Australia’s response to to COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic needs to change – yesterday.

Australia’s response to to COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic needs to change – yesterday.

I’m pretty angry right now. Our government seems to think that it is doing the right thing by throwing money around willy-nilly and telling us to wash out hands. It isn’t. It has a long way to go and we will all suffer for their lack of decisive action.

It’s not that the community doesn’t need support, or that we shouldn’t wash our hands – both those measures are hugely important, but they are the equivalent of handing the Black Knight of Monty Python fame a bandaid and telling him to run home. It’s just not enough.

What we need is lockdown. Two weeks of pure stay at home. We need it yesterday. All people, all industries. We then need to test everyone. We start with those who operate in critical industries – health workers, people in the supply chains that support our food and pharmaceutical industries, scientific researchers, and we tie the test results to a national identification number – our Medicare Number, we all have one, so that requires no additional work. This can be tracked and traced easily, and easily checked. It might take a few final days to prepare for this, but it is essential.

Right now, tests can take 2 to 3 days to provide a result, and that result is only then fed into the “results pool”. That is a joke. Currently, like most nations, we are on around a 30% per day increase in infections based on the numbers released. That means that the _true_ number of infected people is at least double that which has been reported. And thats if you can get a test. Tests themselves are hard to come by and even if you stand in line at one of the pop-up clinics, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be tested. The decision not to test everyone is in and of itself a very bad one and leads to infected people being returned to the community.

The Covid-19 novel coronavirus is here. It is in our communities now and we need to protect ourselves and our families.

There needs to be a change in the thinking about the approach and response. The approach can not be based on fiscal stimulus, (although that is needed), it needs to be health focussed first and foremost.

1 – Test everyone
2 – Lockdown everyone
3 – Contain, isolate and control infection and clusters
4 – Provide a universal basic income to provide community certainty
5 – Focus on wellbeing of the community
6 – Once the community is safe and risk reduced, then and only then look at the economic impact.

We must change our thinking about the way we interact with each other and the way we approach our day to day lives. This pandemic will change our lives as much as if not more than the attacks of September 11 2001.

This is World War III. We have to respond accordingly.

Useful links:
* Australian government response
* Health.gov.au
* Health department advice to clinicians
* Epidemic calculator
* Nextstrain Covid-19 Epidemiology
* Worldometers coronavirus pandemic information
* CSSE Johns Hopkins World Coronavirus Case map