covid-19 Gold Standard again

As expected the weekly “Gold Standard” lottery in NSW has won a prize.

Tolerating non-zero “mystery cases” to avoid lockdowns was welcomed by the Federal government and its health advisors as “textbook” performance in Victoria to avoid lockdown.

With the media clamouring against lockdown the Victorian government delayed and attempted a limited local lockdown instead.

Naturally that failed. You cannot confine a pandemic to parts of a major city while people are still allowed to go to work.

Odd that anyone ever thought it possible. New Zealand’s success was because it went immediately into lockdown at the first case of community transmission and stayed there until the last.

But people do only learn from experience.

South Australia did learn from Victoria’s experience and locked down promptly.

The Federal and media campaign against Victoria’s lockdown was so intensive that it successfully avoided any attention being paid to the major blunder that led to it being so prolonged. That was not the (hardly unusual) blundering with Hotel Quarantine but the failure to act promptly and decisively as soon as “mystery cases” developed.

So NSW never did learn the lesson and is now repeating Victoria’s mistakes.

They got away without lockdowns despite having a small amount of community transmission and this weekly “risk management” lottery was held up as a shining example that contact tracing could make lockdown unnecessary.

Now that NSW has 30 cases in one day it is reluctantly and slowly moving towards a Greater Sydney lockdown.

But first it has to exhaust every other alternative.

They are following Victoria’s abysmally stupid example of first trying to lockdown a few suburbs.

Who knows, it might work.

But why would anybody be stupid enough to risk it?

Other States are also taking a risk by only declaring the Northern suburbs of Sydney a hotspot.

They should send a clear message by restricting travel from NSW and then limiting that to Greater Sydney once NSW has established controls protecting regional NSW and especially border regions with other States from any outbreaks in Greater Sydney.

Just after I drafted the above I heard Victoria closing border to all of Greater Sydney.

Unlike NSW there is no pretense that this might conceivably end by Wednesday.

Victoria’s expectation is that there will be more clusters outside the Northern beaches area of Sydney.

Victorian Chief Health Officer just gave clear explanation of why.

Did learn from experience. NSW did not. How could they with the Federal government and its health advisors praising their “gold standard” approach?

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