WA border would remain closed for months to come and questioned whether NSW was in any position to be handing out advice.

“It’s odd, New South Wales is saying don’t catch public transport in Sydney, they’re restricting the number of people who can go to a restaurant or cafe far more than Western Australia is, yet they’re saying ‘why can’t New South Wales people fly to Western Australia,” he said.

“Their message is totally inconsistent.”

Mr McGowan said as long as the eastern states had high rates of community transmission of COVID-19, they would remain closed off from WA.

“New South Wales had the Ruby Princess — I mean, seriously? And they are trying to give us advice on our borders, seriously?” he said.

Watch the Medical Swamp Experts disagree:

Professor Kelly said there was never national advice issued that states should close their borders, but he respected their decision to do so “to protect their own population”.

“From a medical point of view, I can’t see why the borders are still closed but as I said that’s for the states and territories to decide when that time is right for them,” he said.

But Mr McGowan maintained the WA Chief Health Officer and director general of the state’s Health Department had both advised it was an appropriate measure [to keep borders closed] for Western Australia.

The medical advice should be identical. Curiously, the bias to open comes from those who answer to states-with-virus. The bias to close comes from those in States-with-freedom (no virus). Perhaps the Medical Expert Swamps are providing what their paymasters want to hear. That said, one side is also right.

Borders within borders in WA

WEstern Australia,

Inside the vast million square kilometer state of Western Australia there were nine sub-regions which have draconian fines of up to $50,000 for people who breach them. Some of these regions have now been released or amalgamated into four regions.  But the vast North West is still closed (controversially) from the main population in Perth. These regions have no virus, so keeping them shut seems unjustifiable. But bear in mind the North-West has the billion-dollar mining operations, and critical gas supplies and high-risk Indigenous communities. It is both the engine of the economy (even measured on a national scale) and also the most impossible health risk. Some of these communities are 3,000 kilometers away from an Intensive Care bed. The expense of quarantined transport and treatment is shocking. Hopefully, with more days of zero virus in Perth (it stands at six days now), the North West will open in time for their main holiday tourist traffic.

Borders have worked so well for Australia and most of the world. One of the biggest enduring mysteries is why the two Giants of the West — the UK and USA — have so willingly given up the best and cheapest tool to beat a threat that may turn out to an accidentally leaked Chinese lab virus.

WA Main Roads Covid Travel Restrictions

WA Travel Map

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Rating: 8.4/10 (52 votes cast)
When more borders means more freedom , 8.4 out of 10 based on 52 ratings

237 comments to When more borders means more freedom

  • #
    Sceptical Sam

    At the risk of being accused of being parochial I say that Premier McGowan, Premier of Western Australia, has done a top job. 10/10.

    Now, his politics are not normally mine. However, he has made the right calls on all issues with Covid-19. Others should learn from him.

    The “t’uther siders”, those pollies in the eastern states are, as per usual, talking their book, looking after their commercial interests, rather than than the interests of their citizens. Big money is is play. Big money doesn’t give a tinker’s cuss about a few deaths here or there.

    Me? I’m off the the Goldfields to do a bit of prospecting. That big one is still sitting out there, somewhere east of Kanowna. Kanowna Belle was no fluke.

    1910

    • #
      RickWill

      Interestingly Mark McGowan is a Novacastrian. He is taking an appropriate stand against his home State.

      COVID free zones will be the envy of the entire world. Right now it appears WA, NT and possibly SA and Tasmania can claim to be COVID free. They join Antarctica, which will be interesting to monitor to see if it stays COVID free as crews change.

      To me,reducing passenger air travel along with stopping cruise ship operations has removed two significant means of virus spread. These were major sources of infection in Australia. I expect Australian border security to make more effort to control import of infectious diseases via humans even after the world is considered COVID free. Just the thought of being placed in quarantine for a few weeks if landing with flu like symptoms would make people think twice about boarding a plane.

      There are a lot of lessons being learnt. I hope they do not go to waste. Imagine flying with very low risk of getting cold or flu. By my experience, getting some form of infection on an aircraft is better than 1 in 25 in the pre-COVID world.

      146

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        SA now has 14 days with ZERO new infections.
        Yahoo !

        And as in WA the lock down is easing more
        Meals inside a cafe or restaurant
        As well as outside, from tomorrow.
        Limit of 10 in each zone.
        And alcohol can be served with meals.
        But no hotel bars yet allowed to open.
        All gradual.
        All good .

        1112

        • #
          Geoff Croker

          SA is trading while insolvent. Just how are they going to pay the public service?

          Premiers are not holding out to be Covid free they want access to the Federal Government printer. This behaviour is going on in most democracies. The socialist states everywhere are broke. they want a big bailout of “free” money. Covid-19 is just the straw that has exposed this camel’s back.

          161

          • #
            PeterS

            Correct except that the camel’s back was exposed a long time go to a few at first even before the pandemic hit. It’s just becoming more exposed but hasn’t yet hit everyone yet. It might take a little while longer for that to happen or it might take several more years. That I can’t predict I’m afraid. Be prepared as best you can in any case because either way the vast majority of people don’t yet realize how serious it is. When they do of course it will be too late. So preparation is essential.

            60

          • #
            Bill In Oz

            Geoff that is a crock of horse dung.
            Pure petty assertions with any evidence
            But completely full of ideology.
            How about letting your opinion be guided by the evidence ?

            07

        • #
          Graeme#4

          Quite wrong about the current arrangements in WA Bill, but no matter.

          53

          • #
            Bill In Oz

            I’ve made no comment about WA Graeme
            Only South Australia.
            I would not pretend to know the details of what is happening there..
            Jo has said a bit though.

            17

          • #
            StefanL

            Graeme,
            Need to read carefully:
            “And as in WA ….”

            00

    • #
      macha

      And the rich, regardless of age don’t go hungry.
      Pollies still have jobs.
      But the poor… All ages die….of starvation.
      So much for lockdowns to mostly save the +65yr olds.

      100,000 deaths huh….looking like millions due to foid supply chain fallout.
      Well done Jo.

      21

  • #
    tonyb

    According to the FT, Australia has lost a million jobs and $4 billion a week in lost GDP depending on the continued extent of any lockdown. There has been a 10% hit to gdp and some $200 billion spent in direct support and 120 billion in loans

    I worked out the cost of each covid death in the UK at some £25 million, the govt actuaries normally reckon to place a value of £2 million on each life lost in say a car crash but that varies according to age, but is a calculation rarely divulged as it is understandably emotive.

    I don’t know how much each covid death has cost in Australia nor the normal way of calculating a death. Some will say the cost is out of all proportion and will affect the life chances of everyone significantly especially the young, others will say life is sacred and any amount of money spent is worth it.

    193

    • #

      The US has about 320 million people and the cost of the economic hit plus stimulus spending is well over 3 trillion already or about $10K per person, less than 10% of which ends up as an actual stimulus check. The metric that’s most revealing is not what was spent per life lost, but what was spent per life protected. If you’re under 60, the chances of a bad outcome are about the same, or less, than a typical flu, although a flu can be far worse. For example, about 50 million or so didn’t survive the Spanish flu.

      There are about 70 million people in the US over 60 and less than about 1/4 of whom are considered high risk. Across the US, there are no more than 20 million people at serious risk, including those under 60, which puts the per person risk mitigation cost at more than $150K and if Pelosi has her way, this will increase to about $300K. This in conjunction with shutting down the economy isn’t very cost effective, especially considering that most of those who didn’t survive were not even in the work force, about 1/2 of whom are over 75 while less than 0.5% of the deaths in the US were people under 35 and only 14 were under 14 years of age. Nearly all of the deaths are associated with co-morbidities, the count of which has been dropping as they separate those who died with the China virus from those who died from it.

      https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Provisional-COVID-19-Death-Counts-by-Sex-Age-and-S/9bhg-hcku

      Isolating those at risk with accommodations typical of a first class vacation (there’s all this otherwise unused hotel space available) would cost far less than $150K and it’s not like we don’t know how to identify who is and who is not as serious risk. Yes, this is a serious disease, but the fear, panic and mitigation costs across the world are way out of proportion to the actual risks.

      Let’s just hope that the climate alarmists don’t figure out how to turn the fake collective risk of CO2 emissions into a fake individual risk which as we’ve seen elicits a far stronger response. This shows the way for how skeptics can succeed by strongly and repeatably emphasizing the individual risk of poverty as a consequence of the insane policies pushed by alarmists. This has a chance to resonate with the population, while the scientific truth clearly does not.

      162

      • #
        tonyb

        co2

        I worked out cost per death you have an equally interesting calculation which is effectively cost per person for mitigation. it would be interesting to see both lots of calculations for say the UK, US, Australia plus France and Sweden

        The costs and loss of liberty that have been allocated to CV mitigation or deaths is far beyond any other illness or type of death and of course impacts on the health of those suffering from ailments other than CV.

        As you say, if the co2 alarmists could generate as much immediate fear and panic into their population as with CV they will be delighted as the public seem willing to accept any imposition and any cost.

        112

        • #
          RickWill

          If food prices are not going up then the money creation has cost nothing. It costs zero to create money and the only risks are food price inflation and imports running out of control.

          Generally the global situation is highly deflationary. Think of all the wealth lost, on paper, due to the dramatical fall in share prices. No one has stood in the exchange burning money. It just disappeared by adjustments in computer memory. It only becomes a realised loss if you sell the shares when their price is low.

          If food prices go up and food becomes scarce then that is cause for concern. Sovereign governments creating their own currency is not a cause for concern.

          24

          • #
            Geoff Croker

            House and land prices and fixed charges (utilities and rates) have risen without corresponding wage increases for many years. Debt is now at the highest per household in the world despite massive immigration.

            Its the boiling frog syndrome. The heat keeps rising but the frog only notices at the end. The government do not allow anyone to read the water temperature. They keep telling the frog “it is all good, you are not cooking”.

            22

    • #

      Based on what you said FT claimed, Australia has 25M people and has spent about $350 billion so far, assuming the loans will be forgiven works out to about $14K per person. At an exchange rate of $0.66 US, this works out to $9.25K US per person. Note that my US estimate also includes forgiving what we are calling loans. Assuming the same conservative fraction of those at risk (about 6.66%), this works out to about $138K US per vulnerable citizen. This is statistically within the margin of error with what the US has spent.

      The UK has a population of 67 million and 35K deaths at £25M each would be £875B or about £25K per citizen. At an exchange rage of $1.22 US per £, is about $30K US per citizen and $450K US per person at risk. This seems too high, so I think your estimate per fatality is too high.

      I’ll bet this $10K per citizen value for the developed world will be quite common, while less developed countries spending less than $100 per citizen, most of it on those controlling political power, will do surprisingly well.

      71

  • #
    bradd

    I wish there was someone in Australia with the gumption and money to challenge the border closures in court. Border closures by states are specifically forbidden by Article 92 of the Constitution. And no, you cannot end-run around the Constitution by declaring a state of emergency.

    309

    • #
      robert rosicka

      One Nation have acquired a QC and have put out a call for someone from Queensland that’s affected by the border closure to come forward and let the QC argue the case pro bono .

      171

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        They’ll be backing a loser. Again.

        s 92 relates to the “..imposition of uniform duties…” on commerce.

        84

        • #
          robert rosicka

          Actually Sam according to this article it also relates to freedom of movement and commerce but they do mention public safety as a solid reason for a border closure .
          I’m hearing that this aspect “for health reasons” has to be justified which would mean an interpretation from the judges so it’s not as clear cut as it seems .
          Although I am no lawyer I cannot see a challenge getting through but can see someone taking it to court to test the interpretation.

          https://theconversation.com/states-are-shutting-their-borders-to-stop-coronavirus-is-that-actually-allowed-134354

          90

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Yes but trade between the states shall be free.

          Border closures could be argued as restriction of trade.

          52

          • #
            Bill In Oz

            Trade is still happening with no imposts or duties.
            And lawyers will argue that black is white just to gain money, media attention and ‘fame’.
            Do you believe lawyers ?

            78

        • #
          Bulldust

          I beg to differ. Read the full S92 context:

          On the imposition of uniform duties of customs, trade, commerce, and intercourse among the States, whether by means of internal carriage or ocean navigation, shall be absolutely free.
          Link: https://www.aph.gov.au/about_parliament/senate/powers_practice_n_procedures/~/link.aspx?_id=63B954D0FFB44EC78FC18B10C53EBCCE&_z=z#chapter-04_92

          I have added the emphasis to illustrate the point. Intercourse between the States, ie movement between the States, shall be absolutely free. This is not dubious in the slightest. The and breaks the sentence into separate logical parts. It is not about duties etc on intercourse between the States. And is the critical word.

          42

          • #
            Margot

            I think the Wayne Glew fan club should be banned from posting opinions about our Constitution. They are amazingly consistent in being *never* right.

            In the meantime, we have Case Law and expert interpretation which says you are dead wrong:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationwide_News_Pty_Ltd_v_Wills

            https://theconversation.com/states-are-shutting-their-borders-to-stop-coronavirus-is-that-actually-allowed-134354

            The purpose of s92 is to eliminate protectionism.
            The purpose of closing the borders is public health, not protectionism.
            s92 would be invoked if closing the borders was not a valid step to achieve the desired public health outcome.
            It is.
            s92 has not been breached.

            51

            • #
              Kalm Keith

              Maybe ” broached “?

              12

            • #
              OriginalSteve

              It clearly says “and” with is in addition to the trade component.

              Possibly the case you mentioned was trade related, not movement of people?

              It would be an interesting test – while it stops protectionism, it could be argued that stopping movement of people, for whatever reason ( tarriff war, pandemic, narky politician) needs to be free under *all* circumstances, otherwise you would have to allow travelling salesmen through, but could block people out for a sunday drive.

              I suspect the border closures by state politicians are actually Constitutionally illegal. Wouldnt be the first time they have done something to try and use the circumstances to get around democratic checks and balances.

              “92. Trade within the Commonwealth to be free

              “On the imposition of uniform duties of customs, trade, commerce, and intercourse among the States, whether by means of internal carriage or ocean navigation, shall be absolutely free.

              “But notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, goods imported before the imposition of uniform duties of customs into any State, or into any Colony which, whilst the goods remain therein, becomes a State, shall, on thence passing into another State within two years after the imposition of such duties, be liable to any duty chargeable on the importation of such goods into the Commonwealth, less any duty paid in respect of the goods on their importation.

              02

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      So you have no cheque book, bradd?

      You’d be backing a loser, in any case.

      But, perhaps you could get a “class action” going? Get one of those lefty law firms to have a crack.

      Or, is that just too hard for an armchair critic?

      311

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Yes, a medical emergency pandemic
      Lead to lockdowns in 1919.
      No challenge then
      No challenge now.

      413

      • #
        bobl

        Rubbish, this is not anywhere near as bad as 1919, our medical tech is light-years ahead of 1919 and we have plenty of treatments that work. There is no way to justify this on 100 deaths, when heart disease and cancer are in the thousands and the road toll is more than 1000. This is not an emergency and therefore the border closures ARE illegal. The palace chook has been ranting on about Queenslanders holidaying intrastate for days admitting this is being kept as a deliberate trade restriction. Finally there are other ways other than border closures to manage this with testing and isolation of the sick. This ridiculous quarantine of the healthy is immoral if not illegal/unconstitutional. Our hospitals are also perfectly capable of managing a few imported cases. You can easily argue this is less of a threat than annual flu especially when tamiflu misses the dominant strain.

        I wouldn’t even need a QC, I could ague this in court myself.

        153

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          You reverse cause & effect Bob
          Lovely humorous legalese.
          Yes lawyers get paid to do such crap.
          And occasionally the wise wizards get flummoxed by it as well.
          :-)

          311

        • #
          Margot

          It is obviously not justified by the deaths we have had, it is justified by all the deaths that these steps have avoided.

          https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/not-like-the-flu-not-like-car-crashes-not-like

          As you can see, elsewhere where they delayed their lockdown, or never implemented one, or their lockdown was rendered ineffective by the stupidity of their population, the death toll from Covid-19 is vastly higher than any other causes.
          The USA usually has about 30,000 deaths from car crashes and about that much again from gun shot, every year.
          So far the USA has had 95,000 Covid-19 deaths in 3 and 1/2 months.

          The rest of your rant is equally completely wrong, but please let us know how you go when you “argue this in court myself”, that will be very entertaining to see a judge tell you to stop wasting his time.

          54

          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            Can you help us with heart disease and the junk food pandemic?

            43

          • #
            Tim

            Again rubbish. What happened to death rates when lockdowns happened.
            They continued basically un abated. Look at US Florida and Georgia never had stay at home orders and have lower deaths than NY NJ by far
            Florida has 4000 nursing homes so they should have had a lot more deaths but they were smart by quaritining those homes not everybody.

            53

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            Maybe not….

            One thing I wonder is should we have 2nd, 3rd , 4th waves of infection, which are likely, then whether the cumulative death rate over say 2 yeas will be similar to say Sweden?

            We don’t know yet. If you look at what happened in NY through sending the elderly back into nursing homes that had infections and almost guaranteed high kill rates, I’d argue its also artificially lifted death rates through stupidity. Although you would wonder if stupidity isnt the word to use, but the word I’m thinking of ( again in a Leftist controlled State ) rather may carry a jail term with it.

            It would also be interesting to study death rates amongst tight lock down areas and more ‘free range” areas over the next 2 years. That way we can scientifically measure in this case, the overall outcome of each process.

            30

          • #
            bobl

            The constitution doesn’t allow that, the exemption is only for current emergencies not future ones.

            00

  • #
    Brian the Engineer

    Qld, NSW and Vic should all be in different colours, they are not opening to each other. Qld border should be further south in NSW as there is a big population trading North. Otherwise a little patience and open these eastern states as soon as possible, nothing is black or white, all grey, there is no absolutely right answer. ASAP though before we all starve to death.

    110

  • #
    WXcycles

    Queensland will be getting quite close to a re-opening with NT and SA, but the QLD Premier wants to keep a 14 day quarantine in place with NSW until September. So there’s some real loss of trust with the incompetent NSW bureaucracy and senior NSW Ministers, after the Ruby Princess fiasco.

    Anyone facing a criminal court for that yet, Gladys?

    Queensland COVID-19 infection status:
    https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/statistics

    116

    • #
      yarpos

      They were merely organs of government policy, making decisions based on a spreadsheet score and collecting a couple hundred k $ + plus State pension. True professionals, being asked hard questions ….sob

      130

      • #
        WXcycles

        What’s your point?

        57

        • #
          GlenM

          The point is – I won’t call it crocodile tears, but dry humour from yarpos about the cruise ship fiasco ; that is exactly what “ruby princess” was – a fiasco of thr first order.

          80

        • #
          yarpos

          Sorry WX , from memory you are an NZer and probably not exposed to the performance of the public servant at the Ruby enquiry. I must try to be more generic and less parochial with attempted humour.

          32

  • #
    Chad

    Can we have a Covid impervious lockout border around a Thursday Open thread. ??
    Im over all this…… “ he said, …she said, …experts say..”. .. debate over a bug.
    We need some clear fresh air ,..maybe with a little humor… to keep us all sane !

    111

  • #
    Environment Skeptic

    It’s possible your opinion is getting political again Jo. I must say again that in my non expert opinion the virus could have been made anywhere that had access to the suit of corona viruses on an international database. The idea China was complicit excludes every other country that had gain of function labs. Of which there are many. Molecular biologists chat and research without borders largely. Biological research is without borders if you ask me.

    best and cheapest tool to beat a threat that may turn out to an accidentally leaked Chinese lab virus.

    713

    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      *suite

      05

    • #
      WXcycles

      The virus emerged on a massive scale, first, in Wuhan China. The Chinese doctors and all the papers we have available say Wuhan. The CCP said it emerged from a Wuhan Seafood wet-market.

      That’s factual, not political.

      Got little Red book?

      136

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        Just because it emerged/clustered there is no guarantee it was made there, if it was actually man/woman made.. ‘Gain of function’ labs are worldwide.

        712

        • #
          yarpos

          and really we dodnt know where it emerged. What we know is thats what the CCP says, I guess that has the same veracity as anything the CCP says, based on your personal experience of their words over time.

          111

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        When actively looking for political strife, it is better to be sure.

        Keep your powder dry WX.

        412

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Actually based on what i have read, the gain of function work was badically to accelerate a 500+ year natual process in jumping to humans, so it appears to occur in about 10 years. If true, it points clearly to man engineered if not man made.

        61

    • #
      TdeF

      I understand the Wuhan Institute of Virology published an international paper claiming that in 2017 they had attached parts of the Aids virus to the Horseshoe bat to make it infective to humans. Of course there is only one reason to do this. And this virus is a horseshoe bat virus with part of the aids virus attached which make it infective. However they claim it could not be the same Wuhan virus because they are too careful. And of course everyone believes them. It’s just a coincidence the virus appeared in Wuhan then with bats from 1600km away in Yunnan province?

      175

      • #
        TdeF

        Then you get the President of WHO, an appointment promoted by President Xi, who immediately on appointment removed Taiwan as a country, the next day. Then the Taiwanese report in December claiming that the virus was deadly and highly infective. But it was ignored because Taiwan is no longer a member of WHO. After than Tedros Adhanom claimed it was not infective and there was not need to close borders and no need to declare a pandemic. None of this was true.

        Then when Australia dared ask for an inquiry, we were threatened. How much more black and white evidence is needed?

        There was perhaps no intent in releasing the virus. Everything after that was completely deliberate aided and abetted by the President of WHO.

        275

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        Yes i believe that is so. In the meantime, scientists in that field are global and share their ideas and latest virus epitopes over an internet connection.

        68

  • #
    Bright Red

    The use of state boarders to control the spread is simply the states exercising their power over us. We could have gotten on top of this much quicker and at less cost if we had dynamic boarders with no regards for existing state boarders that are designed to ring fence the virus and then crush it. We seriously need to look at our constItution and state/federal powers when it comes to this kind of threat at home.

    127

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Bright Red’s pipe dream ?
      :-)

      69

      • #

        Bright Red, yes, a realistic point. It would have been better in NSW if Sydney had been separated before it spread. ACT also. For faster reopening.

        State Borders however line up with State elections, and some accountability, and that is probably the pragmatic reason borders are usually interstate, not intrastate, though WA had both. For McGowan, if the infection had gotten into the Gas supply lines of the NW which keeps electricity running and heating in WA and iron ore funds for the budget, it would have been diabolical.

        We were all saved by great weather though.

        FWIW: Elections coming in the next twelve months. NT (August?) QLD (October) WA (March)

        161

        • #
          Bulldust

          Gas plants require very few employees to run. Billions to construct, pennies to operate. CCP virus was not a significant threat to gas supply. Mines require more employees, but even there automation is decreasing the number of people on site. That said, the operation centres are near Perth airport for Rio, BHP, etc. I bet there’s more risk of outbreak affecting them there than the physical operations up north.

          42

        • #
          peter

          Jo, I don’t get your borders argument.

          NSW has had about 2 +ve cases per day lately – in a population of more than 7,500,000 and each of those cases goes into virtual lockdown for 2 weeks – immediately. Woohoo!! Considering that it takes 2 days to get to WA to find that it is 99% flat, boring desert occupied by cowboy mining executives (who suck-up to China), real-estate speculators (Alan Bond) and the most expensive over-the-bar booze in Australia (I’ve been to lovely WA twice) very few from the east want to go there. So the real risk from open state borders to our precious WA folk is probably about one in a billion. What’s the epidemiology of that? I’ve worked with epidemiologists before. They’re good at analysing the numbers for disease from the past to the present but not so good on predicting the future. What happened to the 60,000 -90,000 dead predicted for Australia? It was never going to happen. That was modelled from the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1919. Is there any other area of science that models from what was happening 100 years ago? Even Climate Science only want to go back as far as 1980 – but that’s another story, Hah!

          NSW could take saliva from our 2 infected people and inoculate anyone from WA, QLD, SA and Tassy we could find, I guess. But realistically the risk is extremely low. Don’t you agree? There have been no cluster breakouts from the low number of community cases in NSW. A nursing home, yes, but they are the hyper-risk- infection home for the near-death and death warmed-up anyway (apologies to those with family in them). Victoria, the most lock-downed state in Australia, has had breakouts but that only shows that severe lockdowns don’t always work too well. The severe VIC lockdown has only saved Victorians from golf and visiting their grannies NOT a greater COVID-19 risk. The closed state borders are not based on science but on politics. The QLD tourist industry is on the verge of bankruptcy now let alone waiting till September. A lot of personal tragedy could result from that.

          To paraphrase Mr McGowan: “WA has the Premier McGowan — I mean, seriously? And WA is trying to give us advice on COVID-19, seriously?”

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          • #

            That was sort of like satire.

            Alan Bond’s death was almost exactly 5 years though you can visit his grave in WA.

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          • #
            bobl

            Exactly right Peter, though I don’t share your low opinion of WA despite the cost of beer (and steak), I love WA.

            But McGowan is acting unconstitutionally and the border closures need to go, trade is being restricted enormously and there is no CURRENT emergency to justify it under the constitution. Unfortunately our hostess has decided she can pick and choose between socialism and the constitution whereas I believe the constitution doesn’t allow one to pick and choose. The constitution must be followed, right of movement, free trade and association and assembly. In the current circumstances border closures are not constitutionally justifiable and McGowan needs to find another way, EG test on entry and after 3 days, quarantine the SICK not the healthy.

            Our rights are being trampled on, my only question is why isn’t there riots in the streets over this.

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            • #
              peter

              Thanks bob, but I don’t so much as have a low opinion of WA (I’ve been there twice, voluntarily after all) as demonstrating to Jo that opening the WA border will not produce a rush of viral easterners into WA. People are much more likely to rush from VIC and NSW into QLD for the winter, if Palace Chook opens her border.

              I stand by my low opinion of Premier McGowan though.

              10

      • #
        Bright Red

        As an example of what could have been done. We already have local councils and they generally have well marked boundaries. As well pretty much everybody knows which council region they live in. In addition to that we already have the emergency app and website which has a very good uptake in the regions. There are also the traffic apps and websites of each state that can show road closures and area boundaries and were used extensively for the recent bushfires. The Emergency app could have been used to tell us the current restriction level for the region we live in and kept us informed of the number of cases to avoid complacency if there was still a risk.
        Seems we had lots of tools at our disposal that did not get used.

        Bill, Your unproductive comments are not even worth responding to directly.

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        • #
          Bill In Oz

          But neither are yours.
          Cheers
          :-)

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          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            Bill,

            It seems that Bright Red’s hypothesis is refuted by the number of thumbs you received.

            At time of posting this, they numbered 17. That is 17 souls considered your post worth responding to.

            Compare that to bright Red’s post where a miserable 11 only responded.

            That looks like a significant difference and hence, I’d say, the Null hypothesis holds.

            :-) :-)

            Well done Bill.

            11

            • #
              Bill In Oz

              Sam I collect the red thumbs of old farts as part of my collection.
              And if such folks want to hand them out
              I’m only too happy to hang them on the wall.

              PS : The science of infectious diseases is not about ‘concensus’ mate
              It never has been been

              01

        • #
          yarpos

          Its important work Red, people need to be corrected and put down.

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          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            So do rabid dogs.

            Especially the anti-democratic ones.

            The people will decide in due course.

            Bright Red seems to have no appreciation of the democratic process.

            11

  • #
    Bill In Oz

    Victoria is thew worst state
    Courtesy of Cedar Export Meatworks.
    Could have been checked & traced months ago & was not.

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    • #
      Peter C

      Yes it was bad but I think we are catching on now. 19 clusters identified. A good result.
      https://www.smh.com.au/national/dozens-of-covid-19-clusters-found-in-victoria-new-report-reveals-20200519-p54ug3.html

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      • #

        But it’s a lesson for everyone isn’t it. Just a few mistakes….

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        • #
          TdeF

          Except it looks like a political favor to a friend, not a mistake. Western suburbs, friends in high places, serious Labor party donor. Keep it quiet. Don’t shut my business. No one was told. Why?

          The business was not checked, the whole abattoir line. Even when it was discovered by accident three weeks later, the government hid the name of the company. This is political corruption, not a mistake.

          And the Ruby Princess happened after the front page news of the Diamond Princess for the previous month, so everyone in the country knew the problem. The solution was to send everyone home fast and get rid of the ship and make the problem go away. Someone else’s problem. Again hiding the problem to avoid the political cost. And it worked. They will now find someone to blame but it came from the top.

          Both were criminal actions. The real explanation will be hidden in both cases. Mistakes? No.

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        • #
          GlenM

          Ineptitude masquerading as a mistake.

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          • #
            TdeF

            That does not fit with the refusal to name the company. The company name would have allowed many people to self report for testing. It is absolutely essential. And then perhaps the 60 year old nurse who was infected would have worn protective gear.

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  • #
    Peter C

    Borders have worked so well for Australia and most of the world. One of the biggest enduring mysteries is why the two Giants of the West — the UK and USA — have so willingly given up the best and cheapest tool to beat a threat

    I think the two examples are not similar.

    The USA (Donald Trump) shut down international air travel much sooner than the UK. But the US is a Union of States; and the States individually have the responsibility for Health (much like Australia). So the States are responsible for the outcome internally. I don’t they have set up internal controls (could be wrong).

    The UK is different. The Prime Minister (Boris Johnston) did not shut international air travel.

    But the outcome is the same (bad spread of virus). It is a matter of who to blame. Not Trump in my opinion.

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  • #

    Has anyone noticed how State leaders specifically quote their chief medical officer when the news they have to tell could be perceived as being not very popular.

    There’s always a public servant somewhere who can have the ‘blame’ sheeted home to them.

    Don’t you just love Queensland, eh!

    Beautiful one day, perfect the next. (Now bugger off, we don’t want you here)

    And then, just like magic, that same dear leader one day in September ….. come on all you Southerners, come to Queensland for your holiday, when the day before that fateful day, the State was closed up tighter than a fishes fundament.

    Trouble is all the tourist destination sites have been forced into bankruptcy and closure.

    Oh, well, at least those huge coal ships won’t be running aground every other day on the Great Barrier Reef like they have been, eh!

    Tony.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Tony the important thing about the chief medical officer is not that they are public servants,
      But that they are doctors of medicine
      Experts in the field of disease management & prevention.

      Re the tourist industry, Yes it is suffering.
      But given the infectious nature of the disease that is inevitable.
      Qld is getting on top of this virus.
      But imagine what would happen to tourist numbers in Qld
      If a visiter brought it with him/her and infected a few locals.

      I think we would see the tourists run to travel elsewhere.

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      • #

        Bill, all the Swamp Experts give different opinions. They all have similar qualifications.

        Perhaps WA and other smaller Australian states just have the old fashioned naive kind of Swamp (where Doctors say what doctors think, no special games). Not so, the mature developed swamps like the US and UK. I suspect the powerful positions in powerful nations have been captured much more effectively by the vested interests.

        Sometimes being small and backwards is not such a bad thing. But for how long…?

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        • #
          TdeF

          The core problem is that no one knows what to do, including and especially medical officers.

          As far as I can tell, they know pandemics end with herd immunity, but no one knows how to get there without slaughter. Some take the hard road with total shutdown and it works. Others leave the gates open and sacrifice a thousand old people a day. And middle of the road politicians do both, which is useless. Ask Boris.

          I have argued for the hard road because it is logical and costs no lives and is non destructive. The economic cost is always raised but the economic cost of a thousand deaths a day is not included. And the appalling loss of life to achieve nothing. No one can possible reach herd immunity. People do not want to die, murder*d by the state.

          And as I have argued, there is something very wrong with their understanding. Herd immunity will come and I have proposed a way it will arrive. There has been no debate, no creative thinking, no real scientific understanding on how that will happen.

          I believe we need to look hard at the fact that we are dealing with a moving target, a mutating virus. That is not only a major problem, it is potentially our savior. After all, the total deaths from the Spanish flu were 2.5% when it was over. It’s just that with 7 billion people, that is 200 million people but far better than 30% or 2.1Billion. If we can get out of this with under a million dead world wide, people will ask again if it was worth it. Yes.

          And if we actually work out how to do it. We will have solved the problem forever. We have to monitor and harvest the mutations, use the virus competing against itself and Darwinian selection.

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          • #
            TdeF

            We need a Louis Pasteur, not another medical officer who learned what to do from his peer group who have never faced this problem.

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          • #
            Kalm Keith

            After reading that I am totally bewildered.

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          • #
            OriginalSteve

            I think crack teams to manage any outbreaks and tight restrictions around elderly homes etc.

            My wife was saying she felt ill a month ago but in retrospect didnt have the classic symptoms so didnt worry.

            I suspect we you step back and look, the chances are good its already right through the community and most of us have likely been exposed and beaten it already….

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          • #
            Bright Red

            Tedf “I have argued for the hard road because it is logical and costs no lives and is non destructive”
            You seem to be completely blind to the side effects of the lockdowns which are very real.
            “People do not want to die, murder*d by the state.”
            So are you saying that the state can murder someone by its inaction? Then I guess we can blame the state for smoking and car accents plus a lot more as well then. It’s when the state makes decisions that can cause deaths that there is a real problem and with the lockdowns we have exactly that.

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            • #
              Sceptical Sam

              Rubbish.

              Two things.

              1. Without the actions taken by Prime Minister Morrison to close entry to Australia from China on 1 February 2020 and to anybody who had been in China from that date, whether they had travelled directly from China or through another port, and also to extend the existing ban on travel from the province of Hubei, to the entire country, there’s every chance Australia would have experienced much the same impact as the Europeans.

              2. The actions taken by the National Cabinet has ensured a well coordinated and generally uniform approach to the control of this infection.

              Any other suggestion is churlish politics generally pushed by the agents provocateur of the anarchist kind.

              Bright Red has not selected his/her name by pushing a pin blindfolded into a random list.

              31

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Jo I’m quite happy to take the advice of the SA Chief Medical Officer Nicola Spurrier
          And her approach. This interview gives some idea..
          But I remember a week or so ago she was present at a farewell ‘concert’ for travellers in quarantine about to be allowed to leave. They watched from the balconies of their hotel rooms on an Adelaide square, as below them the concert took place and the announcements.
          And Nicola Spurrier danced to the music in joy at the good news happening.

          I know less about the CMO’s elswhere – except that Murphy proved himself incompetent early on and that the Vic CMO proved to be far too political indeed.

          https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-06/sa-marks-two-weeks-with-no-new-coronavirus-cases/12220286

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    • #
      GlenM

      Gee Tony and I’m half Queenslander!

      11

  • #
    Zigmaster

    Queensland is an interesting case. They allowed themselves to sabotage their greatest tourist asset the GBR by a program implemented through their universities and research institutions. They now have taken a further sledgehammer to their tourism industry by potentially depriving other states ( of meaningful tourist numbers) by closing its boarders over winter a time when there is a Southern state exodus to Queensland. On the assumption that a vaccination might never be found and even if one is found may not be fully effective ( flu has heaps of deaths even with a vaccine)., those states aspiring to zero cases will never open up their boarders. In September ( suggested open up timing in Queensland ) there will be another excuse a second wave or a third wave or Kawasaki syndrome .
    I don’t like disagreeing with Jo but these boarder closures are nuts. We’re all in this together unless you live in Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia. They are all happy to take the free money from the Federal Government but not take the medical advice.

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    • #

      C;mon Zig. “In this together” never meant being able to drive 4000km for a burger. We all still pay tax. We vote. We send our sons for the same Defense Force. We’re all in the same battle. The big population centres get the tourism dollars, but with that comes the bigger burden of the rare odd contaigon. If all teh smaller states can get back to work sooner because they have hard borders, they can start paying off the national debt. Thank them.

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      It’s that very unpleasant virus that is present in the U.S. media dominated thinking.

      Clinical symptoms visible as political puffering that rejects discrimination in all its forms and then projects the ultimate shield: Victimhood.

      The world has gone mad.

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      • #
        Bill In Oz

        I agree as regards the USA, the UK, Brazil, Sweden, China, etc
        That’s why it’s important to preserve a stable sane approach here in Oz.
        And mostly ( touch wood ) that has happened.

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        • #
          Kalm Keith

          I agree.

          Here in Australia If you “touched” any politicians head, that’s exactly what you would be touching.

          Our politicians are basking in the glow of having to manage a country that had many of the critical factors relating to CV19 Absent here.

          When the Ruby virus popped up they showed their true colours and accidentally, I’m sure, saved the shipping company a lot of cash by their “mishandling” of the event.

          KK

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          • #
            Bill In Oz

            There has been much finger pointing
            Gnashing of teeth
            And crying
            About Ruby Princess.
            I think that the NSW enquiry has already exposed the facts…
            But the official report will be worth reading..

            47

            • #
              Kalm Keith

              Unofficially, yes.

              22

            • #
              OriginalSteve

              Based on what we know now, I suspect there was a form of internal tussle within the relevant branches of burocracy as to how to handle it.

              I suspect there were significant arguments amongst internal govt legal teams, possibly between swamp and non-swamp camps.

              One thought I cant shake is that they let the ship sit there long enough to create a significant viral payload, then drop that payload directly into Sydney.
              Incompetence or something worse? Dont know. I have my suspicions though.

              50

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    Innumeracy seems to mean that you can fool all of the people all of the time.
    Used to be Reading, writing, ‘rithmatic.
    Now its division, dependency, diversity.
    The results are disgusting.

    (US focus, avoid if this bothers you)

    Each state that has opened up has significantly increased its testing regime. Each new testing regime, begun the day of opening, has found numerous new
    cases. I came here after the 17th (actual count) article I read on US web sites saying, in essence,
    “Oh No, we are finding more cases, have to lock down again immediately and harder”.

    The curve we have flattened is functional brain activity on the left.

    The cases you find today, probably weren’t infected today. Or yesterday.
    If the virus is rampant in the population, and you test more, you’ll find more.
    The more you find evidence of asymptomatic cases, or people whose course was so minor they did not report it, the better off we are as a population on the lethality of this thing.
    Are we focusing on protecting the known vulnerable potential victims, or fooling the known vulnerable prospective voters?

    We have “flattened the curve”, and chosen ‘herd immunity’. It may or may not have been the right decision, but once done tis done.
    Good public health practices will keep us from having too many folks out at the same time. We old farts can still stray home and take steps to minimize our
    risk while hoping for a vaccine, and hooping for a lull so we can do more normal things again.

    “Clean” areas will take steps to stay clean, constitution be damned. Government overreach will be met with civil disobedience, constitution be revered.

    Our press has stopped talking about the homeless, for the most part.
    They have stopped talking about the undocumented, except for ‘providing them benefits’ in a humaanitarian er political gesture.
    Been a long time since I’ve seen a story about the folks comming in over our southern border. and how evil it is to try to stop them.
    Check the local ElPaso Tx news. About a quarter of the undocumented that we catch now are from Brazil.
    That’ll work out well.

    From the peephole out of my self-quarantine, it looks like small groups of American are coming together as neighborhoods and small communities with a lot
    of effort to support one another. Charity levels are at an improbably high level, and a community spirit hard to distinguish from patriotism is
    evident. And largely, though not universally, our leaders are flailing. Their advisors told them to flatten the curve, so they gave the speech.
    But giving the speech, or, in Cuomo’s case, the endless presser, is the the same as having a clue as to what you are doing. The Dog has caught the car.
    The curve is flat, and it is clear that they had no clue what they were prescribing for society, what was going to happen, that people would still get sick and die and they were buying on to providing leadership through the crisis.

    Few have.

    Most have more in common with the Public Health director in Pa, who ordered discharged elderly back into state nursing homes, after first removing her own mother to a luxury hotel.
    And the competent are subject to the constant sniping from the terrible and terrified, who fear that one official doing a good job might expose the rest of them.,

    The disconnect is palpable.

    I cannot predict what may happen in our November elections. We don’t feature a “none of the above” box. But I would absolutely distrust everything I read in the American Public Media that habitually reports on and is in bed with our government.

    Take everything with a grain, or even a shaker of salt (including me), until we get some resolution in November, unless the Chinese create a larger crisis first.

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    • #

      Thank you Richard. Depressing. Not the end of the world, but still not what we hope for friends in the USA.

      Does not auger well for Trump (or older Americans).

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    • #
      Richard Ilfeld

      My opinions are strongly influenced by living in Florida.
      Here is an article I consider fair on what happened in Florida:
      https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/05/coronavirus-crisis-ron-desantis-florida-covid-19-strategy/

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      • #
        Kalm Keith

        A good example to have.
        In other parts of the world there are similar nursing home cultures, the Netherlands for example. What about Sweden where they have a death tally of 6,000 or so. The factors in each location are different.

        Anyhow Florida, seems like it has good governance and a warm climate.

        50

      • #
        Zigmaster

        Richard
        A quick review of the 10-15 worst states in the US of deaths per million of population seems to me
        that Democrat led states were clearly prominent and the 10-15 best states appeared to be mainly Republican controlled. Despite what Donald Trump does or says it seems that it is really the states that control the various responses around the country.
        Whilst the media is keen to pin every single death onto Donald Trump do the American voters think like that or do they see their local governors responsible. For instance I have no doubt that virtually anyone other than Cuomo would’ve managed New York better .The nature of the virus meant that very early on the emphasis had to be on the elderly and sick to minimise the number of deaths. Sending positive Covid cases back into nursing homes to me makes Cuomo culpable but he doesn’t get anywhere near the blame he should for implementing even with foresight a plainly dumb policy.
        So I’m interested in your opinion as an American about the minds of the average American and will they ,like the left leading media blame it all on Trump or will the response be more localised than that and blame or praise their state officials? What impact will it have on how people vote in the November election?
        Whilst I have a natural bias towards Trump I have no doubts that a Democrat in the White House would’ve made the situation far worse.

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        • #
          Richard Ilfeld

          Since a pure political opinion here is a lot like something a dog left that the owner didn’t pick up, I’ll be very brief. Our two parties
          are very different. The Dems are a coalition of diverse and essentially unrelated single issue groups, that make common cause to gain a majority
          and enact legislation for each of their lobbies. Their leaders have really failed, in many states, some of their voters in a situation where
          single issue lobby driven legislation was not appropriate. Pelosi’s attempt to remedy this with three trillion dollars labeled COVID aid has
          been met with derision and potentially preempted useful legislation. Keeping their voters together, motivated, and getting them to the polls with
          economic recovery taking obvious priority over special issues or social issues will be difficult. Even with Trump’s problems, he’ll have the advantage of leading us in
          struggle against a common enemy. He should win in a vote similar to the last one, perhaps a bit better if the economy is clearly coming out of its doldrums.
          But predictions are hard, especially the future.

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    • #
      Travis T. Jones

      Translation: China will keep infecting the rest of the world, in their effort to hamstring our economies.
      While the West is busy fighting the pandemic, China move their geopolitical plan several steps forward without interference. Its a Reverse Opium War.

      “There is ‘no chance’ that the coronavirus pandemic will end this summer,” a prominent Chinese medical expert says.”
      https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Caixin/Coronavirus-experts-No-chance-pandemic-will-end-this-summer

      h/t:andyoz2

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      • #
        Bright Red

        Trav J, I suspect you could be correct and no quarantine control at any boundary could stop them or any terrorist for that matter. Given CV19 mainly kills the old and sick it has the effect of removing a non productive burden freeing up resources to continue with world domination.
        Who would have thought that a virus with no military use as such could be used to scare the west into defeat while helping China and others become stronger.

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    • #
      RickWill

      US has a recovery rate of 80% with known cases. So far 94k deaths. At actual death rate around 1.4%, there have been some 6.7M cases in the US. 1.6M have been found. So there is approximately 4 times as many cases as those actually detected.

      It should not surprise anyone that there are many more cases in the community than those actually being detected without going out and looking for them. That is why contact tracing is so important. People can be spreading the virus with little or no symptoms themselves. When someone is known to have the virus it is vital to find out who shared it with them and who they may have shared it.

      The serious gap in what Sweden is doing is that they are not actively looking for cases through contact tracing.

      When Jo publishes her paper on pandemic response, gets it peered reviewed it will be a useful guide for Anders Tegnell for the next pandemic. He only relies on peered review papers – forget the entire history of mankind and response to diseases.

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    • #
      yarpos

      The treatment of nursing homes/aged care facilities is interesting. In some cases (US) they send infected people to them and more vulnerable people die. In some cases (AU) they dont send infected people to hospital for treatment and they die. What never seemed to happen was a hard quarantine protection around these places. In Oz it seemed to be very piecemeal based on local management preferences rather than something structured and monitored, as they seem to have been caught in a State/Fed pi$$ing match. To busy catching rogue kebab eating bench sitters I guess.

      51

    • #
      Ian1946

      Richard I think the three S’s could be used to describe modern education.

      Stupidity
      Selfishness
      And Socialism.

      I am appalled by the innumeracy of some young people give them $20.25 for something that costs $10.25 and they can’t work out what the change should be.

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    • #
      Gabriel Pentelie

      “We [in the U.S.] have “flattened the curve”, and chosen ‘herd immunity’. It may or may not have been the right decision, but once done tis done.”

      NYC has been epidemiologically estimated to have already had as many as about 10,000 infected people riding its subways, walking its streets, eating in its restaurants, etc. as far back as December (i.e. at least 3 weeks before the first confirmed case in the U.S., at least 5 weeks before the first death, and while China and the WHO were still resisting the notion of human-to-human transmission). The “herd immunity” option was the only one available (IOW, it would be more accurate to say that it chose us.). From that point on, the range of choices was really just about trying to control its speed while aggressively trying to protect the most vulnerable. Some states (e.g. Florida, where I live) did that quite well. Others (e.g. New York) did that really badly.

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      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Some folks in the USA are quite fundamentalist
        having managed the highest death rate on the planet so far
        They will now start telling is it was ‘inevitable’.
        An act of god or an act of China or an act of Trump.
        Utterly nutty.

        01

        • #
          Gabriel Pentelie

          “having managed the highest death rate on the planet so far”

          As of today, on this planet, …

          Deaths/million pop.:

          Spain: 596
          Italy: 535
          UK: 526
          France: 431
          Sweden: 384
          Netherlands: 337
          Ireland: 319
          U.S.A.: 287

          Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

          10

        • #
          Gabriel Pentelie

          Note: boldings mine.

          “Bill In Oz
          May 21, 2020 at 10:26 pm · Reply
          Some folks in the USA are quite fundamentalist
          having managed the highest death rate on the planet so far
          They will now start telling is it was ‘inevitable’.
          An act of god or an act of China or an act of Trump.
          Utterly nutty.”

          As of today, on this planet, …

          Deaths/million pop.:

          Spain: 596
          Italy: 535
          UK: 526
          France: 431
          Sweden: 384
          Netherlands: 337
          Ireland: 319
          U.S.A.: 287

          Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

          20

  • #
    Kevin a

    Tony Heller has some great videos.
    Katie Hopkins : NHS Sending Sick People To Nursing Homes
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmX31zQ1LVU&feature=em-uploademail

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      For sheer incompetence
      The UK strategy takes some beating.
      Send the elderly infected to the ged care homes
      And import as many new cases as possible via zero quarantine !
      Nota health strategy at all unless it’s the one promoted by zombies.

      19

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Its a great way to potentially kill of lots of oldies in one go.

        Reminds me of the 1930s German T4 program….

        20

    • #
      yarpos

      Got a lot of time for Katie Hopkins. Gutsy lady.

      11

  • #
    Roger Knights

    Judith Curry’s latest (7th) discussion thread on the coronavirus contains many interesting-looking links, as do all her prior ones. See https://judithcurry.com/2020/05/19/covid-19-discussion-thread-vii/

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  • #
    Roger Knights

    “I cannot predict what may happen in our November elections. We don’t feature a “none of the above” box.”

    The state of Maine has made a start, with its ranked-choice voting procedure. The state’s motto is “Dirigo,” or “I lead,” so let’s hope the practice spreads. (NY City recently adopted it by a 74% vote.)

    “But I would absolutely distrust everything I read in the American Public Media that habitually reports on and is in bed with our government.”

    I suspect that the Washington Post, for instance, has a mutually beneficial relationship with public health officials: It gets alerts and background information from them; they get the Post to promote their “line”—too often one of nannyistic scolding. This was very evident in the Post’s alarmist anti-vaping frenzy, mirroring the anti-vaping truth-shading of the CDC and FDA on the topic.

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    pyromancer76

    ” Call me ambitious, but there is no true freedom while an untreatable mysterious virus runs free”
    Jo, does Australia have access to Zinc(sulfate) + hydroxychloroquine + an antibiotic if necessary? Zinc is the active element; dismembers SARS; HCQ is the ionophore to get zinc into the cells.

    Using this medical treatment usually gets rid of the virus. Many medical studies have proven it so. President Trump is taking it as a prophylactic measure. You know it’s got to be good.

    Just some help from an American who has always admired Australia and who knows how fortunate Australians (and the world) are to have the tenacious scientific efforts of joannenova.com. Thanks again.

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    • #

      Yes and No. We as a nation had hardly any Chloroquine. Friends on the front line in ICU’s could not get it.
      Though Clive Palmer allegedly bought a lot since then. Perhaps it’s available. The antibiotic generally given is Azithromycin. We do have that.

      I’ve been watching for a good large study on these, shame it got so political and there are so many junk studies.

      The time may come when this is useful, but while the virus rages overseas it doesn’t make sense to open borders. We can’t put all 25 million on preventative doses. Perhaps after the number falls overseas, then it would be useful to ring fence rare outbreaks.

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      • #
        Red Edward

        There is a relatively large, randomized, double-blind, trial, that was slated to complete in July, here in the US.

        The decision has been made to shorten it and release information at the end of May.

        A 3 headed trial, one part placebo, one part HCQ, and one part HCQ + Zinc sulfate (220 mg).

        I find it interesting that is was shortened, but stopped outright. . .

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    • #
      Bulldust

      I find it odd that there is much talk of “freedom” but the main gist of many of the posts to date have simply been rejecting one type of authoritarianism for another. How are we free if we must live according to the dictate of un-elected medical “experts”? This is no different to living under the laws created by un-elected kommissars in the EU.

      This is not freedom. Freedom means the ability to make your own idiot choices. It doesn’t mean locking down the whole state or country because of the Precautionary Principle. If we get just one case of CCP virus from NSW we are all doomed!!!!1!one

      Again, for a site that waxes sceptical about all things put forward by climate scientists pushing the CAGW narrative, I find it astounding that many here race to submit to the repeatedly wrong medical “experts.” It simply boggles the mind.

      Bring on the tribal down votes, but it is the truth.

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      • #
        Bulldust

        To those that love the interstate borders I ask the following – what will it take to allow interstate travel? What criteria do you require? Does every traveler need to test negative to the CCP virus? Just closing the borders without a measurable criterion or criteria for reopening is not reasonable. Notice how the politicians have not given us goal posts to aim for? Methinks they like the current control just a wee bit too much. What will it take to drop the State of Emergency? Surely there have to be reasonable limits on exerting such power…

        40

        • #
          Alan

          you ask

          To those that love the interstate borders I ask the following – what will it take to allow interstate travel?

          I would say Patience and not Patients

          00

      • #
        Bulldust

        Another thing occurs to me … what makes people think the WA borders are closed right now? I give you Perth Airport:

        https://flightaware.com/live/airport/YPPH

        I see a flight coming in from London as I type. Yup, we are really closed.

        Then there’s the stories that emerged some time ago about crews from cargo vessels roaming freely around Hedland a month or two ago. I doubt that has changed significantly. We have plenty of cargo vessels coming in and out of the State every single day from lots of exotic locations. Closed borders? I think not.

        https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:170.7/centery:-34.3/zoom:4

        Nothing to see here… move along.

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    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      G’day p76,
      Hcq is only available via a doctor’s prescription, and is not recommended for use against COVID-19 here by the health authorities. Our delightful national broadcaster, the ABC, and others, actively propagandise against its use, basing their position on ignoring the work of, for example, Dr Zelenko, who advocates its early use with the aim of keeping patients out of hospital rather than waiting till they’re nearly dead.
      His successes are not mentioned, but the (rarely experienced) side effects are, and are written up as major problems. But some clinicians don’t seem to experience them in real patients when the Zelenko protocol is used.
      Surprisingly, President Trump’s use of hcq, with zinc, has been mentioned in the press here in the last couple of days, but the importance of the zinc was not mentioned, let alone the fact that the hcq is mainly important for being an ionophore for it. That omission is typical.

      So there’s not much demand for it here.

      My understanding is the hcq can be replaced with Quercetin for its use as a zinc ionophore, and that is available, without prescription here in Oz. I bought mine here in our local health food store a couple of weeks back – no prescription, available off the shelf.
      But I also add vitamin D, especially for preventative action, following Dr Ban:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7voUXgMCSs&feature=youtu.be
      (51 minutes, case studies start at 15 mins)

      A warning: I am not a doctor. I am studying this to try and avoid the hospital trap that Dr Zelenko tells us to avoid, and am well and truly in the bad age group for any close encounter with this virus.

      Cheers
      Dave B

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      • #
        Lucky

        Dave B- thanks
        Now Quercetin does the same job as HCQ, but, only in lab conditions.
        Am I up to date?
        For this function there are only guesses as to dosage, fortunately Quercetin has no obvious risk, but again this due to lack of study.

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        • #
          David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

          G’day Lucky,
          I thought it was more than just a lab result. Will re-check my source, and hopefully get you a link which I’ll post here, but maybe not before Monday.
          Quercetin was identified as a zinc ionophore, but the dosage requirements for COVID-19 were not discussed. I’m taking just one capsule a day, with my zinc tablet, in the hope of building up my available zinc levels. (The lable says three a day, so I’m going in slowly.)
          While I’m in the wrong age group, I’m living alone on 400 acres so am more or less in perpetual self isolation, with my nearest neighbour about a kilometre away.
          The other thing about the Q is that I’ve not seen anything else identified as a zinc ionophore, let alone generally available, so I thought it was worth a try.
          Unfortunately, my experimenting will only be useful, and demonstrable, if it fails. Not a happy thought.
          Cheers
          Dave B

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        • #
          David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

          G’day again Lucky,
          I got lucky. I have kept the link, with my brief notes:

          Dr Roger Seheult update #59 Youtube 18 mins / Quercetin
          Quercetin is a zinc ionophore @ 7 mins 30 secs. He uses 500 mg twice a day.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM2A2xNLWR4

          His video was produced in April this year. My one pill is also 500 mg, and my zinc is 25 mg, half his, and less than the 40mg/day recommended maximum. He discusses this.
          Cheers
          Dave B

          20

  • #
    TdeF

    In developing my concept of the mutating virus, I have been struck by how it adapted to the herd in 1918. Exclusively fit men between 20-50 by cytokine storm as in the trenches of the Somme. Then everyone in a second wave which hit the new crowd, everyone. And my concept is that there was a third benign wave which went unnoticed because it was benign and conveyed herd immunity. It just fits.

    What is odd about this virus is that it attacks the old almost exclusively. It’s greatest asset is its long incubation time which allows it to spread unnoticed, a great innovation. This is being defeated in most countries by immediate isolation, contact tracing. So Sweden is allowing it to spread through young people and it is slaughtering the old. No one is being brave. The old are just being sacrificed by medical authorities for the ‘greater good’, as in New York where infected people are shoved in aged care. So the old people are the herd. No shortage of victims then.

    Logically if the virus did not kill anyone, it would already be world wide, a very successful virus and not a pandemic! And the world may stay in lockdown until a benign variant arrives, usually in about a year.

    It certainly will not mutate in Australia. It will not exist soon. That is the ideal solution. And we can watch aghast the mutation games from a safe distance. So can South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan and many others. Plus the advantage that we are unlike Italy which had a huge viral load at the start presumably from the textile trade with Wuhan.

    Consider that mutation is possibly far more rapid and frequent than people understand but mutations get wiped out. While laboratories tinker to find a vaccine, a dead version of the virus which will stimulate antibodies with no side effects, Darwinian selection and rapid mutation is generating new versions all the time, matching the virus to its success.

    The double tragedy of the aged care deaths though is that no one is harvesting the mutations, much more likely in old people, so the people are dying in isolation for nothing. And those who actually survive are lauded as ‘tough’ old birds. As I wrote before, I would carefully monitor for anyone who survives with antibodies against the odds, relatively well. Or even an aged care home where people stopped dying or no one showed symptoms but everyone was infected. Every aged care home is a mutation laboratory and the people’s lives will not have been wasted. A blood sample could contain the mutated virus the world needs.

    Or does someone have a better idea? Otherwise we will have to sit and wait while once again the virus finds the solution, through Darwinian selection, gravitating slowly but surely to the least deadly version. At present likely in Pakistan or Iran or even Brazil, huge countries. The sad irony in Sweden and the UK and US is that they are not looking for mutations and the old and sick and dying people are isolated, defeating Darwinian selection. A benign virus cannot escape and dies while the patient lives.

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  • #
    Mikky

    In the debate between “crushing” and “flattening” the curve I believe that this border issue is a downside of the former, it would probably not exist in the latter, all borders would be open.

    I hope there is an answer to this, but “crushed” curves are awfully vulnerable to new cases, there will be a clamor to reinstate lockdown, with virtue-seeking state and local politicians eager to oblige. As long as cases/deaths get no worse than the initial wave a Swedish-style no-lockdown does not have this problem.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      The Virus has it’s troll friend.
      Their cry is Preserve the virus !
      Open The Borders.

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    • #
      RickWill

      Sweden people have voluntarily locked down as did most people in other countries. The difference with Sweden was that their rules were not enforced to the same level as elsewhere.

      The reason Sweden has so many deaths is that they are not bothering to trace contacts of people known to be infected. Only a small percentage of the population has actually been infected because the self imposed lockdowns have largely worked in keeping people separated. About half their deaths have been in aged care facilities without treatment in some cases so the virus spread rapidly in those facilities.

      Herd immunity is a meaningless concept for human population in the event of a known serious risk. Self preservation becomes the driving motive. That automatically lowers the immunity threshold to a very low value. Once the threat is considered to no longer exist then people start mixing as before and any infected person will find plenty of new hosts.

      Sweden will be no different to elsewhere other than it has killed a lot of people because they did not bother to try to eradicate the virus. The reproduction rate in Sweden has always been low and it is now below 1. So by September the virus will be largely gone there but there will not be many in the population with immunity. That is assuming people continue with their self-imposed isolating.

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      • #
        yarpos

        Sweden runs mid range for excess deaths among it Euro peers who have implemented a range of approaches.

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  • #
    TdeF

    The invention which has changed the game of borders is jet travel. I know it is embedded in modern society, even in the fly in/fly out crowd. New ways of living. The most remarkable was David Frost who maintained a show in New York and one in London by flying every day on Concorde. It was an exciting new world.

    At present it is impossible. And if you take jets or turbo prop out of the equation, nothing much is changed. Who would go to Europe if it meant six weeks each way on a ship? And the world functioned. In WWII soldiers took six months to get to Europe via America to fight, only to die in the fist few minutes. My wife’s uncle was shot down on the very last bombing mission over Germany.

    My point is that these borders were natural. Before Federation we had customs posts like Birdsville between States.

    So the real disruption is to holiday jet travel, not business in an internet world. Otherwise there is not a problem. To read people complaining about their rights, they are talking about rights they do not have. Privileges more.

    And the regional borders in WA seem well thought out.

    Until this pandemic is over and the world is not at risk, we have to maintain as much geographic isolation within Australia as possible so that a single infection is contained. However with the international borders shut, after three weeks of zero new infections nationally, we can relax. My only concern is those people who break the rules, with government permission. Obviously the Ruby Princess and Cedar Meats but there will be more. And the penalties have to be severe.

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  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    It wasn’t the virus that destroyed our economy.
    It was us complying with tyranny.

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Even if we ignore The Virus for a moment and look elsewhere we immediately see compliance with Tyranny in the bizarre continuation of the CO2 driven Global Warming farce.

      It is total rubbish scientifically but cannot be removed from western society despite the recent pushbacks in France and Holland.

      Society has been Hijacked and we need to squarely face that fact.

      Because of the global warming thing I have no faith in the world of politics and this causes me to have serious doubts about the new threat that demands our Compliance, or else.

      Many of the CV19 solutions have no more of a reality base than those instituted to “fix” the CO2 based threat.

      KK

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      No tyranny here. Our governments are doing exactly what we wanted. And it is we, the people of Australia who have complied with the rules needed to get through this without huge loss of life or huge levels of illness.

      NB : The governments did it reluctantly back in March. Why ? Because of all the pressure from vested interests that depend on travel to exist Or depend of close sociability to thrive such as pubs, cafes, massage parlours, hair dressers etc. But here in Oz the Job Keeper & Job Seeker programs have looked after most of those affected. And it has been done in a non partisan way. It would be wonderful if our governments could function is non partisan way all the time.

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      • #
        TdeF

        Our primary industries never stopped. They are going well. We have little secondary industry. Public servants are employed. Health people too and the surgeons are back at work. It would be travel and hospitality industries only. In many ways they were the problem with spreading the virus so that is understandable.
        So the economy is fine with balance of trade.

        And soon domestic tourism will swamp regional centres. Surf at Noosa not Bali. New Zealand not New York. And a lot of those tourists will be the very people we have saved.

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        • #
          Kalm Keith

          Wonderful.
          Sounds like we have reached Nirvana.

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          • #
            TdeF

            You would think there was no terrible crisis? Really?

            The last time this happened in 1918, confirmed deaths were 37 million and as much as 100 million people died.

            Now with 6x the population expect 240 million to 600 million. In many places 30% of the people died. In the plagues like the Black Death, up to half the people died.

            At only 330,000 the world is doing well by comparison, even Sweden. And in Australia we have nearly eliminated the virus in a very short time.

            And economically we are doing well, even if some sectors are in trouble, hopefully temporarily.

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            • #
              TdeF

              When you look at the great pandemics you can see the scale of them. 200 million people in Europe in 4 years after 1347. Some wiped out whole populations leaving none alive. And the black death in London was in fact 40 plagues over 300 years.

              What is not mentioned is firstly how they ended, except for the universal story of ‘herd immunity’. The other thing not mentioned is mutation of the virus or bacterium, which is inevitable.

              So it has gone into legend that herd immunity is the solution, without a clue as to how to get there without similar losses.

              And what is also true is that we are not just dealing with this novel virus, we will have to deal with its children. Which is why the barriers have to go up. The mutated versions will be either worse or less deadly. I would expect a second virus now to sweep out of the impoverished countries which are allowing mass infection because they can’t stop it.

              And we are complaining about being inconvenienced?

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      • #
        Kalm Keith

        It gives me a warm glow to know that our Governments are so wonderfully on top of this virus thing and have placed cushions around everywhere that people are likely to fall.

        So reassuring.

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          • #
            Bill In Oz

            Such sly humour Graeme.
            Yes the USA is in
            “The Very best of hands”
            :-)

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            • #
              TdeF

              I am reminded of the adage about parenthood. Go easy on your parents. Remember it’s their first time at the job.

              For most governments, this is all new territory. Even the best advice can be wrong. What is becoming clearer is that elimination works, which was debatable at the start. Some said it could not be done, that there would be massive silent infection. It is also clear that middle of the road is better than nothing but sacrifices a thousand people a day in a compromise of so far zero effect. There is no herd immunity.

              And some are doing nothing, often because they cannot. The individuals are all on their own, as in Pakistan and Iran. It’s each man for themselves.

              Within a year, we will all be much wiser. In Australia I am thrilled lock down has achieved safety and saved tens of thousands of lives.

              And our economy is fine as the country is still earning top dollar, even if some sectors are doing it tough. After all, everything you buy other than food is made overseas and our exports, coal, iron ore, fish, meat, wood, wine, gas pay for our high standard of living. Even if 1,000,000 Australians a month cannot go overseas at present.

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              • #
                TdeF

                And there is a kicker.

                The virus will mutate. It may come back stronger and attack everyone. The idea that only the old will die will soon be tested.

                And we in Australia will be able to watch from a distance as we dodge a disaster. In 1918, the second wave killed everyone and was twice as big as the first.

                Then perhaps the golfers and party goers who don’t feel threatened at present might start to appreciate what has been achieved by a modicum of short term denial.

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            • #
              OriginalSteve

              You would prefer Hillary?

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  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    Am I to understand that the ‘swamp experts’ in WA, SA, NT and TAS are right? Or are they a different species of expert?

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    • #
      el gordo

      Its the asymptomatic carriers they are concerned about, like the Riverview student. The asymptomatics were wandering around Italy before the flag went up.

      ‘They analysed random blood samples from February 8 to April 24 of 800 donors at the Polyclinic, which runs a transfusion centre with more than 40,000 annual donors.

      ‘The researchers say all donors who tested positive showed changes in the cell count and lipid profiles, which could provide clues to identifying asymptomatic carriers.

      ‘Studies are still underway to determine what antibody level would be needed for immunity. It’s also not yet known how long any immunity might last.’ SMH

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      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        el gordo, on that we agree. however, is a ‘swamp expert’ anyone who disagrees with you? That is the import of my message.
        The use of derisve and inflammatory language would indicate such.

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        • #
          el gordo

          ‘ … is a ‘swamp expert’ anyone who disagrees with you?’

          Don’t know, the expression ‘swamp expert’ is an urban myth. In a democracy we love our freedoms and any Premier who inhibits that for too long will be thrown out in the street.

          I wish someone would use derisive and inflammatory language against me, it would start a war of words.

          20

          • #
            Bill In Oz

            It’s easy E G
            Just be right and refuse to change your mind when bullied.
            That’s my formula
            And it works every day. all day.

            13

  • #
    Peter

    It is doubtful whether NSW and Vic will ever get to zero reported covid cases and so , to be consistent, WA won’t be able to open it’s borders until a vaccine is developed and administered.

    The cost of this in economic and social terms will be immense and I believe history will show that the Swedish “herd immunity” approach was, in the long run, the method that caused the least overall damage to the economy and society.

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    • #
      TdeF

      That’s nonsense.

      We were at 460 cases a day just 8 weeks ago and yesterday down to 13. And most of those were in isolation from tracing or arrived from overseas, also in isolation so they are not able to spread.

      NSW is much lower than Victoria now and soon there will be zero. Zero for three weeks and there is no virus in this country. And we did not have to sacrifice a thousand people a day to get there. And that matters a great deal to most people.

      And the economic damage is only to some domestic jobs and very short term. The governments are doing what they can to hold onto jobs with Job Keeper and the like. And that is working.

      The damage to world travel may be long term, but it was out of control anyway without any of the essential disease controls, immunization records and quarantine we used to have. Very risky business. Our borders used to keep us safe but we stopped caring. Unless it was fruit fly.

      The cost of ignoring the pandemic risks has just come home. We managed to skip SARS, MERS, Ebola, Hendra, Swine Flu, Avian flu and more. It was going to happen.

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      • #
        yarpos

        I’d suggest the timing of Ramadan had as much to do with the Cedar Meats outbreak as anything.

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        • #
          Kalm Keith

          It’s big on their ABCCCC at the moment.

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        • #
          TdeF

          It wasn’t the outbreak which was the problem but that no one acted on the first infection. The discovery was accidental but by that time over the 100 were infected. Who knew? Was the owner told? Did he call in favors? Why weren’t the coworkers told. Why didn’t they check his story? Why didn’t they consider he caught it at work?

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          • #
            yarpos

            Yes the emloyer was so aware and responsible they allegedly call an all staff on site meeting two days after the plant was closed to discuss actions. WTF?

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      • #
        TdeF

        Today’s totals zero new infections in all states except 2 in NSW and 4 in Victoria. That’s 6 for the whole country.

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  • #
    Peter

    [Duplicate]AD

    11

  • #
    Red Edward

    As to the original comment about US closing borders.

    It . We have a long (thousands of kilometers) border with Mexico that has had an estimated 500,000 illegal crossings a year. No way to control that. . .

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  • #

    “But, as our next chart shows, there’s little correlation between the severity of a nation’s restrictions and whether it managed to curb excess fatalities.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2020-opinion-coronavirus-europe-lockdown-excess-deaths-recession/

    Lockdowns are worse than than doing nothing.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Academic Bullsh#t that attempts to distract us & conceal the truth.

      It focusses completely on ‘government actions’ and ignores completely what ordinary people were doing of their own free choice. As news of this infectious virus became common knowledge across the world, folks responded by minimising their travel, their social interactions and social distancing. This happened regardless of what the government’s wanted or did.

      Academics learned how to do this very very well with the Climate Change scare scam. Those skills being misused again.

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      • #
        yarpos

        Records of actual excess deaths is not academic bullsh#t , as you so eloquently put it. Nor does it distract or conceal.

        In reality in is simply a fact that shines a bright light on reality. It is one of the few measures that is not subjective or open to discussion (eg. did they die with Covid or from Covid, what do infections mean anyway we havent tested everyone etc)

        Excess deaths is a real measure of the impact of the disease and a real measure of severity vs previous events and a real measure of comparable effectiveness of strategies. It should be a good guide for the future.

        It also tends to expose inbuilt bias in commentators arguments.

        [Edited one letter]AD

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    • #
      RickWill

      What the link fails to look at are the most important measures. Key are:
      A. Timing and effectiveness of border controls relative to the level of infection at time of closing borders.
      B. Speed and effectiveness of testing
      C. Efficiency and effectiveness of contact tracing

      Germany closed borders early, had the most comprehensive testing and were contact tracing.

      Both Italy and Spain were caught out – a combination of Wuhan direct connection to Milan and an international football match between Spain and Italy hosted by Italy.

      Spain was very effective in lowering their reproductive rate by the draconian lockdown. The virus was already rampant when the country locked down but they then crushed the infection:
      http://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/?chart=countries&highlight=Spain&show=-25&y=highlight&scale=linear&data=cases-daily-7#countries
      Spain was almost as good as Australia in terms of crushing the infection but they started from a much higher level of infection.

      If borders are closed before the infection enters, business can carry on as normal internally. That is the best “extreme”. That option with be viewed as less extreme in the future.

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  • #
    Robber

    A big danger we now face is the enjoyment of ultimate power through declaration of a state of emergency by socialist premiers and their health bureaucrats.
    If travelling is a threat, don’t just close state borders, confine everybody to their house. Less crime, less car accidents, less fossil fuels used. Utopia or police state?
    Vic is the worst of the States, continuing to find about 12 cases per day for the last three weeks, despite having the “perfect” Premier and CHO, while NSW is averaging 4 new cases per day.
    Lots of people unemployed? Don’t worry, governments will borrow even more money. But from whom?
    Jo, you provide a bit of scaremongering: “One undetected case could spread for weeks, causing the mass closure of hospitals, aged care centres, and so much economic damage with uncertainty and a second wave of lockdowns.” You don’t think that now anyone with the slightest symptoms isn’t going to be tracked and those around them isolated? Even with Victoria’s own ‘ruby princess’ meat works, the new cases reached just 100.
    But is a new crisis coming?
    The number of suicides in Australia is about 3,000 per year.
    Preliminary modelling by the Brain and Mind Centre suggests the COVID-19 crisis could cause up to 750 extra suicides a year, if the unemployment rate was around 11 per cent. But in a worst case scenario, where unemployment were to peak at about 16 per cent, that could double to an additional 1500 additional deaths a year.

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  • #
    Robber

    A big danger we now face is the enjoyment of ultimate power through declaration of a state of emergency by socialist premiers and their health bureaucrats.
    If travelling is a threat, don’t just close state borders, confine everybody to their house. Less crime, less car accidents, less fossil fuels used. Utopia or police state?
    Vic is the worst of the States, continuing to find about 12 cases per day for the last three weeks, despite having the “perfect” Premier and CHO, while NSW is averaging 4 new cases per day.
    Lots of people unemployed? Don’t worry, governments will borrow even more money. But from whom?
    Jo, you provide a bit of scaremongering: “One undetected case could spread for weeks, causing the mass closure of hospitals, aged care centres, and so much economic damage with uncertainty and a second wave of lockdowns.” You don’t think that now anyone with the slightest symptoms isn’t going to be tracked and those around them isolated? Even with Victoria’s own ‘ruby princess’ meat works, the new cases reached just 100.
    But is a new crisis coming?
    The number of suicides in Australia is about 3,000 per year.
    Preliminary modelling by the Brain and Mind Centre suggests the COVID-19 crisis could cause up to 750 extra suicides a year, if the unemployment rate was around 11 per cent. But in a worst case scenario, where unemployment were to peak at about 16 per cent, that could double to an additional 1500 additional deaths a year.

    11

  • #
    dinn, rob

    give me a place to stand and i can move the world -Archimedes
    Australian Animal Health Laboratory, in East Geelong, is part of the CSIRO.
    “It was a ghost town. There were rumours that the government warned the inhabitants not to go out.”
    https://balance10.blogspot.com/2020/05/it-was-ghost-town-there-were-rumours.html

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  • #
    thingadonta

    It was worse with the Wuhan debacle. They closed down local province borders, but left international borders open. So it was wasn’t ok for the virus to spread to other parts of China, but ok to export it to the world. Big government in China wanted to protect international business interests, but the virus didn’t get the memo. Does the virus avoid international airplanes, but not domestic ones?

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    • #
      dinn, rob

      but we can explain that, you see.
      4-15-20 “President Trump’s decision to defund WHO is simply this—a crime against humanity,” Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, tweeted late Tuesday.
      “Every scientist, every health worker, every citizen must resist and rebel against this appalling betrayal of global solidarity,” he added.
      https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/492871-medical-journal-editor-trumps-who-funding-decision-a-crime-against-humanity

      00

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      GoWest

      The Dems were so busy with their impeachment show trial dominating the front pages, the cov19 heading their way did not rate a mention in NY. NY was caught with their pants (and borders) down. Meanwhile Florida acted on the cov19 data using their well practiced hurricane emergency protocols. They figured out it was better to protect their elders by keeping them in hospital instead of following the standard Hospital Protocol of send em back to the homes (like NY). I will bet you our state governments have only just realised this. Florida did not shut their economy down (see – you can do it safely Mark McGowan)

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    Chad

    If there was a “Repitition Filter”. or a dilligent editor removing repeated, rehashed, reworded, and just “dumb” or off topic comments….these threads would be only half os long !
    So,..i will join in with a repeated , rehashed, pointless , off topic, comment,..wondering why we have not yet started a Thursday Open thread for a “covid free” discussion on subjects with no medical speculation…just so i can exercise my “covid free”. Thoughts.
    Some of you may have missed it whilst adjusting you face masks or washing your hands,..but our leaders have published a new discussion paper on the future energy options for emmissions reductions etc etc ??

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      Joe

      Chad, the two topics might be one; perhaps the earth warmers needed a bit of fast drop in CO2 to ‘explain’ a coming drop in temps to support their muddles?

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      Kalm Keith

      Thanks, l did miss it.

      Normally that news would be up here, but it’s been sidelined by that bat.

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    Cynic of Ayr

    This site used to be a great site for exposing the stupidity and hypocrisy of Climate Change.
    I’ve been glancing in now and again, and all it is is another – another – bunch of amateurs pretending to be medical experts.
    All the goings on of Thunberg, the Governments policy release, more damn investigations and committees, are all ignored.
    Message to Jo Nova. Get this site back to what the donators gave you money for!

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      Environment Skeptic

      Yes, it was a great site. For me it was like Jo was a sleeper cell out of a movie, ready to spring into action by the flu trigger. I too have donated in the past and will not be donating in the future.

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      el gordo

      I thank the honourable member for Ayr, but climate change is no longer of concern to the Australian people who are focussed on health and prosperity.

      In other words, since the beginning of the pandemic global warming has become irrelevant. In the past few weeks I have discovered that CO2 doesn’t warm the atmosphere but geothermal heat warms the oceans.

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    PeterS

    Freedom from the virus means freedom from Big Government

    Two points of order. We will very likely never be free from the virus and we are not and will never be free of Big Government, at least in the foreseeable future. I would have thought that was pretty obvious.

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    Joe

    I can’t understand how we can talk about ‘crushing’ this virus by using some textbook approaches while at the same time acknowledging that this virus along with many others, including that that caused the Spanish Flu, exist in many laboratories around the world and more worryingly are closely tied to militaries around the world. The process of ‘crushing’ this virus does nothing to eradicate their source in these laboratories and surely just takes us back to exactly the same position we started in, where we have this sword of Damacles hanging over our heads, waiting for another ‘accident’ to occur. Perhaps the military research is noble and just about protecting the foot soldiers from nasty colds while they fight the good fight, but one can’t help but be suspicious that any such ‘weaponised’ viruses would be designed to provoke that exact ‘crushing’ response that nobbles an economy. Jo makes the suggestion that this virus may have been ‘accidentally’ transferred from the nearby lab to a public food market. What is the science behind that adverb? I would presume that that food market is totally unsecured and any one of us, be we a foreign tourist or a spook or a disgruntled local lab worker or a careless local lab worker could easily spread some virus either deliberately or accidentally. What makes anyone suggest it was ‘accidental’? Is it just trust in human goodness? Surely that is important to know as we might hope to mitigate future accidents of this sort but are highly unlikely to prevent any such actions done deliberately. I guess you could make the argument that it is was ‘accidental’ as China would probably not do this deliberately just down the road from one of their labs if they wanted to conceal it but equally, one of their protagonists could very easily access that food market and do the same to make it look like an accident of the local lab. How can we hope to know, no investigation is going to expose something like that. Can someone allay my suspicions with a show of red thumbs and reassure me that its all just a case of some dodgy bat soup or really just all an unfortunate accident?

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    Mr Wright

    You can’t declare a state “virus free” unless every single person in that state has been tested and then re-tested 14 days later.

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    Tim

    Jo u talk as if lockdowns and border closures are a benign act whos only consequence is the saving of covid lives when the truth is vastlly different.
    The cost in ruined lives and deaths caused by dispair and poverty will only be reveilled in the fullness of time but believe me many more lives will be lost than saved and people like you advocating the continuation of this type of action will be judged harshly in the end.

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      Kalm Keith

      Can’t fault that.

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      el gordo

      ‘ … continuation of this type of action will be judged harshly in the end.’

      Its fair to say that the Premiers who hold their states in isolation will be humiliated at the next election.

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    GoWest

    Not enough climate change = eh — Well when it comes to cov19 we need heaps more global warming! – can we get more coal power plants working so they can warm the planet and keep more of us alive? – we are all getting older / asthmatic and the cov19 virus vaccine is so questionable -its being crafted using animals (just like a wet market!) – we already have the similar sars / h1n1 vaccines that may or may not work properly – except to make money for big pharma.
    The only long term solution is for those over 50 to follow the sun and head north.
    What the hell is Mark MacGovern doing stopping the grey nomads heading north in may like they have every other year. Seems that his health advisers are determined to create a second wave!
    Another one – what the hell was he doing using burn-offs when everyone is stuck in their house and cant drive to the country to get away. Politicians – they use the cops to stop us, but they wont stop the public service they employ!!!!! – Bulldozers creating grid firebreaks with small burns would save everyone in Perth from Choking – our grandfathers did it, but we are so lazy – much easier to do aerial fire bomb runs!

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    Farmer Gez

    Borders need to stay shut for community safety but it’s OK for infected individuals to quarantine at home with other members of the household.
    I can’t get my head around holding both positions.

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      el gordo

      A sick person who turns up positive should be kept in isolation away from everyone, but keeping domestic borders closed is irrational.

      The ban on international travel should continue, even if it destroys our university sector. If we decide to keep foreigners out, there won’t be a second wave.

      ‘Sweden out in the cold as toll rockets.

      ‘Scandinavia turns its back on Sweden as it records Europe’s highest death rate, raising pressure on PM to impose lockdown.’ Oz

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        Bill In Oz

        South Australia does not want Victoria’s problems EG.
        Neither does Tasmania.
        Qld does not want NSW’s problems.
        WA & NT don’t want Victoria or NSW’s problems.

        You and the others of your persuasion,
        Will just have to get used to the people’s will being implemented.
        Quite democratic !

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    Kevin a

    Covid Patients Testing Positive After Recovery Aren’t Infectious, Study Shows.

    Researchers are finding evidence that patients who test positive for the coronavirus after recovering aren’t capable of transmitting the infection, and could have the antibodies that prevent them from falling sick again.
    Scientists from the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied 285 Covid-19 survivors who had tested positive for the coronavirus after their illness had apparently resolved, as indicated by a previous negative test result. The so-called re-positive patients weren’t found to have spread any lingering infection, and virus samples collected from them couldn’t be grown in culture, indicating the patients were shedding non-infectious or dead virus particles.

    A recent study in Singapore showed that recovered patients from severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, are found to have “significant levels of neutralizing antibodies” nine to 17 years after initial infection, according to researchers including Danielle E. Anderson of Duke-NUS Medical School.

    As a result of the findings in the South Korea study, authorities said that under revised protocols, people should no longer be required to test negative for the virus before returning to work or school after they have recovered from their illness and completed their period of isolation.

    AS A RESULT OF THE FINDINGS IN THE SOUTH KOREA STUDY, AUTHORITIES SAID THAT UNDER REVISED PROTOCOLS, PEOPLE SHOULD NO LONGER BE REQUIRED TO TEST NEGATIVE FOR THE VIRUS BEFORE RETURNING TO WORK OR SCHOOL AFTER THEY HAVE RECOVERED FROM THEIR ILLNESS AND COMPLETED THEIR PERIOD OF ISOLATION.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-19/covid-patients-testing-positive-after-recovery-aren-t-infectious?sref=2WWyrgO6

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      Bill In Oz

      This is interesting :
      “Research last month showed that so-called PCR tests for the coronavirus’s nucleic acid can’t distinguish between dead and viable virus particles, potentially giving the wrong impression that someone who tests positive for the virus remains infectious.”

      It would be good to have this confirmed by research elsewhere with other Covid recovered patients. This is a new disease. There is much we are still finding out about it.

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        PCR testing just detects the nucleic acid whether it is in a live virus or not so this was always true and known right from the very first test.

        Nucleic acids persist beyond the living organism. The virus is RNA not DNA (as an aside rtPCR converts the RNA code to DNA), which, unlike DNA, is very labile in the environment. I think the tests that detect dead amplicons (the PCR target) are probably detecting something not long dead. I’d be interested in the estimates of RNA persistance – it is possible that some part of the virus structure offers some resistance to degredation.

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    Bill In Oz

    The LAST Covid patient in South Australia has been discharged from the RH after almost two months in intensive care.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-21/last-coronavirus-patient-leaves-rah/12273918

    It’s now four weeks since any local new infections have been found in South Australia despite a major boost in testing. The one person found 2 weeks ago was an migrant who cam e here in late March and was cleared through quarantine but afterwards developed symptoms. We do indeed deserve that GREEN rating on Jos map above.

    What is the formula for South Australia’s success in meeting & defeating this foreign CCP virus ?

    A strong & effective state government strategy based on :
    1: ‘Staying Home’ as much as possible to prevent further spread.
    2 : Tracing and testing all contacts of infected persons.
    3: An outright ban on all public gatherings inside or outside of more than 10 people.
    4: A ban on interstate travellers unless essential workers and a two week police supervised quarantine for South Australians returning to SA

    This strategy has been supported almost universally by the South Australian people & businesses. It has become a habit to social distance now with 1.5 meter gaps in queues in shops and supermarkets and hardwares etc. And I suspect that the clear plastic screen will become permanent at all check out counters and prevent the spread of lots of other infectious viruses like the flu ones.

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      Destroyer D69

      On the subject of Qld-NSW border closure in the last hour, Flight Radar 24 shows one flight from Lismore landing at Archerfield and another departing Gold coast tracking deep into NSW heading south (and registered in NSW)

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    WXcycles

    Trump: US Won’t Close Over Second CCP Virus Wave – May 21, 2020 Print

    President Donald Trump on Thursday said the United States will not shut down if there is another COVID-19 wave.

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/trump-us-wont-close-over-second-ccp-virus-wave_3360144.html

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    Kim

    Charles Moscowitz: Lord Christopher Monckton, Viscount of Brenchley Interview – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8iGFbDopDo .

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    Jo,

    Have you noted the arrival of a livestock carrier in Fremantle with 48 crew, six members of which have tested and oroved positive for Covid-19

    The six are in some hotel, and the rest are still on ship. Whats the guess about whether the whole ship accommodation needs deep cleaning?

    https://splash247.com/six-crew-on-livestock-carrier-contract-coronavirus/

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