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Australian and UK Covid Responses

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@MARYROSE02 I've moved from the other thread as requested by moderator.

1 hour ago, MARYROSE02 said:

I wonder if that is the whole purpose? To scare us all to keep us all under control? 

Why have both colds and "normal" flu all but disappeared? I've not had a cold for a calendar year for the first time I can remember.

 

1 hour ago, llessur said:

To what end? Why? By whom?

We've had pandemics before which resulted in similar social distancing, border closures and quarantining measures - e.g. the Spanish Flu back in the early 1900s. Why this time round does there need to be a conspiracy afoot? What are the elite all doing in the world's empty city centres whilst the proles are all languishing at home watching Netflix?

Because of social distancing and increased hand/cough/sneeze hygiene.

 

10 minutes ago, MARYROSE02 said:

It seems that some of the elite are bunkering down somewhere warm and/or in homes which are not "boxes", devoid of gardens. Why did the UK not follow the Australian/NZ model? Was it incompetence? Was it deliberate?  Why is conquering Covid more important than any other consideration? Treatments for things like cancer postponed. Long term mental illness from the stress of being confined in "prisons?" The future of the economy. Who's to know if we won't come out of it worse? 

Actually, the Aussie model is not universally good. The Melbourne stuff up extended to the whole country would be as bad as anywhere.

I'm not a Covid conspiracy believer by the way, just querying some of the "facts." Regarding colds and flu why don't we quarantine people when they get those illnesses, especially flu? Is it because the death rate is regarded as acceptable? Before Covid, people who stayed at home with colds were often regarded as malingerers and "Soldier on" was the mantra.

 

But being locked down in a mansion is still not ideal. I'm still unsure as to any benefit to deliberately slowing the global economy and overwhelming the health systems just to keep people locked up at home. What was the problem with people circulating in the first place? I saw no imminent revolutions brewing from the fact that people were allowed to be socially mobile.

The UK didn't follow any model. It absolutely stuffed up its COVID-19 response from the get go - with the initial downplaying of the severity of the disease, then Johnson's 'do nothing' plan for herd immunity,  ignoring expert health advice and delaying the first lockdown, not ring-fencing or providing PPE to care homes, encouraging people to 'eat out to help out' at the first hint of reduced case numbers and the ongoing lack of border checks or controls. People have been flying in and out of the country willy nilly for most of this time - some of my UK friends have even taken summer holidays to Europe. They've only just started a hotel quarantine scheme now months too late. It sounds like an absolute farce over there compared to the Australian system.

The Aussie model has been first class in comparison. Health advice was quickly sought and heeded by the government, borders were closed, a quarantine system was put into place and we have effectively eliminated the disease because of it. We're all learning in this situation so some mistakes are unavoidable - the Victorian situation for example which was the first real escape of the disease from the hotel quarantine system. Yes it was a disaster at the time but it was resolved through tough action and the whole country learned from it - quarantine, testing and contact tracing systems were improved and continue to be improved after every breach. Now leaks from hotel quarantine are mopped up efficiently with minimal impact to the community and economy.

We don't quarantine people with colds because the death rate from the common cold is negligible. The fatality rate for flu changes year to year but is often estimated at around 0.1% by the WHO. We also have effective and proven treatments for flu such as Tamiflu. The COVID-19 fatality in European countries is around 2.5-3.0% i.e. 25-30 times higher than the flu and we have no fully proven drug treatments for it. In peak flu season our hospitals can be stretched but are not overwhelmed. Letting COVID-19 go unchecked would swamp our healthcare systems leading to the horrendous type of situation seen in Italy last year. It would be a disaster. We would all personally know people who died an early and painful death.

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309 visa granted and moved to Adelaide from Brighton UK in 2012. 100 visa and PR granted 2013. Became a citizen on Australia Day 2017. 

 

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6 hours ago, llessur said:

@MARYROSE02 I've moved from the other thread as requested by moderator.

 

 

 

But being locked down in a mansion is still not ideal. I'm still unsure as to any benefit to deliberately slowing the global economy and overwhelming the health systems just to keep people locked up at home. What was the problem with people circulating in the first place? I saw no imminent revolutions brewing from the fact that people were allowed to be socially mobile.

The UK didn't follow any model. It absolutely stuffed up its COVID-19 response from the get go - with the initial downplaying of the severity of the disease, then Johnson's 'do nothing' plan for herd immunity,  ignoring expert health advice and delaying the first lockdown, not ring-fencing or providing PPE to care homes, encouraging people to 'eat out to help out' at the first hint of reduced case numbers and the ongoing lack of border checks or controls. People have been flying in and out of the country willy nilly for most of this time - some of my UK friends have even taken summer holidays to Europe. They've only just started a hotel quarantine scheme now months too late. It sounds like an absolute farce over there compared to the Australian system.

The Aussie model has been first class in comparison. Health advice was quickly sought and heeded by the government, borders were closed, a quarantine system was put into place and we have effectively eliminated the disease because of it. We're all learning in this situation so some mistakes are unavoidable - the Victorian situation for example which was the first real escape of the disease from the hotel quarantine system. Yes it was a disaster at the time but it was resolved through tough action and the whole country learned from it - quarantine, testing and contact tracing systems were improved and continue to be improved after every breach. Now leaks from hotel quarantine are mopped up efficiently with minimal impact to the community and economy.

We don't quarantine people with colds because the death rate from the common cold is negligible. The fatality rate for flu changes year to year but is often estimated at around 0.1% by the WHO. We also have effective and proven treatments for flu such as Tamiflu. The COVID-19 fatality in European countries is around 2.5-3.0% i.e. 25-30 times higher than the flu and we have no fully proven drug treatments for it. In peak flu season our hospitals can be stretched but are not overwhelmed. Letting COVID-19 go unchecked would swamp our healthcare systems leading to the horrendous type of situation seen in Italy last year. It would be a disaster. We would all personally know people who died an early and painful death.

No surprises there 

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20 hours ago, llessur said:

We don't quarantine people with colds because the death rate from the common cold is negligible. The fatality rate for flu changes year to year but is often estimated at around 0.1%... The COVID-19 fatality in European countries is around 2.5-3.0% i.e. 25-30 times higher than the flu.... In peak flu season our hospitals can be stretched but are not overwhelmed. Letting COVID-19 go unchecked would swamp our healthcare systems leading to the horrendous type of situation seen in Italy last year. It would be a disaster. 

This is the crux of it, but there's more to add.

People who get a cold or flu, and recover, suffer no long-term ill effects.  We're now discovering that people who catch Covid and recover, can have continuing health problems.  They get something like chronic fatigue syndrome, or they have lung damage.  If it got into their brain, they may have mental health problems. At the moment of course, these sufferers haven't been studied long enough to know whether they'll eventually recover, or if it's a long-term thing.  But experts think we'll eventually see cases of Parkinsons from it.

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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21 hours ago, llessur said:
  22 hours ago, MARYROSE02 said:

It seems that some of the elite are bunkering down somewhere warm and/or in homes which are not "boxes", devoid of gardens. Why did the UK not follow the Australian/NZ model? Was it incompetence? Was it deliberate?  Why is conquering Covid more important than any other consideration? Treatments for things like cancer postponed. Long term mental illness from the stress of being confined in "prisons?" The future of the economy. Who's to know if we won't come out of it worse? 

Actually, the Aussie model is not universally good. The Melbourne stuff up extended to the whole country would be as bad as anywhere.

I'm not a Covid conspiracy believer by the way, just querying some of the "facts." Regarding colds and flu why don't we quarantine people when they get those illnesses, especially flu? Is it because the death rate is regarded as acceptable? Before Covid, people who stayed at home with colds were often regarded as malingerers and "Soldier on" was the mantra.

The UK's approach to Covid was to basically do nothing, then spend the rest of the year scrambling to manage the consequences of that decision. Case numbers spiralled, hospitals filled up and cancer treatments etc were delayed/cancelled as you say. The reason conquering covid is more important than any other consideration, is because defeating it means normal life resumes and focus returns to all other matters. Australia is a good example of that - Covid is more or less eliminated as as such, cancer treatments are going ahead as normal, the economy is ticking along nicely and people are mostly living normal lives. Compare to the UK where dealing with covid wasn't prioritised and you see cancer treatement postponed, mental health issues from long-term lockdowns, economy struggling, hospitals overwhelmed etc. The evidence is increasingly clear that coutnries that went for elimination have better performing economies and those that did not (the UK) have noticed this and are starting to implement Australia style policies (albeit far too late). Australia has done very well, partly due to a rapid response and partly due to luck.

Separately, the reason colds and flu disappeared last year is beacuse of personal hygiene, mask wearing, social distancing, lcokdowns etc. Like Covid, other viral and bacterial infections were unable to spread through the population, so colds and flus 'disappeared'. It shows the approach worked. What we're seeing now, with normal life resuming, is an uptick in colds and flus as people intermingle again, offering the opportunity for colds and flus to spread. I would't be at all surprised if Flu deaths in the elderly rose significantly this year due to delays in vaccination, to prioritise covid vaccinations. I should note that those deaths would still pale in comparison to Covid running rampant as covid is NOT flu.

On the last point, the reason we dont quarantine people with colds and flus is because the mortality rate is so low. As brutal as it sounds, its not the deaths per se that led to lockdowns and closed borders, it was the potential for the health system to collapse under the weight of covid hospitalisations, which would have led to additinoal deaths unrelated to covid (one you mentioned, lack of cancer treatment but also other 'minor' health issues that hospitals deal with, but couldnt if overwhlemed with covid). So yes people die from flu, but not to the level that overwhelms the health system, rarely in healthy people (unlike covid) and as MArrisa says, flu doesnt have long-term health consequences.

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24 minutes ago, unzippy said:

Although I'm not clear why the vaccine hasn't been rolled out in Aus yet?

I think the fact that it's not urgent here due to lack of community transmission means the regulators and government have had the luxury of being able to review the roll outs happening overseas to ensure that it is managed as well as possible here. It also means that they will be able to stockpile vaccines in advance of the planned distribution meaning manufacturers' recommended spacing in between doses can be maintained and not have to be extended like in the UK with unknown outcomes. Frontline health workers and other key groups are due to receive their first jabs in the next few weeks.

Despite what I have said above, it does seem like the UK's roll out is going quite well - my Devon-based parents are in their mid 60s with no underlying conditions and received their first Pfizer jabs yesterday. All of my aunts and uncles of similar ages but elsewhere in the UK have received their first doses too.

Edited by llessur
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28 minutes ago, unzippy said:

Although I'm not clear why the vaccine hasn't been rolled out in Aus yet?

 

Very good question. One answer is, "because we're letting the rest of the world be guinea pigs". 

In most of the world, the vaccines have been given "emergency approval" only.  They were not fully approved because although they had  gone through some trials and checks, they hadn't gone through the full process that's normally required.   In countries where the virus is out of control, it was worth taking that small risk, because they needed to take drastic action.

Australia and New Zealand weren't desperate, so they could afford to wait and monitor what's happening in other countries as millions of people are vaccinated there - efficacy, side effects, etc.   When the new variants started appearing, I think they changed their attitude, which is why they brought the rollout forward to March.  Unfortunately they can't bring it forward any further because everyone else is ahead of us in the queue for a limited supply.

I'm in two minds. I'd like to have us all vaccinated, but the reality is that the vaccine is more desperately needed elsewhere than here.

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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This is a big reason we haven't started vaccinations -- until this morning the EU was not allowing any to be exported to us:

image.png.9c01d99ad9176ef5af18e90f609837a0.png

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43 minutes ago, Peach said:

This is a big reason we haven't started vaccinations -- until this morning the EU was not allowing any to be exported to us:

To be fair, the Australian government didn't know that at the time they set the timetable.  It's only in the last couple of weeks that the EU started making rumbles about not allowing the export. 

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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3 hours ago, Marisawright said:

Very good question. One answer is, "because we're letting the rest of the world be guinea pigs". 

In most of the world, the vaccines have been given "emergency approval" only.  They were not fully approved because although they had  gone through some trials and checks, they hadn't gone through the full process that's normally required.   In countries where the virus is out of control, it was worth taking that small risk, because they needed to take drastic action.

Australia and New Zealand weren't desperate, so they could afford to wait and monitor what's happening in other countries as millions of people are vaccinated there - efficacy, side effects, etc.   When the new variants started appearing, I think they changed their attitude, which is why they brought the rollout forward to March.  Unfortunately they can't bring it forward any further because everyone else is ahead of us in the queue for a limited supply.

I'm in two minds. I'd like to have us all vaccinated, but the reality is that the vaccine is more desperately needed elsewhere than here.

Have the Australian government actually said they are delaying the rollout because they’re letting the rest of the world be guinea pigs?

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4 minutes ago, Tulip1 said:

Have the Australian government actually said they are delaying the rollout because they’re letting the rest of the world be guinea pigs?

Yes

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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On 10/02/2021 at 05:06, llessur said:
On 10/02/2021 at 02:49, MARYROSE02 said:

Why have both colds and "normal" flu all but disappeared? I've not had a cold for a calendar year for the first time I can remember.

 

I think it's necessary to recognise that they are different viruses and they behave differently in the body.

  • COVID-19 seems to spread more easily and leads to a more serious illness than the flu.
  • The incubation period for Covid is 2-14 days whereas flu is 1-4 days so we know we are infected earlier and stay away from people
  • Flu lives on surfaces for 48 hours, early studies suggest Covid is longer
  • Smaller particles are thought to remain in the air longer for Covid
  • Flu antibodies seem to remain for far longer than Covid
  • Unlike flu, we have little pre-existing immunity for Covid
  • The death rate for flu is 0.096% vs 2.9% for Covid

So, when you take all of this together, the Covid prevention measures have had a significantly greater impact on the lesser transmissible flu

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British  | Lived in Australia 2001-02 on 457   | Married Aussie wife & moved back to UK | Plan to return to Sydney 2026 when all kids have finished school

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On 10/02/2021 at 15:06, llessur said:

@MARYROSE02 I've moved from the other thread as requested by moderator.

 

 

 

But being locked down in a mansion is still not ideal. I'm still unsure as to any benefit to deliberately slowing the global economy and overwhelming the health systems just to keep people locked up at home. What was the problem with people circulating in the first place? I saw no imminent revolutions brewing from the fact that people were allowed to be socially mobile.

The UK didn't follow any model. It absolutely stuffed up its COVID-19 response from the get go - with the initial downplaying of the severity of the disease, then Johnson's 'do nothing' plan for herd immunity,  ignoring expert health advice and delaying the first lockdown, not ring-fencing or providing PPE to care homes, encouraging people to 'eat out to help out' at the first hint of reduced case numbers and the ongoing lack of border checks or controls. People have been flying in and out of the country willy nilly for most of this time - some of my UK friends have even taken summer holidays to Europe. They've only just started a hotel quarantine scheme now months too late. It sounds like an absolute farce over there compared to the Australian system.

The Aussie model has been first class in comparison. Health advice was quickly sought and heeded by the government, borders were closed, a quarantine system was put into place and we have effectively eliminated the disease because of it. We're all learning in this situation so some mistakes are unavoidable - the Victorian situation for example which was the first real escape of the disease from the hotel quarantine system. Yes it was a disaster at the time but it was resolved through tough action and the whole country learned from it - quarantine, testing and contact tracing systems were improved and continue to be improved after every breach. Now leaks from hotel quarantine are mopped up efficiently with minimal impact to the community and economy.

We don't quarantine people with colds because the death rate from the common cold is negligible. The fatality rate for flu changes year to year but is often estimated at around 0.1% by the WHO. We also have effective and proven treatments for flu such as Tamiflu. The COVID-19 fatality in European countries is around 2.5-3.0% i.e. 25-30 times higher than the flu and we have no fully proven drug treatments for it. In peak flu season our hospitals can be stretched but are not overwhelmed. Letting COVID-19 go unchecked would swamp our healthcare systems leading to the horrendous type of situation seen in Italy last year. It would be a disaster. We would all personally know people who died an early and painful death.

I don't think Chairman Dan has learnt anything from his incompetent handling of the Melbourne disaster, other than to blame everybody else and appoint a tame commission to absolve him of any blame.

He's been boasting of how good his 2021 handling is (ignoring 2020) and now he's come unstuck again. 

The only state, so far, to have handled the crisis efficiently is NSW, although I must admit that living in QLD now I'm adopting their siege mentality i.e. KEEP THOSE VICTORIANS AND NSW OUT!

I don't trust anything the WHO (China's Goebbels?) says even if your figures are right. The death rate from colds may be negligible but it's still a horrible thing to endure and I hope that if and when things get back to normal people will be sent home if they come to work with colds and there will be no more "soldiering on."

Regarding "ordinary" flu, I'm still puzzled as to why there have been hardly any cases, I thought that if Covid is completely different we would get the normal flu outbreaks in addition to Covid and the same with colds. If that is because we are all practising better hygiene then again, if and when we beat Covid, we should all be following the new rules for dealing with diseases like this, i.e. nobody going to school or work.

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44 minutes ago, MARYROSE02 said:

Regarding "ordinary" flu, I'm still puzzled as to why there have been hardly any cases, I thought that if Covid is completely different we would get the normal flu outbreaks in addition to Covid and the same with colds. If that is because we are all practising better hygiene then again, if and when we beat Covid, we should all be following the new rules for dealing with diseases like this, i.e. nobody going to school or work.

It should be blindingly obvious why people aren't getting the flu.   Flu and Covid and the cold are all different diseases, but the way you CATCH them is exactly the same - by breathing the same air as a person who's got it, or picking it up from a contaminated surface.  We've all been avoiding people and being careful what we touch to avoid catching Covid, so naturally that means we avoid catching flu or a cold as well. 

You're right, that does mean we could wipe out (or greatly reduce) colds and flu if we kept on acting that way - but the question is, would it be worth it?   A cold is not "terrible", it's a bit unpleasant. You can get a vaccine for the flu. Is either of them really worth giving up the company of friends for. o rlosing income for?

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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52 minutes ago, MARYROSE02 said:

I don't think Chairman Dan has learnt anything from his incompetent handling of the Melbourne disaster, other than to blame everybody else and appoint a tame commission to absolve him of any blame.

He's been boasting of how good his 2021 handling is (ignoring 2020) and now he's come unstuck again. 

The only state, so far, to have handled the crisis efficiently is NSW, although I must admit that living in QLD now I'm adopting their siege mentality i.e. KEEP THOSE VICTORIANS AND NSW OUT!

I don't trust anything the WHO (China's Goebbels?) says even if your figures are right. The death rate from colds may be negligible but it's still a horrible thing to endure and I hope that if and when things get back to normal people will be sent home if they come to work with colds and there will be no more "soldiering on."

Regarding "ordinary" flu, I'm still puzzled as to why there have been hardly any cases, I thought that if Covid is completely different we would get the normal flu outbreaks in addition to Covid and the same with colds. If that is because we are all practising better hygiene then again, if and when we beat Covid, we should all be following the new rules for dealing with diseases like this, i.e. nobody going to school or work.

I think it's a bit of a misnomer to be referring to the "ordinary flu" in the context of COVID. The flu is not a lesser variety of COVID - they are completely different diseases caused by different viruses. Even in Australia we have been taking significant steps which are out of the ordinary - capacity of venues has been slashed, spacing between humans has been increased in pretty much every setting, activities most likely to spread viruses (such as singing and dancing) have been curtailed, most of us are washing and sanitising our hands many more times each day than we did before COVID. In addition, back in the early days of the outbreak the dangers of becoming ill with both COVID and flu at the same time were pressed home by the government and health authorities - I suspect the uptake of flu vaccinations for the last flu season may have been higher than usual too.

In a nutshell, the exact same measures that we are using to prevent the spread of COVID are reducing the spread of other viruses such as influenza and the common cold. They may be different viruses but their spread can be curtailed by exactly the same precautions and those precautions are exactly the reason why we are seeing lower flu cases now. Why would you think that this wouldn't be the case?

You are absolutely right in that the 'soldier on' mentality with regards to colds should be addressed in the future. No one should knowingly bring a virus into their school or workplace. I would like to think that we will all be a little bit more responsible moving into the future - although that will also depend on how much that is supported by employers and government policy in relation to ensuring widespread access to sick pay etc.

But with any situation the health benefits have to be weighed up against the economic and social impacts. Common colds do not generally pose a serious risk to health nor do they threaten to overwhelm our health system. Colds may be annoying to endure but the impact of even the worst cold is minimal compared to the potential immediate and long-term risks from COVID (lung damage, brain damage, death etc). Closing schools and workplaces due to cold outbreaks would not be an appropriate level of action to take - but ensuring the availability of hand sanitiser and public health information and encouraging the sick to stay at home would be. It's worth noting that the population of countries like Hong Kong who experienced the SARS epidemic back in the early 2000s are still much more accepting of mask wearing and social distancing measures than those of us who it did not affect.

With regards to the handing of the Victorian second wave, I agree that arguably mistakes were made but this was also the first time that the virus had escaped from hotel quarantine in Australia so was a completely new set of circumstances to deal with. The contact tracing and testing teams were underprepared and the virus was not picked up until it had already been circulating in the community for a couple of weeks. Those weeks added months onto the length of the lockdown required to bring it under control. We have however been able to learn from those mistakes - contact tracing and testing resources have been massively improved and hotel quarantine staff are now tested far more regularly to avoid situations where breaches are not detected for more than a day or two. Say what you will about the initial handling of the outbreak but virtually no-one in the world believed that Victoria would be able to achieve anything other than a suppression of the case numbers (even with their strict lockdown) - but in the end they achieved practical elimination which given the circumstances was an outstanding performance by the government, health workers, police, ADF and the Victorian population.

Victorian contact tracing and testing resources are now amongst the most advanced in the nation, if not the world. To say that they have not learned from their second wave is fundamentally incorrect. We all have.

Edited by llessur
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3 hours ago, Marisawright said:

It should be blindingly obvious why people aren't getting the flu.   Flu and Covid and the cold are all different diseases, but the way you CATCH them is exactly the same - by breathing the same air as a person who's got it, or picking it up from a contaminated surface.  We've all been avoiding people and being careful what we touch to avoid catching Covid, so naturally that means we avoid catching flu or a cold as well. 

You're right, that does mean we could wipe out (or greatly reduce) colds and flu if we kept on acting that way - but the question is, would it be worth it?   A cold is not "terrible", it's a bit unpleasant. You can get a vaccine for the flu. Is either of them really worth giving up the company of friends for. o rlosing income for?

That's an interesting question about the "losing the company of friends and/or income" if you have a cold and you decide to stay home.  Interesting because isn't that the whole point of the lockdowns? That no matter what the cost, economically, socially, mentally, it's worth it because Covid is worse than anything that humanity has faced before? The jobs lost, lives lost (not from Covid), the huge debts. Whatever the "cost" it will  still be less than the cost of not beating the virus?  I don't know the answer by the way.

What are the chances of governments everywhere making sure that the files relating to their handling of Covid-19 will be locked away for a lot more than the standard thirty years. Is that a conspiracy theory? I'm pretty sure that the files relating to the sinking of HMS GLORIOUS in 1940 are locked up till 2040.

One of the ironies of Covid-19 is that Climate Alarmists are well pissed off because Armageddon has arrived but it's not the Armageddon they predicted would happen.  OMG! If they are right then  some of us are facing a double whammy - paying the economic costs of beating Covid-19 plus the problem of saving the planet.

I see Melbourne/Victoria is going into lockdown for five days. Why five and not fourteen? Why are you still allowed out to exercise or shop for food? The virus is 24x7. Is it another cost benefit evaluation whereby 24x7 lockdown is unsustainable? But to me it seems that going for a part 24x7 lockdown is like going for a part blackout during the War. I know. I'm being dumb. But it's like seeing that bloke with the mask half on then taking it completely off to eat. Is the virus going to stop being dangerous whilst he's eating his grub?

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3 hours ago, llessur said:

Victorian contact tracing and testing resources are now amongst the most advanced in the nation, if not the world. To say that they have not learned from their second wave is fundamentally incorrect. We all have.

Indeed.  And I heard experts a few weeks ago, saying that the Victorian hotel quarantine was the "gold standard" that everyone should follow.  

The problem is that these new variants are so much more infectious, even the gold standard isn't enough.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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35 minutes ago, MARYROSE02 said:

That's an interesting question about the "losing the company of friends and/or income" if you have a cold and you decide to stay home.  Interesting because isn't that the whole point of the lockdowns? That no matter what the cost, economically, socially, mentally, it's worth it because Covid is worse than anything that humanity has faced before? The jobs lost, lives lost (not from Covid), the huge debts. Whatever the "cost" it will  still be less than the cost of not beating the virus?  I don't know the answer by the way.

What are the chances of governments everywhere making sure that the files relating to their handling of Covid-19 will be locked away for a lot more than the standard thirty years. Is that a conspiracy theory? I'm pretty sure that the files relating to the sinking of HMS GLORIOUS in 1940 are locked up till 2040.

One of the ironies of Covid-19 is that Climate Alarmists are well pissed off because Armageddon has arrived but it's not the Armageddon they predicted would happen.  OMG! If they are right then  some of us are facing a double whammy - paying the economic costs of beating Covid-19 plus the problem of saving the planet.

I see Melbourne/Victoria is going into lockdown for five days. Why five and not fourteen? Why are you still allowed out to exercise or shop for food? The virus is 24x7. Is it another cost benefit evaluation whereby 24x7 lockdown is unsustainable? But to me it seems that going for a part 24x7 lockdown is like going for a part blackout during the War. I know. I'm being dumb. But it's like seeing that bloke with the mask half on then taking it completely off to eat. Is the virus going to stop being dangerous whilst he's eating his grub?

I don't think anyone of note has said that COVID is worse than anything that humanity has faced before. In fact we are lucky that it is not. Even in terms of pandemics it is not at the top of the list - the Spanish Flu pandemic in the 1900s infected 500 million people or one third of the world's population and killed around 20-50 million. However, it is bad enough to warrant serious action as millions of people would still die an early and painful death if we did nothing. In terms of health crises it is the worst we have faced in 2 or 3 generations - but obviously virtually no one alive today is old enough to remember the last time this happened so we have nothing in living memory to compare it to.

Likewise, no one of note has referred to this pandemic as Armageddon. It is not the end of the world in a literal sense and is very unlikely to be. Dealing with a global health crisis and addressing climate change over the medium to long term are disparate issues.

Victoria's 5 day lockdown will hopefully act as a circuit-breaker, minimising community transmission and allowing health authorities to trace and test anyone who might have been infected. Without a lockdown, if there are cases currently incubating in the community with people moving around and spreading it then next week we would see a big eruption of cases throughout the state. This is a chance for contact tracers to do their work and close down the cluster as we have seen happen elsewhere.

I would suggest it would be entirely unreasonable to prevent people from leaving their houses once a day to shop for food. Not everybody has access to the internet to do their food shopping and even if they did there is absolutely no way that the supermarkets would be able to service the entire state of Victoria suddenly shopping online. Presumably one period of exercise outside per day is also seen as minimal enough risk that the mental and physical health benefits from doing so outweigh it (especially bearing in mind that most spread comes from prolonged indoor contact). This is about minimising movements within the community, not entirely eliminating it. As with everything it's about striking a sensible balance - starving people and denying them the possibility to pick up their medication from the pharmacy is an inappropriate response to the situation. Requiring the population to wear masks even when they're trying to place food in their mouths is bordering on ridiculous.

I can't help feeling that you are looking for conspiracies for the sake of looking for them. Personally I'm just grateful and proud that so far our authorities have taken the right course of action to allow us just about the most (safe) freedom in the world. The Australian approach is working - for most of us who have family and friends back in the UK that's blatantly obvious through having heard their stories over the last 12 months.

Edited by llessur
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309 visa granted and moved to Adelaide from Brighton UK in 2012. 100 visa and PR granted 2013. Became a citizen on Australia Day 2017. 

 

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1 hour ago, unzippy said:

5 day stage 4 for lockdown for all of Victoria starting midnight tonight.

Good move.  Gladys and Morrison confused but might get to it next week...

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Are we going to have five day lock downs EVERY time there is a Covid outbreak? Why isn't NSW taking the same approach? Why didn't "Chairman Dan" and his senior ministers resign over their handling of the quarantine fiasco last year? I saw a letter to The Australian pointing out that Eddie MacGuire resigned over racist comments which killed nobody

Of course it's ridiculous to wear a mask to eat food in a cafe but, if as you say it's safer in the fresh air, why wear a mask outside then come inside in the first place. Surely, much safer to  order the food to go or get it delivered. As soon as that guy took his mask off in the crowded cafe he was exposing himself to all of the unmasked customers.

Presumably the government (no they couldn't I know) could get the troops to carry out deliveries of food from supermarkets and medicines from chemists if it as dangerous as they say. Why is it an acceptable risk to let people out of their homes to exercise,, whereas say, you are supposed to wear a seatbelt for 100 percent of your journey in a vehicle.

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2 hours ago, unzippy said:

5 day stage 4 for lockdown for all of Victoria starting midnight tonight.

I know I'm tilting at windmills but when Sydney had its Northern Beaches outbreak that part of the region, north of Narrabeen I think, was quarantined but not the whole city.

We had a three day lock down in Brisbane but here on the Gold Coast, 50 miles south there was no lock down and many people commute between both places. Come to think of it, you could have two people working in the same place in Brisbane, and on the Friday night one has to go into 72 hour lock down whilst the other travels down to Surfers to enjoy their weekend.

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6 hours ago, llessur said:

I think it's a bit of a misnomer to be referring to the "ordinary flu" in the context of COVID. The flu is not a lesser variety of COVID - they are completely different diseases caused by different viruses. Even in Australia we have been taking significant steps which are out of the ordinary - capacity of venues has been slashed, spacing between humans has been increased in pretty much every setting, activities most likely to spread viruses (such as singing and dancing) have been curtailed, most of us are washing and sanitising our hands many more times each day than we did before COVID. In addition, back in the early days of the outbreak the dangers of becoming ill with both COVID and flu at the same time were pressed home by the government and health authorities - I suspect the uptake of flu vaccinations for the last flu season may have been higher than usual too.

In a nutshell, the exact same measures that we are using to prevent the spread of COVID are reducing the spread of other viruses such as influenza and the common cold. They may be different viruses but their spread can be curtailed by exactly the same precautions and those precautions are exactly the reason why we are seeing lower flu cases now. Why would you think that this wouldn't be the case?

You are absolutely right in that the 'soldier on' mentality with regards to colds should be addressed in the future. No one should knowingly bring a virus into their school or workplace. I would like to think that we will all be a little bit more responsible moving into the future - although that will also depend on how much that is supported by employers and government policy in relation to ensuring widespread access to sick pay etc.

But with any situation the health benefits have to be weighed up against the economic and social impacts. Common colds do not generally pose a serious risk to health nor do they threaten to overwhelm our health system. Colds may be annoying to endure but the impact of even the worst cold is minimal compared to the potential immediate and long-term risks from COVID (lung damage, brain damage, death etc). Closing schools and workplaces due to cold outbreaks would not be an appropriate level of action to take - but ensuring the availability of hand sanitiser and public health information and encouraging the sick to stay at home would be. It's worth noting that the population of countries like Hong Kong who experienced the SARS epidemic back in the early 2000s are still much more accepting of mask wearing and social distancing measures than those of us who it did not affect.

With regards to the handing of the Victorian second wave, I agree that arguably mistakes were made but this was also the first time that the virus had escaped from hotel quarantine in Australia so was a completely new set of circumstances to deal with. The contact tracing and testing teams were underprepared and the virus was not picked up until it had already been circulating in the community for a couple of weeks. Those weeks added months onto the length of the lockdown required to bring it under control. We have however been able to learn from those mistakes - contact tracing and testing resources have been massively improved and hotel quarantine staff are now tested far more regularly to avoid situations where breaches are not detected for more than a day or two. Say what you will about the initial handling of the outbreak but virtually no-one in the world believed that Victoria would be able to achieve anything other than a suppression of the case numbers (even with their strict lockdown) - but in the end they achieved practical elimination which given the circumstances was an outstanding performance by the government, health workers, police, ADF and the Victorian population.

Victorian contact tracing and testing resources are now amongst the most advanced in the nation, if not the world. To say that they have not learned from their second wave is fundamentally incorrect. We all have.

So, no cock up by Dan and his gang and the commission of enquiry was right to exonerate him?

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3 hours ago, unzippy said:

5 day stage 4 for lockdown for all of Victoria starting midnight tonight.

Tasmania is closing the border to all Victorians from midnight.

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