COVID 19: are we ready?

There is a virus abroad in the land. In this NH winter season, in the US alone, it has already caused an estimated 26 million illnesses, 250,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths. It’s called influenza.

This LiveScience article asks the question How does the new coronavirus compare with the flu?

Chinese research indicates a mortality rate of around 2.3%. In the US the the death rate for the flu is typically around 0.1%, according to the NYT. It is possible that many in China contracting the virus were asymptomatic or had only mild symptoms that escaped identification. Sampling a whole population over a period of time will give more reliable figures. More recent estimates I’ve heard place mortality at around 1%, which still makes it 10 times more deadly than the flu.

This is the scary bit:

    In a more recent study, considered the largest on COVID-19 cases to date, researchers from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Protection, analyzed 44,672 confirmed cases in China between Dec. 31, 09 and Feb. 11, 2020. Of those cases, 80.9% (or 36,160 cases) were considered mild, 13.8% (6,168 cases) severe and 4.7% (2,087) critical. “Critical cases were those that exhibited respiratory failure, septic shock, and/or multiple organ dysfunction/failure,” the researchers wrote in the paper published in China CDC Weekly.

In broad terms, 80% mild, 15% severe and 5% critical. Indications are that the old and those with other morbidities, such as diabetes, are more vulnerable. Young children and pregnant women are susceptible to cating the virus, but are said to be no more vulnerable than anyone else.

More bad news – You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus.

Harvard epidemiology professor Marc Lipsitch:

    “I think the likely outcome is that it will ultimately not be containable.”

Lipsitch predicts that within the coming year, some 40 to 70 percent of people around the world will be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Which doesn’t mean they will all show symptoms. However, one of the features which makes COVID-19 so contagious is that peak virus load is early in the infection and is the same for those who are asymptomatic as it is for those who are sick.

Developing a vaccine is not simple. It costs hundreds of millions, has to be thoroughly trialled to make sure it causes more good than harm, and then needs to be manufactured and distributed at scale. Around 18 months to two years seems likely, which could mean that Australia will have two winter ‘flu seasons’ with COVID-19 rampant.

Expert opinion is that the virus will become an epidemic in Australia, it is just a matter of when. Dr Jeanette Young Chief medical Officer in Qld was plain and direct about this in an ABC interview yesterday. If you Google this article in the Oz it should open – Queensland health chief’s blunt coronavirus outbreak warning. Queensland is chipping in $20 million to clear operation waiting lists to free capacity.

There has been talk of commandeering hotel space, and using warehouses and stadiums for surge capacity. I found this extract in the WHO checklist for influenza pandemic preparedness planning

    Ensure that contact tracing, confinement and quarantine, if proposed, can be implemented both legally and practically. Define criteria for implementation and revocation:

    • consider designation of places where persons can be held in quarantine;
    • ensure medical care, food supply, social support and psychological assistance for these people;
    • ensure adequate transport of persons to these places, and from thereto hospitals or mortuaries.

I wonder who exactly will “ensure medical care, food supply, social support and psychological assistance for these people” and who will be transporting people alive or dead, and how. Some of these things may happen more easily in a place like China.

Barrier training of the operatives will also be a factor.

Please note that compulsory confinement and quarantine is a standard practice, and can happen under our law. The makers of the ABC Four Corners program should have understood that.

Kevin Rudd has slammed the PM’s coronavirus response, suggesting an economic stimulus:

    “When looking at the economic impact, you can’t just look at the effect on countries where the virus is most prevalent, like China.

    “You also need to consider the hit our major trading partners, most of whom also depend on China. All of that cascades back to Australia very quickly.”


    On Tuesday Mr Morrison told Australians the coronavirus outbreak was not like the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.

    “This is not like a global financial crisis. This is a global health crisis,” said Mr Morrison.

    “This is affecting global supply chains. It’s affecting the building industry, it’s affecting the manufacturing industry, it’s affecting our export industry. When planes aren’t coming in, planes aren’t going out.

    “The bellies of those planes reason taking Australian produce into those markets.”

Sounds like a broad economic effect to me.

From the Asia Times:

From what I have heard many Asian countries and some European ones are already instituting stimulus measures. Our man is talking about limited, targeted stimuli for directly affected industries. That is not confidence inspiring, an important matter at these times. For example, Trump took over chief responsibility for engendering confidence when he found that his health officials were being frank and honest, substituting a communications strategy that was summed up thus:

I understand that funding to the Center for Disease Control had just been cut, including 80% of their global operation. The immediate result was an accelerated selloff on share markets around the world.

Incidentally, I think our own market was about 20% overvalued before the sell-off began. Unsurprisingly the stock that went up the most (one of only three in the ASX200) was Invocare. Their main business is funerals.

Countries are handling the emergency differently, so it will be interesting to monitor the outcome. Those that cause me alarm include Italy, Iran, India and Indonesia. Thailand, for example, is asking anyone who has recently travelled from a country which has had any incidence of the disease at all to self-isolate for two weeks. In a country where the dominant ethos is to maintain equanimity and to make merit by helping others, that might work.

By contrast, Iran kept its shrines open, thinking perhaps that the virus respected holiness.

Meanwhile in our household we have noted Jody Lanard and Peter M. Sandman’s – Past Time to Tell the Public: “It Will Probably Go Pandemic, and We Should All Prepare Now” (thankyou zoot for the link). We have started building a store of dry and canned foods, and are making sure that we are ahead with supplies of pharmaceuticals and other essential items. I have discovered that I gently scratch my face quite frequently. Just dry skin, I think.

I’ve heard that the hand sanitizers in small bottles that you can buy actually work, because they are mostly alcohol-based, which kills viruses. The Guardian has a commentary supporting that contention, but prefers washing hands with soap. They give full instructions.

For me, the received wisdom on masks is not so positive. What commonly happens, I’m told, is that if used too long they accumulate viruses on the outside. This accumulation is then likely to infect you if not properly handled in changing and disposal. However, I think we would use them if one in our household became infected, especially for the one infected.

The overall economic impact is unfathomable. Warwick McKibbin told Peter Martin and Gigi Foster on ABC RN that he used 25,000 equations to model the economic effect of SARS on Hong Kong. Tony Boyd’s Chanticleer column in the AFR reports that traffic is starting to increase again in Chinese cities, and steel consumption is back to 60% of normal. However, fear itself is a factor, and we may be doing ourselves more harm than good by an over-reaction. Certainly companies will now be building alternative supply chains for many goods, which may cost the consumer.

It is hard to see economic damage being contained to small proportions if schools are closed, sporting events and cultural performances cancelled, and if people generally avoid public places.

Insurance is problematic. One talk-back citizen reported a technology conference in Portugal with 110,000 booked participants being cancelled. They only way he could get insurance from his travel arrangements would be if the Australian government changed its travel advice.

McKibbin said the Chinese top epidemiologists are among the best on the planet. After a shaky start the Chinese have possibly performed like no other country could (where else would you see new large hospitals materialise before your eyes?) However, having gifted the virus to the world, and then perhaps containing it, the chances of then keeping it out in the longer term appear to me slight.

Johns Hopkins seems to provide the best statistical summary (zoot linked to it elsewhere) and now has an interesting interactive map where you can Watch the Coronavirus Cases Spread Across the World.

The Guardian has useful coverage, including a myth buster, and How to protect yourself against coronavirus.

Stay calm and good luck!

449 thoughts on “COVID 19: are we ready?”

  1. Best summary yet seen.
    Excellent work, as usual, Brian.
    And thanks to zoot also.

    Good luck to everyone.

  2. Thanks Ambi.

    One thing I didn’t say was that the US will probably stuff it up, because so many don’t have reasonable access to the medical system.

  3. I have posted this Hopkins site recently but for those vision impaired here it is again:

    My pharmacist mate told me two scary things last week.
    The first was that the incubation period is up to 23 days. Second, the virus is ables to stay alive at large for up to 5 days, maybe more.
    Now he had no science to support that, it was “trade talk”, but it is worrying when a professioal body is showing its concerns. If correct, or even half correct, it lays waste to the safe quarantine provisions we are so far relying upon.

  4. Geoff, I’ve heard that 23-day story specifically addressed by one of the experts.

    They say it is so far only rumour. There is nothing scientific to back it up.

    That’s not to say it didn’t happen. I think there is about a 50% difference between the shortest and the longest incubation period. That is the longest is 50% longer than the shortest. That is in general, not just for this virus. Don’t know what the span is for this one.

  5. It’ll sweep the planet thoroughly.
    Best not to be over 60.
    Convenient for the overpopulation freak outs and somewhat nullifying the effects of China’s “ one child idiocy “ imbalance.

  6. Qld health chieftainess urged everybody to have their ‘flu shot this year, because “people suffering from two viral contagions at the same time don’t do as well”.

    There’s some fairly innoccuous and simple advice going round, e.g. have your annual flu shot, keep washing hands, don’t bother with face masks until the epidemic is actually here, etc.


  7. Earlier this arvo I heard Annastacia Palaszczuk give a presser after a meeting. Must say I was impressed.

    They are buying extra capacity like you wouldn’t believe, buying all the necessaries and starting staff training etc etc.

    This morning I partially heard Professor Raina MacIntyre doing talkback on Life Matters. Excellent.

    Important points, first, the virus can be airborne and does not need droplets. Hence 2 metres is really not enough. And avoid aircon where there are lots of people.

    We are going to investigate home delivery from the supermarket.

    Secondly, close toilet lids before flushing. She said don’t use the air dryer, use a paper towel, which you then use to turn off the tap.

    Public toilet door handles are an issue. There are ways of minimizing contact, but if necessary that is where hand sanitizer is handy.

    My brother Len tells me that research shows that students touch their faces an average of 23 times during a lecture.

  8. I think the school system will be fine.
    The aged care system is where I’d be concentrating hardest.

    This thing should circle the Globe many times in the next 6-12 months, the chances of exposure are odds on.

    The main question I’m asking is “ what can each of us do to improve the chances of surviving it once we inevitably get infected ? “

  9. I’m not sure yet Jumpy it is inevitable that we all get infected. And I think it is too early on to say what the most effective treatments are/will be.
    It seems that the virus is bad news for the elderly and frail adults and small children. That should be a clue to how to best direct whatever resources might be available when or if it becomes to the widespread level of infection.

    Jumpy if you think it is going to break out in an uncontrollable fashion (and it might), that’s sort of analogous to going passed a climate tipping point don’t you think?

  10. Advice from the WA Chief Health Officer

    Our modelling is suggesting that in a worst case scenario, 25 per cent of the population might be affected, but that won’t be at one time. It will be spread over 12 months or so.

  11. Geoff, small child fatalities are the lowest of all age groups. The Tackers will be ok.

    There are plenty of other threads to talk about climate tipping points so I’ll direct you to those please.

    This looks more like a cat out of the box analogy to me.
    Best case, back in the box, 18 months – never.

  12. Advice to the WA Chief Health Officer, it’s infected not affected.
    Everyone is already affected.

  13. In fact the sheer numbers of those becoming infected affected an effect.
    I read that the only stocks to buck the downward share prices were listed funeral Companies.
    The Fed is odds on to drop interest rates tomorrow, as if the banks will pass that on to lenders like they will to investors.

  14. Everyone is already affected.

    You really think so?
    I’m not affected yet, and I seriously doubt you have been affected at all (apart from your knee-jerk chicken little response).
    And for those whose first language isn’t English, if people are infected they have ipso facto been affected.

  15. “ I’m not affected yet, “

    Hahaha, your affected enough to comment on a thread about it.
    Sure you may not have a business or a super account/ investments or infected and none of your racists friends and family ( your words not mine ) are infected or there’s something not on the supermarket shelf you want or the price of something you buy isn’t more expensive ( supply/demand dynamic), but where is your empathy for those that have ?
    Are you some sort of sociopath ?

    I’m sure, despite all the evidence, BilB will diagnose this quandary in your favour. ( and throw in the denier tag at me as a matter of routine)

  16. I don’t know why you’re so worried Jumpy. Donald Trump has assured us it will all disappear with the warm weather in April, besides it’s a hoax, like global warming.
    So relax, chill, it’s all going to be fine.

  17. As you insist Jumpy, Your’e wrong, zoot’s right, and you are a denialist of all rational and commonsense thinking. Did I miss anything?

  18. FWIW I’ve heard that children are among the least affected (or infected, if you prefer). I’m open to evidence, but the ABC and the US CDC seem to agree.

    Zoot, I heard one expert suggest 25% or so as the expected rather than the minimum.

    I think fewer people will die from the flu this year, because people will change their behaviour. Less shaking of hands and kissing, for example.

    In a rare double, I’d have to agree with Jumpy about concern for people in aged care facilities.

    BTW Queensland said it was going to treble the hospital emergency capacity. Not sure how that is possible.

  19. In a rare double, I’d have to agree with Jumpy about concern for people in aged care facilities.

    Since I have some knowledge of aged care facilities I’m expecting them to have strict protocols in place soon if not already. I think the aged with comorbidities in the wider community (like us) are at greater risk.

  20. BTW does Jumpy believe our approach to COVID-19 should only be voluntary Capitalism, not force based socialism?
    And if so, what would it look like?

  21. You’re opening a big can of worms there, zoot.

    Western democracies have a mixture: of private (State subsidised) medicine, tax-funded public hospitals, Nanny Health Departments, local Council Health Inspectors, co-operative capitalist private insurance…. the list is endless and difficult to pin on an ideological axis.

    Moreover, ideology isn’t the primary focus: treating illnesses, whether serious or minor, repairing serious injuries, preventative health etc us the main aim. Someone barracking from the sidelines about ideology may be politely escorted from the Emergency Department so the staff can get on with their jobs.

    As to Nanny, look at the PR of China. People dragged from their homes to go into involuntary isolation. Overcrowded hospitals. Was that a bloke welding a metal gate shut to keep residents inside a building. (I refer to “Four Corners” last week.) Harsh indeed.

    But if seen through an ideological lens….. I suggest that some questions need attention.

    Is China communist?
    Is it Capitalist-Gone-Feral with monopolists and cronyism?
    Has the Chinese Communist Party provided cover for, and is the main enabler of, a towering Crony Capitalism?
    Is China a slave state?
    Does political power grow out of the barrel of a gun?
    Does trading power grow out of artificially constructed “islands” in the South China Sea?

    Is China an honourable great and powerful friend to whom we owe gratitude and admiration? (in some mischievous quarters this is called “doing a pre-emptive kow-tow”).

    {Here endeth the Sermon.}

    • Since I have some knowledge of aged care facilities I’m expecting them to have strict protocols in place soon if not already. I think the aged with comorbidities in the wider community (like us) are at greater risk.

    Fair enough Zoot. I respect your ability to make judgements on the evidence.

  22. Ambi, I need to say more about the Four Corners program.

    It was not a detached, truth-seeking documentary. Consider the scary background music throughout, and the use of the Australian who got stuck with his partner, got permission to leave, but couldn’t get to the airport.

    Our sympathies go out to him, but his situation was used as a summary statement on the whole issue.

    The ABC now typically uses individual cases and an appeal to emotions in what used to be current affairs programs. There is very little current affairs left on ABC television. Essentially they are looking for eyeballs, rather than seeking to inform.

  23. On “Four Corners”, I agree about that bloke they used: his story was unremarkable and they could have beeped out his “f*ck”s and “f*cking”s. Tabloid level.

    But I thought their coverage of the political dimensions (e.g. the inefficiencies in information gathering and sharing in a State where a doctor can be hauled in by the cops for “spreading false rumours”) was apposite. Many other political and social factors were noted.

    But I’m approaching the Chinese State from the viewpoint that it’s a dictatorship. Mass surveillance, arbitrary arrests; death penalty; President-for-Life; censorship rife; Uighurs and Tibetans downtrodden.

    Anyone is free to call my attitude “beating the anti-Communist drum” or “a throwback to McCarthyite hysteria”. I can take that risk.

    When Aussie “progressives” make a fuss about ‘calling something by it’s name’, well I will call the PRC by a handy term:


    ***** ***** *****
    What is to be done?
    That’s in the hands of the Chinese people.

    I hope to see ‘a Chinese Democratic Revolution’ in my lifetime.

    Yes, it could be chaotic, perhaps dangerous. Post-Soviet Russia hasn’t been all sweetness and light. Burma is still not out of the woods. Anna Funder says East Germany hasn’t fully freed itself from Stasi influence.

    But, by golly, Chinese citizens deserve better than they’ve been getting since the 1930s…..

    [Mr J is correct: I sermonise.
    pax vobiscum]

  24. And in democratic non-totalitarian Australia, there is a power to detain a person on medical grounds….

    This from “The Guardian” online, apparently a verbatim quote:

    Christian Porter had a chat to Laura Jayes on Sky this morning, explaining that while Australians might be used to being stopped at airports, they would be “less used to the idea that that power might be used at a clinic that was established or at a hospital”.

    But the reality is that these laws were updated in 2015. Prior to that our Quarantine Act dated back to 1908, and was more fit for a time when Australia got most of its vessels and incoming traffic by ocean liner.

    So we prepared by updating our laws in 2015 for precisely the type of circumstances, where you may have to engage in pandemic planning, which very unfortunately we are doing at the moment.

  25. Brian, continuing with the aged care theme – nothing is foolproof. Aged care facilities have outbreaks of gastro, and I expect there will be incidents where COVID-19 lays waste to an aged care facility due to some idiot ignoring the rules, but in general you and I are at greater risk than the residents.
    (And if disaster strikes I don’t want Jumpy claiming that I said people in aged care were safe.)

  26. Yes zoot

    There are many particular places where contagion could spread readily, and most have their own protocols.

    Along with aged care facilities most of us would be aware of risks at child care centres, schools, hospitals, some workplaces and so forth.

    I notice that commercial food handling has become much more cautious in recent years.

    Happy to accept medical advice and take routine precautions.

    I hope Mr J isn’t out searching for violet water: it’s all gone.


  27. Ambi, in the Q&A which followed Four Corners (also a problematic program IMHO) Prof Raina Macintyre pointed out that coercive powers to segregate sick people with contagious diseases existed here.

    Yesterday after Christian Porter made his statement someone in authority said that most people will cooperate when the situation is explained to them. We have no knowledge that that is not the case in Wuhan. Seeing a couple of cases where there was resistance cannot be taken as typical.

    Moreover Mark tells me that what happened there was deemed as world’s best practice by WHO when they saw thew footage. The individuals concerned were not being brutalised.

    I’m not sure what with welding doors shut. Certainly it doesn’t look good, but it is I think responsible to suspend judgement.

    The program was not dispassionate in its handling of the subject matter. If you want to judge a culture you need to live there long enough to become part of it.

    Mark has also worked on a contract for 6 months with a rep of the PRC with a purpose of getting their credit cards accepted here in tourist locations. He assures me that Chinese people do not aspire to be like ‘free’ Western people. Such a proposition would be like saying to Australians that we should be more like America.

    Consider the fact that individuals were game enough to resist. People would not have done that in Saddam’s Iraq, or Stalin’s Russia, or East Germany, or…

    I’ll leave that there for now. Have a day to get on with.

  28. Thanks, zoot. I was interested on how long the virus can survive on surfaces. Short answer, they don’t know, but:

      coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).
  29. Of interest, there was an article in the AFR about how the Chinese are now using their people movement tracing systems.

    Any citizen wanting to purchase a train ticket in China has to have an ID, which I think might be the equivalent of the Australia Card that we decided we wouldn’t have back in the 1980s (I was in favour of it). Pretty much everyone has a mobile phone.

    Now they have been given an app, which shows everyone’s COVID-19 status automatically. The app is red, yellow, or green. Not sure exactly what yellow means, but I think red means you need to self-isolate for 14 days.

    The app will show whether you have been sitting next to someone with the virus on the train, or two seats or rows away. They don’t have to run around finding people.

    The article wasn’t written very clearly, but the story was along those lines.

    I’m just reporting it, not making judgements about whether people’s human rights are being infringed, or whether what they are doing is for the common good.

    Initially China’s people surveillance systems didn’t seem to help them much, but now apparently that has changed.

  30. perhaps because the primary purpose of the surveillance was political rather than medical?


    a Tibetan
    by the

  31. Mr A, there are all the cases where gay folk are caught and these apps are use to round up other that frequented the certain night spots they did.

    Off to the re-education camps.

    But hey, Antifa carry the hammer and sickle…….

  32. Ambi, probably political, I would not know.

    What I do know is that I have feelings about what I see on the box, read and hear, but I don’t need to make judgements about it.

  33. What I do know is that I have feelings about what I see on the box, read and hear, but I don’t need to make judgements about it.
    Brain that is a very sensible approach to media, we should all keep that in mind.

    The looming pandemic has truly brought some interesting privacy issues up and not just in China. In S Korea people are questioning if the regular alerts they get on their phone are not too revealing.

    “A 43-year-old man, resident of Nowon district, tested positive for coronavirus … He was at his work in Mapo district attending a sexual harassment class. He contracted the virus from the instructor of the class.”
    Sometimes they have to reveal the name of specific store, too – which leads to closure for certain time and financial loss to the business owner. Apparently people are amazed and intrigued how much ‘Love Hotels ‘ are frequented. While no names are used too often it is possible to put two and two together. Which now has contributed to a secondary fear of stigma.
    “”A research team at Seoul National University’s Graduate School of Public Health recently asked 1,000 Koreans which scares them the most:
    1. Potential carriers around them
    2. Criticisms and further damage they may suffer from being infected
    3. That they may not have symptoms yet have the virus

    Prof You Myoung-soon’s team found “criticisms and further damage” were more feared than having the virus.””

  34. Yes Brian

    Scepticism will always serve you well. In every area.

    My conclusions about China come not from TV but from books mainly, for instance Jung Chang “Wild Swans”, and “Mao” stand out. As a former Red Guard in the 60s, Ms Chang has come to a very bitter view of Mao and what his regime and Party has done to her family and the land of her birth.

    I’m not Chinese, can’t read Chinese so rely on English speaki g writers.

    “Chinese Shadows” by Simon Leys circa 1980 was an eye-opener. Some students in 1970s Melbourne were ardent Maoists.

  35. Zoot, I found that link more than a little disturbing for the rest of the world.

    Apart from that China is now implementing a giant stimulus package to get its economy going again.

  36. Zoot: Saw your link on what the Chinese are doing as valuable information.

  37. I’ve just picked up on this one – Coronavirus: Palaszczuk says federal government too slow to act:

      Palaszczuk said efforts to coordinate the health response across Australia’s federal system had been too slow.

      “I have been asking this since the end of January, that the minister should have convened a COAG meeting of all states and territories on the specific topic of coronavirus to ensure that our national response and our state responses are ready.

      “I am still concerned that we have not had a dedicated national meeting where we can discuss this in depth.”

    As you may have seen, Morrison did a presser on the virus, refused to answer questions about anything else, then scarpered. My wife says she has never seen an Australian PM do that. Effectively it means he controls what he is answerable for in relation to the fourth estate.

  38. The AMA President says that Missy Higgins Dad is NOT a prize galah.

    Can someone please tell Palacechook that Health and hospitals are a State responsibility and Quarantine is a federal one.

    If Shorten were PM, and acted the same as Morrison, she’d be praising him.

    Get a grip Anastasia, sink State resources into the aged care sector and forget the upcoming election you’re about to lose.

  39. Jumpy, I have it on good authority that when Annastacia’s dad Henry was a teacher at Inala High School he chose the pronunciation of his name, not as it would be pronounced in Polish, rather to avoid disrespectful idiots from causing themselves bad karma by using chookyard humour.

    The Chinese has shown us that speed is of the essence. We are too slow.

    She did praise Morrison for going 50:50 rather than their usual 45:55. However, Labor in office was 50:50 and aspired to go more.

  40. Brian, if you believe the official Chinese data then we really are wasting our time discussing this.

    But you look after yourself, this virus is fatal to about 1 in 10 folk your vintage.

    My vintage is closer to1 in 100.

  41. Jumpy, I can’t say that the Chinese data is kosher but nor can anyone. Can you believe the American stats, given that their President is a serial liar? And can you even trust our own government to be honest?
    And whilst Australians are hoarding toilet paper, thousands die world-wide of a vast range of maladies every day.
    A touch of humility would help Mr J

  42. I neither believe nor disbelieve the Chinese data.
    However I am 100% certain the US data is totally unreliable.

  43. I heard The Economists talking about how GDP is calculated. It’s not hard data. There is a fair amount of educated guesswork.

    The Chinese say they are trying to give the best data so that the virus can be defeated. I’d give them the benefit of the doubt. McKibbin says their epidemiologists are among the best. I’d believe him over you.

    That said, it’s a different country. The demographic profile is different, their life expectancy is about 6-7 years below ours, the air is bad, people smoke more.

    It is said that we need to do sample of the whole population to get an accurate figure. That can’t be done anywhere, because no-one has yet identified the DNA anti-body marker. So if people have had the virus and have recovered, no-one can tell.

    Meanwhile jumpy you don’t know my age, but by age I should worry. However, I don’t. I just take care.

  44. If the W.H.O. is praising the Chinese response I would have thought they must be at least close to best practice.
    But maybe we should all defer to the world renowned epidemiologist/virologist currently practicing in Mackay.
    After all, what would the W.H.O. know.

  45. WHO can say??

    Prof. Ambigulous,
    Victorian Corresponding Emeritus
    in his own mind
    WHAT [World Health And Tourism]

  46. “The Onion” nailed it in their recent outline of previous pandemics.

    The Black Plague circa 1340 was worse than it might have been because rats refused to have their children vaccinated

    In Roman times, the Plague of Justinian disrupted the bacteria trade.

  47. … this virus is fatal to about 1 in 10 folk your vintage.
    My vintage is closer to1 in 100.

    It’s always possible Professor Jumpy calculated these risk factors from official figures (which are overwhelmingly the Chinese official data), but I tend to think he pulled them out of his arse.

  48. There’s a rumour, zoot, that in the acronym SARS, the first S is medically redundant; but authorities wished to avoid ‘ARS’.

    (Unlike the TV news depts, which eventually bit the bullet and named the South American insurgents as FARC.)

    Funny old world.

  49. Altruism aside, I think the Chinese are smart enough to know that it is in their interests to keep their trading partners alive.

    Raining here, and I’m up to my navel in alligators, but very much alive. Saw my doc today and told her she didn’t need to monitor my heart, because I’ve just done a stress-echo test (for those who don’t know, you run on a treadmill where they increase the speed and incline every three minutes, and do an ultrasound of your heart before and after).

    She said she had to do her job, so she did it from a position beside and a little behind me. It was all good, as I knew it would be.

  50. Zoot, W.H.O seems to be the trustworthy source around here, what do they say of the age demographic of fatalities due to COVID 19 ?

    Perhaps you could get your head out of your arse long enough to have a look.


    On the preparedness of these little life hiccups ( for most ), we lifelong Northern Australians have at least a months supply in the advent of a Cyclone around this time of year.

    And looking at the forecast we may need it soon.
    Pity this latest hysteria has stripped the shelves for the late preparers that aren’t used to it.

    I make a point to all of the Southern blow-ins I befriend the importance of Cyclone Preparations, should help them if this panic persists.

  51. You’re so selfless Jumpy. There’ll be a place for you beside Mother Teresa when you finally shuffle off this mortal coil.
    Bless you and all who sail in you.

  52. Hallelujah!
    We are saved, brothers and sisters.
    The toilet paper supplies have re-appeared in a Southern supermarket near here.

    And there I was, thinkin’ “It’s gunna have to be sheets if newspaper like in the good old days.” Or what’s wrong with grass? some dills said.

    Hope the alligators subside as the floodwaters recede, Brian.

  53. BTW, John

    Was your “downhill” a subtle suggestion about the optimum siting of the septic tank, with respect to a house?

    Once an engineer, always practical…..

  54. “The Guardian” has published a short piece on the new virus and the Chinese polity by the exile Ai Weiwei, known as a contempirary Chinese artist.

    But what would he know, being an exile?

    (A bit of a capitalist-roader, they say, too.)

    Then there was the young journalist on “Australian Story” tonight. But what would she know, being an exile? And worse: a mere journalist.

    Comedienne, they say. (Gallows humour again.)

    Cry, the Beloved Homeland.

  55. This thread wasn’t going downhill, and best it doesn’t given the circumstances.

    The SS would be a better place for shit talk.

    Geoff will be giving lack of humility barbs again soon, warranted or not.

  56. I could use the word “futility” Jumpy, defined as attempting to draw you into a sensible objective discussion.

  57. New virus.
    Health concerns.
    Self-isolation => no shopping trips

    zoot sheet of advice a couple of weeks ago, on stocking essentials but doing it methodically and avoiding panic/hoarding

    empirical observations that supermarkets ran out of sh*t wipes, long before widespread infections….

    opportunity for toilet humour, though John D in his usual, scholarly manner, tried to divert onto an historical perspective.

    Mr J reckons he has a 99% survival probability but now admonishes us about the seriousness of ‘the circumstances’.

    Coming up next: the PM to announce a seriously large ‘stimulus’ for an economy not yet (?) in recession…. “When China sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold!”

  58. As JD previously pointed out, the economic consequences of this virus are going to be dire. There will be other reactions, both social and political. Hopefully we will likely get past this virus over the next year I guess.
    But the experience has demonstrated how vulnerable we have become to any virus from anywhere. And because it’s an immediate health issue and therefore political, immediate funding is made available. For some reason though, the immediate on-going threat to climate is denied funding and serious planned action. Yet the consequences will extend for centuries. What am I missing here?

  59. Can someone please let me know of the first “ reputable journalist “ to blames CORVID 19 on Capitalism, Murdoch, Trump, Patriarchy and Global Warming all at the same time.

    It’s inevitable.

  60. One of the key lessons from the Corvid 19 crisis is that free markets mean that supplies of key parts can concentrate in a particular country because of competitive selection. Bit of a problem when a key part comes from a country that is unable to keep up supplies for some reason.
    Even worse when just in time means when a country cannot continue supply for even a short time there are no stores to carry things over.
    Those that remember the supply crisis of WWII are nearly all dead and certainly not listened to.
    We need something other that free market globalizationto drive the world economy.

    • Those that remember the supply crisis of WWII are nearly all dead and certainly not listened to.

    John, I’m not dead yet, and I do remember my mum having books of tear off tickets, like raffle tickets, she had to use to buy stuff. I think they were called “Rations”.

    Probably because a lot of people had to go fight the war, plus so much industrial capacity was turned over to the war effort.

  61. Can someone please let me know of the first “ reputable journalist “ to blames CORVID 19 on Capitalism, Murdoch, Trump, Patriarchy and Global Warming all at the same time.

    It’s COVID-19 and your hero Donald J Trump is trying to blame it on the Democrats. But you already knew that.

  62. I’m told that Trump has now been in close contact with five people who subsequently were shown to carry the virus, but hasn’t had himself checked yet.

    Found this site on virus stats in China. Daily new cases are now down to 40 from commonly over 3000 in early February.

    New cases seem to be going up in Italy, Spain and the USA, and down in South Korea, Iran and France.

    The only stats for Australia I can find are at Wikipedia. Seems it hasn’t taken off here yet. Medical authorities seem to say it will, but I did hear that Frydenberg and co in designing a support and stimulus package were assuming that it wouldn’t.

  63. An epidemiologist said recently that Australia needs to aim to have a “low peak”. The virus outbreak here will peak at some point. If we can reduce the person-to-person spread of the infection, that will
    * lead to a lower peak, and therefore
    * give medical workers and sites a better chance of treating persons who’ve been infected, thereby improving the survival rate.

    Today there’s an indication that the “standard” isolation period of 14 days might be lowered, a little, as it seems that symptoms appear at around the 5 day mark.

    John D, as usual you’ve drawn a mich wider conclusion about supply chains and trade. Just in time, “today’s warehouses are the trucks on the highways”, etc. ……. And that chestnut a previous poster used to bang on about: Australia doesn’t have an adequate strategic reserve of petroleum.

    But if the usual short-term-ism applies, we will see these results:
    $ New and Improved Toilet Paper Reserves
    $ A Local Face Mask Manufacturing Strategy
    $ A Marketing Campaign fir Chinese and Indian Undergrads

    while our hospitals and aged care centres wander along…….

  64. I shouldn’t say this, but coronavirus has been good for the Morrison government in the sense that Morrison doesn’t need to talk about anything else like sports rorts and such.

  65. “Never waste the opportunity offered by a good crisis.” The quote is often attributed to Obama’s Chief of Staff, but a Google search says that it was first used by Machiavelli.
    Morrison has not been outstanding thus far. Trump has been ridiculous while Boris intends to keep shaking hands. The UK Health Minister Nadine Dorries has been diagnosed positive and has been in contact with a great many people since becoming infected.

    My doctor this morning greeted me with an “elbow bump” after reception gave me a splurge of alcohol gel. Doc said to take all precautions and said I should have the annual ‘flu jab when it becomes available in April.

  66. Yes Geoff

    I believe a public health official (Qld?) said something similar a week ago.

    “With any viral infection, people who already are suffering from another virus do less well. So have your annual ‘flu shot.”

    Amidst some panicking there are also sensible voices being heard. Good idea to listen to epidemiologists, hospital staff, public health bods and your own GP.

  67. ambi: “John D, as usual you’ve drawn a mich wider conclusion about supply chains and trade. Just in time, “today’s warehouses are the trucks on the highways”, etc. ” There are also problems when a critical part used in Aus only comes from china pre-virus. Can stop an awful lot of production.
    A friend claims containers are being stuck in china and this could end up stopping world container transport.

  68. Stopping it for a few months?

    We’re fortunate to be self-sufficient in basic food production. It’s that fancy, newfangled stuff that’s a bit tricky.

    Good thing we didn’t sell off the carrier pigeons last year. Get out the old dray. “Always knew it’d come in handy one day…. and the youngsters wanted ter break it up fer firewood or artisan furniture bits!!”

  69. I’m sure people would have heard the POTUS, one Donald Trump, calling out the “foreign virus” and boasting how resilient and strong the US is and the whole thing is temporary. By contrast Angela Merkel said the 60 to 70% of Germans were likely to get the virus in the next 12 months or so and the idea was to slow the thing down so that the infections happened at a rate that the health system could deal with.

    Trump got his lines wrong when he said that people and “cargo” from Europe would be banned for a month.

    Stock markets tanked by close to 8% when they heard that, and they didn’t recover when it was pointed out that trade of goods would continue.

    I think the take-out is that with Trump in charge the virus is going to flourish in the US which will cause more grief for all of us.

    See Trump’s European flight ban roils markets, spooks travelers.

    The ban applies to the Shenghen area, which conveniently excludes the UK and Ireland, where the Donald owns some resorts.

    Of course, people from Shenghen countries can enter the UK, and presumably fly on from there, if there are any planes still flying.

  70. People in the medical business in the US are saying that they can’t get enough tests. It’s easy to find articles like this from PoliticoExclusive: U.S. coronavirus testing threatened by shortage of critical lab materials:

      The growing scarcity of these “RNA extraction” kits is the latest trouble for U.S. labs, which have struggled to implement widespread coronavirus testing in the seven weeks since the country diagnosed its first case. Epidemiologists and public health officials say that the delayed rollout, caused in part by a botched CDC test, has masked the scope of the U.S. outbreak and hobbled efforts to limit it.

    I wondered whether the kits were made in China, but at the end of the article it says:

      The company is ramping up production of RNA extraction kits at manufacturing sites in Hilden, Germany; Barcelona, Spain; and Germantown, Md.

    I’m wondering whether the Germans and the Spaniards have first call on what is manufactured in their place.

  71. I was surprised to hear that the Government virus package needs parliamentary approval and the parliament won’t be meeting for the next two weeks. Albanese has called for a special sitting to be organised.

    The Melbourne Grand Prix has been cancelled.

    The cricket one-day series will be played with no crowds.

    This site gives complete country information.

    New cases in China only 3 and Italy over 2,600. I’ve heard that the hospital system has been overwhelmed, which is showing up in the death rates.

    NZ only 5 cases.

    Thailand has 70 cases total so far, with a population of around 70 million, and Bangkok normally the most visited city in the world. Cf Australia 156 cases.

  72. With looming mayoral elections in Queensland (and local gov) a “debate” was held at James Cook uni last night. The topic was Climate Change and how would the Mayor deal with that. Ian Lyniad was absent due to a bereavement.
    Of the others, the worst performer was a mumbling largely incoherent Bob Manning, the incumbent mayor. An audience member interjected to tell him to answer the question.
    Jen Sackley made a strident effort, claiming her history as a Cairns resident qualified her as an excellent Mayor. Jen represented Palmer in the recent Federal poll, and unsurprisingly she supports coal for the thousands of jobs it would create. There was an audible gasp at her statement.
    The third aspirant is Georgia Babatsikos. She was light years ahead of the others, citing experience in post-hurricane New Orleans and a wealth of broad-based understanding. She was articulate, informed about a wide range of topics and really put on a good show.
    Interesting to see how it plays out, but I felt like telling Manning to clear his office out.

  73. A friend of mine had this to say about current world events: “All the talking heads put the blame down to CV19. I bet they blame the bushfires on the arsonists as well! No, there’s a basic cause, to wit, after decades of sunshine and tranquillity, the global marketplace has become extremely efficient … and extremely fragile … but who cares, right? The sun’s shining and everything’s tranquil, right? As fragile as a champagne flute … and then along comes CV19, with its little hammer!!! China & America, even before CV19, were involved in messy divorce. By the time CV19 passes, it will be a new Pacific. Much American industry, currently operating in China (and Europe), will return to America. Much uncertainty will occur as this process proceeds. No wonder the stock market is having a fit! ”
    Yep: “the global marketplace has become extremely efficient … and extremely fragile” with just in time, everyone becoming dependent on something that that ends up being produced in the one place that is cheapest and……
    WE NEED A MASSIVE REVIEW OF THE POTENTIAL DAMAGE of the free market globalization ideology that has got us in this situation and the WTO ideologues that that have worked to impose this ideology on the world. (Confession: One of the few things I like about Trump is the way he has seen through this crap.)

  74. Good stuff JD. Aren’t you heralding the actual demise of neoliberalism, going beyond the forecast decline?

  75. That could be a longer-term outcome, Geoff.
    If the kind of massive adjustments John is suggesting do in fact occur, there are all sorts of possibilities:

    * more manufacturing done in the US
    * ditto Australia?
    * shorter supply lines (I mean in km), e.g. our trade with NZ, Indonesia, Singapore, PNG and Malaysia to rise (proportionately) while our trade with China, Japan, Europe, USA, South America falls.
    * New warehouse arise, to reduce the risks of “just in time”
    * Farmers’ markets prosper in some Aussie regions
    * world tourism undergoes profound changes
    * ditto local tourism in Australia
    * Landcare and “home stays” on farms prosper
    * local renewable gizmo manufacturing gets a boost
    * air quality improves in China as its prime role of “sweatshop for the world” declines
    * (sorry to bang the drum again: resultant unemployment and chaos in China leads to the downfall of the Chinese CP and a confused, but perhaps more people-focussed dispensation?)
    * Aussie coal exports to India etc plummet
    * carbon emissions from huge sea-going freight ships reduce
    * ditto carbon emissions from jetliners
    * several international airlines go bust
    * backyard fruit/vege growing becomes more popular; the braver attempt beekeeping and keep chooks


    But that’s the thing about John D and Geoff H, they can get a bloke thinking beyond day-to-day concerns and events….. as did our previous poster, Geoff X.

    Thanks, gentlemen.

  76. If anyone here has a taste for a (very long read and) a bit of mathematical analysis, a chap has posted the results of his modelling here, with advice

    Hope you don’t find it too unsettling.

    Basic message: each of us should try “social distancing” as soon as possible; for our own safety and for the good of our community.

    and good luck!

  77. Ambi: Winding back free markets doesn’t have to go as far as you suggest. The key things are
    1. Being able to produce the things on our own that we REALLY need if imports are shut down. (All the things that go into a product that we really need.)
    2. Avoiding protecting everything that moves.
    3. Keeping local members out of the decision making process. (This is what went wrong with the old system.)
    4. Having enough surplus capacity and/or storage to meet critical needs.

  78. Ambigulous, that’s fantastic. I think I’ll do a post tonight to highlight the main points.

    Have to work today to help my now 91-year old favourite oldie, who depend on me to stay on their property in Upper Brookfield.

    Yesterday was dominated by a visit to my optometrist who dilated my pupils.

    Seems my basic vision is good, but I have four conditions that are complicating things. After yesterday there does seem to be a path forward to better times.

    On the virus, seems to me we have a problem.

    Late night talkback revealed that in WA at least a GP reckoned they were short of masks, and were unable to test people unless they had returned from O/seas travel from a known problem area. In other words our testing capacity is not up to scratch, and in WA would not pick up community transfer.

    Is this true in other states also?

    Here in Brisbane a worker contracted a cold with a sore throat. heard second hand, so not sure exactly of the symptoms, but GP told him he could not be tested unless he had a temperature.

    Not good. I understand a temperature does not always appear early, or at all, and the virus load is independent of symptoms.

    The worker can and will now work from home, but they didn’t isolate anyone he had been close to.

    Third, my wife went to choir by bus. She gets off several stops after the CBD on a bus that goes past what we call the Brisbane General hospital. A man got on, coughed over the driver, said he want to go to “The General”, then walked right up to the back of the bus coughing all the way without covering his mouth.

    My wife said she could go to choir by driving to a friend’s place, where the husband will drop them off. After she reads the link she may well stay home, so thanks, Ambi.

  79. That Tomas Paeyo said “ The total number of cases grew exponentially until China contained it. But then, it leaked outside, and now it’s a pandemic that nobody can stop. “

    That’s just incorrect. China suppressed the news of it for 6-8 weeks, even to the point of incarcerating anyone that commented on social media. By then this latest China virus was out.

    I think one telling indicator will be deaths Per capita by Country in 3 more months to judge responses and medical system preparedness. Too early to get a thorough picture.

  80. Thanks Brian

    Footage from airports in recent weeks showed staff checking passengers by pointing a device at their faces. I assumed staff were checking for high temperatures.

    Interesting to hear that’s not always a symptom of high viral load.

    An American epidemiologist on ABC News Radio said this virus is a brute because it affects many people in a very mild way. So they can be unwitting carriers. Many will become infected and never know thay had it.

    Social distancing.
    Self isolation.

    Good luck, everyone.

    Ambi of the Overflow

  81. Yes, too early as yet Jumpy.

    But some of us are in the stage of trying to protect our families and the wider community….

    Ample time later to see whether various mathematical models of the spread of this virus were accurate; how national health systems coped; and attempt to make more efficient preparations for a similar, future health emergency.

    My guess is that “more advanced” (say, higher per capita income) nations may do better, but only time will tell. Perhaps this episode will be a “stress test” in real time and in real life, primarily for each nation’s public health system , rather than its private health network (if it has one).

    So far, infection seems to be uncorrelated with social class.

  82. Hubris writ large – the Yanks initial response was as kackhanded as the Chinese.
    Strange days when our collection of political disaster areas looks almost competent.
    BTW Ambi, thanks for the excellent link.

  83. Wait a moment, didn’t zoot just say the US could learn a lot from the Chinese response and the W.H.O. praises it but now it’s “ hackhanded “ ?

    And yeah Mr A, Mr Tomas a “ * fantastic “ snake oil salesmen that fluked an app ( look at his previous works ).

    [ * in all the recognised Dictionaries, not the new and constantly modified socialist Dictionary)

  84. Modifiers are important. Look up the meaning of ‘initial’ if you can find a dictionary.

  85. Yeah, I know the definition, good that you admitted Governments are not competent.

    Care to render your learned choice of best Country’s response ?
    I don’t know yet so I’ll rely on your guidance initially

    You’re a very active modifier of language so just start with an opening bid and we can go from there.

  86. Yeah, Singapore.
    They established their quarantine borders up good and fast.
    They have a tendency to Governmentally concentrate on their core responsibilities rather than stretch themselves beyond capacity into matters best handled locally and individually.

    Good on Singapore.

  87. Fascinating item in the Saturday Paper (14/3/2020, pp10 “Trust Falls” Said that, when Obama introduced a vaccine in response to the swine flu crisis a decade ago and ran a campaign to encourage people to get vaccinated. “His opponents promptly began a counter campaign helped by the right wing press including Murdoch.
    Obama’s opponents were successful. It was claimed that Democrats were 50% more likely to vaccinate than Republicans….and “As States become more Republican swine flu related deaths rise.”
    The mind boggles.

    • My guess is that “more advanced” (say, higher per capita income) nations may do better, but only time will tell.

    Ambi, Thailand and Vietnam have done well so far, and are not rich. Thailand has good medical facilities, at least in the main centres, I think Vietnam not so much.

    Taiwan and Singapore are richer and have said to have done well.

    Places like Denmark and on the raw statistics Switzerland are rich and look in trouble.

    Last night on Nightlife there was an interview with Suzanne Hill, and ABC staffer, who has just finished an organised trek in The Philippines and is now stranded in a good hotel, but just outside Manila, which has just been locked down and isolated from the rest of the country.

    She said in the country-side there medical facilities were effectively non-existent.

    OTH on the BBC yesterday they were saying that communities are still existent and strong in some parts of Africa which experienced ebola. The locals worked out ways of isolating sick people and passing in food which saved lives.

    Perhaps most exposed are those mass refugee camps, where the host country may well give them zero priority.

  88. You might add prisons to the list too Brian.

    I sneer at the Australian minister being held in the hospital. Maybe he is really ill, but if not, nearly everyone else gets told to self-isolate at home. And they don’t get their workplace steam cleaned.

    Trump has done a veritable cartwheel and declared an emergency. Meantime, a Bill has been passed releasing $US50 billion in aid. The Bill was engineered by Pelosi and Mnunchin: Trump played no part save agreeing to sign off.

  89. Indeed, Geoff.

    I MUST work on something personal today, but things are sliding towards a cliff. Minister Hunt’s schtick is that we are ahead of the game, but he’s wrong, we are being reactive.

    This is from a Qld govt site:

      At this stage, you can only be tested when you are showing symptoms of the virus.

    A plea from an MD in the thick of it:

    Now here’s the stats from Italy compared to S Korea, where they tested everyone:

    How many people would test positive in the 20-29 age group in Italy if they tested everyone?

    Be very afraid!

  90. Please note, the image above was from Twitter, and was retweeted by Dr Norman Swan.

    There was a lot wrong with Insiders today. Dr Murphy did himself some damage by shaking hands with the journos when he got there, poked his face at least once. The biggest problem was defending the advice that people with the disease were only contagious 24 hours before symptoms show, whereas Peter van Onselen quoted WHO advice which says 24-48 hours. Also said that Australian government advice had been consistent, when Chris Bowen had just shown that such advice simply wasn’t there.

    Murphy has been appointed to fill the vacancy as head of Hunt’s office, which he’ll take up when he’s finished.

    what really gives me the squirts is that a lot of people are referring to the time when the virus is gone and we can all get back to normal.

    Why would the virus go anywhere while there are humans to feed on?

    We need a vaccine, or control measures equivalent to what the Chinese have.

  91. This raises the issue of whether you can catch the virus twice?

    When I searched there was not a lot about. I think this article explains the situation best.

    The case with most viruses is that if you beat it your system has immunity. Two things can change, one is the virus may mutate, and I guess you could too.

    The third possibility is that you became symptomless, but the virus remains dormant in your system and you suffer a relapse.

    However, please note, no-one knows for sure.

    This raises the dilemma of developing a vaccine. To bring a vaccine to the market and set up to manufacture in bulk needs time and hundreds of millions of dollars. We are largely depending on multinationals which are wary of going down that track only to find there is no market. Apparently the SARS vaccine was developed to the point where it only needs a few $mill to finish it off. I never happened.

    I’m hoping the Chinese might do the necessary.

    Hafta go now.

  92. “I never happened.”

    You did happen, Brian.
    Your family and children are evidence.

    Regular readers here are happy that you
    i) happened,
    ii) decided to blog,
    iii) continue so to do

    Mr A

  93. PM Morrison has now followed PM Ardern with regard to travellers arriving here:

    All overseas arrivals in Australia must self-isolate for 14 days under new coronavirus rules

    The NZ policy announced earlier, doesn’t discriminate by nationality. NZ citizens will be treated the same as foreign nationals.

    The Morrison Govt policy likewise.

    Medical advice seems to be ruling…… a Govt which listens to expert advice sounds like a positive innovation.

  94. I heard that Palacechook went to the footy in Townsville on Friday, anyone know if that’s true ?
    If so, has there been any criticism of the person ultimately responsible for health services in Queensland ?

  95. Palechook did not go anywhere, but Annastacia Palaszczuk, Queensland Premier, did go, I believe, to honour the new stadium.

    No-one criticises the saintly Dr Jeanette Young.

    Doesn’t mean they are always right, though.

  96. A chap on the “Insiders” panel has a friend who owns a small business employing a dozen or so blokes. The owner will pay his employees ‘a subsistence wage’ while operations are suspended, hoping not to ‘lose’ his valued people.

    What think we??

  97. Premier Andrews announces a State of Emergency in the State of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

    All bow or curtsy.

    The State was already bereft as its citizens face AFL matches with zero audiences. Shame on you, Wuhan!!

    (Meanwhile in other sporting news, Aussie Test cricketers will be earning money with online tutorials: the Six, the Sledge, Sandpaper Skills, etc.)

    • A chap on the “Insiders” panel has a friend who owns a small business employing a dozen or so blokes. The owner will pay his employees ‘a subsistence wage’ while operations are suspended, hoping not to ‘lose’ his valued people.

    Good, if they can afford it. Morrison was calling on big business to do much the same. Some of them can’t. There will be destruction, but not all of it creative. Some will adapt to the new world as it presents itself.

    Compulsive listening was Norman Swan on the Health Report – Travel bans, coronavirus and intensive care, and tracking the virus.

    Go hard, go early was the clear message, or doctors will have to be making decisions as to who will be left to die.

    There was talk of a Canadian doctor in the SARS epidemic who had to make such a choice, and was then sued for manslaughter by the rellies of the one he let die.

    It is very clear that Morrison and company are reactive and behind the curve.

    Albanese is being careful not to be oppositional or angry but is urging that we go harder and faster. See (or hear) Labor says Federal Government’s coronavirus stimulus measures have “failed”.

    He reports that some are queuing for 4 or 5 hours to get tested, but are then turned away because they travelled from the USA rather than China.

    The AFR reports that some Australian Chinese who got left behind in Wuhan now say they feel safer there.

  98. Jumpy I looked at that. Now I see an inconsistency or two.
    If a stimulus is wrong-headed, why are the free enterprise entities screaming for relief?
    And that is the same sector that instead of making stuff in Australia has bought from overseas and sold it locally. Now they want saving?

  99. James Cook University Vice-Chancellor Sandra Harding today announced she was self-isolating because she had been in contact with a positive person. She was not going to be tested because she had no symptoms.
    I’m glad about that but she may still be infected. She is head of a very large community and has been close to many. Those people are entitled to know if their contact with her implies a higher risk or not.
    So far there are no reported cases in Cairns.

  100. Geoff

    If a stimulus is wrong-headed, why are the free enterprise entities screaming for relief?

    Because they are corporate rent seekers looking for a dumb politician to give them truckloads of easy taxpayer money with nothing but a sob story rather than competing for it.

    I hold them as as reprehensible as socialists because that’s what they’re acting like.

    When governments oblige then weak inefficient players are motivated to continue being weak and inefficient.
    Taxpayers and consumers both lose.

    You didn’t read it did you ?

  101. I’ll link to a very educational explanation

    A bit too faith based to be educational (unless of course you share the same delusions) and riddled with errors of fact.
    But apart from that

  102. Please zoot, educate us all with your debunking of it.

    You won’t of course because you’re again just lazily trolling.

    Surprise us with some actual frontal lobe activity.

  103. My trusted pharmacist tells me there is no advantage to alcohol-based sanitisers – soap and water wash is sufficient.

  104. Geoff, the advice I’ve received is that soap and water is superior to alcohol – but it’s not as convenient when you’re out and about 🙂

  105. Jumpy, there is no need to debunk (again) your nonsense when the post you tout as “educational” begins

    That hand sanitizer you are using, where did you get it?

    I, and many others, have been unable to obtain hand sanitizer. Your precious market has failed completely to supply it.
    So no, I won’t waste my time debunking PC just as I don’t attempt to debunk the true believers who thrust the Watchtower at me.
    They, and you, are impervious to evidence that doesn’t support their particular fantasy and there’s no way I can drag them into the real world so why waste my energy?

  106. The advice I’ve had is that water and soap is superior to hand sanitizer, because it gets into every little nook and fold, plus it takes off a fatty layer which can harbour bacteria and viruses, plus the force of the water flushes the baddies down the drain. But only if you do it properly and count to 20 while you do it.

    The alcohol in the sanitizer kills the virus, but doesn’t necessarily get every last one. I’m told you should use it before and after you touch surfaces as you do, for example in getting on and off a bus.

    The above advice should not be taken as authoritative.

    I understand that the problem with sanitizer and a lot of other goods missing from shelves is a combo of herd behaviour and transport limitations. Australia is a big country. Limited sources and 4000 supermarkets, which may not be resupplied every day. My understanding is that we make sanitiser in this country, as well as face masks and paper goods.

  107. I understand that the problem with sanitizer and a lot of other goods missing from shelves is a combo of herd behaviour and transport limitations.

    Problems which after two centuries of European colonisation the all conquering “market” still hasn’t solved.
    And before the Mises from Mackay responds – no, it’s not because there’s too much government interference, it’s because markets are not perfect.

  108. Clearly there needs to be government interference to make sure the citizens of Australia have the access to the goods and services they need to survive with this virus on the loose until a vaccine is available.

    On past record governments somewhere (US, EU, China?) will need to ensure that such a vaccine is developed and available to all at affordable prices. It can’t be left for the market to decide whether there is a quid in it.

    Otherwise oldies like me will never have a social life again where people meet and greet without distancing – ever.

  109. Only anecdotal, but I heard that yesterday a supermarket-delivery driver in Vic had to wait four hours to unload, proceeded to his next stop(s) and on the way back to the warehouse in Melb, fund he had reached his statutory 14 hour working limit.

    Pulled over, parked, rang HQ.
    They had to send a replacement driver to take the truck back to the warehouse.

    There is a limited number of trucks available.
    Probably – this is a guess – the number needed to steadily re-supply supermarkets when general, average demand is on.

    A friend who has contacts in local supermarkets reports that current demand exceeds their busiest days (usually just before 25th December).

    I suspect the Nazarene teacher might be unimpressed.
    Albo made a good point today: panic buying can hurt the most vulnerable if it (has the result of )denying them basic food and medications.

    I’m with the PM on this: “Stop it!” (panic buying).

    Q to zoot: was von Mises Miserly?? Or simply Misesly?

  110. Brian

    “”[Jumpy, please learn how to spell the premier’s name – as a mnemonic it’s ‘Sydney Zoo’ plus Canberra Zoo, plus UK – Brian]””

    If a blanket rule again fun nicknames for politicians is in place then I’m more than happy to comply.

    Otherwise “ Palacechook “ and “ Scotty from Marketing “ would be fair game.

  111. Jumpy, I make the calls rather than you.

    My call is that there is no equivalence. Scotty from Marketing is fair because he he has earned the name, and its use is satirical.

    “ Palacechook “ is just rude and pathetic. It’s components don’t link to anything Palaszczuk is or has done. It’s gratuitous and derogatory.

    I’m not going to argue, just ask you to desist.

  112. More commentators are heralding “the end of globalisation”**
    Arguing for increased ‘national self-reliance’….

    **Somewhat overstated, but finally they’re catching up with John D and his thoughtful friend (comments a few weeks back).

  113. Years ago the world cut South Africa off because of their racial politics. They went on to provide for themselves. Not sure how that played out over time.
    New Zealand seems also to have determined it can be more independent and not just pushed wherever the global winds determined. Now it is our turn, especially since our main alliance is unreliable, not even honest. And to eschew the US we either choose China or we seek a new independence by re-growing our own economy.

  114. The Cubans were forced to become self-reliant for fruit and veges, due to a weak economy, US embargo; and loss of export roubles when the Soviets (and Eastern Europe?) stopped buying their sugar.

    That was basic: feeding the population.
    Backyard vege patches, public land turned over to vege production etc etc.
    Back breaking work.

    (and a clear lose-lose for the Castro dynasty.)

    Shows how vulnerable a nation can be with ONE principal export….

    Food production is just for starters.
    For dessert
    we need more local manufacturing (which of course can have some defence self-reliance benefits.)

  115. I was wondering how to run a polling booth and all the other things that are part of Australian elections given the coronavirus crisis.
    Qld has drcided that the best thing to do is defer plus other democracy related decisions.
    “Queensland Parliament sat late into the night in an emergency sitting to bolster the state’s laws in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, bringing in extensive public health control measures and the ability to suspend or postpone the upcoming council elections.

    Key points:
    Senior hospital staff were given greater powers to force individuals into isolation
    The laws also give Parliament the power to postpone or suspend the March council elections
    The state’s constitution was altered to allow Parliament to convene via video conferencing
    Electoral laws were modified, giving the State Government the authority to suspend the upcoming council elections and state government by-elections if the situation deteriorates.

    Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the postal vote return dates could also be extended, given the unprecedented 540,000 registrations.

    “The Government is tonight taking urgent measures to maximise public safety, minimise public health risks and maintain our democratic processes for local government elections in the face of an evolving public health emergency,” he said.”

  116. In the meantime Tasmania has decided to enforce ‘toughest border measures in the country’ amid coronavirus pandemic:
    “Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein says the state will introduce the “toughest border measures in the country” to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    Key points:
    All “non-essential” travellers to Tasmania will need to self-isolate for 14 days
    The new measures will attract a penalty of up to $16,800 or six months in jail
    A state of emergency has been declared, giving power over to the Police Commissioner
    From midnight on Friday, all “non-essential” travellers into the state will have to go into 14 days’ quarantine, he said.
    Mr Gutwein said “essential” travellers included people required to keep the state’s health system and trade operational.
    All others, including returning Tasmanians, will be required to go into quarantine.”
    The Davidson’s decided to return early from their holidays given the potential complications of a government lockdown or what we would have to do if one of us had to go to hospital or into isolation. (Back to shopping centers with a two bottle of milk quota per customer and things we use all the time suck as pasta and oatmeal out of stock.)
    A woolworths spokes person said that the system could feed 24 million but not the equivalent of supplying the equivalent of 50 million.

  117. A pessimistic friend had this to say on the financial side of the current crisis:
    “Globalization nourished the American dollar-based financial system, and vice versa. Then globalization fostered Just In Time and Offshore Critical Part manufacturing … and then built a mountain of debt.
    And then came CoVid19, plus $US30 per bbl crude oil.
    That pulled down globalization, which then pulled down the $US-based financial system.
    The world has run out of liquidity, translated, this means that everybody is too shit scared to lend. They’re hanging onto their cash (read US dollars) for dear life.
    As a example, there’s 250 trillion dollars worth of derivatives out there, as Warren Buffett described them as “weapons of financial mass destruction.” Who owns them, who’s liable? What to do? Solution: bail out everyone, everywhere.
    Adam Bandt, take a bow! MMT, read Helicopter Money, is coming, not just the pissy little $18 billion so far, but trillions upon trillions of American dollars!! This will pull down the US dollar-based financial system. In the future, if you want to run a trade deficit, you’d better have gold to pay for it, and Frydenburg doesn’t have any … solution: the Federal Government is about to nationalise the nation’s gold mining companies. There is another solution, autarchy. It’s Back To The Future, folks, yes, it’s “Football, meat pies, kangaroos & Holden cars”, and AWA televisions and Frigidaire refrigerators and and … purchased with silver coinage. However, even now, we can’t (yet) manufacture enough facemasks or testing kits or ventilators.
    Serious people in US financial industry are predicting closure of the US (read global) financial markets. This has happened 4 times before, to wit, December 1914, the US Bank Holiday of 1933, 1963 (Kennedy assassination), and 9/11. This financial crisis is shaping up as worse than 1929. We are witnessing the end of the American Empire … and everyone in Federal Parliament is a fervent Denier. The closest comparison I can make is the 1610 closure of the Spanish market after the Potosi cornucopia (ie. silver mine) petered out. This comparison is apt, qualitative-wise, not quantitative-wise.”
    Makes the temporary end of my rolled oats supply seem a bit trivial.
    Decided this morning I should get all my fishing gear in going order and start finding out how to catch fish in Ballina. The new high speed kayak I bought on my holidays may help the project.

  118. JD I can’t say you are wrong, nor even if you are part right. But for sure it’s a huge problem that a sliver of humour can’t cover.
    Made worse in Oz by a politic that is beyond inept, lacks credibility and is further hobbled by a lack of creative talent.

    I think that whilst Trump has poisoned the ground, it has been ready for some sort of catastrophe for a long time. Amazing, maybe ironical, that it took a microscopic organism to make it happen.

  119. Geoff, this globalisation/just in time/long supply chains economy has been decades in the making. Mr Hawke and Treasurer Keating opened up our banking system.

    Govt after govt (Labor and Liberal) struggled with how we could have an Aussie car manufacturing sector (big debates back in the late 1970s; plan after plan after plan; finally a Coalition Govt gave up a couple of years back.

    Tariffs dramatically cut by the Whitlam Govt in 1973, accelerating the decline of our clothing, footwear, etc manufacturing. But cheaper products in the shops. Win-win?

    GFC and its aftermath.

    Too easy to blame Pres Trump. The EU, the WTO, the World Bank, the private banks, hedge funds, global share traders; regulators, ….. Everyone has been involved and the neoliberal economists kept telling us how rosy the future would be.

    Free trade, agreements large and small, bilateral and multilateral.

    Meanwhile, dissenting voices here and there, political parties mostly going with the flow……

    If this turns out to be a large financial and economic disaster, there will be plenty of blame to share around.

    I would look to Australian Cabinets for local blame, long before seeking out Pres Trump or Emmanuel Macron, or even President-for-life Xi.

    And in the medical context, this is the Wuhan virus.
    Look to wet markets; suppression of medical warnings; poor services. It’s the Wuhan virus. Chinese New Year helped to disperse it across the Chinese overseas diaspora early on. World travel and tourism helped it along. Several cruise ships incubated.

    It is the Wuhan virus.
    Not a US germ warfare attack on the PRC, for goodness sake.

    Now let’s see how it turns out……

  120. If anything, wasn’t Pres Trump’s economic campaign based on a kind of parochial, “nativist” idea of getting US corporations to bring their overseas factories back home? Incentives to do so. Payroll tax cuts etc.

    I don’t know how successful that policy has been, but if you win “rust belt” States, the least you can do is to try and clean off some of the rust and get some factories and businesses open.

    If the above is roughly correct, then he doesn’t rate highly in the pantheon of globalisers – governments, finance ministers, private corporations, shareholders and (in Australia) superannuation funds.

  121. JH: Keep in mind my above comment quoted a friend who has an interesting view of the world. While i agree with a lot of what he says I don’t agree with everything.

  122. Ambi: One of the things I commented on early re Trump was his challenge to the way China and others had used free market globalization to weaken the US. (The trade imbalance between China and the US was one of the drivers of the GFC.) I would have seen the Trump challenge of the imbalance as a good thing if I lived in the US and had a manufacturing job.

  123. WE have three people in this household now, and we have been spending a lot of time talking about how we conduct ourselves, and what we will do if one of us gets the bug.

    Gladys Berejiklian said we should act as though everyone else has the bug.

    Apart from social; distancing, contact surfaces are a big thing with the virus said to last three days on plastic or steel.

    Lots of handwashing at our place, and at least once a day all the door handles are wiped with hand sanitizer, which luckily we have in good supply.

    I’ve got two more days work today and tomorrow, but having conquered our annual tax return preparations hope to have more time to spend here. My daughter and family have cancelled their proposed visit after easter.

    John, the Qld govt has given itself extraordinary powers but is not going to use them unless necessary. Yvonne D’Ath was on the box saying that it was important for the council elections to proceed on time so that we can have proper decisionmaking in that tier of government. So the chances of postponement are near zero.

    50 new cases in Qld yesterday and a distinct cell identified on the Gold Coast where there is community transmission. However, we are not testing widely, so we don’t know how widespread it is in the community. Norman Swan said last night that in Oz we are 12-20 days behind Italy. I know he thinks we are on the same path.

    Frydenberg admitted last night that they are waiting for a vaccine, so Australia is not seriously trying to beat the virus, just slow it down.

    ‘Successful’ countries have show that you can get to the state where ‘recoveries’ exceed new ‘cases’. We are nowhere near.

    Herd immunity doesn’t kick in as a serious until 61% of the population are infected, that is about 15 million people 5% presumed severe, which is 75,000 people.

    It means a lot of dead people. At an optimistic 1% that’s 150,000.

    I think the stats indicate that we will be in trouble with ICUs when the active cases hit around 40,000. Currently we are doubling every 5 days. I think we get there around mid-April UNLESS the current orders about social distancing etc have a significant effect, which may mean we may get there when the flu season is in full swing.

    We are getting soothing platitudes from the authorities. Morrison has a story about a bridge to the future where our health, our economy, and our lifestyle will be back what it was. That is what he said yesterday.

    One of his problems is that he simply can’t build trust. It’s intrinsic to being a marketer without a policy brain.

    The raw truth is that without a vaccine oldies like us will never have a social life again.

    Must fly now.

  124. BTW, yesterday Wuhan and the whole Hubei province had no new cases. However, cases in the rest of China were increasing, mainly because of Chinese nationals returning from foreign parts bringing the virus with them.

    Our Qld health minister Steven Miles said yesterday the Qld people are returning at the rate of 7,000 per day, and the virus now existed in 183 countries. I think a big reason is that people want to be where there is an accessible health system they can trust.

  125. Yes, John.

    A good idea to try to see what Pres Trump is attempting, so that any of us – none eligible to vote in US elections as far as I know – can
    I) guess how each policy might affect Australia, and
    II) try to judge whether he has been successful in his own terms

    A few months ago I’d have surmised that II) would be the main factor in his chances of re-election, apart from the qualities (if any) of his Democratic Party opponent.

    Now, with an international Challenge unfolding, who can tell?
    How will US electors assess the adequacy of the President’s actions? Will there be a sea change in their attitudes to health care? Will it turn out that the Russians rigged the recent Democrat primaries to undermine the “democratic socialist”?

    (BTW I think it very unlikely the November US elections will be postponed; the National Guard takes a fairly dim view of serious rioting, and would have a preponderance of force. Just saying.)

    Brian, I think ‘social distancing’ is relatively simple to achieve and ditto our more frequent hand washing. In my view slowing down the spread has been the Federal Govt’s main aim all along. Possibly not made explicit (?) until the PM showed the “flattened graph” at last week’s press conference.

    This nation never stood a chance of “stopping” the virus.
    Just off the top OMH, Australia had:
    1) Hundreds or thousands of Aussie Chinese families* returning from Chinese New Year gatherings in PRC.
    2) Tens of thousands of PRC Uni students* due to arrive here in February/March; then as the virus began to spread outside China
    3) Thousands of Aussies and international tourists* arriving by plane every week; and also
    4) an active and growing cohort of Aussies going on seaborne cruises* in many parts of the globe; and as it happened
    5) hundreds of Iranian families* and many tens of thousands of Italian families* living here; and for the cherry on the cake
    6) some actor, a Mr Hanks*

    * just to be clear, I refer to geographical factors, rather than racial/ethnic/religious factors.

    What chance was there, of preventing the arrival of this virus? As close to zero as you will get, this side of the world of the subatomic.


    Cheerio everybody!

  126. Former union boss gets virus workforce gig :

      Former union boss and Labor industry minister Greg Combet has been appointed to advise the Morrison government on the fallout of coronavirus for the Australian workforce.

      Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter announced the new part-time role on Friday afternoon.

      Mr Combet will provide strategic and policy advice to the minister and engage directly with union and business leaders.

      The government has already announced some measures to help workers and business owners affected by the pandemic.

      More changes are on the way as the situation rapidly escalates.

  127. From a Nine newspaper online

    The British government has launched an historic intervention in the economy by pledging to pay 80 per cent of the wages of workers hit by the fallout from the rapidly worsening coronavirus pandemic.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled the unprecedented scheme while announcing all restaurants, cafes, bars, cinemas and gyms would be forced to close indefinitely from Saturday.

    What is it with these Conservative Govts?
    Have they no shame??

    (And don’t tell me it’s a cultural trait: ‘Nanny’ because the posh boys had nannies when they were cute little tiny tots.)

    {If it was debatable whether or not the good old Aussie bushfires were “unprecedented”, I reckon the above is a tad…. unusual.}

    Sigmund reckons the posh boys “have Nanny issues”.

  128. Footnote:

    PM Johnson has just disproved a theorem first proposed by PM Thatcher:

    There is no such thing as ‘society’.


  129. John D, that Daley article was in The Guardian too.

    What we have here is Morrison promising that life will get back to normal in the foreseeable future except he can’t see it, and should know unless his head is empty that life will change forever.

    Minister Hunt has gone from saying that our testing regime was appropriate and world class to now skiting that we are third best in the world. Too bad the infections just keep coming. keep. This is what our active case-load graph looks like:

    China ans South Korea are the only ones that have turned it down.

  130. Jumpy, it’s about a virus that kills people.

    People are being warned. And it’s not just Qld. Happening everywhere.

  131. Be fair Brian. Jumpy’s inalienable right to infect and possibly kill some third party is being infringed. It’s unconscionable.

  132. Slightly weird…
    My trusted pharmacist rang me on Friday and said that a drug I take to mitigate arthritis (Plaquenil) was now unavailable to me. He explained that somehow the drug was of interest to the scientists working on the virus project, and they had gazumped all the stock. No other detail or indication of future availability. All I need do is go through the regular doctor protocols and have them prescribe an alternative potion.
    I was not expecting that, and I wondered under what law the govenment could withdraw something for its own reasons.

  133. We are not a police state Mr J.

    That’s the kind of misnaming you criticise (for example, when some Americans claimed Pres Trump in early 2017 was running a “fascist regime”. ) He was not.

    If you want to get a realistic idea of the type of society that is generally considered a “police state” I offer

    *Stalin’s USSR from, say, 1930.
    *Mao’s China from, say, 1957
    *Adolf’s Germany from, say, 1935
    *Pol Pot’s Kampuchea from 1975 to 1979
    *Pinochet’s Chile for many years
    * The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from, say, 1951 to the present
    *Iran from the ascension of Ayatollah Khomeini until semi-free elections
    * Burma from about 1962 to the freeing of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest
    * The sogennante German Democratic Republic with the Stasi off the leash
    * Romania under the tender mercies of Nicolae Ceaucescu and his lovely wife

    It’s getting to be a tediously long list.
    See also “1984” by Eric Blair/George Orwell .

    Look for:
    Intensive surveillance
    Secret police
    One Party rule
    Mail being opened
    Phones being tapped
    Internet censored
    Arbitrary arrest
    Detention without trial
    No free press
    State ownership
    Crony capitalism

    Can’t see Australia or Queensland there.
    Can see a medical problem and an evolving response by hospitals, shops, pharmacies, schools, football leagues, etc.

    No system is perfect.
    Whoever thought our system was perfect? Not I.

    Back to the Gulag for me…..
    (Hi to the police officer reading this.)

  134. Zoot: “I sometimes wonder if Jumpy is a plot to make libertarians look ridiculous.” Ask why is he tolerated on a leftish blog?

  135. I can recommend an interview I heard last night by Indira Naidoo with Ben Hurley, beginning at 3:01:18.

    Hurley is an Australian financial journalist living in Taiwan.

    There is also a SMH article he wrote about a week ago. The former has a lot more detail.

    They have a lot of people movement with China. With a population similar to ours they have pretty much arrested the growth of infections, without widespread lockdowns and keeping schools open, buses travelling etc.

    They do have phone app tracing, which the Chinese also use and the story begins with Hurley relaying how he was shooting the breeze with some neighbours, having a beer for a few hours. Next morning a health official turned up to notify him that he would have to isolate immediately and then for two weeks if the miscreant he talked with for over 15 minutes the day before who had just been O/seas and had just been identified and tested turned out positive.

  136. The difference is that I think the majority of people are smart enough to live their lives safely, intelligently and gain a bit of prosperity for themselves if allowed.

    Not believing a select group of elite pedestal sitters are uber-smart enough to formulate one size fits all laws about everything.

    Morrison and the Premiers better be damn sure the economic calamity they are legislating will contribute to less pain and death than this Wuhan virus.

    The Queensland police released a statement to the media that they won’t be conducting roadside breath tests, geniuses. So, just that alone, how many of the tiny percentage of driver stupid enough to drink drive have been given free reign and how many deaths ?

    If they’d just try and concentrate on their own core responsibilities they may have a chance of not making things worse.

  137. Looking at some stats thus far, the over 70s are far less likely to contract it but far more likely to have a fatal outcome.
    How about focusing there rather than destroying the economy of the young and working aged that overwhelmingly are safe ?

  138. … I think the majority of people are smart enough to live their lives safely, intelligently …

    Like those dipshits at Bondi yesterday.

    I’ll make a prediction here.
    If Jumpy is ever infected with COVID-19 (heaven forbid) it won’t be due to his behaviour at all, it will be the fault of some other stupid person who didn’t take enough care.

  139. And there you have it, that same mentality.
    Those few at Bondi represent the majority and if bad things happen to me I’m a victim, not capable of understanding risk, responsibilities for my own actions or or ownership of my own outcomes.
    Best leave my safety up to some politician that I didn’t vote for.

    So does this make any sense to you at all zoot ?

    Looking at some stats thus far, the over 70s are far less likely to contract it but far more likely to have a fatal outcome.
    How about focusing there rather than destroying the economy of the young and working aged that overwhelmingly are safe ?

    Do me a favour, just answer one question honestly and directly, please.

  140. From what I can see, going on the experience of Iceland and an Italian town called Vo where they’ve tested pretty much everyone, when the virus gets going about half the infections come from people who are asymptomatic.

    The dipshits at Bondi have a greater chance of being infected but a lower chance of dying than the oldies who are hiding away.

    With Australia’s current policies the infection rate may be slowed, but going on the experience elsewhere, will probably wash through the population until herd immunity has an effect. That cuts in when 61% of the population have caught the bug. With an optimistic death rate of 1% that would be 150,000 dead. And then it will definitely slow, but the virus can still look forward to attacking another 10 million.

    However, all that is back of envelope calcs by someone who knows buggerall, so let’s just let it rip and do the counting later!!

  141. Further more, forget the “ confirmed cases “ stat, it meaningless. We have no idea how many folk have or have had covid 19 in Australia.

    What is far more reliable is “ confirmed deaths “ even given the false negatives thrown up by testing.

    This is not more than a flu for folk under 70 or without a pre existing condition.

  142. Further more, forget the “ confirmed cases “ stat, it meaningless. We have no idea how many folk have or have had covid 19 in Australia.

    A good estimate is 8000 cases as of yesterday (just ask an epidemiologist).
    The way we are going, at the beginning of April we can expect to be where Italy is now. We’re following the same trajectory.
    Make of that what you will.

  143. Brian
    How about a CP poll of eventual deaths this year from covid19 to see who’s closest the mark.

    You say an optimistic number is 150,000.
    I recon less than 15,000, many of whom faced expiry this year regardless.

    Anyone else ?

  144. Those few at Bondi represent the majority


    and if bad things happen to me I’m a victim, not capable of understanding risk, responsibilities for my own actions or or ownership of my own outcomes.


    Best leave my safety up to some politician that I didn’t vote for.

    No. Best listen to the medical experts and follow their advice.
    You’re a shit mindreader.

  145. Just a comment, but watching the consternation that this virus has caused in so many areas (and more to follow), it is instructive to any country, any country regardless of size, that the development of a unique virus can be dispersed in another country or region to massive effect.
    It’s plausible that viruses can be developed and introduced mischievously to specific areas. An antidote or vaccine previously developed would be available to enable selected populations to survive. That’s the sort of outcome Hitler sought but his methods were less subtle.
    I doubt this is the last of terrible virus events, natural or otherwise.

  146. Ok zoot, you won’t answer my direct question above ( no surprise there )
    At least estimate the deaths in Australia from this by years end.

    Think of it as like The Price is Right, closest without going over.

  147. This should concern anyone with a functioning cerebellum.
    And Jumpy, your stupid games are getting tiresome. Go pick a fight with someone else.

  148. Haha, I picked a fight.. haha haha……
    Goodness gracious, such mendacity is a rare treat.

  149. From the State of the Queen Victoria:

    Schools will be closed and all non-essential activities shut down as the state government enacts dramatic measures to prevent deaths and the spread of coronavirus.
    – Nine newspaper “The Age” online

    Schools to close from Tuesday 24th March 2020.

    In effect, this “brings forward” the end-of-Term-1/Easter holiday.

    God Save the Queen!

  150. Cases peanut, not deaths.
    You picked the fight, stop air swinging, you’ve already lost.

  151. a select group of elite pedestal sitters are uber-smart enough to formulate one size fits all laws about everything.

    And there you have it in a nutshell.

    The above seems to be directed at epidemiologists/public health professionals/immunologists/pharmaceutical researchers/statisticians/mathematical modellers.

    There they are, up on a pedestal.

    (Another day, the gentleman might lash out and tar some other group with a similar brush…
    who’s next? stop-smoking advocates? put-on-sunscreen advocates? folk who teach contraception? aid workers in impoverished regions? Medecins Sans Frontieres? schoolteachers? librarians? accountants? lawyers?)

    There’s no end to it.

    And not much commonsense, as far as I can discern.
    It has a quaint echo of Chairman Mao’s “better Red than expert!”
    Expertise is to be condemned; political standpoint is everything….
    It can be adapted:
    “Better Libertarian than expert!!!”
    Hold High the Banner of Jumpy Thought.

    But of course, I might be mistaken.

    “Lord of the Flies” is another interesting novel, Jumpy.
    You may, like many of us, have a bit of TOYH** soon.

    **Time On Your Hands.

    Good luck, everybody! Including you, Mr J.

  152. Amazing, shutting schools.
    Has any sane person looked up the fatalities of school children and teachers compared to reducing the Heath care staff by 20% or more ?

    This is just lunacy!

  153. Mr A, i was speaking of politicians and bureaucrats.
    But you must have known that whilst writing that very entertaining rant.

    Keep it up, I enjoy when I’m misrepresented, it means I’m over the target and copping desperation flack.

  154. Cases peanut, not deaths.

    Yes Dopey, that’s what I was responding to. Your statement

    We have no idea how many folk have or have had covid 19 in Australia.

    What is your first language? Drunk?

  155. And I will be going to the polling both this coming weekend if I’m still going to be allowed to.

    Given it’ll be a whole week away I’m doubtful I’ll have that freedom give the panic auction by politicians, but I’ll go anyway.
    Civil disobedience and all that.
    Libertarian Rebellion if you will.

  156. Honestly, I thought you meant medical experts.

    But it makes no difference in this case: the PM, the Premiers and Chief Ministers are closely following advice from medical experts, while all of us are able to observe relevant overseas events.

    The “politicians and (Health Dept) bureaucrats” are merely the messengers. The message itself is stark.

    But every good Libertarian should ignore tge advice because hated and distrusted politicians have got in on the act, eh?

    If you have to go to gaol for your principles, do try to get internet access privileges so we can all continue to read your words, Mr J.

    You may gave heard this one:
    Henry David Thoreau went to prison on some conscientious principle.
    A friend visited him and asked, “What are you doing in here?!”
    Thoreau replied, “What are you doing out there?”

    A heartwarming story to comfort you in your prison cell Mr J.

  157. Oh good, you know about Civil Disobedience.

    If they postpone the elections there won’t be any polling booths to go to. Just saying.

    Mahatma Gandhi was a bit of a dab hand at Civil Disobedience. But he had thousands of followers, eventually. Finished up helping to free a nation. Well, the Hindu part.

    Got any big plans Mr J?

  158. Hehe, he’s like Zab Judah after Kostya Tszyu picked him apart, all rubbery legged and concussed, vowing to fight on.
    Hilarious! 🙂

    Give it up Champ.

  159. Forget Dave Mr A, how about Benny,

    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  160. We can send you food parcels or books in gaol.

    Gandhi wrote one about his “experiments with truth”.

    Deep down, he was one of those terrible politicians, up there on a pedestal, bossing people around . Civil disobedience? Satyagrah?

    Charlatans: Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
    Pretending to be in favour of Liberty!!!

    Fighting on when folk who knew better thought they should desist.

  161. “”AFL season suspended.“”
    Of course it is, full of over 65s with pre existing health issues.

    Makes sense to the likes of zoot I’m sure.

  162. How pleasant to be quote-swapping Mr J.

    With TOYH you might try “On Walden Pond” by Thoreau.

    He goes off to a pond in a forest near a town, makes a small house and lives in isolation for a fair time. Freedom. Self-reliance. Thought about his previous life…..

    A 19th century liberty -lover if you will.

  163. Ohh, more flack, tickles my belly Mr A, ta.

    We gotta calm down a bit folks, school children and elite athletes are not at risk here ffs.

    Please, a level head is required.

  164. Sorry about the lag, good old private/government partnership Telstra is pissing around with the NBN again.

    Have a go at zoot will ya, flailing like a drunken sailor.
    Go sleep it of Sonny Jim, tomorrow’s another opportunity to make a fool of yourself.

  165. school children and elite athletes are not at risk here ffs.

    Yes they are. 30% of ICU beds in Italy hold children.

  166. Yes Ambi, it is an excellent explanation. I fear our tame libertarian didn’t understand it (what’s new?) when he recommended it.

  167. Source please

    Why? They probably won’t die which is the only metric you seem to be interested in.
    I leave it as an exercise for you to disprove me. Sauce for the goose and all that.

  168. That’s what I thought, ya got nuthin.
    Wasted my time looking, nuthin.

    How about for the benefit of the rest of the class you provide the link/links, lest they panic for their grandchildren for nothing on your potential fake news.
    Not very empathetic if that’s the case, needlessly worrying your “ friends “.

  169. Temporary coronavirus supplement for the (old Newstart, now JobSeeker) fortnightly payment, from late April this year.

    $1115.70, up from $565.70 per fortnight. The basic amount (rent assistance etc is additional).

    Way above the fortnightly increases advocated by peak business groups and welfare agencies.

    But seen as temporary by the Cabinet.

    Well done, PM.
    (Credit where credit is due.)

  170. Give folk that are terrible money managers twice the free money, sterling idea to save the economy and save jobs.

    Hey Morrison, a quote for you,

    “A nation is born a stoic and dies an epicurean”

    Will Durant

  171. Hey Jumpy, that footy match finished yet? I’m waiting to hear what you would have done were you (shudder) the Prime Minister.

  172. Oh indeed Jumpy….
    “terrible money managers ” pretty much describes in such a charming but deadly accurate way:
    The long term unemployed
    The very recently unemployed
    People on a sickness benefit

    Yep, terrible money managers!

    Are you in truth a time traveller from around 1850? Those wonderful times when a haughty person could discern between the “deserving” and “undeserving” poor?

    Back in 1850 there were many folk in the USA who were “terrible skin colour managers”. They had been idiotic enough to be born black and enslaved. The fools. Serve them right, eh?

  173. Ok, straight up direct honest answer.
    The States concentrate on anyone over 65 years old. Ask them to self isolate and assistance will be given to Meals on wheels.
    All elective procedures put on hold so that medical folk are freed up to visit door to door.
    That’s the health responsibility.
    Police, no change.
    Education, no change.

    The Fed concentrate on border security to limit increased further spreaders if this latest China virus.
    As well, give adequate funding from the income tax ( that they “ temporarily “ got their mittens on after WW1 ) on a per capita basis.

    Everyone else, carry on as usual and avoid older folk physically for a bit. FaceTime is better than hospital visits and funerals.

    There ya go.

    Now, your policies ?

  174. Now, your policies ?

    Recognise that a nation is not a household and therefore does not have a household’s budget constraints.
    Understand that we are part of a global community. We have to deal with the fallout from the actions of other countries.
    A major result is the international airlines shutting down because the rest of the world has closed its borders (same as us).
    Seek advice from medical experts. Implement that advice quickly. Seek advice from economic experts. Implement that advice quickly.
    So far Morrison has moved a bit too slowly, but generally in the right direction. He is hamstrung by clowns oblivious to the very real dangers this virus poses who insist life can go on as usual in a time of plague. It can’t.

  175. In case someone thinks I’m being overly dramatic calling it a time of plague, my father in law has studied both bubonic and pneumonic plagues and in the process has become quite the expert.
    At the beginning of February he greeted me with the words, “It’s happening again”.

  176. A policy zoot ?
    One single policy.

    I just gave you what you asked for.

    What would you do PM Zoot ?

    Last chance…

  177. Your father in law, if he’s as studied as you say, would have uttered those word in December if China didn’t suppress information from the start.

    The “ 19 “ in COVID 19 refers to the year it started.

  178. Who could have known

    Now, your policies ?

    apparently means

    One single policy.

    Sorry Jumpy, I don’t speak Drunk.
    Get back to me when you’re off the piss.

  179. I’ve been havin a laugh at articles doing the rounds blaming this virus on Capitalism, religion, global warming and exasperated by right wing Murdoch press.

    Given it spawned under a communist, atheist, controlled press regime in their coldest period of of the year it’s amazeballs that anyone could try and float those leaden arguments.

  180. Your father in law, if he’s as studied as you say, would have uttered those word in December if China didn’t suppress information from the start.

    Not sure what you’re getting at. Are you trying to make my father in law responsible for the PRC? Or are you just drunkenly rambling?

  181. Haven’t seen any of those articles Mr J, but I only read the ramblings of the left leaning hive mind. You must have seen them on your daily trawl through the alt.right sewers.

  182. At least one single policy.
    I gave you mine, as asked, you have a chance to rebut if you feel you should then propose alternative policies.

    You forfeit any credibility as a genuinely inquisitive honest person with your contributions.

    This cat is bored with slapping the zoot ball of string.

  183. Okely Dokely Ned.
    (I gave you two firm policies and a number of policy principles, perhaps when you sober up you’ll realise that you’re not the headmaster. Or did you have problems with your parents? You seem to be stuck in the average three year old’s desire to be in control of everything.)

  184. My comment on skin colour was aimed at your contention, Mr J (if I understood it correctly) that the unemployed, en masse are terrible money managers.

    That sounds to me very much like the old saying, “The poor are poor because they waste their money.” There are related contentions
    “The poor never save for a rainy day”
    “The poor spend their money very foolishly”
    “The poor are a burden on the health system”

    and I suppose these are all related to a standpoint of, “It’s not my fault. I’m just fine. If only everybody could be as intelligent/industrious/wise/careful/abstemious/prudent/…. as me!”

    I reject most of that because I’m a fool.

    I reject 19th Century slavery too.

    Also not keen at all on 21st century slavery.
    Hence my distaste for the PRC.


  185. The first graph in this article is being updated, it would appear, daily.

    The first national emergency action was announced on Friday 13 March, when there were 198 cases. A week later that number was 1072, that is 5.4 times the number a week earlier.

    From what I’ve heard, ICUs will be overwhelmed when cases reach 40 to 45,000. At the current rate of increase that will happen in 2-3 weeks.

    The first set of social distancing policies should be showing an effect this week. The situation has been exacerbated by Australians returning home and a significant minority of dipsticks who have acted irresponsibly.

    Extra measures announced yesterday are really the last through of the dice.

    Schools are a major area of concern. Teachers who are not trained in medical care are being asked to work in conditions where social distancing and the edict that people should remain 1.5 metres apart can’t be implemented. There appears to be almost a complete absence of protective clothing, hand sanitiser, or even soap in many schools.

    In Norway skeleton staff have been maintained in schools to look after children of health workers etc. I’ve heard no-one mention this except Chris Bowen.

    I’ll just remind people that to flatten the curve and come out the other side eventually you need to get the reproduction rate below one.

  186. Jumpy: “Fine, lock me up.
    Better be in a jail with 100 inmates and staff combined.”
    The level of hysteria emanating from Mackay seems to getting dangerously high.
    Would have recommended a “Bex and a good lie down” except that no-one seems to make Bex any more.
    A friend of mine recommends deep breathing through the nose to calm things down when they have the equivalent response to one of your “ZOOT moments.”
    Worth a try.

  187. Or try wearing “zoot boots”?

    Unofficial Counselling Service
    Understudy to Sigmund the Magnificent

  188. Hi Brian

    Well informed articles talk about “exponential growth” or the “initial, exponential phase”.

    A characteristic of exp growth is that it has a “constant” doubling time .

    For example, if the doubling time is three days you would see:
    Day Number
    1 10
    4 20
    7 40
    10 80
    13 160
    16 320
    19 640


    If the doubling time were four days it would go like this:
    Day Number
    1 10
    5 20
    9 40
    13 80
    17 160
    21 320

    etc. Still a rapid rise, but taking twenty days to reach 320 instead of fifteen days.

    I heard on ABC radio that the Aussie doubling time for this virus has been approx 2.7 days

    Day Number
    1 10
    3.7 20
    6.4 40
    9.1 80
    11.8 160
    14.5 320

    getting to 320 only two and a half days earlier than when we had a (slightly) longer doubling time of three days.

    Apologies if you know all of this, having a mathematician son.

    You are right, we need to
    Flatten the curve
    = make the doubling time much longer, initially

    Then, slow the growth right down until we get to a peak!!
    (After the peak the curve is on a downward slope.)

    If each infected person infects ONE other person, the numbers of sick will remain steady (not rise) and if that number of ill people can be treated effectively, the death rate will be lower than with exponential growth. But won’t be zero.

  189. Sorry, should have put in commas or slashes

    1, 10
    4, 20
    7, 40
    10, 80


    Day/ Number
    1/ 10
    4/ 20
    7 / 40
    10/ 80

    (both of these being in the case of a three day doubling time )

    PS if the doubling time sounds a bit familiar, perhaps you recall ” half life”, where (in exponential decline) there is a constant time interval between halvings:

    Let’s suppose the half life is 10 days:

    Day, Number
    1, 8000
    11, 4000
    21, 2000
    31, 1000
    41, 500
    51, 250
    61, 125

    etc. etc. ……

    I ignored “herd immunity” in the earlier comment, because the topic was “exponential growth”.

    Cheerio and good luck!

  190. It was pure maths.
    If the increase is the same percentage every day then the rise is still “exponential”.

    Linear growth goes like this:
    110, 140, 170, 200, 230, 260, …..
    The same increase (30) every day.

    Exponential growth has the same percentage rise every day.
    In current circumstances a daily 10% rise might be considered relatively low (doubling time about seven days).

    When the daily rise is 40% (say) then the doubling time is much shorter, closer to two days.

    It’s clear to see that any process which is doubling over and over again, will lead to humungous figures….. eventually.

    I haven’t checked the Eastern Qld numbers. Are they readily available?

    BTW for smallish percentage increases (call that percentage P) a rough rule of thumb – “the rule of 70” says
    D = 70/P

    Doubling time D is approximately 70 divided by P.

    So 5% growth daily, doubling time is D = 70/5 = 14 days roughly.
    10% daily, D = 70/10 = 7 days approx.
    15% daily, D = 70/15 = 14/3 = 4.7 days, more or less
    20% daily, D = 70/20 = 3.5 days, to the nearest 12 hours, etc.

    This rule of thumb becomes less accurate as P increases.

  191. Or, Geoff……
    Were you making a subtle enquiry about infection rates in an eastern, coastal town. M**k*y perhaps??

    If so, please forgive my nerdishly serious reply.

  192. BilB

    Is it fair to say that we can’t be sure when a mutation (that’s viable in humans and can be transmitted) may appear?

    That’s a concern.

  193. It’s seems John that you have it wrong again.
    I’m more concerned about the impacts of government overreaction that the virus itself.

    Don’t worry, I’ve taken steps to hopefully prevent the elderly and medically vulnerable folk care about from getting it early, and processes in place if they do.
    I recon that should be Australians focus, so I walk my talk.

    Hope someone care for you enough to do the same.

  194. Jumpy: “Don’t worry, I’ve taken steps to hopefully prevent the elderly and medically vulnerable folk care about from getting it early, and processes in place if they do.”
    What about the elderly and medically vulnerable folk who don’t have you as back-up? And what happens if there back-up goes down with the virus or lives over the border?
    That is what I hate about the attitude of you and your ilk.
    As I say from time to time a society should be measured by what happens to the people at the bottom of the pile, not the splendor of the mansions of the rich.

  195. Jumpy doesn’t seem to register that all of the measures being taken are structured to minimise risk during the period until a vaccine is developed. Functionally anyone over 40, the age from which the body’s ability to regenerate tissue begins to decline, is at greater risk of being overcome by this disease, hence the Boomer Doomer tag. Watch the video to understand why. The anti vaxers are going to have an internal conflict but I bet every single one of them hypocritically takes the vaccine.

  196. Ambi,

    The regular flu mutates every year, so that would be the first data point to base expectations on. This alternative virus is successful in that it preferentially kills the elderly sparing the young, healthy, and still growing, so if it gets established permanently in the global community it will survive to be a permanent feature. Disease has no consideration for wealth, status, or entitlement. In fact those dependent on the service of others, maids, butlers, cooks, boot and anus lickers, are at far greater risk than the granny no one cares to visit. Out of the blue the Boomer Doom is upon us. Good luck every one, touchwood.

  197. John

    What about the elderly and medically vulnerable folk who don’t have you as back-up? And what happens if there back-up goes down with the virus or lives over the border?

    Perhaps, in ones life, it’s best to do what you can to give as many people around you reasons to care deeply enough for you ahead of time. Good times and bad.

  198. Doubling the unemployment payment is a good thing but it is already overloading the welfare system and will continue to do so if all the current newstart regs are enforced. These problems mean a big delay in funds reaching the people who need it.
    Would be smarter to have introduced the new payment immediately as an UBI (Universal, Basic Income) that would last at least 12 months and replace newstart, pensions and child allowances. Money would get to people far sooner and money would not be wasted on unnecessary admin.
    The extra cost of the UBI compared to what is proposed could be partly recovered by increasing income taxes

  199. Ambi, to make a peak the reproduction rate has to be less than one. SA the sooner the better.

    What impresses me is that the Taiwanese seem to be at that point and are still leading close to normal lives. The emphasis seems to be tracking, tracing, testing, isolating plus disinfecting and hygiene.

  200. Yes Brian

    I just thought that while our country is (seems to be) in the exponential phase, a bit of technical info might be useful.

    A quiet bipartisanship descended like a sombre mist over Parlt yesterday. Eager to pass the economic “packages”. Less bickering.

    The medical info can be tested and disseminated by medical experts.

    The contention will be over finance, welfare payments, economics, business success, business failures, innovation, essential services, health system costs, homelessness, poverty, taxation and that kind of question.

    Who are the experts? ??? In a democracy, every voter has a say. Directly, through her purchases and work. Indirectly through volunteering and donations. Directly through family and friends.

    More widely through voluntary associations and social networks.

    Wash your hands and hire that plastering contractor!!

  201. You’re correct, Brian.

    A few of the people who die this year from Wuhan virus, might well have passed away this year from some other condition. (See the medical term ‘comorbidity’ – a patient has several serious conditions.)

    The statisticians have ways of getting a rough estimate of the excess deaths due to Wuhan. Or anything outside the average, general, ‘normal’.

    For example,

    [1] Nine newspapers (SMH, Age) recently reported a study which claims that the thick bushfire smoke in large Australian cities a few months ago, most likely caused 417 ‘excess deaths’ because of respiratory distress and its consequences. You might expect asthma to be exacerbated, for instance.

    The 417 looks alarmingly precise to me. I’m only an amateur.
    Perhaps “around 400” would be fairer.
    Nonetheless, it’s clear that 400 or so is way higher than the total of deaths caused directly by fire.

    (Apologies for bluntness.)

    Another example: s

    [2] Since the Khmer Rouge kept only skimpy records of the numbers of summary executions or deaths through mass starvation, historians have struggled to estimate the death toll due to Khmer Rouge rule of the Democratic Kampuchean People’s Republic, or whatever name they gave it.

    But the Sihanouk and Lon Nol govts had approximate population estimates (from which you can estimate birth rates, or average net population growth rates – more to the point ) and if you know (roughly, again) the Cambodian population in, say, 1982…. well, you can estimate the ‘excess deaths’ attributable to whatever was going on between April 1975 and late 1979 = arrival of Vietnamese troops/departure of the execrable Pot from the capital.

    (Apologies again for the brutal example.
    Not being a medico, I couldn’t reach for a milder and more Aussie example.)

    Fraternal greetings!

  202. On smoke from bushfires, see Smoke from Australia’s bushfires killed far more people than the fires did, study says :

      To come up with a picture of the overall health burden of smoke exposure, they looked at existing data on death rates and hospital admissions to get a baseline. They then modelled how the known levels and extent of smoke exposure across the southeast, during the height of the crisis from 1 October to 10 February, would have affected these.

      Their results estimate that over this period there were 417 premature deaths, 3,151 extra hospitalisations for cardiorespiratory problems and 1,305 additional attendances for asthma attacks. This compares to 33 who reportedly died as a direct result of the bushfires.

  203. Q&A last night was worth a look.

    The government is really hanging out for a vaccine.

    Norman Swan summarised:

      1. We have a poor testing regime [comparative stats with what happens elsewhere notwithstanding]

      2. We have a poor quarantine regime.

      3. This means the main game is social distancing

    Imperial College modelling showed there is a net benefit from closing schools.

    I heard today that some teachers were told not to wear masks because it might scare the kids.

    Matt Wordworth who reads the news asked Dr Jeanette Young whether schools should be closed.

    She said, no.

    He asked whether it was OK for kids to have sleepovers?

    She said, no.

    He said, isn’t their some inconsistency here?

    She had no answer.

  204. Qld has apparently closed its borders with NSW.
    Will cause substantial hardship given that the border runs through the Gold Coast/Tweed mega city and the parts of NSW Nth of Coffs Harbour use Brisbane as their defacto capital city and depend on Qld for significant medical work. (Broken Hill has a similar problem because they use Adelaide as their defacto capital when it comes to services
    Problem is that the borders between states would really make more sense in terms of services if they were equidistant from the capitals.
    Perhaps we could accept that some state boundaries are not the logical boundaries for lockdowns and that we should use something more logical for our lockdowns?

  205. Just on the topic of “doubling time”

    Guardian has a headline saying NZ cases “almost doubled in one day”. Yet the story says there were 40 new cases bringing the total to 155.

    Quite frankly, if that’s “almost doubling” my pocket calculator is seriously kaput.

    Perhaps 40 was a misprint for 70??

    Lift your game, “Guardian”.

    Elsewhere in the same story, PM Ardern surmises that if community spreading takes off in NZ, case numbers “could double every five days”.

    That sounds more realistic.
    I am not a medico.

    Haere mai

  206. John

    Your point is logical.

    However, for the time being and from a practical point of view, the enforcers (if needed) will be policepersons stationed on highways and roads. These are State based as you know.

    Reforming States and Regional Govts looks like a longer term project.

    HI OOTZ !!!

  207. Ambi: “Reforming States and Regional Govts looks like a longer term project.”
    I am not suggesting that we can change state boundaries during this crisis. However, states can add internal boundaries in a hurry.
    It would make more sense to move the isolation boundary further south than the Qld border with agreement between Qld and NSW. Along the coast a logical boundary might lie somewhere in the long stretch thru barely inhabited bushland between Evans head and Iluka. Very few people would have to cross this boundary on a day to day basis.

  208. There will be some positive things that come out of this after it’s done.
    And it will be done eventually.

    What they will be is worth thinking about.

  209. How about this simple change of attitude: social shunning of fools who not only put themselves in danger but also spread the risks out to the wider community?

    Down here, there’s been a concerted campaign (over decades) to get this message across: If you drink and drive you’re a bl**dy idiot!

    That’s one example. The drunk driver may kill or injure himself but can’t guarantee he’ll be the only casualty. Other folk nearby are at risk, including pedestrians.

    If you start a fire on a Total Fire Ban day, you endanger others.

    If you prevent your child from being vaccinated, you increase the likelihood of other children being seriously ill.

    If you ignore medical advice transmitted by the Govt, when a new and serious virus is about, even in the face of death statistics coming in from worse-affected regions, you’re an irresponsible fool.

    Note, Mr J: I’m talking about public health (commuicable diseases, pollution, skin cancer, fire, road smashes, etc.)

    Finance and governance is a huge (and partly separate) area.

    BTW, folk here have pointed to the future ramifications for quite some time here. John D and Brian particularly are far sighted commentators.

  210. Hi to all, I hope everyone is maintaining their good health…
    Ambi I think that has already happened in the Covid 19 context – certainly up here in the Cairns region.
    Our supermarket shelves are still empty, despite limitations imposed by Cole/Woolies – shortages are on-going. I got to Coles 7 am yesterday and there was no TP, box milk or even tonic for my life-saving gin! But bless, it was like visiting a geriatric home, all my peers shuffling around.
    Starting to hear of great social distress as businesses close down, made worse by no temporal insight as to when things might recover. And a reactive government that seems to be waiting for signals from somewhere else.
    My grandparents had WW1, Spanish ‘Flu and the Depression. My folks just had the Depression and WW2 and Korea. My lot had polio, Vietnam, the amazing 60’s and technology Arthur C Clark did not see coming. Now we have this virus. Despite the hardship, I think that maybe I have gotten off light.

  211. Chance of a Cyclone in the Gulf next week looking at a couple of projections.
    Where it goes after that is anyone’s guess.

    The possibility of social isolation and shutting down is an annual reality up there, a bit less so as one lives further south.

  212. Thanks Geoff.

    The examples I mentioned would be regarded as plain common sense by most people.

    Good to hear you had brief reunions at the supermarket with normal gatherings (Probus, book club, other club meetings, lawn bowls, swimming sessions, cafes etc dwindling away rapidly).

    I tend to be a “silver lining” person too.

    Old Chinese bad luck phrase: “may you live in interesting times!”

    Bah, humbug!
    This is simply fascinating.

    Better than bombs and bullets and V-weapons and nerve gas and napalm IMHO.

  213. Worked yesterday, again today. People want/need to talk.

    I was shocked to find that last week Covid 19 cases increased last week by four times, after increasing four times the week before. That’s 16 times in 2 weeks.

    That is based on a daily increase of around 22%.

    This has to turn down in the next little while. I don’t have Australian figures, but in Qld there were 46 new cases yesterday, to make 443.

    That is actually an increase of 11.5%.

    More work to do, obviously, but encouraging.

    I thought Morrison was excellent last night, Murphy not so much.

    A complete lockdown early is favoured by many, but I don’t think the public was ready, nor the enforcement means in place.

    Qld has transferred 500 staff to Q Health from other departments to work on contact tracing. They are actively recruiting medical staff, setting up virus wings in hospitals, doubling ICU capacity, trebling emergency capacity, increasing morgue capacity.

    There were 20,000 cars per hour going across the border at Coolangatta/Tweed Heads. That had to stop and there may be some chaos as people who cross for work are given licences and a sticker to display.

    See you tonight.

  214. Brian: “There were 20,000 cars per hour going across the border at Coolangatta/Tweed Heads. ” Question is why were they going across the border and where did they come from? Some of them would have been people coming from NE NSW for medical and comercial reasons. (SE Qld/NE NSW are a unit that has this strange border in the middle that may have made sense in the past but doesn’t any more.)
    Albury Wodonga should have an isolation border to its Nth or Sth but not through the middle. Ditto SE Qld/NE NSW. Ditto Broken hill/Sth Aus.
    Isolation borders don’t have to be on state boundaries.

  215. Ambi I still have little confidence in Morrison.
    Someone must have told him that “if it looks like a duck…”
    I like listening to Andrews more.

    In the meantime, Trump is aspiring to call it good by Easter and presumably tell people it’s OK to go forth. And one source says he now has 60% approval. I’ve had two US students return home on the basis that it is safer in the US than Cairns, work that out.

  216. The reason I have (at present) confidence in the PM and Health Minister Greg Hunt, is because, Geoff, they seem to be following the best medical advice for the general public and particular sectors, that is available to them.

    That’s what I would hope for.

    (And of course in other policy areas too, but leave that aside for the next few weeks. …)

    I’m getting heartily sick of the bouts of carping I’m hearing from prominent journalists. For example, K. Murphy in the “Guardian” claiming there was a dull thyd at 10 pm last night as people’s heads exploded listening to the PM.

    I thought he made sense.
    But then I have two advantages : am not a member of the Canberra Press Gang – er sorry – Gallery. Also, I’ve been reading information, comments and links here. This I find is tge best eay to stay as uo to date as possible.

    Perhaps K. Murphy is lacking sleep?

    Another poor example was F. Kelly hectoring Minister Hunt this morning on RN. Interrupting, failing to listen, etc. Looking for a “gotcha” moment??

    (Your listeners mostly have other priorities today, Ms Kelly. Chiefly their physical and financial health. And that of their families and communities.)

    I reckon Ms Kelly conspicuously seems not to understand
    i) exponential growth
    ii) the rapidly altering reality
    iii) differences between nations
    iv) minimal politeness

    I’m not in the habit of applauding Govt Ministers, but this morning when Minister Hunt told Ms Kelly one of her statements was “irresponsible “, I cheered. He remained calm and occasionally kept speaking over an attempted interruption.


  217. Coronavirus threat means NSW border with Queensland should close, Mayor says. Good old tit for tat.
    Tweed Shire mayor Katie Milne said it was hard to know how the closure would play out for the 8,000 Tweed residents who normally work over the border in Queensland.
    “There’s a lot of people to get over that border and a lot of people to get to work by 9.00am, and even earlier if they are tradies,” she said.
    “The last thing we want is gridlock in Tweed, but I have to say there are still far too many people moving about unnecessarily.
    Byron shire starts south of Tweed shire so there would be fewer people travelling from Byron shire into Qld on a daily basis.

  218. We had a good day today (see second graph). The daily increase was down to around 10% whereas it had averaged 22% for the last two weeks. The next few days will tell the story.

    If the trend goes back up we’ll be forced into lockdown. If it trends down ScoMo will take as a sign that everything we put in place is working. I’m hoping it doesn’t just drift sideways.

    There has been much to do for me bearer to home in the last two days, have to go again now.

  219. Only random testing/confirmed ratio would give a close to accurate picture.
    The picture now is highly skewed toward symptomatic and known contact.

    Also highly agree with Mr Coughlins assessment ( appropriate sort of name too * cough, cough * into elbow pit )

    I’d be astounded is further restrictions aren’t in place by this coming Tuesday.

  220. Ambi, I don’t think it is necessary to come down heavily as for or against China or Xi. I know enough to understand that we don’t understand cultures we haven’t lived in. I’d like to spend more time on this, but a few things to go on with.

    The problems in Wuhan first came to our attention here in Oz back in November, when it’s significance and what we needed to do in preparation was brought to the attention of the Morrison government.

    What did they do?


    Their main concern was for the profits of Qantas and the mining companies.

    Why don’t we know about this?

    Because we don’t treat whistleblowers well at all. Typically it costs them their career and puts the funding of the organisation in jeopardy.

    So the person who knows about this does not really want journos sniffing around and to become the centre of a storm.

    They say that any dictator needs the support of at least 30% of the people. You can be certain that Xi was in political trouble, because he disappeared for two weeks after the whistle-blowing doctor died. (Medicos in his position have 8 times the normal risk of infection, and doctors under stress are just human beings.) I’m told that this usually means that a Chinese leader is finished.

    Xi survived, and his political rehabilitation was marked by his recent visit to Wuhan.

    I don’t think taking sides is necessary, helpful or even valid. We should try to learn from Taiwan and other Asian nations how to live with China.

    Moreover, in practical terms when the elephants fight the mice get trampled.

  221. BTW, what I said about our mob being warned in November was third hand to me, but came through two good and reliable hands. But I’m not prepared to put it in a post.

    I think a more dispassionate view of how international relations will be reconfigured is this article from Asia TimesChina steals a Covid-19 march on US in SE Asia .

    Just how things are, and we’ll need to make the best of it with least drama.

  222. Happy Birthday Brian, and all the best on your next loop around the sun.

    Wise words, my sentiments exactly, Brian. Not sure about the exact time line of your informant, but the federal Government has form, eg. ignoring retired fire chiefs and holiday in Hawaii. A quick search on timelines would suggest that by at least mid December the alert bells should have been ringing and precautionary actions taken. I can’t remember when the msm started to report on it here, but do remember having read about a new highly contagious Sars like virus in a Chinese paper provided by a link in my feed before it was reported on the ABC. An acquaintance who was on holiday in a neighbouring province to Hubei told me of the situation. He was flying back into SYD in mid January and was absolutely appalled about the total lack of any checks or gathering of information by the relevant authorities here. And the saga goes on see the Ruby Princess debacle and the scenes at the SYD airport arrival couple of days ago.

    If you want to have a go at the Chinese, keep in mind that most positive cases we have here in OZ came in from the US, and their dear leader still wants to fill up the churches on Easter. While I am no friend of Xi and wish all the best to US citizen, and my friends there in this epidemic, this epidemic will bring more profound change to the US than in the PRC.

    So us being so heavily dependent economically on the PRC, it is about time we do something about “I know enough to understand that we don’t understand cultures we haven’t lived in.” From my experience you don’t have to necessary live there, but engage with the culture through literature, arts, media and make some Chinese friends. Also, it pays to have reliable contacts in the PRC, in many ways.

    BTW I am rather puzzled by Brian’s and Ambi’s expressed confidence into the communication skills of our Chief Marketing Person. Can anyone tell me if it is save to go to my hairdresser if I combine it with my wedding? My gratitude goes out to all the health care staff in these difficult times.

    PS. my new glasses have turned up finally, so no need for caps anymore Mr A. Your consideration was appreciated though.

  223. A recent Gallup poll is interesting in that it shows significant differences in how Dems and Republicans and Rich and poor are reacting:
    For example, for the March 2-13 poll;” This is now a much higher level of worry than Gallup has measured during previous health scares, including SARS, West Nile virus and anthrax.”AND very/somewhat worried details included:
    Rep 60% vs Dem 73%
    Men 58% vs women 62%
    White 54% vs Non-white 70%
    Family income >$100k vs F income <$40k 66%.

  224. “Two thirds of (Aust) infections are returned travellers”

    Nine newspaper headline statement.

  225. Ambi don’t worry, our PM is right across it as proven by today’s quote :
    “Returning Australians to be quarantined in hotels at point of entry”. SMH 2:38 today. I feel better already.

  226. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for your detailed and measured statements on the China aspect, 11.26pm on 26th.

    I have a few thoughts on all of that but will wait a while.

    I suppose, fundamentally from a democratic viewpoint the style of government in China is a matter primarily for the Chinese people. Whether it reforms internally from here, or undergoes a more drastic change, is up to them.

    I have no Chinese ancestry AAIK, so no “skin in that game” as the crude phrase has it. Or (the one I prefer, thank you zoot) “not my circus, not my monkeys).

    And it should be clear – but I’ll say it out loud – I don’t regard Chinese as simians.

    Good to hear you got your specs, Ootz.
    Standard font here for you, in honour of your specs.
    “Optometrists are the real heroes!”

  227. Hi Mr J

    Did I just “play the ancestry card”?

    (The Loyal Subjects of Corrigenda wish to know.)
    HM Opposition mutters that the King is stooping to “identity politics” but no-one can hear them except the prison guards.
    20 years min. Lese majeste.

  228. Well, Geoff.

    Most likely with no aeroplane departures, there may be hundreds of beds available in those airport hotels they have at airports. (I think there are at least 2 moderate-sized hotels at Tullamarine, a distant airport that once was surrounded by parched sheep farms, but now has all sorts of small to medium industry nearby.)

    Out here in West Gippsland there have been only two confirmed cases so far; we’re doing much better than Melb, Syd, Gold Coast, Diamond Princess, etc.

    But now is No Time For Smug.
    Wash my mouth out!

    Including airport parking, large and medium. Empty??

  229. Here you go:
    “The chartered plane with 90 tons (82 tonnes) of medical supplies, including 100,000 most needed protective coveralls and 900,000 pairs of medical gloves, has successfully departed from Sydney and arrived in Wuhan on 24 Feb,”

    That is the second shipment that we know of. Now do we blame the Chinese for being enterprising or Oz authorities for being asleep at the wheel, or shrug our free market shoulders? Fact is in January: “The head of the Royal Australian College of GPs is calling on the federal government to urgently open the nation’s emergency medical mask stockpile as GP clinics around the country prepare for a possible surge of coronavirus infections.”

  230. So China created a pandemic, concealed it, sucked up necessary medical supplies from other countries and is being defended to attack Capitalism.

    There’s another sickness we need to address.

  231. Mr A

    “Optometrists are the real heroes!”

    I was just watching Norm McDonald on YouTube, his Kenny Rogers stuff.
    Everyone could use a larff with the hysterical lunacy and opportunistic barrow pushing going on.

  232. Was Norm McDonald the bloke I saw all those years ago, who, after a close White House aide to the Clintons and former law partner of Hillary’s (?) Mr Foster (?) suicided….
    said on US national TV: “You do realise, don’t you, that the President is a murderer?”

    Was he suggesting a high crime and misdemeanour, or was he poking fun at “The National Enquirer” and fake news generally??

    He seemed at the time to be getting away with some very dark comedy. Lenny Bruce? Tom Lehrer ? Dr Strangelove?

  233. Don’t know that Ambi. But I have a book by Roger Stone (no, not that one) titled “The Man Who Killed Kennedy – the case against LBJ” Pretty compelling.

  234. Aww c’mon Ootz, you know how it works.

    Highest bidder.

    Export natural gas then run out here at home.
    Export masks? No wuzz!!
    Export baby formula? Every second tourist was taking packets back home.

    Right now there might even be a hoarder selling t. paper to an export market.

    Highest bidder, mate.
    What could go wrong?

    You can’t have Govts interfering in the market. You just can’t, OK?

    How could the Govt have guessed there might be bushfires in hot weather diring a drought?

    How could the Govt have predicted a contagious disease might spread?

  235. It wasn’t a predominately Capitalist government that insider traded human away here.
    This Chinese communist regime has the blood of many thousands of people on their hands here, not just their own this time.

    By the way, one can still migrate to China. Or North Korea or Cuba or Venezuela or any other anti capitalist country if they think the conditions and governance is superior.
    As soon as the Capitalists create and supply the vaxines that is.

  236. Ootz, thanks for the wishes. By my reckoning every day above ground is cause for celebration.

    On China, there is a good article in the AFR today, reprint from the Financial Times.

    They didn’t say this exactly, but it reminded me that the Chinese use the same word for ‘crisis’ and ‘opportunity’. We are hoping the US society and elsewhere will find drugs that ameliorate the symptoms, find new tests, discover the test that shows whether you have had the disease, etc etc, and make these available through the market system..

    Can I remind folks that in this area of human activity most innovation comes from public institutions, but then ends up with Big Pharma at the delivery end – one of the more problematic parts of capitalism, not known for its empathy, compassion or charity.

    The local store owner who broke up his toilet rolls and sold them for $3 each was also using crisis as an opportunity.

    Back to the AFT/FT article, it pointed out that in the times of Obama and even George Dubya there had been superpower co-operating to address crises. The current falling out started with the Donald deciding to teach the Chinese a lesson.

    Whatever the justification of that, the manner of prosecution was unhelpful.

    We can’t change the past, and we have no means of punishing China if we think they did wrong.

    We need to start from where we are and pick the best path forward.

  237. Jumpy: You might have missed it but China became a very successful, largely capitalist economy under Deng Xiaoping.
    The growth of technical and business skills in china is impressive so they could well become the developer of the vaccine, a vaccine that may be unable to give the returns that medical developers in the West need for motivation.

    • “Optometrists are the real heroes!”

    My day started with our optometrist’s email saying there would be no more consultations, and that from Easter they would close until further notice.

    This is not surprising.

    However, I use a melaleuca gel on my eyes three times a day, without which I get blurred vision. It’s not kept be pharmacists at all.

    So I burnt up there in their 2 hours opening widow to get another bottle and am right now until after Easter, but I’ll have to find another source, possibly online, of the nice pharmacist in Ashgrove who will order things in.

    • BTW I am rather puzzled by Brian’s and Ambi’s expressed confidence into the communication skills of our Chief Marketing Person.

    Don’t remember what I said, but Mark and I thought Scotty did well on Tuesday night, but today he was back to skiting, gratuitous praising and paternalistic finger-wagging lecturing, while still not making clear what his strategy is.

    Actually I think his strategy is clear, and it’s probably a disaster, but I’ll try to say more about that later.

  238. In the meantime let’s give a cheer to our American cousins who once again are winning. With only a quarter of the population they now have more COVID-19 positive people than the loser Chinese. And we think Australia punches above it’s weight.

    Mind you, in that situation I’d be very tired of winning.

  239. Ambi: Morrison was a waste of space on the box today 26 Mar. Just waffled on and on.
    Andrews, by contrast was very impressive and had very clear messages.

  240. Thanks John and Brian.

    Didn’t see the PM today.

    Went for a very good walk on a near-deserted beach in South Gippsland. Too cold for a swim (next land masses due south = Tassie, Antarctica. Every beach stroller kept her distance > 15m from every other.

    Would be much more crowded on Melb bayside beaches, no doubt. Saturday forecast high 20s C. For Victorians, that’s a beach day!! Premier Andrews pleading with people to be sensible.

    On the phone today a Kiwi said
    we’ve been told to behave as if we are infected
    which seems a very clear instruction.

    Apparently in Aotearoa only
    i) supermarkets
    ii) pharmacies
    iii) clinics, and
    iv) service stations are open.

    Our family depends on optometrists. Go, Ootz! Go, Brian!!
    Unfortunately I can’t see how my eyesight could be tested at home. Soon there’ll be a way….??

    Had a phone consultation with my GP a few days ago. But it was routine (she had already done blood pressure etc face to face).

    Most retirees had already adapted to different ways of operating, IMO.

    It’s the youngsters (and employed, and part-time employed) who may have difficulties. But today’s youngsters are so resilient, adaptable, up-to-date and capable, n’est-ce pas?

  241. “Restrictions for St Kilda beach after crowds ignore social distance rules”

    (Nine newspaper, “The Age”)

    So anyone pointing and jeering at Bondi beach visitors, please now add St Kilda beachgoers in Victoria to your Roll Call of Fools.

  242. Mr J

    If you wouldn’t mind, could you please re-render the following by removing any typos (?) or translating it into English?

    It wasn’t a predominately Capitalist government that insider traded human away here.


  243. Sure Mr A, I forgot the ‘lives ‘ between ‘ human ‘ and ‘ away.
    As in, “ It wasn’t a predominately Capitalist government that insider traded human lives away here. “
    They had the inside knowledge, suppressed it, and traded so that the Directors profit ( illegally under capitalism) at the unfair advantage over competitors knowing all companies ( Countries) will be worse off.

    They should be punished Internationally and universally.

  244. Berejiklian urged to close NSW border after Queenslanders continue to visit state’s north

      Mayors and state MPs on the north coast of New South Wales are calling on the premier, Gladys Berejiklian, to immediately close the state’s border.

      Queensland closed its borders to NSW residents at midnight Wednesday night but NSW hasn’t reciprocated – Queenslanders are still free to come and go. Yet there are only 21 coronavirus cases between Tweed Heads and Coffs Harbour, while in Queensland there are more than 440 Covid-19 diagnoses, with most of them in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

      Visitors continue to pour into coastal towns, including Byron Bay, and community leaders fear it could make any coronavirus outbreak harder to control.

      Community leaders say if regional areas aren’t locked down, the virus will be harder to control across Australia.

    I agree with them. This has been a problem in Italy, certainly New York, and elsewhere. When things become unpleasant in congested cities, people who can get out, and take the virus with them.

    As I understand it the basic problem is that when it came to federation Alfred Deakin made NSW as big as possible. NSW Northern Rivers and the New England are should have been joined to Brisbane, and a northern state established, probably from about Bundaberg.

  245. Brian, it is pretty clear what Morrison’s plan is. Essentially there are three approaches, the shut down and eradicate, the herd immunity and let her rip. The first one has been applied by Sars savy nations near PRC but also New Zealand recently. The second was attempted by the UK as advised initially by flawed models of the Imperial College. The third is tragically on full display in the US.

    It needs to be said many countries were caught napping or dithering “what about the economy”, according to the reports I am getting from Europe. The consequences are dire, just in Italy 40 health workers dead, with nearly a thousand deaths in one day. The army had to be called in in most of the countries. The Swiss ordered the biggest military mobilization since WWII and open up their extensive underground army hospitals. While the accounts of hospital staff in the US on twitter are shocking beyond believe.

    So it is not difficult to guess where our pentecostal rapturist in chief takes his cues from. First, he has surrounded himself with staff from the mining and News oligarchy to which he owes the ‘this is an economic crisis with a health component’. Second, he adopts Boris J flawed medical model. Check out why it is not only medically flawed but also economically in my lengthy Hammer and Dance link further up. Third, if it goes all belly up, well I quote from one of my email correspondence:

    Reading the Bible (which doesn’t lie) is much more beneficial and there is so much info in there about “the endtimes / last days” Matthew 24 / Luke 21 and the book of Revelation and so many more!!

    As I said in my last comment the Ruby Princess and return flight from Jakarta incident tells the tale.

    Good luck everyone and take good care.

  246. I should do another post, but don’t have time today, and I’m doing the work tomorrow I usually do on Fridays.

    Scotty’s approach is to be measured and calibrated, applying as much pressure as is needed. In truth we didn’t have enough tests masks and other gear, nor the political will or the social licence to do what needed to be done early.

    David Runcimann makes some interesting points in Coronavirus has not suspended politics – it has revealed the nature of power:

      This crisis has revealed some other hard truths. National governments really matter, and it really matters which one you happen to find yourself under. Though the pandemic is a global phenomenon, and is being experienced similarly in many different places, the impact of the disease is greatly shaped by decisions taken by individual governments. Different views about when to act and how far to go still mean that no two nations are having the same experience. At the end of it all we may get to see who was right and what was wrong. But for now, we are at the mercy of our national leaders. That is something else Hobbes warned about: there is no avoiding the element of arbitrariness at the heart of all politics. It is the arbitrariness of individual political judgment.

    When brutal action is required democracies tend to hold off. Places like S Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore had seen what the beast could do with SARS.

    Other than that Laura Tingle made the point that we have been trying to throttle government and it’s impact on our lives for about 30 years, peeling away at it to the point where it has frequently become incompetent, or the infrastructure, eg our telecommunications, is starting to fall apart.

    So the Chinese build a hospital in quicker time than we could write a tender document.

    Taiwan merged two data bases in a day, and had 1800 teams of five doing contact tracing. They were all over air travel arrivals, especially from Wuhan.

    We simply did not have the capacity to do the necessary. For example, we should have been quarantining tour boat arrivals on Christmas Island or similar. It’s not appreciated that NSW Health dealt with over 60 boats from the beginning of February to the Ruby Princess. In that case there was a health check in NZ – all good – when they came to Sydney the management said their was some flu amongst a few, and one COVID 19 case. That case was taken to hospital, and the rest released with an instruction to go straight home and isolate with written instructions.

    There were no symptoms on release at 6am, but a lot showed symptoms later that day. It looks to me that they had one of those big parties a few days earlier, and one of the waiters was an asymptomatic super spreader.

    There was no capacity to test 2650 people. If they had stayed on board for testing, and then wait for the result, more of them would now be in trouble and perhaps end up dead.

    I was horrified a couple of days ago when I heard that we had quadrupled cases in a week, then quadrupled again in the following week. We went form 112 on Mr 10 to 455 on Mr 17 (4.06x) and then 2050 on Mr 24 (4.55x). There was modelling that our ICU capacity would be swamped around April 10 or if we slowed it then mid-May.

    Currently the new cases a re going sideways, but an increasing number, especially in NSW (probably Sydney) are from the community rather than overseas.

    This ‘flattening the curve’ is a big worry. It can only happen if the virus reproduction rate in less the one, or herd immunity starts to cut in with 61% of the herd having been infected, and is only really effective when that percentage gets to around 90.

    The complete lockdown approach for 4-6 weeks should save lives and also would be better for the economy. Companies without revenue for 6 months are going to be mostly dead.

    However, which ever way we go, we need an effective testing, tracing, quarantining regime, with social separation continuing especially for the vulnerable, until we get a vaccine.

    Australia’s proportionate, targeted, carefully calibrated approach is unique in the world as far as I can tell. The next week should show whether we are on a virtuous path, or just going down the crapper a bit more slowly than most.

  247. Ootz, I din’t see you last two posts while writing mine and will read the links tonight, but I think we are on the same page.

  248. Brian not sure about same page, there are significant differences. To take just one, you lament the governments inability to act. IMHO that is not so, just look at Luke Waterford point in my last link. The independence of the APS has basically been replaced with a conga line of head nodders. They scomo effectively rules with a war cabinet (without opposition) and the parliament has been put on ice. Msm is in the large compliance if not adulatory, any perceived off key voice gets a call from PM&C, see Norman Swan on the ABC. Imagine the hooting and hollering from the msm if labor would be in government. Imagine the swift acting if only one death from a terrorist incident. Pull the other one. If they can illegally cut off of welfare and pensioners with robodebt or hunt down small fishing vessels in the Timor sea and lock up thousand of people or dish out millions to the Mosman rowing club, close both eyes on the outcome of the banking rorts RC, what can’t they do in this case here?

    Anyway, in below link John Quiggin basically laying out the epidemiological and economical horror of the flawed herd immunity approach. I nearly fell of the couch when the CMO mentioned that approach nearly two weeks ago on Q&A.

    Wake up guys, this government is beyond inept and callous! Someone remind me what brought the change to the Curtin government on at the beginning of WWII, because the hiatus may take a similar period and effort as that WWII to ‘normalise’ itself. Because they are not just fucking us over epidemiologically but economically too. I have not even started to on the “hibernation” thingy and the corresponding baleout.

  249. Yes, Ootz.

    But that assumes a death rate of 1% in Australia, which is not yet certain.

    (I’m aware it’s the figure being tossed around.)

    Two months ago an epidemiologist on ABC RN said something to the effect of “I can’t calculate the death rate because we don’t know the denominator”.

    Fraction = numerator divided by denominator.

    Death rate = number of deaths, divided by number infected.

    One of the uncertainties, as far as I can see, is we don’t really know how many.people have been infected but have shown no symptoms or have shrugged off very minor symptoms. “I just had a cold “, “just a little sniffle “.

    Media reports (of course) focus on terrible deaths at home or in hospitals. Always hoota love a catastrophe, eh??!

    Comorbidities? Could some of the deaths that have been counted, have been misattributed to COVID19? Comorbidities??


  250. Mr A, you’ve got a level head on this.
    Accurate as can be expected, logical with regard to what is known and not using this to further some long held ideological wet fart.

    Thank you, seriously.

  251. Could some of the deaths that have been counted, have been misattributed to COVID19?

    Are you seriously suggesting that of the 14 deaths so far in Australia some may not have been due to COVID-19?

  252. Fake Professor Zoot, are you seriously suggesting you are positive all of these 14 deaths are specifically and totally due to covid19 ?

  253. Figures are not being “tossed around” on sites by reputable epidemiologists, neither is Prof JQ in a habit of doing so. And spare me the the lecture on stats and debunking lab reports. Not sure if you are aware that medical research and particularly epidemiology have some of the tightest numbers and best predictability due to the sheer numbers involved. Two month is a long time in an epidemy, you must surely realise Mr A?

    Have you read the length of my hammer and dance link? What is your capacity in doing risk assessment? So you put the death of 40 medical staff in Italy down to “comorbitdities”? How many medical staff would you be prepared to sacrifice for your ‘she’ll be right’ approach? Would you be happy with of the outcome of a death rate of 0.5% or 0.25% in JQ’s calculations?

  254. Mr A, this is a classic example of leftist Orwellian two minutes of hate at non sheeple.
    Be strong and let it pass.

    There’s no helping ootz and his little anagram.
    Lost causes.

  255. Yes Jumpy I am seriously suggesting that the people whose deaths have been attributed to the COVID-19 virus did in fact die because they were infected with the COVID-19 virus.
    Do you have data indicating anything else?

  256. Mr A, this is a classic example of leftist Orwellian two minutes of hate at non sheeple.

    Classic projection.
    Google it Sigmund.

  257. The UK conservative government is introducing a very generous system to support people who have lost their jobs.  (See SMH pp36 Sat 28 Mar.)This pays 80% of previous wage up to a payment limit of about $aus5000/month and will be back paid to first of march.  However, the proposed payment is conditional on the employees staying on their employers books, a condition that may get nasty at times.  (The scheme has two key intentions, “to support workers during the crisis and to retain the connection between worker and employer needed to get the economy going again when the crisis is over.)They are also setting up systems for sole traders and similar.Like the Aus proposal the weakness of the system is that it will take time to get going because it varies payments with income and the figures will need to be checked.
    The logical way of getting money quickly to people in need is to avoid hassle of our welfare system and GO STRAIGHT TO AN UBI that, at least in the short term pays the new unemployment benefit TO EVERYONE WITH AN AUS TAX FILE NUMBER.
    The existing welfare systems could handle the cases of those with no tax file number.

  258. Just briefly.

    Epidemiology is a wonderful and advanced science. Epidemiological models, however, need accurate data.

    Sorry for not being more specific; I meant comorbidities in Italy** where it is said there is an unusually large proportion of older folk in the population. If COVID19 hastens an old nonna’s death by 3 weeks or 2 months, who already was in serious medical trouble, is that a COVID19 death? (See my earlier comment to Brian about needing to estimate excess deaths; these may be attributed fairly to the new virus.)

    The older amongst us, is the group that doctors worldwide are saying are most likely more vulnerable to serious outcomes (e.g. death or needing hospital-based resuscitation before recovery is possible). Regardless of the infection rate, the proportion dying would tend to be higher in a ‘greying’ population.

    We all know about this: Treasurer Costello was forever harping on about our “ageing demographic”: fewer wage earners, higher medical costs.

    *and a few in Australia (two very recent COVID19 deaths in a Melbourne hospital were in an oncology ward; I suspect the two patients had fairly serious medical conditions; most Victorian hospitals bundle you out if the staff think you’ll recuperate better at home)


    Ootz, I am NOT saying “she’ll be right”.
    I’m self isolating.
    I’m not claiming the PM is perfect.
    I’m well aware we have limited ICU beds.
    But Minister Hunt has given calm and timely information.

    Of course Professor Quiggin’s estimate is alarming. All I’m saying is this: it may not come to pass, and I hope it doesn’t.

    Frankly, I’m not concerned whose “page” I find myself on.

    I worry for Switzerland. Only a few days ago Swiss visitors to Australia flew home and were astonished not to be checked at the Swiss airport they arrived at. Last I heard, their nation abuts Italy.

    (Just as a footnote: I squirm to hear American foes of Trump almost baying for a plague to tear through, so as to have him lose the election. What an inhumane spectacle! Have they no sense of decency? Are the elderly, poor and homeless to be ‘cannon fodder’?? I find that sickening.)

    Australia could no doubt have been better prepared. Let’s figure out how that should work in the future.

    Good luck!

  259. If COVID19 hastens an old nonna’s death by 3 weeks or 2 months, who already was in serious medical trouble, is that a COVID19 death?


    Now I’ll finish reading the rest of your comment 🙂

  260. I squirm to hear American foes of Trump almost baying for a plague to tear through, so as to have him lose the election.

    Got a link? All the foes of Trump I am aware of are way too smart to run with such a line.

  261. BTW

    A friend in Germany says the current death rate there is about 0.5%.

    The social restrictions there (tightened approx a week ago) are similar to those in NZ but it’ll still take another ten days or so to assess their effectiveness in FTC.

  262. I wish you continued stoic resilience and patience in this time of stupid alarmist spite Mr A.

    It can’t be easy, I understand fully.

  263. Ootz

    Just a small matter: yes, I did read all of the Tomas Pueyo piece. Excellent.

    I had linked to it on this thread at 5.14pm on 13th March.

    (And was pleased to see PM Morrison showing similar graphs and explaining ‘Flattening The Curve’ at a press conference a little later.)


  264. BOOM !!
    Battle ship ootz sunk, again.

    ( keeps bobbing up, we don’t know why or for what purpose. )

  265. It’s folks that add nothing, no questions, no answers, no ideas put, no reason given for their position but just poo poo others position with name calling and sneer that I try to avoid.

    Guess who?

  266. “”Of course Professor Quiggin’s estimate is alarming.””
    With due respect Ambi, JQ and I are about as alarmed about covid-19 as Brian or the majority of climate scientists are on CC. In above case you put the emotions in it. I, and I suspect JQ and Brian, are about risk assessments and risk management. Please see and address my questions to you wrt to that above.

    “”Epidemiological models, however, need accurate data.””
    Sorry there is oodles of published data but it is the analysis and interpretation there off which are crucial and are usually hotly debated. A week ago I followed a Twitter storm where another British medical analytical centre bitterly contested the Imperial Colleges interpretation and analysis of its ‘herd immunity’ model and complained why the IC models are always preferred by the UK Govmnt, with all it’s consequences now unfolding. Of course models are models, therefor it is important to look at data from different angles to make appropriate risk assessments.

    I am also very much aware of the comorbidity factor in Italy as well as other factors such as their aging population and rigorous post mortem as opposed to Germany which explains to some extend the huge discrepancy in mortality rates between the two nations. It may also explain the “Average (I’d prefer median) age of corona cases Germany: 45 years…Italy: 63 years,” ( see link below). to be honest why I brought up Italy was more to highlight the toll on medical staff which I had at hand and I should have left out their mortality rate.
    With regards to your Swiss visitors, you may have noticed my comment before criticising their at times lax attitude federally and it is a reason why some states, particularly bordering Italy and France, make their own decisions, much to the chagrin of the feds ( a bit like here).

    As to your “American foes of Trump almost baying for a plague to tear through”. I saw some of that on Twitter. However it was much more nuanced than how you put it and nowhere near the bay ing for blood from the MAGA crowd in other occasions.

    Finally, as to the Tomas Pueyo piece you would have noticed that he made a strong case that flattening the curve was not enough and the hammer (isolation & tracing) dance (ubiquitous testing) is the key to minimize cost, losses and time of hiatus. WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ called for countries to “Test, test, test” so that they know what the situation is. “You can’t put out a fire blind,” he said. See link above. Also Singapore has one of the lowest infection rate as well as mortality rate with about 0.3 percent in. “”The Asian surveillance methods are, however, unheard of for Europeans: In Singapore there is now a governmental smartphone app that uses Bluetooth to find out who has spent more than 30 minutes less than two meters away from an infected person.”” See link above. However, tracing and surveillance brings with it privacy issues, which we are lo g over due to discuss as it is happening here already to some extend.

  267. In any case the epidemiological horse has bolted and we are set for a very long trench war on this until vaccine arrives. But even then, some mutations have already been detected and just now reports from China suggest that recovered cases have tested positive again.

    My focus is now much more on economic repercussions and I am concerned that morrison is loosing the plot there too. Very much agree with most of John Ds comments above and like to expand but the bed calls.

  268. Oh and jumpy, keep up with your magical realism prose, a Nobel prize in literature surely becons.

    I may make a suggestion for the title of your collective works, with a nod to a currently highly valued item and Gabriel García Marquez.

    One Hundred Toilet Rolls of Solitude

  269. Now that I am done with the clinical analysis of the government’s approach, I had a quick look at the political side of things to see how I have done.

    See Michelle Grattan two days ago.
    And David Speers this morning

    I recon I have done pretty well and just say I’d rather live in New Zealand in the long run. But I am not worried, I am sitting pretty on my doomstead and as the fridge magnet on my fridge says
    “Be alert but not alarmed.”

    I really want to move on to the economy and finance side since this is going to drag out. However, if I have some time I’ll throw together some of my collected wisdom on individual and community resilience and share, it may come in handy.

    Got to go a bunch of bananas is awaiting to be harvested, sliced, dipped in pink grapefruit juice and dried.

    Oh and how would you feel spending 20% of your super to save the economy.? Apparently a thought bubble from the war cabinet. More to the point, what would you spend it on, now that a cruise is out of question?

    Have a lovely Sunday all.

  270. Couple of practical ideas:
    1. Where practical make supermarket aisles one way. Length of trolleys makes it easier to keep a safe distance. (Aisles are too narrow for passing people to keep safe distance.)
    2. Where there are narrow paths on both sides of a road make paths one way. (Paths on opp sides of road would be be one way in opposite directions – there is an argument that the path direction should be opposite to the traffic direction in the nearest traffic lane- this is what we were taught as kids for roads with no paths at side.)

  271. Ootz,

    You are a diligent and smart seeker after truth and I salute you for it.

    Enjoy the bananas.

    Good luck,

  272. Let me suggest, Ootz, that everyone has already lost way more than 20% of their super, you all just know it yet. Also, the economy is what the government made it in handing any fiscal fat on to those who need it least. Let those people give up 20% of their accumulated wealth first!

  273. Bilb: “Also, the economy is what the government made it in handing any fiscal fat on to those who need it least.”
    Yep: We can no longer afford the tax cuts for the better off that the LNP Howard and his successors have made. They are certainly not going to help given that many of the businesses that the better off supported cant be supported now because they have been shut down till the virus emergency is over.
    Cancel them!
    What we need right now is a temporary UBI that pays all tax file number holders the proposed new unemployment benefit ASAP.
    The government should be able to get that money out very quickly because there is no need for people to apply, get into Mygov etc. and almost all adults have a tax file no. (Welfare such as child allowances would continue but unemployment benefits and pensions would be replaced by the UBI.
    The current welfare system would handle those that don’t have a tax file no. or have special needs
    Some may object to the well off getting the UBI. However, the unfairness of this could be balanced by increases in the higher tax rates.

  274. I’ve been dealing with personal and family issues, and have now just read through comments and links.

    Don’t have time for a full comment now, but Michelle Grattan is in the money. In part, it was been for us laypersons a case of choose your expert. Raina McIntyre has been one of mine for calmness, consistency, evident expertise and communication ability. The article included this:

      Another paper circulating, including to senior business figures, argues “the case for a short, sharp lockdown in Australia”. It has been contributed to by Raina MacIntyre, who heads UNSW’s Biosecurity Program; Louisa Jorm, director of the Centre for Big Data Research in Health, UNSW; Tim Churches, health data scientist at UNSW; and Richard Nunes-Vaz, from Torrens Resilience Institute at Flinders University.

      “We are deeply concerned about the prospect of Australia losing control of the epidemic to a degree which would exceed health system capacity and result in far greater numbers of cases, more health and economic losses, and a longer time to societal recovery,” the paper says.

      “A short, sharp lockdown of 4-8 weeks will improve control of the epidemic in Australia, reduce case numbers and bring us to a more manageable baseline from which phased lifting of restrictions and economic recovery can occur.

      “If we fail to do this, we face continued epidemic growth, potential failure of the health system, and a far longer road to recovery.”

    Some will say it is too late. However, Scott Morrison said today that we had to keep businesses afloat so that everything can spring to life on “the other side”. Then, he said, “once the virus passes” things can be more or less as they were.

    The only ways the virus will pass is if we have a vaccine or reach herd immunity.

    There is a third option. We don’t just ‘slow the increase’, we attack and defeat it. That defeat cannot be complete in the foreseeable future. The Chinese as they cautiously open their economy are building their ability to handle a resurgence, or an even more deadly foe that might arise.

    The Spanish flu showed in general, where social distancing and lockdown was their only weapon, that those who went hard and early had about half the deaths.

    Another expert I heard on RN who had had experience with endemics like SARS and Ebola, said that whatever your strategy you need trust and community buy-in. We are not going to get that with Morrison and Murphy, so it seems clear that we need leadership at the state level, where the responsibility for health resides, with support from the Feds.

    Morrison seems ready now to accept that, but a lot of damage has already been done to both health and the economy by his, at best, muddling reactive approach.


    Catch you later.

  275. We appear to be about going very hard by basically restricting gatherings to two people to slow spread of coronavirus “unless they live under the same roof.” You need to read the details.
    They also said that “The Prime Minister strongly advised that people aged over 70, those with a chronic illness aged over 60, and Indigenous Australians over the age of 50 should stay at home as much as practical.

    “This is for their own protection to limit their interaction with others in the community,” he said.
    “This does not mean they cannot go outside. They can go outside and be accompanied by a support person for the purposes of getting some fresh air, some recreation, but they should limit contact with others as much as possible.”
    Mr Morrison encouraged those people to contact community organisations or volunteer groups to organise for groceries and medicines to be delivered.”
    Just got home from a hard hour of bike riding and feel beaut. Did a 2hr hardish canoe paddle the day before. At this stage, for me, getting a lot of aerobic exercise while keeping my distance from people as far as possible is what I need.

    • At this stage, for me, getting a lot of aerobic exercise while keeping my distance from people as far as possible is what I need.

    John, I’m still working for 9 people, and I’ll keep doing it unless verboten while they will still have me. I do it because it is good for me, and they can’t do it for themselves. I’ve gone cashless, don’t go in their houses, mostly they aren’t there. If they are then 2 metres is the rule.

    My fitbit says I do about 14,000 steps per day, and it tells me my heart rate.

    Elsewhere, here is the modelling they were quoting today (Murphy, I think) when they said the 90% compliance of social distancing would do the trick:

    The data that proves we can beat virus by doing absolutely nothing

      “At 70 per cent and below, it just does not work,” Professor Prokopenko says. “It does not lead to reductions of incidence and prevalence.”

      And that remains the case no matter how long 70 per cent of people may isolate themselves. Instead, the model shows the number of new cases continuing to climb exponentially into the thousands.

      However, if 80 per cent of people follow the advice, the model suggests there’s still a chance coronavirus could be brought under control in 13 weeks, with the number of new cases per day falling back to about 100.

      Ninety per cent compliance is even more effective, almost eliminating the virus from the Australian population — likely reaching about 10 cases in the whole country.

    Please note that their results are indicative rather than definitive, and based on a reproduction rate of 2.3.

    I actually counted the dots, and 2.3 doesn’t match the graphics, but the number I heard as a best world standard, ie, 2.68, does.

    The true number will be a matter of research, but decision makers have to use the best they can get. However, it is patronising just to say ‘do as I tell you and we’ll be alright eventually, any way we are doing world’s best’ – or something.

  276. Thanks Brians, just a quick thought.
    “”… they said the 90% compliance of social distancing would do the trick:””

    Let’s assume we (Australia, Tasmania, FNQ??) achieve to do “the trick”, “bring the virus under control” or even better “almost eliminating the virus”. Does anyone suggest the US or even Europe will be able to eliminate the virus, since even US governors recons older people should take a bow on the way out for the good of the economy ? I suggest that as long covid19 is in the wild globally then control measures will have to be in place almost everywhere for as long as we don’t have a vaccine. We maybe able to declare cleared areas and risk zones. However, there will be strict movement restrictions one way or another for an estimated time of an effective vaccine arriving in about 1,5 yrs time. This will reshape our personal live and relationships as well as the economic activities. I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing but even with help from govmnt many small business and disenfranchised individuals will fall through the cracks.

    One of the first thing that we as individuals and as a community have to do is reaching out and connecting up, perhaps find new ways. Today I am going to ring up my elderly yoga teacher to see if she is interested to conduct her classes one way or another over the net. I know she has internet and a smart phone but like many of this age group she is scared of technology. Perhaps as a former volunteer in the Broadband for Seniors program (which has been defunded by the lovely former PM TA) I can help. Likewise if any of you you here need any help to connect up or have good ideas to share, pls let us all know.

    Thanks JohnD on your suggestions on risk management in shopping centres. Aged above 65 with a chronic illness, I am definitely in the risk category, so yesterday my favourite librarian and I started to establish kind of a risk prevention protocol for shopping trips. If anyone is interested I’ll share. Also I make up our own personal disinfectant etc. only thing I am short is the masks, which I am kind of keen on because here in the sticks people are kind of slow to learn to keep a distance. Any ideas of making cheap and medically effective masks?

  277. Some clarifications on the new restrictions:
    ” While Mr Morrison did not make this clear initially, the ABC has sought clarification and been told the restrictions apply to all indoor settings — so you can not have more than one friend over to your house.”

    “What am I allowed to leave my house for?
    Mr Morrison was clear on the four acceptable reasons to leave the house:
    Shopping for what you need (Mr Morrison expanded on this, and used the example of his wife buying his children “a whole bunch of jigsaw puzzles” as something that is essential for a family that is going to “need to completely change the way they are going to live for the next six months at least”).
    For medical care or compassionate needs.
    To exercise, provided it is in compliance with the gathering rules (no more than two people in a group).
    For work and education if you cannot work or learn remotely.”
    “Mr Morrison stressed that the two-person limit does not apply to people within your household. So your family of four, provided you all live under the one roof, can take the dog for a walk.
    But if you wanted to go for a run with a friend, it can only be the two of you.
    Mr Morrison said it was important to allow two people to gather outside so that “particularly for women, that they wouldn’t be required to walk on their own and they be able to be walk with another person”.
    Can I go and visit a family member?
    Yes, you can.
    This too was not made clear in the Sunday evening press conference, but has since been confirmed to the ABC.
    A family split across two houses can meet, so you can go and visit your parents or a sibling — although common sense probably ought to be used, and the usual social-distancing protocols should also be employed.”

    “Are there different rules for older people?
    Kind of. The strict, enforceable rules remain the same but there is strong advice — “this is not a compulsion, this is strong advice”, Mr Morrison said — that people aged 70 and over should stay home and self-isolate.
    The same applies for anybody aged over 60 with a chronic illness and Indigenous people over the age of 50.
    “This does not mean they cannot go outside,” Mr Morrison said.
    “They can go outside and be accompanied by a support person for the purposes of getting fresh air and recreation, but should limit contact with others as much as possible.”
    What he says about old people may apply to some but lots of old people are like me and a long way from needing a “support person” to go outside.
    (What my wife and I are doing is thinking about what we are doing. For example;
    1. Choosing to go to beaches, use bike tracks etc. that we know are unlikely to have very few people.
    2. Stopped going to places that are likely to more people. (We have stopped going to the Ballina breakwater because there are more people, but hardly a crowd, and the road on the breakwater is narrow so it is harder to keep distance.)
    3. Go to supermarkets when we know fewer people will be there, for example, after 6.30.
    It is a case of knowing your patch, seeing in terms of the virus and playing percentage football.
    Hope you all keep well.

  278. Dr Anthony Fauci was interviewed by Jake Tapper on CNN.

    TAPPER: “How many cases do you think the US will reach? A million cases, 10 million cases? Or do we not even have any idea?”
    FAUCI: “You know, Jake, to be honest with you, we don’t really have any firm idea… I have never seen a model of the diseases that I have dealt where the worst-case scenario actually came out. They always overshoot. So, when you use numbers like a million, a million-and-a-half, two million, that almost certainly is off the chart. Now, it’s not impossible, but very, very unlikely. So, it’s difficult to present. I mean, looking at what we’re seeing now, I would say between 100,000 and 200,000 cases. But I don’t want to be held to that, because it’s — excuse me — deaths. I mean, we’re going to have millions of cases. But I just don’t think that we really need to make a projection, when it’s such a moving target, that you can so easily be wrong and mislead people.”

    Likely he is talking about
    1. uncertainties in the modelling, and
    2. uncertainty about the various measures Govts, States, cities and individuals are taking.

    But I could be wrong.

    Wouldn’t be the first time.


  279. And for those with time on their hand some selective reading links.

    wrt Brians last paragraph above. “”In times of military warfare we can’t expect governments to tell citizens all the facts, as doing so could well help our adversaries. But in a war against a virus, there’s nothing to be gained by not telling the citizens all the facts; viruses don’t have ears.””

    Lessons from Business and proactive management.
    “”Warren Buffett once said that “only when the tide goes out do you find out who is not wearing a bathing suit.” The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fallacy of our singular pursuit of efficiency. “”

    “”When possible, record business meetings on video and make them available to everyone in the organization via a simple internal communications platform. This model provides transparency into the key information employees need, thus increasing trust, and it provides clarity around decision-making (and responsibilities and accountability) at the top while lowering communication costs.

    Finally …
    “”Be accurate, honest and transparent. People need to know why they are asked to do something. Don’t leave people guessing as this will make them more susceptible to misinformation and conspiracy theories. Telling people to calm down is implicitly stating that some people are in a panic, which can then create further panic. Likewise, don’t just tell people not to worry about food security or looming lockdowns, as some will believe that you are withholding information, which can encourage non-compliance and hoarding. Instead explain what you are doing to manage these foreseeable issues. Even if the news is negative, share it transparently. People can handle the truth,””

  280. The full interview with Dr Fauci

    <a href="; is here I hope

    Good luck, USA !!!

    BTW zoot, I have no link to US residents wishing Trump to be brought down by a national plague catastrophe. (It was a private conversation with a US resident, who detests the President. Meanwhile, of course, that resident is making d*mn sure to protect their own family, to whatever extent is possible. I fear that with an American public much more polarised than here – and this certainly pre-dated Pres Trump [remember Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2, Obama?] such dark thoughts may be common….. I have zilch ev-id-ence.)

  281. 10.39 am link no good.

    See CNN
    full interview

    in your search engine.


    Mr A

  282. This didn’t have to be a Global Pandemic.
    The Chinese communist dictatorships could have fessed up immediately and asked for help, every other Country would have helped.

    The compensation that Xi owes the rest of humanity is in the tens of Trillions. They can never compensate for the lives lost.

  283. PM here has announced a $130 billion “lifeline” to support businesses in paying some wages.

    Mr J: I doubt that any Court in China would accept lawsuits of that nature. How do you suggest the damages be paid? ??

    Perhaps “reparations” as imposed on Germany after WW1??

    China is (apparently) very strong economically. It must be. The evidence is clear. Banks keep lending money to Chinese entities. Very little risk. An economy growing a 6% p.a. has to be a sure bet, eh??


  284. Weeks ago here, Brian and John D flagged the need to re-think global trade, supply lines, dependence on China, Aussie manufacturing, etc.

    That discussion seems to be picking up, here and there, in MSM.

    I reckon that realm of speculation would now be a “barbecue stopper” if anyone was holding BBQ get togethers with their friends and rellies.


  285. On the topic of “fessing up”, the ABC correspondent in Djakarta (yesterday on RN) explained her conflicting emotions as she left for Australia a few days ago.

    She told listeners that the Indonesian Govt had kept quiet about coronavirus cases early on, “for fear of worrying the public”.

    I recall a few weeks back, some ‘Western’ govts and journalists querying why Indonesia had reported zero cases…..

    With a substantial, generally well-off Chinese Indonesian minority, you might surmise that hundreds of Indonesians may have visited the PRC for Chinese New Year early in 2020.

    Perhaps fewer than those visiting from Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong?; but nonetheless enough to dose up Djakarta and other large towns….

    But I’m only guessing.

    Selamat ….
    Good luck.

  286. PS

    My references to PRC, Indonesia, Taiwan, HK are to geographical regions which are also nation states.

    No “race cards” intended.
    Indonesian Chinese are called, I think, peranakan referring to their Chinese ancestry but having Indonesia as their birthplace.

    But I might be mistaken.

    Ace of Spades.

  287. Jobkeeper

    $1500 per fortnight.
    Through the ATO.

    Woe betide those who haven’t been putting in tax returns; or those who have “hidden from Big Brother” by not having a tax file number……

  288. Ambi: “I reckon that realm of speculation would now be a “barbecue stopper” if anyone was holding BBQ get together with their friends and rellies.” Cunning government has effectively banned barbecues with its 2 people only legislation.
    Barbecues is where the people get to talk about things like how our dear leader from add-land is performing. Couldn’t have that now could we?
    In theory a business subsidy that retains the link between employers and employees will help the restart. However, it sounds a bit complex and may not have the checks and balances to ensure that it does not provide another opportunity for crook businesses to rip off their old employees.
    I am still arguing for a (temporary?) UBI to get money where it is needed quickly. (UBI to adults with tax file numbers.)

  289. Good points John

    I think the employees had to have been employed for at least 12 months.

    If true, the ATO may be able to check very quickly whether the claimed employee(s) was (were) previously listed
    1) businesses forward the PAYE tax to ATO, don’t they?
    2) employees all submit income tax returns and have tax file numbers (TFNs), don’t they?

    Now those rugged individualists who detest TFNumbers will have to decide whether to stay below the ATO radar and forego a paltry $1500 each fortnight.

    BTW, interesting to see a Coalition Govt handing out the same amount to every worker regardless of income, postcode, number of dependants, etc.

    “Socialism” comes in strange guises, occasionally.

    Good to see the Treasurer getting his skates on, and delivering a (relatively) simple proposal.

  290. Yes, Geoff. Correct.

    Not strictly relevant, but just for entertainment: who remembers a Federal Treasurer – years ago – who announced, “This is the recession we had to have!”??

    Brave words.
    Very brave…..

    (And all pollies took careful note of the reception that Treasurer received.)

    Starting to ponder some ramifications….
    No payments to any small business less than 12 months old (start ups? New?)
    No payments to gig workers who’ve not had, say, a part-time job that spanned a continuous 12 months??
    Uber drivers?
    Is the package biased towards unionised, steadily-employed workers??

    John’s UBI would be simpler, but what political support does it have. Oh, wait: that poll was taken before the virus.

  291. Mr A,

    How do you suggest the damages be paid? ??

    Individually, Local Council, State and Federal.

    Kicked out ( as they should have been long ago ) of the WTO, UN and all FTA revoked.

    They, Xi and his machine, owe you personally for this and the Chinese folk deserve better too.

  292. To arms bruvvers! We must right this wrong immediately if not sooner. Don Quixote rides again.

    Then there’s realpolitik.

  293. A UBI is the magic answer to any problem if you’re a green.

    Have a think, how will that extreme redistribution help or harm supply?
    What would a UBI do to inflation ?
    How would a UBI have an effect on this China Virus?

    I’m saying crippling harm, massively inflate and zilch.
    Change my mind….

  294. No,there wasn’t any.
    You did step on the logic, usefulness, mathematic, humanitarian, topical and maturity rakes seemingly impervious.

    Im guessing cumulative frontal lobe damage a long time ago.

    Now, the actual topic is survivable but the ABCs credibility is not given their disinformation and panic inducing hyperbowl.

  295. The proposal to pay some workers via their previous employer adds to the complication because it means that we will have at least two systems for paying the people who lose their jobs. It could also add to unfairness if, as it appears, one system is more generous than the other.
    Given the number of examples of employees being under-paid these days the privatization of the welfare system under the new proposal adds to costs and care taken to ensure seedy businesses don’t cheat.
    Which brings us back to the simplicity of a UBI as a way of providing help fast. Going to a tax file number based UBI now doesn’t mean that the UBI has to be permanent nor that the apparent unfairness of a UBI being a fixed amount cannot be offset by changes in tax rates.
    (The government should be saying right now that the country can no longer afford the promised tax cuts to the well off.

  296. Prof Quiggin has a couple of interesting threads happening on UBI and JG (Jobs Guarantee). I fear we will have to pry the economy from the cold dead hands of the neolibs first.

  297. Oh how the great Jorge Luis Borges would be proud of you Mr J, bravo.

    You truly have a wicked talent in the genre of magical realism. The way you portray fantastical events in an otherwise realistic tone. How you bring fables, folk tales, and myths into contemporary social relevance. The fantasy traits you give to characters, such as levitation, telepathy, and telekinesis, with which you grasp modern political realities and render them in phantasmagorical prose, just brilliant mate.
    As the great master said himself:
    Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.

    PS. How is the 2 inch outlet pipe coping on your jerry built septic?

  298. Had a lengthy phone call today with a mate with connection into finance and investment circles where they talk at the scale of phone book numbers. There was talk about hundreds of thousands being buried and geolocation tagged by individuals, as no one trust the banks. I must say that recently recently I have heard an interview of the then economic advisor to the Rudd kitchen cabinet during the GFC where he mention that no one really knows how close it came for the banks to go belly up and he went into details. The situation we are in now is not comparable with the GFC, but the magnitude of the problem appears to be significantly bigger.

    There is the slight worry about the draft legislation to limit cash payments to <$10k and you can only bury so much cash. So I asked where do they put their wealth? Apparently they spend it , like on more boutique real estate and cars, what ever they fancy. Apres moi la deluge. I also know of another dude who buried pallet load of mainly silver and some gold, even bought an excavator to do the deed. He is also into crypto currency to which the afore mentioned punters wrinkle their noses. It's a veritable wealth zoo out there.

    Then we have an overheated real-estate market with record houshold debt, mortgaged and negative geared to the hilt. Add to that mix Morrison's "almost 6m who'll need a life line" limited to six months only. There is talks about bailing out airlines and other ailing entities too big to fail. Major industries like tourism, the arts, retail etc. for who knows how long. Yet oil prices are on a record low with only a few cents dropped at the bowser, up this way anyway. It is late and my head is starting to spin, where is Mr J's fabled 'voluntary capitalism' when you need it.

    Mr A, I believe the yellow hord is still in possession of some rather hefty repatriation IOUs in lieu of the opium war and that other war which featured that horrible incident in Nanking.

  299. horde, sir.

    (And thousands of Japanese were inconvenienced by the first atomic war. But many individuals who would definitely have “had standing” in a court, were, sadly, vaporised or remained but a shadow of their previous selves.)

    Cheerio and good luck

    Mr A

    Acting Chair, Gippsland Pedantry Association

    Formerly Honourary Secretary to the Gippsland Pedants’ Appreciation Society

    Occasional Linker to Senior Officials such as Dr Fauci

  300. Would it be just – I dunno – awfully unkind, unfair and partisan, to take the Treasurer and PM out the back and spend (say) three hours reading out to them the public denunciations, bitter accusations etc that their Party and its Coalition Partner hurled at Mr Rudd and his Treasurer for their

    (so called) GFC rescue package

    Some of the reading might be done while impersonating Messrs Turnbull, Abbott, Hockey, et al.

    That would be cruel indeed.
    “Now is not the time to talk about hypocrisy”
    Perhaps the general public has already noticed the hypocrisy in any case?

    If the victims were to cry out that they “were only following Treasury advice”, they might be told politely that Mr Rudd had detailed discussions with Ken Henry just before he sprang his rescue plan on the nation.

    Or, we might be mature and pass over this instance of foolishness, and thank Ootz for mentioning that Australia’s big banks came close to bankruptcy – which some suspected at the time, because the Rudd Govt announced a Govt Guarantee for the big banks = the Four Pillars (“unprecedented!!” “Quelle horreur!!”) – and content ourselves with isolation and gardening projects…..

  301. Jumpy: “John, you addressed zero of my points.
    Why ?”
    Some times I get tired of your endless ideological drivel that dismisses everything that doesn’t fit with your strange view of the world.
    I think it is time that you did some thinking for yourself instead of demanding this and that from the likes of Zoot.
    The sort of UBI I am talking about simplifies the welfare system by making periodic payments to everyone that may depend on age but don’t depend on income or assets.
    Please go away and have a think about the potential advantages and disadvantages of such a system.
    A right winger like you might also like to speculate about the attractions of combining UBI and flat taxes to give a a much simpler, progressive combined tax/welfare system.
    I am going on strike and will no longer waste my time trying to do your thinking for you. (I am interested in new ideas, not ideological warfare.)

  302. Good point about petroleum fuel prices, Mr O.

    I looked up the fuel excise: on ULP and related fuels it was 43.2 cents per litre as at Feb 2020 (ITYOTV)*

    So if I’m paying more than, say, $1.35 or $1.40 per litre at the pump, when wholesale prices have halved, the phenomenon is not entirely due to Canberra taking a big tax from a (dwindling) base.


  303. ITYOTV
    is a neologism,
    or neo acronym denoting
    ‘In The Year Of The Virus’.

    I won’t be charging royalties.

    We all have to do our bit.
    I couldn’t be clearer about this.

  304. I thought the pump price should reflect the low oil prices that dropped to the mid &20’s. But the Aust dollar dropped against the $US so I think that might have been a factor holding pump prices up. But I doubt that is the only reason.

  305. Profound apologies Mr A for the misunderstanding. I was merely referring to the alleged debt to the world by Mr Xi. My comment was meant to be in support of your attempt to debunk the fallacy of blaming games played by our learned friend Mr J.

    Let’s deconstruct the rhetoric of the government respond or approach to the economic situation. ”Hibernating’ and more so putting the economy into an ‘induced coma’ has interesting connotations. In my view simple view putting a capitalistic economy out of action and the rebooting and expecting it to bounce back without growth is like knocking a junky out and expecting him to live to live happy there after without gear when he wakes up. I can’t see a “bounce back” like after the GFC without structural changes to the economy. Perhaps a bounce sideways but hopefully a bounce forward. What would happen if we replaced the reactionary ‘hibernation’ with the proactive ‘innovation’? Surely now would be the time to ditch the knuckle dragging barnacles in the coalition and adopt a new slogan on the long march of economic survival? Anyone with an inkling of marketing nouse would understand that.

  306. I forgot to add, if ‘branding’ works to flog gizmos why not for rebooting an economy.

    JohnD you have my full support on both accounts.

    “” the phenomenon is not entirely due to Canberra taking a big tax from a (dwindling) base.

    Strange….”” ahh but for the invisible hand of “voluntary capitalism” in an economic crisis, when we are all urged to stick together. Perhaps we need a Manhattan project to vaporise tax havens.

  307. Ootz agrees with John that a UBI and flat tax are progressive.

    If that’s economic nouse then you’re both reading a different economics dictionary than anyone else.

    I’d have thought todays left would be elated about the affects so far. There have been so many freedoms taken away, hyper police powers, unprecedented socialist welfare spending, lower emissions and censorship is praised.

    All for just the slight shortening of the lives of about 20 80 year olds so far.

  308. Over at Quadrant Online they have a regular ‘economics and finance’ author.

    It’s quite long, but this is his description of how the ‘pause’ will work:

    Governments are giving vast amounts of money to businesses and individuals to try and make up for their loss of revenue and income. Is it a good policy? Yes, it is. Governments have shut economies down and, thus, there is no option. Otherwise, people would starve and businesses across the board would collapse. At the same time, the character of giving matters. Some is sensible; some wasteful.

    A formula being used in the US, and maybe elsewhere, seems by far the most sensible. Small and medium sized businesses are being given loans to cover their costs, including their wage costs, which will be forgiven if they keep all their employees on. Support to large businesses is also vital to ensure they do not collapse; and support to individuals thrown out of work. Much less sensible is giving extra money to those already being totally supported by government assistance.

    Even if you’re a misguided Keynesian you would realise that giving pensioners extra money will do little good, when they are all being hounded to stay at home and shops are mostly shuttered. Of course, they could splurge online on Chinese-made goods. Make Xi Jinping happy!

    Back to the main game. Governments can spend any amounts they like because they can create the ultimate form of money. Called base money, this is the only form of money that can be used to pay taxes. Notes and coin in your wallets and purses qualify, as do deposits of banks at central banks. Government spending creates this kind of money dollar for dollar.

    There are normal times and there are these times. In these times, the securities issued by governments to back their spending are bought up by their respective central banks. Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures and government debt held by central banks could be cancelled later on. In any event, we will not be left with an overhang of massive amounts of government debt left in private hands.

    What happens between governments and central banks is within the government paddock. It’s what happens outside that’s important. This time is different because there has been no need to make room for government spending by selling securities into the private sector. Governments have directly crushed private sector activity.

    Business shutdowns and interruptions to supply chains are causing shortages of particular goods. This will lead to some price rises as a result of black markets emerging and price gouging. There will be no general price inflation. And afterwards?

    Too much money chasing too few goods is the old textbook of inflation. It is applicable. But we have to remember that the money in the hands of individuals is in the form predominantly of bank deposits. We no longer live in the cash economies of revolutionary France or of the Weimar Republic.

    Bank deposits are predominantly created by bank lending. It is hardly likely that bank lending will upsurge in view of the risk-averse conditions that this crisis will have caused and the damage it will have done to bank balance sheets.

    He argues (contra PM Morrison and Treasury) that the pause should be very short indeed.

    Apologies to all of you who understand this economics stuff….

  309. “”All for just the slight shortening of the lives of about 20 80 year olds so far.””

    Go and lick some lift buttons at the Mackay Base then bugger off to the States and see how the free market health system will look after you, big mouth.

  310. The US health system is working far better than the Communist ones if you aren’t sucked in by their State media propaganda.

    Have a bit of a look around your twatter cesspit for Wuhan cremations overload.

    I won’t lower myself to derogatory, ootz like epithets at this point.
    Brian has an issue when I fight fire with fire.

  311. OK then I’ll keep it simple for you, lick the Mackay Base lift buttons and visit your parents, uncles and aunties. Off ya go big boy, since it is not such a big deal.

  312. I’d be willing to contract covid 19 and quarantine my self from all over 65s and folk with pre existing health conditions.

    As I said way, way up thread, those with pre existing health conditions or over 65 should quarantine with an over abundance of support from government and private organisations. Let it rip through the rest of us.

    Wouldn’t have killed as many as the coming depression will and the economy would hardly be touched.

    In hindsight, after this is done, we’ll go through the stats.
    If you survive it.
    I do understand your panicked lashing out, it’s still not a good thing.

  313. I can’t claim to be an expert on US health systems. However, I can offer a few reliable anecdotes from that health system.
    First, a fellow went in for a replacement heart pacemaker. It’s a routine procedure, you are home in the afternoon. This fellow was home and OK, but a few hours later was in great distress and returned to hospital, straight into intensive care. He was dehydrated, recovered and released the next day. Then came the bill for his overnight stay: $US68,000. Really.
    Another guy I knew was billed $US56,000 for two days about twenty years ago. Lastly a brilliant guy well known to my wife had to see a doc in the US. The consultation required giving blood, but the first needle-bearing person was unable to find the spot. An experienced person got it instantly. Three days later I was there again because the blood did not make it to the pathology in time and it went bad. A different needle person came at me and that one was at least 10 mm away from my sweet spot. After 5 shots he called the one-shot lady who once again got it right. Days later a doctor prescribed paracetamol for what turned out to be rheumatoid arthritis.
    So readers can judge for themselves how the US health system ranks against any other, at least on that very small but true sample. But I’ll back our system over the US for competency and affordability. China? I have no idea.

    Hopefully I did not bore anyone with my anecdotes.

    Here’s something from the Lowy Institute March volume.

  314. How do you know you haven’t got the virus already, have you been tested? How do I know I haven’t got it, since a large percentage of carriers are asymptomatic thus not knowing they have got it? So why should you and I not taking precautions, social distancing avoid large gatherings and as they say, act like we have got the virus in order to protect others including our elders? Why should authorities not put strikt measurements in place since many people do not abide to the appeal to the simple measures they were initially asked to abide in order to keep the numbers down and not exceed the limited capacity to care for the 20% of cases who need urgent medical intervention? Why is that so difficult to understand?

  315. I’d be willing to contract covid 19 and quarantine my self from all over 65s and folk with pre existing health conditions.

    It has killed people under 65 with no pre-existing conditions.

  316. “I’ll take my chances!”
    is an attitude with consequent behaviour that the majority of the rest of us don’t wish to tolerate.

    A bloke has had a few too many to drink.
    “Don’t drive home”, a couple of his friends urge him.
    “I’ll take my chances!” he slurs happily. “The cops won’t catch me.”

    So off he drives, erratically and at high speed, with zest. There’s joy abounding in those parts of his brain that are functioning…..

    What could possibly go wrong???!!!

    (This isn’t an April Fools Day joke.)

    The above anecdote has been recalled for testing..
    Ahem,….. it’s not accurate.
    Failed analogy. Hopeless!

    He was actually showing no signs of drunkenness; there was nothing to show his friends that he shouldn’t be driving; and off he sped, very contented and happy that he wasn’t a danger to himself or anyone else.

  317. The Federal Minister for Health, quoted in Nine newspapers:

    “Some people think that the laws and, even more importantly, the notion of socially responsible behaviour does not apply to them,” Mr Hunt said in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

    That’s succinct.

    • “I’ll take my chances!”

    It may surprise some, but living in a society has implications. If you get the virus, you may only be inconvenienced in a minor way, may be asymptomatic and become a spreader, or you may die. However, if identified and tested positive, someone will have to do contact tracing. I heard in Qld yesterday that that can mean 300 people. Don’t quote me, but along those lines.

    Qld Health is throwing everything they can behind contact tracing. They have transferred public servants in from other departments, and last I heard had a team of 500 on the job.

  318. Jumpy: “Ootz agrees with John that a UBI and flat tax are progressive.”
    Get your facts right. I said something like “a COMBINATION of a UBI and flat tax is progressive.” (A flat tax is neutral and has the advantage of being fairer than the current income tax in the sense that couples with the same average income over the years pay the same tax. A UBI is very progressive in the sense that the percentage of income coming from the UBI is higher for lower income earners.) Both have the advantage of being much much simpler and less expensive to administer than the alternatives. A UBI has the advantage of avoiding the disincentives to work that come from the clawback provisions of our existing unemployment systems.

  319. I’m here, organising stuff necessary to get food and pharma supplied, and sourcing a gel I use in my eyes 3 times a day. Available only through Qld’s only online optometrist (Google Eyesat of Eyes at Narangba). They accepted my order and my money, but I have no idea when the stuff will arrive.

    Optometrists and dentists have largely packed it in. My cataract ops simply won’t happen.

    Otherwise, complicated family stuff, and a cousin has died (basically old age, definitely not the virus).

  320. Strategy, lock up the oldies and let it rip to save the economy:

      Wouldn’t have killed as many as the coming depression will and the economy would hardly be touched.

        This strategy will still infect enough people to overwhelm our health services and kill off some of our best medical people. Oldies won’t be entirely safe.

        Short sharp shock – 4-6 weeks seems top be best foir health and the economy. Tony Daley in The case for Endgame C: stop almost everything, restart when coronavirus is gone lays out the options pretty well.

        To date Morrison and Murphy have not done us the courtesy of stating their endgame.

  321. Depressions don’t kill people.
    It’s love of money that kills people. There is always enough to go around but some people resent sharing with their fellow humans.

  322. OK, I’ve read through the comments thread, apart from a couple of links. Ootz I agree with what you said in this comment. The world is going to change.

    I think the economies most affected may be the US, India, probably Brazil. Canada seems to be losing the battle so far. EU countries will pay a heavy price, but quite a few seem to be flattening the curve. But Shengen is an ongoing problem until we get a vaccine.

    Some industries eg, boat cruises, will disappear, and in some cases no bad thing, but the world will be different.

    A bit of sundry information.

    1. I heard that in Italy when the north went bad a million people shot through to be somewhere else, taking thew virus with them.

    The same thing happened in New York.

    2. New Orleans mardi gras went ahead as though there was not a problem. In Florida the authorities clapped a pastor in jail because he thought he could run services as normal.

    3. I Qld the police interrupted 600 noisy parties during the weekend before last. Last weekend that became 900 parties. The fine is now $1344 (should be higher) and will be enforced.

    4. Alcohol sales have gone up 34% (may have been 35%, but thereabouts).

    5. My wife’s thoracic lung specialist said people were faking symptoms so that they could be admitted to hospital. Human behaviour is hard to figure at times.

    6. Countries doing well include China, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. Here Tasmania, WA and SA have a good chance, Qld also with a bit of luck. NSW and Vic with open borders between each other are in a challenging state, but overall the daily increase has fallen in Oz from mid-20% to mid single figures.

    7. Problems of providing air travel highlighted by 6 Qantas baggage handlers testing negative positive. Because contacts need to isolate Qantas had to turn a plane around in mid-air and head back to Sydney, where they are putting up the passengers in a hotel. Qantas could not handle landing the plane.

    The banks are stronger now because David Murray inquiry made them improve capitalisation. In the last 5 years this has put a damper on dividends.

    My reading is that the banks will survive, probably without the govt putting in any money, but there will be zero dividends for some time.

    Dividends generally (and franking credits) will be hard to come by, and the depleted cash injection into the economy will be material. It will affect super also, with no asset classes (please say I’m wrong!) improving. The whole thing is considerably worse than the GFC.

    But capitalism is not going away. the balance and mix may change, but those worrying that socialism will take over worry needlessly. More likely autocracy, as in Hungary, now being ruled by decree.

    Cheers for now.

  323. In China,
    quarantine grows out of the barrel of a gun.

    In Australia we’re a bit more relaxed.

    Brian, somewhere up this thread of doom, you opined that several nations which seemed to be doing relatively well (Taiwan, etc) had also quite recently had to deal with SARS.

    I reckon that could be an important factor.

    A bloke who wrote a history of epidemics and pandemics was interviewed by (the gushing and not always listening) Geraldine Doogue – likely last Saturday 28th(?)

    He cited a European city which had a very high death rate in an outbreak of the 1890s; then about 20 years later, with (what we would now regard as standard) better hygiene, better medical services, better compliance with health warnings, etc they got off much more lightly.

    Same nation, same city. Folk memory of a catastrophe enough to spur most people to show “an abundance of caution”?

    Medical facilities, training, methods vastly improved?

    BTW: one of the factors, IMO, which lends weight to Dr Fauci’s observation that the fatality outcome is never “worst case scenario”, is that we humans {foolish and reckless as we are} eventually sit up and take note of a challenge and change our behaviour which lowers the transmission rate enormously.

    zoot’s pathogens were correct: the humans can outwit them.

  324. Ootz

    Your advice at 10.05pm last night
    “Act as if you’ve got it…” is good.

    It sounds like what Kiwis were told more than a week ago, when PM Ardern announced strict “stay at home” rules.

    Act as if you’ve got it.

    Perhaps PM Ardern said precisely that.

    There’s only one footnote to add.
    Act as if you’ve got it, if you’re the kind of person who wants to avoid passing it on to family members, friends or strangers. …..

    {Some humans are too reckless for OUR own good.}

  325. Coronavirus infection rates begin to fall, but ‘flattening the curve’ may mean WA is locked down even longer.
    “Despite the low number of new cases, a New Zealand-style elimination approach towards the virus is not on the table for WA.

    Such an approach could see WA eradicate the virus locally but then be forced to keep the state’s borders locked down until the nation rode out the pandemic.

    “Ultimately Western Australia cannot become an island in a global community which has COVID-19,” Mr Cook said.
    A vaccine is considered too distant in the future and the approach could see Western Australia forced to maintain “draconian” public health measures for much longer than the rest of the nation.”
    One way or the other “herd immunity” needs to be established before an area can go back to normal. This is true even if strict controls reduce cases to zero without establishing herd immunity. (My understanding is that herd immunity has been established when the number of people infected per infected person drops below one.)
    There are a number of strategies that could be considered:
    1. Let her rip and do nothing to reduce the number of new cases and depend on the percentage of people who have had the disease rising to the point where herd immunity is achieved. (Assumes people can’t catch the virus twice.) All the projections say this strategy will result in an overload of medical facilities in the short term and a lot of people will die during this overload. (This approach was Boris Johnson’s first strategy but he changed it quickly.)
    2. Keep the number of cases within the capacity of the medical system until there are enough people in the community who have had the virus to provide herd immunity.
    3. Keep the the number of cases within medical capacity until a vaccine is available that can be used to achieve herd immunity.
    3. Ignore herd immunity and go really hard to eliminate the virus. Problem here that the number of people ending up infected may be too low to provide herd immunity and the harsh rules need to be maintained due to the risk of an infection getting in from outside.

  326. Brilliant !!
    Ootz – “ Hey everyone, act as if you’re already infected “

    Everyone – “ What, everyone ? “

    Ootz – “ Yes “

    Everyone- “ Wait, one last time, everyone act as though everyone already has it ? “

    Ootz “ [ realises his stupidity, goes on flowery, nasty rant or 3. Backed up by others ]”

  327. Hi John

    You might not willingly watch ABC-TV “Insiders” on a Sunday morning. (My method involves gardening for an hour listening to the audio on News Radio, while it’s recording on telly. Then can watch later.)

    Anyway, Matthias Cormann was interviewed last Sunday 29th.

    He said something like this, “OK, so whud do we do, if we get the new cases down to near zero in ze next few weeks?? Do we relax all the restrictions on people and businesses, zen watch while ze numbers rise up again?? Heh? It’s a problem.”

    He’s correct. So are you. If we haven’t reached ‘herd immunity’ and have no vaccine….. then the few lurking, remaining cases have the potential to start a (roughly exponentially-increasing) upsurge all over again.

    Where some of us – understandably – are focussing on the latest details of the latest govt payments, or restrictions, there is also a steady drum beat in the PM’s news conferences.

    It’s been going for at least a week now.

    Six months
    Six months
    Six months
    Six months
    Six months

    Perhaps that means the public health advisers have estimated that Australia will take 6 months (a number being “tossed around”) to reach herd immunity???

    Not zero cases, or zero deaths mind, just general immunity….

    Your sincerely
    The Tosser

    (The teacher speaks)

    OK, kids.
    Today you’ll do a role playing thing.
    Jumble, you can be first. Come up to the front, please.

    We’ll be going out to the playground soon.
    I want you all to chat in small groups or pairs, or walk slowly by yourself, or stand by yourself. NO running! NO chasing!!

    While you’re doing that, Jumble will walk around. But he will keep at least TWO metres away from everybody. He will keep saying out loud, “Unclean!”

    Every 20 seconds or so, Jumble.
    No, I won’t be timing it.

    The idea is that Jumble is very infectious, but none of you are infected. So he has to keep his distance, to stop you getting infected. OK?

    Yes, Jane, the opposite of “Chasey”.
    Yes, Margaret, you won’t be catching his “boy germs”!!
    No, Alphonse, I said no running.
    No, he has to keep away from you.
    Maria, you don’t have to run away from Jumble. I said, no running!!
    Yes, Farley, it does sound a bit like the Black Death. See me after class.

    All right? Are we ready?? Jumble, you can leave that “Unclean!” announcing until we’re all outside. No running!!

    Remember, Jumble: you are trying NOT to infect anybody.


    Teacher surmises how tricky this might be if she had to do it by ‘online learning’.

  329. Wasn’t relevant or funny the first time zoot.

    Try to be at least a little of each from time to time.

  330. Jumpy, there are three people in this household. Each one of us has to go outside the house and do shit, like I did today to buy fuel, and check my tyres.

    Each of us has to consider that all three of us may be infected and asymptomatic at any given time. Which is why we’ve spent a good deal of time talking about how we can avoid passing on the virus or catching it. That its the only rational way to go.

  331. John, there is a pathway to limit the virus short of herd immunity, but I only have back of the envelope maths, so I can only point to where I think it is.

    First herd immunity.

    Raina McIntyre said it cuts in when 61% have been infected. Actually the maths is quite simple. Given a reproduction rate of 2.5, which is what I think they are using, 1 is 40% of 2.5.

    So when the virus is doing it’s leap to spread itself, when 60% have immunity it will fail on those, so the virus will only replicate its existing numbers. As herd immunity goes above 60% the virus reproduction rate goes below 1, which means that active cases will diminish.

    Second step.

    We know that the virus was quadrupling in a week when the daily increase was 23%. Hunt was skiting that it is now in single digits, but the question is, how low does it need to go to make active cases go down? The modellers must know, so why don’t they tell us?

    I did some maths with my calculator, just using multiply and divide and %.

    If the course of infection is say an average 2 weeks, then if you take a calculator, enter 1 and multiply by 1.05 fourteen times you will get 2 (I only tried it once).

    What I conclude is that the daily increase has to be something below 5%. Then only if the disease/infection cycle is 14 days, and I suspect it is actually longer.

    So I think we need to get daily increases very low before we can look to contain the thing, lower than 5%.

    However, upthread I linked to Catharine Hanrahan’s The data that proves we can beat virus by doing absolutely nothing which shows that with 90% social distancing compliance we can get new cases in Oz down to about 10.

    But remember, being suspicious I counted the dots, and it only works if the reproduction rate is 2.68, which is not what the text says.

    I think the actual reproduction rate is going to be on the high side, because there is little population-wide testing, so the asymptomatic carriers are not fully there.

    Someone with better access to data and mathematical knowledge could easily tell us what we should be aiming for. I wish they would rather than patronising us.

    Prof John Kelly today said that modelling is only modelling and you also have to take into account what you know about epidemiology.

    That’s a politicians answer when he doesn’t want to have a conversation about what they really think they are doing.

  332. BTW, I said upstream that the Adelaide baggage handlers tested negative when I should have said positive. No-one corrected me!

    Now it’s over 100 co-workers who have to isolate. They said that anyone who had been in the airport and the carpark in the last 2 weeks could be infected.

    Elsewhere, we should worry that there is an actual shortage of truck drivers before any get sick.

  333. Brian

    Congratulations on using your calculator to multiply 1.05 by itself fourteen times to get 2.

    Precisely correct. Good work!

    This illustrates the Rule of Seventy that I mentioned way back up this thread.

    Here I go again.
    [Anyone who doesn’t wish to be lectured to, look away now.]

    Multiplying by 1.05 has the effect of causing an increase of exactly 5%, because 5% is
    5/100 = 0.05.

    (Likewise multiplying by 1.03 would cause an increase of 3%, or multiplying by 1.12 would give an increase of 12%.)

    Rule of Seventy says this:
    If P is the percentage increase,
    And D is the doubling time,
    P times D is 70.

    In your experiment, P = 5, D = 14
    and indeed 5 times 14 does equal 70.

    We could write the Rule as D = 70/P
    It means the same.
    In your example, 14 = 70 /5.

    Using the Rule is quicker than raising 1.05 to the power 14 (fancy way of saying carry out the multiplication more than a dozen times). Mathematicians are lazy; anything to save effort. They resemble humans in that regard.

    The “Rule of Seventy” is approximate.
    It’s a “rule of thumb”, but useful because it avoids calculating logarithms ( remember those??).

    I’ll finish with a list of values of P;D
    I hope it has no typos.
    In the maths textbooks, they used to write: “this is left as an exercise to the reader”, but that seems inapt because by now there are no readers!

    2; 35
    3; 23 approx
    4; 18 approx
    5; 14 (henceforth the Bahnisch Result)
    6; 12 approx
    7; 10 (I hope everyone got that right)
    10; 7 (ditto this example)
    15; 4.7 approx
    20; 3.5 approx
    25; 1.8 approx

    Actually, the “Rule” becomes less and less accurate as P increases so let’s leave it there.

    The Tosser

  334. Brian excellent analysis, now we are on the same page. My rough calculations were 60-80% for herd immunity and publicly I alert (not alarm) that it is very likely that half of us will probably end up with the virus, to keep it simple. Further, to give people some sort of a risk understanding, I use the familiar bell curve, with no symptoms on the left and death on the right. At the peak you have the experience of a bad cold. If you are young, healthy and immunologically a good match then the fat tail is to the left, alternatively it will be at the right for older, coomorbid and immunologically compromised population, and importantly when the health system can’t cope. Hence the importance of flattening the curve. It is a crude illustration but it helps people to understand and more importantly take preparations. Here at ‘the Garden of Heavenly Peace’ formerly known as ‘The Doomstead’ we are preparing a protocol for isolating ourselves or individually for the event of being positive. BTW it is very difficult to trust positive numbers since the testing is not adequate in terms of numbers and random distribution. We need more transparency from our leader ship as many experts have clearly stated in my links above!

  335. Yo Tosser, now I feel more confident with my calculations when I see we are on the same page too. I am interested on your assessment of my bell curve ‘model’.

    Brian it is hard to focus and pick your mistakes when you get constantly distracted by the captivating prose from our magical realistic poet. I was particularly riveted by his short story which featured yours truly as the caretaker of The Garden of Heavenly Peace. It is veryly a feat in league with the great Italo Calvino and reminded me very much of his ‘If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler’. The ingenious framing of the story by reiterating it self, brilliant.

  336. Ootz if you use a different nym the comment will linger in moderation until I release it. I don’t access the site by phone, so that could be all day and most of the night.

    BTW I haven’t changed my views much. How I communicated them may not have been consistent though.

    Ambi, second time in a week I forgot about the Rule of 70, or Rule of 72. I used to use it all the time.

    Infection period on a quick google:

    Average 5 days from infection to symptoms.

    2 weeks for mild infection.

    3-6 weeks for severe infection.

    So daily percentage increase needs to be very low to get us in a position where restrictions can be eased.

    I think the death rates are still around 6% or 1/16th for 70-80 yr olds, or 16% or around 1/6th for 80-90 year olds. On average, and the quality of the health system matters.

    We need to remember that most 80 year olds have some ongoing health problem(s). Obviously problems that affect the respiratory tract/lungs matter more. Also immune system matters a lot, and that can change a lot, eg through exhaustion and tiredness, an important consideration for medical staff under pressure.

    My main point is that if you are older, on average, it is not an automatic death sentence, but you shouldn’t give the sucker a chance if you can avoid it. Someone has to make up the death stats, and because even young fit people can die there is no reason for complacency.

  337. Thanks Brian, perhaps now would be the time to shift the focus from from initial stage of preparation to coping and longterm consequences. There was a cursive outline of the monetary consequences to the “”government spending announcements so far add up to over $214 billion, or 11 percent, of Australia’s GDP (not including underwritten private debt)”” in the AFR.

    The article outlines 3 possible approaches to deal with this ‘debt’ ruling out of hand modern monetary economical views. Essentially options are increased taxes, inflation and only servicing debt. Each of them have advantages and risks which need to be considered short, mid and long term. There is a narrow path in navigating repaying debt and nursing a ‘hibernating’ economy back to live without falling into the valleys of hyper inflation on one side and mass poverty on the other. Be prepared for a very long walk to recovery and have a well stocked rescue pack and first aid kit would be my take on this.

    Signed Caretaker at The Garden of Heavenly Peace

  338. CHP: Business people tend to forget that governments have the option of “printing money”. Can be disastrous if taken too far (Think Weimar Republic and Zambia) but there is certainly scope for our government to do quite a bit of this before this becomes a problem.

  339. Dear Caretaker

    May Peace continue to reign at the Peacestead (you may call it the Doomstead, Minister. I couldn’t possibly comment.)

    I agree entirely that experience with this infection is that there is a very wide range of outcomes for those who catch it.

    Mild at one end to very serious (including passing away to eternity) at the other.

    Some describe it as “like having pneumonia”. Today I heard a recovered bloke saying it reminded him of having malaria. (Most of us don’t have that point if comparison, thank H**vens).

    It could be a bell curve.
    It might have a slightly different shape – but no matter. The bell curve is a neat and fairly widely understood image.

    BTW, also recovery times vary quite a bit. I heard of a person who tested positive for three weeks. So “14 days” is simply (merely?) a mean figure.

    Brian: thanks ’tweren’t nuthin’
    I agree with you: don’t even give this sucker a chance!!

    (Easier to do for retirees or the semi-retired of course. But each of us can take our luck where we can find it!!)

    Good Luck everybody


  340. * Pedant Corner *

    Yes Brian.
    Rule of 72 or Rule of 70.

    It matters little, because
    I) it’s only a tough rule of thumb
    II) therefore estimates are indicative rather than precise.

    More important than those is this: the rate of increase is highly unlikely to remain steady.

    5% every day means doubling in 14 days.

    Yes, but just about the only rate we know of that can remain constant for a relatively long term is bank interest.

    Birth rates, other growth rates, CPI figures, wage increases, practically anything in biology or economics…… rates vary. Some rates vary wildly, some less so.

    In a pertinent example, consider the day-to-day growth rates in confirmed COVID19 cases in Victoria . The figures I’ve seen have ranged from about 25% down to about 8%, over a period of say ten days. That’s by no means steady (constant).

  341. PS …. Rule of 72 is handy because 72 gas more whole number divisors than 70.

    P; D

    2; 36
    3; 24
    4; 18
    6; 12
    8; 9
    9; 8
    12; 6
    18; 4

    And so forth…..
    (not “go forth”)

  342. Ambi,

    re your 4:29 link on the April Fool, did you see that Fox News US is now getting concerned over their legal liability for all of the mis and false information they have been spouting in support of Trump’s Covid 19 BS campaign, even now muting his voice during his corona virus press updates and over dubbing him with commentary.

    Lets hope some one puts together a decent class action and sues them for a trillion dollars (trillion being the new billion).

  343. New Zealand model, allegedly based on Australian model is out. And the Hardcore denialists are having the usual conniptions. Funny don’t they do budgets at home business, forecasting with all the variables? Why is there never as much as a beep when THEIR gov releases a budget?

    Why does the NZ government manages to be transparent? Why are we lumbered with this failed marketing dude who relies on his connections to the heaven, all the while producing paternalistic and highly confusing messaging?

    Free childcare! someone Pls confirm, have we gone full communist yet?

  344. No Ootz
    Not yet
    Free childcare only for essential workers
    Every worker who has a job is an essential worker
    You work it out

    We have always been at war with the coronavirus
    We are a staunch ally of the USA
    We are a strong trading partner of the PRC
    We believe in a rules based international order
    Our budget is in the black

    Now is not the time to be talking about the relationship between climate and droughts.
    Now is not the time for anything very much, really.
    We are opposed to Communism.
    We are Keynesians.
    Wash Your Hands!!

  345. Just as a point of reference, recently there are about 160,000 registered deaths in Australia annually.
    About 65% of those are +75 years old.

  346. Yes, that’s a statistic to keep in the back of our minds. Thank you Mr J.

    The elderly have always been regarded as ‘vulnerable’ to illness, disease, neglect and death. Lucky those with good health; or some combination of healthy partner, supportive nearby family, or a network of able-bodied friends or charities.

    BTW there seems to be quite a variety of definitions of ‘elderly’.
    65+ ?
    70+ ?
    80+ ?
    Aged Pensioners?
    The old and infirm? The old and seriously ill?

    Beats me.

    The Tosser

  347. Just as a point of reference, recently there are about 160,000 registered deaths in Australia annually.

    Don’t you mean lives ending too soon?

  348. Don’t you mean lives ending too soon?

    No, they are Government stats.
    It doesn’t include prenatal lives.

  349. Are we finally seeing the whole Jumpy here??

    Anti abortionist to maximise the number of exploitables for those savvy Libertarian Christadelphian Maxi-Capitalists to prey upon to deliver the Billionaire Dream and their ultimate deserved place beside an arisen Christ ruling over humanity for a thousand years? Is that how it all comes together? Jumpy?

  350. Brian has asked Jumpy to refrain from pursuing this particular obsession of his on this forum.

  351. We haven’t reached a thousand comments yet…. but on the old blog LP there was an infamous thread where a 9/11 conspiracy-sniffer kept commenters going for weeks.

    Someone called it “the thread of doom”. In many ways tedious, but the full conspiracist was on view; relatively immune to counter-argument, relating specious “conclusions” to dodgy “facts”.

    *** $$$ *** ◇◇◇ ♧♧♧ ●●●

    But this here, this is a real thread of doom !!

  352. Ambi: “BTW there seems to be quite a variety of definitions of ‘elderly’.”
    As part of my ambition to be for ever young my definition of “old” has been for years “10 years older than I am.” Problem solved.
    Feel free to use a definition similar to that so that you can remain a forever young high dray rider assuming you can still find a dray.

  353. Aaah the thread of doom, the halcyon days of LP.

    Jumpies comments getting shriller each time and now he pulled the offending abortion trick to escalate the stakes while projecting his fear on anyone else. But of course these are testing times. RUOK jumpy, have you got mates you can talk to?

    Bilb I am really interested in your perspective, how is this effecting manufacturing, what medium to long term consequences can you see?

  354. Sorry jumpy I only just saw your last two comments now. No offence, but I am genuinely concerned about your well being. Why dont you give it a break, go fishing or something. But talk to someone you can trust, which is hard sometimes for blokes, I should know. Playing the tough guy all the time can catch one out on our vulnerabilities and it genuinely hurts. Take care mate.

  355. Ambi, done. I put the comments in trash rather than spam, so that the software should not recognise either of you as a spammer.

    I’m working on a new Covid post, and hope to finish tonight or early tomorrow.

    Have to go out to work now. Don’t worry, everyone is keeping 2 metres away from me, and no cash exchanged.

    Cheers, and take care.

  356. Thanks Bria

    John, your definition of “elderly” should be adopted more widely.
    Your mentions of bushwalking sound to me like the words of a fit young bloke.

    Over here in Vic, the Premier says Stage 4 reztr iuctions may e coming soon. Crikey! Only just getting used to jolly old Stage 3.

    A myriad of notifications of cancellations many quite distressing. Croquet tournaments, polo matches slide nights Probus lectures, whist drives, the annual statewide charades championship, Port Victoria Philately Weekend, penpals get-togethers, doctors and nurses drinks evenings, Old Boys cocktail party, Balls, .. it’s simply too much.


  357. Hi Ootz,

    The situation here is mixed. I don’t visit many other businesses so cannot say what the whole picture is, but for the business that I am involved with the sales staff are working from home but the warehouse is operating as normal other than personal spacing and a lot of hand washing. I was told this morning that business is down to half normal so there is a huge effort to develop sales in non traditional areas.

    Generally though a good indication is from the amount of traffic on the road which would be about a third of normal. However the farmers are all working as normal, the wind turbines are all generating power when the wind blows (almost continuously), The port is still busy, (we just had a visit from this enormous ship ( )
    , many people are working from home, I haven’t yet not been able to contact any company (ie they are all operational) .

    Netherlands does have a toll though with 14,000 cases and a death rate at around 9% (seems to be the Europe wide death rate which might be factored by the aged population).

    Possibly one of the most affected industries might be the horticulture industry. I work on the edge of an area of 10,000 hectares of green houses supplying the largest flower trading floor in the world. Their problem might be staffing, as many workers travel in from Poland to work there (look up GTV Busses) so there might be a spacing issue (just guessing). I’ll add more when I think of it.

  358. Thanks for the insights Bilb.

    Pretty sure sure flower shops were declared non essentials here and they had to discarded their wares. However seedlings and vegie gardening stuff are the new toilet paper here. In Switzerland the Bunnings type places had to cordon off garden center and all others had to close. Semitrailer size quantities of seedlings everywhere nation wide rot away, while the Swiss are mad veggie and flower gardeners. Not sure why they do stop that, certainly does not help moral.

    Here the Avocado picking season is on and there is issues, that many of the backpacker farm workers went back home. I know of one smaller farm where the Social distance and decontamination procedures are slack and some workers were not happy and moved on. The large corporate growers tend to be better. So there is a shortage of pickers and locals now fill in. My neighbour, a plumber and shed builder had to stand down staff. Further towards Cairns, tourist destination, Kuranda the village in the rainforest is a ghost town with the wallabies and scrub turkey moving in. A lot of seafood gets air frighted from Cairns and for a while there were no passenger flights to carry cargo. Suddenly local seafood got very cheap, but I think that is fixed now.

    As you said there is a need to explore and develop alternatives. That is why I suggest that the governments branding of the largest economic disruption as hibernation is reactionary and not conducive to promote growth. Industry to survive has to be more proactive and innovate to survive.

  359. John I saw that Tingle article. It was something I (and many people I suppose) are wondering.
    The crisis management tactics have impacted hugely and suddenly across most facets of daily life, business, government, and society as a whole. The common theme is separation, actually separation from the norm, and that has had social and economic consequences, many of which will take time to resolve.
    I think the reflexive hope is that all things will return to “normal” like they seemed to be in say, October 2019. Looking at the gross disruption, I’m thinking along the lines of Tingle, that things will not altogether return to the previous state, that times have changed and that new (or even old) philosophies need to be considered. My forebears suffered wars, Spanish ‘flu, the Depression and serious shortages even well after the end of WW2. Their norms were fractured multiple times but they got by. I think that/those generation would probably have some advice for us.
    I’d like to see a new emphasis on local production, a redistribution of income, a shift away from the hidden power base of government and direction that is in the national interest rather than special interest groups. The current government responses to the crisis is the focus that is probably best right now. But it is totally barren of any social revision in the post-crisis era.
    Of course we would need a person brave enough to articulate such change and a voting population sufficiently savvy to want the present model overhauled. I would expect that there would be huge resistance from the incumbent power brokers and the significant “haves” out there, the 1% group. But IMHO that group is on borrowed time because the wealth distribution is so skewed that ultimately there will be a mass upheaval. I mention that because I think it is a “behind the scenes” driver for change that politicians don’t seem to be addressing publicly, if at all. Yet here I see an opportunity to see a deep social revision without a revolution.

    After the physical spread of the virus in contained and the threat is greatly diminished, re-buolding all of those “changes”

  360. Sorry Ootz,
    just can’t resist.

    As if it’s not bad enough for fish and prawns etc to be plucked from their natural habitat, those horrible humans then

    air fright;

    them from Cairns!!

    Stop torturing the catch.


    Too right, a lot of things will have to change.

    Mr A

    Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Marine Delicacies

    PS interesting that seafood supplies and exports were (in a way) generallt “hitching a lift” on passenger planes.

    PPS the economy is more complicated and intertwined than some of us could have imagined….

  361. Ambi, I think I’ve fixed the italics. New post now up, a bit rough around the edges.

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