Australia Covid Update

For a lot of the time (heading towards two years) that I’ve been posting these graphs, Australia has either looked like a footnote at the bottom or (like my last post) I’ve shown it just with other countries with low case numbers. Well, now Australia is competing on the international stage but not in a good way.

There is still a way to go to catch up but the graphs showing daily confirmed cases is way up there with the famous countries.

This huge growth in cases is also a known underestimate as access to PCR tests has become difficult because of the systems being overwhelmed.

At a less statistical level, there are a lot of people sick and the impact of people being unwell or having to self-isolate is impacting hospitals. Lots of workplaces are currently disrupted and there’s a quasi-unofficial lockdown impact in some cities (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jan/13/code-red-melbourne-businesses-say-omicron-wave-more-damaging-than-lockdown )

It is summer here and the main school holidays last until the end of January, so schools would be closed anyway but there’s not going to be sufficient time to get younger people vaccinated before the start of the school year.


32 responses to “Australia Covid Update”

  1. Something something “open up” something something “open borders” something “economy” something.

    (We here in WA are busy bracing for impact, because Omicron has snuck across the border and been quietly circulating through the community here as well).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A personal perspective on testing: I started displaying mild symptoms in the afternoon of January 2 while in a car quite a long way from everywhere else. First thing in the morning of January 3 we were in the queue of cars at a drive-through testing centre in a small town in NSW when they opened for the morning and only had a 20 minute wait to have swabs professionally inserted in our nostrils.

    On Friday 7 January myself and Mrs Dalliard were scheduled to fly back to Melbourne. Thursday evening I was still mildly symptomatic and she was feeling fine but neither of us had heard from the PCR tests. I took a RAT and got a very strongly positive result* so we cancelled the flight and returned to our separate rooms.

    On the advice of a very helpful phone support person at the ACT department of health we assumed the test of the 3rd would be positive if the results ever arrived and quarantined for 7 days from then. After testing negative on subsequent RATs we returned home on the 12th.

    At around 11pm on January 12 I received a text message from the PCR pathology people confirming that my test on the 3rd was positive. So a few hours short of 10 days from swabbing to results in a state that requires 7 days of isolation for positive results. And since them things have gotten worse.

    We’re both fine. I’m triple vaxxed, Mrs Dalliard is double. I’ve had colds worse than these symptoms. I got to relax and enjoy some quality reading time. The Expanse novels absolutely stick the landing.

    * The instructions for the RAT said “The test line for a sample with a high viral load may become visible within 10 minutes or as soon as the sample passes the test line area.” The result was almost instant.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Australia has indeed received a crash course in ‘living with the virus’. It has not turned out the way the right wing numpties expected.

    We find instead that ‘living with the virus’ requires substantial increases in funding of health systems so they can cope with the extra load on a sustained basis, and will require businesses to employ extra staff so that they continue to operate whilst some of their personnel are ‘living with the virus’.

    You will not be surprised that supermarket shelves are emptying, there are staff shortages everywhere and all those small government advocates are again blaming politicians for not ‘doing something’. Sadly, trained health professionals and trained backup employees do not magically appear when one wishes for them. One must plan, raise taxes (or payroll from the shareholders/owners) to achieve these aims.

    Australia is fortunate that our Government has tons of money set aside for imaginary submarines, barely functioning jet planes and superannuated tanks, so eschewing these shiny weapons of mass destruction might get us started on funding these needs. I’m not holding my breath though. It has taken a week not to make the decision to boot out a rich and deluded tennis player out of the country for not getting vaccinated, despite it being plain as day that a visa should never have been granted in the first place.

    The Australian government’s superpower is the clusterfuck after all. .

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Best wishes to you & Mrs Dalliard that it is as mild as possible & you both have a full & speedy recovery.

    I am watching events unfold in Australia with interest & some anxiety (I have family in Melbourne). So far New Zealand hasn’t recorded any Omicron in the community, but that is coming. The government has shortened the 6 months between 2nd & 3rd Pfizer doses to 4 months and will be rolling out vaccinations for 5-11 year olds from Monday. It does feel like a footrace now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Not a hotel. Mrs D’s parents’ home. Nice big backyard in outer suburban Canberra. Very relaxing, if a bit dull after a week. Lots of food delivery options and nearby relatives willing to do grocery and RAT runs. Both the in-laws are doing fine too. One is coughing a bit and the other is too stubborn to get infected.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. About the same here. Large problems with many people getting mild diseases at the same time. Never before during the pandemic has there been so many I know getting infected at the same time.

    Still, patients in intensive care is going down while cases are going up. Many of those in hospitals are in for other reasons, only finding out they are infected during routine checks. So vaccines seem to be working. While unvaccinated are still a problem, most will probably be infected in the coming months.

    Feels like the pandemic is winding down, at least in severity.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s the same here. Lots of cases and people getting infected, but much fewer serious cases requiring hospitalisation. Daily death numbers are still fairly high (though far lower than last winter), but that’s mostly people who were infected at the height of the delta wave, many of them unvaccinated. Also, a lot of our covid cases in hospital (and probably some of the deaths as well) are people who are hospitalised for other reasons and test positive for covid.

      One thing where Sweden is ahead of us (and has been all along) is that you don’t have a government that is given to blind panic, whereas Germany’s new government is even worse in that regard than the last one. I don’t think I’ve ever disliked a complete German government as much as this one. Secretary of Culture Claudia Roth is the only person in this government I still like.

      We’re also having an increasing number of protests all over the country from people who are fed up with anti-covid measures and just want their normal lives back. The politicians and the media are dismissing this protesters as “Nazis”, even though many of the towns where there are protests are not exactly known as Nazi hotspots. I doubt that places like Vechta or Stuhr or Bassum and other small towns have more than five Nazis. However, the far right is using those protests to recruit people and since the other parties are dismissing and belittling those protesters, they may well succeed. This is really dangerous and a lot of people are losing their faith in politics right now.

      It’s also troubling if – like me – you’re normally on the left, but are opposed to many covid measures.

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  7. Then agency I work for had set a return to the office date of July 31, but the recent wave of infections caused them to rethink that. The return to the office date has been postponed indefinitely. I am okay with this – given the option I would telework full-time indefinitely. I also have an immuno-compromised daughter who cannot get vaccinated yet, so I was not particularly happy about the idea of returning to commuting and working in the city.

    Liked by 2 people

      • We actually technically had a return-to-office last year here in Toronto (in a hybrid home/office mode where you were expected to be in the office at least six days a month) but that obviously got cancelled again this month.

        That never applied to me because I don’t have a company-issued laptop yet, and I’m definitely not carting a desktop computer back and forth on public transit for an hour and a half commute. And my laptop has been held up in supply-chain issues.

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  8. I have no idea about the real political calculations that caused the Minister to deport Djokovic, but I will say that it feels good to see an arrogant, wealthy person who, it seems, falsified docs and lied on official visa forms finally held to some sort of accountability like the rest of us.

    Liked by 2 people

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