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Stubby

Aussies: Football, Meat Pies, and Rampant SARS

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Carrying on the theme of the last few posts, a story that tends to deflate hopes about a vaccine, or at least forces speculation of how a Covid vaccine might look.

The Drop Off of Antibodies

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How the heck did one community start showing about as many cases as Canada does?

Just goes to show how incredibly infectious this sucker is. I’m not going to post any links, but if you have a moment that needs to be filled, Google ‘super-spreader’ and look at the stories.

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26 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

How the heck did one community start showing about as many cases as Canada does?

Just goes to show how incredibly infectious this sucker is. I’m not going to post any links, but if you have a moment that needs to be filled, Google ‘super-spreader’ and look at the stories.

There are similar examples internationally. Parts of Catalonia are locking down in similar circumstances to Melbourne (albeit in different circumstances, with migrant workers the source there).

I think that Canada has (so far) been able to avoid significant local surges in cases because of the continuing strict restrictions. Aus had a much lighter approach, with bars, pubs and gyms open up until recently in Victoria. 

I am still of the view that Australia should be able to contain these local flare-ups and that these are part of the "new normal", unless and until Australia is prepared to pursue an elimination strategy (ScoMo says they aren't doing this). 

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In non-Covid news, but still concerning a different global threat: I read an article on my phone yesterday, which I have lost track of, saying that global methane levels are increasing quite a bit. The interesting thing was the reference to what's happening in Australia re methane emissions. The article said methane emissions from agriculture are dropping but emissions from natural gas extraction are going up.

The real concern with this is that not all methane is created equal. Agriculture emissions (from ruminant burps) do have a marginal warming effect, but they are also carbon neutral, in that no new carbon is being added to the system, which means equilibrium is achievable with agriculture emissions alone. Methane from natural gas production adds fossil carbon to the system, so it disrupts the establishment of a carbon equilibrium.

 

Edited by The Anti-Targ

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Just read an article about someone being arrested in QLD(?) for wearing a gang patch. I wonder how gang patch laws get past the free speech sniff test? I don't think we have a gang patch law here, because I think it would violate our Bill of Rights.

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400+ new cases in Victoria today. :(

NSW back to over 10 per day for the last few days as well.

I read one report that 1 in 2 Victorians who were awaiting test results were still going shopping or to visit others. Dumb.

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5 hours ago, Stubby said:

400+ new cases in Victoria today. :(

Poor Melbourne, it's not looking good.

In Sydney all the people I know are on tenterhooks, this is really a knife-edge sort of event. Fatalistically I think there's quite a good chance we might have to go into lockdown again, or at least close all pubs/restaurants/etc.

In other news, that Adelaide vice-chancellor has resigned apparently due to "ill health".

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On 7/17/2020 at 2:07 AM, The Anti-Targ said:

In non-Covid news, but still concerning a different global threat: I read an article on my phone yesterday, which I have lost track of, saying that global methane levels are increasing quite a bit. The interesting thing was the reference to what's happening in Australia re methane emissions. The article said methane emissions from agriculture are dropping but emissions from natural gas extraction are going up.

The real concern with this is that not all methane is created equal. Agriculture emissions (from ruminant burps) do have a marginal warming effect, but they are also carbon neutral, in that no new carbon is being added to the system, which means equilibrium is achievable with agriculture emissions alone. Methane from natural gas production adds fossil carbon to the system, so it disrupts the establishment of a carbon equilibrium.

 

Methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2, so even small quantities matter. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_potential

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NSW is definitely teetering on an explosion of cases, but hopefully whatever happens the state will have learned from Vic and act faster.

I dunno, maybe a lot of Australians are being fatalistic and just want to do what Sweden has been doing and "get it over with".

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I really want us to just go into lockdown already, there is less pain when you act early but people are just don't like to accept the need ffs.

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Yeah I'm with you karaddin. I have long thought that the big Aus states went too early in relaxing restrictions in indoor settings (family gatherings, pubs, bars, restaurants, gyms), particularly in the winter when these types of indoor gatherings are more commonplace. 

I am worried that Canada is making the same mistake in relaxing these same rules just as we managed to get some semblance of control over the numbers. 

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20 hours ago, Stubby said:

400+ new cases in Victoria today. :(

NSW back to over 10 per day for the last few days as well.

I read one report that 1 in 2 Victorians who were awaiting test results were still going shopping or to visit others. Dumb.

Victorian government advice was no requirement to isolate if you don't have symptoms while awaiting test results. Looks like chairman Dan has the ministry of truth going back ensuring records reflect the correct narrative though, should all be fixed soon.

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The problem is, if you won't or can't pursue an elimination strategy (which I think Aussie could still achieve if it really wanted to, so IMO it's a won't in this case) then you have to face up to loosening controls while there is still COVID in the community. Not seeking pre-vaccine elimination is an acceptance of continued spread to some extent in the community with almost inevitable flareups.

One thing I'm not clear on is whether any states or territories are pursuing elimination, or have achieved it whether by accident or design? 

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I think WA and Tassie both appear to be trying, even if they haven’t been using those words. They both have the advantage of being able to effectively isolate themselves from the other states.

I don’t think there is any evidence of any real community transmission in any state other than Vic and NSW but if we can’t get it under control I don’t think it will be possible for QLD and SA to escape for long.

The NT worries me. They have done well so far but if this ends up in the remote communities it will be a disaster.

 

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remote communities might be more or less self protective by their remoteness. Both in terms of being far distant from the centres of infection, but also within the communities maintaining social distance is pretty easy. The main concern is access to testing, so if COVID gets to a remote community but no one has access to testing it might end up spreading through the community quite a significantly before it gets picked up.

Has the disease shown up much in the aboriginal communities yet?

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As brook said there's no reported cases of community transmission outside of Vic & NSW in a couple months now (correct me if I've missed any). So it effectively has been eliminated. I know in SA we've been more or less completely open and back to normal for the last several weeks, and our wastewater covid testing hasn't shown a thing. I'm pretty confident it isn't here. Would spread like wildfire otherwise.

Despite the daily panicked headlines it looks to me like the Victorian situation is starting to come under control. Been hanging around that ~400 cases a day number for a few days now. Is certainly not doubling in positive test numbers every 5-6 days like it was at the start of the month, and we're just really seeing the effects of lockdown. The mask use should hopefully drive those numbers down further. Next few days will be critical to see where it heads.

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I don't really get the alarm bells around Vic. As @The Anti-Targ has pointed out, unless you want to eliminate the virus through prolonged and well-enforced restrictions, some level of community transmission in at least some states is inevitable. Local outbreaks will be a fact of life for now. We've had restrictions in place for months in Canada but are still running at around 500 new cases / day.

Separately, more lives have probably been saved than lost in Australia as a result of the pandemic and physical distancing. 

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I think the flu season this year is going to be greatly lessened given the precautions everyone is taking.

So far so good in NSW; Victoria should see some progress in the next week (although some would argue that keeping the new cases from exploding beyond 500 should be considered progress in itself, which I guess it is given how this thing could have grown out of hand).

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On 7/26/2020 at 5:35 AM, Jeor said:

I think the flu season this year is going to be greatly lessened given the precautions everyone is taking.

So far so good in NSW; Victoria should see some progress in the next week (although some would argue that keeping the new cases from exploding beyond 500 should be considered progress in itself, which I guess it is given how this thing could have grown out of hand).

Totally agree. These data show unequivocally that the restrictions are working. We know from other countries' experience how quickly things can escalate from hundreds to thousands of cases per day. 

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