Dan O'Heirity

The World is Finally Catching Up With Me on the Non-event That is Covid-19

There are so many ways to evidence the fact that Covid-19 is, in reality, a non-event that it is just not funny. Take the fact that according to a reputable live data source, the fatality rate for Covid-19 has, over the last couple of months, dropped from 7% to 6% to 5%. Consider also that of 6,479,288 currently infected patients, 6,479,288 (99%) of those patients are in a mild condition. Only 62,053 (1%) of those cases are in a serious or critical condition. You could, as I have done in the past, check up on cases of seasonal influenza along with fatalities from seasonal influenza and you will find that there are 5 million cases worldwide and 650,000 deaths annually.

Granted that there have been 22,052,928 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 777,479 deaths since reporting began some time around January 2020. However, we do not shut down the world because of seasonal influenza. Looking at matters from a different angle, millions of people die each year from communicable diseases. For example, in 2017, almost 1.6 million people died from diarrheal diseases globally. Also in 2017, 954,492 people globally are reported as having died from HIV/AIDS. I am, of course, ignoring the fact that the majority of these deaths occur in developing countries and so the world has little or no concern with addressing communicable diseases. However, the figures do put Covid-19 into perspective.

Sky News host Alan Jones takes Australia to task for its over-reaction to Covid-19. In doing so he makes many of the points that I have made before including the fact that we see more seasonal deaths from influenza than we have seen from Covid-19.

However, Jones presents some new information, new for me at least. Apparently 40% of all aged care residents die within 9 months of entering an aged care facility. The point is, I think, obvious. People die in aged care facilities and it is entirely questionable whether the supposed Covid-19 aged care deaths that we are seeing are really deaths from Covid-19 or deaths “with” Covid-19.

Jones also quotes Professor James Allan, University of Queensland Professor At Law who has said that, “In a decade this will be looked back on as one of the most colossal public policy fiasco’s of the century“. Professor Allan also makes the point that deaths from Covid-19 have not yet made it into the top 50 causes of deaths in Australia. Honestly, I didn’t need a decade to figure out Australia’s Covid-19 response was draconian in the extreme. If I had to account for why Australia’s response to Covid-19 will continue in the same vein, then I would say that our politicians simply cannot countenance a volte face which would be embarrassing in the extreme. Their only choice is to follow their current policies through to the bitter end.

It is perhaps not surprising to find that Sky News host Paul Murray has the same perspective as Alan Jones on the Covid-19 situation in Australia. The difference between the two is that Alan Jones – love him or hate – has a certain gravitas about him. He presents professionally and convincingly. The same cannot, in my opinion, really be said for Paul Murray who comes across as something of an amateur. Watch the video. He gets a basic fact wrong about the timing of a story that he is reporting and, at one point, has to stop in mid-sentence because he seems to have forgotten what he wanted to say. In terms of an improvement, I’d be happy if he could present with out continually glancing down at his notes.

Anyway, onto the point that Paul Murray makes. In essence, he is arguing that the Australian media is “addicted” to alarmist reporting about Covid-19. He gives the example of a story about three teenagers who travelled from Queensland to Victoria. Upon their return the teenagers had the coronavirus and the media was reporting fears of a second wave of the virus in Queensland. This led to the Queensland border being closed and schools shutting down. However, Queensland health officials reported that these teenagers were not the source of a second outbreak in Queensland. Murray gives another example of alarmist news reporting but the real gem his report is a promotion running on Channel 9 News for a Covid proof underground bunker.

Covid-19 Reporting Continues and Political Leadership is Called Into Question

Although perhaps not my preferred source for a news story, this site reports the increase in Coronavirus cases in Victoria by council. That’s right. Victoria has so few coronavirus cases that we actually pinpoint the increase in cases across council 12 regions. To put this into context, my preferred data source reports that there have been 213 new coronavirus cases today long with 17 new deaths. Cutting the data another way, Victorian government figures report that of 17,238 confirmed cases, 15,848 cases are from metropolitan Melbourne, while 1033 are from regional Victoria. There have been 2,414 cases amongst healthcare workers and there are 2024 active cases relating to aged care facilities.

This means that 25% of all cases are to be found amongst healthcare workers and those in aged care facilities. If you’re really interested, figures related to aged care facilities area actually broken down by active aged care outbreaks with the highest cumulative case numbers. The figure of 17 new deaths is broken down as follows. One man in his 60s, one woman in her 70s, one man in his 70s, two women in their 80s, four men in their 80s, four women in their 90s and four men in their 90s. I shall cease reporting figures in favour of making the simple claim that surely Alan Jones and Paul Murray are correct. This is the virus that never was.

Not only does Victoria have a negligible number of coronavirus cases, we can also point to two clear reasons why the virus has spread for a second time. First, there was the debacle with hotel quarantine with the process being managed by private security guards who had no training and were basically not qualified to run the hotel quarantine. The guards became infected, returned to their communities and the virus spread. This led to the initial Melbourne lockdown which focussed on particular council regions. Matters got out of hand and here we are in a stage 4 lockdown with enforced mask wearing and a curfew running from 8 PM through to 5 AM. Meanwhile, Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews continues to deny any responsibility for the hotel quarantine debacle telling the press that the public is not interested in a blame game for something that happened months ago.

Personally, I am interested, particularly as Andrews is avoiding his responsibilities at a time when an employer can be fined $20 million dollars / face 20 years in jail should an employee die of the coronavirus. There is a second reason that the virus has spread. In addition to aged care workers contracting the virus, we have also seen a significant number of cases in meat processing factories with one estimate being over 800 cases amongst these workers. Aged care workers and meat processing workers have one thing in common, insecure employment arrangements including no paid sick leave. It was not until July 27, 2020 that the Fair Work Commission granted paid pandemic leave to casual aged care workers. That’s eight months after the first cases of Covid-19 in Australia.

Now consider this broader fact. Visits to the homes of 3,000 people meant to be self-isolating found that more than 800 of these people were not at home. Meanwhile you could be fined A$4,957 for defying a stay-at-home order and up to $20,000 for going to work knowing you have COVID-19. There is one clear reason that people were found not to be at home. It was not until August 3rd, 2020 that Australia’s federal government announced a $1,500 “disaster payment” for all Victorians without paid leave entitlements who are ordered to self-isolate. August 3rd. That’s two weeks ago! So, up until August 2020, people who likely had no choice but to work found themselves liable to massive fines whilst also being in the position of having no income if they did not go to work.

That state of affairs can only be described s utterly ridiculous. Meanwhile our politicians and bureaucrats continue to rake in six figure salaries for mismanaging the Covid-19 “pandemic”. This reminds me of the fact that Australian Vice Chancellors continue to earn their million dollar salaries after having plunged Australian universities into a state of crisis through overexposing themselves to the international student market, particularly the Chinese market. There is a business adage that, “the worst people to get you out of a bad situation are the people who got you into it”. And yet here we are with muppets running the state of Victoria and idiotic vice chancellors running our universities.

First Published August 20th, 2020

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