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. Well, if anyone is going to catch it …

    Mass-funerals still being held in ultra-Orthodox Jewish circles in Israel are threatening to accelerate the spread of the virus in the country, the Haaretz newspaper reported.

    An estimated 300 people ignored social distancing rules and participated in the funeral of Rabbi Tzvi Shinkar in the predominantly ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak on Saturday night.

    The coronavirus is now spreading fastest in ultra-Orthodox communities in Israel, according to internal Health Ministry figures obtained by Haaretz.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/mar/29/coronavirus-live-news-trump-proposes-quarantine-of-new-york-and-other-hotspots

  2. The US ,as with other places, is facing a shortage of ventilators. A shortage that will mean many deaths, It turns out they started prepping for such a shortage 13 years ago but………
    .
    .
    The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed.

    As the coronavirus spreads, the collapse of the project helps explain America’s acute shortage.

    Thirteen years ago, a group of U.S. public health officials came up with a plan to address what they regarded as one of the medical system’s crucial vulnerabilities: a shortage of ventilators.

    Money was budgeted. A federal contract was signed. Work got underway.

    And then things suddenly veered off course. A multibillion-dollar maker of medical devices bought the small California company that had been hired to design the new machines. The project ultimately produced zero ventilators.

    The federal government started over with another company in 2014, whose ventilator was approved only last year and whose products have not yet been delivered.

    Today, with the coronavirus ravaging America’s health care system, the nation’s emergency-response stockpile is still waiting on its first shipment

  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Michael Koziol reports that public health experts have called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to release the modelling the government is using to make major decisions on coronavirus shut downs, arguing it would boost confidence in those choices and give people more clarity about when life may return to normal.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/show-us-the-modelling-give-us-a-time-frame-experts-plea-to-morrison-20200327-p54eqv.html
    And Sean Kelly says Morrison must give us more detail if we are to trust his judgment.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/morrison-must-give-us-more-detail-if-we-are-to-trust-his-judgment-20200329-p54f1i.html
    Michael Bachelard gets out the crystal ball to see what lies on the other side. Well worth reading.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/covid-19-crisis-what-will-australia-look-like-on-the-other-side-20200327-p54ei6.html
    So does Sean Carney who says nothing will ever be the same again.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/after-our-period-of-hibernation-nothing-will-be-the-same-again-20200321-p54chv.html
    Scott Morrison has offered coronavirus wage guarantee for those who have lost jobs, but details still to come writes Amy Remeikis.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/mar/29/australia-open-to-uk-style-wage-subsidy-to-ease-coronavirus-pain-cormann-says
    Economist Angela Jackson writes that our social safety net faces its biggest test in generations. Shea says the age of thriving not surviving is over for the time being.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/our-social-safety-net-faces-its-biggest-test-in-generations-20200329-p54eyt.html
    A combination of wage subsidies and loan guarantees is the only way to hold together employers, workers, and ultimately the Australian economy writes Kevin Rudd who takes the opportunity to put the boot into the critics of his handling of the GFC.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/crisis-calls-for-a-double-guarantee-covering-wages-and-loans-20200329-p54ex9
    The SMH editorial makes the point that this pandemic will demand a dramatic expansion of our mental health system.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/pandemic-will-demand-dramatic-expansion-of-mental-health-system-20200329-p54f21.html
    We cannot wait two weeks – we must go into lockdown now for the sake of our healthcare workers writes immunologist Professor John Dwyer.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/we-cannot-wait-two-weeks-we-must-go-into-lockdown-now-for-the-sake-of-our-healthcare-workers-20200329-p54f1b.html
    Michelle Grattan asks, “Which leaders and health experts will be on the right side of history on COVID-19 policy?”
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6701093/which-leaders-and-health-experts-will-be-on-the-right-side-of-history-on-covid-19-policy/?cs=14258
    David Crowe says that foreign buyers will be slapped with tougher rules to prevent them acquiring Australian companies during the coronavirus crisis amid plunging share prices and fears of predatory takeovers.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/foreign-buyers-face-scrutiny-on-every-bid-after-sharemarket-slump-20200329-p54f1s.html
    Our greatest failure has been the decline of our democracy laments John Lord.
    https://theaimn.com/our-greatest-failure-has-been-the-decline-of-our-democracy/
    It looks like it will be another brutal week for retailer stores.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/store-closures-jobs-losses-retail-industry-braces-for-another-brutal-week-20200329-p54ezt.html
    Dr Steven Hail believes that government spending can save the economy from serious recession in the wake of Covid-19.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/modern-monetary-theory-covid-19-and-the-economy,13726
    Sydney scientists have developed a world-first COVID-19 diagnostic tool to help frontline healthcare workers rapidly identify patients. The free online program trains doctors to spot COVID-19 in CT scans of patients’ lungs.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/world-first-tool-to-help-medicos-detect-covid-19-could-save-thousands-of-lives-20200329-p54f1w.html
    The coronavirus is the worst intelligence failure in US history writes Mikah Zenko. He says Trump’s judgments are highly transmissible, infecting the thinking and behaviour of nearly every official or adviser who comes in contact with the initial carrier.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/29/the-coronavirus-is-the-worst-intelligence-failure-in-us-history
    Research scientist Tosh Szatow writes that it’s not too early though to start laying the groundwork for measuring our response and the critical data needed for the next pandemic.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/lockdown-or-no-lockdown-global-responses-lessons-for-the-next-pandemic/
    In scenes reminiscent of September 11, 2001, emergency service workers are battling to save the dying in New York as the impact of coronavirus worsens.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/inside-war-zone-of-new-york-where-ambos-are-as-busy-as-september-11-20200329-p54f0m.html
    Bloody idiots!
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/29/church-goers-around-the-world-ignore-social-distance-advice
    Today’s “Arsehole of the Week” nominee.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/he-spat-on-his-credit-card-retail-workers-fear-shoppers-behaving-badly-20200329-p54f1c.html

    Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir

    David Rowe

    Matt Golding

    Jim Pavlidis

    Mark David

    Glen Le Lievre

    Michael Leunig

    Johannes Leak
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/431e961a4d51c9a78fba9bc1c1fcefac?width=1024

    From the US

  4. Just what the bushfire-devastated NSW south coast didn’t need – cruise ships infested with COVID-19 unloading passengers.

    A coronavirus cruise ship was about to dock in a bushfire-ravaged community until local doctors intervened

    7.30 can reveal that the bushfire-affected Bega Valley narrowly averted a potential health crisis after a plan to divert several cruise ships to the port of Eden to disembark passengers in the days following the Federal Government’s cruise ship ban was abandoned.

    One of those vessels, the Voyager of the Seas, was due to arrive at the port on 15 March.

    It has since had several confirmed COVID-19 cases after it left passengers in Sydney on March 18. One of those who tested positive, Garry Kirstenfield, died on Wednesday last week.

    But a local campaign saw medical practitioners, including GPs, anaesthetists, ICU doctors and respiratory physicians, unite to warn state authorities about the risks they believed passenger cruises presented to the regional NSW community, which was hit hard by bushfires over the summer

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-30/doctors-raised-alarm-coronavirus-cruise-ship-bushfire-community/12097698

    As an example of sheer, utter stupidity among the cruise ship brigade what about this, from “Sydney-based teacher” Helen Watson (what was a teacher doing on a cruise in March anyway) –

    She questioned why the cruise was allowed to depart, given the increasing risks around COVID-19.

    “I don’t think we should have been allowed to sail,” she said.

    “We should never have left port given the conditions at the time.”

    “Given the conditions at the time” with the Diamond Princess already in quarantine for a month and the virus already in Australia for over a month and spreading throughout the world why the hell did she still take the damn cruise? Why did she get on board? Why are humans so stupid?

    This particular cruise left Sydney on 7 March for what was supposed to be an 11 night Pacific cruise to New Caledonia and Vanuatu, due back in Sydney on 18 March. The original itinerary went nowhere near Eden. The cruise was booked out. Why didn’t the cruise company cancel it, instead of allowing the passengers to board? Greed?

  5. Meanwhile, there was this news last week –

    Hillsong’s New York pastor Carl Lentz tests positive for coronavirus
    https://www.eternitynews.com.au/world/hillsongs-new-york-pastor-carl-lentz-tests-positive-for-coronavirus/

    You might like to read this, about the New York Hillsong and Pastor Lentz –

    WHY I LEFT HILLSONG, JUSTIN BIEBER’S BELOVED EVANGELICAL CHURCH
    The celebrity-filled church pushes retrograde values on its parishioners.
    https://theoutline.com/post/6172/why-i-left-hillsong-justin-biebers-beloved-evangelical-church?zd=1&zi=czxu5zie

    • Re the above The “symptomatic” number represents just over 2% . The numbers would be pretty similar to here. It shows just how large a pool of potential ‘spreaders’ returning citizens represent. There must be quite a pool of them already out and about before things tightened up.

  6. L2

    From NZ site it means they will be taken direct from their arrival point to a quarantine accommodation centre.

  7. As Jeet Heer said about the above article…

    “Richard A. Epstein, the influential coronavirus contrarian, is the second worst person with that surname, but he’s making a bid for the top spot. Chotiner’s interview with him is, as one would expect, an intellectual slaughter.

    If you think Richard A. Epstein’s views on the coronavirus are wild, wait till you read him on the New Deal or civil rights.”

  8. There is one good thing about this slow down / lock down . For a time at least people will get to see what jobs really are essential to our society. We shall see that many, despite their importance we now realise, are low paid jobs normally somewhat looked down upon.

    With luck while noticing the above we shall also notice the high paying “prestige’ jobs which are in fact completely dispensable.

    Now if only such ‘discoveries’ can last post plague.

    • Wow. Reading that article I was struck how often their examples of what to say were almost word for word what I have heard from NZ officials and Ardern in their regular public updates.

  9. Mark McGowan says cruise ships have been “a nightmare”.

    Coronavirus pandemic prompts WA to consider hard border closure to restrict spread of COVID-19
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-29/coronavirus-pandemic-prompts-wa-to-consider-hard-border-closure/12100824

    The cruise ship nightmare is far from over, there are still at least 1800 Australians stuck on plague ships.

    More than 1800 Australians still stranded at sea
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/more-than-1800-australians-still-stranded-at-sea-20200329-p54f2c.html

    I’d hope this virus would mean the end of the cruise industry, but that is not going to happen. Cruise companies have temporarily stopped operations, but not for long. Some will be starting new cruises in the second week of April. Most are waiting until May.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/cruises/articles/cruise-lines-suspending-operations-over-coronavirus/

    • The cruise ships that embarked after March 2 were reprehensible. I can remember friends looking at the Trip-A-Deal cruise specials and dithering about whether to go. They stayed home.

      As someone remarked
      “Coronavirus is spread by the rich, endured by the middle classes holed up in their homes and it kills the poor”

  10. Spot on

    McManus was critical of the handling of federal and state governments:

    ”Earlier in the week [of 22 March] when the government made the announcement about increasing Newstart as their response, that did send a signal to a lot of employers, we started seeing mass job losses then, in particular for people that were easier to let go, by that I mean casuals and contractors.
    Then the next day I think was Tuesday various state governments made announcements that sounded like there was essential and non-essential employers, which all was a bit bungled really. The message taken by some employers was that they were not essential. And we woke up to a whole lot of workplaces standing down or just sacking their employees. A lot of unions worked really hard to get people back to work – that was simply bad communication by governments, state and federal, that lead to that panic.
    It became pretty clear by the middle of the week, it became clear by the middle of the week that the message employers had got was that they could let people go and they’d be looked after by the social security system – and you saw the Centrelink lines was a product of that.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2020/mar/30/coronavirus-update-live-australia-news-nsw-qld-victoria-scott-morrison-press-conference-covid-19-restrictions-public-gatherings-cruise-lockdown-app-latest-updates

  11. Razz had her teleconference with the doctor this morning. All went well, with the usual jocularity amidst the serious stuff. Prescriptions being sent to Chemist. All future appointments to be teleconference until at least September, unless something crops up that she needs a face to face. Flu shots to be had around the back in the ‘ambulance’ pickup area. Also forms to fill out for medical treatment if admitted to hospital. We will both be doing the DNR.

  12. The honest rundown of the CrimeMinister’s blathering presser.

  13. Longish thread

  14. The following is sourced from a Professor in Infectious Diseases at RMH ( provided by the Director of pediatrics at the RCH who is in my Kooyong tennis group). It provides good medically based information about CV19.

    “In order to assist you in taking the best precautions against contracting the coronavirus, I thought I would share with you some important, up-to-date information about COVID-19. In framing this message, I have drawn upon the expert advice of Professor Michael Richards, an infectious diseases physician at the Royal Melbourne Hospital specialising in infection prevention and emerging infectious diseases. I am grateful for Professor Richards’ advice.

    Symptoms and crude testing at home
    The coronavirus infection presents a little differently from the common cold. Usually, among those who contract the coronavirus infection, it initially causes just a mild sore throat and dry cough, and most people have no sneezing. Some people have no symptoms at all, despite carrying the virus. Others then progress after 4 or 5 days to shortness of breath and they develop a fever. At that point, they are developing pneumonia, and should see a doctor immediately.

    Once the lungs are involved in this infection, a simple test can be taken by individuals at home to assess how severe this has become. This crude test involves every morning taking a deep breath, then holding your breath for 10 seconds. Assuming your lungs have previously been normal, if this can be done without coughing, and without difficulty, it suggests that any involvement of the lungs is not too severe at this stage.

    Preventing the spread of infection
    To understand prevention, we need to consider how the virus spreads, which is by small droplets. Some other infections, like measles and tuberculosis, have ‘airborne’ spread and are carried in the air long distances from the infected patient. The specialist medical experts do not believe COVID-19 infection spreads this way—except in special circumstances in a hospital treatment setting. The droplets may spread to another person directly when an infected person coughs or sneezes, but the droplets will fall to the ground within 1.5 metres or so. That is the reason why people are very strongly advised to keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres from each other in public.

    The droplets may also settle on a surface, and then the virus remains alive for substantial but variable times. It doesn’t survive very long at all outdoors in open spaces, where the saliva that it’s in evaporates quickly. However, it can survive long periods, especially indoors, on hard non-porous surfaces, like lift buttons or computer keyboards, maybe for several days. If you touch these surfaces you are not immediately infected, but the virus may be transferred to your eyes or mouth when you later touch your face. Most of us touch our faces very, very frequently.

    Questionable infection prevention
    Lots of suggestions for prevention have been circulating by word-of-mouth or online, but the effectiveness of these prevention measures is not clear. One popular prevention theory currently circulating suggests that frequent hot drinks may be effective in reducing the volume of the virus in one’s throat. At this stage, this prevention idea is not well-based: although the virus does better at certain temperatures, efforts to change the temperature of the throat with hot drinks are unlikely to change the course of the illness—and it is also unlikely that cold drinks and ice make it worse. In some laboratory experiments, zinc appeared active against this family of viruses, prompting some people to try taking zinc for prevention or treatment. However, there are no trials of zinc in this role to show if this is of benefit. The reason these approaches are probably unlikely to work is that the virus is not just sitting on the surface at the back of your throat but is multiplying in cells under that surface.

    Simple steps that are effective
    The most important means of preventing this infection is frequent handwashing with soap and water, or by using alcohol-based hand disinfection (sanitisers), after contact with others, or touching frequently touched surfaces, etc. This handwashing will become even more important as the virus starts to circulate in our community in Victoria. It is probably just starting to do that now. Some usual domestic activities can be continued; for example, washing your clothes with the usual detergents should be adequate. You should also disinfect things you touch often, such as your mobile phone, keyboard, mouse, car steering wheel, and door handles, etc.

    Should you wear a face-mask?
    You will see more and more people wearing face masks from now on. These are very important for use by infected people to stop them spreading the virus, but masks are of much less use for non-infected people in trying to prevent infection. They may have some role in very crowded environments. P2/N95 masks are already in short supply and overseas stocks have become exhausted where there are large numbers of patients. The nurses and doctors looking after infected patients need these supplies for use with direct patient care, or they will themselves become infected in large numbers. We know from overseas experience that even if they take great care, more than a few nurses and doctors will likely become infected through this work”.

  15. An obvious thing to have and after SARS and even before many countries have/had them. Yet I have not seen any reference to such a thing existing in Australia, Criminal negligence .
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    National reserve supplies

    National reserve supplies have been developed to ensure that as far as is possible, DHBs and the wider health sector have continued access to specific critical supplies during a severe pandemic which would generate unusual demands on normal health service stocks or supply chains
    https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/emergency-management/national-reserve-supplies

  16. The media are saying casual workers get the JobKeeper payment, but that’s not exactly the truth.

    You have to have been working with your employer for at least 12 months to qualify. If you have not done that then you starve. Welcome to the ranks of “undeserving poor”.

    The qualifications and restrictions around this payment make it nowhere near as good as it could have been. Even though unions are reasonably happy with it a lot of workers are going to get nothing.

    The money goes to bosses, not direct to workers. Why not just give everyone a wage subsidy? Why make this so complicated?

    Oh yeah – MyGov crashed again a while ago. I wonder why?

    Parliament has to return to pass this payment, it’s not included in any of the powers given to ministers. The legislation does not exist yet. So we have a brain fart that won’t even get through parliament for a few days at best, weeks at worst, a shitload of restrictions and the media think it’s just wonderful.

  17. Re the above, Crikey articles are currently unpaywalled.

  18. Hi Folks, I’m still around but have not been very active probably because of depression related to prostate cancer treatment.

    This blog has to be one of the brightest and best sites on the net.

    You know just how well the community is travelling by the number of second hand cars that suddenly are for sale. A road near me that rarely as one sitting beside the road with a for sale sign on them suddenly has 5 of them in a row. I bet buyers are scarce at present.

    Stay safe everyone. This crisis will pass but the world will not learn any lessons from it unfortunately.;

    The people tasked with running the place are too stupid and vest interested to think ahead to plan for the benefit of the majority of us, especially those who are least well off.

    • Scorps,

      How lovely to see you!

      Very sorry about the depression. But you aren’t alone: many males endure depression while living with prostate cancer (yeah, great comfort, Fiona! Try again …). Okay, have you sought/are you getting psychological support? I hope so; from personal experience (not, obvs, prostate cancer myself) really good counselling and psychotherapy can be a huge help, both for the sufferer and (feeble grin) those suffering him.

      Please sing out if there’s anything anyone here can do to help.

      My love to you and your wonderful family.

  19. More “policy” on the run.

  20. Dutton, August 2019

    Ministerial foreword for the AHMPPI

    The Australian Government is committed to keeping Australia secure against potential threats. The Government continues to fund initiatives such as the National Medical Stockpile, the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Influenza Research and Reference, and contracts
    for supply of pandemic vaccine to protect Australians.

    However, it is inevitable that the world will face another influenza pandemic. While there is no certainty about where or when the next one will occur, Australia must be prepared. An influenza pandemic represents a significant risk to Australia. It has the potential to cause high levels of disease and death and disrupt our community socially and economically.

    This plan—the Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza (AHMPPI)—outlines Australia’s strategy to manage an influenza pandemic and minimise its impact on the health of Australians and our health system. The new and improved AHMPPI takes a significantly different approach to the previous plan and outlines the measures that the health sector as a whole would consider taking in response to an influenza pandemic. Continuous and extensive consultation with states and territories and other relevant stakeholders has enabled feedback to shape the development of the document.

    Click to access w-AHMPPI-2019.PDF

  21. Absolutely best wises to you wonderful patrons at The Blog. I shed a tear or two at the realisation that I haven’t been forgotten.

    I promise to keep in touch even though my desktop has quit and many of the keys in the middle of my laptop are hard to activate after some rough treatment by Qld Rail when we came back from a Pacific Cruise just before the Corona virus hit.

    Maybe our miserable excuse for a leader will cough up for a new one. 😉

    • Hi Scorps glad to hear you got in your holiday before the virus swept in.
      If it’s any comfort most Australians will be confined to home for the 2020 winter, more pleasant in Qld than Vic Tas

  22. scorpio6to2

    good to see you again and that you are still alive and kicking. Re second hand cars. The sainted mining companies started mass sacking of workers in WA well before the GFC hit. Man could you get bargain prices for V8 utes and HSV cars. Kick myself for not taking an HSV offered for $11,000. Basically what was owed on the car.
    .
    Sorry but cannot resist reposting Scooorpio..

  23. kaffeeklatscher,

    That’s why I mentioned that “buyers are scarce at present.” as my opinion is that people are being very careful about prioritising just what they spend their precious resources on.

    I totally understand your reluctance to splurge on what seems a top self bargain.

    More important priorities to consider.

  24. What to wear to ensure ‘social distancing’ whilst shopping ? A suggestion from NZ.

  25. JobKeeper stimulus expected to Goto >6 million workers
    1.1 million non Australian workers miss out

    >1 million on jobSeeker

    13 million working age Australians

    Covid19 is massive

    On a personal note the niece who was stood down on Friday ineligible for JobKeeper as changed jobs in September, she would have been stood down from her previous employer on Friday also.
    So clearly I reckon JobKeeper too complex and too restrictive
    It would have worked if rolled out before people were stood down, now the wounds have opened and animosities are evident

  26. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    The extraordinary scale of this new wage subsidy will be a relief to many. The astonishing question is whether it will be enough writes David Crowe.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/wage-subsidy-a-relief-for-many-but-a-warning-of-what-s-to-come-20200330-p54feh.html
    The Australian describes the government’s wage subsidy scheme as a “depression buster”.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/coronavirus-scott-morrison-announces-130bn-scheme-to-protect-jobs/news-story/e6da1629ab6b17c663dc614a02d8fc7a
    Paul Kelly says this is the most momentous and unprecedented fiscal decision in our history.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/coronavirus-pm-redefines-whatever-it-takes-with-130bn-wage-subsidy/news-story/c4aee610c935475b1585e9fd95567bd5
    The secret sauce in the government’s A$130 billion JobKeeper payment is that it will be retrospective, in the best possible way writes Peter Martin.
    https://theconversation.com/the-key-to-the-success-of-the-130-billion-wage-subsidy-is-retrospective-paid-work-135042
    Australia’s $130 billion JobKeeper payment: what the experts think.
    https://theconversation.com/australias-130-billion-jobkeeper-payment-what-the-experts-think-135043
    Sam Maiden goes to ten questions about the $1500 wage subsidy people need answered.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2020/03/30/10-questions-about-coronavirus-wage-subsidy/
    Euan Black reports that unions are warning huge chunk of casual workforce could miss out on the coronavirus wage subsidy.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2020/03/30/unions-coronavirus-wage-subsidy/
    The rules around social distancing to prevent further contagion are finally clear. It is now up to all Australians to do the right thing exhorts the SMH editorial.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/physical-distancing-rules-are-finally-clear-and-should-be-observed-20200330-p54fec.html
    According to Ben Butler The Reserve Bank has been quietly working out ways it could establish a government-backed facility to help superannuation funds pay redemptions allowed under new rules to deal with the coronavirus crisis, even though the idea has so far been rejected by the treasurer.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/mar/31/reserve-bank-could-lend-money-to-super-funds-to-help-cover-coronavirus-withdrawals
    Aren’t the banks lovely to let their home loan customers take a six month break from mortgage repayments! Only one catch … they are charging compound interest; interest on their interest. Michael West reports on the hardship of the banks versus the hardship of their customers.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/coronarorts-rescue-measures-a-free-kick-or-fee-kick-for-the-banks/
    Tim Elliott says that the scariest part about what is happening now is speed. The speed with which rumours become reality and the implausible becomes normal. The speed with which our assumptions are overturned.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/the-scariest-part-about-the-coronavirus-pandemic-is-speed-20200329-p54f00.html
    The AFR says that the pledge made by the big banks to back their customers is about to be tested when they start choosing which businesses to save or let fail, as the biggest demand shock in 100 years batters the economy.
    https://www.afr.com/companies/financial-services/banks-we-re-bloody-lucky-we-ve-got-them-20200330-p54fay
    Carer advocates and unions are demanding the disability sector be given access to aged care-style retention bonuses and basic personal protective equipment amid warnings some workers would be no worse off if they were receiving the boosted dole payment.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/calls-for-retention-bonuses-protective-equipment-for-disability-workers-20200330-p54fej.html
    Stephen Bartholomeusz opines that the coronavirus could finally drive a stake through the heart of the over-leveraged zombie companies that have been kept alive on a diet of cheap and plentiful credit following the GFC.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/pandemic-could-slay-zombie-companies-that-staggered-through-the-gfc-20200330-p54f93.html
    Dana McCauley reports that Greg Hunt has intervened to save private hospitals at risk of collapse.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/greg-hunt-intervenes-to-save-private-hospitals-at-risk-of-collapse-20200330-p54fdb.html
    Elizabeth Knight writes that the whole retail supply chain is now in damage control but if Myer survives, a real new look Myer may emerge from the retail wreckage.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/myer-shouldn-t-allow-this-crisis-to-go-to-waste-20200330-p54fdv.html
    Cara Waters explains how we can all do our bit to help small businesses.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/small-business/how-we-can-all-do-our-bit-to-help-small-businesses-20200330-p54f8p.html
    Peter Hartcher thinks an economic hurricane is hurtling towards the South Pacific.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/an-economic-hurricane-is-hurtling-towards-the-south-pacific-20200330-p54f6t.html
    Bears hibernate, companies don’t says a sceptical Shane Wright.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/bears-hibernate-companies-don-t-20200330-p54f4s.html
    The Guardian’s view on key workers is that applause is not enough.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/30/the-guardian-view-on-key-workers-applause-is-not-enough
    Peter Greste writes that the coronavirus underscores the crucial role – and responsibility – of the free press in a crisis.
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/companies/coronavirus-underscores-the-crucial-role-and-responsibility-of-the-free-press-in-a-crisis-20200329-p54f03.html
    Kevin Rudd says that fixing the NBN should be a national priority once the coronavirus danger eases.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6702879/fixing-the-nbn-should-be-a-national-priority/?cs=14329
    People assume that we’re vulnerable to false information. But even in times of crisis, common sense usually prevails writes Hugo Mercier.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/30/fake-news-coronavirus-false-information
    Coronavirus has seriously tested our border security. Have we learned from our mistakes wonders research fellow Jacinta Carroll.
    https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-has-seriously-tested-our-border-security-have-we-learned-from-our-mistakes-134794
    Scotty from Marketing is not up to the job of leading this nation through the current crisis, writes Ross Jones.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/wanted-a-prime-minister-able-to-deal-with-a-crisis,13741
    Jeremy Baskin explores the concept of universal basic income for Australia.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6702099/whatever-it-takes-should-include-universal-basic-income/?cs=14258
    School Principal Jenny Allum does not think we will see a learning revolution as a result of this experience.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/a-learning-revolution-in-the-classroom-i-don-t-think-so-20200330-p54f76.html
    The idea of moving 50 per cent of your retirement funds to cash and bonds at a time when interest rates are at a record low has the potential for loss warns Noel Whittaker.
    https://www.smh.com.au/money/super-and-retirement/stay-the-course-in-super-don-t-switch-to-conservative-options-20200330-p54fa5.html
    Tasmanian childcare centres are on the brink of collapse because of plummeting attendance and no support.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6704233/childcare-centres-on-brink-of-collapse/?cs=14231&utm_source=website&utm_medium=home&utm_campaign=latestnews
    The idiot Trump called Nancy Pelosi a “sick puppy” yesterday, after the House speaker said the president’s mishandling of the coronavirus crisis would contribute to deaths in the US that might have been avoided.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/30/trump-pelosi-coronavirus-response
    Trump says Republicans would ‘never’ be elected again if it was easier to vote. FMD!!!!
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/30/trump-republican-party-voting-reform-coronavirus

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Alan Moir



    Mark David


    Peter Broelman.

    Glen Le Lievre

    Andrew Dyson

    Matt Golding




    John Shakespeare

    Sean Leahy

    John Spooner
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/7bd0b716c8850f998d9279802329adaa?width=1024

    From the US











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