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Dallas

How Is Everybody Coping?

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Last night Tasmania recorded its sixth day with no new cases of Covid-19 after our previous run of four days was broken by a single new case. This was still associated with that localised outbreak at a north-west hospital, which in turn had started from a single patient who had been a passenger on that festering virus bomb of a cruise ship misleadingly named the Ruby Princess. If today passes with no new infections, then we are but 7 days away from the accepted maximum incubation period of the disease.

 

Tasmania is indeed fortunate to have a small population of just over a half million people, with nearly half of those scattered over the large island outside of the two main population centres which themselves are pretty spread out, and which has a separate, continuous sea border with no land bridge from Australia itself. Closing that border was therefore relatively easy, and those who had to travel here still face a mandatory government supplied quarantine of 14 days.

 

Tasmania has had previous experience with handling such outbreaks - the 1918-19 Spanish flu epidemic saw all returning soldiers and other personnel from Europe after WW1 quarantined on off-shore Maria Island, and subsequently the outbreak that killed ~50 million world-wide was limited to the lowest fatality rate of all Australian states at just over 1 person per thousand.

 

I mention this because it demonstrates the degree of isolationist clamp-down, along with having a co-operative population which sticks to the restrictions, that is necessary to stop a contagion which at present has no vaccine and no effective treatment or cure. Aside from the clamp-down itself, it is becoming very apparent that the key is really a co-cooperatively united population following a plan formulated by medical experts and government authorities. The type who know what they're talking about don't have us drinking bleach or mainlining disinfectant, nor waffle on about the Covid "bacteria". 


Thankfully, and despite the economic hit the State has incurred, somewhat surprisingly the conservative State government is continuing to stand firm on keeping the borders closed for the foreseeable future, as well with limits on personal movements and gatherings still more severe than mainland Australia, and thereby further reducing the chances of the virus being re-imported. The Premiere is erring on the side of caution, and is adamant that whatever is done will be directly targeted at stopping a "second wave" that already seems to be hitting those places which have apparently been lifting restrictions prematurely.

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Tasmania is a special case, but It's so great that the impact of the virus there has been limited by sensible precautions, as well as geographic factors.

All I can say is, "WELL DONE!"

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4 hours ago, vivionm said:

Tasmania is a special case, but It's so great that the impact of the virus there has been limited by sensible precautions, as well as geographic factors.

All I can say is, "WELL DONE!"

 

And now no new infections today, either.

 

So that's 7 days straight now. :)  The next seven are still crucial, as this is when the infections (if any) will likely present themselves.

 

The State Director of Health also reported that testing will continue at full steam into the foreseeable future, and he won't consider the State to definitely have achieved suppression for at least a month or two after the last infection at best.

 

Erring on the side of caution maybe, but to be able to live freely and without any restriction after that will be worth it, I reckon. I'm champing at the bit to get out on the road with the cameras beyond my 30km limit again all the same, although I'll miss this year's mists and still air of late autumn and winter in the meantime.

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14 minutes ago, Alan7140 said:

The State Director of Health also reported that testing will continue at full steam into the foreseeable future, and he won't consider the State to definitely have achieved suppression for at least a month or two after the last infection at best.

This man is earning his salary!

 

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8 hours ago, Alan7140 said:

it is becoming very apparent that the key is really a co-cooperatively united population following a plan formulated by medical experts and government authorities

 

This is where the government here has 100% failed. Instead of getting citizens on its side, it has almost deliberately gone and made every citizen feel like they are little kids who have to be spoon fed and disciplined for simply being human. The net effect of their ridiculous curtailment of parts of the economy that didn't need to be curtailed is that they have made enemies of most of us. 

 

Last night the chief nincompoop wasted 40 minutes of our time blathering on about the need to wear masks, cough into our elbows, etc, all while apparently desperately trying to defend the irrationality of their lockdown rules as being "new ground", yet at the same time saying that they are taking their cues from the rest of the world. It's enough to drive you to drink. Oh wait, there's none of that available. 

 

The opposition have now taken them to court in two separate issues. Let's hope that our constitution actually carries some penalty, because right now it appears that a bloodless coup has occurred here. 

 

https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/covid-19-slippery-slope-da-takes-govt-to-court-over-lockdown-regulations-20200514

 

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Some statistics from today.

 

London, one of the world's two global cities, with a population of around nine million and high proportion of poor people from a third world background,  is currently experiencing only 24 new cases a day.  London's R(eproduction) rate is only 0.4, while the more sparsely populated West Country has a rate of 0.8.

 

Over 25% of deaths in England are of people with diabetes, although only 6% overall have diabetes.

 

There is a lot we still have to learn.

 

 

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As Alan has explained, Australia has managed to contain things moderately well  - one of the benefits of distance and isolation.  

 

Personally, things haven't been too bad.  My work is relatively portable and I often spent extended periods working out of a client's office, so the move to working from home wasn't a problem.  In fact, avoiding the stress of a daily commute and having a couple of hours of time has been good.  Also having time with family without constantly rushing everywhere has been nice too.  I might look into having a day or two working from home after this is all over.

 

Socially, having lived on three continents, many friends were already located out of reach, so such contacts have continued unhindered.  

 

I guess things will be different for someone who has grown up with their best friend just round the corner and now suddenly even just around the corner is a massive distance.  Similarly, those living in societies that aren't as stable will find things much harder - I know there are many places where the aspects of society many of us take for granted aren't reliable at the best of times and will struggle even more in the trying times we are currently living through.

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There is something to give a Hurrah! about in South Africa today: government has bent under immense pressure from opposition & business and opened up eCommerce 100% so we can buy anything (except alcohol & tobacco) online. This means that I have been able to conclude the sale of my Oly 12-100/4.0 PRO lens and get in some much needed funds. 

 

Today I went to the Mall across the Berea to buy some things for dinner. A lot of the stores are open, but most are still closed. Wearing a mask is now compulsory, but I cannot breathe with those things on so I have a Buff that I use to satisfy the gestapo lurking around. Even that is very uncomfortable for me, so I definitely won't be going out much until they relax that rule. 

 

I have been very hard at work on the digital side of my business, participating in a Facebook group for eCommerce in SA (yes, I relented and opened up a personal FB account again specifically for this activity). I also have what I hope is going to be a winner product for people who want to start a small online business. Check it out here

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Dallas, good luck with your venture.  You are now about to start what I consider to be the hardest part, marketing and selling.  That’s a big part of the reason I’d never want to be self employed.

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Bugger it, back to counting days from scratch again, one more new case reported yesterday here in Tasmania.

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Thanks Chris. Yes, the marketing is difficult in a very crowded marketplace. I do seem to be making some headway though as I am working on a quote for a print-on-demand company who called me yesterday, directly through my FB group activity. My philosophy with business is to build word of mouth and trust by bending over backwards for my clients. Most of them have been with me for over a decade, so I think that is evidence of the trust they have in me. Over the years I haven’t really pursued digital, preferring instead to concentrate on photography related business, which I now believe will be consigned to the far corners of the back burner. 

 

Alan, that is disappointing, but the reality is that covid19 isn’t going away anytime soon. We just have to learn to live around it. I just read a very interesting article that covers how the expert advice from the medical profession has been largely ignored in this country. The lockdown is counter-productive and in our situation terribly dangerous. They are now reporting cases of malnutrition in children, which has not been seen here in decades. If anything good can come out of this awful pandemic I pray that it will be the final removal of this disastrous government we have. 

 

Heres the article: https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/unscientific-and-nonsensical-top-scientific-adviser-slams-governments-lockdown-strategy-20200516

 

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2 hours ago, Alan7140 said:

Bugger it, back to counting days from scratch again, one more new case reported yesterday here in Tasmania.

Hopefully an outlier.

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My eldest daughter, who has recovered from a bad attack of Covid-19, is doing all the food shopping for older people in her apartment building - as well as for me and her mother, although I use online ordering and delivery as much as possible.

She is also looking after her ten-year old son and working from home at a very demanding job (Chief Operating Officer in a financial services company)..

Heroes are everywhere these days.

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On 14/05/2020 at 23:18, Anthony said:

Some statistics from today.

 

London, one of the world's two global cities, with a population of around nine million and high proportion of poor people from a third world background,  is currently experiencing only 24 new cases a day.  London's R(eproduction) rate is only 0.4, while the more sparsely populated West Country has a rate of 0.8.

 

Over 25% of deaths in England are of people with diabetes, although only 6% overall have diabetes.

 

There is a lot we still have to learn.

 

 

That does not make uplifting reading Anthony and as a diabetic old person I have been denoted as a “vulnerable “ old, codger!

Getting old sucks big time at the moment, roll on when I can get my usual exercise!

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Mike Gorman

 

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4 hours ago, vivionm said:

Hopefully an outlier.

 

An elderly man who was both a passenger on that bloody disease-ridden "cruise" ship Ruby Princess and a "close associate" of a Covid sufferer, so both were in quarantine (together?) while the current case was catching the disease from the existing case and was therefore infectious. All contacts in the short time since he actually left quarantine are being traced and will be quarantined, we just hope there were only a few and this gets stopped immediately.

 

Once this is all over, governments should confiscate all cruise ships in their waters, give all crews and passengers one-way airline tickets to their home countries, tow those bloody floating apartment blocks well out to sea and have their navies use them for target practice until they sink to form artificial reefs and home to sea-life rather than spreading pandemic contagion.

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4 hours ago, Alan7140 said:

 

Once this is all over, governments should confiscate all cruise ships in their waters, give all crews and passengers one-way airline tickets to their home countries, tow those bloody floating apartment blocks well out to sea and have their navies use them for target practice until they sink to form artificial reefs and home to sea-life rather than spreading pandemic contagion.

Please don’t include the river cruise ships in that cull!


Mike Gorman

 

Nikon Z7 - Nikkor Z 14-30, 24-70, 35, 50, 85, FTZ adapter 

GX8 - Panasonic 20, 25

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I'm with Alan on this one ! My one and only 'cruise' was when I migrated from Melbourne to London in 1974. Jennie had given me Somerset Maugham to read, so I had fantasies about sea travel. Quickly dispelled when the ship didn't leave Melbourne for 24 hours, was so bad in Tourist we bankrupted ourselves upgrading to 1st .. Via NZ, Panama Canal, to Europe. First European port was Lisbon with 2 days there, on the eve they dished me out rotten fish and I  spent 48 hours very ill indeed, just making it ashore on the final evening to realise there was a coup going on !

 

Unknown to us, the ship was terminating and all crew were to be laid off .. 🙃.. f##k cruising, I say !

 

cheers, Maurice


"Wild things are always faster"

from 'Two Dogs' by Philip Hodgins

Wild-Things@btconnect.com

www.Wild-Things-Photography.com

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Posted (edited)

I lived through the 1968 "Hong Kong Flu Pandemic".   1,000,000 died worldwide on that one.  They didn't have social distancing and masks for that one.  Also no stay at home orders either.

 

So far, this new virus has killed 300,000 worldwide  (with many believing that that number is exaggerated - e.g. many people in the USA killed in auto accidents, heart attacks, and strokes being  mis-classified as death from the virus).

 

In the USA, this whole virus issue has been politicized.  Individual states are allowed to make their own stay-at-home rules.  Here in Wisconsin,  last Friday the Wisconsin Supreme Court removed all of the stay at home rules ruling them unconstitutional.  Now, my wife can finally get a haircut.  Now I can finally get my teeth fixed and get my broken glasses fixed.  Now, I can go to huge botanical gardens and take flower photos (even though my favorite 40 acre garden has never in the past had more than 40 or 50 visitors to it at one time).

 

In the more liberal states of California and Michigan, their governors have gone too far in issuing detailed and onerous restrictions.  For example, in Michigan, residents can go boating/fishing in kayaks and canoes but not in little row boat.   In California, rental properties on Lake Tahoe can only be rented to health care people, first responders and the like - regular folks are fined $1,000 USD if they rent a cabin reserved for people who work in the "essential" jobs.  I'm just glad that I live Wisconsin and not one of these other states who believe they can take away most of your freedoms!

 

Personally, I'm an oldster with a number of "underlying medical conditions" and I will continue to stay at home mostly.  When I do go out,  I will continue to wear gloves, N95  or N100 masks, etc.   However,  let the young people go to work, go out and socialize etc.   This flu isn't as serious for them as it it for me, and why make the young people suffer?  Let the young do their thing, and if you give us unhealthy olders information on how we're at higher risk, most of us will volunarily do what is needed to not die from the virus.

Edited by blurmagic
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11 hours ago, Mike G said:

Please don’t include the river cruise ships in that cull!

 

I didn't, Mike - river cruises not the same concept, but more like localised ferries travelling between local communities as they ply between cities and countries on the same river.

 

If you live in a smallish sea port city like Hobart (where the main docks are actually part of the CBD itself), you get a first-hand look at potentially what a prime disease spreader these bloody things are. They pull into a port from some foreign land, disgorge 2,500 people onto the streets for a 12-24 -hour "experience" where the hordes mostly travel on foot through the local population, or board busses to infest the immediate outlying "tourist" areas,  mostly returning to the ship for their pre-paid meals and then sailing off to the next destination sometime after nightfall or dawn.

They're so self contained with meals and accommodation that they leave very little wealth behind, but as has now been proven world-wide, as a spreader of contagion internationally they are absolutely near perfect in concept and execution.

 

If you want an example of a perfect disease spreading storm internationally, the "cruise ship" would have to be at or near the top of the list of possibilities.

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@blurmagic Dave, you are lucky to not be feeling the full impact of tough lockdown regulations. Things here have been really bad for the people the lockdown is supposed to be protecting. All the experts are now saying that the lockdown is being counter-productive. Since our government muppets have had a taste of totalitarianism however, they seem reluctant to give it up easily. We are fighting back though. 

 

I have only been out a few times in the 52 days since our lockdown began. It’s depressing. One thing is for certain though; I will never take my freedom for granted again. 

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3 hours ago, Alan7140 said:

 

I didn't, Mike - river cruises not the same concept, but more like localised ferries travelling between local communities as they ply between cities and countries on the same river.

 

If you live in a smallish sea port city like Hobart (where the main docks are actually part of the CBD itself), you get a first-hand look at potentially what a prime disease spreader these bloody things are. They pull into a port from some foreign land, disgorge 2,500 people onto the streets for a 12-24 -hour "experience" where the hordes mostly travel on foot through the local population, or board busses to infest the immediate outlying "tourist" areas,  mostly returning to the ship for their pre-paid meals and then sailing off to the next destination sometime after nightfall or dawn.

They're so self contained with meals and accommodation that they leave very little wealth behind, but as has now been proven world-wide, as a spreader of contagion internationally they are absolutely near perfect in concept and execution.

 

If you want an example of a perfect disease spreading storm internationally, the "cruise ship" would have to be at or near the top of the list of possibilities.

I fully agree - these ships are carriers of pestilence and provide little or no economic benefit to the ports they visit.

 

On a personal level, being cooped up with a couple of thousands of strangers on a floating hotel with no exit fills me with horror.

 

River cruises are an entirely different matter. The boats are so much smaller for one thing.

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1 hour ago, Dallas said:

Things here have been really bad for the people the lockdown is supposed to be protecting

I suppose it depends on one's definition of "really bad".

Certainly, I did not find that two months of total isolation in solitary confinement was any fun, but it was bearable. During those eight weeks I was not outside once, except on my balcony.

But "Really bad" would be on another level entirely.

One thing is sure: Without the measures being taken, the infection and death rates would be very much higher.

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Hundreds of thousands of people are starving because they can't work and the relief efforts from government are not reaching them, or are so inadequate that they mean nothing. The worst is that the government are preventing private people from helping the worst hit communities, saying that unless they have a permit they cannot distribute food or other aid. They want to have complete control of the situation so that when it comes to election time they can use it as a tool to gather votes. It's heartbreaking because there are so many of us who can and want to help, but we will not trust this government with any relief funding as we know where it is going - into the pockets of the thieves who have decimated this country's economy for far too long. There is also a movement to stop international financial aid because of the racist policies of the current government on how this gets distributed in the tourism industry. They have said categorically that no aid will go to businesses that are not black owned. This is just wrong on so many levels because many white owned businesses employ mostly black staff, who will now be unemployed and totally dependent on a government that has only one thing on its mind: self enrichment. 

 

We have to apply pressure on them in different ways to adjust the lockdown and then somehow convince the people they have hurt the most to stop voting them back into power. 

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I think it will be a long time before we know who got it right and who got it wrong.  At this stage lockdowns are probably the way to go.  Comparisons with past pandemics are difficult because we live in such a connected world.  50 years ago the prospect of a cruise around south east Asia was quite exclusive, nowadays, mega cruise ships and cheap flights make such trips available to the working class from developed countries.  New Zealand was probably the one country that got lockdown right, when they announced it, they also identified lesser levels that will apply as restrictions are reduced.

 

As for comments about figures, I don’t think anyone is over reporting.  There has been lots of talk about “underlying conditions” so perhaps there are people who died last week who might have died next week from some other cause.  However I think in general there has been a lot of under-reporting.  The UK government got caught reporting just deaths in hospitals.  I’m sure there are lots of other places that are missing figures in areas where people don’t have easy access to healthcare and given the US dislike of universal healthcare, there are probably segments of society there to include in this figure.  I think any manipulation is probably very short sighted, in a global society either under or over reporting, will have impacts.  Any gains would be extremely localised. 
 

However, if this becomes political or a blame game, we could be decades or longer away from an answer.  It will also be difficult to make comparisons due to differences in culture and geography.  Geography has definitely been kind to Australia and New Zealand in this regard.

 

We can just hope things settle down to some new and generally acceptable normal.

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