Know-All’s Ark

It was obliging of the Commonwealth’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Brendan Murphy, to only conjointly announce his no-more-than-two coronavirus plan 24 hours after a state Labor government sought to ruthlessly maximise the enforced absence and telephonic/online confusion of the LNP’s core constituency by dragging Queensland’s entire adult population to an election. “Gathering” with more than one other person is today allegedly reckless but on Saturday – writ extremely large – it was a civic duty and apparently irrelevant to either Scott Morrison or the CMO. It isn’t just me who finds this exceedingly odd and even suspicious. It’s what most Queenslanders are saying. At this point, I don’t want to hear the usual palaver about Federal and State powers. The “National Cabinet” is now a bully pulpit and it was well within the Prime Minister’s newly assumed – possibly invented – powers to sink Saturday’s quadrennial council polls using moral suasion. “What happened at Bondi Beach was not OK,” he declared a week ago, as a flimsy pretext for “more draconian measures to enforce social distancing.” Nothing “happened” at Bondi, of course, but something certainly did in Queensland the following weekend. In the suddenly chummy world of incumbents, whose members are now arrayed against a common enemy – us – it was mates’ rates for Annastacia Palaszczuk but a phony dad-lecture for everyone else.

Dr Murphy – whose concern for the public’s health cannot be doubted – is now running one of history’s biggest medical experiments and using millions of unemployed individuals to see if it works. He says the exercise is “radical.” As is so often advisable for professorial bureaucrats, a question mark should be drawn over how aware he is of the ruination being caused to lives and to democracy. Like society and the economy, democracy cannot be “shut down.” He says the science – he means modelled projections – shows that if 90 per cent of the population remains indoors, or in twos-only while outdoors (“all of the time”), it might reduce new c-v diagnoses.

So what? The same could be done to reduce B and Es, drunken violence, workplace accidents, sexual assaults and the carnage on our highways. Reducing excess deaths is not that hard for a modern police state. But there is a very large degree of chaos and risk that we have always freely lived with and accepted because the alternative – the “public safety” of historical infamy – is more dangerous to everyone. Here, everyone means the nation and its future citizens, not just me and you and a dog aptly named Boo. This is a key point: what governments are now doing in the name of saving lives has become selfish and a risk to the liberty of our successors in this life. One reporter last night interpreted Mr Morrison’s prim lecturette about your socialising at Woolies as a warning that his next punitive escalation against the population might involve restrictions on shopping itself. Assembly, work and interstate travel have already been prohibited. State police have become the flu-gestapo to enforce these edicts. For a Prime Minister to threaten the nation he sacked with state-controlled foraging is a disgrace. More importantly, it’s an attitude born of earlier submissions to the state’s supremacy. A lack of interest also compounds.

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33 Responses to Know-All’s Ark

  1. stackja

    Tonight Q&A the last until?

  2. Wood chipper

    We can all see what actions are being taken but I’m blowed if I know what the specific goal is. What is the goal? Retired now, but spent decades having SMART rammed down my throat (goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound). I’ve not seen a specific goal mentioned. MART can’t exist without Specific.

  3. Docket62

    On a positive note, the Corona Virus being the ‘common cold’ may well have a vaccine available within a year. Far be it for me to suspect that Pharmacy was sitting on this, knowing that cold medication courted vast fortunes, but mayhap the time is right to announce such a vaccine. Whilst watching Outlanders latest episode the comment was made that ‘200 years from now we still dont have a cure for the common cold’

    But maybe in 250 years from then – we do.

  4. Megan

    More than two people together on an early morning walk in the great outdoors, touching nothing but the footpath with their shoes – verboten. 57 people in the local Chemist Warehouse, with a masked and gloved security guard counting everyone and offering you sanitiser – perfectly fine. I know where I am more likely to pick up CV19 and it isn’t on a tennis court or on an outdoor walking track.

    And if the number of infections keeps rising? What then? What’s left to try and stop it? When you throw your entire stake on the black or red on the roulette wheel there is nowhere to go if you have chosen the wrong option.

  5. egg_

    Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound

    If ScoMo’s aim is to save his @rse from the CMOs.

  6. Exit Stage Right

    CL, absolutely spot on about the sham Qld Local Council elections.

    FFS, they were only Council elections and why the urgency. They could have been easily deferred for 6 months and no-one would have given a shit except The Chook.
    Wifey and I dutifully voted early (last Wednesday) in a back shed in an industrial estate in North Brisbane. If any election was ever open to a huge RORT this was it. For some reason we had to defy the Satan Bug and front up or risk a $133.00 fine (x2). We had no idea who we were voting for because of lack of information on candidates and their political allegiance. Admittedly, with the bug and all we hadn’t given this election much considered thought and wifey wanted to abstain, but the Family Treasurer (me) said no!, the pricks will fine us.
    I queried the whole set up with whoever would listen. Social Distancing was applied with people lined up with a fat moll on patrol, but we all used communal pencils and through them back in the box , all swarming with the Satan Bug. Fuck, what a country.
    5 days later I am being lectured to stay at home, UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to venture out.
    The ALP were hoping to slip this through with a win to their candidates, but as with all things ALP the system broke down and we still don’t know the result.

  7. Sean

    And if the number of infections keeps rising? What then? What’s left to try and stop it? When you throw your entire stake on the black or red on the roulette wheel there is nowhere to go if you have chosen the wrong option.

    Herd immunity. It’s what the US must be hoping for if cases peak in 2 weeks. The pathway starts to decline as more immune people stop the spread.

  8. nb

    Compulsory voting;
    Compulsory max gathering of two;
    Insert word ‘compulsory’ and it’s on the table.

  9. Hay Stockard

    I left home to dodge the news after the chase. Went to Aldi, room in my bag so got a cheap and,nasty 6 pack of bourbon and coke. Drank it in the park to pretend I was in the,pub. Had a you beaut mask that MiL had sent down and,was directed by the long haired boss to use it.
    Long story short came home to find the sky is falling. Except where there are exceptional exceptions.
    I love my country. The vandals and visigoths with their filthy paws,on the levers of Government are really getting on my tits.

  10. Megan

    Herd immunity comes from contracting the disease and fighting it off. If your entire community is locked down and not exposed, how can that happen? And given our betters have chosen the nuclear option first then the point I was trying to make, is what’s left in the arsenal when the numbers don’t respond?

    With the very obvious exceptions of Japan and South Korea who have taken the testing approach, the logarithmic trajectory for every other country is pretty much the same, lockdown or no lockdown.

  11. Sean

    They think if they let people get sick too quickly the ICU’s will be overrun and people will die simply due to a lack of ventilators or nurses. Pretty much what is happening in Italy right now, some of those who are dying may have been saved with enough resources.

  12. Tim Neilson

    as with all things ALP the system broke down and we still don’t know the result.

    Obviously the “raw data” wasn’t close enough to the intended outcome, so “data adjustment” is going on.

  13. notafan

    We won’t be like Italy though.

    Our population is not as skewed to the elderly.

    We tend not to live in multigenerational households in multistorey apartments in ancient cities.

    And we have had time to isolate the elderly with decent protocols in nursing homes.

    Assuming that staff that work in those do the right thing.

    Should be back to work for everyone else after Easter.

  14. Tim Neilson

    Herd immunity comes from contracting the disease and fighting it off. If your entire community is locked down and not exposed, how can that happen? And given our betters have chosen the nuclear option first then the point I was trying to make, is what’s left in the arsenal when the numbers don’t respond?

    If the figures at the Australian health link at the top continue as they are, we may well have overcooked it as far as herd immunity goes.

    About 300 new cases a day should lead to herd immunity in a few decades.

    But I don’t know at what number of cases per day ICU facilities would start to be overwhelmed.

  15. Ed Case

    Would Social Darwinism be another name for Herd Immunity?
    That’s what the poms told BoJo, so he gave the idea the flick.

  16. Sean

    its reality without a vaccine. As much as Trump is taking credit for closing entry to the Chinese, the US wasn’t testing people early on even at a rate similar to Australia. It’s why a lot of our foreign cases originated in t states also. Mr ‘only a mild flu’ dropped the ball but so did the media. Too focused on Super Tuesday or other crap about Bernie/Biden.

    People who are asymptomatic can pass on the virus so just watching the case count hasn’t proven to be a good indicator elsewhere in the world as it’s usually only serious cases being reported.

  17. Docket62

    About 300 new cases a day should lead to herd immunity in a few decades.

    Ive had CV. 7 weeks ago before testing/reporting. I know of dozens the same. The reporting rate is 1/10th of the actual rate so thats more like 3000 a day. The death rate is fractional and comparable to influenza

    Herd immunity is weeks away. For the record its worse than a cold (for me) but no where near as bad as the flu – thats just nasty.

  18. Castle Wolfenstein

    The CMO is being badgered from the left tonight (ABC of course). I feel for him.

  19. C.L.

    What are they badgering him about, Wolf?

  20. Scott Osmond

    We are being governed by malicious children or fuckwits. Quite possibly both. Flattening the curve and lockdowns are excepting failure. Find those who have it, isolate with supervision, people have proven they can’t be trusted, hunt down and test everyone and clean everything the infected have come in contact with. The shoe leather approach to disease suppression used for decades before fuckwits got their hands on computer games. Air-conditioned offices and computer models are no substitute for legwork. Yes, it’s serious, no it isn’t a hoax, no China isn’t an example of how we should be dealing with this.

  21. Cynic of Ayr

    Just putting it out there:
    If two people who do not have the virus gather together in a crowd of two,
    nothing is prevented nor cured;
    If two people, who both have the virus gather together in a crowd of two, nothing is prevented nor cured.
    If two people, one of whom has the virus gather together in a crowd of two, it is not guaranteed that the second will catch the virus, so nothing is prevented nor cured.
    Change the numbers from two to one hundred, and the answers are the same.
    My point?
    If a fraction of the cost to the economy was directed to testing on a huge scale, just maybe the unaffected could carry on and support the affected. As it is, Morrison is going to run out of money real quick, and no one will be supported.
    If anyone – and I look at the “economists” who infect the Cats – thinks interest on foreign loans is going to be remain low, is imagining matters.

  22. Scott Osmond

    Sooner or later someone will have to pay off this bill. It will be higher taxes or lower services or a complete collapse. Quite possibly a combination depending on country, demographics and geography.

  23. Some History

    Excellent piece again, C.L. That cartoon is very telling. For anyone interested and very, very briefly.

    The Eugenics catastrophe of earlier last century was medically-led. Immediately post-WWII, the slur “you’re not God” was directed at doctors. The reputation of the medically-aligned was low. The medical establishment had to rebuild its reputation.

    It did well for a time. But, from the 1970s the push-to-dominate the definition of health by the medical establishment began. By the 1980s we were into “let’s get physical”, that the physical counts for pretty well all. And it’s America that’s been the BIG pusher. Over the last decades the populace has been pounded with “have you been [medically] tested for this, for that, you could get this or that”. It’s incessant. It’s produced neuroses, e.g., anxiety disorders, hypochondria, on a mass scale. There are plenty of folk that can’t tell if they’re well. They need a medical test to tell them so, e.g., the “worried well”. America is by far the most over-medicated (prescription) nation on earth.

    Slowly but surely the medical establishment has claimed more and more as “its domain”. Not too long ago, if someone was feeling anxious or down, it was a call to self-examination, e.g., mentally/spiritually. No, said the medical establishment. These are only neuro-chemical issues and “our domain”. And, so, there’s become this dependence on the idea that for pretty well everything, a pill, potion, or gadget will fix it up. The idea of the “unexamined life is not worth living” has been replaced with “the medically-unexamined life is not worth living”.

    One of the great targets of the medical establishment over the last half century has been “lifestyle” diseases based on risk-factor epidemiology which must rate as the worst attempt at scientific enquiry ever. At latest count some 500 “risk factors” have been identified for heart disease and about 100 for cancer. The problem is that all of these risk factors are tiny in absolute terms. Yet the medical establishment will routinely refer to them in strong-science terms of single-factor, direct causation. Rules of statistical inference and causal argument are routinely violated. It’s institution-wide incompetence. The overall result is that the public is under the false impression that the medical establishment knows far, far more than it actually does and has fostered the fearful approach to life of “risk aversion”. And it’s this particular fraud that’s allowed the medical establishment to gain social dominance over the definition of health.

    With more and more domination has the nasty streak – the totalitarian urge, the “we own society/everything” mentality – reared its ugly head again. A good example here is antismoking over the last three decades. A distinction must be made between frontline medical workers and medical administration. It’s the latter that sets the rules for the establishment that’s problematic.

    The current cv-19 pandemic is providing an insight into who is dominating the circumstance. It’s obviously the medical establishment, in this instance, Public Health. In the quest to contain the pandemic, it’s been allowed by politicians to commandeer pretty well everything. As restrictions at level 1 are introduced, the controllers are straight onto level 2, then level 3… At this time, the populace has been told that they only have 4 reasons for being [briefly] outdoors, violation of which attracts penalties. It could well be asked if anything over level 1 is just lustful exercising of power that will be pushed as far as society will allow.

    So, yes, doctors are not God, nor are politicians, and the attempt to play God, however masqueraded in slogans such as Saving Lives™, can only end in disaster. This might actually be just the beginning of woes. It could be a very, very good time to consider if there’s a real God and God’s version of salvation. 🙂

  24. egg_

    Sooner or later someone will have to pay off this bill. It will be higher taxes or lower services or a complete collapse. Quite possibly a combination depending on country, demographics and geography.

    ScoMo: Countries will fall into chaos, but not us!
    We’re special!

  25. Herodotus

    QLDers should recall that piece of blatant and cynical manipulation when they vote soon in the state election proper.

  26. maman

    Some History @ 11:05pm

    YES, +1000%!

  27. Back Burn

    Dr Murphy is simply using his medical expertise to fight the spread. It is those that follow his advice that must be called to account.

    It reminds me of an antidote I heard:

    In the 1950’s the US Army asked a geologist how they could extract water that was buried in the Rocky Mountains as quickly as possible.

    The geologist thought for a while then said. “Nuke them.”

    The General, incredulous, asked: “But what about the fallout?”

    The geologist replied: “That’s not my problem”

  28. John Bayley

    Compulsory voting;
    Compulsory max gathering of two;

    Whatever is not compulsory is forbidden.
    Welcome to the Progressive, Caring & Sharing New ‘Straya!
    Comrades.

  29. John Bayley

    …people will die simply due to a lack of ventilators

    If you end up needing a ventilator, you have a 90-95% chance of ending up dead anyway.
    Look it up – there is plenty of commentary about just that in the USA. I don’t see any reason why it would be different anywhere else.
    Mind you, that sobering statistic is not limited solely to WuFlu.

  30. John Bayley

    We’re special!

    Well all we need to do is to just keep selling property to each other. Given that our property prices only ever go up, we’ll all get richer and richer.
    And if that’s not enough, we’ll tax those nasty self-funded retirees a bit more.
    She’ll be right, maaate. /s

  31. John Bayley

    QLDers should recall that piece of blatant and cynical manipulation when they vote soon in the state election proper.

    Given how useless the QLD LNP is, and that their current leader is best compared to a Turnbull/Stegall climate change catastrophist clone, I am quite confident that the ‘successful & likeable ALP team’ will be resoundingly returned.
    After all, just look at all those jobs they have created [in the public sector].
    I’m told also that the CFMMEU lollipop traffic controllers are quite happy with their minimum pay packets being set at $180K.

  32. Scott Osmond

    The LNP up hear in QLD are useless. Even if they were elected it would only be replacing one group of incompetents with another. They would be a caretaker until Labor took power back. I’m looking for someone else. Not the Greens.

  33. C.L.

    Brilliant summary, Some H.
    Thank you.

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