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COVID-19

Escape from lock-down

The girls needed a break. The university term had just finished and so had "lock-down". Students, Isla and her two housemates, Chloe and Emily, were anxious to escape Melbourne. Emily's friend Olivia who was studying at Adelaide University had been trying, for more than a year, to entice Emily over for a visit, and this seemed the opportunity. Of course all three girls would go over together and, as they all yearned for a seaside experience, after spending so much time in their rented inner suburban house, they booked into an apartment for five nights in Glenelg, not far from Emily. It would be great! They could go for walks along the beach every morning!

Q & A "Fight of our lives" - When economic ideology meets biological system

On Australian ABC's Q & A, 28 July 2020, "Fight of our lives," Bill Bowtell[1] alone seemed able to conceptualise the biological restructuring of our economic environment, although Gigi Foster, economist, NSW, seemed to know instinctively what she needed to combat in order to keep the global, privatised economy going. She advocated allowing people to die from COVID-19, Swedish-style, in order to maintain business more or less as usual. However, when it was put to her that this would make everything less predictable and also incapacitate our health-care system, with no end in sight for the virus, she could draw a logical conclusion, which was, "[...] If we keep our borders closed, until there is a vaccine, we have to restructure the industrial mix in Australia." But this conclusion, anathema to her ideology, seemed ridiculous to her.

Good neighbours

It was a stifling summer night with the usual crowd at the jazz venue Jonathan had frequented regularly for the previous few years. On this particular night he was introduced to Ruth, a rather earnest, slim, dark haired lady, in her early thirties. Jonathan, although somewhat lonely following the recent acrimonious break-up of his marriage to Danielle, and consequent distancing from his young son David, was not seeking a new partner. He felt the need to sort out his feelings and his finances before taking steps in that direction. He and Danielle had sold the family home in North Caulfield, and now he had to find another house with only half the funds, while house prices were sky-rocketing. He really needed to get away by himself to think about his future.

Ruth edged her way from the other side of the table to where his group were seated and suddenly she was sitting next to him. A cold and distant manner came naturally to Jonathan and he found himself using it, despite her insistent, tipsy, approaches. He needed something stronger than beer, but resisted the urge. He felt danger and knew he had to remain sober. In any case, he had to drive home shortly.

Governments in Australia please! Elimination strategy not suppression. Give this island a chance!

Early this year, as the COVID-19 virus gained a toehold in Australia, the message from governments, via the media, was that the aim was to "flatten the curve" so that case numbers would be such that our hospital systems would not be overwhelmed. It was not to eliminate the virus altogether.

Why would governments not want to flatten the curve right down to the x axis and eliminate the virus from our population?

Video: Some blood-types are higher risk with COVID-19 - Medical review of literature

This video is from Dr Mike Hansen's excellent medical channel, June 16, 2020. Dr Hansen works in Emergency Medicine as a pulmonary specialist and has made a number of highly informative videos on the subject of covid 19.

Transcript for the above video, originally entitled, "Does Blood Type Matter for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?."

People have either blood type A, B, AB, or O.

Are people with blood type O less prone to suffer from COVID-19? And does blood type A make people more prone to COVID-19?

Let me first start out by saying that people of all blood types can get COVID. And people with all blood types can possibly die of COVID if they get the infection.

COVID-19 makes high-rise high-density living a dangerous anachronism

In Melbourne last Saturday nine public housing towers with 3,000 residents were shut down for at least five days, due to a large cluster of identified cases of COVID-19 within their walls. Since then, of course, the whole of Melbourne has been locked down for about six weeks. And this is a Melbourne burgeoning with high-rises. It seems a lifetime ago, but it is only about five months since the cruise ship, Diamond Princess, with identified cases of COVID-19 was unable to disembark in Yokohama, Japan. Her hapless passengers were confined to their cabins, in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus aboard the ship and on land. Predictably however, the virus spread through the ship and by early March there were six casualties.

Lower immigration: State Gov needs to rethink Plan Melbourne - Clifford Hayes MP

The Victorian Government’s master planning document, Plan Melbourne— which drives high density development throughout our suburbs—assumes continuing rapid population growth over the next decade. The coronavirus pandemic, and the Federal response to it, means this assumption has been overtaken by events, and that Plan Melbourne is out of date. The Morrison Government expects a fall of up to 300,000 people moving to Australia over the next 2 years. The Federal Government expects net overseas migration to fall by 30% in the current financial year, and to crash by 85% in 2020-21 to around 40,000.

Calls to Up immigration often ignore Australia's economic and social reality

Daniel Ziffer's journalistic effort for the ABC Saturday May 9th, "Calls to cut immigration often ignore Australia's economic and social reality," was sparked off by Shadow Minister for Immigration and Home Affairs, Senator Kristina Keneally's week old article, calling for a review of the numbers of skilled temporary workers. The purpose of the review she was calling for was to give Australians who have lost their jobs due to coronavirus lock-down, first preference in the job market when "normality" returns. This mild and reasonable suggestion has met with a frenzy of opposing articles in the mainstream media, and this ABC concoction is yet another of these.

What does the future hold after COVID-19?

Will governments buy back vital resources and essential services from the embattled private sector, or will they allow the wealthy to pick up resources and monopolies cheaply, pressing the unemployed and endebted into slave-like conditions? Can we adapt to or avoid a future that appears to hold more and worse pandemics? If COVID-19 is a pandemic designed for elite purposes to cull the aged and weak, why have some governments tried to protect their vulnerable populations? We have obviously become too economically dependent on the model of continuous accelerated growth in human numbers and human activities globally to be able to protect ourselves from the pandemics that come with this economic model.  At the same time the long-predicted oil-resources breakdown in supply is looming. Can any good come of this? Is this an opportunity?

Do we really need The Economy? Article by Sally Pepper

In this article, Sally Pepper proposes that there is an economy with a small 'e' and The Economy with a big 'E'. As well as threatening its survival, COVID-19 has called the big E economy into question. Sally says, "The economy with a small 'e’ is a way of describing what we do. The Economy with a capital “E” is something we serve, whether we like it or not. To please The Economy we have to behave in such a way that it looks its best and is pleased with itself. The Economy seems to be like a teenage boy, with a voracious appetite. It never develops beyond the need to grow bigger, endlessly. It is like a monster that we have given rise to and are doomed to cater to forever."

Complaint about Dictation from The Conversation re COVID-19 article

Dear Censorial Overseers

The deletion of the comment quoted below in this notification is perhaps the most odious of all those made under this article today, all done without any clearly discernible reason but with quite evident rhyme. The comment below asks you to show respect for these commentators who have suffered deletion of their genuine and reasonable comment by providing an open advice as to the basis of that consistent disbursement of negative action.

How will we cope with 8 million in Melbourne if we have another pandemic?

Over the last 30 to 40 years, an inexorable process has been in train in Melbourne.

A city that once boasted houses with gardens for the majority has given way to the cannibalisation of our gardens in the interests of accommodating an ever-increasing population. Thus, we have seen increasing medium and high density living in our suburbs, with significant and ongoing loss of trees, other vegetation, and space per person. At the same time we have seen encroachments on public land for ever more residential development. To name only two of many examples, there was the Commonwealth Games Village in Royal Park and the Eastern Golf Course in Doncaster which were both turned into housing developments. The State Government in Victoria now plans to facilitate development on golf courses, according to their definition by a committee of developers as redundant green amenity.

Can Australia's government learn from COVID-19?

Covid-19 is a warning. We can take it as such or ignore it if we get through it and come out the other side.

High density, high population, high throughput, globalised manufacturing, global high mobility, are not working for us now. When we first learned in January of the outbreak of Covid -19 in Wuhan my first thought was that "This will be in Melbourne soon." Thirty years ago, I would not have had such a thought because China was so distant and separate. I was right, within a few days it was in Melbourne. On January 25th Australia had its first four cases, the first in Melbourne and another three in Sydney. At this time the city of Wuhan in China was in "lockdown".

COVID-19: Time the unsafe Australian Construction industry stopped demanding special consideration

On 27 March 2020, the AWU and Master Builders Australia jointly called on governments to ensure the continued operation of the building and construction industry, claiming that without it the economic knock-on effects would be devastating on a scale that would dwarf what we have seen to date.

There is no question that many dependencies on this very costly and demanding industry would cause more economic disruption, but what about safety with regard to COVID-19? Although the industry argues that it can be safe, we will argue that the industry is not suited to workers keeping safe distances. On the principle that a stitch in time saves nine, it would be better to shut down sooner rather than later because the later action is taken, the worse the grip of COVID-19 will be on the economy. Since the virus has caused the government to cease the mass migration that has driven huge expansion in the construction industry, demand has dropped, and now is the perfect time to massively curtail construction industry activity. In the meantime, will the industry take responsibility for the return home of the many temporary migrant construction workers from China and Indonesia who, unlike international cruise-ship passengers, are already onshore, virtually invisible, but numerous? And an industry worker argues that the industry is not capable of adapting to safe distance practice.

Staying Safe with COVID-19 in Australia

Last night a nursing home informed me that my 95 year old mother was in isolation, having developed high temperatures. She had been swabbed for COVID-19 and results might be available in two to five days.

I was not at all surprised, not just because of the known vulnerability of patients in nursing homes, but because of my personal experience in nursing and with this nursing home.

What do we know about Chloroquine use against COVID-19?

Chloroquine (and hydroxycloroquine) are related drugs that have been used for over 70 years to treat and prevent malaria. They have both antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

French studies

Professor Didier Raoult, who has a laboratory and hospital beds in Marseille, France, has been promoting chloroquine as an effective treatment for COVID-19 Coronavirus. From 16 March 2020 he trialed treatment of 24 COVID-19 patients with 600 mg of Chloroquine daily for 10 days.

He reported that six days later only 25% of these patients still carried the virus, whereas without chloroquine one would expect 90% to still be infected and infectious. The implication is that Chloroquin shortened the course of the illness.

The study may also have suggested that additional treatment with the antibiotic azithromycin led to better outcomes where secondary pneumonias of bacterial origin occurred.

Quarantined Italians Send a Message to Themselves 10 Days Ago: What They Wish They Knew Then

Countries like the US, England, France, Spain and Germany are about 9-10 days behind in the COVID-19 progression. For our benefit, the video channel called "A THING BY" asked Italians to record a message they wish had heard 10 days prior. Let's take careful note of what they have to say.

Capitalism, Closed for business & COVID-19? Oz economist, Steve Keen

Our version of capitalism is something the narcissistic writer Ayn Rand would have adored, but in a headlong rush to hyper-individualism, have we chosen freedom of the individual over the survival of our species…

Host Ross Ashcroft is joined by economist and author, Professor Steve Keen to discuss why coronavirus has closed capitalism.

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