SloMo Finally Acts: Copies NZ, Closes Australian Borders

SloMo Finally Acts: Copies NZ, Closes Australian Borders. By the West Australian, 15 March.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced this afternoon that all overseas travellers arriving or returning to Australia will be required to self-isolate for 14-days.

At last. So slow. So much unnecessary harm done.

So finally Perth is safe from people bringing it in from overseas. Now we mainly have to be worried about community spread in Sydney, and people from Sydney bringing it here. Maybe our Western Australian premier could quarantine or check people from Sydney? All the eastern states?

Australia might get on top of this. It’s mainly community spread in Sydney that is alarming, because it has now gone beyond community tracing. The Chinese outside Hubei put five-person teams on every case of the virus, shutting them down and any contacts, forcing them into isolation. They, and Singapore and South Korea, have managed to contain outbreaks that were at Sydney’s stage. If we can contain it before winter comes, we will get by relatively unscathed. But it’s going to be a big effort from here. After Peter Dutton caught the virus, the Federal Government seems to be taking this a bit more seriously.

Likewise the US might still be able get on top of it and contain it, if they close their remaining borders now and go hard on isolation and tracing. But no one knows how widespread it already is in the US, because they have hardly done any tests. However, the US will be in danger next northern winter, as the third world continues to flow in via their southern border. Maybe the Democrats will finally let Trump have his wall? Should be interesting. Financial markets might recover, but the debt problem is the underlying cause so don’t count on it.

Meanwhile Europe, with open borders and ideological blinkers, is going to be a basket case of sickness. The third world? So little information so far, apart from Iran. Many countries don’t want to admit to having the sickness, for fear of scaring away foreign tourists.

This new virus reality is above politics. It’s been revealing to watch how the political class is tried to counter it with spin, optics, and chucking money around. So useless, complacent, and incompetent. Should have closed the borders much earlier, like we’ve been saying:

From Feb 9:

This is much more deadly than the seasonal flu, but a lot less lethal than SARS. However, it is much more infectious than SARS. …

The world could limit the spread by not traveling unnecessarily — and most travel is unnecessary (think video-conferencing, no tourism for a few months). Public events could be cancelled, and school closed in areas with any infections.

From Feb 13:

We could be sleepwalking into a crisis here.

From Feb 13:

Joanne Nova: What happened to the precautionary principle? Wouldn’t it be prudent to temporarily close some more doors to South East Asia just until we know how hard this virus may hit us? Buy time…

From Feb 15:

The globalist/PC line is that put out by China and their puppet at the WHO: travel bans and quarantines don’t work. Obliviously they work, if in place early enough.

Which is cheaper?

  • Making everyone who comes into Australia by any means go into two weeks quarantine at a remote location. Cost: accommodation, time lost, and most journeys are postponed or cancelled. No deaths.
  • Allowing people who come by air into the Australian population, then putting all those who get severely sick into intensive care in hospitals. Cost: A day at an ICU costs $5,000 per day, and the number of ICUs is geared to the normal ‘flu season and other emergencies — that is, there won’t be nearly enough of them. Crash-build many more ICUs. Possibly lots of deaths. …

Joanne Nova: Our hospital system is designed to cope with the annual flu load, even if this only doubles it, it will be onerous. If 10% of cases need major hospital help (as we see in the cases in Hong Kong and Singapore) the system will be overwhelmed. …

Now that we know this is very infectious the best case scenario is that the virus causes thousands of undetected low grade infections, and that for some reason it is not as severe in the West (genes, pollution, medical care, lower population density, summer, past infection immunity, etc). Perhaps it blows over and we can look back and say “hyped”. We’ll know a lot more in a few weeks time. Are three weeks worth of weddings and conferences really worth the risk?

From Feb 15:

Ask yourself: How serious would a disease have to be to make the Chinese react the way they are? For starters, it would have to be very contagious — and that is now established fact. But the death rate? Higher than the 0.15% for the flu obviously, but what?

From Feb 27:

Ok, so if catching COVID-19 is inevitable and really not so bad, as the emerging narrative goes, why are the Chinese reacting so vigorously? What do they know that we don’t?

And somehow any public discussion of closing the borders is completely omitted in the West, even though it is the obvious response and most people (according to some polls) want it.

Australia is going into winter as COVID-19 goes pandemic outside China. So we will get hit harder than the northern hemisphere. But we are also able, almost uniquely, to close our borders. It’s not even being discussed!

Somewhere in the bureaucratic-media-academic complex the decision has been made throughout the West to keep the borders open and live with the virus. No public discussion, the decision has been made. Why? By whom? Who is responsible?

The Australian Government basically admitted yesterday that it was not going to try to stop the virus, maybe not even continuing current travel bans. Instead, they are trying to “ramp up” medical supplies. Who gets the hospital beds if we all catch COVID-19 at once over the coming winter, ministers? You perhaps? …

Australian policy is being dictated by our public universities, which have recklessly bet on huge numbers of Chinese students. It’s all about money. To preserve their income, our universities are encouraging government to keep the borders open and allow Chinese students in. Which pushes the cost onto the rest of us Australians, many of whom will die unnecessarily as a result. …

If the death rate for coronavirus (on a population with no immunity from prior experience) is 1%, as suggested by non-Chinese stats, then the number of Australians who die from letting in the virus will be around 250,000 (1% of 25 million).

If the death rate is only 0.15% as it is for ‘flu, then about 37 thousand Australians will die. Given the way the Chinese reacted, it’s not this low.

These deaths are entirely predictable. Australia won’t close its borders because it may endanger the income to our universities? How many dead Australians is that worth?

From Feb 29:

Consider carefully, because we are running out of time.

Choice 1: Impose a complete travel ban on coming to Australia. Visitors are allowed in only after a two week quarantine: Safe. Universities miss out on some income. Tourism from overseas is already dead. Australia functions mostly as pretty much as normal, because there is no coronavirus and any that is here already can probably be contained. Open the borders again when there is a vaccine. No Australians killed by the virus.

Choice 2: Keep borders open , allow people in: Australia catches the coronavirus. Most people get it, maybe 80%. At ten times deadlier than flu (the prevailing consensus at government level), which is about 0.15%. On the current stats outside of China, the mortality rate is apparently between 1% and 2% — if hospital care is available. If it’s only 1%, it will kill 200,000 Australians. If it is 2%, then 400,000 Australians will die of the virus. But of course these numbers will overwhelm the hospitals in this coming winter, so the death rates will be higher. All schools will shut down, so all current school children waste a year and start jobs/career, etc a year later. Massive disruption to Australian life. Production wilts. Seen those pictures of lockdown coming out of China?

Pretty simple choice. Think those overpaid incompetent bureaucrats in Canberra, under pressure from lobbying Chinese and universities, will make the right decision? They haven’t so far. There isn’t even any talk of closing the borders appearing in the media. (Is it banned, under our soft censorship?)

How much are lives of half a million Australians worth? Sort of dwarfs a bit of lost income, doesn’t it? Come on Canberra, you know how to use a calculator.

The virus can’t walk in by itself. It comes on planes and boats.

Mar 13 (written before SloMo’s announcement), by Joanne Nova.

Obviously flights from the USA and Italy should have been quarantined a week ago. …

The only planes we want right now come from Russia, Israel, Taiwan and New Zealand. …

Across the Tasman, just like that — all flight arrivals to New Zealand were quarantined. Voila. New Zealand may end up being the best place on Earth to be in the next month. After this is over, a few leaders will be seen to have saved tens of thousands of lives. Jacinta Ardern will look like a hero. SlowMo will look like a Slow Mo.