Daniel Andrews is right: social isolation must be maintained

I saw this letter to the editor the other day and have now come to agree with Daniel Andrews totally. Social isolation must be absolute, no exceptions, and must last until the Corona Virus is completely eradicated, not just here but across the world. Here was the letter which I found completely compelling.

My partner and I are around 70 but due to recent health issues and underlying conditions we are in a very high risk category, to the extent that I am not prepared to risk experimenting with life as usual. Can I say that neither of us is a vegetable in a nursing home. We have lives and plans, are active with our friends, we travel and have children and grandchildren. We have many years to enjoy.

A look around the world highlights that Australia is better off than some mainly because of the tough measures we have taken, not in spite of them. To suggest the extent of the battle is to isolate the vulnerable while the rest of you go about your business is short-sighted. As a member of the vulnerable let me say I’m not prepared to take one for the team.

He described my own situation perfectly and what else is there to say? We vulnerable members of the community are not prepared to accept such selfishness from the rest of you, from all of those younger people who wish to get on with their lives, earn an income, save for the future, pay off their mortgages and continue meeting up with their friends and relations. Do they not understand that this will put people such as myself at much greater risk? Already something like fifty Australians have died from the Corona Virus. If present trends continue, this number might well rise to over 500.

With GDP around $1.5 trillion, the loss of 10 percent of our economic growth for the coming year is a mere $150 billion, although the actual number may, of course, be even higher. But sticking with the $150 billion figure, the cost of preserving those additional 500 from an early death, will come at a cost of only $30 million dollars for each life saved. Of course, even to think of money saved at a time like this is an ethical abomination.

The country has made a moral commitment to preserve lives at all cost. With my own life in such danger, along with the lives of all of our friends who are in that same boat, it would be an eternal disgrace for the country to choose to abandon us to the possibility of an early demise, or if not exactly early, to a demise sooner than might otherwise have occurred.

Good for Daniel Andrews who has shown such leadership in ensuring that every life is seen as precious.

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81 Responses to Daniel Andrews is right: social isolation must be maintained

  1. egg_

    I sincerely hope this is parody.

  2. squawkbox

    Yes, we must chose whether we want day-to-day 1950s mortality rates or a day-to-day 1930s economy.

  3. Ubique

    If we ban all motor vehicles now we can save 1,200 lives a year, reducing the road toll to zero. You know it’s the right thing to do. Every life is precious. You cant put a value on human life.

  4. squawk

    You cant put a value on human life.

    I can.
    Dan Andrews 0.0001c

  5. Texas Jack

    But humans expel CO2, so your true value is actually some negative!

  6. Infidel Tiger King

    You suck at maths… I hope.

  7. JC

    Don’t drive. Don’t move out of your house and sleep on the floor in case you fall out of bed. 🙂

  8. squawkbox

    The 0.0001 is on the assumption that he keeps a goldfish and remembers to feed it

  9. Bad Samaritan

    Ha! Social isolation at home ain’t avoiding risk; there are still the dangers about the house..

    At first when confining myself to the house I thought kinda like you but then i realized that the showering meant the risk of slipping; that bathing meant the risk of drowning should I trip getting in (or out….or both). that shaving could lead to either electrocution or a slit throat, so I sealed that room of risks and haven’t done any of that stuff in weeks.

    Next was the kitchen: so much sharp stuff in there; lots more electrocution devices…and then the chance of serious burns everywhere ya looked. Plus, the fridge is even more dangerous to humanity than ISIS and AL Q combined. Just ask the ABC…

    That’s when I had a kinda epiphany. even though it’s four months late; if I don’t do something about it,I’m not gonna get out of here alive…

    And here I am at 3AM; under the bed , using a car battery to power my laptop, just in case the lithium one in it should explode; disconnected the power to the house (you never know) and am wonderingabout the bed being enough protection if a meteor or satellite or (are there any planes still flying?) whatever.

    Stopped eating two weeks ago. Who knows what is on / in/around/beside/atop those tins, jars etc etc. Since I realized what scary fates lurk in the kitchen (that fridge!) and also can’t run the gauntlet of eating anything not boiled for 10 minutes….I’ve given it away completely. don’t exactly know how this’ll pan out, but look forward to it with great excitement and anticipation. Life is for living and here I am lying on the carpet, typing in the dark, aiming to live a very very long risk-free life indeed!

  10. RobK

    More modelling on piss poor data.

  11. Bad Samaritan

    Steve. I agree 100%, but have just re-read your cry-from-the-heart, and I come up with it costing three hundred million per life saved; not $30 Million.

    This makes it even more imperative that strong steps be taken to do something since a human life is worth ten times more than any of us first thought!

  12. jupes

    Wouldn’t everyone be better off if just Daniel Andrews stayed at home?

  13. NoFixedAddress

    Experts v The Punters

    After we kill all the lawyers, the experts are next.

  14. Social isolation is a blessing in disguise. Most of the “general public” are ABC watching cretins.
    How can we extend the period?

  15. notafan

    Very funny Mr Kates.

    I can’t believe someone wrote that letter though.

  16. Sunbird

    I wish someone including you Steve would just come out and say the obvious.
    The universal health care obligation by government is unaffordable. This idea that if we can prolong a life then we must regardless of cost to society is driving western civilization broke.
    This has been occurring slowly for decades but now COVID19 has dramatically speeded the process up.

  17. Terry

    Now that the government has compelled Landlords to provide accommodation to tenants rent-free, there should not be too much of a step towards my demand to have all of my food, clothing and any other need (demand) met, for free, by someone else similarly compelled by the government to produce for my benefit.

    Yep. Smells like freedom to me. What could possibly go wrong?

  18. Judge Dredd

    That letter is typical of the me-me-me Boomer. No wonder that generation X, Millennials and Z are growing to despise the boomer generation. It’s all about them not being inconvenienced never mind the destruction of the world’s economy. Fascinating.

  19. Watch Your Back

    Capital Economics forecast a 20% drop in GDP for Australia.

    Add to this the cost of restarting and a lag effect in employment.

    Add government payments to businesses and employees losing their jobs.

    Add the businesses that will never reopen.

    It’s a lot more than $150 billion.

    There is a system of calculating the value of lost lives, taking into account remaining life expectancy and health issues. It’s called Quality Adjusted Life Years or QALYs. The assumed value per year is $100,000 US.

    This makes it possible to estimate the cost of lives saved, if we know how many, and can be compared to the costs of shutting down 20% of the economy over a year.

    I’m not saying this should be applied in practice, but it would be useful to know.

  20. Julian the deplorable

    OK fair enough, but when we come around to paying for this don’t say “leave my tax free super alone” or “don’t take my imputation credit refunds”. It’s time for the oldies to pay for this because it is the young people losing their jobs, homes and families.

  21. Aynsley Kellow

    Remarkable post from an economist! (Or is it parody?)

    You (and Andrews) ignore the fact that a 10% decline in the economy has consequences. I saw an analysis in the UK that indicated that a 5% decline results in as many deaths as COVID-19 (I think even based on the questionable Imperial College modelling) – from stress related illness and suicide from those whose lives and businesses are ruined. There is data on this from past recessions.

    And analyses of the value of human life (inferring self-valuation from the premium required to induce workers to undertake more risky occupations) are much lower than the cost of Andrews’ shutdown.

    Governments make valuations all the time at the margin of their decisions. They have to in order to prioritise expenditure. When I was teaching in Queensland in the 1990s, a graduate student in transport told me the valuation used (explicitly, but not publicly!) in choosing road construction projects that would improve safety was $1m.

    These should not be the only factors in a CBA, but they cannot be simply ignored.

    PS: I have three risk factors.

  22. Mother Lode

    My understanding is that the ‘self isolation’ only ‘flattens the curve’ (a woeful bit of jargon that people utter to sound scientifically informed – like ‘Precautionary Principle’).

    The virus will still be out there when people come out of them homes. The same number of susceptible people will contract it – it is just that this will occur over a more stretched out period. People who possess or develop an immunity don’t spread that immunity around – that is not contagious.

    The whole point of this was so the hospitals not be overwhelmed – which they aren’t by a long shot.

  23. calli

    Perfect. 🤣

    I plan to break a few “rules”. Happy to take one for the team.

  24. Kneel

    This article – from a scientist, so don’t deny reality! – says that this time it really is different!
    Because we reacted differently. Government policy was way different.
    So we really did crash our economies to “protect” people:

    https://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/what-explains-the-unprecedented-stock-market-reaction-to-covid-19

  25. MarcH

    State must issue each individual with their own self contained bubble chamber ASAP. The Hypernanny 2020 is a self inflating permanent life pod protecting its occupier from all external threats. Ask your local member why you haven’t got yours today.

  26. Aynsley Kellow

    I should have added that until we get decent statistics on mortality that distinguish between deaths with and deaths from and report deaths in excess of seasonal average we do not know what the death rate is. European governments have actually instructed that the with/from distinction NOT be made, although Hamburg, for example, is now doing so.

  27. Megan

    Great post, Steve. Dictator Dan believes life is precious? We should expect his abortion and euthanasia laws to be overturned then?

  28. Megan

    I’ve already broken a couple of rules, Calli. It feels better than giving up my freedom.

  29. Watch Your Back

    Just to add a bit more. If you are a man aged 80, your life expectancy runs another 6 years in Australia. But you have a couple of health issues, reducing your life expectancy to 83. So your remaining QALYs can be estimated at 3 or $900,000. Someone aged around 60, Male, with high blood pressure, had about 25 WALYs, so $2.5 million.

    You could set up a wee model Steve. Not that we’d hold you to it, but simply as an arithmetical exercise.

  30. Andre Lewis

    It is not sensible to look at this current virus situation simply from an age perspective. Just because younger people are not much affected by the disease is no reason for them to ignore reasonable steps to stop its spread. Equally the more vulnerable older population cannot expect severe economic restrictions to continue for too long on the basis a small number of deaths will be saved – it is not even clear from the data that there is a correlation between shutdown and deaths as other countries will very strict lockdowns have not benefited. Ignore China as their data is ridiculously understated.
    The media obsession with infection and death counts on a daily basis is not helping. In most countries the death rate is much the same or even less than the normal rate and its not clear that every death counted as due to the virus is actually the direct cause. While the disease is bad and spreads rapidly is it really much so much worse than the seasonal flu outbreaks that we have to kill our economy and create social unrest to defeat it?

  31. Judith Sloan

    How’s that volunteering going down at the RMH?

  32. NoFixedAddress

    Aynsley Kellow
    #3401575, posted on April 9, 2020 at 7:50 am

    Remarkable post from an economist! (Or is it parody?)

    Are you an expert Aynsley Kellow?

  33. Penguinite

    Commendations for Andrews is misplaced! He is the master of lies and deceit! Lying by omission is his specialty!

  34. NoFixedAddress

    A song dedicated to Premier Daniel Ji Andrews

  35. mem

    Pay the oldies to stay at home and send everyone else back to work. Come to think of it we already provide the pension so just threaten to take it off them if they go out and get sick. Now my plan will saves heaps and protect the oldies. What’s not to like about it.

  36. thefrollickingmole

    I fully agree.
    Also as many many elderly die while on the nest we will be neutering and spaying you to reduce the risk of orgasm induced coranarys.
    I think you will agree its a small (heh) price to pay for an extra year on earth.
    In addition bacon and alcohol are now banned, your new unirations pap supply box will soon be turning up at your pod door.
    On the pod thing, we have further determined as a lot of the risky behavior is done by oldies wandering around the surgical removal of all extraneous limbs can increase lifespan by up to a further 3-4 months, a godsend in those twilight years Im sure you agree. Once you are snugly secured in your nugget pod (patent pending) you will be free to enjoy uninterrupted ABC for the remainder of your time on this earth.

    Consider it the younger generations expression of gratitude for gifting us with your presence during this difficult time.

    /gen x off

  37. Tel

    Are you an expert Aynsley Kellow?

    Yes he is … he has a Cert III in Sarcasm and several years experience as a heckler.

    Knows pretty much everything there is to know about parody.

  38. Narwhal Tusk

    I cant see the sarc tag.

  39. Narwhal Tusk

    Forgot to say, I’m 77 with “issues”.

  40. thefrollickingmole

    Aynsley Kellow

    A couple of days ago it was reported that the suicide hotline was busiest its ever been with about 3000 calls a day.

    Mother Lode
    #3401576, posted on April 9, 2020 at 7:50 am
    My understanding is that the ‘self isolation’ only ‘flattens the curve’ (a woeful bit of jargon that people utter to sound scientifically informed – like ‘Precautionary Principle’).

    Its scientism, sounds sciency, but is really bullshit.
    https://medium.com/incerto/the-intellectual-yet-idiot-13211e2d0577#.4hte47zdr

    Indeed one can see that these academico-bureaucrats who feel entitled to run our lives aren’t even rigorous, whether in medical statistics or policymaking. They can’t tell science from scientism — in fact in their image-oriented minds scientism looks more scientific than real science.

  41. H B Bear

    A modest proposal.

    The Hunchback – so progressive!

  42. Bar Beach Swimmer

    Equally the more vulnerable older population cannot expect severe economic restrictions to continue for too long on the basis a small number of deaths will be saved

    I see in The Australian today that we’re beginning to hear noises from some quarters (Richard Goyder et al.,) to “re-start” the economy.

    I now worry that the govt can’t and won’t take that advice, although I pray that I’m wrong. The Federal Parliament has just passed the Govt’s central economic plank to manage our current dire financial circumstances – the job keeper legislation. However, those payments do not commence until 1 May although, as I understand it, they will be backdated to 1 March.

    Question: How can the govt begin the unwinding process before the commencement date of its BIG RESPONSE mechanism? What this shows is that govt is always a blunt instrument and politicians, because they’re designed mostly inside govt, rattle along inside.

    The correspondent to the paper will have his/her way because the the PM has just got started.

  43. Steve

    And yet Sweden goes it alone with a more pragmatic approach…..i.e. being grown ups and not sending everyone to their rooms without supper…..

    Dont forget Victoriastan is a failed communist state now.

  44. John Purchase

    A possible solution to the deaths caused by COVID 19 complications so the economy might start again.

    Why not use high doses of intravenous or liposomal vitamin C as a first resort for all those who are in intensive care because of COVID 19.

  45. Aynsley Kellow

    No Fixed Address: ‘Are you an expert Aynsley Kellow?’

    What matters, NFA, is the quality of my arguments and evidence. Why don’t you address them — or do you have none of your own?

    As it happens, I have numerous publications on risk management and the interface between science and public policy — but that doesn’t make my points right or wrong.

    For those interested in the work on the valuation of human life, Google Kip Viscusi, who is probably the leading authority on tis topic. The value used to be about $US5m. When Reagan introduced a requirement for quantitative risk assessment for regulatory review, there were the expected howls about not being able to place a value on human life.

    Yet no regulation was ever overturned that placed a value on life of less than $100m. The worst regulation was on arsenic, and it cost in excess of $700m/life year extension). A life could be saved for $12m, so a regulation costing $100m per life could deprives eight people of life-saving interventions. (Tengs et al is the classic reference on the cost effectiveness if life-saving interventions).

    The point is, these are the marginal costs of actions. Not analysing them does not change the fact that policy-makers make those choices in the decisions they make. Daniel Andrews ignoring them does not change the fact that he is making them— it just means he os making them in ignorance.

    Epidemiologist John Ioannidis, incidentally, has pointed out that there is little of no evidentiary base for the decisions being made. It is all ‘precaution – and damn the costs.’

  46. stackja

    Survival of the fittest?

  47. PB

    “The whole point of this was so the hospitals not be overwhelmed – which they aren’t by a long shot.”

    The opposite has happened. The welfare-based frequent fliers who clog the system at any other time are all suddenly too scared to walk or wheel through the door. The super-deficit can be probably be funded by the money right now being saved in the Health system not having to deal with the endless parade of frequent fliers. Locking in Indigenous communities in the North has drained the hospitals in the big towns too.

    Its funny when you realize how many people choose to use the system as opposed to needing to use the system.

  48. Bronson

    I think Dan is absolutely right leave us all locked because every life is sacred, except of cause for the unborn and old people in Victoria (see abortion and euthanasia bills). But we can ignore the contradiction inherent in Dan’s position because it’s about ‘the vibe’ not the reality and Dan says every life is sacred except for see above. You got to wonder does Dan occasionally catch himself coming round the other way or is self reflection and introspection no longer popular and been replaced by the vibe?
    Excellent parody Mr Kates high lighting the duplicity of Dan in his position.

  49. nfw

    You realise those on the left side of The Curve (the IQ one) will not see this as sarcasm don’t you?

    I think we should all be isolated ’til every last case of HIV (didn’t that “no computer model is ever wrong unless the number is small” Dr Fauci have something to do with eradicating that?), SARS (it’s still about), German (that’s not racist) Measles, the clap, shingles and socialists are expunged.

  50. Roger

    The assumed value per year is $100,000 US.

    Sounds right; In 2014 the Australian government set the value at AUD$83000.

  51. Shaun

    In 2017, Influenza and pneumonia accounted for 4,269 deaths. This data is from Australian Bureau of Statistics website. I don’t remember the government or anyone else for that matter making any noise and caring about those numbers. Picking and choosing who’s life is worth more than others. What is the criteria for the decision. If we make long term lockdown and isolation the way to go we will save some lives. But we will also ruin a lot of lives too. But I guess they don’t really matter because your government says so.

  52. Leo G

    Given the sensitivity of per capita GDP to life expectancy at birth, and assuming the transient drop in pcGDP is equivalent to a longterm reduction of a quarter of the transient effect, my back-of-the-envelope estimate of the net present equivalent loss of life due to the 10% drop in pcGDP is about 40,000 newborn Australians or about twice that number of 38-year-olds (38 is the average age of Australians).
    Our government’s courageous actions could accordingly be considered as the sacrifice of some 80,000 lives of randomly selected Australians.

  53. Rossini

    squawk
    #3401446

    Why so much???

  54. FelixKruell

    Sorry, I vote for the oldies taking one for the team…

  55. NoFixedAddress

    Aynsley Kellow
    #3401575, posted on April 9, 2020 at 7:50 am

    Remarkable post from an economist! (Or is it parody?)

    Aynsley Kellow
    #3401684, posted on April 9, 2020 at 9:11 am

    No Fixed Address: ‘Are you an expert Aynsley Kellow?’

    What matters, NFA, is the quality of my arguments and evidence. Why don’t you address them — or do you have none of your own?

    Your right Tel, expert status confirmed.

    Aynsley, are you this Aynsley Kellow? https://www.utas.edu.au/profiles/staff/politics-and-international-relations/Aynsley-Kellow

    I actually enjoyed Steve Kates’ dead pan parody and I hope he does it again.

    My compliments Steve.

  56. NoFixedAddress

    Leo G
    #3401746, posted on April 9, 2020 at 9:50 am

    Given the sensitivity of per capita GDP to life expectancy at birth, and assuming the transient drop in pcGDP is equivalent to a longterm reduction of a quarter of the transient effect, my back-of-the-envelope estimate of the net present equivalent loss of life due to the 10% drop in pcGDP is about 40,000 newborn Australians or about twice that number of 38-year-olds (38 is the average age of Australians).
    Our government’s courageous actions could accordingly be considered as the sacrifice of some 80,000 lives of randomly selected Australians.

    That’s why they are doing door to door inspections checking your viability.

    Those videos showing dead people being secretly removed at night weren’t from Wuhan – looked like Little Burke Street.

  57. The BigBlueCat

    FelixKruell
    #3401779, posted on April 9, 2020 at 10:10 am
    Sorry, I vote for the oldies taking one for the team…

    Are they infected? Are they maintaining social distance recommendations? Are they acting responsibly? BTW – I didn’t know this was something we could actually vote on at this time … so your vote is meaningless.

  58. Wayne From Perth

    To Egg

    Yes the fact that we have to consider whether what we are reading is parody or not says a lot about the current state of society in general.

  59. Boambee John

    Dan A needs to be isolated from society.

  60. FelixKruell

    BigBlueCat:

    Are they infected? Are they maintaining social distance recommendations? Are they acting responsibly? BTW – I didn’t know this was something we could actually vote on at this time … so your vote is meaningless.

    See the last line of the letter.

  61. Botswana O'Hooligan

    That letter has to be a parody, but if it is fair dinkum they can go to buggery for fifty odd deaths of people my age (about 80) with all sorts of underlying problems is nothing compared to the damage done to the economy by a political class you wouldn’t p..s on if they were on fire.

  62. Cynic of Ayr

    I dunno what all the fuss is about.
    Gore and the Swedish kid, even AttaBoy, say we only got then years, then the world suddenly turns into a crisp.
    They got the proof! Just ask’em.

  63. rickw

    If your an old fart that’s worried about dying from this, then social distance yourself, don’t impose that on everyone else.

    Same logic should be applied to guns in society, if you don’t like guns, don’t bloody buy one!

  64. Iain Russell

    @nofixedaddress, yes! Experts are so numerous they are in the media in batallion strength. Area suppression weapons immediately!

  65. Macspee

    Worth looking at – particularly the conclusions. Too long to cut and paste.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/04/08/flattening-the-curve/

  66. As a 72 year old I have been part of a very privileged generation. Living through the most progressive time the human race has ever experienced. With advances in healthcare and general standard of living quite extraordinary. I have no problem with the suggestion it’s time to pay a little back.
    During previous conflicts young people volunteered, were given a gun and many gave their lives for the Country ( Australia)
    I am fit and healthy,thank God, still working amongst the public and plan to continue as long as I am able.
    Now is the time to send everybody back to work and let the country try to get back to normal.

  67. Aynsley Kellow

    NFA: how many people named ‘Aynsley Kellow’ do you think there are in the world? And your point is?

    FYI ‘parody’ involves deliberate exaggeration for comic effect. Where in Steve’s piece is the exaggeration? Where is the comic effect? It was a statement that is not at all unusual in present day commentary, b ut you will note that I questioned whether it was parody.

    Regardless, the points I mad are perfectly valid — even if aimed at Premier Andrews (if we credit Steve with parodic intent, which I am more than happy to do if he wishes to claim such).

  68. Rossini

    How is Dan the man going to pay the bill for all his spending?
    like Kennett years ago when he levied all rate payers $$$ to cover labor’s excessive debt/spending
    This wont be popular with pr0perty investors now especially as renters not wanting to pay rent

  69. Sydney Boy

    Cynic of Ayr –

    And yet Sweden goes it alone with a more pragmatic approach…..i.e. being grown ups and not sending everyone to their rooms without supper…..

    Seen Sweden’s figures over the last few days? Check the links at the top of the page. Not doing so well now.

    Meanwhile, a workmate came up with a good phrase. We were talking about how the government let the genie out of the bottle in regards to doubling the dole, and how they will go about restoring the dole back to a level that incentivises people to get a job. He reckons it can’t be done. “Too much genie, not enough bottle”.

  70. Aynsley Kellow

    Sweden: deaths per 1m population = 68
    UK = 105
    USA = 45
    Switzerland = 103
    Not doing too badly.
    They will also have better herd immunity come the inevitable second wave.

  71. Patty Duke

    I’m meeting up with a friend (whilst keeping a social distance, of course)for a non-essential walk and coffee tomorrow. We might even find a bench to sit on while we have our coffee. And maybe walk along the Beaky Parade beach path if the authorities haven’t sprinkled broken glass to deter any frivolous activities.

    It’s never too late to become an anarchist.

  72. The BigBlueCat

    As a member of the vulnerable let me say I’m not prepared to take one for the team.

    @Felix … still not a vote … you’re expecting the vulnerable (whoever they might be, I thought it was everyone) knuckle under and do what Dan orders while others are free to go about their business.

    The whole notion of shooing people from public spaces when they are clearly maintaining social distancing guidelines is excessive overreach (tautology I know – overreach is always excessive). If we freely and meekly give up our social liberties like this because Dan says so then we get what we deserve. Assuming Dan is re-elected, what else does he have up his sleeve to keep the citizenry in line? And now having forgone certain civil liberties in the name of COVID-19, will we ever see those liberties return?

    No many would say “of course”, but with there being reporting by the said citizenry of breaches of social distancing laws, we have a very apparent Nazi-esq set of circumstances. What next, mandatory reporting of Catholics? Will my neighbour be soon required to report me because I left a light on late at night? Don’t scoff … it’s a short step away for those so inclined ….

  73. Bob in Castlemaine

    So what of winter 2021, must the economy be blown up once again in an effort to prevent the usual 3000 or 4000 annual deaths from seasonal flu induced pneumonia? The virulent flu we face now could perhaps be better tackled by protecting the aged and the vulnerable while practicing sound infection control measures throughout the community, without the wide spread economic and social damage we now see.
    The current shut-down while it is limiting the number of cases of Wu Flu it is not leading to a situation where there will be enough people with immunity to prevent a second wave of infection during winter, when the virus will inevitably become more contagious. Unless of course the country is to remain in lock-down with the economy bleeding out until spring?

  74. Sydney Boy

    Aynsley – and Australia deaths per million population: 2.

    So sure, Sweden at 68 deaths per million is not doing too bad.

  75. Sydney Boy

    Bob – the Corona Virsud cannot more contagious in winter. It has a fixed level. What differs is us. We have less vitamin C & D and congregate more indoors. Our behaviour is vastly different this year and we are on track to have the lowest level of flu in decades.

  76. Aynsley Kellow

    Sydney Boy – we have done well, largely thanks to clamping down on the borders early (when ScoMo was a racist, according to Southpomasane). But there is a need for care in cross country comparisons. Are we distinguishing form and with deaths? They are not in most of Europe. We also do not have as much indoor life at this time of year, and we are not ‘blessed’ with the open borders of Schengen.

  77. Sydney Boy

    I agree Aynsley – the reasons Australia is doing so well are multi-factorial. Shutting the borders was a good move – can you imagine how fewer infections we would have had if the borders had been shut a week earlier? Or the Ruby Princess been made to comply with the rules? The Southern Hemisphere summer has also assisted, as has our island status, and even our vaccination schedule (some preliminary research has proposed a link between some vaccinations and susceptibility to the disease). Overall, we are in a pretty good place. Winding back some of the restrictions after Easter is necessary.

  78. Aynsley Kellow

    Good points Sydney Boy.

    A better comparison is probably to look at infections in Sweden compared with its neighbours. Sweden has 834 cases per million, Norway 1,115, Denmark 933. But these probably reflect different testing levels, which German researchers explain much of the difference in detected infections: Sweden 5,416 per million; Norway 21,009; Denmark 11,050.

    But Sweden is doing better than the UK: 895 cases per million, 105 deaths per million and 4,155 tests per million. And Boris refused to follow the Swedish model because of the Imperial College modelling.

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