And so we entered the third quarter of living with this thing we called COVID-19. In fact such a big part of our lives throughout 2020 it was simply referred to as COVID. Some called it Coronavirus and some called it the Rona and one dipshit called it the Chinese virus. Stop trying to make fetch a thing Ballbag – its not a thing.
In Queensland we had had a few moments of alarm, the two young women who came back from Melbourne “bag shopping” and the Wacol cluster. We would look to the south and figured it was only a matter of time before we were in trouble. We still felt that way but on the 1st of October the government announced certain restrictions were going to be lowered.
Outdoor density in businesses with a COVID Safe Plan would be one person per 2 square metres. The maximum number of people at an outdoor event went from 500 to 1,000. Outdoor stadium capacity increased from 50 to 75 per cent. These directives replaced previous ones made 24JUL2020.
Queensland planned to re-open with New South Wales from 01NOV2020 if they achieved 28 days of no community transmission. The border had previously been opened with NSW from the 10th of July before closing again on the 8th of August.
Standing, eating and drinking at bars and restaurants would be allowed in Queensland too.
Stage 5 in Queensland would start on the 1st of November too, allowing 40 people at private gatherings and 40 people will be allowed to dance at weddings. That cap of 40 was hoped to go to unlimited in December.
“The reason we can ease more restrictions is because families have done a good job,” advised Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Stage 6 restrictions scheduled to begin in Queensland on the 1st of December would have gatherings of 50 people in homes and 1,500 people will be allowed to attend outdoor events.
Dancing at weddings rather than clubs was explained by Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young.
“It’s about that close interaction. At venues there are a lot of people who don’t know each other, you wouldn’t normally interact with them. That’s why we want to start with weddings, where people genuinely do know each other,” Dr Young said.
Dr Young did give the green light for wriggling your hips while standing at a bar.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian advised she had not spoken to Premier Palaszczuk but was happy with the possibility of opening up in November.
“I would welcome that with open arms. If that is the case, I’m ecstatic about it. I would’ve hoped it happened sooner but I can live with the 1st of November because it gives hope to our local residents,” Ms Berejiklian said.
There were two new cases reported overnight in my home state, both in hospital having been onboard a ship in quarantine. 5,200 tests had been carried out overnight in Queensland.
There were now six active cases in my home state.
In Victoria there were seven new confirmed cases of COVID-19 overnight and two deaths – both linked to aged care. Spare a thought for them and their families for the moment. There is a lot of talk about how lucky Australia has been and there has been a lot to be grateful but a lot of Australian died, most of them elderly, most of them without their family able to say goodbye and I don’t care how old they were they still had some life left to live.
Eleven cases in Melbourne were now linked to a Butcher at the Chadstone shopping centre. The Victorian Premier pointed out this group of cases could’ve been worse if restrictions had been lower.
“There’s been a bit written and a bit said in recent times, and perhaps for a long time, about superspreaders and how a very small number of cases can lead to a very large number of cases. Just for a moment imagine what a normal Chadstone would have looked like … if that scenario had played out when we had had literally, in the course of a day, hundreds of thousands of people moving through that setting,” Andrews said.
He warned that the modelling showed if restrictions were lowered too soon then an event like Chadstone could lead to hundreds of cases.
Despite this, he believed at the moment Melbourne was still on track to see further restrictions lowered come the 19th of October. Although it would depend on how things panned out. He did suggest travel outside of Melbourne may not be on the cards at that exact point.
“I can’t at this stage say that that ring of steel, as it has been called, will just be thrown open and you can travel throughout the state. That might not be a smart thing to do at that point. But that shouldn’t also be read to mean that for all of the second half of October and all of November that those rules would stay in place, it might be a shorter period,” the Premier advised.
In America this week Ballbag and former Vice President Joe Biden faced in their first debate. There were no winners on the night Ballbag was a pig who couldn’t speak with any grace or respect, a mockery of his office which he invokes whenever anybody asks him simple questions in press conferences.
We also got news of why Ballbag was so desperate to hold onto the Presidency, he was in debt. Some businessman.
President Elect Joe Biden was hardly the debater of his former years but when he repeated my son until being he was able to finish his sentence he showed a grace and strength that Trump for all his bluster has never been able to muster even an atom of.
Eyeballing the camera, Biden addressed Americans and showed where his attention was focussed. Trump leaning over his lectern because he can’t stand up straight deflecting away from any of his own failings showed what he offered the country in crisis.
Like his shrivelled-up mushroom it was nothing of substance.
As COVID-19 was on the decline for now in Victoria and therefore Australia it was on the rise in other countries, some of which were yet to have really ever have received a respite of serious note like the United Kingdom where I had loved ones.
I was consumed with the last week of my secondment but in the weeks ahead it would come to pass to new waves in Europe and the Americas far worse than those experienced in March and April would come to pass.
For now here were some of the stats as reported by Crikey on the second of October.
For the month of September 23 countries recorded zero deaths up from 21 in August.
Total deaths in September across the world were 158, 543 down form 173,778 in August. For Crikey that was progress albeit it was different for each region.
In Europe deaths per million were 7.8 in Switzerland, 6.8 in Italy, 5.5 in Ireland and 2.4 in Germany. All of these countries had suffered deaths per million per month above 70 in April. Ireland and Italy were above 230.
COVID-19 was already making its presence felt again in France and Spain. In September there were 1,321 death at twenty per million in the former and 2,697 deaths at 58 per million in the latter.
Also North, South and Central America were now far and away the worst hit. Six American nations with 9.9 per cent of the world’s population accounted for more than half of the 158,543 global deaths due to COVID-19. They were the USA (24,134 deaths), Brazil (22,581), Mexico (13,005), Argentina (8,439), Colombia (6,634) and Ecuador (4,799). Of the 16 countries with the most deaths per million, 13 were in the Americas.
The article noted that data, “only as reliable as the agencies in each source country. We must accept that several nations cannot report infections and deaths accurately, including some which showed zero deaths in September.“
These include poor African countries Burundi, Eritrea and Niger which have basic health facilities, and China which, with 1.44 billion people spread across 9.6 million square kilometres, seems unlikely to have had no deaths at all.
Five advanced nations which suffered no fatalities in September were Estonia, Iceland, Luxemborg, Singapore and Taiwan. Malaysia only recorded nine deaths and New Zealand three.
The following countries Finland, Latvia, Cyprus, Norway, Lithuania, Germany, Slovakia, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Uruguay recorded deaths below three per million.
Six countries lost more than 30 to 70 people per million in September, Bulgaria, Bahrain, Oman, Spain, Romania and Israel.
Only three countries fared worse in the same month, America with 73 deaths per million, Chile with 76 per million and Argentina with 186 per million.
Just three countries fared worse than 70 deaths per million: the US, Chile and Argentina (186).
In Australia there had been 234 deaths in the same month which equalled out to 9.2 people per million. In August 455 deaths had equated to 17.8 per million. Of fifty four highly developed nations Australia ranked 29th last month just outside the top half.
The United States of America ranked 52nd out of those 54 advanced nations with 23,134 deaths at a rate of 73 per million. Chile with 1,452 deaths equalled a rate of 76 deaths per million and Argentina with 8,439 deaths equalled the worst rate of 186 deaths per million in their population.
Crikey noted, “September confirms that most governments which are following the science, speaking the truth to their citizens and implementing appropriate preventative and remedial strategies are making progress. But not all. Random surges are still bedeviling several nations, despite their best efforts. Those regimes not yet following the science, not being straight with their people and not implementing the recommended policies are experiencing serious and worsening outcomes.“
As we began the next quarter there was hopeful signs in Victoria and troubling ones abroad. Europe and North America were about to head into winter too.
On the 2nd of October the World Health Organisation reported there had been 34,216,443 confirmed cases globally with a 324,784.
On the 29th of September we had reached over one million deaths globally with 1,002,734 with a daily increase of 3,896.
On the 2nd of October there had been 1,013,318 deaths globally with a daily increase of 6,274.
In China there had been 91,082 reported cases with a daily increase of 21. There had been 4,746 deaths with a daily increase of none. I mean that is really something extraordinary.
In Fiji there had been 32 confirmed cases so far and two deaths.
In Cambodia there had been 278 confirmed cases with a daily increase of one. There had been zero deaths reported which was still the case.
In Rwanda there had been 4,843 confirmed cases with a daily increase of three. There had been 29 deaths in the country.
In Malaysia there had been 11,484 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 260. Malaysia was about to see a sharp rise in case numbers. There had been 136 deaths in the country.
In Norway there had been 14,027 with a daily increase of 113. There had been 274 Norwegians die from COVID-19.
In Australia there had been 27,096 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 18. There had been 888 deaths with a daily increase of two.
In Ireland there had been 36,597 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 442. There had been 1,806 deaths with a daily increase of two.
In Singapore there had been 57,784 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 19. There had been 27 deaths. Singapore who were noted for managing COVID-19 better than most during the dark days of March eventually saw case numbers rise in April and continue to be of significance through to July. Their highest daily increase in cases numbers was 1,426 on the 21st of April. There had been a daily spike of 908 cases on the 6th of August but throughout September there had been no daily briefings that reported more than double digits. They had never reported more than two deaths in a daily brief.
In Japan there had been 84,215 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 652. There had been 1,578 deaths with a daily increase of seven.
In Oman there had 98,585 confirmed cases with no daily increase. There had been 935 deaths with no daily increase.
In Morocco there had been 126,044 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 2,391. There had been 2,229 deaths with a daily increase of 35.
In Canada there had been 158,758 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 1,797. There had been 9,297 with a daily increase of six.
In Israel there had been 247,411 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 9,078. There had been 1,605 deaths with a daily increase of 37.
In Indonesia there had been 291,182 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 4,174. There had been 10,856 with a daily increase of 116.
In Pakistan there had been 313,431 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 625. There had been 6,499 with a daily increase of 15.
In Italy there had been 317,409 confirmed cases with a daily increase 2,548. There had been 35,918 deaths with a daily increase of 24.
In Turkey there had been 320,070 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 1,407. There had been 8,262 deaths with a daily increase of 67. Throughout October, Turkey would see a steady rise in numbers before experiencing an even sharper increase.
In the United Kingdom there had been 460,182 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 6,914. There had been 42,202 deaths with a daily increase of 59.
In Iran there had been 461,044 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 3,825. There had been 26,380 deaths with a daily increase of 211.
In Chile there had been 464,750 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 1,759. There had been 12,822 deaths with a daily increase of 81.
In France there had been 552,249 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 13,959. There had been 31,808 deaths with a daily increase of 62.
In South Africa there had been 676,084 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 1,745. There had been 16,866 deaths with a daily increase of 132. South Africa suffered worst in the middle of the year when a lot of countries were in between their first and subsequent waves. Their highest daily increase of cases was 13,944 on the 25th of July. Their highest daily amount of reported deaths was 572 on the 23rd of July.
In Argentina there had been 751,001 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 14,392. There had been 16,937 deaths with a daily increase of 418. On the 3rd of October there had been 3,351 deaths reported in the daily report.
In Spain there had been 810,703 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 11,124. There had been 34,225 deaths with a daily increase of 145.
In Russia there had been 1,194,643 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 9,412. There had been 21,077 deaths with a daily increase of 186.
In Brazil there had been 4,810,935 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 33,413. There had been 143,952 deaths with a daily increase of 1,031.
In India there had been 6,394,068 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 81,484. Numbers were going down in India but they had been severely high. 97,894 had been their highest daily case increase on the 17th of September. There had been 99,773 deaths with a daily increase of 1,095. The next day on the 3rd of October, India would surpass 100,000 deaths due to COVID-19 with 100,842.
In the United States of America there had been 7,160,476 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 44,985. There had been 205,666 deaths with a daily increase of 1,024.