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. Snakes the lot of them

    Mathias Cormann says the government is looking at the next stage of stimulus. It doesn’t look like the wage guarantee that the workers’ unions want is in there though:

    Well, we’ve always said that our approach to this will be scalable …

    Mathias Cormann says there is not enough time to set up a new payment scheme, despite the payments not coming through the Centrelink system until April 27. That is the line Scott Morrison has been using as well.

    • This is a longish thread from an economist about how easy it would be to immediately set up a new payment scheme using the existing ATO system.

      The truth is the government just isn’t interested.

  2. Seth Meyers –

    Brian Tyler Cohen

    James Obrien (they walk amongst us and they vote!)

  3. Need a distraction?

    This is a lovely thread.

  4. VG


    Wednesday 25 March 2020

    As we face the changing circumstances related to COVID-19, we’d like to update you on the steps we are taking as a business to ensure that you have access to fresh food, hygiene products and essential items. We are working around the clock with our Australian partners to distribute products to our stores. As demand remains ongoing, we have introduced further restrictions on the following product categories.

    Product limits are based on categories, regardless of the brand, weight or variety. For example, sugar = all types of sugar.

    To be able to provide Australians access to the essential products they need, we have decided to temporarily restrict purchases on the following products from 25 March, 2020:

    Toilet paper – 1 unit
    Paper towels – 2 units
    Tissues – 2 units
    Dry pasta – 2 units
    Flour – 2 units
    Dry rice – 2 units
    Microwave rice – 6 units
    Hand sanitisers – 2 units
    Serviettes – 10 units
    UHT long-life milk – 6 units
    Antibacterial wipes – 10 units
    Canned foods – 10 units
    Mince meat – 2 units
    Eggs – 2 units
    Chilled pasta – 2 units
    Sugar – 2 units
    Liquid soap – 2 units

    Social Distancing Measures

    For the safety of our store employees and our customers, we are implementing a series of measures to encourage social distancing. Our stores now have 1.5 metre social distancing floor markers at our checkouts and security guards will enforce customer flows, such as limiting the number of shoppers in our stores. Please consider letting those less able or requiring special assistance to the front.

    To protect our employees, we are currently in the process of installing clear screens at each store register. We also encourage customers to use contactless payment where possible.

    We will continue to monitor the situation and will modify our operations as necessary. We thank our shoppers for their patience and cooperation.

    • My immediate reaction: well done, Aldi!

      My subsequent reaction: why da hell isn’t the Government doing this?

      Oh, forgot: government (especially fed government) has zero care and zero responsibility.

    • To be fair, all the supermarket chains have done that and have been updating their lists for weeks.

      Here’s Coles on 18 March –

      Our team members, suppliers and transport partners have been working hard to deliver more products to stores every day and we are stocking shelves as quickly as possible.

      To continue to allow everyone the opportunity to purchase staple items, the following purchase limits are currently in place:

      One pack per person:
      Toilet paper
      Two items per person:
      Dry rice
      Paper towels
      Paper tissues
      Hand sanitisers
      Mince meat – includes Beef, Pork, Lamb, Chicken & Turkey
      Chilled pasta
      Frozen vegetables
      Frozen desserts
      UHT long-life milk
      Canned tomatoes
      Liquid soap
      Chilled white milk – includes all sizes of Coles Brand and branded white dairy milk, plant-based non-dairy and goats milk sold chilled in our dairy fridges in supermarkets and at Coles Express
      We will also be introducing some additional limits on certain items in each store. These can vary between stores, so please visit your local Coles for more information

      Woolworths has been doing the same since toilet paper was rationed on 5 March, gradually increasing their list of restrictons.

    • No distance markers in Aldi Majura park this arvo – and patrons, luckily not too many, were making no effort to keep their distance from each other. Some even let their germ carrying ankle biters run riot touching shelves, products.etc.

    • I’ve been paying for everything with a debit card for years. I rarely use cash. Don’t see the point – I just end up with a stack of change. For me a debit card is ideal.

  5. I don’t know where to start with this crap

    Deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly was also asked on 7:30 about crowds and queues at Sydney Airport after NSW health ordered all incoming international passengers to be screened with temperature checks.

    He replied:

    One is the numbers of people returning from overseas are decreasing quite rapidly but there’s still several thousand people every day. It’s interesting that you would say that people were concerned about being held up for temperature tester. A few days ago we were being criticised for not testing enough at the airport …

    That’s one of the reasons why we’ve gone to the 14 days of self-isolation. That means staying at home, because the airports are not set up for this sort of thing. We’re testing where we can. We’re trying to identify people that are sick so they can be tested early.

    But the general principle, if you’re returning from overseas, we’re assuming the whole of the world is worse off than Australia and for most of the world that is the case, and we’re asking people to isolate at home, to self-monitor and that will be checked, Leigh. All states and territories are really ramping up their checking and enforcement of that home quarantine.

    • He’s contradicting himself – saying overseas countries are worse off than Australia and then saying it’s OK for Australians returning home from these plague spots to just wander off without testing and only self-isolate if they feel like it. Does he really believe Australians overseas are immune to infection? That’s what he seems to be implying.

  6. Kelly is as useless as the tits on a bull. He should be taken out back and disposed of. Earlier today he was defending keeping hairdressers open using ,several times, such wonderful arguments as, “nobody is forced to go to work” . Talk about a bought and paid for lickspittle of this corrupt bunch of religious crooks.

  7. Just watching the NZ daily update re virus. you know how all these payments here are not going to be paid for many weeks ? Well in NZ they have already paid out $1.5 Billion in wage subsidies.

  8. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. I’m afraid I lapsed into a few profanities
    this morning but they were eminently justified.

    David Crowe says that it’s time to loosen the blindfolds and give us the transparency needed with virus figures.
    John Hewson writes that credibility has been the missing link in our battle against coronavirus.
    Anthony Albanese has outlined his manifesto for a post-pandemic Australia, flagging the need for sweeping changes to the industrial relations system and a massive expansion of social housing.
    In an excellent contribution expert in medical risk communication, Professor Julie Leask, says that our leaders need to take the public into their confidence in a way that will feel uncomfortable and new for some. They will need to constantly communicate the uncertainty and limitations of the knowledge behind decisions. People dislike uncertainty but a perception of obfuscation is worse because it diminishes trust.
    Australia is scared and confused about coronavirus. Is Scott Morrison the leader we need for this grave moment asks Richard Flannagan.
    We must keep as many people as possible in jobs, working fewer hours if necessary, and with the government supplementing incomes says Ken Henry.
    The Morrison government argues it is possible to make a distinction between saving lives and saving livelihoods. The real problem will be if this ends up being a false choice writes Jennifer Hewett.
    Luke Henriques-Gomes reveals that the federal government has privately admitted it will be forced to refund more than 400,000 welfare debts worth about $550m that were wrongly issued to hundreds of thousands of Australians under the botched robodebt scheme.
    Sydney’s eastern suburbs have become the epicentre of the battle to contain the spread of coronavirus in NSW, with Waverley and Woollahra local government areas accounting for nearly 15 per cent of confirmed cases in the state.
    The AFR reports that employers and unions have struck a deal to allow more than a million administrative staff to work irregular hours without extra penalties while working from home during the coronavirus crisis. The agreement reached on Thursday to save jobs under the clerks award will also reduce minimum hours of permanent and casual staff, allow work across classifications, and let employers direct employees to take leave and provide double leave at half pay.
    Waleed Aly says that the hairdresser ‘rulings’ have made a mockery of important social distance messaging.
    John Warhurst writes that media scrutiny of the national cabinet should continue to be intense – because public accountability must be maintained. As it stands, power has been centralised in a single untested institution.
    Nick Bonyhady reports that more than 280,000 people told Centrelink they needed financial support to cope with the coronavirus pandemic yesterday before 2.30pm.
    Designing and constructing an intensive care unit usually takes years. Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital built a new one in a week writes Kate Aubusson.
    A soccer match last month that sparked euphoria in Bergamo has taken on a much darker relevance says the Washington Post that described the match as a biological bomb.
    David Crowe tells us that the government is examining wider measures that would encourage business owners to see out the crisis rather than walk away from their companies and workers.
    The Australian tells us that thousands of Australian doctors, nurses and health workers will be given a tuberculosis vaccine in a trial that, if successful, could see it made widely available within three months to slow the spread of COVID-19. The BCG vaccine, given annually to 130 million children, has been found to boost immunity to viral respiratory tract infections, a key symptom of the coronavirus, making it a potential weapon to slow the spread of the virus.
    Melbourne socialites have exploded in acrimony over the COVID-19 outbreak enveloping the city’s wealthiest suburbs, after Australian skiers returning from Colorado were accused of clumsily spreading the killer virus. New data shows the wealthiest suburbs, including Toorak, South Yarra and Portsea, are at the centre­ of the coronavirus spread in Victoria, coming after an ill-fated ski season in Aspen that was marred by the outbreak that infected­ many Australians. Grrrr!
    To get on top of the coronavirus, we also need to test people without symptoms says Professor of Global Biosecurity C Raina MacIntyre.
    Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly Jonathan O’Dea does not want to see democracy halted by this virus. He calls for a virtual parliament. Can’t argue with that.
    Having been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the RBA is taking measures to ensure commercial banks can still function as lenders, writes Tom McCarthy.,13731
    It is estimated there are 7000 Australian travellers in Indonesia, including 4700 in the holiday hotspot of Bali and these represent a grave threat to virus control writes James Massola.
    Full attention is on the immediate COVID-19 battle of flattening the infamous curve – but that won’t mean the end of the health war by any means. Planning to win the war has to continue at the same time this battle is being fought writes Michael Pascoe.
    Elizabeth Knight tells us how Solomon Lew has pulled out the big guns in his stand-off with retail landlords as he refuses to pay rent for the 1250 stores he controls. He’s been itching for this.
    The SMH editorial calls for renters to be helped through this crisis. It says the financial consequences of the pandemic will drag on for years but ensuring Australians have a roof over their heads must be one of the top priorities.
    The Foreign Investment Board is bracing for Chinese takeovers of distressed Australian assets. The concern has sparked calls from Liberal MPs to revisit the criteria for FIRB approval of foreign acquisitions, including putting a greater emphasis on company links with foreign governments.
    The Morrison government’s newly-formed COVID-19 Commission has been called on to break an impasse between stevedoring, logistics and port operators and state governments which threatens to sever Australia’s global supply chains in a pandemic lockdown.
    The economic hit inflicted by coronavirus will cause more severe stress in Australia’s mortgage market than what was experienced during the global financial crisis, Standard & Poor’s says, with self-employed borrowers at the most risk.
    Michelle Grattan wonders which leaders and health experts will be on the right side of history on COVID-19 policy.
    When confronted by serious matters such as threats to public health and safety, the default position of right wingers is to wash their hands of it writes Michelle Pini as she discusses the Coalition, conservatives and the great unwashed PR campaign.,13730
    The energy market operator says Victoria and New South Wales are heading for a natural gas shortfall in winter months within four years as production from ExxonMobil and BHP’s Bass Strait gas fields rapidly declines.
    Economists have forecast house prices in Australia will fall following coronavirus-related restrictions on real estate operations and the mounting tally of huge job losses across the economy.
    APRA has called on industry superannuation funds to provide urgent information on their liquidity as well as estimates of emergency payouts caused by the coronavirus.
    Now that the global economy has been hit by a pandemic, we’re once again seeing the rise of weak monetary policies, writes Professor John Quiggin.,13724
    How to survive working from home with young kids. This organisational behaviourist makes some good points.
    AD Astra writes, “We can only hope that the great awakening the LNP is now experiencing will cast the scales from its eyes and make it more sensitive to the earnestly offered advice of the many experts who in good faith put forward an opinion. LNP ministers are not the economic magicians they fancied they were. Hopefully they now realise that and will listen more attentively.”
    The contrast could hardly be more stark. In a world that is shutting up shop to try to slow the insidious spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Donald Trump is calling for America to reopen writes The Australian’s Cameron Stewart in Washington.
    Hand sanitiser has been a hard-to-find commodity for some weeks, and people are increasingly turning to recipes to make their own at home but experts are warning against this pursuit.
    A record 3.3 million people filed claims for unemployment in the US last week as the Covid-19 pandemic shut down large parts of America’s economy and the full scale of the impact of the crisis began to emerge.
    According to Bloomberg prices, having collapsed by about 60 per cent this year, Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude have stabilised at around $US25 a barrel, but the price rout is far deeper for actual cargoes, which are changing hands at large and widening discounts to the global benchmarks. The discounts mean that in the physical market, some crude streams are trading at $US15, $US10 and even as little as $US8 a barrel.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz looks at the oil industry’s supply surge and demand shock.
    The economy versus our lives? It’s a false choice – and a deeply stupid one writes Siva Vaidhyanathan in the wake of the idiot Trump’s latest ravings.
    As coronavirus exposes a failing Trump, New Yorkers look to ‘the new Giuliani’ namely Mayor Andrew Cuomo.
    Donald Trump’s biographer and Pulitzer Prize winner David Cay Johnston investigates the US stimulus plan and finds, unless a lot more is done, the country faces depression.
    It’s getting tough in Alice Springs for police to enforce social distancing.
    Will COVID-19 mark the end of European liberalism?
    Groups of ultra-Orthodox Jews have held prayer meetings in Melbourne this week in defiance of strict social-distancing rules designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus. State MPs blasted the groups who met late at night in small private venues to conduct daily “minyan” prayers, a type of worship that requires the presence of 10 or more Jewish men. Fucking idiots – just LOOK at them!
    US gun industry groups are engaged in an intense attempt to persuade state and federal lawmakers that gun shops should be considered “essential” businesses during the coronavirus crisis, and therefore allowed to stay open. I think that says it all about that fucked up society!

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Jim Pavlidis

    Matt Golding

    Simon Letch

    John Shakespeare

    Andrew Dyson

    David Pope

    Peter Broelman

    Alan Moir

    Johannes Leak

    From the US

  9. A nice story from NZ. At a nursing home the 15 staff decided to move in with the elderly residents for the duration of the lock down. The things some people will do to avoid being “locked up” with their kids for a month 🙂

  10. How useless is the Morrison government ? This is gobsmacking. No wonder Scrott and co have been floundering , they are making it up as they go along. No planning, prep ………….or clues it would seem.

    On Sunday, when Mr Morrison announced “stage one” of a national shutdown, he was asked directly what stage two would look like.

    “You mentioned stage two of this shutdown. What is it, and what triggers it?” a reporter asked.

    “Well stage two has not been defined, and it has not yet even been defined if it will be necessary,” Mr Morrison replied.

  11. Toorak is the epicentre of coronavirus infections in Melbourne, Sydney’s wealthy eastern suburbs are the NSW epicentre.

    Does this suggest a pattern? Are the most wealthy Australians the most irresponsible?

    • Apparently it’s the same ‘power couple’ who’ve been doing a very interesting version of self-quarantining down at Portsea (I posted about these entitled idiots yesterday afternoon).

  12. Uh oh……………….if true. From Spain, need Google Translate
    Rapid tests for coronaviruses purchased in China do not work well

    Microbiology laboratories report that the tests acquired by the Government have a sensitivity of 30% when they should exceed 80%

    The much-announced rapid tests for coronavirus with which the Government wanted to start testing the broader layers of the population to find out what the real size of the contagion is in Spain do not work well. This has been confirmed by several microbiology laboratories of large hospitals in the analyzes that have been made of the kits recently arrived from China. The results of these preliminary tests are discouraging: “They do not detect the positive cases as expected,” says a source who has participated in the tests and who asks for anonymity.

    The rapid tests, manufactured by the Chinese company Bioeasy, based in Shenzhen, one of the technological poles of the Asian country , have a sensitivity of 30%

  13. Excellent article and a very chilling warning.

    I fled the coronavirus in New York for Sydney. I was shocked by what I saw in Australia

    Australians are not taking this threat seriously. With better leadership that might be different, but with ScottyFromMarketing in charge, trying new restrictions as if he’s product testing a new flavour of ice cream and then reversing those restrictions within 24 hours because someone complained what hope do we have. What hope when our government is in recess, the medical advice being given to the National Cabinet just echoes the CrimeMinister’s flawed thinking and the state premiers, fed up with the lack of commonwealth action are deciding to go it alone? What hope when the CrimeMinister clearly has no idea what to do and is just making stuff up as he goes?

    Go back to Hawaii, CrimeMinister. We manage better without you.

  14. Would it be mean to hope all those attending get sick and die?

    Louisiana Church Under Fire For Hosting Service For 1,800 People Despite Social Distancing Warnings

    Pastor Tony Spell explained that he does not intend to observe Louisiana Governor John Edwards’ suggestions to stay indoors and practice social distancing. Spell, instead, believes the pandemic will be corrected through the power of Jesus and people testing positive can be healed through the touching of hands at his church.

    The Pastor specifically invited members of the church who had tested positive for the virus to attend, stating he would put his hands on them and heal them through the power of Jesus

  15. gigilene

    The “mad” Frenchman who ran a marathon on his balcony has inspired someone on the other side of the world.

    Hattle was due to run a long distance event in the South Island but it was cancelled as a result of the spreading Covid-19 pandemic.

    He was disappointed because he’d not finished the race last year and was desperate to achieve his goal this time around

    Instead of moping – he set himself a home challenge to smash instead.

    So after the lockdown started, friends sent him a video of a man in France who ran the distance of a marathon on his balcony.

    Hattle thought he’d have a crack at something similar.

    The 33-year-old even did part of it with a toddler on his back – lapping his property over and over again until he completed 50km.

  16. I’m seeing a lot of comment accusing Labor of voting to close parliament.

    That’s not what happened.

    Don’t expect the MSM to tell you the truth, they have an agenda.

    And here’s the vote – interesting to see Zali Steggall, who many mistakenly believe is a real independent, voting with the government again. So much for democracy, Zali.

    • I got angry last night, and kept directing people to Tony Burke’s twitter feed to watch the above. Have had about 60 retweets, and a thank you from Tony himself. Totally disgusted with Phillip Adams who tweeted what Barry Jones has said. As a friend said last night, Adams is well past his use by date. He won’t correct that lie that he tweeted.

  17. Good.

    Captain Cook 250th anniversary voyage suspended due to coronavirus

    The CrimeMinister will not be happy, this was one of his pet projects. No doubt he was looking forward to a lot of grandstanding and photo ops.

    It was a daft idea anyway, a brainfart from the CrimeMinister who was too dumb to know Cook did not circumnavigate Australia when he first announced this costly and pointless “re-enactment” in January last year and then had to correct himself.

    • Live in a flat
      More than a body length between groups
      Not as cramped as shops or markets

  18. Skiing trips to Aspen in the news again.

    Coronavirus infected 24 diners in one night. The restaurant stayed open

    On March 14 a wealthy Brisbane property investor held a private function for 90 people at Sails, to celebrate his 50th birthday. The guests wined and dined long into the night on Moreton Bay bugs and mud crab overlooking the ocean.

    Waiters circulated, and so did, it turned out, coronavirus.

    At least 24 people at the party were infected that night, including four staff.
    The ‘super-spreader’ event is one of the largest to have happened in the country, and exactly what epidemiologists had feared in the days leading up to the weekend, when cases around the world were surging. The infection reportedly spread from a single guest who had recently returned from a skiing trip in Aspen

    Could have been the same Aspen trip, the dates fit. Another member of the group bringing the bug home.

  19. I can’t see a national lockdown no matter how bad it gets,Morrison will just keep fluffing around the edges and it will be left up to the states to make the big decisions.If there are state lockdowns do mines have to close as well?

    • Obione,

      Mining isn’t mentioned as a Federal power in the Commonwealth Constitution, so the states are in control. If a state goes into lockdown, so do the mines, unless they are specifically exempted.

  20. Now is the sort of time I wish I was still living on a farm. Wide open spaces a million things to do and not visiting the shops for weeks on end is totally normal.

  21. Speaking of mining –

    Queensland miners fear Fifo workers could pose a threat during coronavirus pandemic
    Local workers and their families are concerned that thousands of fly-in, fly-out workers continue to cycle through mine sites

    The Queensland government has declared mining an essential industry (only essential to those who make buckets of money from it) and has exempted FIFO workers from quarantine rules.

  22. The CrimeMinister is doing exactly the same thing he did during the bushfires – dumping responsibilities onto the states as much as he can. This gives him an excuse if anything goes wrong – “It wasn’t me, it was their fault!”

    He might as well take another holiday in Hawaii, a permanent one, because he’s absolutely useless here.

  23. The scariest thing about this virus is just how easily it can spread through contamination.

    A scenario: you’re at the shop. About a half hour ago, a customer unknowingly infected with Covid-19 used the eftpos machine as normal. They contaminated the keypad when they used it.

    Everyone else including you also used the keypad. The virus is now on your hands, and you spread it to your wallet and your card.

    Unless you sanitize immediately, you return to your car. Your shopping bags, keys, gearstick and steering wheel are now contaminated.

    You return home. You open the door, the doorknob is now contaminated. You take your wallet, keys and phone (now contaminated) out of your pocket. Even if you wash your hands properly after this, you still potentially have Covid-19 in your house, which you could contract at any time for days later when you touch these things, unless you spray contaminated surfaces with an antiseptic.

    These are thoughts that keep me up at night, and why this pandemic is so dangerous.

    • Wearing gloves to get groceries, use own bag rather than trolley, pay waving everything, and just 2 be sure, Credit card doesn’t go back in wallet until it is iso-wiped.

    • At a couple of labs I’ve worked at there has been a microbiologist working there. They gave me a lot of the low down on bacteria,fungus and viruses and their super duper ubiquity. The bustards are everywhere in their zillions!!! Any hint of paranoia, hypochondria or OCD and a career as a microbiologist would be “worst eva” decision 🙂

  24. Watching the NZ health boss cocky doing his daily,excellent, round up of the situation I heard something !!!!. How criminally unprepared is Australia. Earlier I posted an article highlighting Scrott could not say what Level 2 measures are as they had not been worked out yet !!! Anyway this guy mentioned questions re PPE and it turns out NZ has a national and regional “Pandemic Supply Reserve” . Prepped and ready. Meanwhile we keep hearing of shortages here. Although praise be to jeebus we are still a zillion miles ahead of the US of A .

  25. Re St kilda Beach

    Photos were taken with telephoto lens, but even then you could see groups were more than a body length apart, physical distancing observed

    The recreation areas for the council area are beachside – all closed thanks to media beat up led by Tom Elliot who can retreat to his Cape Schack retreat. I live in lowest income segment where most residents live in flats. Nowadays the flats are occupied by health workers so they will be flat out

    We back onto Stonnington, ie 50m north of us is the highest incidence of Covid19 in the state, 57 cases, next worst is 36 cases

    In my area, all pharmacy staff have face masks and heavy plastic curtain separates customers from staff. In the hotspot the pharmacists wear visors. Australia Post and supermarket guys wear face masks

    Shops in Chapel St have closed except for Coles, Woolworths, prahran market, Aldi

    Definition of recession in 1991 was when you can park outside the sail maker in Chapel St when that’s where you want to shop. We are in recession

    Can’t even send my unwanted belongings to Vinnies

  26. This describes the problems in the US with the right wing christian nut jobs. It probably also helps to understand where our own homegrown idiot is coming from.
    I personally think scumo isn’t doing much because, “why bother, I’m going to heaven soon and leaving you lot behind.”

    The Road to Coronavirus Hell Was Paved by Evangelicals

    Trump’s response to the pandemic has been haunted by the science denialism of his ultraconservative religious allies.

  27. Not even a pandemic and the associated panic buying can persuade people that Black Pudding is edible.

    Harder to see what the poms have against Brussel Sprouts though, must be a Brexit thing 🙂

  28. A couple of articles from the New England Journal of Medicine.
    Fair Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources in the Time of Covid-19
    Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1

    SARS-CoV-2 was more stable on plastic and stainless steel than on copper and cardboard, and viable virus was detected up to 72 hours after application to these surfaces (Figure 1A), although the virus titer was greatly reduced (from 103.7 to 100.6 TCID50 per milliliter of medium after 72 hours on plastic and from 103.7 to 100.6 TCID50 per milliliter after 48 hours on stainless steel).

  29. Went to Coles at 7am. They had tp and tissues.

    I think they should decontamine the shop overnight instead of sweeping the floor at 7am.

    They don’t fill your bags anymore. They’ll only fill new bags which you’ll have to buy. I just filled my own. No big deal. We’ve got to help the cashiers as best we can. They should wear a mask.

  30. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    In the middle of a national crisis, three of the four key figures leading Britain’s response, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have been knee-capped by COVID-19.
    The irresistible force of the coronavirus collided with the immovable object of the federation this week, revealing both the limits of prime ministerial authority, and the fragility of our very system of governance writes George Megalogenis. A really good read.
    From dole payments that don’t start for a month or millions for airlines no longer flying, the government’s policy prescriptions to date don’t support its plan to put the economy in hibernation says Laura Tingle.
    According to David Crowe and Nick Bonyhady businesses will be able to freeze their debt and tenants will get emergency help when they can’t pay rent under government plans to respond to the coronavirus.
    The Morrison government argues it is possible to make a distinction between saving lives and saving livelihoods. The real problem will be if this ends up being a false choice writes Jennifer Hewett.
    Paul Bongiorno begins this contribution with, “If anything crystallises the brutal impact of the coronavirus crisis in Australia, it is the thousands queued outside Centrelink offices around the country this week.”
    After the coronavirus, Australia and the world can never be the same again declares Katharine Murphy.
    As well as trying to contain the catastrophic outbreak of Covid-19, health authorities, governments and social media platforms must also try to combat the rampant spread of misinformation about the virus says Mike Seccombe. Unsurprisingly Trump gets a good serve.
    Peter Doherty tells us we are experiencing the pandemic we had to have.
    This is not like an ordinary recession where jobs dwindle as conditions deteriorate. This is the swift execution of viable businesses with little warning writes Phil Coorey who concludes by saying, ” no one should ever again bag Labor’s response to the global financial crisis. It wasn’t as big or complicated as this mess, but it has now been writ large that the only way to save livelihoods is to spend an inordinate amount of money.”
    And Coorey welcomes us to the new world of ‘cryogenic suspension’.
    Property landlords will need to waive rent, while worker pay and accumulated leave may be sacrificed to help shuttered businesses survive a six-month coronavirus “hibernation”, Scott Morrison has declared.
    Scott Morrison could become Australia’s most important war-time leader. His Friday talk with the nation was the best iteration so far of his critical ongoing dialogue with Australia, and Australians fawns Greg Sheridan.
    Shane Wright looks at the impact C-19 is having on the way things are.
    More than one third of NSW’s 1405 coronavirus cases are people aged in their 20s and 30s, prompting concerns other young people with mild or no symptoms could be unwittingly spreading the virus.
    Julia Baird outlines the bad things that can come to the fore in these times of domestic isolation.
    Vulnerable women and children in self-isolation are facing the prospect of being forced to stay inside with an abusive partner
    Coronavirus confusion isn’t made any clearer by political messaging laments Paula Matthewson.
    Oxford scientists are enrolling the first volunteers to test a UK coronavirus vaccine, in a dramatic acceleration of the typical pace of drug development. The trial will recruit up to 510 healthy adults, aged 18 to 55, to test the vaccine called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. The participants will not receive the vaccine for some weeks.
    Do the members of the Coalition government not realise what idiots they appear to be when they announce a decision and, within 24 hours, amend that decision asks Rosemary David.
    Peter FitzSimons says that stadium rebuilds will make even less sense if sports get demolished.
    New Zealand is in total lockdown. Why aren’t we asks Sue Green.
    Adele Ferguson looks at the plight of franchisees in the C-19 crisis and writes about how landlords and franchisors need to step up.
    Rob Harris tells us all about the team of medical experts that is advising the government.
    Malcolm Knox looks at the future of professional sport on the other side of this.
    When Scott Morrison announced his first tranche of stimulus on March 12 it seemed like very clever policy making. By the time he announced his second tranche on March 22 it was not only dwarfed but moot writes Kirsten Lawson.
    The country’s peak business body has joined the trade union movement, Labor and the Greens in backing an 80 per cent wage subsidy, similar to that rolled out in the UK, for workers whose jobs are at risk because of the coronavirus pandemic.
    Karen Middleton writes that Australia has reached a critical point in its fight against coronavirus, with the next few days set to determine whether the health system can cope, or the infection rate explodes beyond capacity.
    Clancy Yeates explains the key role the RBA is playing during this crisis.
    Paul Karp reports that the Morrison government has upped its external spending on Covid-19 data analytics from $1m to $5m but declined to release modelling underpinning national cabinet decisions to delay tighter restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
    Andrew Parsons, the chief investment officer at Resolution Capital, which has nearly $10 billion in funds under management, has slammed the Australian government over its response to the coronavirus saying it lacked a ‘war-time’ style response plan. He says we have a “sub-Prime Minister” crisis.
    The retail industry is facing its toughest fight in decades – and analysts believe fashion stores could be hit hardest.
    With insufficient supplies of protective equipment and few ICU beds, doctors in regional New South Wales warn the Covid-19 pandemic will push the healthcare system to the brink writes Justine Landis-Hanley.
    Why police will be crucial players in the battle against coronavirus.
    These key charts show well-heeled Sydney areas leading COVID-19 count. A d from what I read yesterday there are similar indications in Melbourne.
    Dominic Powell explains the shut down of Myer stores. This is one company that may not come out of hibernation successfully.
    MyGov’s ill-timed meltdown could have been avoided with ‘elastic computing’ writes computer science lecturer Erica Mealy.
    The first two Victorians to die of coronavirus were cancer patients in the oncology ward at The Alfred hospital, sparking testing among dozens of medical staff.
    Rick Morton writes that while one Queensland laboratory readies a Covid-19 vaccine for human trials, Howard-era public servant Jane Halton is co-ordinating the global response.
    Dana McCauley writes that personal trainers and flight attendants could be re-trained as hospital orderlies and administrative staff as health departments scramble to fill thousands of roles.
    Public servants who refuse to be redeployed to other work or agencies will have to take leave or face disciplinary action as the government ramps up its efforts to bolster areas of the bureaucracy under pressure.
    Sampling and isolating asymptomatic drivers of coronavirus before it spreads will aid in protection, writes Dr Kim Sawyer.,13732
    Public transport usage is down by about 90 per cent across Victoria and Metro Trains is bleeding up to $12 million a week as more people stay home.
    Matthew Knott highlights the vivid comparison between Trump and NY Governor Andrew Cuomo.
    Trump’s narcissism has taken a new twist. And now he has American blood on his hands says Jonathan Freedland in a superb contribution.
    The Royal Commission has its say on behalf of aged care.
    If you are a Gold Coast resident and are considering voting for Tom Tate – regarded by this publication as one of the most dishonest and disreputable politicians in Australia – then perhaps read through the following list of Tate’s lies and failures first provided by Dave Donovan.,13736
    Patrick Hatch tells us why aviation might never look the same again.
    Organisations that have ties to child sex abuse scandals are being funded out of taxpayers’ pockets, writes Peter Wicks. He says it’s time this gravy train stopped.,13735
    Without doubt these up-themselves idiots earn nomination for “Arseholes of the Week”. This two wealthy Australians have narrowly avoided legal action by the Attorney-General in the US state of Colorado after they broke out of coronavirus isolation that had been imposed on them while on a skiing trip two weeks ago in Aspen.
    And another nomination. This time it’s Clive Palmer. Hasn’t the prick done ENOUGH damage to the country?
    And for “Arsewipe of the Week” we have this “entrepreneur”.

    Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir

    David Rowe

    David Pope

    John Shakespeare

    Andrew Dyson

    Jim Pavlidis

    Matt Golding

    Simon Letch

    Matt Davidson

    Mark David

    Jon Kudelka

    Johannes Leak

    From the US

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