Sydney COVID outbreak ridicules call to bring back international students

Two week’s sure is a long time in the world of COVID.

Less than a fortnight ago, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian lodged a plan with the federal government to use one third of the state’s 3,000 hotel quarantine places to import international students.

The education lobby quickly jumped on the announcement, once again demanding Australia open its border to facilitate the speedy return of international students.

Fast forward to today. NSW’s quarantine system has experienced a major breach, as of last night there were 72 active COVID-19 infections across the state (a number that will grow today), Sydney’s northern beaches region has been placed into lockdown (with further restrictions likely), and states and territories are implementing hard border restrictions with Greater Sydney.

Surely the recent outbreaks across Melbourne, Adelaide and now Sydney – all arising from quarantine breaches – highlights why Australia must not open its international border to students or migrants?

The risks are far too great.

The education lobby are displaying classic moral hazard behaviour, as they have throughout the pandemic.

The industry stands to privatise the financial benefits from international students’ return, while the costs and risks are borne by taxpayers and the general community. It’s a classic heads I win, tails you lose arrangement developed by the industry for the industry.

Any quarantine capacity must be reserved for returning Australians only. And even then, the risks must be more closely managed.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. Hernando da Silva

    A professor of epidemiology says the say today in SMH:

    “The idea of “living with a bit of COVID-19” and soldiering on is a falsehood because of exponential growth of epidemic infections.

    Every city that has laboured under the misapprehension that they can carry on with a bit of community transmission has been forced into lockdown when the health system collapsed.”

    • Yep, the suppression strategy has been shown to be a pipe dream, UK and Victoria are prime examples.

      You either go for elimination, made possible by short and hard lockdowns when there is an outbreak or you just accept that it could get well out of control and wreak even greater economic damage in the long run.

        • Because France, Denmark and Germany don’t have governments as dumb as we have in Australia and in the UK. I think a country run by SloMo is more comparable to one run by BoJo than France, Denmark or Germany.

          Quite frankly I wouldn’t trust the ScoMo government to manage a piss up in a pub, let alone manage a suppression strategy. And yes, states are the ones really running the show but without a consistent Federal strategy to follow you end up with the likes of WA going for total elimination while NSW shoots for suppression.

        • Denmark and Germany are back in lockdown due to spiralling cases, so pretty much no difference between them and the UK now.

      • Suppressing a virus among population actually helps motations that are more contagious, present stronger symptoms and are more deadly.

        The mechanism is simple:
        Mutations are happening all the time but almost all of mutated viruses die off in the very original host. When contacts among people are suppressed majority of transmissions start happening in hospitals and clinics where people with significant symptoms end up so only people that get badly sick have a chance to pass it. Other mutations that have some chance of survival are those that are more contagious.
        If virus is let to spread among non-vulnerable people those mutations presenting less symptoms (weaker virus mutations) tend to spread more because people with less symptoms are more likely to go to pub and spread it further.

        If this covid escalates into something nasty we can only thank to lockdowns and failed government policies.

          • Elimination could be an option in a island state with limited spread so far but only if the rest of the world could disappear.
            Otherwise, elimination is at the best delaying and making outbreaks local …
            Keep in mind that Victoria so far did worse than many countries/states around the world that didn’t pursue elimination strategy not even much of suppression.

            This way we’ll just get hit over and over with new mutated viruses

          • Well I have to reply to myself for DarenM bcoz…..well….I don’t know.
            Anyway….your reply borders on gibberish. We are an island state with much-vaunted border protection. The rest of the world doesn’t have to “disappear”, as you put it in your childish way.
            If we have eliminated the virus here, it can’t replicate. No mutation. Yes, as a relatively remote sovereign nation we can stop people coming here, and should do as required. So, again, no exposure. Unless you believe the Chinese line about importing it on frozen meat, of DicX’s assurances that, yes, it could cross the oceans on an errant breeze.
            Victoria failed because they pursued a strategy of suppression…not elimination. After subsequently pursuing a rigorous strategy of elimination they have been free of locally acquired cases for about 7 weeks.
            NSW has failed due to importation of the virus from overseas, and poor control of the vectors.
            New Zealand is doing fine.
            Tell me how Sweden is travelling again? What will the ultimate cost be to the USA of pursuing “freedumbs” instead of listening to the weight of opinion from medical science?
            Pah….so much idiocy on view about this. People have no shame…

          • So far in 9 months, we failed few times with the elimination imposing hard lockdowns onto our people. Same with NZ.
            Victoria has more covid dead people than India or Baltic states or Norway or …
            And while the world is continuously generating new mutated versions of the virus we are going to live in this oversized prison with in and out of lockdowns repeating every few weeks or months until when?
            What is our strategy to end this?
            Our only hope is that the world finds a way out or it disappears … but as long as the virus exists in the world we’ll get it back over and over

            what if vaccine stops working for these new mutations what is our plan? To stay isolated on this island prison and get 100 dead per million every few months?

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      It’s a great article by Prof Raina and should be mandatory and salutary reading for all Shitney people.

      But in the end, I suspect that DL-S’s gold standard Gladys The Grub will ignore sound advice, because like DL-S’s Scotty The Impaler she knows best and after all, all that matters are jobs and growth = the population, housing price and wage slavery ponzis?

        From a pro-masks guy
        Reina was wrong few times during July August outbreaks in Sydney. If Gladys had listened to her back than Sydney would have gone into lockdowns for no reason, costibg not only in monetary terms but also in lives that get lost due to lockdowns.

    • So 3000 cases a day by 8th January. Even when contained in the Nth Beaches, the overwhelming majority traced and when even Italy/Spain/UK didn’t get close to those numbers, with less restrictions and much higher community transmission, mid-summer.

      Extreme panic mongering.

      • But the general public love to panic.

        It makes them feel alive.

        There’s a buzz to being a part of the global panic. It’s important Lil Ol’ Straya gets a look in too!

        Look at me, I’m happy to wait 7 hours in a queue – hopefully I’ll be interviewed by some bleached blonde bimbo ‘journalist’ that will ask me finally ‘how do I feel?”!

    • The professor sadly isn’t an expert on how hysteria works and how politicians respond to such ludicrous hysteria.

      Australians love a good tally – be it Holiday Road Death Tolls, Olympic Medals or how many shots of cucksucking cowboys they can have at a hen’s party and remain standing.

  2. RobotSenseiMEMBER

    I can’t wait to see Peta Credlin fly to Sydney and expose, step by step, how this latest outbreak occurred under the noses of that upstanding Liberal state government.

    • LOL! I give Credlin top marks for pulling apart the Andrews Government over their dodgy hotel quarantine but yes, I doubt she’ll be bipartisan in her shredding of quarantine bungles this time.

    • Someone ElseMEMBER

      What about the rumour that it was ex-PM Abbott who unleashed the covid (60-ish couple, diplomatic passport, northern beaches, etc.)? Does that hold any water or is it a red herring?

  3. My VC says that articles like this are just xenophobia and a symptom of the “Trump effect”. I stopped wasting my precious work time attending their demotivation sessions a while back because these overpaid elitist dimwits are so infuriating.

      • Nope, I work at a big QLD uni that isn’t a sandstone that’s totally saturated in CCP controversy. But we do have a Confucius Institute and a VC who literally laughs at the idea that there’s any CCP influence.

    • I think your VC probably understands the issues but holds the staff in such low regards as to openly lie to them. Greed is also a powerful motivating factor.

      • Oh no, VCs would never be greedy. They just earn million dollar plus salaries + bonuses every year for the value they contribute to our institutions of higher learning and advancing the causes of humanity. You on the other hand are clearly just a RACIST!!!*

        *R-word used therefore end of discussion.

  4. Can’t wait for the media to demand the sacking of Gladys and condemnation of lockdown/mask wearing that white anted the Victorian response.

    As per the 2019 Bushfire crisis Morrison has been MIA again – some of the #FindingScomo memes are brilliant.

  5. buttzilla thirtysix

    lol! they still think they’re coming back! better focus on keeping the 2.5M temp here… too bad 1/3 of them are op foxhunt agents.

  6. This was a clear inevitability back in Aug/Sep as Dan was coping it from all sides (well mostly from the Right) and NSW was being lauded as gold standard. Laughable then, but i’m not laughing now. Best wishes for all missing out on a Christmas with family.

  7. Surely at this point real questions have to be asked about whether there is any benefit in having our international borders open at all?

  8. The North coast of NSW is being inundated by waves of Audi SUV driving walking dead superspreaders. Brain eating undead with stand up paddle boards on their roof racks are marching northward as we speak.

    • Superspreaders?

      This just proves that despite the massive movement and interactions of these ‘spreaders’ that COVID isn’t spreading as much as it’s been said to do.

      Look at how much that Northern Beaches woman got around south east Queensland, where there is really minimal social distancing, and merely tokenistic measures, but look at how little the number of cases is (cases, not infections).

      It proves how all this lockdown business is pointless.

  9. This latest outbreak is great. One of Australia’s biggest problems it is exceptionalism. The more we shut down Shitney the more the economy and its stinking foundations of debt have a good chance of collapse.

  10. If I am sacrificing my Palm Beach (NSW Northern Beaches) christmas then I hope the nation gets something out of it. Delaying international students longer is the least I could hope for ….

  11. It would be interesting to profile the economic value (or not) of this recent foreign student cohort.

    How many will be working here? How many have debts to repay? How many will be paying for their next semester through working here? How much will be send out in remittances?