Covid-42

Dan O'Heirity

I’m going to start with my preferred data source – remembering that this data source is updated in real time GMT with the data for new cases and new deaths being reset at GMT+0 – and I’m going to give yesterday’s full day figures as per GMT for Australia. Australia saw an increase of 65 confirmed cases giving a total of 6,303 confirmed cases. There were 2 new deaths bringing the total number of fatalities to 56. The same data source today – reported at 10.15 PM AEST which makes it 1.15 PM GMT – reports 10 new cases in Australia giving a total of with 6,313 cases with 3 new deaths bringing the total number of fatalities to 59.

The Low Rates of Covid-19 Testing in Australia Mean the Actual Number of Cases are Entirely Unknown

The Covid-19 figures for Australia beggar belief with Australia appearing to be one of the most successful countries in the world in combatting the Covid-19 virus. Let me explain how Australia appears to be achieving this feat. First, Australia has only tested a very, very small percentage of its population. This is a confirmed fact with the Australian Government website stating that,

more than 362,000 tests have been conducted nationally. Of those tests conducted about 2% have been positive.

Notice the language here, “more than 362,000 cases”. Good God, carrying out 362,000 tests means that Australia – with a population of 25,464,116 as reported on 30th September 2019 – has tested only 1.42% of its population for the Covid-19 virus. Now you might argue that Australia has only needed to test 1.42% of its population because only 1.42% of the population has required testing in terms of “at risk” target groups identified by the government or in terms of people with Covid-19 symptoms presenting for the test.

However, thinking this way would be a mistake because Australia’s testing criteria are so stringent that a huge number of people – with the actual number impossible to identify – exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms will never be tested. Consider the following taken from the Australian Government website. The website states that in addition to those who will be tested because they are in high risk groups, people can only be tested if they develop fever or respiratory symptoms and meet at least one the following criteria:

  • You have returned from overseas in the past 14 days
  • You have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days
  • You travelled on a cruise ship (either passenger or crew) in the 14 days before developing symptoms
  • You are a health care, aged care or residential care worker
  • You have lived in an area where there is a higher risk of community transmission, as defined by the local public health unit

These stringent testing criteria mean that it is more than likely that there are thousands, if not tens of thousands of people in Australia, who have contracted Covid-19 and that these cases will never be recorded in the official statistics. This fact bothers me to such a degree because Australia’s political leaders and political commentators seem to assume that members of the public are stupid enough to believe the spin that is being put on Australia’s management of the Covid-19 virus.

It might be argued that there are two flaws in my argument. First, if the virus were indeed much more widespread in Australia then we would be seeing far more people in a critical condition presenting for a Covid-19 test. However, remember that the testing criteria put in place by the Australian government are so strict that someone with reasonably severe symptoms would not be able to get tested for the virus because they would not meet the testing criteria which require more than just having a fever or having respiratory problems. Thus, my argument holds that hundreds of thousands of Covid-19 cases in Australia will never be identified.

Secondly, it might be claimed that if the virus were much more widespread in Australia then we would be seeing far more people being hospitalized with a proportion of these people dying from the virus. It is far too early in the pandemic to be able to specify the death rate with any degree of certainty but for now I am going to go with a figure of less than 1%. Assuming a fatality rate of around 1%, we could then extrapolate to the number of likely cases in the community. For example, if we were to see 200 deaths from Covid-19 hospitalizations, then we might assume 20,000 cases in the community.

The point about the number of deaths is fair enough and if we look at Australia’s figures for the number of confirmed cases and the number of confirmed deaths then the math adds up. Australia has recorded 6,313 Covid-19 cases with 59 deaths which gives a fatality rate of 0.93%. Thus, it might appear that the official figures for Covid-19 cases and Covid-19 deaths are accurate. However, the point is not so much the figures that we do know about but the figures that we do not know about due to the limited number of tests carried out in Australia. Basically, it remains the case that there could be hundreds of thousands of undiagnosed cases in Australia. We simply do not know.

If I were to buy into a conspiracy theory then I would say that there has been a tacit agreement between the government, the other political parties, political commentators, social commentators and the press to never question the testing rate in Australia. This is not to say that there have not been doom and gloom reports of hundreds of thousands of people in Australia contracting the Covid-19 virus. There were certainly stories of this sort in the early days of the pandemic but, of course, these harbingers of doom have now been silenced by the incredibly low reported figures for the number of cases and the number of fatalities. Basically, Covid-19 in Australia is a good news story about how incredibly successful the government has been in slowing the spread of the virus.

As a corollary to good news figures for Australia, the public does not want to hear that there may be hundreds of thousands of people in Australia with the virus. The public wants to hear that we are “winning the war” and that they are doing their part in “the battle against the virus”. They want feel good stories that tell them about getting back to work, rejuvenating their businesses and being able to return to the Australian way of life – beaches, barbeques and beer. And so we have Paul Murray telling Australia to pay attention to the fact that of the 6,000 or so Covid-19 cases recorded so far in Australia, over half of those cases have had a positive outcome. However, the story misses the point entirely by not reporting on the number of tests that have been carried out in Australia.

Various Stories from Across Australia Including More Cases of Australian Stupidity

A significant minority of Australian’s can be guaranteed not to obey Australia’s lockdown regulations. Police in Queensland issued 496 infringement notices over the Easter weekend. Police in Victoria, the State in which I live, issued 183 fines in the 24 hours until 11:00pm on Good Friday. Police issued a further 92 fines for the 24 hours to 11:00pm on Easter Saturday and in the 24 hours until 11:00pm on Easter Sunday, 158 fines were issued after police carried out 1,123 spot checks on homes, businesses and non-essential services across the state. Thus, whilst we are being told that most people are following the social distancing rules, the figures for police fines in the State of Victoria up until 11 PM on Easter Sunday show that nearly 15% of police checks resulted in people being fined. That is no small percentage.

In the fist of two slightly odd stories, Tasmania has placed 1,200 health care workers into isolation after a cluster of Covid-19 cases was identified in the North West region of the State. The reason that I find this story odd is that 1,200 health care workers must represent a pretty significant proposition of all health care workers in Tasmania. Now, imagine that the Covid-19 virus becomes rampant in Australia with health care workers becoming infected with the virus. Would Australia then quarantine health care workers all over the country thereby greatly reducing the number of health care workers still in place to provide patient care? The answer must surely come in the negative otherwise Australia would be bereft of health care workers.

In the second rather odd story, a flight is repatriating passengers from a stricken cruise ship, the Greg Mortimer. Australia’s Deputy Health Minister had this to say about passengers who had been on the Greg Mortimer,

Up to 70 per cent of the passengers on the Greg Mortimer were infected with coronavirus, some of whom would be on the flight from Uruguay to Melbourne [and] while the passengers had been certified as “fit to fly” before boarding the flight, authorities were ready if passengers’ conditions deteriorated during the flight.

On arrival in Australia, every passenger will be assessed to determine if they need testing and hospitalization. Remaining passengers will be quarantined in a hotel for 14 days. So it would seem that we have a repatriation flight that is potentially carrying both infected and non-infected passengers. This seems to me to be recipe for disaster given the highly contagious nature of the Covid-19 virus.

In a story that just amuses me some poor shoppers at a Brisbane Organic Food Market became distressed when a police car drove through the middle of the market. Honestly, get over yourselves. Try living in the United Kingdom or Italy or the United States and then see what it really means to be distressed. Here is a second story that caused me some amusement. Local shops in Australia have been finding it difficult to procure stock because our two major supermarket chains are buying up just about everything from their suppliers. The owner of five grocery, petrol and food outlets across Australia, Mr. Wade Death, confirmed with reporters that he was experiencing supply problems. Seriously. Mr Death during a Covid-19 crisis.

China Has A Long Term Propaganda Strategy to Manipulate Covid-19 to its Advantage

I almost missed this unbelievable piece of news about the United States purchasing 1,000 ventilators from China. Thankfully I did spot the story and it prompted me to do a search to confirm the fact that having sold millions of dollars worth of ventilators to China in the early days of the pandemic, a time when China was covering the up virus, America is indeed now importing 1,000 ventilators from China. The fact of the United States, along with other countries around the world, importing ventilators from China is also confirmed in this story where we are told that China has a surplus of ventilators. Of course China has a surplus of ventilators because they bought up stocks of ventilators from around the world before the world had become fully ware that there would be a Covid-19 pandemic.

I have referred before to the fact that people can be labelled as subhuman when they fail to exhibit the moral and intellectual sensibilities attributed to human beings. The Chinese Communist Party leaders are sub-human because having ensured that their virus spread around the world they are now using the devastation that they have wrought upon the world as a propaganda platform

[China is] offering help to several countries, while mounting a propaganda campaign to contrast its draconian efforts to tackle the virus in a positive way compared to the approach of western democracies.

Make no mistake here. The Chinese Communist Party has a long term strategy to fully exploit the Covid-19 virus to its own advantage. In this respect we could see a situation in which the Covid-19 virus could “help reshape the world order and allow China to play a greater international leadership role“. In short, the Covid-19 virus could redefine the Global Word Order if countries around the world do not show strong leadership in the coming months. This strong leadership has to include holding China accountable for the fact that they deliberately unleashed the Covid-19 virus on the world.

Strong leadership must also include addressing questions of sovereignty and nationalism along with the ideological underpinnings of nation states. The resurgence of nation states could see individual nations united in terms of a sense of “us” that would no doubt be very problematic both intellectually and practically given the multicultural nature of modern nations. However, that rather academic point aside, nations must seek to extricate themselves from a global world order through focussing inwards on rebuilding their manufacturing bases to reduce their dependence on China and on countries under the “influence” of China. In the case of Australia, this would entail reclaiming the means of dairy production along with seizing the vast swathes of Australian land owned by the Chinese. These actions could be achieved in the name of seeking reparation from China for the untold damage that it has done to the world economy.

There Are Some Chinese in Australia who are Subhuman Parasites

A number of Chinese residents in Australia continue to exhibit the fact that they are subhuman, an argument that I have made before when daigou stripped Australian supermarkets of supplies such as baby formula to sell the supplies for profit in China. Another way to characterize these shoppers would be to say that they are shameless, a characterization which brings us back to referring to them as sub-human because shame is something we feel when our conscience is pricked. These shoppers feel no shame because they have no conscience which, again, makes them subhuman. They’re just out to make money and they don’t care about mothers in Australia who cannot find baby formula. If you believe that I am being harsh, then read on to see just what these daigou are doing in Australia.

Today we have numerous stories reporting on daigou ravaging supermarkets for baby formula. In this story 3 shoppers return to a store multiple times to amass around 100 tins of baby formula. In Melbourne, daigou engage in a “merry go round of shopping” with each of the shoppers returning to the store multiple times until no more baby formula is left on the shelves. Chinese shoppers used the same tactic in Sydney returning to a store multiple times to purchase baby formula. In this report, a man confronts a Chinese shopper for buying excessive amounts of baby formula with the confrontation almost ending in a fight. It is not only groups of Chinese shoppers who lack any moral compass. Soldiers have been pictured loading baby formula onto a warship in Sydney. The actions of these daigou leave Australian mothers without baby formula whilst the Chinese profiteers make up to $100,000 per annum from pillaging Australia.

One response to this pillaging and profiteering would be to make it illegal for Chinese residents in Australia to send any more than say two tins of baby formula per month to China. In a world where China is waging a propaganda war to assert itself as a new world leader, this action, small as it would be, would indicate to China that Australia is not going allow its Chinese residents to profit at the expense of Australian citizens. However, rather than making such a statement to Beijing, a proposed plan “which will go to supermarket chiefs next month, would see a dedicated register for Australia’s 40,000 daigou which would allow them to place unlimited orders online”. So, rather than making a statement that there will be consequences of rampant profiteering by daigou, Australia’s response is to help those who have been pillaging the country by allowing them to buy unlimited supplies of baby formula.

The World Remains Confused about the Difference Between Wet Markets and Exotic Markets

I’ve reported intermittently about China re-opening its wet markets along with stories about banning trade in wild and exotic animals. Before we go any further it is crucial to understand the difference between Asian wet markets and exotic markets. Wet markets generally trade in fish and shellfish and they are called wet markets because the ice used in these markets melts making the floors of the markets wet. Exotic markets are a totally different affair. These markets trade in wild and exotic animals and reptiles such as pangolins, bats and snakes. Simple enough right. Nope, not really.

Take a look at the quotation below from a story about lawmakers from around the world calling for the WHO to shut down “every wet market in the world.

WHO general manager Tedros Adhanom has failed to act on a bipartisan letter from more than 60 US lawmakers pleading with him to shut down every wet market in the world. Instead, Mr Adhanom’s organisation – which has been criticised for its ties to China – has supported reopening the exotic food markets. Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the decision as “unfathomable” saying the wet markets were a “global health threat”.

Let’s leave aside the absurdity of calling for the shutdown of every wet market in the world along with the absurdity of believing that the WHO has the power to make this happen. Rather, note that wet markets and exotic food markets are conflated in the report as though they are the same thing. They are not the same thing and the fact that the West does not understand the difference just makes the West look stupid. Here’s an example of that stupidity in action.

Democratic Senator Cory Booker spearheaded the US request for a wet market ban, but he had support from all political parties, including Republicans Michael McCaul and Mike Quigley. “It is clear that to protect human health, these close and sustained interactions with wildlife must stop,” the politicians wrote in the letter.

First Published April 13th, 2020

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