#auspol #covid19 for all modelling and government reports, people get lost in the details, and ignore the framing. This report just operationalises National Cabinet’s 4-stage strategy for pandemic exit. It’s not advice on how to best exit the pandemic. /1
The clear (and surrendering) assumption of the National Cabinet plan is that Covid will become endemic. It ran up the white flag, with potentially catastrophic future outcomes. The assumption that an endemic Covid will be relatively mild and controllable has no basis. /2
Endemic disease is a multi-generational, enormous cost, in lives and resources, for any society. It’s a decision to embed a new, potentially highly dangerous, ongoing disease in practical perpetuity. A huge scientific and moral decision. Has attracted almost zero scrutiny. /3
For most, flu doesn’t seem too scary. Kills mostly the old and vulnerable. Yes the odd epidemic and pandemic, but not often in our lifetimes. The ‘just like the flu’ assumption for endemic Covid again has no theoretical or historical justification. /4
Endemic Covid could be like malaria, or even worse. Some estimate malaria has killed half of all humans who have ever lived, up to 50 billion deaths. Infectious diseases form complex ecological systems, enormously unpredictable and uncontrollable. /5
Allowing widespread transmission of Covid among the vaccinated is, many virologists say, about the most stupidly dangerous thing societies could be doing. It maximises opportunity for evolution to more lethal and transmissible variants. And yet it’s now our strategy. /6
It’s most of the world’s strategy. It could result in wave after wave of epidemics of lethal variants, for years into the future. None of this is precisely controllable. The only risk management approach is elimination of Covid, so as not to roll the dice of endemicity. /end

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More from @RageSheen

5 Aug
#auspol #covid19aus can we remember Australia, that during much of 2020, when the federal government could have been improving quarantine and getting the best vaccine procurement deal for Australia, it…/1 Image
1) Dissolved the national parliament and replaced it with an unaccountable National Cabinet, whose deliberations are never published.
2) The true function of this Cabinet was to deal the feds into the pandemic discussion, where they had little constitutional role. Once there…/2
…they used it to persistently introduce economic counter-narratives to the public health narratives.
3) Established a National Covid Commission to replace parliament as the deliberative body to determine future directions post the pandemic. A commission…/3
Read 5 tweets
11 Jul
#nswlockdown #auspol #covid19nsw this is the time to think. Large test numbers show again that the community is self-organising beautifully. The daily stern 'naughty children' narrative from the police, government and CHO underway. There's a dangerous disjunction here. /1
The community is clearly mobilising when asked. But government libertarian beliefs can only see that community as disconnected individuals, who are either 'doing the right thing', or not. Stern stories about non-compliance each day only reinforce that. /2
The gap here is at government level. The community is mobilising, but inside a framework that encourages the opposite. Too much mobility, too much pressure on people to go to work because too much non-essential work is allowed to be open. /3
Read 4 tweets
9 Jul
#covid19 it's not news or surprising that putting animals in crowded conditions breeds infectious disease. Antibiotic use in modern feedlot farming is astronomical, to both fatten, and treat infection. But are we seeing the link to our pandemic? /1
A pandemic is a social and political event, not a medical or biological event. The patterns of human gathering and movement are created by our social and political arrangements. For this reason, pandemics don't just appear out of a blue sky. /2
They appear when humans are too crowded, mixing too much and too rapidly, with poor ventilation and sometimes also absence of clean water and food. Mass transport, mass shopping, mass work are breeding grounds for pandemics, as well as the habitat destruction they produce. /3
Read 8 tweets
8 Jul
#covid19 Eventually all debates if they continue return people to first premises of arguments and ideas. In this case, ideas in health care around individual vs collective have also collided with political ideas in the same area. . /1
Political libertarians have been the main drag upon worldwide pandemic efforts, but we're also seeing ongoing tensions between public health professionals and physicians, which reduce to the same ideas. Individual vs collective. /2
All of these fields share the idea that there are individuals, and groups/society, and you have different methodologies for dealing with each. At best they suggest some sort of compromise, where individuals sacrifice some freedom for the greater good. /3
Read 7 tweets
6 Jul
#covid19 #auspol two definitions of freedom doing battle in this pandemic. It IS the pandemic, the virus is just opportunistically hitching along. Developed nations, infected with an extreme libertarian virus about 50 years ago, generated and prolong the pandemic. /1
To most of them, freedom is the freedom from attachments. From State interference. Living off the grid, the ultimate libertarian destination. The problem with this viral set of ideas is, to live off the grid, you need a grid. It's in the name /2
Attachments - mutual social obligations in all aspects of life and business - is what gives us our freedom. That collective effort is what frees up space and time for individuals to flourish. Try doing a Walden and living in your log cabin in the woods. Exhaustion. /3
Read 8 tweets
6 Jul
#covid19aus #auspol vaccination data has quickly become the proxy metric for pandemic success. Australia is actually tracking the world average. In a true global pandemic strategy, that would be seen as a noble thing. /1
The gap, represented by the red arrow, between that world average and the countries at the top, is interpreted as the superior public health work of that top group. It isn't that. It's a supply gap. Created by those same countries, hoarding vaccines. /2
The call for vaccination targets in Oz, to get jabs in arms ASAP so we can get the borders open, is just a global pissing contest. A league table of vaccine hoarders. The entire global pandemic strategy has been driven off course, by the hoarders. /3
Read 6 tweets

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