covid-19 Pandemic of the unvaccinated

This is the third of a series of articles on covid-19 promised on May 25 in “Ongoing disaster from Shambolic Clots”:


I will link back to an update of this complete list each time a new article is published.


The danger from Shambolic Clots in NSW is greater today than ever before.

After seeding the virus throughout Greater Sydney and regional NSW the government has announced just enough steps for an intensified lockdown of the whole State to delay action against it. Contact tracing has already broken down completely with the source of 345 mystery cases “under investigation” out of 466 total. That means most of the infected people who infected today’s cases are still not in isolation and still spreading infection. Recovery from that requires a far more rigorous lockdown with full curfews and rostered hours for collecting supplies and exercise. Each day’s delay is likely to add another week to the necessary lockdown

But the strategy remains unchanged. Instead of aggressively suppressing the virus to eliminate community transmission like every other State in Australia, the NSW Government still intends to just keep vaccinating while the virus keeps infecting. Then they can announce that they have reached 70% “fully vaccinated” in a couple of months and then go to “phase B” and then “phase C” where we no longer bother about infections and only look at the number of deaths.

This is intended to force the rest of Australia into the same policy of opening up like the UK instead of stamping out each outbreak until it is safe to open up because the whole world has been vaccinated, like New Zealand.

If they are very lucky they may “succeed” by avoiding the hospitals being overwhelmed. Vaccination DOES dramatically reduce the death rate at present and so far the UK has been able to avoid mass deaths despite complete collapse of contact tracing and mass infection as is starting now in NSW.

Can they be stopped? Yes. New Zealand has reaffirmed its policy of elimination despite the fact that “allies have thrown in the towell”. Most of the public support the New Zealand policy rather than the media death cult’s campaign.

Public pressure could win in the long run. But we don’t have a long run.

Infections are already growing exponentially and will not be slowed much by today’s steps. If the numbers infected double every week it only takes 10 weeks to multiply by one thousand. Delta can double much faster than that.

There is no way for public pressure to force an unwilling State Government to change policy quickly. It takes many months to organize. A large majority in the UK against the Government policy were unable to prevent it going ahead.

The only people who can stop the NSW Government quickly are the Chief Health Officers (CHOs) of the other jurisdictions. They form the Australian Health Protection Principals Committee (AHPPC) responsible for fighting the pandemic.

They are busy trying to suppress outbreaks in their own States and Territories spread from NSW. But they have not yet done anything to actually support NSW. Instead State Premiers and Territory Chief Ministers have merely criticized at two successive weekly meetings of “National Cabinet” and the national “Chief Medical Officer” (who does not actually run any public health system) still describes vaccines as a “circuit breaker” when there is simply no way vaccinations can stop infections faster than Delta can spread them.

It is not clear whether the CHOs on the AHPPC know that it is actually possible for them to intervene in NSW. Most people simply assume it is politically impossible because the Federal Government has no authority over State public health systems and no desire to intervene against a coalition government. If they have time to think about it at all, it is likely that many CHOs have the same assumption. All they can do is close the borders as tightly as they can.

But it is possible for them to intervene. The Federal Health Minister can simply issue a decree under the Biosecurity Act. Formal advice to do so from the AHPPC would be hard to ignore. If the government did ignore them it would have even less chance of surviving the next elections than it does now. That Act provides the same dictatorial powers that CHOs have exercised in their own jurisdictions (including detentions of tens of thousands of people) to overide all other Australian law during a Biosecurity emergency. See my “draft 0” in the second article of this series:

covid-19 Draft Emergency Legislative Instrument

We need lawyers to draft the necessary “legislative instrument” (and perhaps some memos about the penalties for wilful neglect of duties by public officers) and medical doctors and scientists to ensure the CHOs promptly take action to insist on its prompt implementation (and second the necessary officers to lead the NSW public health response).

Everybody knows a doctor and pretty well any doctor is only 2 degrees of separation from a CHO. We can talk to doctors and persuade them to study the relevant documents carefully enough to pick up a phone and persuade a colleague closer to the CHO to do the same. Then it is just one more phone call to reach the local CHO and get them to take the time.

Something similar should be possible to find lawyers who know lawyers that could do the drafting.

A good starting point for reading by doctors and lawyers is the New Zealand Government’s position. Here it is:

Click on “Expand all” and read the speech by the main author of the NZ Government report recommending that they continue to “stamp out” each outbreak as it occurs. Then also download pdfs of the report.

Here’s an excerpt:

Many people argued that elimination was impossible. Well, they were wrong. New Zealand did eliminate COVID-19, and so did several other countries — including China.

There’s no doubt that our elimination strategy has served us well. I often compare us with Scotland, which also has just over 5 million people. New Zealand has had a total of 26 deaths during the pandemic. Scotland has had over 10,000 deaths, and more Scots have suffered chronic illness — the so-called ‘long Covid’. We dodged a bullet — and our social and community life has flourished, in comparison with countries where repeated lockdowns and restrictions on gatherings have made the past 16 months a time of frustration and grief.

But what about the future? Can we maintain elimination, as we re-open our borders (as we must do)? High levels of vaccination should make it easier to stamp out clusters of COVID-19, but new variants like Delta will make it more difficult. If we have to give up on elimination, and allow the virus to become endemic, many New Zealanders will end up in hospital and a sizeable number will die — though a lot fewer than if we had let the virus spread last year.

Our group wrestled with the question. We concluded that, at this stage of the pandemic, the elimination strategy is not only viable, but also the best option. It allows us to enjoy a lifestyle that is relatively unaffected by the ravages of COVID-19, and to protect our health service and our economy.

The UK, after a disastrous year, has had a great vaccination roll-out: 94% of English adults now have antibodies arising from vaccination or past infection, or both. Yet last week they still had 627 deaths from COVID — the equivalent of about 48 deaths a week in our population. And most British people are avoiding contacts with others: social contacts are still down on last summer, and are barely a quarter of pre-pandemic levels. Many people work at home, and about 90% are still wearing a mask when outside the house.

Look at this crowded room. None us of us is wearing a mask, and we are not fearful of contagion. This would be unthinkable in most countries. I hope not to spend the rest of my life shielding from others, especially in winter, and looking at faces covered by masks.

Next, to understand the full horror of the term “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated” it is necessary to understand that most of the world is unvaccinated and that a report to the 94th meeting of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies of the UK Government (SAGE) described:

Scenario One: A variant that causes severe disease in a greater proportion of the population than has occurred to date. For example, with similar morbidity/mortality to other zoonotic coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV (~10% case fatality) or MERS-CoV (~35% case fatality).

SAGE considered this report and officially confirmed that it has “high confidence” and is “almost certain” of “higher rates of transmission creating more opportunities for new variants to emerge” and that more severe disease is a “realistic possibility”. (See paragraph 37 and 39 of Minutes below).

The Minutes omit the reference to up to 35% case fatality but that is what was described as a “realistic possibility”.

These documents can be found at:

This includes the SAGE 94 minutes: Coronavirus (COVID-19) response, 22 July 2021
Published 6 August 2021:

and an updated version of the report on long term evolution discussed in those minutes:

That report includes a succinct summary of latest virology, immunology and phylodynamics from p6 to end at p15.

A summary of the report was published in the business executives magazine, “Forbes” on August 4:

The UK Government opened up the UK to unlimited infection on July 19 (“Freedom Day”) in the full knowledge that this is likely to unleash a “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated” both in the UK and worldwide.

They expect that pretty well everybody will get infected since Herd Immunity is unfeasible and that there is a “realistic possibility” that up to 35% will die. That’s more than 2 billion people!

The UK Government’s crime has been denounced by more than a thousand medical doctors and scientists in a politely worded statement:

The UK Government must reconsider its current strategy and take urgent steps to protect the public, including children. We believe the government is embarking on a dangerous and unethical experiment, and we call on it to pause plans to abandon mitigations on July 19, 2021.

Although politely worded the accusation of “unethical experiment” on humans happens to be considered a “crime against humanity” over which courts in many countries exercise “universal jurisdiction” regardless of where and by whom such crimes are committed.

We can leave aside consideration of what motivated the UK Government and what motivates the NSW Government until they are put on trial either by their own courts for “reckless endangerment” and “misconduct in public office” or by the courts of other countries affected by their crimes against humanity.

The point right now is to stop them by doing whatever we can to prevent mass infections while vaccinating the world (and developing a future “sterlizing vaccine” that actually eradicates the virus).

Below is the authoritative minutes from SAGE.

But there is more that doctors and lawers should be studying closely and that science journalists should be explaining to a wider public. Here is a starting point:

Assessing the risk of vaccine-driven virulence evolution in SARS-CoV-2
Ian F. Miller, Jessica E. Metcalf

It explains clearly the precise mechanism by which “vaccine-driven” virulence evolution has a realistic possibility of killing 2 billion unvaccinated people while being “unlikely” to threaten immunized populations.


How might COVID-19 vaccines alter selection for increased SARS-CoV-2 virulence, or lethality? Framing current evidence surrounding SARS-CoV-2 biology and COVID-19 vaccines in the context of evolutionary theory indicates that prospects for virulence evolution remain uncertain. However, differential effects of vaccinal immunity on transmission and disease severity between respiratory compartments could select for increased virulence. To bound expectations for this outcome, we analyze an evo-epidemiological model. Synthesizing model predictions with vaccine efficacy data, we conclude that while vaccine driven virulence evolution remains a theoretical risk, it is unlikely to threaten prospects for herd immunity in immunized populations. Given that this event would nevertheless impact unvaccinated populations, virulence should be monitored to facilitate swift mitigation efforts.

Significance statement

Vaccines can provide personal and population level protection against infectious disease, but these benefits can exert strong selective pressures on pathogens. Virulence, or lethality, is one pathogen trait that can evolve in response to vaccination. We investigated whether COVID-19 vaccines could select for increased SARS-CoV-2 virulence by reviewing current evidence about vaccine efficacy and SARS-CoV-2 biology in the context of evolutionary theory, and subsequently analyzing a mathematical model. Our findings indicate that while vaccine-driven virulence evolution in SARS-CoV-2 is a theoretical risk, the consequences of this event would be limited for vaccinated populations. However, virulence evolution should be monitored, as the ramifications of a more virulent strain spreading into an under-vaccinated population would be more severe.

Rather more than “monitoring” is required, we have to vaccinate the world.

Doctors and scientists should be able to find the relevant technical literature from seeing what recent papers have referenced the earlier papers listed in that preprint.

Lawyers should be able to prepare the necessary criminal indictments – but first we need the legislative instrument that helps NSW rejoin the rest of Australia in following the New Zealand path of maintaining elimination instead of the UK path of spreading infection.

Below is the relevant part of SAGE 94 minutes: Coronavirus (COVID-19) response, 22 July 2021
Published 6 August 2021

Long-term viral evolution

  1. It is almost certain that the emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 is related to the amount of circulating virus, with higher rates of circulation and transmission creating more opportunities for new variants to emerge (high confidence).
  2. There are a number of possible scenarios which could lead to the emergence of a variant which is more transmissible, causes more severe disease, or has a degree of immune escape.
  3. A variant which causes more severe disease could emerge through recombination, where it is produced in an individual infected with two separate variants or acquire other genetic material from other viruses or the host (realistic possibility). Current vaccines are highly likely to continue to provide protection against serious disease for such new variants. However, since no vaccine is completely effective, there would likely still be an increase in morbidity and mortality from such a variant.
  4. An immune escape variant could emerge in several ways. This includes through antigenic shift, where natural recombination events change the spike glycoprotein of the virus (realistic possibility). It could also emerge through animals becoming infected, the virus mutating within that population and then later this new variant infecting humans (realistic possibility). A new variant could also emerge through antigenic drift, where antigenic variation eventually leads to current vaccine failure (almost certain). These could occur over different timeframes. It is unknown how levels of immunity change the risk of the establishment of such a variant.
  5. Reducing transmission, increasing vaccination levels, monitoring new variants and preparing to update vaccinations would mitigate the risks of such new variants.
  6. A new variant could emerge that evades current antiviral strategies. Reducing the likelihood of such a variant emerging requires careful use of antivirals. This includes taking particular care in the treatment of immunocompromised people, or others infected for a long period, in whom viral evolution is more likely to happen. In particular, those working with infected immunocompromised individuals should take extra precautions to prevent onwards transmission.
  7. Although unlikely in the short term, in the long term it is a realistic possibility that variants will arise that are more transmissible but with reduced virulence. This reduced virulence, along with high population immunity, could eventually lead to the virus causing a much less severe disease.
  8. As antiviral drugs become available it will be very important to use them in a way that does not induce viral escape from their effects, for example using them in combinations.

Impact of international vaccination

  1. The biggest threat to the UK’s health security and response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is the emergence (and establishment within the UK) of variants that either have increased transmissibility, increased severity, escape prior immunity or a combination of these characteristics (high confidence). At this point in the epidemic, with a high degree of population immunity, an immune escape variant would be of particular concern (high confidence).
  2. Substantial global circulation of SARS-CoV-2 will lead to the evolution of new variants and continued risk of importation to the UK (medium confidence). Reducing prevalence globally will therefore reduce the risk to the UK. Multilateral coordination will be important in achieving this.
  3. Increased international vaccination (for example by sharing of doses or supporting increased manufacture) has the potential to reduce the appearance and establishment of variants internationally, as well as the risk of their importation to the UK (medium confidence). There are also strong ethical reasons for supporting international vaccination efforts. Targeting international vaccination efforts (for example to countries where there are higher numbers of immunocompromised people, for example due to HIV infection) may be particularly beneficial.
  4. The choice of vaccine is likely to be important and may change over time. Although using single doses would allow more people to be reached with limited supply, it may also result in more people having partial immunity which may increase the risk of an immune escape variant developing or spreading.
  5. Border measures may also reduce the risk to the UK, though these will delay rather than prevent the importation of variants. Reducing global prevalence may lessen the need for border measures. Strengthening global surveillance of variants (as well as continued surveillance in the UK) will be important in understanding the risk. SAGE strongly supports the need for effective surveillance systems in the UK (UKHSA) and the presence of a global surveillance system as envisioned in the G7 communique. In addition to sequencing, studies on biology including transmission fitness and antigenicity will be required to understand which variants may become dominant.

82 thoughts on “covid-19 Pandemic of the unvaccinated

  1. possibly useful links:

    “NSW a threat to national recovery” interview with Paul Kelly (Australian editor)

    Factions at war as Gladys Berejiklian’s crisis cabinet weighs tactics:

    “I probably spoke too soon,” Neil Ferguson said in an interview with the Financial Times.” (he had said that the fall in the number of UK cases indicated the end of the pandemic there)

    If you can’t access the FT look here:

    (August 15) New Covid variants ‘would set us back a year’, experts warn UK government:

    Factions at war as Gladys Berejiklian’s crisis cabinet weighs tactics:


    • I cannot access FT and could not find Ferguson in 4 pages from independent. Please track down full context (ie related links etc) of exactly what he first said and later retracted and links to when and where and post here. Its important to try to funderstand what people who actually know what is going on are thinking and what they are saying unfilted by journos reporting it. Also anything else you come across from Ferguson while looking. He is very well informed and connected, whether right or wrong.


    • The item from Guardian as well as earlier from Forbes shows UK SAGE confirmation of “realistic possibility” increased severity as well as vaccine escape will get into general awareness.
      US still seems to be obscuring it and leaving issue of severity subsumed along with transmissability and escape as simply “worse” as in Australia. Fauci did explicitly mention severity August 4:
      (but McClatchy video is of a July 9 CSPAN that only talks about transmissibility and escape, not severity)
      I’m going to assume it will filter slowly into Australian discussions. Urgent focus is to actually intervene in NSW rather than expecting pressure to eventually force effective action there. Only people who can do that are CHOs via AHPPC and only way I can think of reaching them is via doctors plus lawyers drafting measures under Biosecurity Act for AHPPC to recommend to Health Minister.
      Anyone who can should be writing and spreading stuff about that better than I can.
      My assumption is that whatever happens re public understanding of future evolution of Delta and politicians understanding in NSW and Federally it won’t change the fact that NSW public health cannot cope without intervention and help and that the difficulty will grow exponentially so every day counts.


  2. US epidemiologist explains why vaccines alone won’t stop Delta | Coronavirus | A Current Affair

    Why so many Covid-19 variants are showing up now?
    We need to stop replication by stopping the virus.


    • Useful video but unaware that New Zealand and China do and Australia could keep stamping it out while vaccinating world and developing a sterilizing vaccine to eliminate. So just aims for effective PPE and ventilation as well as vaccination but travel allowed with quarantine because “Delta is everywhere”. Delta isn’t everywhere but Australia will join most of the developed world as well as the underdeveloped in that situation unless we act VERY fast to prevent NSW falling.
      PS Also no mention of future more severe eg 35% death rate. Only Forbes explicitly mentions this. Not in Guardian or any of the others.


  3. From ScienceDirect (July 27)

    Relaxing Covid-19 restrictions could pave the way for new vaccine-resistant virus mutations, according to researchers at the University of East Anglia and the Earlham Institute.

    High numbers of Covid-19 cases increase the likelihood the virus will evolve to become MORE VIRULENT, more transmissible, or capable of evading vaccines.” ”

    Full article:

    “A new article published today warns against relaxing Covid-19 restrictions prematurely.

    It describes how we are in an ‘arms race’ with the virus and how rising cases could provide opportunities for it to evolve into even more transmissible variants.

    The researchers fear that any new variants could be more virulent, more vaccine resistant, and more dangerous for children and vulnerable groups such as transplant patients.

    Lead author and editor in chief of Virulence, Prof Kevin Tyler from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “Over the past 17 months, economies, education and mental well-being have suffered tremendously due to the restrictions imposed in an attempt to stem the spread of the pandemic.

    “Although vaccines have weakened the link between infection and mortality, they should not be used as an argument to justify a broad change in policy for countries experiencing an exponential increase in infection numbers.

    “This is because most of the world’s population are still unvaccinated, and even in countries with efficient vaccination programmes, a significant proportion of society, particularly children, remain unprotected.

    “Relaxing restrictions boosts transmission and allows the virus population to expand, which enhances its adaptive evolutionary potential and increases the risk of vaccine-resistant strains emerging by a process known as antigenic drift.

    “Put simply, limiting the spread of Covid-19 as much as possible restricts the number of future deaths by restricting the rate with which new variants arise.

    “Successive SARS-CoV-2 variants such as the Alpha and Delta variants, have displaced one another since the outbreak.

    “Slowing down the rate of new variant emergence requires us to act fast and decisively, reducing the number of infected people including children with vaccines and in combination with other public health policies.

    “In most cases, children are not vaccinated against Covid-19 because the risk to them becoming seriously ill is very low. But new strains may evolve with higher transmissibility in children, and vaccinating children may become necessary to control the emergence of new variants.

    “In other words, a policy of relaxing restrictions while children are not vaccinated, risks inadvertently selecting for virulent variants that are better able to infect children and are also more problematic in vulnerable groups.

    “Children may be particularly at risk because they are the only group that has remained unvaccinated. But there is no guarantee that the virus won’t evolve the ability to infect children too, and the data shows that new variants are relatively more often found in younger age groups.

    “Only when a large proportion of the world’s population is vaccinated, or has acquired immunity from infection, can we relax other social measures.

    Co-lead author and evolutionary biologist Prof Cock Van Oosterhout, from UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences, said: “We have an arms race on our hands.

    “On the human side, the arms race is fought with vaccines, new technology such as the NHS Covid-19 App, and our behavioural change, but the virus fights back by adapting and evolving.

    “It is unlikely we will get ahead in this arms race unless we can significantly reduce the population size of the virus.

    “But given that the infection rate is about the same now as it was during the first wave, we are pretty much ‘at evens’ with this virus.

    And as with many other coevolutionary arms races, there are no winners.

    “This is what evolutionary biologists mean when we say that coevolution is a ‘zero-sum game’. But what you cannot do is suddenly drop your guard in the middle of an arms race. That gives your opponent — the virus — a real advantage. So we must continue doing the things we have been doing for the past 18 months, particularly in countries where the number of infected people is increasing.

    “Entrusting public health measures to personal responsibility is a laissez-faire approach that many governments are now taking towards Covid-19 management.

    “During exponential transmission of virus, we need an ongoing, mandatory public health policy that includes social distancing and the compulsory wearing of facemasks in crowded indoor spaces such as shops and on public transport.

    “Our current vaccination programmes alone will not end the pandemic and scientific evidence suggests that we can only safely start to relax social restrictions when the R number is below one,” he added.

    Co-author and director of the Earlham Institute (EI), Prof Neil Hall, said: “As long as there are large numbers of unvaccinated people around the world transmitting the virus, we’re all at risk.

    “High numbers of Covid-19 cases increase the likelihood the virus will evolve to become more virulent, more transmissible, or capable of evading vaccines. It’s critical we continue using public health measures to bring transmission rates down. We have to co-exist with caution — if we ignore global health policies which have proven to reduce infection, the virus will further adapt.

    “When we weigh up the benefits and risks in vaccinating young people, we have to consider the impact on wider society too. The current approach to protecting young people seems to be letting them reach herd immunity through infection. Every day that approach continues, we give the virus the upper hand and prolong this pandemic — increasing the burden on healthcare systems and economies.”

    ‘COVID-19 adaptive evolution during the pandemic — Implications of new SARS-CoV-2 variants on public health policies’ is published in the journal Virulence on July 27, 2021.

    The article was led by researchers at UEA in collaboration with Norwich Research Park colleagues at the Earlham Institute, as well as it the University of Pittsburgh, the University of California Davis, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.”


  4. Thanks for various info. I will try to prepare shorter summary focussed on NSW today and global virology later.
    Gladys quote useful for contrast between “Two roads”
    Main excerpt included here:
    Links to full video:

    I would like to include exact transcript of full context from video from:
    4’45” I know these are challenging times…

    But know that

    to 6’25″/6’42” handover to next speaker

    Could anybody please type that up for reference here?


    • Arthur, I’ve typed up that section as required:

      Gladys Berejiklian:
      I know these are challenging times but I also can see the light at the end of the tunnel. These are difficult times for all of us and the next few weeks will be hard. But know that, once we hit those high vaccination rates, life will feel much better. Life will look much rosier. And I appreciate that what we’re going through is difficult. Every State in Australia will have to come to terms with the fact that when you get to a certain level of vaccination and start opening up, Delta will creep in. We can’t pretend that we’re going to be zero cases around Australia of Delta. As the Doherty report says, once you get to 80% double doses and you have to open up, everybody’s going to have to learn to live with Delta.
      Admittedly in NSW we’re learning that earlier than others. But having said that, what I’m absolutely convinced about is NSW can lead the way in making sure we keep people out of hospital, reducing the deaths, and making sure we provide our citizens the opportunity to live as freely and safely as possible, and whilst every single death is a horrendous tragedy, what we need to ensure is that through high rates of vaccination, if we keep people out of hospital, if we keep people out of Intensive Care, if we stop people dying, that means we’re starting to live with Covid.
      But, I want to manage those comments with the fact that everything we can we need to throw at reducing the case numbers. So whilst the high vaccination rates gives us those opportunities to live more freely, it is not in any way a comment that we shouldn’t get the case numbers down. We absolutely need to. We need to turn the corner and that’s why we look at every opportunity we have, especially in those areas of concern of what more we can do. And Commissioner Fitzsimmons will speak about that as well.


      • Thanks! Will use it soon.
        Meanwhile here is an excellent video on Zero Covid

        from Australian branch of international campaign

        found via link to my post in curated collection of left links

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for getting your shortened version into Online Opinion:
        At least it is now more “on the record” despite idiocy of the comments.

        I am still hoping to use the Gladys quote in a fourth post in the series soon but again too tired to get it done tonight.

        Will just link to these comments instead of quoting fully. Please note correction “Delta report –> Doherty report” and edit it into your transcription (and edit out of this comment) if possible.

        Current title is: Stamp it OUT – Stop the Gladys Variant – Vax THE WORLD”

        Previously middle part was “save Sydney” improved from my original “Rescue Sydney”

        Above is meant to be brief slogans that link together as the political orientation and could appear as placards on front fences and windows.

        I think others below noted as suggestions are also useful as subheads for points to be made and developed and am listing them now for any more feedback.

        covid no pasaran

        a world without covid is a free world

        you can die with covid or live without it

        if neither party will get rid of covid we want neither

        set us free from covid

        Also as themes rather than slogans:

        if you want to wipe out covid in Australia you have to wipe it out in the world – let’s do it

        the gladys variant

        appeasement (cf 1930s, Chamberlin v Churchill etc)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Issue 58 : 19 to 25 August 2021 – Alligator News

  6. Various links:

    Articles by Dr Gerry Killeen who proposes a simple arithmetic model of the elimination approach:

    Why lockdown? Why national unity? Why global solidarity? Simplified arithmetic tools for decision-makers, health professionals, journalists and the general public to explore containment options for the 2019 novel coronavirus

    Pushing past the tipping points in containment trajectories of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemics: A simple arithmetic rationale for crushing the curve instead of merely flattening it


    Just like measles, elimination of Covid is still feasible in Ireland
    Elimination doesn’t mean global reduction to zero, it means elimination from an area, where there is no locally sustained human-to-human transmission, writes Dr Gerry Killeen
    Long, thin transmission chains of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 may go undetected for several weeks at low to moderate reproduction numbers: Implications for containment and elimination strategy


    In November last year the Independent Scientific Advocacy Group ( a multidisciplinary group of scientists and experts from Ireland) discussed Victoria’s success in eliminating the virus at a virtual seminar to which they invited Brett Sutton and Dr Stephen Duckett (Professor of Health Policy at La Trobe University )


    • Thanks!!! I have downloaded but only skimmed the 3 papers (plus the full issue of Infectious Diseases re models). Cannot read now but did read excellent current (July) article from Irish Examiner.

      Also very interested in 1.5 hour video with Brett Sutton etc but cannot watch before going out.

      Very useful to monitor ISAG and especially their Irish campaign and pass on curated links to study as any campaign here needs to learn from their experience and could probably use their material directly. Please continue to focus on this.

      My current assumption is that the Irish campaign was defeated (unlike China and Taiwan) because the UK was defeated and it was not possible to close the border with the UK.

      Either way I am certain the big danger is that Australia will be defeated if we fail to prevent NSW falling NOW and this HAS to be the main focus so Ireland VERY relevant.

      Only just saw other comments with links that also look very useful. Will have to go out before looking.


  7. Impossible to defeat the delta variant?

    China seems to be succeeding.


    also Taiwan:

    Taiwan: zero cases reported on August 26 :

    Talking of Taiwan ….. take a look at this video:
    China Draws Afghanistan Parallel With Taiwan Over US Support; Taipei Calls Beijing ‘Delusional’

    The failure of the USA, the UK and most other developed western nations to actually fight covid 19 rather than adopting a policy of appeasement, has emboldened China. A fantastic opportunity for China to strut its stuff and make fun of “the West”. This clever video is propaganda that’s not even wrong.


    • Also watched the short first and last videos. Agree the last “clever video is propaganda that’s not even wrong”.
      Am thinking we can combine elements from first and last and answer pathetic defence of western incompetence by pretending it is easier for dictatorships to “take away liberty” by vigorously advocating that public officers who fail to stamp it out should be punished for misconduct in public office and denounce their defeatis and lies for helping Chinese fascists dominate the post pandemic world just as they surrendered Afghanistan to Taliban (and Egypt to local fascists).

      Update from thirties “fascism means war” – appeasement means surrendering to disease and fascism.


  8. COVID-19: Kiwis respond after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says New Zealand can’t eliminate Delta
    zero covid groups:
    Fauci v Zhong Nanshan (CGTN) (Zhong Nanshan : (
    there’s a video on the above page that was originally displayed on the White Cliffs of Dover. It’s an attack on Boris Johnson’s covid appeasement policy.


  9. Interesting montage Kerry. Gladys was determined NSW would do everything different to Victoria, re lockdowns etc. There was boast about their gold standard contact tracing; fools gold at the end of the day.

    As the film clips pick up, we’d known about the infectiousness of the Delta strain since earlier in 2021. However NSW misread it badly. We know where that’s taken us.

    Backing on to Glady’s reluctance to lock down hard and fast, today (1/9/21CE) there are full page ads emblazoned in much of the corporate media with the heads of many large firms calling for an end to lockdowns. These add on to the daily Clive Palmer UAP ads having its anti-lockdown, Covid conspiracy nonsense, with of course the constant theme in the Murdoch media of ending lockdowns. I notice Campbell Newman, the former Queensland premier recently resigned from the LNP in protest against vaccinations, masks,lockdowns. Will Newman align with Palmer in a well funded fringe political party? No fan of parliamentary cretinism, but wonder where this rag-tag bunch of veritable Covid deniers could finish up: balance of power in the Senate ?

    I totally concur the way to go is high vaccination rates, but with Australia languishing @ about number 35 of the 38 OECD nations we’re a long way behind the 8 ball.The original spiel back in February was to have all those deemed as 1A’s vaccinated prior to the end of April.That’s not happened.

    Then the talk changed to vaccinating certain amounts of ‘eligible’ Australians. With the current rate of 854,105 second doses a week we’re still not going fully vaccinate the ‘eligible’ populace before December. This is the 70% ‘eligible’ rate. No date for the 80% ‘eligible’ rate. This does not seem to include the adolescents, children, who’ve been vulnerable to the Delta strain.

    As we know the whole narrative has changed from suppression,let alone elimination, to living with Covid. The huge risks of opening up too early are only too obvious. Unsure where we go from here.

    Einige Gedanken eines Arbeiter, de denkt.



    • Please do. But I would suggest rewriting as your summary of the material quoted from SAGE etc including all the references to original sources while quoting less fully rather than as an edit of my article (but also with link to mine). I can check your draft more easily and quicklyif it is yours, not mine.

      I am still trying to write article referencing Gladys quote tonite after digesting the spread of Gladys variant to Dan Andrews press conference yesterday.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Which of course was also blocked.
        This is another attempt to give the link info to cut and paste into address bar:
        for youtube video found by search for “fFY8bTjJ2uI” at


  10. With political leaders in Australia seeming to interpret/cite the Doherty report in different ways it seems elimination is now off the radar: China, New Zealand however are still working towards that goal. In that context this seems a fairly nuanced article about what we’ve achieved here.

    If the political will to eliminate the virus is replaced by the Gladys etc mantra of ‘living with the virus’ there has to be processes put in place to minimise the danger, so only a small percentage of the population is at risk. Vaccine passports are one way forward though like so many other areas of the pandemic Australia seems a laggard in that respect.

    Let’s see how Australia, Victoria implement these processes.

    The future is unwritten.



    • The alternative plan to elimination is quite simple. Virus very rapidly becomes endemic with constant exposure. Hopefully vaccinations prevent hospitals being completely overrun during the surge of infections, as well as greatly reducing the death rate during and after the transition to continuous infection.

      That’s the “pandemic of the unvaccinated”. Then the virus gradually adapts and more and more of the vaccinated and previously infected also get infected.

      When a more severe variant that escapes the vaccines arrives we are back in a pandemic of the vaccinated as well. Updated vaccines catch up relatively quickly in developed countries with mRNA manufacturing, slower in Australia, and with mass deaths while waiting in developing countries.

      Lets not wait and see. We have to rewrite the future.


  11. (August 9) Article from the Melbourne University Pursuit modelling team:

    “As we all know, Delta is in another ballpark from the wild-type virus of 2020. And without doubt, for a country like Australia that took the elimination route – going very hard, very early, to stop any Delta outbreak – is the way to go now.

    The best approach to Delta, if global eradication proves impossible, will tip from elimination toward suppression at high levels of vaccination coverage.

    You can explore this more at our regularly updated COVID-19 Pandemic Tradeoffs tool, and the Australian COVID-19 Modelling Initiative – a collation of modelling by a range of academic research groups that we are launching soon.

    see here
    (There’s a note at the top of the page saying that the tool is still being updated “to reflect the virulence of Delta”)


  12. Academic version of the Pursuit modelling published by the JAMA Health Forum (July 30)
    “Association of Simulated COVID-19 Policy Responses for Social Restrictions and Lockdowns With Health-Adjusted Life-Years and Costs in Victoria, Australia (you will need to download the pdf to read full article)
    (August 6 )”WHO adviser left ‘heartbroken’ by Doherty Institute COVID modelling”:
    (September 4)
    Health system on the brink, AMA warns, as federal government defends COVID preparation
    (September 3) “‘Concerned’ intensive care doctors warn Australia faces surge demand in coming months”


  13. Sept 3
    Covid snapshot: Today’s case, hospitalization, death and vaccination numbers for the U.S.

    Sept 3

    Hospitalizations for children sharply increase as Delta surges, C.D.C. studies find

    “Pediatric hospitalizations for Covid-19 have soared over the summer as the highly contagious Delta variant spread across the country, according to two new studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

    (Sept 3) British officials seek a way around a vaccine watchdog’s denial of Covid shots for all 12- to 15-year-olds.


    Sept 3

    A study of veterans reveals another hidden Covid risk: lingering kidney problems.

    UK Covid update 4 September – 120 deaths and 37,578 cases – see hospitals and vaccination data
    (UK) Coronavirus (COVID-19) news feed
    BMJ Coronavirus Hub:
    Britons, Unfazed by High Covid Rates, Weigh Their ‘Price of Freedom’
    Britain is reporting more than 30,000 new coronavirus cases a day, but the public seems to have moved on. Experts say this could be a glimpse into the future for other countries.



  14. Some VERY rapid responses.
    McLaws mentions that leaving large section (eg children) unvaccinated is ideal conditions for evolving escape variants that will eventually be pandemic of the vaccinated as well as the unvaccinated. This is also true globally but neither local nor global implications are understandable from the article. They are explained in the references from my article above and basically ignored in pretty well all public discussion as too difficult to think about, especially when combined with vaccine driven evolution of more severe fatality as well as escape from vaccines and therapeutics and more infectious than Delta.

    We need to hear less handwringing apologetics from Tony Blakely.

    McBryde models: Posted July 19, 2021.

    Similar modelling concept to Doherty without the ludicrous manipulation of paramaters and presentation to make mass infection look more acceptable.

    Misses the central point that the Scomo Plan does not even pretend to be aiming for herd immunity and Scomo model confirms that it does not really matter whether they open up with zero cases or thousands as a result of “Gladys variant” spreading from NSW since in both cases the result is mass infection so the disease becomes endemic within 6 months.

    No counter proposal.

    We need models explaining that on the assumption herd immunity is unfeasible until a sterilizing vaccine it is still possible to “stamp it out” in Australia just as in New Zealand, Taiwan and China.

    Current retreat means hospital crises lasting for months. Next battle is when they do try to open up after the combination of vaccination and lockdowns has brought case load to within hospital capacity but before bringing it low enough for contact tracing to work again.

    Model should confirm (or refute) that by continuing the hospital forced lockdown and strengthening to “stage 5” for a short period we can break enough transmission chains for contact tracing to kick in and then drive it down to keep Reff < 1 while gradually easing up for a slower and more tolerable return to elimination.

    Not possible without takeover of NSW health system by other States. That is why I raised that weeks ago. It wasn't possible then and not possible now. But unless a way is found to make it possible it is not possible to maintain elimination in Queensland or return to it in Victoria for the OBVIOUS reason (confirmed by CHO Brett Sullivan on Saturday) that the continuing incursions from NSW would AGAIN overwhelm results of any local lockdown since state borders are inherently porous (50 crossing points and thousands of freight movements).


  15. This group looks like being central to the fight, with a substantial expert membership. Here is their twitter feed, web site, main document and excerpt from key principles in that main document: (17pp)

    C. High-level principles

    (1) The precautionary principle

    Reasonable steps to protect people and reduce risk should not await scientific certainty. Much
    about COVID-19 is still unknown (such as its chronic and long-term health effects, including on
    children), and the virus is clearly still evolving/worsening. The Delta variant is very unlikely to be the last SARS-Cov-2 variant we face, or the worst. Low case numbers should be the
    Australian strategy for the foreseeable future. COVID-19 should not be likened to seasonal influenza, referred to as endemic or regarded as tolerable; it is more like measles and polio –
    infectious, always epidemic, deadly and highly disruptive.

    (2) Ethical considerations

    This includes an appreciation of impact of both disease and lockdowns, especially on high-risk or disadvantaged populations, on children and on low and-middle-income countries. In just one
    example, recommendations of 3rd booster shots (which we make in specific instances) need to be considered in a context of low vaccination rates in some Australian communities and in other
    countries, and ensuring that Australia contributes to global vaccine supply.

    (7) Aspire to elimination.

    A range of technical terms (eradication, elimination, control) with specific meanings have been misused during the pandemic, causing confusion among the community and decision-makers.
    “Elimination” does not mean outbreaks of COVID-19 will never occur; it means that sustained, ongoing outbreaks with high rates of illness and death can be prevented. We have achieved
    elimination of measles and polio through vaccination in Australia, but still have occasional outbreaks of measles. It will be possible to do the same for SARS-CoV-2 with the use of boosters
    and/or vaccinations matched to Delta or other variants, supported by other measures outlined in this document. The economy will fare better when COVID-19 is well controlled.

    We believe the best possible outcome for Australia is a measles-like situation, in which occasional outbreaks occur because of imported infections, but sustained community transmission is prevented because a high enough proportion of people has vaccine-induced immunity, and our lives can continue normally. This is what “elimination” means; we believe it is achievable with booster vaccinations that are matched to Delta or other variants and the
    other measures outlined in this document.


  16. Yes Arthur, the link is interesting and useful. This is expected considering the individuals active in the grouping.

    I’m currently focussing on the ventilation aspect of it. Working indoors I’d like to find out / do more, re the air quality in our health service. Let’ s see what can be done here.

    I’ve also passed the link on to a few people hoping they’ll share/circulate/learn.



    • Great! These two reports from the collection of UK SAGE July documents linked in my article should be useful:

      Research and analysis
      RAEng: Infection Resilient Environments – Buildings that keep us healthy and safe, 19 July 2021
      Paper prepared by Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) on building healthy and safe environments.

      Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies
      19 July 2021

      Click to access RAEng-infection-resillient-environments.pdf

      AMS: COVID-19 preparing for the future – Looking ahead to winter 2021, 2022 and beyond, 15 July 2021
      Paper prepared by Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) on looking ahead to winter 2021 and 2022.

      Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies
      15 July 2021 (132 pages)

      Click to access ams-preparing-for-winter.pdf


      • Arthur I’ve been circulating the ozsage material, in particular the ventilation article amongst contacts. It’s got a favourable response. Now I need to work out what am I going to actually do? I’ve got ideas about where I work so that’s probably my first port of call.

        Here’s some more interesting material re ventilation.

        There’s more out there, I just need to time to read it, then sort how best to use it.



      • I haven’t done a follow up article for nearly a month because I am stuck on what can be done.

        Finding ways to “educate, organize, agitate” is not obvious. Any feedback on what works and does not work with ventilation etc could be helpful to others.

        My impression is that OZSAGE are trying to put forward ideas for medicos to organize around.

        They do have a clear principle for “elimination” but their “scientific advisors” role necessarily results in “professional” politeness rather than fighting slogans.

        Hopefully the two can tie together at least in one sense.

        Practical organizing for ventilation etc ties in with delaying reopening until that work has been done (some can be done quickly but the amount actually done will depend on the time available to do it).

        Likewise their “equity” issues eg for indigenous and disabled both accelerates evening up vaccination and delays reopening until it has been evened up.

        Again insisting on including children, more than 80%, booster shots etc could help delay opening up.

        So I think all that sort of thing is worth while to help organize people to fight.

        But what’s missing is a clear overall goal and strategy for achieving it. The basic policy orientation is still to open up with the inevitable result of infecting pretty well everybody. A fighting retreat will result in doing it more slowly and thus less overload on the hospitals and less deaths. Perhaps also allowing enough time for changes in the situation to have an effect.

        But the main goal should be to use that fighting retreat to get organized for a successful counter attack. It just seems absurd that such an open declaration of war against the people by a ruling class based on stupidity rather than necessity should be successful.

        Everyone is agreed on vaccination (without adding “vax the world”). But the utterly idiotic proposition that reaching some target level of vaccination must result in more deaths has actually taken root. It should be blindingly obvious that the more we are vaccinated the easier it would be to pursue aggressive suppression and drive cases back to zero every time their is an outbreak. But it simply isn’t and I don’t know how to change that.

        It looks to me like NSW will try to seriously open up as soon as they can after a peak stretching of hospitals in October. Victoria could have a worse peak, slightly later. Presumably even the current pathetic “concern” from medicos and State Premiers etc could delay things a bit. But ultimately there either has to be a takeover of the NSW public health system by the CHOs of the other States or the rest of Australia follows NSW into the same situation as Europe (with WA and Tasmania as minor small anomalies for a while since their borders are less porous).

        So please consider how whatever can be done in workplaces can tie in with a program to actually revert to the previous “aggressive suppression”.


    • Can’t see the link but found the short and long version. Short version is detailed scientific explanation of how the vaccine works. (I’ve yet to watch the longer one). He’s a very good explainer:
      short 18 min

      long 95 min


  17. Clear warning here that 95% vax rates required for indigenous communities.

    Not in the article but NT gov is double dealing. On the one hand actively boosting tourism which will ensure COVID arrives here. On the other talking about locking down remote indigenous communities once it does arrive. (Earlier lockdowns weren’t terrible effective due to other reasons such as price gouging at the local store, inducing locals to take a car trip to Alice on the backroads, for example)


    (April 22, 2021) Canada Is One Big Pandemic Response Experiment. It Proves ‘Zero COVID’ Is Best
    So concludes a major French study that scanned many nations:
    (April 10, 2021 Thousands of Canadians are signing the petition asking for a COVID-zero strategy:
    Zero Covid Canada twitter feed:
    (July 22 2021) 31 Toronto neighbourhoods mark zero COVID-19 cases, including some hot spots:
    It’s the COVID-zero zealots who will howl against reopening:
    “Our COVID problem in Canada is very soon no longer going to be overcrowded hospital wards and crammed ICU units, it’s going to be the public-health purists. The COVID-zero zealots who will howl against reopening before cases are zero (or nearly so).” …
    (Sept.14 2021) Science: Can ‘zero COVID’ countries continue to keep the virus at bay once they reopen?


  19. Elimination is right off the agenda as a way of Australia dealing with the pandemic. We have the new god botherer in NSW acting like an antipodean Boris Johnson, removing as many public health based restrictions as business wants. Here in Victoria, despite horrible rates of infection, we’re tagging along behind NSW also seeking to wind back much of our public health restrictions. I dread to know where our health system adds up.

    This article from the Jacobin is interesting, both in its view of the impact of the pandemic on the health system, even more so on the current shape of the public health system. The health system I commenced work in during the mid 1980’s has undergone enormous changes. Some of it re technology, science, medicine has been wonderful. Other changes re funding, staffing, resourcing have left us vulnerable to the ravages of a pandemic.


  20. Omnicron variant, looks like SAGE predictions / warnings are happening:

    Professor John Edmunds, who is a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told ITV News that the variant was a major concern for two reasons: the “huge” number of mutations and the way that it is spreading at speed through a population that has built up a high level of immunity. …

    He said the variant had a “constellation of mutations” including more than 30 on the virus’ spike protein that acts as a key allowing it to enter our cells. Ten mutations were on the most critical part of the spike protein, he added, known as the receptor binding domain.

    Immunity from infection or vaccines is designed to tackle that part of the virus – so if it changes there are concerns for how effective it will be with the Omicron variant.

    Prof Edmunds argued that on top of that worry was the epidemiological evidence from South Africa that the variant was spreading fast in a population where a lot of people have had Covid and the vaccine is being rolled out.


  21. For an alarming and possibly realistic view (cf John Campbell) read

    To follow him regularly:


  22. I’m still in two minds about evaluating Omicron (the it’s mild argument versus it’s putting more people in hospital because of increased transmission). I found these remarks on Steve Hsu’s blog useful. He only refers to Omicron in passing but it’s taken up more in the comments. This comment by “Dave” was useful:

    I agree with your take regarding Omicron and the hopeful fact that actually Omicron may represent the last portion of the “acute” phase of the pandemic before an endemic phase that we live normally with. This phase will likely have flare ups from time to time that seem locally problematic, especially in the next few years. The long term situation will likely be that some 60-100K Americans die a year from flu+coronavirus X, which is “fine” given that a bad flu year alone is 60K.

    One should be careful about saying that Omicron is less severe because of general evolutionary pressures that cause viral pathogens to trade severity for infectivity. I think the situation is much more complex than this. A virus which can be transmitted as for a long an SARS-COV2 in an asymptomatic manner will have little pressure to become less deadly. The only pressure is to transmit as much as possible. If you can only spread when with symptoms (e.g. ebola or, for the most part, flu) then sure, being less lethal is “useful” because otherwise spread is curtailed. Why Omicron is less severe than previous variants is, in part, just the massive layering of immunity that occurs after 2 years of a pandemic (and aided by vaccines), as well as intrinsic factors which have to do with how Omicron itself emerged, which is still somewhat of a mystery. I am not so sure it had to happen this way-but it is looking like it may be a good thing that it did.
    (the link goes to the comment, scroll up to see the whole exchange)


  23. ozSAGE recent report (December 30th) about Omicron warns us not to become complacent in the face of the “it’s mild” narrative. Well worth reading the whole thing here

    Click to access Advice-Omicron-December-30-2021-1.pdf

    Some key points:

    Hospitalisations in Australia are increasing sharply, see the graph on page 3 (although their text seems inaccurate about ICU increases which the graph shows are small)
    Health systems are likely to be overwhelmed, especially in regional centres
    NSW is already warning people not to expect access to hospital care (doesn’t this mean that our health system is already overwhelmed?)
    Omicron variant is at least as virulent as the original strain of COVID (this is a key point, obviously it’s complicated and requires more evidence and context – but sounds like bad news for the unvaccinated and otherwise vulnerable)
    long COVID affects brains, heart, kidneys (link provided)
    medical staff burnt out
    GPs expected to carry the burden for failing hospitals – not realistic
    Boosters required urgently but it’s not happening quickly enough (I read elsewhere that astrazeneca which most elderly people received only provides 6% protection from omicron)
    Expect increased deaths for vulnerable groups (the elderly, low socio-economic groups, first nations people)
    Children hospitalisations have increased in both the UK and the USA

    Liked by 1 person

  24. In looking for authors who *understand* omicron I haven’t found anyone better than Eric Topol. I was hoping to summarise but other things got in the way. Below are a couple of links to recent substack articles. To follow him regularly his twitter feed is:
    Jan 5: Humans 2 Omicron 1
    Jan 10: We are very lucky


  25. I’ve always had a lot of time for Stephen Duckett, a very knowledgeable chap. Throughout this Pandemic he’s been a nuanced, informed commentator. He recently wrote an article on the litany of mistakes made by the farcical leaders of the Australian Government. I can’t find the dashed article; someone in the ether of cyberspace.

    Anyhow here’s another article by him again laying bare the ineptitude of the Federal Government. A pandemic requires a properly resourced,funded public health response. We’re currently in a huge mess re the lack of accessible Rapid Antigen Test’s . We have a school year about to start,though vaccination of the 5-11’s has only just commenced, with none fully vaccinated prior to first term. Yet Morrison and his god bothering mate leading a veritable death cult in NSW are wanting no delays to this. It’s as if the evidence from around the world plays no part in formulating Australia’s response.

    Any how, have a read of Stephen Duckett.



  26. I tried to leave comments on jen Marohasy’s blog (she questions vax effectiveness).
    They didn’t appear but she responded to email. I think there is a huge question of why should we trust the experts about covid when we don’t trust them about global warming. This sentiment is quite widespread and not just a lunatic fringe. Being contrarian is a good thing. Check. But how do contrarians find the truth in a world awash with conflicting data? I raise this as a question that has to be addressed with more rigour.

    Below is the second message I’ve tried to post on her blog. I sent her a copy by email so it will probably appear later:

    True scientists are contrarian by nature which in turn makes it very difficult to find the truth.

    On the one hand lots of anecdotal evidence that vaccination causes harm and other experimental drugs (ivermectin) solve the problem. I think a big problem with the anecdotal evidence is that it doesn’t factor in an understanding of exponential growth.

    On the other hand lots of expert evidence (much of it presented statistically) that we need to do a lot of things that are inconvenient to stop covid. I tend to trust ozsage here
    And given that “experts” have shown they can’t be trusted (IPCC, coral reefs etc.) why should we trust them this time?
    I think the best course is to follow the advice of those who are trying to *understand* the nature of the virus and the various cures (mRNA etc) and present credible evidence. The best source I have found so far is Eric Topol.


  27. Things on the ground still remain confusing in so many areas. In a pandemic the primary public health goal is to reduce transmission, not talking about ‘how to live with Covid’. A key public health screening tool are Rapid Antigen Tests: RAT’s. Here in Australia access/provision to RAT’s has been haphazard.

    I’m aware the UK ordered RAT’s back in January 2021, then started distributing them in April of 2021. To my understanding there was no costing to the public. Other jurisdictions around the globe have had free accessible RAT’s out there for a while.

    We’ve seen the arguments, confusion here the last few weeks re distribution of RAT’s. The desire from the Federal Government appears to have them sold commercially contrary, to medical and public health advice. On the job I’m having major problems accessing them. I had a woman ring me last week for some for her immunocompromised father. I was meant to receive them the morning of Friday 14/1: it’s now Monday 17/1. Among my colleagues we’re discussed the issue of close contacts, and the return to work of essential workers who may be close contacts: it seems there’s no available RAT’s for any worker who may be in this situation. This is all a bit nebulous. I’m trying to arrange a meeting with the other OH&S reps to make some sense of this.


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