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henrietta

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The most salient thing we have learned about ourselves and our country from this pandemic is the that the biggest most problematic structure is the states.

We have known for years that each state has its own sets of regs which at worst have been irritating.

The ridiculous border closures, the screwed permit system, the stupid "blue zone" bubbles, the idea that a curfew is needed because somehow a virus is more virulent between 10 pm and 5.00 a.m..

Whole states going into lock down despite the fact that remote regions have no cases, inner city bureacrats with little knowledge of the rural requirements making distance regulations over the whole state.

Exemptions being made for an indigenous funeral that were disallalowed for non indigenous funerals.

Christian, buddist, jewish church services curtailed but an exemption given for the Muslim EId feast at the end of Ramadan.

Now it is blatantly obvious that the bullshit slogans about being in this together are just that , bullshit.

Premiers seeking to shore up their own positions at the expense of their fellow Australians.

Parliaments in every jurisdiction cancelled because those in power did want any form of scrutiny.

Farmers markets banned but supermarkets allowed to sell produce.No medical reasons, just bureacratic bungling of the highest order.

Limits on people travelling to and from Australia, but exemptions given to overseas students.

I could go on, but my spleen has been well and truly vented.

 

Mick

 

 

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You have been saved. Why aren't you grateful?

From Henry Kissinger.

"Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will pledge with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government." - Henry Kissinger in an address to the Bilderberger meeting at Evian, France, May 21, 1992. (in an address to the Bilderberger organization meeting at Evian, France, on May 21, 1991. As transcribed from a tape recording made by one of the Swiss delegates. )"

 

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Once again, Sweden is being talked about as perhaps having the right approach ti the virus.

From The Times via OZ newspaper

 

 

Sweden is beating many European countries in the fight against new coronavirus infections, possibly because of its decision not to implement tough lockdown measures.

 

As cases surge across Europe, leading to new restrictions such as the mandatory wearing of face masks in many public areas, the infection rate in Sweden is falling.

 

“Sweden is doing fine,†Arne Elofsson, a professor in biometrics at Stockholm University, said. “Strict rules do not work as people seem to break them.â€

 

Figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control show that the infection rate in France is more than 60 per cent higher than that of Sweden. France implemented a strict lockdown in the spring and requires masks to be worn in many public areas but has a fortnightly infection rate of 60 cases per 100,000 people.

 

Sweden, which decided not to implement compulsory measures at that time and which rejected the use of masks, has a rate of 37 cases per 100,000 people. The government is recording between 200 and 300 new cases a day, with deaths down to three last Friday.

 

Anders Tegnell, the Swedish state epidemiologist leading the response to the pandemic, has noted, based on the statistics, that infection rates have increased in countries such Spain, Belgium and France during and following the mandatory wearing of masks in many public areas.“The belief that masks can solve our problem is very dangerous,†he said last week.rom the beginning of the pandemic Sweden built its response on voluntary social-distancing guidelines, including home-working and recommendations for people to avoid public transport.

 

Compulsory measures were limited to a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people, restrictions on visiting care homes, and table-only service in bars and restaurants. On Friday Stefan Lofven, the prime minister, told the newspaper Dagens Nyheter: “What has been discussed most, and what we did differently in Sweden, was that we did not close schools. Now there are quite a few people who think we were right.â€

 

The decision not to implement a lockdown was not without cost. Sweden’s per capita death rate from COVID-19 is the sixth highest in the world and much higher than its Nordic neighbours: more than five times Denmark’s.

 

Even in terms of the death rate, however, Sweden’s experience is more complex than first apparent. Half the country’s 5,810 COVID-19 deaths have taken place in care homes, rather than in the general population.

 

Belgium, which implemented a stringent lockdown in March, has the highest per capita death rate from the virus in the world. Similarly to Sweden, about half the Belgian deaths occurred among elderly and infirm people in care homes who were not affected by the absence or otherwise of lockdown measures.

 

“Clearly it is a tragedy that so many people died in the elderly homes but it is not really clear what would have been the best strategy to avoid that,†Professor Elofsson said.

 

One key factor in Sweden’s lower rate of infection is thought to be the emergence of a form of “herd immunity†that is more advanced among Swedes than in countries where lockdowns were implemented.

 

This means that Sweden is now, according to some evidence, benefiting from avoiding compulsory restrictions.Looking at the total number of people infected since the crisis began, Sweden has one of the highest figures in Europe, at 843 cases per 100,000 people. In France, after restrictions on social interaction and measures such as the use of face masks, which will be compulsory at work from September 1, the total figure is 349 cases per 100,000.

 

The higher level of cases among the general population in Sweden is thought – by Dr Tegnell and other Swedish scientists – to indicate a form of immunity much wider than that accounted for by the numbers of people carrying antibodies for the virus.

 

“What we are seeing now in Sweden is a rapid decline in the number of cases, and of course some sort of immunity must be responsible for that since nothing else has changed,†Dr Tegnell told the Unherd website last month.

 

A study publicised by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm last week found that people who test negative for antibodies may still have a high level of immunity, through white blood cells that identify and destroy the virus. “T-cells are a type of white blood cells that are specialised in recognising virus-infected cells,†Professor Marcus Buggert, an immunologist at the institute, said. “Our results indicate that roughly twice as many people have developed T-cell immunity compared with those who we can detect antibodies in.â€

 

The research indicates that levels of combined T-cell and antibody immunity could be more than 30 per cent, giving Sweden an edge in preventing the same resurgence in the virus that is taking place across Europe. “I think it is likely that such outbreaks will be easier to control in Sweden because there is immunity among the population,†Dr Tegnell said. “All previous experience with measles and other diseases shows that a high level of immunity in the population makes it easier to control the outbreaks than when there is no immunity at all among the population.â€

 

The research on T-cells is highly illuminating.

It may well be possible that some of us already had immunity to the virus, which helps to explain why some people catch it at close quarters, while others do not.

It will be more than a little ironic if in the end, the approach by Sweden turns out to be the optimum, although they admit they were too slow to isolate their elderly homes.

But hindsight is such a usefull tool.

Much has been said about the compulsory mask wearing being a curb on the spread.

But of course we have no way of knowing whether this is true.Plenty of health professionals wear lots of PPE equipment and still manage to get it.

In the first phase of lockdown, we did not have compulsory masks.

Compared to the second phase where masks became compulsory, one could well argue that it has made little difference given the greater numbers of cases in phase 2.

And what happens when the third, fourth and fifth wave turns up?

Yesterday, despite the icy wind blowing from Antarctica, I broke the law.

I drove my car about ten miles out of town among farmland , and went for a 5 km walk without a mask on.

I saw two other cars on the road, and no other persons.

Though there were some sheep.

Mick

 

 

 

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