Every morning Sydney hosts its 11am Covid-19 ritual. New South Wales Premier Gladys solemnly records the newly infected, newly hospitalised, ICU entrants and the dead. Our chief health officer, Kerry Chant, performs a short liturgy: “Test…Isolate”. These announcements are then reannounced in various formulations over the next half hour interspersed with urgent calls for us to vaccinate. The media then asks the same questions it did yesterday using today’s numbers. This allows for further reannouncements and even more urgent calls for us to be vaccinated. We are also reminded that this is the only way out of lockdown. Other Australian states go through a similar daily process.
As an unvaccinated person, the liturgy is of particular interest to me. In my uninfected state my main concern is to avoid Delta. If it is as dangerous as we’re told, it will come looking for me. It will then be time to action the “Test……Isolate” strategy. Let’s say I find myself in an exposure zone or one comes here, I’ll need a PCR test. If the PCR test works and I remain uninfected then I get on with my useless life.
Yet, if the test works and I become both an infected and infector, it will be time to implement part 2 of Kerry’s “Test……Isolate” plan. Go straight to my meticulously designed isolation chamber with the ensuite and stay there awaiting further instructions. This is easy if you’re living by yourself especially if you’re a doomsday prepper. The rest of us will be relying on family or housemates to keep us fed and in contact with the rest of the world.
So you’re in the isolation chamber having completed your “Test….Isolate” civic duty. Covid-19, from hereon known as Spike, is happy because no-one has interfered with his plan to raise a family and move to your lungs. This is where Kerry’s plan seems to be short an action or two. It was this concern that prompted me to go looking for the rest of Covid-19 survival manual.
Jane and Fran want to vaccinate our children Jane Halton and Fran Kelly discuss how we need to vaccinate the children to protect adults and vaccinate adults to protect the children. Jane explains the children are vulnerable but don’t get sick. This is an extraordinary conversation. You might say horrendous. Meet Jane Halton.
WHO is Jane Halton? – We probably should have introduced Jane first but we thought we’d build up to it as she is a VERY important person. You will not believe the number of corporate boards she is on and the scope of her key role in Australia and even the world’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout. To describe her as peripatetic would be to undersell Jane Halton.
Trusted News Initative – Have you found someone you can trust through the Covid-19 crisis? We are finding it hard to sort fact from appalling, perpetual, proliferating, posturing, presumptive propaganda. Maybe we have found an organisation that can pull all of our news outlets together and discern the truth. Or maybe that is the problem. One remarkable fact about this organisation is it doesn’t seem to have a logo. What does that tell you?
Two Economists Take Over – neoliberal economists have owned public debate in western society for at least the last forty years. In a recent Australian Financial Review article, two economists tell us how the Covid-19 crisis should be managed. The same selective logic that has run this country’s economy now measures a pandemic and we reckon they come up short.
I Take Dan Andrews Drinking Through a Mask Test When Dan banned the pop-up pub and removing your mask to drink I figured like lockdowns we would soon face the same dilemma in New South Wales. I decided to get ahead of the trend and test drinking through a mask. The experience was just short of fabulous.
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I don’t have a medical background Yet, why should this disbar me from commenting on the state of the present politically and now military driven Covid-19 response. We have some incredibly sycophantic, uninformed members of the media doing exactly that right now. Other players seem to have stridently anti-social views and agendas. I am not denying Covid-19 can have extreme adverse effects on people who contract it. I do believe our response would be improved by broadening participation to include clinicians and experts who are not so tightly wedded to the vaccine or nothing outlook. The discussion that follows is based on my experience as a resident of Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales.
Here are a few clips that bear heavily on the debate we are not having with regard to Covid-19:
Rebel News is doing some great work. Their record of the Sydney and Melbourne rallies vary starkly from the official dismissive response to them. Here Avi Yemini presents Neil Oliver’s powerful challenge to “Leave the children alone”. I am with him on this. The strange madness that has underpinned this vaccine emergency has now gone too far. Do they really want to test these vaccines on newborns and two year olds. Yes, they do. Also see the Mottram / Blakely discussion below:
I am a threat to society. In short, I could kill you. At any time, a lurking spike protein could find a distracted ACE-2 receptor too lazy to throw off its sheddase enzyme, take over a cell’s machinery, my cell’s machinery, repeat until my immune system says “what are you up to?”. Discovered, the spiky fugitive could then find a sleepier, less robust immune system nearby and soon we’re all done for.
It was of particular interest to me that Scott Morrison called John Howard seeking advice on how to address the recent bushfire crisis. Four days after ScottyFromMarketing’s celebrated visit to Cobargo, the ex-Prime Minister was called to refloat a ship with more holes than a cullendar. I wondered what sort of advice he would give? So I went looking for “Australia’s Greatest Ever Prime Minister’s” recent contributions to climate policy. As a man of the people, I am sure that from hereon he won’t mind me calling him John.
With time to reflect away from the savagery of Parliament, this man of principle and vision would surely be the Aussie Sherpa that our society needed. It was then that I came across a twenty minute YouTube clip (see below). from August last year where John spoke to a Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum in Kalgoorlie. This was just a couple of months before the bushfires so we could expect a close parallel between what John told the miners and the advice he gave Scott.
When the Red Cross stepped up this morning to address our climate crisis, I saw an opportunity. A wide range of services including unemployment concealment, homelessness, communications, large parts of education and general health, aged care, mental health and suicide prevention, transport, roads, debt collection and energy have all been given away (see outsourcing). They are no longer the Federal Government’s responsibility. If something goes wrong, it is someone else’s fault. These services have been given to private businesses, churches, charities, church-based charities and church-based businesses. Why? Because as we have seen, they do things better. They certainly pay their workers less and that has to be good. As we all know, there is a surplus to save.
A few months ago I came across a 2009 interview between the Chaser’s Julian Morrow and Peter Meakin. I wonder how many people outside of the media know who he is. Meakin is currently Executive Director of News and Current Affairs at Network Ten after filling similar roles at the Seven and Nine networks. To use a Chris Uhlmann term, Meakin has been a “player” in our politics for 45 years. He became the producer of “A Current Affair” in 1973 when Mike Willesee employed him directly to produce the show.
This was an interesting time. Business wanted action to ensure it received the respect it deserved. We needed a business led revolution and our corporate leaders were going to give us one. It was, in short, the start of neoliberalism in Australia.
Who does, you reply. Yet, as anthropologist David Graeber explains, most of us believe it is our moral responsibility to repay our debts. We are even more fervently convinced that others should pay them. There is a strange, largely unexamined tension between these two positions and it is a tension we will be forced to reconcile in the near future. As members of the second most indebted households in the world, Australians will have plenty of moral responsibility to address. We will also develop a growing intimacy with friendly collections agencies.
I don’t like debt collectors because they offend my social sensibilities. The person that comes to your house demanding money with menace has come to a strange place if you welcome their arrival. If you don’t think there is veiled threat behind such a relationship, try not paying and see how it works out. Happily, with the arrival of the mobile phone, the notion of home and your personal space has taken on a much wider dimension. The debt collector can reach you anytime and anywhere.
“There aren’t many groups as pilloried as dole bludgers and welfare cheats so when the Turnbull Government announced a major crackdown in 2016 most Australians were happy to see it. That move has relied heavily on automation to pursue suspected rorters.“
This wasLeigh Sales’ gentle introduction to a story about Robodebt and the victimisation of people on unemployment benefits. The program introduced us to a couple of people who may have been treated harshly but there are always exceptions. This segment was unlikely to shake the standard pejorative view of the unemployed. The majority of these 400,000 Robodebt targets still have the bailiffs at the door.