Doctor and activist


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Tag: NSW Government

Toll Doesn’t Pay Toll

8 October 2021

Trucking giant Toll Holdings tells its drivers to avoid toll roads as they are not worth the time savings. It might be noted that Air Freight to Melbourne is actually taken by trucks, the only thing being sky high is the prices.The toll roads have the price levels befitting a private monopoly of Transurban. They were sold as lessening congestion. They have taken the money and now we have done nothing for our rail network. There was an article in the SMH of 29/9/21 and also this one:

www.truckandbus.net.au/toll-says-no-to-tolls/

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Please Sign the Petition to stop the COVID Lockdown Ending Prematurely

4 September 2021

The Governments, Federal and NSW State, seem hell bent on ending the COVID lockdown.

Morrison stuffed up the vaccine and Gladys stuffed up the lock-down.

Now Morrison is talking about ‘Freedom’ and ‘One Australia’ showing that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.  Gladys is talking about the need for more deaths as if it is an inevitable consequence of the Delta strain and that nothing can be done to mitigate the situation . She is talking about bed numbers and trying to conjure ICU nurses out of thin air.  The fact that the State public hospital system is always at full capacity with beds in corridors in ED is well known to any health professional who has any dealings with the system and is about to bite us big time.

So what should be done?  The lockdown can only buy time to improve the vaccine rollout, but this is still very much worth doing.  Figures from NSW that I posted last week suggested that vaccination reduced the chance of being in ICU by about 97%. Vaccinated people can still get and transmit COVID as it seems that the antibodies are not in secretions, so it is not until the virus invades that the body starts to fight it.  But as the disease is milder, vaccinated people will cough less, spread  the virus for less time and be less sick themselves.

NSW has given about 7.2 million doses to a population of 8.2 million people.  For everyone in NSW to have 2 doses it would take about 16 million doses.  If we assume that about 4% of people are anti-vaxxers and want to take their chances, and 16% are children under 12 for whom the vaccines are not approved,  then 80% of the total population should be vaccinated, which will take about 13 million doses.  At the current rate of a million doses a week, that should take about 6 weeks from now.

The government already has a huge debt and will avoid a lot of future costs by prevention rather than ‘cure’.  A support package for those who cannot work is naturally needed also. There was a full page ad in the SMH last week with a number of businesses urging the Government to stick to the opening up timetable of the Doherty Report.  Given that the Doherty Report recommendations were based on a far lower number of cases and it was assumed that what cases there were could be traced and were not Delta variants, the report needs to be reconsidered. Perhaps because it is from a reputable research organisation and that it is a long read it has not been seriously challenged, The Government has used it to try to justify the early opening.

One of the disappointing things in my life has been the revelation that some people really do not care a fig about anyone as long as they are personally OK.  I was initially shocked to find that the Tobacco industry really did not care how many people died as long as they could make money.  I found that the asbestos industry was the same, and then that most businesses skimp on safety on the principle that ‘we take the money, you take the risk’  There has also been the worrying trend, which I still link to Harvard management theory  in the 1980s that managers can manage anything, and just need to buy any expertise that they do not have.  Often that do not even know what they do not know, so they neglect to ask, do not know who or what to ask, or find the advice inconvenient.    And sometimes they put ads in the paper.

We also cannot assume that those in Government know or care or that their primary concern will be for the welfare of their constituents.  Presumably their unlikely re-election is what they are focused on.

So please sign the petition to stop the early opening- it currently all we can do.

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Irresponsible COVID Policies will Destroy the Federal and NSW Liberals

29 August 2021

Ok. I am making a prediction.  The totally irresponsible Liberal COVID policies will destroy both the Morrison government and the NSW Liberals.

Why?  The strategy of unlocking with only 70% of over 16 adults vaccinated is totally irresponsible.  It is true that less children will get a bad infection and die, but some will- perhaps 1 in 100,000.  But if a few million children go back to school, that is still a significant number.  The unvaccinated children will also get infected and go home to their families and infect them. Every parent who has had kids start at day-care knows how many more colds they got that year. 

As far as the adults are concerned, if there are still 30% of them unvaccinated, that is a huge number to make an epidemic.  The hospitals always manage with very slim margins of capacity.  How many beds are in corridors and how many trolleys in ED normally? Quite a few. Now they are stopping non-urgent surgery, but these cases are not trivial, and cancer patients may well die of their delays.

But they key point is that the hospital system will be overwhelmed by cases and that those cases  would not be necessary if the government held its nerve and  continued the lockdown until all those who wanted the vaccine had it- upwards of 95% perhaps.  If NSW is vaccinating a million people a week and has 8 million people needing 2 doses each, that is 16 weeks, less the fact that almost half the adult doses has been given.  12 weeks might be a realistic estimate, better if the vaccine can be hurried further.  As far as the children are concerned, I recall in the 1950s when polio vaccine came- we were simply lined up in the school corridor at lunch time and everyone was done.

The cost of vaccination compared to the cost of hospitalisations does not bear thinking about. It is also probably that the cost of the hospitalisations and time lost will exceed the cost of a decent home support system- but Morrison will not even consider this, still talking about tax cuts before the election, as the national debt balloons to record levels.  Do the rich really need this?

Morrison also wants to force states that have almost no COVID to open up. Qld and WA, having isolated themselves, controlled COVID and given themselves quite a remarkably normal quality of life do not want to be forced to open to NSW and Victoria, where COVID is frankly out of control.  Morrison needs Qld seats to get re-elected.  If he forces Qld to open and the pandemic spreads there as it will, his chances of re-election is nil.

Gladys Berejeklian is now talking about vaccinations, trying to distract attention from the number of cases and is systematically getting us used to the idea that since we now can never get to zero cases, we have to open up, and might as well do it now as later.  This is not true, if now we are not vaccinated, and later we will be.  She is blamed for the Delta virus escape as she did not mandate vaccination for limo drivers who ferried people from the airport to the quarantine hotels and then was slow to lock down Bondi when the infection escaped in June. So now to say it is all inevitable and unlock with what amounts to a very low vaccination rate is likely to lead to very big epidemic, the health system being overwhelmed, a lot of unnecessary deaths and yes, Gladys losing the election.

And Gladys does not like Morrison either, so she had better throw him under a bus before he does it to her.

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NSW Govt tries to Blame Limousine Driver for New Sydney COVID Outbreak

26 June 2021

The pathetic efforts of Gladys Berejeklian to blame the limousine driver for the latest COVID outbreak, which has now caused a city-wide lockdown and an increasing number of cases needs to be judged on its demerits.  Obviously there should have been regulations that anyone on the front line had to be vaccinated, and surely driving a limo from the airport to the quarantine hotel is ‘front line’. 

She said that she ‘could not control the subcontractor of the subcontractor.’  Actually, she could have. Now she has the regulation that she should have had months ago- front line staff have to be vaccinated.

Of course, the reason for the spread of the virus from the Melbourne quarantine hotels months ago was the fact that the support staff had many jobs, because they were not permanent and had shifts everywhere.  The same problem occurred with transmission in Victorian Nursing homes- casual shifts.  Now it is Sydney drivers. 

The farmers are moaning that they will not be able to pick the fruit without the visas for backpackers, foreign students and Pacific Islanders.  Skilled migrants?  I do not think so.  It is about sub award wages and poor conditions.  If Australia is a rich country we need also to remember our roots as the country of a ‘fair go’. If top wage are high by world standards, so they should be at the bottom. If wages were high enough Aussies would pick the fruit, and  cleaners and limousine drivers would have regular jobs and award wages.

But here was the NSW Government trying to blame the limo driver for the outbreak.  But today’s Sun Herald has the Police Commissioner saying that the driver had committed no crime.   Neither has the NSW Government- they are just incompetent, but no one seems to blame them.

www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-17/nsw-quarantine-worker-may-have-breached-health-order/100223120

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