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. Mr Hazzard is due some gardening leave

    Nine reported tonight that NSW Health cleared the Ruby Passengers to disembark, citing emails obtained by the network that say NSW Health assessed the Ruby Princess as “not requiring onboard health assessment in Sydney”.

    “You are free to disembark,” the email to the Ruby Princess’s physician adds.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2020/apr/03/coronavirus-update-live-news-australia-queensland-victoria-nsw-qld-tas-act-sa-wa-nt-covid19-latest-updates#comments

  2. Mrs Scorpio is starting to get a bit concerned after getting a message from AHPRA that they have given her a provisional 12 Months full Nursing Registration.

    I understand that the government is concerned that the projected 100k to 150k fatalities projected as a worst case scenario are a possibility and that they might need to co-opt recently retired, highly qualified nurses such as Mrs Scorpio in order to attempt to contain the crisis is worth considering if the existing health care workforce is inadequate to control it.

    She is ok with the idea that her extensive medical experience would be much in demand and valuable but is concerned that her age (64) puts her in an age group that is more vulnerable to adverse effects of Covid 19 than younger health workers.

    She might even bring an infection home to Scorpio who has medical conditions that could see him expire within a couple of days following infection.

    I hope that their worst case projections are well out and that things can return to normal soon/.

  3. Scorpio they better be paying Mrs Scorpio really good danger money otherwise she is just cannon fodder

    Its flattering to be asked to return to work, but . . . .

  4. Doing a pollbludger thingy here, sorry
    TLBD wrote “Anyone else think the COVID-19 model the government will release will have been “modified” to support their lies?”

    Yes, this government lies, but which direction will they lie . . . .

    will they downplay the figures or exaggerate them?

    The fatality rate has to be very high and the death very frightening because they have crashed the economy, destroying wealth for the next 50 years and they have prepared for a 6 month lockdown

    I reckon that 70% of working age Australians are now not working and they have been thrown out of work in past 14 days

  5. This is good news.

    Touching keypads is now a big issue, something I never worried about before.

  6. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Australia may have avoided the disastrous COVID-19 outbreaks experienced in Italy and the US, with a leading expert saying the national daily growth in new confirmed cases could potentially drop to double digits within nine days.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/we-will-now-see-the-benefits-case-increase-slows-as-lockdown-takes-effect-20200403-p54gxb.html
    Josh Frydenberg is pushing banks to “stretch” as far as possible to defer loan repayments for households in financial distress as more than 200,000 customers plead for debt relief.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/banks-urged-to-stretch-to-help-crisis-customers-20200403-p54gxn.html
    Paul Kelly begins this interesting contribution with, “The abnormal is Australia’s new normal, but only for a while. What is more important is that the ­nation in the fullness of its social, economic and spiritual life does not revert post-crisis to the old pre-2020 politics. The past cannot be fully restored and that creates a new opportunity — to reinvent and improve upon the past.”
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/team-australia-our-new-normal-for-now/news-story/6d82a41e2d559df928c3017fd26e78f7
    David Crowe tells us that only now is it clear how closely bank chief executives and bank regulators have been cooperating with political leaders to agree on emergency measures that can help homeowners, investors and small businesses suspend their repayments.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/strain-on-the-banks-financial-systems-hinge-on-our-health-strategy-20200403-p54gw9.html
    According to the SMH editorial the emergency assistance programs must not be cut back before the economy is ready.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/give-the-economy-time-before-waking-it-from-hibernation-20200403-p54gxo.html
    Karen Middleton tells us that as Scott Morrison unveils the largest spending measures in the country’s history, officials inside Treasury are drafting plans for an entirely new economy. She says traditional ideological positions are being jettisoned without a backward glance and there is a growing view that the economy as we know it now may never be the same. This is well worth reading all the way through.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/economy/2020/04/04/treasurys-plan-new-economy/15859188009631
    Australia has done well on coronavirus, but now it must decide between tough options – all involving deaths – and choosing that course needs to be a democratic process writes epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely. It is an excellent article.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/now-the-lucky-country-must-decide-what-is-our-least-worst-option-on-covid-19-20200403-p54gq8.html
    Here are Paul Bongiorno’s thoughts on the Coalition’s seismic economic shift.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/topic/2020/04/04/coalitions-seismic-economic-shift/15859188009635
    And the AIMN quirkily looks at Morrison’s makeover.
    https://theaimn.com/duds-army/
    Peter van Olselen writes that we are in a moment could that changes history’s course.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/this-could-be-a-moment-that-changes-historys-course/news-story/c6a702441cfe4eb5d2bce5d5f312e4aa
    We are heading somewhere different as a result of this crisis. It may not necessarily be somewhere worse, writes Laura Tingle.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/the-coronavirus-may-change-us-for-the-better-20200403-p54gpp
    The spirit of bipartisanship steering the nation through this crisis won’t last. It’s time to prepare now for the battles to come, writes Lenore Taylor who says Australia can be a better, fairer place after the coronavirus, if we’re willing to fight for it. This is quite a good read.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/04/australia-can-be-a-better-fairer-place-after-the-coronavirus-if-were-willing-to-fight-for-it
    If we take lessons from history, we can use this chance to emerge from the pandemic with a world changed for the better, writes Dr Robin Tennant-Wood.
    https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/now-is-our-chance-to-create-a-new-normal,13759
    Does dealing with the pandemic mean it’s too soon to talk about the future? The ever-optimistic Dr Martin Hirst doesn’t think so.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/politics-and-the-pandemic-covid-19-could-cause-an-outbreak-of-socialism,13757
    Parliament sat during world war two and Spanish flu, Morrison should not be cancelling it for coronavirus implores Kim Carr.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/03/parliament-sat-during-world-war-two-and-spanish-flu-morrison-should-not-be-cancelling-it-for-coronavirus
    And Barry Jones says that we need more democracy, not less.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/topic/2020/04/04/we-need-more-democracy-not-less/15859188009623
    Coronavirus has paused parliament. This is what should be happening instead proposes Paula Matthewson.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/04/03/coronavirus-politics-parliament-hibernation/
    Shane Wright and Jennifer Duke report that a panel of 15 leading economists on average expects the budget to fall into deficit by $87 billion in 2019-20, followed by a $140 billion deficit in 2020-21.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/one-in-10-workers-tipped-to-be-jobless-at-peak-of-crisis-20200402-p54gg2.html
    Leaked emails between NSW Health and the senior doctor on the Ruby Princess show arrangements had been made for samples taken from sick passengers to be tested for COVID-19.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw-health-allowed-cruise-ship-passengers-to-disembark-despite-test-results-pending-20200403-p54gze.html
    Scott Morrison has called on tourists to go home, as authorities grapple with the health risk of backpackers crammed into hostels.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/go-home-scott-morrison-tells-international-visitors-20200403-p54gu2.html
    This is not hibernation – it’s life support says Ken Henry on the COVID-19 economic shock. Peter Hartcher reports.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/this-is-not-hibernation-it-s-life-support-ken-henry-on-the-covid-19-economic-shock-20200403-p54gyb.html
    Sally Whyte reports that workers at Services Australia have reported chaos and confusion as they received conflicting instructions from their managers about working from home arrangements over the last week.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6707118/services-australias-work-from-home-rules-lead-to-confusion/?cs=14350&utm_source=website&utm_medium=home&utm_campaign=latestnews
    States and territories have been urged to focus the first round of the federal government’s $150 million domestic violence package on emergency accommodation for people stuck at home with violent partners during the coronavirus pandemic writes Jennifer Duke.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/states-urged-to-focus-domestic-violence-funds-on-emergency-accommodation-20200403-p54gwq.html
    Mike Foley and Nick O’Malley tell us that Australia still has a chance to use existing technologies to tackle climate change and maintain living standards while creating new jobs, an exhaustive new study has found, but only if individuals, businesses and government act quickly to reduce emissions from every sector of the economy.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/report-maps-out-ways-to-reach-climate-targets-and-regenerate-economy-20200403-p54gwl.html
    Phil Coorey tells us that a warning from Josh Frydenberg’s could reignite the superannuation culture wars between industry funds and the government.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/cash-starved-super-funds-could-be-forced-to-merge-20200403-p54goz
    Clancy Yeates writes that ANZ Bank chief executive Shayne Elliott has warned the coronavirus crisis will have a “material” impact on Australian house prices and affect the national psyche for an entire generation.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/australia-won-t-look-the-same-anz-s-elliott-warns-coronavirus-impact-will-be-generational-20200403-p54gpb.html
    Adele Ferguson explains why Virgin Australia needs a government lifeline to survive.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/virgin-australia-needs-a-government-lifeline-to-survive-20200403-p54gwu.html
    The federal government has left the enforcement of coronavirus laws to the states, creating great confusion and uncertainty. One federal MP is even advising constituents on how to get around them writes Mike Seccombe as he writes about the Covid-19 lockdown and police powers.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/law-crime/2020/04/04/covid-19-lockdown-and-police-powers/15859188009636
    Chinese aid and medical experts are flying around the world to help other countries hit by COVID-19. But will the assistance redraw the strategic map asks James Massola.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/china-s-face-mask-diplomacy-could-reshape-power-in-south-east-asia-20200402-p54gkv.html
    With some of its golf courses and hotels closed amid the economic lockdown, the Trump Organisation has been exploring whether it can delay payments on some of its loans and other financial obligations, according to people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by The New York Times.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/trump-s-own-company-seeks-financial-help-as-coronavirus-takes-toll-20200403-p54gob.html
    Talk that sport will change forever is right on the money says Peter FitzSimons.
    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/talk-that-sport-will-change-forever-is-right-on-the-money-20200403-p54gwk.html
    Jill Margo in the AFR explains how new guidelines are being fast-tracked to help doctors make the difficult decisions around which patients receive life-saving care. Central to this is the principle going to the difference between preserving life and extending the process of dying.
    https://www.afr.com/policy/health-and-education/how-do-hospitals-decide-who-gets-the-available-ventilator-20200401-p54fwo
    Wendy Squires tells us how searching for the small wins is getting me through this pandemic.
    https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/searching-for-the-small-wins-is-getting-me-through-this-pandemic-20200402-p54gh0.html
    John Elder explains why a COVID-19 vaccine is so long coming. He says we don’t want another thalidomide.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/wellbeing/2020/04/03/vaccine-developnent-why-so-long/
    Elizabeth Farrelly writes that across the world, there’s growing concern that COVID-19 is enabling authoritarian governments to amass unprecedented powers that will outlast the crisis itself. She says that here, too, there are concerns that new emergency powers could be used that way.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/beware-what-s-happening-under-the-cover-of-covid-20200402-p54gi0.html
    With Covid-19 making telehealth and working from home a necessity, the importance of the NBN – as well as its current inadequacies – has never been clearer writes Paddy Manning. He says technology experts are worried the NBN may not cope well with the inevitable increase in demand from a surge in telehealth – especially as the network is already under enormous pressure as millions of Australians work, study and entertain themselves at home.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/2020/04/04/nbn-under-pressure/15859188009638
    Once the emergency is over, Australia’s project must be the removal of wage subsidies, debt and restrictions on personal freedom opines Tom Switzer.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/our-liberty-and-prosperity-are-in-peril-if-covid-19-triggers-an-arms-race-of-compassion-20200403-p54gqc.html
    Rick Morton writes that with the nation in near lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, family violence is on the rise, with many victims now unable to access the help and services they need.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/law-crime/2020/04/04/family-violence-increasing-during-covid-19-lockdown/15859188009641
    Sass J-Baleh explains how Australia’s global competitive advantage in food production highlights its reliance on food logistics and scope for e-commerce growth.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/e-commerce-property-proves-resilient-in-tough-times-20200402-p54gf5.html
    Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor, who has a history of disclosure failures and being embroiled in scandals, yesterday updated his pecuniary interests register to reflect thousands of dollars worth of gifts from Virgin Australia and Qantas. These disclosures were made only after questions for this story. Taylor’s office points the finger at alleged co-offenders in the ALP but just how many Coalition MPs have failed to report largesse from the nation’s two major airlines, both of which are now demanding the Government support them with billions in public money? Anthony Klan reports.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/scandal-magnet-angus-taylor-fails-to-disclose-virgin-and-qantas-freebies/
    The cult of the National Health Service has been key to so many political fortunes over the decades, but no leader has weaponised it more than Boris Johnson.
    https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/british-love-for-national-health-service-could-make-or-break-boris-johnson-20200403-p54gte.html
    According to the AFR oil’s wild ride won’t be tamed by Trump’s intervention.
    https://www.afr.com/markets/equity-markets/oil-s-wild-ride-won-t-be-tamed-by-trump-s-intervention-20200403-p54gr1
    Robert Guy says Trump is dreaming if he expects Saudi Arabia and Russia alone to shoulder a 10 million barrel cut in oil output.
    https://www.afr.com/markets/equity-markets/fracking-americans-must-share-oil-market-pain-20200403-p54gt8
    As the numbers of dead and unemployed grow ”carnival barker” Trump looks and sounds smaller says Richard Wolffe. Quite a good rant.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/03/united-states-numbers-dead-unemployed-trump-smaller
    Nancy Pelosi says she will form a bipartisan select committee on the coronavirus crisis to oversee the spending of $US2.3 trillion ($3.6 trillion) that Congress has approved to respond to the pandemic. Of course, this has sent Trump ballistic.
    https://www.theage.com.au/world/north-america/nancy-pelosi-announces-select-committee-to-oversee-us-coronavirus-relief-20200403-p54go8.html
    The US has been accused of “modern piracy” after reportedly diverting a shipment of masks intended for the German police and outbidding other countries in the increasingly fraught global market for coronavirus protective equipment. Trump would NEVER do that would he?
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/03/mask-wars-coronavirus-outbidding-demand
    We are at an important stage in Australia. The Government’s agenda to roll out the 5G network is well underway, but with a growing global protest movement against this roll-out, now is the time to be asking what is 5G actually for and who does it benefit. Hmm.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/how-neoliberal-culture-and-5g-are-related,13758

    Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir


    David Rowe


    Andrew Dyson

    John Shakespeare



    John Tanner

    Simon Letch

    Matt Golding

    Peter Broelman


    Jon Kudelka

    Johannes Leak
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    From the US











  7. The CrimeMinister tells tourists to go home.

    He should have said that two months ago. By now most of them are stranded here. How are they supposed to go home when the airlines are barely operating? Make a canoe and paddle back to Europe perhaps?

    As with everything this loon has done or announced for the last few months it’s far too late.

    • I feel very sorry for the Chinese university students who were in China for New Year.
      Many universities helped them get to Australia by providing loans and advising they fly back through Thailand
      These students have to
      1. pay back loan
      2. pay university tuition fees for courses that are suspended for 2020 and possibly 2021
      3. lost their jobs without any welfare payments

  8. N95 masks. It may pay to get a couple if you can. Several countries in Europe have made wearing it outside compulsory and Germany is looking to doing it as well. The WHO and the US CDC look to be making a bit of a change on advice re wearing them .If it happens here it could well be another ‘toilet paper’ stampede. We get most from China and so we will be fighting everyone else in the world to get some from there.

  9. The CrimeMinister used one of his favourite expressions yesterday – “the big rocks are in the jar”.

    Katherine Murphy noticed.

    He has used this weird reference before, not that I ever noticed until now. Last October he dragged it out when he was talking about drought relief –

    It is the biggest call on the budget because it is the most pressing, the rock I’m going to put in the jar first. It is the first call because that is what is needed in our rural and regional communities

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/19/scott-morrison-says-drought-the-coalitions-first-call-but-makes-no-mention-of-climate

    I had to look it up, I’ve never heard this nonsense before. It comes from Dr Stephen Covey, a pioneer of self-help books for business persons. No wonder the CrimeMinister became a follower.
    http://www.appleseeds.org/Big-Rocks_Covey.htm

    Covey, apparently, was a writer, educator and “keynote speaker” dearly loved by “f-wits and carpet salesmen” as someone told me on Twitter. It figures that a failed adman would be impressed by this gobbledegook.

    Covey was a devout Mormon. “In 1996, Time magazine named him one of the 25 most influential people” So influential I’d never heard of him until yesterday, but as I don’t read self-help books of any kind I’m not surprised by my lack of knowledge.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Covey

    Some thought Covey was just a snake oil salesman who kicked off a load of bullshit in the business world. He loved clichés and one liners which inspired a lot of posters. No wonder the Ad Man was impressed. Maybe that’s where he got his love of slogans.

  10. Lucky you explained it. It still doesn’t make sense though. Why would you put a rock in a jar? It doesn’t relate to anything, unless you are a geologist.

  11. Wow, finally got through BK’s links, there are some good points being made in some of them.

    I had a link bookmarked to the ‘wheelercenter.com’ to listen to George Mega, it is well worth a listen if you have 55 minutes to spare.

  12. FFS!

    This is a real worry – I posted about the dangers of this drug the other day and now the government seems to have swallowed the hype.

    Hydroxychloroquine: Australian government waives regulatory requirements for drug
    Several anti-viral and anti-malarial drugs, which have also been touted by US president as a treatment for coronavirus, have been exempted from strict approval regime

    The Morrison government has waived therapeutic goods registration requirements for anti-malarial drugs touted by Donald Trump as a potential cure for Covid-19 to prepare for their urgent importation to Australia.

    On Thursday, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine was exempted from a requirement to be listed on the Australian register of therapeutic goods, which is generally the only way medicine can be lawfully supplied in Australia.
    ……………………………………………………………………………..
    Caroline Edwards, the health department’s acting secretary, made the exemption on the condition the drugs can only be imported, manufactured or supplied by a person with a contract or arrangement with the health department.

    “The specified therapeutic goods must only be supplied in Australia for the prevention, treatment or alleviation of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) following advice from the Australian government department of health,” the exemption said.

    The Australian government supports two trials involving hydroxychloroquine, which is an anti-malarial drug also used to treat autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/04/hydroxychloroquine-australian-government-waives-regulatory-requirements-for-drug

    The article, thank goodness, does mention the nasty side effects caused by hydroxychloroquine. – cardiac toxicity (potentially leading to sudden heart attacks), irreversible eye damage and severe depletion of blood sugar (potentially leading to coma).

    This drug is not safe. Even when prescribed for legitimate treatment of auto-immune conditions patients using it have to be closely monitored and the treatment stopped if they show side effects.

    Now read this –

    Trump touted hydroxychloroquine as a cure for Covid-19. Don’t believe the hype
    The anti-malaria drug could be ‘one of the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine’, Trump claimed, but there is no magic cure.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/28/coronavirus-cure-fact-check-hydroxychloroquine-trump

  13. A very good summary of the story so far

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/apr/04/the-two-meetings-that-changed-the-trajectory-of-australias-coronavirus-response?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    I agree with this [my bold]

    Things feel grim, because they are grim. The suspension of ordinary existence is absolutely necessary in the service of saving lives, but we have entered a new normal that could persist not for six months, which is the timeframe invoked most regularly by political leaders, but for a year. Or two.

  14. ‘And there is confusion at all levels.’ That makes sense to me!.

    Please, don’t ask me for a password! I don’t want to enlarge upon my comment! Do I need to explain all my exclamation marks?

    • Mungo – what I tried to say to you there – is that everything you say to me about confusion over this pandemic makes sense to me!

      A 77 y.o. walking friend of mine was ambulanced off to intensive care last night – not because of ‘covid 19’ but with a ruptured duodenum. Normally not an unexpected outcome from a ‘high flyer’ of fifty years ago. Not today! Naturally she was tested and found negative for the virus!

      Bernie Sanders and others talking to Bill Maher in the States also made sense, as well as all that stuff about boosting our immune systems, eating well and keeping calm. I’ve been having lessons in all that for eight decades now. So I guess I must have learned something about taking responsibility for myself.

      Except – I just can’t stop asking questions and be quiet! Then my fingers run away with me! As they did just then! No matter how conscientious I am about fact checking and retaining objectivity I find myself getting angry about what looks like medical abuse, orchestrated and funded by bigpharma given too many concessions by some politicians, down here in Oz as much as elsewhere in the world.

  15. And if you want a laugh…

  16. Down comes the rain! I’m so glad I had my walk earlier. And yes – I physically distance, even to the point of crossing the street.

  17. My very humble opinion on the current state of affairs. The world is rapidly going to hell in a hand basket led by the supposed leader of the free world (an orange orangutan who has acquired the ability to speak tho’ very rarely in coherent sentences) another in Great Britain who couldn’t find his own arse with a map and guide dog leading him while we have a leader who falls to his knee’s praying to some sky fairy for fek knows what. The end of times perhaps? All these morons are ably assisted by a media that won’t call out their inconsistencies or even seek an answer when the said supposed leaders answer is just blowing smoke up peoples arses.

    The biggest problem we and other countries have is the countries actually voted for these fekkin brain dead morons so in my mind it isn’t the leaders that are the problem but the thick as two short plank stupid fekking voters.

    I really feel sorry for the people that are affected by the current situation but remember the majority of people in our and other countries actually voted for these fekking clowns. What can be done? I have no idea but I’m open to suggestions. Personally I have a few ideas but if I put them forward I’d probably be in a lot of strife with the spud and his goons.

    Finally to all pubsters and even quite a few over the road. Look after yourselves and your loved ones and just remember this will pass.

    Stay safe everyone of you.

    P.S a question to close,

    Q: What is the difference between a hippo and a zippo?

    A: One is very heavy and the other is a little lighter.

    P.P.S How about starting a competition for the worst dad joke?

    • Ecxellent rant there Bert, I agree 100%. Now I shall see what sort of dad jokes I can come up with to kick this off.

    • Bert
      At the moment I am at one with REM’s Michael Stipe 🙂
      .
      It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

  18. Big deal. This is just replacing the funding the ATM government has cut over their term.

    Abbott/Hockey – 2014 – cut $111.4 million.
    https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id:%22media/pressrel/3193687%22;src1=sm1
    https://www.theland.com.au/story/5806683/science-funding-key-to-ag-and-the-nation/

    Turnbull/Morrison – 2016 – cut $115 million.
    https://theconversation.com/csiro-cuts-as-redundancies-are-announced-the-real-cost-is-revealed-59895

    Turnbull/Morrison – 2017 – further cuts of $13.6 million over four years.
    http://www.professionalsaustralia.org.au/scientists/blog/budget-2017-18-science-funding/

    Morrison/Frydenberg – 2019 – public service staffing caps caused problems for the already understaffed CSIRO.
    https://www.themandarin.com.au/117411-csiro-staff-reveal-struggles-under-aps-staff-cap/

  19. I’m extending the Dad Jokes to include Dad Riddles.

    So:

    Q: What’s yellow and dangerous?

  20. Dad joke warning. I received an email that said tinned ham could transmit the Corona virus so I asked my Doctor about it and he told not to worry it is just spam.

  21. This sounds a lot better than the nasty drug Trump and Palmer are pushing –

    Not only will it cure your COVID-19, it will also get rid of your roundworms, head lice and scabies.

  22. The Cheltenham Festival was 11 to 13 March. Virus? What virus?!

    In the UK, Cheltenham Festival organisers have defended their decision to go ahead with the event after fears were raised that the mass gathering helped spread coronavirus.

    More than 250,000 racegoers attended the four-day National Hunt event in Britain last month even though other large sporting events were cancelled shortly afterwards.

    A number of people reported on social media that they attended the festival, only to go on and develop symptoms of COVID-19.

    However, organisers said they had complied with the government guidance at the time.

    A spokesman for Cheltenham Racecourse said: “The festival concluded three weeks ago and went ahead under the government’s ongoing guidance throughout, like other popular sports events at Twickenham, Murrayfield, 10 Premier League matches and the UEFA Champions League at Anfield that same week.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/apr/04/coronavirus-lives-news-china-prepares-to-mourn-martyrs-as-us-urges-everyone-to-wear-face-masks

  23. My wife just said “You haven’t listened to a word I said have you?”. What a strange way to start a conversation!

  24. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    George Megalogenis begins this contribution with, “There is a credibility gap in the story Scott Morrison tells about the nation’s response to the coronavirus. The Prime Minister likes to talk up his early decision to close the border to China, the source of the pandemic. But he is careful to avoid mentioning the United States, the source of the largest number of confirmed cases in Australia from any individual foreign country.” An interesting read.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/a-health-and-economic-crisis-with-the-added-complication-of-international-relations-20200402-p54gkn.html
    How science finally caught up with Trump’s playbook – with millions of lives at stake. This is an excoriation!
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/04/trump-coronavirus-science-analysis
    Melbourne researchers say an anti-parasitic drug commonly used to combat head lice has been found to kill the virus that causes COVID-19 in the lab within 48 hours.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/australian-scientists-discover-head-lice-drug-kills-coronavirus-in-lab-20200404-p54h15.html
    By funnelling the JobKeeper program through the ATO, the government will kill the cash economy and motivate the population to get their taxes in order writes John Faine who says the department has just been handed a gift.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/the-ato-just-got-a-gift-20200403-p54gsh.html
    Turns out politicians can drop the ideology and fix things. Never let ’em forget it urges Jacqui Maley.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/turns-out-politicians-can-drop-the-ideology-and-fix-things-never-let-em-forget-it-20200403-p54gu7.html
    The magnitude of restrictions on the way we live makes the holding of parliament far more important than many might appreciate writes John Pesutto.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/governments-need-to-get-ahead-of-the-scrutiny-curve-20200403-p54gp3.html
    The puzzle of coronavirus: a huge variation in rates of death and severe disease across the globe.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/the-puzzle-of-coronavirus-a-huge-variation-in-rates-of-death-and-severe-disease-across-the-globe-20200402-p54gkr.html
    Cait Kelly reveals how real estate agents across the country are swapping tips on how to keep their renters paying top dollar, including tricks to drive them in circles when they ask for rental relief.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2020/04/04/coronavirus-rent-agents/
    Borders have closed and nations are taking back control, but we need to preserve the best of our global institutions writes Dave Sharma.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/the-virus-has-shaken-globalism-which-will-yield-ground-to-nation-states-20200401-p54fw6.html
    John Lord explains what makes the Morrison government’s actions of the past week so astonishing.
    https://theaimn.com/what-makes-the-morrison-governments-actions-of-the-past-week-so-astonishing/
    Peter FitzSimons declares that heads must roll over the Ruby Princess petri dish.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/heads-must-roll-over-the-ruby-princess-petri-dish-20200403-p54gwr.html
    A study of websites offering advice about antidepressants has found widespread misinformation, and widespread backing by drug companies. As people are flocking in record numbers to get their medical advice online, thanks to the coronavirus, it is time to expose the risks. Dr Maryanne Demasi reports.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/websites-research-online-advice-on-medications-skewed-by-big-pharma-funding/
    With the current pandemic shaking up the global economy, it might be time to look at democratic socialism as a viable economic model, writes John Wren in his weekly loitical review.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/wrens-week-time-to-reshape-our-political-and-economic-model,13760
    Social distancing rules make funerals complicated and lonely affairs. So how do you say goodbye to a loved one asks Cloe Booker.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/virus-brings-a-new-kind-of-mourning-as-dead-are-farewelled-from-afar-20200401-p54g4p.html
    Australia could avoid an “Italian or American acceleration” if people keep complying with social distancing rules, an adviser to the WHO said.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/we-will-now-see-the-benefits-case-increase-slows-as-lockdown-takes-effect-20200403-p54gxb.html
    Now that we have abandoned the precious surplus, Tim Cornwall asks if we could reverse the NDIS underspend that was enabling it.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/how-the-ndis-has-failed-under-a-liberal-government,13761
    After coronavirus, private hospitals should not be allowed to return to ‘business as usual’ writes health policy analyst Jennifer Doggett.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/03/after-coronavirus-private-hospitals-should-not-be-allowed-to-return-to-business-as-usual
    Many of us right now are gaining a better understanding of the economy and how destructive it can be, writes Sue Stevenson.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/our-economy-is-a-beast-we-keep-feeding,13762
    Cameron Houston tells us about the cough that crossed the globe by leading to Andrew Abercrombie’s ill-fated party.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/victoria/the-cough-that-crossed-the-globe-andrew-abercrombie-s-ill-fated-party-20200403-p54gp9.html
    There’s nothing pro-life about exploiting a pandemic to further a political agenda writes Arwa Mahdawi as she rolls out several examples.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/04/abortion-restrictions-coronavirus-pandemic-nothing-pro-life
    From Washington David Smith writes that as unthinkable events unfold over coronavirus, experts say no one knows if the election will happen as scheduled – and Trump is in a ‘precarious position’
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/04/us-2020-presidential-election-coronavirus-future
    Donald Trump is “decapitating the leadership of the intelligence community in the middle of a national crisis”, senior Democrat Adam Schiff has charged, after the president fired the inspector general of the US intelligence community late on Friday night.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/04/donald-trump-decapitating-intelligence-leadership-coronavirus-crisis-senior-democrat
    Idiot-in-Chief Donald Trump said on Friday that the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention was urging all Americans to wear a mask when they leave their homes, but he immediately undercut the message by repeatedly calling the recommendation voluntary and promising that he would not wear one himself.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/donald-trump-at-odds-with-his-administration-s-mask-advice-20200404-p54h29.html

    Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir

    Matt Golding

    Reg Lynch

    Matt Davidson

    From the US






  25. It seemed to me that there is a preponderance of RWers and RWNJ peeps pushing hydroxychloroquine and it seems I am not the only one who thought that. Speaking of RW loons. You may remember Scrott and llittle Ghunt headlining in the Murdoch press about them securing access to that “miracle drug”

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Behind the right’s obsession with a miracle cure for coronavirus: It’s not just about Trump

    ………………………That tormented way of thinking is what’s driving the conservative enthusiasm for hydroxychloroquine. The drug probably doesn’t work, and the side effects are scary. But getting a prescription for it helps set one apart from ordinary working people who are doing the stuff public health officials prescribe, such as washing their hands a lot and staying home (even though, for many, it’s meant the loss of jobs and steady income).
    https://www.salon.com/2020/04/03/behind-the-rights-obsession-with-a-miracle-cure-for-coronavirus-its-not-just-about-trump/

    • Excellent article.

      Let’s hope it’s right and a lot of those self-styled elite conservatives who wangle prescriptions succumb to the awful side effects.

      The only real research done on this drug is one study in China which found the drug did nothing for COVID-19. The French study, the one Trump and his followers are touting, was shonky and worthless.

      Just one thing though, and it applies to our media too – I wish the media would stop referring to hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine as “anti-malarial”. That use is secondary. It’s main use is as an anti-inflammatory, as this article says after using the other definition first. That is why so many in the US are able to get a prescription – they complain of pain and their obliging doctors give them the anti-inflammatory they ask for. Doctors who prescribe this stuff without first investigating why a patient demands it should be struck off. At best they are idiots, at worst they might find they have killed a patient.

    • No Botox! What will Julie Bishop do? She might have to hide in her luxurious apartment for months, until supplies are restored.

      Seriously though – Botox has genuine medical uses. I’d hate to think people who really need it will suffer because selfish idiots have used up all the available supplies.

  26. Leone, wouldn’t people that have it as a medical treatment still be able to have it? There is usual doctoring that needs to be done as well as the virus stuff. We had our flu shots the other day, even though our good and thoughtful young doctor made us go around the back and have it outside.

  27. I wonder if faithful Mordor Media orc Denis Shanana realises what he has said with his observation that “Scott Morrison has morphed into a man who will do what’s necessary for the good of us all.”
    Do tell Denis, what sort of man he was before he ‘morphed’

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=TAWEB_WRE170_a&dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theaustralian.com.au%2Finquirer%2Fconsensus-and-inclusion-hallmarks-of-a-strong-leader%2Fnews-story%2F2a669876811a81219ea83186e817d9c7&memtype=anonymous&mode=premium

  28. I cannot believe how stupid people can be, Why would anyone go on a cruise, especially a long one, with the virus spreading throughout the world? Cruise ships are called “floating petri dishes” for a reason.

    This was a 32 day cruise, it left Chile in 5 March and was due to end on 6 April. No wonder there is so much sickness on board – there was plenty of time for the virus to spread.

    https://www.cruisemapper.com/ships/Coral-Princess-545

  29. Excellent Opinion piece in The Land, from the CWA. The NSW government must put the Narrabri Gas Project on the “back burner” while COVID-19 is preventing public hearings taking place.

    Opinion: Gas project should go on back burner

    In March, the NSW Planning Minister referred the Narrabri Gas Project to the NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC), the final step in the process in terms of project approval, and ultimately the final hurdle before being permitted to commence production of gas at the project site.

    In the referral advice, the minister has recognised the current difficulties with holding safe public hearings, a necessary step of the IPC process. The minister has also acknowledged the potential problems with virtual or online hearings, given the vast communication issues in regional NSW.

    We do not see a safe way to proceed

    https://www.theland.com.au/story/6709659/gas-project-should-go-on-back-burner/?cs=4941

  30. And Ingrid M’s usual Sunday morning run-down on Insiders.

    I just want to say those journalists currently gushing over the CrimeMinister and saying he has become a socialist do not seem to realise all his handouts will end within months and then it will be back tothe nasty, vicious, corrupt government style, back to bashing everyone on any form of social security, treating them all (even the aged and the disabled) as burdens.

  31. Discovered the ‘new’ toilet paper. Went to the local chemist to get some anti-inflammatory stuff. Don’t need it at the moment but just in case. As luck would have it just over the road was another seller of vital supplies, so to avoid ending up

    I popped in. Yay, ‘my’ beer was fully stocked but man o man did a large section look like the locusts had been through………………………………the cask wine section.

  32. It was lovely to hear the way Ardern said this re people not followed the rules 😆
    .

    ‘Some I would charitably describe as idiots’

  33. More idiots –

    Yesterday No 1 Son bravely volunteered to go to Settlement City, this town’s largest shopping centre. He took a shopping list of items needed from Woolies and also needed to go to Big W.

    He went alone – in normal times he would have gone with his partner and little daughter, probably going somewhere for lunch afterwards, but these are no longer normal times.

    He was shocked to see so many family groups out wandering around the shops, shocked by more of those groups in the supermarket, none of them even trying to social distance.

    I would have thought by now everyone would know only one person needs to head to the shops. It seems not.

    It’s not just my area. Peter Gutwein has seen the same idiotic behaviour in Tasmania.

    Gutwein says he was concerned yesterday to see groups of people “browsing” at the shops.

    “There were still children in groups in the mall and walking through the city. Now, I know this is tough stuff. I know this is hard and I have had many discussions over the last 24 hours with my own family and children about the need for this to occur. It is important that we all take every step that we can to socially distance and ensure that we follow the rules. So if you are going to the supermarket, and yesterday I sat in the car with my children while my wife went in, only going to the supermarket, don’t go with a family to browse and to shop. It is not a social outing. Go and buy what you need”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/apr/05/australia-coronavirus-live-update-supermarket-nsw-victoria-queensland-covid19-quarantine-latest-news

  34. And there’s this whining idiot from Tasmania – she cannot understand why she was put into quarantine in a hotel when she returned to Tasmania instead of being allowed to go home, so now she is whinging to the media.

    FFS! What will it take for these idiots to learn why they have to obey the rules? Why are so many Australians so ignorant and selfish?

    When the simple act of returning home made me feel like a criminal
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6708223/when-the-simple-act-of-returning-home-made-me-feel-like-a-criminal/?cs=14231

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