Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The Flu

ISO works in so many ways. Badly remembered figures but you will get the gist.

Influenza peak season in Australia is August and September, our late winter. Flu cases for Australia in January and February 2020 were 200 to 300 hundred thousand cases. Flu cases in Australia for the last two weeks of March 2020 to the first two weeks of April, 7,000, a more than dramatic decline.

Truly amazing figures and because of ISO.

Speaking of figures, some stats from larger western counties made simple for you. 

US          Pop 330 million. Covid infected 1.3 million.     Deaths 80 thousand.

UK         Pop 70 million.   Covid infected 212 thousand. Deaths 32 thousand.

Canada   Pop 38 million.   Covid infected 68 thousand.   Deaths 5 thousand.

Australia Pop 25 million.  Covid infected   7 thousand.   Deaths 100.

While New Zealand figures might be better, what did we do that worked to keep our infection rate and deaths relatively low? 

I am surprised by the Canadian infection rate. PM Trudeau should have closed the US border earlier (was it or is it closed?) and stopped people returning if they don't go into 14 day hotel quarantine as people do who arrive into our country. Is is perhaps a bit easier to do when you are an island country. I was astonished to learn that people are still flying into and out of the UK unhindered. If you can find a flight to Australia, and good luck with that, you will go into ISO hotel quarantine for 14 days before being set free.

Our own Prime Minister cannot take much credit as our State Premiers forced the Australian lockdown. However, our PM did close the borders to China quite early and to the world not too long after after pressure from the Federal Chief Health bureaucrat.

We quickly built emergency hospitals that have not seen a patient as we prepared for the worst. Sir Humphrey Appleby would be very pleased. We have a huge stockpile of unused respirators. While I am not entirely sure, our health care workers seem to have all the protection they need.

Most people here are not masked. Generally it is only older people who keep the 1.5 metre distance with much politeness if you are going to cross paths with a fellow older person. As you freeze on the spot, the person passing smiles and says thanks, and vice a versa. Younger people here seem very careless about distancing but queue distancing in shops is respected by all.

I've not read it but I believe the book about Australia called The Lucky Country is satirical. Many people take it as a statement of fact. Australia is not the lucky country for so many, nevertheless with Covid, perhaps we have just been lucky. 

What is it like to be on a ventilator when suffering severe Covid symptoms? This person who has recovered tells us. It sound horrendous. 


45 comments:

  1. I got a description from a Blogfriend in Sidney they are not allowed to go out except for food shopping have to keep a distance of min 1.50 m and have in fact the same rules as us. Restaurants and cafés closed and she does most of her shopping online. Today all the shops opened except the hairdressers, beauty salons and flower shops, and there was a terrible rush on the shops, but people behaved apparently quite good. We don't go out in the first days, we wait that the invation is over. Tomorrow the house buyers come with our agent the wife bought the house but the husband hasn't seen it yet ! lol !

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    1. Wise to not rush out Gattina. Many of our shops are still open but we have to keep our distance.

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  2. I have read The Lucky Country - a long time ago. Definitely satirical. Lucky for some.
    And I wholeheartedly agree with you that it was the premiers who forced the Government's hand to come into play earlier than they would otherwise have done. For which I thank them.

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    1. Hear hear about the Premiers, EC.

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  3. The border between the two countries (USA and Canada) is still closed. I believed it closed on March 21st. Too late. Also International flights were still coming in to Canada at an alarming rate.
    They are starting to open things here in New Hampshire, but I chose to self isolate much longer. I do not feel safe when we have 75 - 175 new cases a day.
    I go out when I must, but for the most part stay in.
    Also, when I come home I am still showering and taking off the old clothes and putting on fresh.
    Quite honestly, no one really knew. In defense of all the Leaders, I am certain that every single one made mistakes. Hind-sight is 20/20.

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    1. Maribeth, thanks for the Canada info. It is as I expected. I don't forgive leaders. We needed to be prepared as this is not the first pandemic or near pandemic in the world. With so much international travel and crowded cities, it was predictable.

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  4. I think statistics need to be put in the context of the population of the country. Did you know that Belgium have the highest rate of deaths per million? They have 757 per million whereas the UK have 479 per million. Both are horrendous numbers and let's hope that the relaxing of rules in Belgium doesn't lead to a second wave of covid cases.

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    1. Marie, I did include populations in the stats. I am surprised about the Belgian stats, amazed even. I wonder if Belgium's medical systems were really lacking so badly that people couldn't be saved?

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  5. Poor Fellow My Country by Xavier Herbert, I think is a book that describes Australia now even though it's set in the 1930s and 40s.
    The Premiers of all states deserve the accolades for doing their job well in this current situation, in spite of Morrison and his push to save the economy at all cost no matter the consequences.

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    1. Cheryl, that one I have read. Morrison is not as bad as Trumpet about the economy, but he certainly has been blowing the get the economy moving bugle, perhaps at the expense of lives.

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  6. I read The Lucky Country at the end of high school and although it was a critical book, most students thought Donald Horne was a bit silly. After all, who would want to live in a cold country? Or a country that had been settled by Spain, France or Germany, rather than Britain? Or had to constantly defend its borders from neighbouring countries?

    But not equally lucky for all our citizens!

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    1. Interesting take Hels. I always thought the best brains come from the coldest countries.

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  7. This is the first time since I've been here I remember the state Premiers having so much clout. Yes each seemed to have a slightly different way of approaching the problem (different states/different lifestyles) but underlying there was only one desire.......to protect the health and welfare of their citizens.
    Like him or loathe him PM Morrison had that same desire/thought and expressed it (yes possibly in words written by another person) forcefully and also with a caring attitude.

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    1. Cathy, I will cut him some slack in that at times Morrison has spoken well and seemed caring.

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  8. Another instance of...damned if they don't...damned if they do.

    In my opinion, as humble as that may be...I believe Scott Morrison and his government are doing, and have done...a good job during this troubling time. And in most instances, he has bipartisan approval and agreement. Politics...which side of the fence one hangs out on...shouldn't come into the equation. Sadly, so often it does.

    I guess it is also "can't please all of the people all of the time..."...there will always be complaints, one way or the other.

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    1. Lee, I approved of his approach until he tried the private school bribe. It has been good that the state leaders have been able to get together with the federal government.

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  9. I live by the Canadian border and usual Canadian will come down and shop here in Bonners Ferry, and get mostly food. I haven't seen any plates from Canada

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    1. Dora, because your produce is cheaper. The border should be closed to protect both countries.

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  10. I wouldn't believe most country's figures of deaths, etc. China claims to have had less that 5,000 deaths; anyone who believes that is crazy.

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    1. Cro, I think you are right about China.

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  11. I just want to thank you for your reply to my comment on Travel's post. I'd have left my reply there, but since that was yesterday (And yesterday's gone, tra la) I thought I'd comment here instead.

    I tend to assume everyone in Blogland knows my adoption story, just because I left it on several blogs, including Travel's. But not yours...

    Anyway, it's a bit of a familiar story for many women. Get pregnant, get dumped, give the baby up for adoption. I basically had no choice since I had not yet finished my nursing training and my super religious parents didn't want to take me in. Their excuse - oops i mean reason, was that they didn't want my younger and still living at home sister to know her older sister was Bad. Also there was not yet any form of welfare for single mothers here 48 years ago.
    Years passed and I assumed I would never hear from him, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when I did. The only bad bit is his very close resemblance to his birth father, but on the inside he is well and truly his own man. A good man. A darling man who also has a wonderful wife. I feel incredibly lucky.

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    1. Rozzie. Thank you. They were hard times to fall pregnant if you weren't married. I have nearly understood why. Men were so convincing in that they loved you and you must only love them if you let them do what they want to do? I am so pleased you now have a connection to your son.

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  12. Saskatoon practically dead centre in Canada has a large university and overseas students were back for the term before the virus really got going so their figures were large due to the incubation period. Even now epidemiologists still can't pin down how long that incubation time is.

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    1. Absolutely amazing for a country that gets so many things right, Jah Teh.

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  13. You seem kind of isolated way down there, maybe that's it. I have no idea

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    1. Strayer, isolated because we closed our borders early, although not quite early enough.

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  14. I imagine a ventilator would be a horrible experience to go through, similar to a person in hospital with a severe asthma attack, but with a not-so-likely outcome if they are badly infected. I have my own mini version, my inhaler with the large spacer tube to breathe the Ventolin through 4 times a day.

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    1. Hi River. From what I can tell these nightmares seem to be specific to Covid 19.
      I was an ICU nurse for many, many years and no patients mentioned nightmares. As a general rule, ventilated patients are on a combination of 2 drugs throughout the ventilation period. One is to keep them asleep and the other is an amnesic drug, ie, they don't remember anything while they are ventilated.
      I hope that goes a little way to reassure you.

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    2. River, I didn't know your asthma was so bad.

      Rozzie, that is interesting. This Covid 19 seems different to anything we have seen before.

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  15. Interesting stats.
    Scott Morrison closing the boarders of Australia then the Premiers of each State doing their thing to keep us healthy, such as closing their borders, distancing and keeping or trying to keep people from gathering together in groups and crowds. Many people have common sense, some people are pain stupid and you can't help stupid.

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    1. Margaret, many stupid people here have been given whacking fines for breaching the rules. Our governments have done quite well.

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  16. The US waited far too long to take this seriously. I could list reasons, starting at the top of our government, and moving down. Denial in the early days, cost us thousands of lives. A friend of ours flew to Germany this week, his wife lives there, he teaches in the USA (long story - he must love her.). He is in a two week monitored quarantine, when we returned from Ireland in March no one asked how we were feeling, let alone telling us to go home and not leave the house for two weeks. There were 100 college students on our flight returning from places like Italy, and Spain, hot spots - everyone walked off the plane is Boston and was free to go.

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    1. Travel, to be fair, when you returned it was early March and no one could see where things would go.

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  17. Here's another statistic, albeit anecdotal, from

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/may/12/gp-doctor-on-how-the-coronavirus-pandemic-has-progressed-edinburgh

    which is an account by a Scottish GP.

    "A friend who is an ITU consultant in the Midlands told me that only four in 10 of his patients who are intubated due to Covid-19 survive it."

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    1. Harrowing read Marcellous. Thanks.

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  18. I hate to hear our Dear Leader congratulating himself for the fact that our country has had "only" 80,000-plus deaths.

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  19. Australia did quite well, but as you say it must have been because borders were closed early. In Europe people seem to still be travelling between countries without a 14 day mandatory isolation, no wonder their numbers are so high.

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    1. Sami, the fourteen days isolation must not be nice, but surely essential. Although European borders are so porous.

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  20. I think Scott Morrison hasn't done too badly but the State Premiers have been brilliant, Mark McGowan has been particularly excellent, but then I could be slightly biased 😉

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    1. I absolutely agree Grace. Left to Morrison, we would be in a disaster instead of just difficult times.

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  21. Anonymous4:45 am

    You assume that Covid19 came to Canada from the USA. Well yes, but there exists large migrant communities from China in the major cities - Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary - and endless air flights between the two countries. Which must have contributed. Roderick

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    1. Roderick, maybe I pretend to be stupid too often. Of course I know COVID did directely arrive from the US and I have been to Canada; Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary and follow enough Canadian bloggers to have some understanding. Notwithstanding, the border should have been locked down...early. Btw, I haven't forgotten about the GMH Holden post. I am working it up in my head for one day.

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