Mungo MacCallum on Covid-19

As so often with Morrison, there is no overall strategy – simply a series of reactive measures which, he hopes, will do the job unless a next one is needed. and then another one, and another one …

Scott Morrison insists that his message is clear – the government is fully on top of the coronavirus crisis, there is no reason for doubt or uncertainty.

Well, up to a point, prime minister. Viewed individually, ScoMo’s present barrage of edicts are indeed firm and unequivocal. If they are taken at face value, there is no room for confusion.

But the problem is that, taken together, they are not only confusing but often self-contradictory. As so often with Morrison, there is no overall strategy – simply a series of reactive measures which, he hopes, will do the job unless a next one is needed. and then another one, and another one …

The basic dilemma that has still not been resolved is whether we are to treat this as a disaster on a truly monumental scale, a crisis like the great pandemics of the past, rivaling world wars and the Great Depression in their long term destruction; or a temporary set back – a severe one, no doubt, but an aberration that can be managed with a shit load of taxpayer money a dash of discipline and patriotism until we bounce back and a resiient Australia resumes its triumphal progress under the steady and stable hands of the coalition.

In the first scenario, we have closed our borders, the Reserve Bank has taken unprecedented steps to save the remnants of a devastated economy and a quasi state of emergency is in place – there is even talk of the free-enterprise government considering nationalising sections of industry and rationing essential goods

But on the other side, gatherings have been limited but not shut down, schools, universities and even casinos remain open for business, and although I have been condemned to home isolation, I am able — indeed encouraged – to watch TV sport in which groups of athletes indulge in as much close personal contact as possible.

And there is confusion at all levels. In spite of Morrison’s worthy initiative in bringing the state and territory leaders into a national cabinet, he has mean-mindedly excluded the federal opposition .. Anthony Albanese has pointedly not been offered a guernsey. Although the idea is apparently to coordinate a nationwide approach Tasmania has effectively seceded from the mainland. Mixed messages galore.

And there is little point in telling everyone else to shut up and do what we are told, when those telling us admit that things are changing too fast for even them to catch up. The chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, said last week that the schools would, must, stay open – for now, but if circumstances changed, so would the policy.

Fair enough, but hardly reassuring to those who are already conflicted about what to do with their children. The Catholics are in open warfare, and some others in the private sector are voting with their feet. The arguments are complex and there is sense on both sides.

Morrison is adhering to the official, current, advice – he says he is happy to send his own children to school and for what it’s worth I feel the same about my grandchildren. But I do not regard Morrison’s – or my own – preference as making the position, or the message, unequivocally clear.

It would be nice to think that the resumption of parliament will sort it all out. Perhaps such wishful thinking is about all we have left.

Republished with – I devoutly hope – the kind permission of John Menadue

934 thoughts on “Mungo MacCallum on Covid-19

  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    In a very good piece Peter Hartcher predicts that spin doctors will be doing their best to resuscitate right-wing populism.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/spin-doctors-will-be-doing-their-best-to-resuscitate-right-wing-populism-20200406-p54hi5.html
    The Ruby Princess mystery deepens.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/government-mps-accuse-constance-of-failing-to-disclose-crucial-ruby-princess-information-20200406-p54hkg.html
    The Ruby Princess has become a grim symbol of the pandemic, but the earlier plight of its sister vessel – the Diamond Princess – should have set off alarm bells declares the SMH editorial.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/lessons-from-diamond-princess-not-learnt-for-sister-ship-20200406-p54hlx.html
    The AFF says that Morrison is facing a test of his power to influence business judging from the drawn-out negotiations over how shopping centres and small retailers will share the financial pain caused by the coronavirus.
    https://www.afr.com/chanticleer/retail-rental-deal-a-test-for-pm-20200406-p54hkq
    A high-stakes deal on workplace law has cleared a key obstacle to the Morrison government passing its $130 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy after Porter reached the in-principle agreement with Sally McManus last night in a breakthrough on the emergency assistance.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/union-deal-clears-way-for-130-billion-wage-subsidy-20200406-p54hjj.html
    The coronavirus has led to many bizarre developments. Among them is the Coalition singing the praises of the CFMEU writes Phil Coorey.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/cfmeu-joins-team-australia-others-aren-t-so-sure-20200406-p54hhh
    Richard Gluyas writes that signs of a credit squeeze are emerging in the $350bn small and ­medium-sized business sector, as the major banks throw all available resources at the financial needs of their existing customers and overlook businesses desperate for a loan or refinancing deal from a new lender.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/newtobank-smes-face-imminent-credit-crunch/news-story/a42ec5e340cb7e2e1b0d486010022413
    The tension between protecting health and the economy has been a constant feature of this crisis but it grows more severe as shutdowns continue says David Crowe.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/the-cruel-choice-for-australia-in-the-next-virus-modelling-numbers-20200406-p54hgy.html
    Health authorities have ramped up COVID-19 testing in hotspot regions across Australia to combat a second wave of infections and have expanded the screening of potentially wider outbreaks.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/tests-to-spread-as-coronavirus-fever-hits-suburbs/news-story/46e14385a7ad9b27e01d51dfb37ea8b7
    Nicole Hemmer writes that by putting himself first and pitting the states against the nation he is accelerating the US crisis. The idiot’s a real worry!
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/pitting-the-states-against-the-nation-is-accelerating-the-us-crisis-20200405-p54h8x.html
    Adam Cooper looks at what might be in front of Pell after the handing down of the High Court’s decision this morning. Civil cases are lining up.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/holy-week-brings-pell-s-day-of-judgment-but-clutch-of-civil-cases-loom-20200406-p54hko.html
    Meanwhile 95 year-old, Eileen Piper, mother of a sex abuse suicide victim, has accused George Pell of physical assault of her brother priest, Monsignor Kevin Toomey.
    https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/exclusive-yet-another-assault-allegation-against-george-pell,13767
    Whichever way the High Court falls on George Pell’s criminal conviction for sexual abuse, the debate that rolls around the disgraced Catholic cardinal will continue says The New Daily.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/george-pell/2020/04/07/george-pell-high-court-judgment-abuse-debate/
    Epidemiologist Mahomed Patel doubts that the data models being released today will tell us we’ve got the COVID-19 fight right.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/will-the-modelling-tell-us-if-we-are-getting-the-fight-against-covid-19-right-probably-not-20200406-p54hhz.html
    Jennifer Hewett is concerned that there’s no easy exit strategy from the coronavirus lockdown.
    https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/there-s-no-easy-exit-strategy-from-the-coronavirus-lockdown-20200406-p54hlg
    Morrison has changed tack against his tribal instincts. But what happens after coronavirus asks Peter Lewis.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/commentisfree/2020/apr/07/morrison-has-changed-tack-against-his-tribal-instincts-but-what-happens-after-coronavirus
    Patrick Hatch reports that Australian biotechnology giant CSL Limited will work with some of its biggest rivals in the blood plasma business to try to develop a potential treatment for patients suffering complications from COVID-19.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/csl-to-work-with-rivals-for-potential-covid-19-treatment-made-from-recovered-patients-plasma-20200406-p54hly.html
    The last thing we need is the Prime Minister praying alongside religious fanatics or weeping over the personal cost of the pandemic he is supposed to be leading us through, writes Dr Jennifer Wilson.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/morrisons-tears-courts-delusions-and-the-pandemic,13768
    With Boris Johnson in hospital, government is adrift writes Simon Jenkins.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/06/boris-johnson-hospital-government-adrift-coronavirus
    The RBA could help invest in the highly productive economy that will be needed if Australia is to successfully manage its huge new debts suggests Craig Emerson.
    https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/how-to-defuse-the-virus-debt-bomb-20200406-p54he5
    Jennifer Duke and Eryk Bagshaw explain how the real estate industry has warned the situation facing tenants, landlords and agents is “a mess” as cash-strapped residents struggle to pay rent.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/a-mess-renters-landlords-and-agents-face-coronavirus-quagmire-20200406-p54hj9.html
    Members of the Federal Parliament’s crossbench are feeling left out when it comes to decision-making on the coronavirus pandemic and say they are being deprived of their role to represent Australians.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6713684/mps-say-they-are-being-deprived-of-their-role-to-represent-australians/?cs=14231&utm_source=website&utm_medium=home&utm_campaign=latestnews
    The political bipartisanship enforced by the need for a united front against Covid-19 will be tested on Wednesday when Labor protests against the shutdown of parliament write Malcolm Farr and Paul Karp.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/06/labor-to-protest-parliament-shutdown-and-push-for-review-of-covid-19-response
    Unless it condemns racist rhetoric, Australia risks adding racial harmony to its list of COVID-19 casualties, writes Suresh Rajan.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/collateral-damage-in-the-time-of-covid-19,13747
    When we come out the other side of this crisis, will we have learned anything ponders Kaye Lee.
    https://theaimn.com/when-we-come-out-the-other-side-of-this-crisis-will-we-have-learned-anything/
    Nick O’Malley reveals that new reports show that potentially deadly fine particle emissions are soaring from coal-fired power plants in Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/deadly-pollutant-surged-by-3000-per-cent-at-coal-fired-power-plant-20200406-p54hld.html
    Elizabeth Knight tells us that the prominent proxy adviser Ownership Matters will be adding new criteria to its measurement of board performance – their conduct in undertaking equity raisings. And it will be advising large shareholders on how to vote accordingly.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/beware-the-rescue-trap-for-small-shareholders-20200406-p54hjh.html
    Not for the first time, Donald Trump tweeted prematurely – and his ensuing threats and rhetoric won’t be able to stop the inevitable when it comes to oil prices says Stephen Bartholomeusz.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/empty-words-trump-s-oil-tweets-and-tariffs-won-t-prevent-pain-20200406-p54hgf.html
    Trump touts hydroxychloroquine as a cure for Covid-19. Don’t believe the hype!
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/apr/06/coronavirus-cure-fact-check-hydroxychloroquine-trump

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    From the US












    • The High Court decision is a disgrace, there is justice for some but not for others . . . . .

  2. I want to make some red onion marmelade—recipe calls for distilled vinegar—any brands of that here? I think I will buy a new bottle of white vinegar and use 450ml of that and 50ml water to make a pretend distilled vinegar.

    (Also going to make Pears Packed in Honey & Vanilla syrup.)

  3. Excellent. Especially the last sentence

    Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, and manager of opposition business in the Senate, Katy Gallagher, will stand up at 2.40pm to announce a Senate select committee into the government’s response to Covid-19.

    This was on the cards for a few days – with the Greens, Centre Alliance and Jacqui Lambie all calling for more scrutiny – but the new development is that the government has signed up to support it.

    The committee will have broad terms of reference – encompassing both the health and economic aspects of the response – and will last for two years. Gallagher will chair it.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/apr/07/australia-coronavirus-live-covid19-nsw-queensland-victoria-ruby-princess-death-toll-latest-updates

  4. The long-awaited modelling tells the nation little about the impact of the virus in Australia or projected deaths because it is not based on local data.

    Mr Morrison stressed the modelling released on Tuesday was “theoretical” and based on international data. Further work will be needed on the 6000 Australian coronavirus cases to consider the next steps.

    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/coronavirus/2020/04/07/virus-restrictions-scott-morrison/

    They could have started on the Australian data a month ago. Comparative analysis might have been / may be useful.

  5. Our area of Australia seems to have avoided, so far, the worst outcome. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

    Saw the grandkids this afternoon, they brought some pumpkin over, and we stood at the front door with the proper distance, and chatted for a few minutes. They said they’ll cope with school via internet, year 10 and 11, but they’re not looking forward to it, just like they wouldn’t be looking forward to going back to school. They miss their footy and mixing with their mates, are bored except when they are doing chores with Mum and Dad. Youngest one has learnt to drive the bobcat, he loves all of the ‘tonka’ toys, that is what I call my son’s machinery. The older one prefers the shovel, if he has to do chores like that.

  6. Bugger, I forgot to put the stats up, here they are.

    • I’m not familiar with that saying, but then I thought the rocks/jar thing was odd too. Maybe the cord reference is from the same source.

      If he’s speaking off-the-cuff, these expressions presumably range free in his head. I hope they’re just ‘quaint’ and not a further indication that he can’t or won’t separate his Horizon/Hillsong involvement from his constitutionally secular duty to his ’employers’ and his country.

  7. I felt gutted for most of the day about Pell, but, eventually I’m starting to get over it. At least he got to see the inside of a prison for a year.

    To be a catholic boy in Ballarat in the 1970’s and 80’s when his mates were on the romp was not a good thing. I’ve seen articles such as half of Grade 4 in a 1973 class in a catholic boys’ school had since committed suicide. And I’ve heard from my father that in another case, all but one of the boys in another class had been sexually abused, the only one that was spared was done so because he was the son of a senior priest.

    Hundreds, maybe thousands of lives in my city destroyed by institutional depravity, and I don’t think for one second that Pell is innocent of being at the least complicit in helping rapist priests get away with it, and at the worst, actively involved.

    And so while OJ Pell might walk free and fake being innocent, Ballarat remembers, and will not forget.

    • Kirsdarke,

      Your words have great power.

      There will be untold hundreds of thousands of people joining Ballarat in remembering the destructive horrors of this evil – the ‘institutional depravity’, and the almost unimaginable pain of so many ruined lives.

      Respect.
      Helen

    • I should clarify fhat in the anecdotal story I got from my dad, the “senior priest” mentioned was actually simply “senior staff of the school”, sorry for that oversight.

    • Kirsdarke my grandfather grew up in Ballarat, he left in 1900
      I suspect that the church abuse that we are hearing about now was well established before grandfather left town
      I am absolutely disgusted by the High Court decision

  8. Ducky,

    [ A three-flag plonker ]

    A strong contender for a Gold Echidna with that beauty!

    I used to almost piss myself (excuse the expression) watching Abborts pressers go from 3 flags either side up to 7 each side for goodness sakes. (;

    • Scorps,

      Ducky will have to wait until tomorrow for his Gold Echidna. You will understand why very soon.

  9. Kirsdarke,

    You should have received this award ages ago. My apologies.

    The Pub will be deeply honoured if you will accept this highest token of our esteem:

  10. There is a god 🙂 and with a sense of humor.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Israeli Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and his wife have tested positive for coronavirus. The minister had termed the deadly coronavirus as ‘punishment for homosexuality’ in last month.
    https://nayadaur.tv/2020/04/israel-health-minister-who-termed-coronavirus-divine-punishment-gets-coronavirus/

  11. FFS!

    Our government’s adoration of Trump has gone way too far.

    Controversial drug hydroxychloroquine to be given to coronavirus patients in Australia
    Infectious diseases experts urge caution amid concerns about anti-malarial’s possible side-effects
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/07/controversial-malaria-drug-hydroxychloroquine-to-be-given-to-coronavirus-patients-in-australia

    So sick Australians are to be used as guinea pigs for a Trump brainfart about a drug that will not help any of them but may well kill some of them.

  12. Leone,

    Apparently Drumpf has a ‘financial interest’ in the German company, so what else could one expect?

  13. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Australians are at risk from a new surge of coronavirus deaths if controls imposed to fight the pandemic are relaxed, top scientific advisers have warned.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/warning-of-explosive-resurgence-of-covid-19-if-social-controls-relaxed-20200407-p54hyp.html
    Nick Bonyhady reports that the Attorney-General has announced the government’s legislation will let employers make big changes to how their staff operate while on JobKeeper wage subsidies.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/jobkeeper-legislation-will-allow-employers-to-change-workers-roles-and-hours-20200407-p54hvx.html
    David Crowe writes that the hard facts about the coronavirus pandemic show the gain from tough measures is clearly worth the pain. In theory, an uncontrolled pandemic would have devastated Australia’s hospital system, with 89 per cent of the population infected.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/gain-from-tough-virus-measures-worth-the-pain-20200407-p54hzv.html
    A harsher social distancing regime is still likely in Victoria’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Premier has warned, despite ‘stability’ in the spread of the disease through the state in recent days.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/stage-four-lockdown-and-further-closures-remain-likely-andrews-warns-20200407-p54hys.html
    A long-term strategy to ease ­social-isolation restrictions and expose Australians to COVID-19 in manageable doses, without overwhelming the public health system, is being considered by the country’s chief health officials and some NSW government ministers.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/coronavirus-plan-to-let-covid19-infect-us-slowly/news-story/7a459ae042dfe3316ba42055dc4e5b99
    Austria, Denmark are first in Europe to announce easing of lockdowns. The outcome from this could well inform us as we maintain control.
    https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/austria-denmark-first-in-europe-to-announce-easing-of-lockdowns-20200407-p54hym.html
    Phil Coorey tells us that Morrison has said Australia’s economic recovery will be a series of “trials”, with some states moving faster than others in lifting COVID-19 shutdown restrictions and potentially gaining a competitive edge.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/pm-plans-staggered-virus-exit-20200407-p54hqp
    Clancy Yeates says that this is the banks’ chance for true redemption.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/the-banks-chance-for-true-redemption-20200407-p54huo.html
    John Lord looks at what will happen in the aftershock of the coronavirus.
    https://theaimn.com/what-will-happen-in-the-aftershock-of-the-coronavirus-part-one/
    And he tells us that APRA has urged banks and insurance companies to “seriously consider” suspending their decisions on dividend payments until there is more certainty about the economic toll inflicted by coronavirus.
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/apra-pushes-banks-to-suspend-dividends-20200407-p54hzh.html
    Chip Le Grand looks at the Pell High Court Judgement.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/high-court-corrects-an-injustice-but-raises-some-difficult-questions-20200407-p54hzl.html
    George Pell’s success at the High Court and release from prison brought relief to his supporters but devastated other sex-assault victims and their advocates, who fear his acquittal will deter people from reporting crimes.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/relief-from-pell-supporters-while-abuse-advocates-mull-consequences-20200407-p54hxn.html
    The Pell acquittal puts Victorian courts on trial, and shows they need a reality check says John Faine.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/pell-acquittal-puts-victorian-courts-on-trial-and-shows-they-need-a-reality-check-20200407-p54hul.html
    The AFR reports that a confidant of Cardinal George Pell and one of Australia’s most senior priests in Rome called for an investigation into the Victorian justice system to uncover why police, prosecutors and the media pursued Pell for so long, as Pope Francis made reference to “unjust sentences”.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/call-for-probe-into-pell-s-prosecutors-20200407-p54hu3
    The SMH editorial says that the Pell decision must not deter victims from speaking out. It all calls for redacted parts of the report to be released immediately.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/pell-decision-must-not-deter-victims-from-speaking-out-20200407-p54hxq.html
    Pell has found justice but his remaining days won’t be peaceful writes The Age’s former religion writer Barney Zwartz in his usual effective way.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/pell-has-found-justice-but-his-remaining-days-won-t-be-peaceful-20200407-p54huf.html
    How George Pell won in the High Court on a legal technicality.
    https://theconversation.com/how-george-pell-won-in-the-high-court-on-a-legal-technicality-133156
    This is a mighty triumph for George Pell. Now prepare for a storm of rage from the cardinal’s supporters writes David Marr.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/apr/07/george-pells-supporters-will-rage-but-will-rome-join-in-david-marr
    Appeal judges are reluctant to overturn jury verdicts. So why did they do it for George Pell ponders Rick Sarre.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/08/appeal-judges-are-reluctant-to-overturn-jury-verdicts-so-why-did-they-do-it-for-george-pell
    Amanda Meade writes that the ABC has backed its journalists and its reporting on George Pell after the cardinal’s release from jail prompted a spate of attacks on the national broadcaster by Pell supporters.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/apr/08/abc-backs-its-reporting-on-george-pell-after-andrew-bolt-accuses-it-of-a-witch-hunt
    John Silvester thinks the decision was the right one.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/high-court-takes-the-high-road-on-question-of-passion-or-precedent-20200407-p54hwn.html
    Meanwhile Jacqui Maley writes that the chief executive of the peak body for not-for-profits working with vulnerable children, says the community must step in and report suspected child abuse.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/nsw/losing-eyes-on-vulnerable-children-invisible-during-lockdown-20200407-p54hqi.html
    Small and medium-sized businesses hurt by the coronavirus economic downturn will be exempted from paying part of their rent and given at least two years to catch up.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/commercial-tenants-to-get-half-of-rent-reduction-waived-under-new-code-20200407-p54ht1
    Across NSW, hospitals have told health workers not to wear their uniforms to work after reports doctors, nurses and other health workers have been physically and verbally abused while travelling to and from work. Health unions have been assured that NSW Police will prosecute people who physically and verbally attack health workers. What is WRONG with some people?
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/abused-nurse-tells-public-it-is-wrong-this-has-got-to-stop-20200401-p54fyy.html
    Bill Gates’ prophecy fell on deaf ears, and we are paying a big price writes Jeremy Walker for the London Telegraph.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/bill-gates-prophecy-fell-on-deaf-ears-and-we-are-paying-a-big-price-20200407-p54hq4.html
    Indonesia was in denial over coronavirus. Now it may be facing a looming disaster.
    https://theconversation.com/indonesia-was-in-denial-over-coronavirus-now-it-may-be-facing-a-looming-disaster-135436
    Thousands of renters plan to stop paying their landlords this month in a nationwide strike as government negotiations stall write Jennifer Duke and Eryk Bagshaw.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/real-estate-agents-abused-as-coronavirus-rent-strike-grows-20200407-p54hwo.html
    We pay our local and state governments thousands of dollars a year for services – some of which we won’t get for up to six months. It’s time they gave more of it back implores Joel Gibson.
    https://www.smh.com.au/money/planning-and-budgeting/it-s-time-to-give-us-some-more-relief-on-government-bills-too-20200406-p54hi2.html
    More Australians are worried about a recession and an increasingly selfish society than about coronavirus itself new research shows.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6714504/more-australians-are-worried-about-an-increasingly-selfish-society-than-coronavirus-itself/?cs=14258
    How the right is responding to the coronavirus. It’s through denial, realism or dangerous contrarianism writes Jason Wilson. He says if progressives don’t argue forcefully for their response to the crisis, we may exchange neoliberalism for something worse
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/07/how-the-right-is-responding-to-the-coronavirus-denial-realism-or-dangerous-contrarianism
    Bruce Guthrie writes that even Republicans have to concede Queen Elizabeth nailed it in her coronavirus speech. He says it was the sort of address every politician should aspire to deliver.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2020/04/07/coronavirus-queen-speech/
    The government could announce a relief package for the besieged regional media sector as soon as next week, Michael McCormack has said.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/deputy-pm-hints-at-rescue-package-and-reform-for-regional-media-20200407-p54i0t.html
    For the security of all Australians, a clear vision that goes way beyond just “cyber” security is needed from the Morrison Government, writes Paul Budde.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/pandemic-terrorism-climate-emergency-and-cybersecurity,13769
    Australian cyber spies are cracking down on foreign crooks targeting households and businesses with scams and attacks during the coronavirus crisis. Telecommunications and IT companies have also been enlisted to block and destroy malicious websites.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/tech/2020/04/07/coronavirus-scammers-australia/
    Matthew Knott tells us how Trump’s ‘off the rails’ coronavirus briefings are testing America’s patience.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/trump-s-off-the-rails-briefings-test-america-s-patience-20200407-p54hst.html
    Arwa Mahdawi tells us why Jared Kushner could be the most dangerous man in the US. She says that during his 39 years on Earth, Kushner has continuously failed upwards.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/07/why-jared-kushner-could-be-the-most-dangerous-man-in-the-us-covid-19
    Meanwhile White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham is leaving her post nine months into the job after never holding a single formal press briefing.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/trump-s-press-secretary-leaves-post-without-ever-holding-a-press-briefing-20200408-p54i18.html
    We can accept targeted restrictions but should resist extreme calls for our rights to be curtailed writes Edward Santow.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/08/we-must-combat-covid-19-but-creeping-authoritarianism-could-do-more-harm-than-good
    Research on coronavirus would need to be sustained even after the pandemic ends, according to CSL’s chief medical officer writes Emma Koehn.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/small-business/healthcare-industry-can-t-drop-the-ball-on-covid-19-csl-executive-20200407-p54hwr.html
    According to Stephen Bartholomeusz northern Europe’s refusal to contemplate fiscal aid for the southern members of the eurozone could spell the end of the ‘European Project’.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/could-the-coronavirus-end-the-vision-of-the-european-project-20200407-p54htp.html

    Cartoon Corner

    Cathy Wilcox

    Glen Le Lievre

    Alan Moir

    Matt Golding







    Andrew Dyson

    John Shakespeare

    Simon Letch

    Johannes Leak
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/e9605231f11615b5b40635fe6a62c0f9?width=1024

    From the US












  14. A politician being honest makes for big news these days. NZ Health Minister said of his breaking the lockdown rules “‘I’ve been an idiot’. A quick Google shows his “I’ve been an idiot” popping up everywhere from the Times of Israel to Fox News to the BBC to even Tunisian papers!.

  15. I just saw an article partly about passengers off the Norwegian Jewel being released from quarantine in a Sydney hotel and it made me really, really cranky.

    For what it’s worth, considering it’s a rubbish site –
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8196985/Coronavirus-Children-rushed-hospital-returned-travellers-end-14-day-lockdown-Swissotel.html

    A couple from Port Macquarie were looking forward to getting home, but said they knew this place was a “hotspot” for coronavirus infection and they were worried, would be trying to stay at home as much as they could.

    Know why this town had such a flurry of cases over the last two weeks? Cruise ship passengers, all elderly, returning home and bringing the virus with them. Of the 29 cases in the LGA all but 5 had “recently returned from overseas”, as the local paper put it. The rest were from unknown sources. It wasn’t until a 91 year old man died of COVID-19 at the weekend that they finally admitted he had been on the Ruby Princess. I suspect most of the other cases were also from that ship, or one of the others that unloaded passengers around the same time.

    As of last night there has not been a diagnosis here for three days. Has the curse of the cruise ships finally left us? We can only hope.

    Thank goodness for quarantine in city hotels, but why wasn’t it done weeks earlier? Why were so many people allowed to leave their plague ships and travel around Australia, even overseas, when our governments knew cruise ships were incubating the virus?

  16. “A long-term strategy to ease ­social-isolation restrictions and expose Australians to COVID-19 in manageable doses, without overwhelming the public health system, is being considered by the country’s chief health officials and some NSW government ministers.”

    “People have to get sick for this to pass,” said a senior government MP.

    This could involve partial lifting of social-distancing restrictions for people known to be less vulnerable to the virus, such as schoolchildren, or young people less likely to die from the illness.

    “We do need it to go through the community at a gentle pace,” the official said.

    School-aged children and young adults were “the least ­likely to have symptoms — it would start to increase the herd immunity for the country”.

    And just how do we stop kids passing this manageable dose of the virus on to their parents? Or is that part the plan? Let mum and dad get sick, they pass it on to the grandparents who will probably end up in ICU on ventilators, but at managed rate so our hospitals can cope with a slower influx and the resultant deaths.

    We now have evidence that children and healthy young adults can die from COVID-19. Are any of these chief health officials and ministers willing to see their own kids and family members die just to save the economy?

    This is the 21st century, not the 19th century. These days we get herd immunity by developing a vaccine and making sure everyone is immunised, and by taking whatever precautions are necessary until that vaccine is ready for use, not by allowing infection rates to climb with the inevitable result – deaths. I’m old enough to remember when childhood diseases were the norm, and there was no “herd immunity” for polio, measles, chicken pox, scarlet fever, mumps, meningitis and whatever other illnesses we can now immunise our children against. When there was an outbreak in a school everyone who had not already had that disease, and some who had already had it went down with it, and not everyone recovered. Some did, only for the disease to return years later in a far worse form. (Look up “subacute sclerosing panencephalitis” for an example.) I was lucky – I caught everything going around at school and came through safely, but not everyone was that lucky. Kids died or were left damaged by what too many still see as harmless childhood illnesses. Are our medical officers really telling us we have to go through all that again, but this time sacrificing the most vulnerable members of our society for the sake of the economy? Maybe making big companies pay tax would help, but that’s not the conservative way.

    Are these health officials and ministers really telling us the aged, the disabled, the indigenous and those with chronic health conditions might as well be sacrificed because they are burdens on the economy? Because that is exactly what will happen if this virus is allowed to spread via those “manageable doses”.

    Why should people die because the feds and the NSW “Liberals and Nationals” government, over their entire terms in office, slashed public health funding, CSIRO funding and funds for scientific research and ignored advice on preparations for pandemics?

    Is that what Australia has come to now? Governments thinking about deliberately allowing the most vulnerable to die? If so our conservative governments are murderers.

  17. Mixed messaging in Melbourne

    Ausgov is saying Stay home this Easter

    The Age reports it’s OK to visit your holiday house this Easter after Vic Pol booked people on Peninsula Freeway

    1. A girl practicing her driving on the closest 100kmh road to her house. In Vic if you can drive you can be booked if you are 20kph below signed limit

    2. A mountain biker from bayside, okay he lives in former swampland, heading to the hills

    • Sounds great.

      A lovely stash of good apple sauce is worth having.

      I used to bottle fruit and tomatoes and make jams and pickles (and apple sauce) long ago. Living in the Riverina meant I had easy supplies of cheap (or free) stuff so it made sense to bottle as much as I could. When I moved up here I gave up – no more bountiful supplies and too many bugs and fruitfly to grow your own.

    • While there was a bit of a fruit fly outbreak it is not a real problem in Tassie.

      I have always liked preserving—and a lot of it was my own produce. Peaches canned at peak ripeness—so much nicer than the bought stuff!

      I lost 3 cherry trees, replacing them with one sweet and one sour cherry and one peach tree (Bendigo Beauty) which you can eat or can making three sweet cherry, two sour cherry and 3 peach trees. Plenty to eat straight off the tree, plenty to can and all before the apple and pear trees reach ripeness.

      I am missing my cheap 17L pan and the special jar holder that fits nicely in it. My fruit trees don’t bear anymore and I did not think a dread plague would sweep into Australia!

      Curioz—thanks for those links, chasing them up now. I like really old fashioned recipes (made with labor saving machinery, including a moulie fitting for my big Kenwood Chef mixer: my hip is OK after the hip replacement operation but now my shoulders have arthritis and no operation there for a very long time.

  18. For once Greg Hunt is talking sense.

    Greg Hunt says Australia is not walking down the ‘herd immunity’ path:

    Look, our goal is not to get people infected. Our goal is for people not to be infected.

    Let me be really clear about this. We want as few people as possible to have this condition, because it can kill you. And that’s why. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re young or old.

    Obviously, it has a much bigger impact in terms of the likelihood of a serious consequence on somebody who is older, or has a comorbidity – some sort of other chronic condition.

    But we’ve seen tragedies around the world of young people who lose their lives. The young are not immune.

    They are simply less likely to get it, and less likely to have an impact. In the school situation, part of the debate has been about the safety of children at school because they may be less exposed to adults than might otherwise be the case if they were out with their parents shopping or doing other things.

    Our goal is very clear. As few Australians to contract coronavirus as possible

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/apr/08/australia-coronavirus-live-updates-nsw-victoria-qld-parliament-jobkeeper-latest-news-update

    So why are federal health officers, including the CMO and his deputies, pushing the flawed herd immunity idea?

    And – what happens if we find out this virus can have effects months or years later, things that can be deadly? That “you all have to catch it so it can pass” thing is dangerous.

    No-one yet knows if you can catch it more than once. No-one knows if immunity gained from having COVID-19 lasts a lifetime or only a few months.
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/science/article/Coronavirus-FAQ-Is-it-possible-to-be-reinfected-15154426.php

  19. Tick tick tick tick for Herr Kartoffelkopfbesitzer ?
    ………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Border Force allowed Ruby Princess to dock
    By Nick McKenzie and Alexandra Smith
    An Australian Border Force officer instructed a Sydney harbour master to allow the troubled Ruby Princess to dock despite as many as 140 passengers in isolation on board, official sources said.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/coronavirus-updates-live-global-covid-19-cases-surpass-1-3-million-as-australian-death-toll-stands-at-48-20200407-p54i17.html#p509ia

  20. Is Fishnets Downer volunteering to die for the economy?

    Of course not – he’s thinking of all those commoners, not his over-privileged bunyip aristocracy family.

  21. This is just pure spite from the government.

    Tonight, or maybe this afternoon, journalists will produce articles saying how harmonious this brief sitting of parliament was.

    Do not believe a word of their drivel.

  22. Nothing makes much sense to me today. I’ve self-isolated, resisted caring offers, told my caring daughter to stay away! I just can’t stop sneezing! Otherwise I’m well and warm and comfy, lying on my bed and well fed!! Can’t write though, but this keeps running through my head……

    Ring-a-ring o’ roses,
    A pocket full of posies,
    A-tishoo! A-tishoo!
    We all fall down!

  23. I grieve for not just those little boys of Ballarat school and the hundreds and thousands of others who have suffered over centuries at the hands of Roman Catholic ‘celibate’ priests.

    Think of the millions, no billions, of others who have thought themselves to be sinners needing forgiveness from their local ‘celibate’ priests in villages and towns all over the world and through centuries. Their sin? Being of weak and human flesh? What a wicked conspiracy to control our world! And they persist in it today!

    • For each and every person – child or adult, boy or girl, woman or man – I also grieve.

      It’s vital, however, to remember that it was and is not the Roman Catholics, but EVERY branch of EVERY religion, plus so many others – sports coaches, entertainment ‘personalities’, essentially any person in a position of power – who have behaved so badly for millennia.

      Rape, in my opinion, is the ultimate crime. Rape and murder, not so much. Rape without murder means the victim is forced to live with their violation for the rest of their days.

    • Remember there is also a person out there wondering “now where did my cat go?” . Also an excellent reminder of how mercenary them thar cats are, food for moi ? = BFF 🙂

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