Melbourne protester tests positive for COVID-19

On Monday I argued that the weekend’s “black lives matter” protests would provide a useful experiment on COVID-19.

That is, if the protests do not lead to a spike in COVID-19 infections, this would indicate that risks from reopening the Australian economy to all but international travel are low. If so, the protests could actually end up benefitting the Australian economy.

On the other hand, there is the clear and present danger that we get a spike in infections arising from the protests, thus confirming that community transmission of COVID-19 remains a high risk and resulting in a slower economic reopening.

Unfortunately, a Melbourne protester has tested positive for COVID-19:

The protester, a man in his 30s, is not Indigenous and first developed symptoms the day after the rally.

The person wore a mask, was not symptomatic at Saturday’s protest and is unlikely to have contracted the virus at the event, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton told reporters.

“Because of that attendance at the protest, within 24 hours of attending the protest, they were potentially infectious, so the lesson about warning people not to attend applies,” Prof Sutton said on Thursday.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is maintaining a positive front, stating the positive diagnosis won’t yet halt the easing of social distancing restrictions:

“What we have been absolutely clear about is that people shouldn’t have gathered in those numbers for those rallies. In doing so, they put the broader community’s health at risk,” he said.

“Obviously, we’ll wait and see what the health outcomes are in the weeks ahead.

“I don’t accept that (restriction relief should be halted), we do know there was a time table agreed by the National Cabinet. It is important to move ahead with that time table because we know how many jobs are going to be created and we know how much the economy will benefit as a result.”

Given COVID-19 can take up to two weeks to present symptoms, we probably won’t know whether the protests caused a spike in infections until next week.

Let’s hope for a good result.

Leith van Onselen
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    • Dale SmithMEMBER

      But you are making the assumption that all lives matter. So this is a non-news event.

    • It actually kinda is.
      All reports state a clear link between Vitamin D sufficiency and mild cases.
      Deficiency is linked to severe cases.

      In the real world this means people who spend a lot of time indoors, and especially those with dark skin in present society are likely to be deficient.

      So it’s an absurdly sad situation.

      The people most likely to develop a severe case of COVID are the ones out in mass protests increasing their chances of contracting it.

      Their lives matter. However, at face value, in the present situation, they’re not exactly protecting themselves.

      What can you say? I assume that even pointing this absurdity out is raycyst somehow.

  1. thomickersMEMBER

    VIC had 8 today. Based on the R0 of Covid, we should be seeing an increase tomorrow in VIC around 16-20, followed by 30-40.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Nah, two weeks ago Vic had numbers between 5-11 a day. Seems to be a constant thing now.

    • If thats true we get another month lockdown in VIC. If he actually wore mask … maybe less? BUT it makes clear that the avoidable stuffup at Cedar Meats and subsequent case leakage into Nth and NW Melb suburbs continues to blot copybook. NSW looks increasingly better and QLD also, even VIC countrt also. But not Melbourne. This protest was last thing we needed, worst case it gets away now as protest complicates contact tracing. We have to wait another fortnight at least.

  2. Classic. Special people teaching us to behave better. Who’d have thought it possible. Their own rightness and outrage failed to protect them and others.

    • Jacinta Price goes so far as to call them narcissists. “Self-centred, self-righteous and gobsmackingly ignorant” – an aboriginal woman working at the coal face who dares to speak to truth on what is a complex and intractable issue with little correlation to the US, and who will cop endless abuse for doing so. But the virtue-signalling protesters don’t know and don’t care the inconvenient truths and distressing facts behind the 23,000 child protection orders issued last year alone in a population of just 250,000.

      • The FNG.MEMBER

        I support the movement.
        But I do recognize that everything in life is a two way street.
        They call for “honest discussions” about the issues but I feel that they are in no way ready for a real honest discussion. They simply could not hack it. These honest discussions will involve overt accusations of racism from one party and the tip toeing around sensitive issues from the other. Yeah that’s real equal discussion.

        • I support the issue too, as would any halfway decent person. What’s gone on, and is still ongoing in the US and around the world for centuries is deeply shocking and depressing.

          But nothing can be achieved in Australia without the identity politics, MSM, politicization of the issue, and virtue signaling from those who know nothing of the facts (including the ABC) wising up. The protests will change nothing without honesty and an end to calling anyone who speaks the truth racist. My heart goes out to those women and children in communities experiencing horrendous abuse and neglect every day of their lives, which all the virtue signaling protesters and woke inner city bleeding heart left know and care less about, instead potentially jeopardising months of lockdown and the lives of many.

          I call myself left BTW

        • There are no discussions, just irreconcilable demands delivered by a diverse mob of victims and non victims alike. And thus, there will be no solutions either.

          • True. And meanwhile all the billions propping up the industry will continue to be poured into the laps of those profiting from the unending tragedy and achieving nix.

          • Agreed! #outrage has quite the ROI for some, at the expense of the many of course.

  3. Well done idjeets.

    I’m in the middle of beautiful tropical dry season. The NT is glorious and there are NO tourists.

    I should be crazy busy but the borders are staying shut until we don’t have to worry about Covid19 getting into the communities.

      • BubbleyMEMBER

        Its one of those “Yeah, nah” situations.

        Yes, its lovely to have the place to ourselves with no entitled grey nomads but no, because tourism is the life blood of NT.

        Thousands of businesses, from cafe’s to jumping croc tours depend on dry season income to get them through the crappy wet season months when nobody wants to go out of the air conditioning.

        The most heart breaking thing is that the NT gov invested millions in new tourism advertising and promotions and it was paying off. The Gunner government put massive effort into it and it was working. The forward bookings for hotels and accommodation was the best its been in years and it all got blown away by coronavirus.

  4. Trustme Imadoctor

    There must be some kind of way outta here
    Said the joker to the thief
    There’s too much confusion
    I can’t get no relief

    Business men, they drink my wine
    Plowman dig my earth
    None were level on the mind
    Nobody up at his word
    Hey, hey

    No reason to get excited
    The thief he kindly spoke
    There are many here among us
    Who feel that life is but a joke
    But, uh, but you and I, we’ve been through that
    And this is not our fate
    So let us stop talkin’ falsely now
    The hour’s getting late, hey

    All along the watchtower
    Princes kept the view
    While all the women came and went
    Barefoot servants, too
    Outside in the cold distance 
    A wildcat did growl
    Two riders were approaching
    And the wind began to howl

        • It isn’t. Instead he basically uses Hendrix’s arrangement when he does it live, with his touring guitarist doing Hendrix-style solo work.

          • Trustme Imadoctor

            Funny, when I read that I only hear Hendrix

            He was murdered you know, proven fact. Strange story indeed.

  5. So this is the modern day left, huh? Fighting against imaginary white suprematism dispute whites being the only race denied their own enthnic nation state.

    Is the fight between labour and capital over? I guess capital won.

  6. I think we will be right enough here now until we let overseas people in without real quarantine, the pool of infection is pretty low.. I don’t know what the hurry is to open up the tourist business, how much money to spend do they think people have to blow at the moment and gov. supports being cut going forwards ?

    As for opening up to overseas, can’t see that happening this year… is getting its second wind in the US ( not the second wave )

    And it is just starting to hit its straps in Brazil and India……plenty of other places think they O.K. as well and will feel the lash eventually as well.

    • The FNG.MEMBER

      I would love to take my lad on a road trip up the east coast. It’s just, when the heck are we meant to have time for that?
      No I think we’ll go backpacking whilst there are no tourists here. Best time to do it in our lifetimes. Wife will be happy, no foreign ladies all over the trails. Usually lots. Getting set up with backpacking gear costs many thousands but once you’ve got it all it’s somewhat cheap to go from then on (freeze dried packs $15 a pop). Also need to try and by a house whilst tourism here is crushed so wasting money on holidays not high on the agenda.

  7. We move one step closer to a theocratic dictatorship.

    Scott Morrison wants anyone who attends future anti-racism rallies arrested and charged. The prime minister said the “double standard” displayed by protesters had offended many Australians.

    Morrison is the king of double-standards. Anti-5G/Arrest B1ll Gates protests were deemed to be “free speech,” yet BLM is supposedly a furphy and Climate Change protesters should stay in school.

    • After some trial and error it looks like mentioning Bll Gates will automatically trigger the spam filter.

    • Yeah, such threats achieve nothing and only spur on more protesting with the arrests potentially unleashing more virus. Well done SFM.

      In ya dreams that any politician will address the truth behind the incarcerations and deaths, or that anyone would listen. Virtue signaling is far easier and feels great. Too bad it achieves nothing.

      Jacinda Ardern would be about the only politician I could think of who might be able to tackle it. Too bad we don’t have her.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      Oh I so hope this happens! I’d love the world to see the footage of Aussie cops smashing the sh1t out of abos. It should be great for profits!

      • BubbleyMEMBER

        For those who are new to Macro Biz – Reusa is our resident anti Christ and all his comments should be taken with a massive dose of irony and possibly a shot of whisky.

    • Yes, that anti-vax rally really exposes Morrison’s double standards.
      Video shows police masked, protesters not.
      Masks protect wearer and, importantly, others from the wearer’s diseases, so anti-vaxers really couldn’t care less about their fellow marchers.

      BLM protesters, wearing masks, and outside, far less likely to transmit or catch covid19 from same people, unmasked, in a restaurant (or pub or club, or corporate box at the footy), all of which are legally open in NSW, with 49 others.

      Morrison (and Galdys), and the MSM, are full of it.
      What a surprise.

  8. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Doesn’t Chadstone get 50k shoppers a day? They don’t even wear masks. I’d like to see them arrested too.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      +1 Our local park has 3 footy clubs training 5 nights a week. Ain’t no social distancing there.

      • The theory behind social distancing is that it will protect people from other folk who sneeze or cough. The lunatics who are currently running the asylum say that we will have to maintain social distancing for ever.

        For ever.

        Really. That’s what they’ve been saying.

        But there isn’t any real science to it.

        In some countries people have to keep three feet apart. In others they must keep four and a half feet apart. In Britain adults and children are told they must keep six feet apart. The latest rule in Britain is that two people can meet one person but one person cannot meet two people.

        I’ve thought about that a lot and I don’t think I’m completely potty just yet but I can’t get my head round it.

        Two people can meet one person but one person cannot meet two people.

        That’s the law. And it is, quite possibly, the most completely stupid piece of advice ever given to anyone anywhere. But if you break the law you can be fined. I’ve no idea how much. I’m still too busy trying to work out how the law works to care what the fine is.

        There is no uniformity to the rules between countries because they are just made up by people who think they are a good idea.

        Our lives are being regulated and destroyed by rules which somebody somewhere thought were a good idea.

        Forcing us to stay in our homes is also something that was just made up.

        And it’s pretty clear that the authorities – the people who dreamt up the rules and who insist that we follow them – don’t bother to take much notice of them.

        I’ve lost count of the number of senior public figures who have been caught flouting the rules. They always have a good excuse, of course. But then we all have good excuses for flouting the rules.

        Am I the only one to have noticed that the police don’t seem to think the social distancing rules apply to them when they are out hunting for people who are sunbathing or sitting on park benches?

        And when the police attend demonstrations against the lockdown they completely ignore the social distancing rules – standing close to one another and then getting very hands on with demonstrators.

        The police are certainly breaking the social distancing laws when they arrest people.

        So why should the police not arrest themselves?

        Or maybe the demonstrators could arrest the police for breaking the social distancing laws.

        Apart from the massive social and economic implications, there is of course one big problem with the social distancing rules.

        A sneeze doesn’t stop at three feet or four and a half feet or six feet. And nor does a cough.

        A cough can spread droplets for 18 feet. And a sneeze can travel 24 feet.

        So these social distancing rules are arbitrary and utterly pointless.

        If we were going to have effective social distancing then we would all have to keep at least 24 feet apart – preferably 30 feet apart.

        But that would bring the world to a complete standstill, everyone would go bankrupt, no one would ever be able to buy any food and we would all starve to death.

        Cars will have to be huge if everyone has to be 30 feet from everyone else.

        So they made up these lower figures.

    • The ABC coronavirus website still insists that the WHO says masks are only necessary for the infected. They should update. After four months the WHO finally said last week that everyone should wear them, duh. At least the protesters got that right (mainly)

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Then the police who weren’t wearing a mask should be arrested too! Arrest everyone!

      • Arrest Chinese Supremacists

        It’s simple logic that masks stop the spread. They don’t have to be 100% successful just 20 or 30% is better than 0%.

        Thailand and Vietnam have all but eliminated the virus and mostly to do with everyone wearing masks I suspect.

        Western government officials were almost laughing at the idea of the public wearing masks a few months ago.

        Simply western countries didn’t have the capacity to manufacture PPE so they condemned their citizens to catching the virus instead.

        • Absolutely. Heard Australia’s head of epidemiologiy say on ABC radio yesterday that an N95 mask gives 95% protection, and a metre between people cuts the risk of infection by 80%. Of course, if someone coughs or sneezes without a mask on, that goes out the window.
          Universal mask wearing should be a universal courtesy as infection occurs prior to symptoms.


      • The tail of this pandemic has shed light on the breadth of corruptness in humanity at its core.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      The difference is that shopping is a ‘permitted’ activity, protesting is not. 😛

      On a more serious note, the key difference is the scale of contact tracing. Chance of infection increases with time : if you are walking past someone, the chance is negligible. If you’re in the same shop, the risk is higher. If you’re in a restaurant for a meal, the risk is strongest, which is why the restaurant have to take people’s name down when lock down is first relaxed. In a protest environment where people stand close to each another for a long long time, the risk of infection almost reach a certainty. With no chance of contact tracing at all, will all those 10,000 people do the right thing and self quarantine?

  9. Don’t you just love the way SFM says ‘JUST STOP IT’ over and over. So suave, so dignified and persuasive.

    I imagine that’s how he talks to his kids.