ON THE MOVE
NSW’s rapidly developing COVID-19 outbreak has leaked into Victoria. A Victorian family of four brought the virus back from NSW after holidaying there, while intrastate furniture removalists made two deliveries in Melbourne while infected, The Age reports. ABC has broken down everything we know about the removalists, who also travelled through South Australia.
In Victoria, three new exposure sites, including a supermarket, service station and apartment block, were added last night, ABC reports. Residents of the Ariele Apartments in Maribyrnong, one of the locations the removalists visited, are locked down. Residents have been ordered to not leave their buildings unless they are receiving a COVID-19 test, or in an emergency, the Herald Sun says. Leaving the apartment to get vaccinated is not allowed.
BY THE NUMBERS?
There were 112 new local cases in NSW on Monday, with 46 of those having been in the community while infectious. It was also the first time in NSW that daily local cases exceeded 100, ABC reports.
Director of the Burnet Institute in Melbourne Brendan Crabb says new modelling suggested NSW’s lockdown would not be enough, and would instead cause a plateau of 30 infections a day. He told The SMH that stage four restrictions could reduce the cases in six weeks — i.e. a night curfew, a 5km limit on travel, and all non-essential retailers to close. The last hard lockdown in NSW, which began last year on March 23, lasted six weeks, as ABC reports. Crisis funding is set to be boosted in NSW in a joint state-federal effort to help businesses stay afloat amid the lockdown, AFR reports.
Meanwhile, four people were fined after they hopped on a 34.5-metre superyacht in a Sydney (a hotspot since June 21) and tried to enter Queensland. All tested negative to COVID-19, The SMH reports, but it beggars belief, really.
ARMED AND READY?
Younger south-west Sydney residents have been urged to speak to their doctor about getting AstraZeneca, The SMH says. The message, from NSW’s peak medical bodies, came after 84 cases were recorded in the area yesterday. Gladys Berejiklian announced people in their 40s and 50s are free to get the AstraZeneca jab at vaccination clinics, Guardian Australia reports. People have also been urged to fast-track their second dose — The SMH published a great explainer on what that means.
Only 11% of the eligible population over the age of 16 is fully vaccinated with both doses, while 33% have had one dose, Guardian Australia says. If you’d like to dive deeper, ABC has been charting the vaccination rollout in Australia in an easy-to-understand way. ABC modelling suggests, at our current pace of roughly 894,344 doses a week, we can expect to reach the 40 million doses needed to fully vaccinate Australia’s adult population in mid-March 2022.
A new spike in cases and deaths worldwide is being driven by the “scorching pace” of the Delta variant, which has now been detected in 104 countries, World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom said.
The Guardian paints the bleak picture of the rapid spread:
In Greece and Spain, cases have doubled in the past week. Nearly half of Portugal is under a night time curfew. Germany has seen a 32% increase in cases. Cases in France have surged by 65%. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte apologised after a lifted lockdown saw cases increase sevenfold. Experts say the Delta variant could account for 70% of all cases in Europe by early next month, rising to 90% by the beginning of September.
WHO’s Adhanom is urging Pfizer and Moderna to stop focusing on the delivery of boosters to widely-vaccinated countries and instead send vaccines to low and middle-income countries, ABC reports. Australia has fallen behind Europe and North America in securing more supplies of the Pfizer vaccine, The SMH says.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE
Looking for a little escapism? Medieval French coins have been found in Poland, in a mysterious scavenger hunt that may have unearthed a long-lost booty once extorted by Vikings, The New York Times says.
The coins were minted more than 1100 years ago and around 1600km away in what is now known as France. A Polish archaeologist leading the hunt says the silver coins could be part of an early episode in Parisian history: when an invading Viking army laid siege to Paris in 845, and was paid off with more than two tons (that’s 1814kg!) of silver.
The whereabouts of the ransom has always been a mystery, and if these coins are proven to be part of it, they would be the first physical evidence of the siege beyond what was written down. Either way, it’s a thrilling glimpse into humanity’s history.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Let me just say for the record, as a politician, the vaccine rollout in Australia is a shit show, Patricia.
There was something rather unnerving about the way Shorten enunciated “shit show” as two distinct words on ABC’s Afternoon Briefing with Patricia Karvelas. PK seemed a tad unnerved too, responding to the former Labor leader (and current shadow minister for the NDIS) that he had just sworn on national television.
“It’s less untrue to know that Aboriginal people trapped fish, grew vegetables and used multiple hut types than to think they wandered the land like daytrippers who’d lost their luggage, looking for a discarded sandwich somewhere. But it would be far better to teach the autonomy and validity of pre-1788 Aboriginal culture on its own terms, and try and convey something of the “thick difference” of it to modernity.
“One can’t really see that the children’s version of Dark Emu should be taught, and [Bruce] Pascoe — a passionate man who has seen the Aboriginal people of Australia with an eye that is generous and loving, but is still the settler’s eye — needs to rethink the text. Even if he does, the existing story is out and about now. One hell of a fish trap for our slippery times.”
“Knewz laboured on in beta form for the next 20 months, a long time for such testing. When in action, it pulled headlines from News Corp’s own stable of publications in the US, UK and Australia, as well as from hundreds of third-party news outlets including CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, The New York Times, NBC News and the New York Post, as well Murdoch’s Fox News.
“But last Friday, News Corp finally pulled the plug on Knewz. By the time of its demise, the fleet of big-name media links and headline sources (à la Google) had been reduced to a handful of News Corp businesses such as The Wall Street Journal and New York Post, the US edition of fading UK title The Sun, News’ financial news website MarketWatch and, oddly, News’ real estate listings website realtor.com plus Mansion Global, a luxury homes website.”
“The latest controversy is an ad campaign targeted at Sydneysiders showing a young woman fighting to breathe in hospital and telling people to book their vaccinations — despite the fact under-40s are not yet eligible for the preferred vaccine. It comes days after Morrison said the government was seeking to be ‘as sensitive’ as it possibly could around young people’s vaccine access.
“Trust in government typically grows during crises. Support for Morrison soared during the early days of the pandemic. However, while trust for other leads abroad stays strong, support for Morrison has been in freefall as he refuses to lead by example, resorting to continuous lies, falsehoods and misinformation campaigns.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Almost one in three globally go hungry during pandemic — UN (The Guardian)
Prominent Lawyer in Discussions to Represent Britney Spears (The New York Times)
Why the federal government’s COVID-19 fear appeal to Sydney residents won’t work — Jane Speight (The Conversation): “It’s also unethical to use distressing campaigns when many people, particularly younger people, are already experiencing considerable mental health impacts due to the pandemic. When many don’t have the financial security to stay at home. When they are genuinely confused by the risks associated with the vaccines, and many remain unable to access the vaccine. When the reality is the Australian health-care system has the capacity (currently) to ensure no-one would be left alone in hospital gasping for breath.
“And when the NSW government itself has done a 180-degree turnaround in its messaging in a single day from: we may need to give up on lockdown and live with the Delta variant to NSW ‘can’t live reasonably’ with the Delta variant — and now expects a similarly rapid U-turn from the public.”
Lockdown lessons in a tale of two US states — Adam Creighton (The Australian) ($): “As Sydney prepares for a further extension of lockdown it should be clear that NSW is no Florida. Victoria may be the California of Australia in its draconian response to Covid-19, but its northern neighbour is much the same. It’s splitting hairs to say locking down at 15 rather than five new cases is much of a difference, especially in a global context.
“It’s hard to imagine even woke California producing a propaganda video of a young woman struggling to breathe in hospital. California based its lockdowns on the number of new cases per 100,000; on its measure Sydney wouldn’t even be in the minimal risk tier.”
What science has to say about talking to yourself in lockdown — Charles Fernyhough (The Guardian): “These functions of self-talk have been a growing focus of research in recent years. Known as private speech in its out-loud form, self-talk is particularly noticeable in children speaking to themselves when playing or thinking through a task. Its silent form, inner speech, is the conversation many of us report having with ourselves when we are going about our daily business.
“This internal, silent version appears to develop from the out-loud form, as we internalise the exchanges we have with others into conversations with the self. Those conversations gradually become more compressed and abbreviated, so that talking to ourselves is more like a note-form version of what would otherwise be fully spelled-out sentences.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall is speaking about his government’s policy priorities for the year ahead of CEDA’s “State of the State” event.
Author John Byron launches his new book, The Tribute, a crime novel that explores modern masculinity and misogyny, at The Collective in Carlton.
The Wheeler Centre is hosting a panel entitled “Ahead of the Game: Sport, Storytelling and Symbolism”, which will explore how sport can become more inclusive for athletes, sports journalists and fans. The event will be Auslan interpreted.
The Australia China Business Council and the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations will host an industry summit exploring agribusiness opportunities and challenges with greater China.
Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar will present at the Economic Update Breakfast at Box Hill Golf Club.
Western Australia’s Minister for Innovation Don Punch will launch “Cluster Development”, joined by Chief Scientist of WA, Peter Klinken, which explores how clustering can maximise the state’s growth opportunities.