#auspol #covid19 much of this pandemic is playing out as Camus would have predicted. Only a novel comes close to capturing the full complexity of social life. Some excerpts in Tweets, today about illness and life in an ‘Economy’. /1
“Perhaps the easiest way of making a town’s acquaintance is to ascertain how the people in it work, how they love, and how they die…Out citizens work hard, but solely with the object of getting rich. Their chief interest is in commerce, and their chief aim in life is…/2
…as they call it, ‘doing business’. Naturally they don’t eschew such simpler pleasures as love-making, seabathing, going to the pictures. But, very sensibly, they reserve these pastimes for Saturday afternoons and Sundays and employ the rest of the week in making money…/3
…, as much as possible…Certainly nothing is commoner nowadays than to see people working from morn till night and then proceeding to fritter away at card-tables, in cafes and in small-talk what time is left for living. /4
What is more exceptional in our town is the difficulty one may experience there in dying. “Difficulty,” perhaps, is not the right word, ‘discomfort’ would come nearer. Being ill’s never agreeable but there are towns that stand by you, so to speak, when you are sick; /5
in which you can, after a fashion, let yourself go. But…the exigencies of business…the very nature of its pleasures call for good health. An invalid feels out of it there.” /6
As Camus astutely recognises, living in an ‘Economy’ confines poor health to hospitals. Health and poor health cease becoming part of everyday social life, instead delegated to the medical system, to allow commerce to continue uninterrupted. /7
From the very beginning of this pandemic, those politicians who substitute an economy for society have been consistent. They see their role as making enough hospital beds available. Nothing else. Every day the NSW Premier talks about restoring our ‘freedom’ to work. QED. /end

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More from @RageSheen

8 Aug
#auspol #covid19aus #covid19nsw Camus: “…our townsfolk apparently found it hard to grasp what was happening to them. There were feelings all could share, such as fear and separation, but personal interests, too, continued to…/1

smh.com.au/national/nsw/t…
…occupy the foreground of their thoughts. Nobody as yet had really acknowledged to himself what the disease connoted. Most people were chiefly aware of what ruffled the normal tenor of their lives or affected their interests. They were worried and irritated,…/2
…but these are not feelings with which to confront plague. Their first reaction, for instance, was to abuse the authorities….Could not the regulations be modified and made less stringent?…our townsfolk…persisting in the idea that what was happening was a sort of accident,…/3
Read 4 tweets
7 Aug
#auspol #covid19aus “The key message though, and the Doherty Model shows it, let’s get vaccinated, and that’s the path to freedom”. Stuart Robert on SKY, running the new strategic narrative for LNP governments. The old ‘live with the virus’ narrative, with jabs added. /1
Our health experts are sadly woefully naive in their dealing with politicians. The Doherty Model doesn’t say this, but that’s not what the public will hear. Many everyday folk I talk too are scathing about ATAGI for the same reason. /2
Notice also this continuous use of the word ‘freedom’, the corollary to calling public health measures, designed to keep us alive, as ‘lockdown’. It’s all in the framing. The early genius of the LNP strategists was to get the lockdown term into circulation. /3
Read 6 tweets
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
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
3 Aug
#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
Read 7 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

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