Why Victoria should extend stage 4 restrictions

Victoria’s rate of COVID-19 infections is falling fast, raising hopes that draconian stage 4 restrictions can be lifted earlier than the scheduled 13 September end date.

However, today I want to present the opposite case of why I believe that Stage 4 restrictions should be extended for two weeks until 27 September.

1) It would enable Victoria to aim for virus elimination:

Keeping stage 4 restrictions in place would enable the State Government to go for near virus elimination. In turn, this would enable the economy to shift immediately to stage 1 restrictions, as has occurred in other states like South Australia and Western Australia.

2) It would encourage other states to open their borders to Victoria:

Achieving near elimination would encourage (force?) other states and territories to open their borders to Victoria, resulting in the free-flow of people around the nation, bolstering growth.

3) 27 September coincides with the end of JobKeeper and JobSeeker:

The first phase of JobKeeper and JobSeeker are scheduled to expire on 27 September. They will then revert to lower rates, namely:

  • JobKeeper reduced from $1500 to $1200 from October ($750 part-time); and
  • JobSeeker reduced from $1100 to $815 from October.

Thus, Victorians will be supported financially over this extended two week lockdown period. The economy can then open up as emergency income support is tapered.

It also helps the Andrews Government cost shift to the federal government.

4) The timing matches up with school holidays:

Victoria’s school holidays are scheduled from 19 September until 4 October. Accordingly, there is little sense in easing stage 4 restrictions just as the school term has ended.

It makes more sense aiming for elimination and then reopening schools and the economy fully for term 4.

5) The alternative is worse:

The alternative to virus elimination is ongoing spot virus outbreaks and the maintenance of lower level lockdowns for longer.

Given the timing with JobKeeper/JobSeeker and school holidays, it makes more sense to nip the virus in the bud so that the Victorian economy can open more fully earlier.

Leith van Onselen
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Comments

  1. ” It would enable Victoria to aim for virus elimination:”
    I would suspect this is the last thing scumo wants. Once the idea of elimination enters the public consciousness its going to be impossible for him to open the borders for diseased foreign students. By then the public wont accept anything less than elimination, and he will be judged purely on that basis.

    Thats the case in WA, and explains why 86% of the population are fully behind the current border lock down.

    • Yep.
      Somehow Scummo needs to engineer a scenario whereby the public accepts that the future is ‘living with the virus’ — however, he can’t force the issue right now as he could render untold damage on himself and the party. (Callous boomer-killers! etc)

      Thing is, how much patience does he have? How much pressure is the big end of town applying right now?

      I saw a brief clip on Bloomberg TV y’day with the CEO of some or other realty trust (US) demanding that people go back to work — get back in the office! The economy is at stake etc.

  2. https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/coronavirus-man-33-worlds-first-proven-known-documented-case-of-covid19-reinfection/news-story/f7b142999620d3743b61fa680805b817

    The man’s second infection was detected after an airport screening upon his return to Hong Kong from Spain earlier this month. The IT worker was asymptomatic but genomic sequencing shows he has been infected by two different virus strains.

    In hindsight this should have been expected. Just like there is a new strain of the flu requiring updated vaccinations every year.

      • That is, didn’t even know he was “sick” until the boffins told him. The horror, lock us down!

      • Did you ever imagine there could be a vaccine for Ebola or HPV. But there is. Im confident a vaccine like the flu vaccine will arrive at some time. And covid will mutate. So just like the flu vaccine new versions and booster shots will be needed every year. We already do it for flu. We can do it for covid as well.

        • But if you don’t get a flu shot what happens?
          Nothing, generally only get proper flu every 10years or so and live to tell the tale.

          • I don’t take the flu shot — and don’t get flu, ever. Presumably because of some or other immunity.

            However, I think c-19 might be a different kettle of fish.

          • I smoked and never got lung cancer.*

            * I didn’t actually smoke, because it’s literally one of the most retarded things you can do.

          • bolstroodMEMBER

            I got a flu shot last year becuase I read that 400 had died of flu in Victoria, and got sick. MrsB who didn’t get the flu shot didn’t get sick and had no sympathy.
            Now we have Covid but in trying to stop it we have eliminated the flu. I did not get the flu jab this year.
            I am now confused and well.

        • New strains of influenza are caused by ducks and pigs being kept in close proximity to each other. We could eliminate flu by making it illegal to keep ducks and pigs on the same farm. Covid is different because bats and pangolins are not generally farmed. There might be a few strains emerging in the next couple of years from human transmission, but after that it will stop.

          • “I don’t take the flu shot — and don’t get flu, ever. Presumably because of some or other immunity.”

            That might be because you’re free-loading off everyone who does take the flu shot. i.e. less flu going around to catch because of the immunity from those who take the shot.

        • billygoatMEMBER

          I’m pushing mid 50’s never had flu shot, never will, haven’t had a cold or flu bug virus whatever since partying all night in my 20’s. Lay off booze & smoke, get outside all weather for 30 min walk is recipe for great health in middle – late age

      • Prof Thomas Barody claims the virus could be wiped within six weeks with early treatment of trifecta of Ivermectin, Doxycycline and Zinc. Unless he’s another psychopathic narcissist (there’s a fair few around) he has a pretty impressive track record.

        He and other doctors make the point there are no efforts to treat prior to hospitalization – people are sent home to ‘rest’.

        Funny if he turns out to be right as with peptic ulcers – saved millions of lives.

        http://covexit.com/australian-gps-can-legally-prescribe-ivermectin-triple-therapy-protocol-professor-borody/-

        • Impressive if true! Government should be obliged to verify the claims considering this guy has runs on the board previously.

        • The UsurperMEMBER

          That same Dr also developed a triple therapy antibiotic treatment for a parasite I had. GP’s told me tough luck, theres nothing you can do, the parasite is harmless (as I was in constant pain daily). Thankfully I found a specialist who trained under Dr Barody and was cured after 10 days of treatment.

          • Wonderful! He sounds like a pretty remarkable scientist/doctor.

            Scott posted this here a few days ago. Also that 30 GPS had written to Fauci along the same lines – that there is currently no treatment prior to hospitalization and recommending the Hydroxychloroquine/zinc/antibiotic trifecta, which they claim if administered early on, has a similar effect. But it seems it’s not.as effective as the Ivermectin trifecta.

            Glad you recovered so well.

      • billygoatMEMBER

        No vaccine for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, alcoholism or suicide Etc… shame as these health problems take infinitely more folk to an early grave.

    • I see few issues with the article:
      First none can be reinfected with covid19 because covid19 is a disease not the virus
      Second, proven is in inverted commas
      Third, the person didn’t get sick, he just has detectable virus present
      Fourth, even doctor said it’s how immune system is supposed to work

      All of this indicates that immunity is there to stay (people get sick only once than memory cell immunity prevents virus from getting a strong foot in future), elimination is impossible even if vaccine gets developed and vaccine given hard immunity is not going to be as lasting as flu because this person got diffrent strain in less than 6 months , we should let kids get infected while virus is harmless to them just like with other common colds. This can be done quickly after vaccine gets given to risky groups because thats probably the most we can do.

      Just immagine how would an old person react after contracting common cold first time at the age of 80

      This should have a strong implications to policies around the world so that suppression and elimination delusion can end.

  3. The fed broke it. Now, they own it.MEMBER

    David: Sometimes to create, one must first destroy
    Prometheus

  4. migtronixMEMBER

    FU

    “Five men and three women aged in their 80s, four women and two men in their 90s and one woman aged in her 100s.”

  5. Love it. Keep them lockdowns going! No one on here will take the vaccine according to earlier comments (Let’s ignore the fact that the flu vaccine is only around 50% effective anyway) so the plan must be the hermit kingdom of the Soviet States of Australia.
    The original lockdown was sold on ‘flatten the curve’ but let’s ignore that and move onto the pipe dream of elimination and disregard the civil unrest this will cause all to save a few 85 year olds. Don’t worry about all the other lives it trashes.
    As long as the very aggressive and vocal snowflakes are placated I’m all for it, keep everyone locked up but also stop whinging about mandatory vaccination and all your other human rights you’ve sacrificed.

    • Interesting point that people who can still work from home and make an income are happy to advocate that others remain compulsorily confined to their homes even though those others may not have a job or be suffering in other ways as a result of confinement.
      Meanwhile the same people rail against the concept of coercive vaccination.

    • The Penske FileMEMBER

      +1. I also suspect that MB wants the lock down as it guarantees a property crash.

    • You’ve saved me having to post. They want to lock down forever to wait for a vaccine they won’t take anyway. Can’t have it both ways

    • Buckaroo Banzai

      I have never appreciated the value of freedom so much as I do now. Victorians are going to be the equivalent of what the post-Soviet states in the EU are… lots of cautionary tales to tell.

    • I love the way that the “snowflakes” are the people advocating precaution and time, not the ones jumping immediately to hysterical and ridiculous analogies with North Korea, et al.

      • Not a valid analogy? I repeat:
        Curfews
        Troops policing civilians
        No freedom of movement in or out of the country
        Potential mandatory vaccination
        Compulsory face masks
        Locked inside your own home requiring government permission to leave
        Sounds awfully like it to me, what am I missing?
        When I was younger these were all the things we were told were evil about the ‘Red Menace’ but times change eh and now it’s all good.

        • Sounds awfully like it to me, what am I missing?

          Only the important part, where in Australia they are temporary measures due to a national threat to public health and safety, enacted by a democratically (as much as our system is) elected Government, whereas in North Korea they are a permanent situation to oppress and intimidate the people, enacted by a generational and murderous dictator.

          So they’re the same like going skydiving and being a victim of Pinochet’s death flights are the same.

          People like you would have been whinging about being oppressed during the Blitz Blackout.

          • Temporary?
            Wasn’t Andrews talking about extending to 18 months today?
            The goalposts continually move and this just drags on and on as people lives are ruined and health suffers, except the connected of course, who seem able to do whatever they want.
            Exactly like a dictatorship.

  6. So elimination; just like NZ and Queensland? Wasn’t part of the reason suppression wasn’t palatable was you’d always be going in and out of lockdown? The dirty secret is that is what you get under elimination when you constantly hit reset again and again chasing the pipe dream when you get new cases.

    No skin in the game as a Sydney resident but just judging online mood if he extends Stage 4 it is a one way ticket to civil unrest. Carve out a few weeks in May/June and the entire City has been in a form of lockdown since late-March. It just isn’t sustainable.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      And in those few weeks you could at most order a beer if you had sit down meal with table service and no more than 4 people per table etc. It’s been endless lockdown and what did it achieve?

      • It is just the disease equivalent of Iraq/Vietnam now.
        Get briefed it is an unwinnable war but jump in anyway, have no (reasonable) exit strategy, fractures the population as the futility becomes clearer over time and a truckload of sunk cost fallacy refusing to walk away from poor investments.
        Australian exceptionalism at it’s finest thinking we won’t need to learn to live with it like the rest of the World…

    • There are numerous challenges with elimination but another is that more than half the population here have family abroad so, the idea that international travel is dead is utter bollox. It’s coming back — whatever the cost.

    • gibber_blotMEMBER

      Indeed. NZ has shown that eradication is not a solution until a vaccine comes along. What is the point of having the goal of eradication when we know that goal is not achievable?

  7. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Victoria must go to stage 5 now and Lock. Us. Down! until there are negative cases!

  8. Reusa the Great said: Lock. Us. Down!!
    And once mentioned: you blocks are full of fear, so you’ll get it.
    Pick what suits your circumstances

  9. Suicide not a problem Leith? Your business not affected? A lot of NIMBY here. I’m turned off MB for months now and I come here occasionally to see the mood of the commenters. Never realised how stupid my fellow Australians are.

    • Leith:
      – can work from home
      – wants to crash Aussie housing
      – wants foreigners to stay out
      Hey if it’s not going to affect his livelihood much then the whole of VIC can suffer along with him.

      • I dont work from home, my business is affected.
        How ever I want the second and third points to happen with or without covid

    • gibber_blotMEMBER

      The only people I see calling for keeping restrictions so tight are middle class folks who still have a job. Anyone affected by this is a meaningful manner (job, business, mental health, etc), wants out as soon as possible

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      It means ‘Let it rip’ won’t work. Unless we eliminate it, COVID-19 vaccination will be a bi-annual event, with a different strand each time.

      • reusachtigeMEMBER

        Seems like letting it rip has been just fine for this chap. Now easily immune to multiple strains. Good on him. I’m jealous.

  10. The90kwbeastMEMBER

    What is everyone’s thoughts on the state of emergency extension that D.A. wants? 18 month extension is surely a massive overreach

    • The hunchback is inviting open hostility now. Fatigue has set in. Trust is gone. People are sick of being blamed and told the boot on their neck is for their own good. Why would we support granting him more of the same control over our lives?
      The curfew must be lifted.
      The travel restrictions within the state must be lifted.
      The mandatory aspect of masks must be lifted.
      Let the people decide for themselves.

      • The90kwbeastMEMBER

        6 months I would have thought is pretty reasonable as it really should be well and truly under control and under 20 new cases daily, but 18 months is nuts!

  11. Lock Mig Up!

    and don’t let him know everyone else has gone back to normal. just leave him there, posting bitter missives on MB.

  12. The rationale for all points hinges solely on the successful achievement of your point 1. Elimination. Whilst this would be lovely, It is incredibly unlikely in the real world. Even if we did achieve elimination in Victoria, what about the other states? Remember this is managed at a state by state level, will all states go for elimination at any cost forever until this goal is achieved? The sacrifices required over such long periods of time won’t hold. Then there is the greater issue of once elimination is achieved in the whole of Australia then what restrictions must be kept in place for us to remain in a state of elimination? No overseas travel? No visiting relatives from OS? No immigration? No returning expats? Imported products/food stuffs possibility of carrying virus? What about pilots and flight crews of international flights? This list on the restrictions and modifications to our lives is endless. We either can’t know what all the possible reentry points are for the virus and hence it will return which buggers up your point 1 or the restrictions on people’s liberties will be politically intolerable and eventually be lifted or relaxed and buggering up your point 1 again.

    I wish we could eliminate this as much as the next fella, I really do. But it’s a pipe dream. Delaying the inevitable can have its benefits (ha, just look at the delay tactics employed to keep house prices from correcting) but it always comes at a cost. A more nuanced approach that focuses on low cost preventative measures and protecting our most vulnerable rather than the total and endless destruction of everyone’s way of life is more practical, realistic and inevitable anyhow.

    • The90kwbeastMEMBER

      Isn’t the entire premise of elimination to try to save the most amount of lives until there is a vaccine either ready or at least 4-6 months out when you could shift to a suppression strategy instead to manage until it is ready? That is the end goal surely, and hopefully one we can reach by Q4 next year.

      Anything else isn’t trying, sacrifices lives and places the needs of the business community over and above that of the Australian people.

      • Is it? Where has this been officially articulated? Why is suppression not a viable goal from here? If not from now, then from when? Zero cases? 5 cases? Does that strategy entirely depend on there being a vaccine? Something that in the entire history of our world has never existed for a corona virus before? What happens if this vaccine never exists? Or if it takes 5 years to develop? Or it causes more death and disablement as a side effect than deaths it prevents from COVID-19?

        Are you only concerned about deaths? Are you only counting COVID deaths? What about deaths of despair? What about shortening of lives caused by harm induced by lockdowns?

        Your comment that “Anything else isn’t trying” is absolutely not true. We should try but there are better strategies than lockdowns when the bigger picture is taken into account. It is not the false binary of economy vs COVID deaths people keep making it out to be. When did everyone start believing that the life is nothing but avoiding death?

        By the way, is your handle “The90kwbeast” a reference to an 80 series with a 1HZ?

        • The90kwbeastMEMBER

          You raise some fair points. I agree entirely, there has been no national nor state leader announcing that this is the roadmap for the next 12-18 months, they are making it up as they go along and responding reactively.

          I should have clarified, my take/comment is the implicit strategy I described i.e. states going for elimination (must to Scomos frustration), but it absolutely hasn’t been made explicit to the public. This will need to be relayed sooner rather than later, so the general public knows where the goal posts are.

          If we’re in say Q3 next year and it still seems there is no vaccine on the horizon (i.e. we’ve past all the ‘early’ due dates given to us thus far), then I also agree that endless level 3 or even worse level 4 lockdowns just aren’t feasible and we need to find a more manageable approach until a vaccine or at least a treatment is available. Which means probably tolerating 100 new cases each day in each state and just managing the fallout from that as best as is possible e.g. restricting access to aged care homes etc.

          But I am articulating in my comment that currently, the easiest way to save the most lives is via the current approach taken of lockdowns and elimination. That’s what I mean by anything else isn’t trying, because there is growing evidence also that getting covid leads to other recurring health problems. So even though you survived, it is leaving people with other health issues they may never recover from.

          It therefore is prudent to basically aim for lockdowns for the next 12 months or until it is apparant there is no vaccine or at minimum viable treatment on the horizon, no?

          And nah, XF Falcon 3.3 made that power. Had that as a username on various forums the past 18 years!

          • “If we’re in say Q3 next year […]”

            That is a bold call. You are saying or expecting lockdowns in one form or another for the next 1 year. That is a huge cost, economic, social, all that. Added to which, I really don’t think most people would go for it. Certainly, I don’t think this has been articulated as the strategy. If an official came out and actually said that, that we will be in lockdowns for another year, it might be political suicide.

            Plus, as some other commenters have said here, the extend-and-pretend strategy is the go-to for all politicians. I would posit that if we are in Q3 next year, still doing lockdowns, still waiting for a vaccine, the govts natural reponse is to keep going with the status quo; ie continued lockdowns. It’s too hard for politicians and officials to change tack.

            Re expats: Expats don’t count. How dare they leave AU; how dare they try to escape the housing ponzi. Traitors to the cause. They are not allowed to come back.

    • Then there is the greater issue of once elimination is achieved in the whole of Australia then what restrictions must be kept in place for us to remain in a state of elimination? No overseas travel? No visiting relatives from OS? No immigration? No returning expats? Imported products/food stuffs possibility of carrying virus? What about pilots and flight crews of international flights?

      With the exception of international “casual” travel, manging the entry points to the country need not be overly disruptive.

      Immigration and returning expats (and aircrews) easily handled by proper testing, isolation and quarantining.
      Imported goods will likely need different/better – and probably longer – staging.

      The important point here is that what is true today may not be true tomorrow, both in terms of capabilities and in terms of risk assessment. It is ridiculous to insist that today’s scenario must be the only one that can be used to extrapolate infinitely into the future.

      • I take your point that it possibly “could” be managed but I’m not convinced that it would be managed any better than the Victorian quarantine and it almost certainly won’t be politically viable for an extended period of time. At the end of the day it’s the human factor that will bring any attempt to eliminate this virus undone. We only need to miss one thing in our plans and it’s back; only one person needs to not do their job properly and it’s back; etc. you get my point. In a perfect world, anything is possible but we live in the real world and we must accept that humans are fallible. No laws will be adhered to by 100% of people all the time. There will always be selfish people, there will always be stupid people, there will always be negligent people. Just making something illegal does not make it go away.
        Trying to contain the virus spread to a manageable level while protecting the most vulnerable and allowing the majority of people to live their lives with the least disruptive of mandated interventions is both a viable and sustainable way forward. In a liberal democracy it is also the fairest way.