Lockdown Australia now!

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Known Australian Covid-19 infections are increasing exponentially at roughly 25% per day. Mitigation measures to date have demonstrated NO significant effect on this rate of growth. Hubei province in China went into lockdown with fewer cases than Australia currently has. The longer we delay lockdown the longer the infection rate of Australians will continue this exponential growth.

The heartening fact amongst the worldwide chaos is that China, which was recording more than 3,000 cases as recently as February, is reporting almost no new cases now. There will be no clearer evidence than this for a long time. Lockdowns work. To quote Bill Gates “If a country does a good job with testing and ‘shut down’ then within 6-10 weeks they should see very few cases and be able to open back up.” Thinking we will save the economy by delaying lockdown is misguided and simply wrong. 

Epidemics grow for a simple reason – how often people mix. This rate fluctuates with factors like population density, contact between age groups, and, in the case of deriving accurate numbers, how many people are being tested. The University of Southampton has reported that most effective measures are isolation of the infected, social distancing (no public events), working from home and closing schools. These measures are even more important than travel restrictions at this stage. Look at the example of Denmark which has seen its exponential growth rate curbed by full lockdown.

Our response has NOT been ‘proportionate’ for the simple reason we do not know how many true cases there are. There are likely to be 10 times as many as known cases. It is the unknown cases going to our workplaces, our restaurants and bars, our cafes, and yes our children’s schools that are causing the exponential rise in cases.

We are blessed with more access to uncrowded outdoor space than most other countries. We need to use it very carefully. We want to do the right thing but most of us have not been properly informed or directed and need clear rules and ENFORCEMENT of those rules from government. We need government to give us better advice and clearer guarantees of financial support so people can actually stay away from work.

We, the Australian people, are ready to LOCKDOWN NOW to stop coronavirus destroying our health system, our economy and our lives. We are ready to stop all non-essential work and travel and be confined to our neighbourhoods. We realise there will be an extended period of deprivation which all Australians will suffer. This is our generation’s war and we are ready to show we are resilient enough. We are ready to be foot soldiers but need strong and decisive leadership to guide us and ensure we do what it takes to STOP the epidemic.

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