New Cases of Covid-19 in Victoria, as at June 27, 2020

The Dept of Health & Human Services [VIC] publishes Covid-19 case data, but it’s not wildly accessible. There are no graphs or charts, and the breakdown of infections – i.e. the source of the infections – is only available on the day of the media release. In other words, it’s buried.

I don’t know whether this is a deliberate attempt not to ‘worry’ people, or simply typical DHHS bureaucracy. Either way, the messaging is not getting out there, so I trawled through the data and created a simple Excel spreadsheet.

First up, the raw data for MAY, 2020:

Next, the raw data for JUNE, 2020:

As you can see, I wanted to show the source of the infections, but gave up when the data was too hard to find. Apologies, but I do have a life.

Now for some charts from that data. The first one is a line graph showing the ups and downs of infections [in Victoria] for all of May and June.

This chart gives a decent overview, but the data is squashed up because you can’t fit almost 60 days onto a small chart. Despite this, you can clearly see three things:

  1. Victoria only had two days on which we recorded zero new cases: June 6 and June 9.
  2. Victoria never really got rid of the virus. That was why Premier Dan Andrews resisted Scott Morrison’s push to reopen as quickly as possible. Sadly, he didn’t resist enough. Or Scott Morrison proved to be a bigger bully than expected.
  3. Apart from a few small dips, new cases in Victoria have been rising steadily since June 9. This is in stark contrast to May. In May, new cases fluctuated up and down, but the overall trajectory was down. In other words, the lockdown was working.

The next two graphs show this more clearly. The first is for May:

The second graph is for June:

What’s even more worrying than that upward trajectory for June is that the number of new cases has doubled in just four days – i.e from 20 on June 24 to 41 on June 27.

All up, we’ve had 10 consecutive days of double digit new cases. 10 days in a row. And in the latest news, a nurse working at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, one of the biggest in Melbourne, has tested positive for Covid-19.

Scott Morrison may believe that we can control this virus, but that is pure, arrogant bullshit. The numbers don’t lie. We can’t ‘control’ this virus any more than we could control the bushfires that devastated two states just a few months ago. Remember them? Remember how good Scomo was at ‘fixing’ the inferno? Yes, I thought so.

The truth is that nothing has really changed [for the better] since we originally went into lockdown:

  • Despite all the hype about the contact tracing app, I’ve heard nothing new about it since it was revealed that it doesn’t work that well with iPhones.
  • We have some more intensive care units, and more medical personnel trained to use them, but overseas data has shown that even the most sophisticated health care system can be overwhelmed when the virus surges out of control.
  • We have more PPE [personal protective equipment], but I don’t know whether we have enough for medical personnel in a surge. Pretty sure we don’t have enough for medical personnel and the general public if shit hits the fan.

So where exactly is Australia’s magic bullet supposed to come from?

One option that does work is the mandatory wearing of masks in public – to protect us from those who are infected but don’t know they are. Masks stop them from breathing on us.

South East Asian countries, like Thailand, that have mandated the wearing of masks have almost ridiculously low infection rates. Here is Oz, however, people still give you funny looks if you wear a mask in public, so I guess masks are a no-go.

So what else is there?

Well, there is testing. If there were random, compulsory testing [like in booze buses] we’d get a much better idea of how many asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spreaders there are, but it seems that testing is a) voluntary and b) mostly looking for people who are already sick. People who fear they may be forced into self-quarantine for 14 days are refusing to be tested. The irony is that they could well be the very people we most need to test.

When it comes to therapeutics, there are a couple of existing drugs that have an anti-inflammatory effect and may reduce the number of covid-19 deaths, but they’re still largely untested.

And that’s about it. Short of another draconian lockdown, we don’t really have any effective way of controlling the virus, which leads me to think that our success the first time around was due more to luck than good management. Sadly, I fear that our reopening won’t be as lucky because the ‘stages’ are based on the idea that all of us will ‘do the right thing’. Yeah, right. -facepalm-

The reality is that the messaging has been wrong from the start. People were told that they wouldn’t be badly affected by the virus, so now all they can see is that they’ve been made poor, bored and unhappy just to save a few oldies who were going to die anyway. ‘Eff that… Little wonder then that when the leash is loosened there’s a rush of me,me,me behaviour.

If our leaders really had wanted to reopen ‘safely’, they should have started with an education campaign that focused on the reality of the virus and what it does to people. Then they should have made any reopening, no matter how minor, contingent on the lack of new cases. Clear rules with clear targets.

Finally, they should have made it very clear that the instant people stop obeying the rules, the whole town/state/country will go back to lockdown. And when the inevitable happened [like toddlers pushing the boundaries], the consequences should have been followed through. Again, clear rules and clear consequences.

Instead, we’ve had a wishy-washy ‘plan’, mixed messages all over the place, and media showing how hard it is to live with the lockdown instead of how hard it is to die of the virus… And yes, ABC and Ita Buttrose, I’m looking at you. Since when did the people’s ABC pander to the likes of Scott Morrison?

To be honest, I think we should have had another Grim Reaper campaign:

The Grim Reaper advertisement

Right at the end, the voice over says ‘Prevention is the only cure we’ve got’. Sounds familiar, don’t you think?

There’s been a lot of controversy about the Grim Reaper strategy, but the truth is it worked. It made us aware of both the danger and what we had to do to stay alive.

Overkill? I don’t know. If we act like toddlers, shouldn’t we be treated like toddlers?

Sadly, none of the possibilities I’ve outlined have actually happened. We had a poorly organised, draconian lockdown that resulted in massive queues outside every Centrelink office in the country. And we’ve had big chunks of society thrown under the economic bus, but in terms of ‘management’, that’s about it. Now, I fear we’re having a reopening that’s being ‘managed’ as well as you’d expect.

We could have reopened safely, but Scott Morrison didn’t do a single thing to make a safe reopening possible. He just laid out his ‘plan’ and expected everyone to make it happen. Yeah, the smirk may be gone but #ScottyFromMarketing still knows bugger all about human nature.

Buckle up for stage two my fellow Victorians. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Meeks

About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

49 responses to “New Cases of Covid-19 in Victoria, as at June 27, 2020

  • D. Wallace Peach

    My husband and I keep a lot of our own charts too, Andrea. I just don’t understand why mask-wearing is such an issue in the US and seems to be in Australia too. It’s an easy way to keep this thing under control and there’s evidence to prove it. I don’t get it. It’s so unkind! The virus is going crazy in the US, of course, because half of the people here live in an alternate universe. I heard a healthcare worker on TV say the best thing yet, “If you don’t like wearing a mask, you’re going to hate wearing a ventilator.”
    Says is all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Wow…WOW! That is such a brilliant thing to say. I’m going to put that on my Twitter profile. And yes, you’re absolutely right, Australians seem to have the same dislike of masks people in the US, although I don’t think there’s anything political about it. I fear it’s a kind of chauvinistic, ‘macho’ thing. Or perhaps my fellow Aussies are living in that same alternate universe.
      Stay well and…’Chart Keepers Unite’ πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  • Remembering Lives

    I meant thank you for your concern about my mother.⚘

    Liked by 1 person

  • Widdershins

    I’m so glad the border between us and the U.S. is staying firmly closed for the foreseeable future. (essential services/transport excepted) … there’s some leakage of idiots who are trying to say they’re ‘driving through to Alaska’ and getting caught with their pants down (figuratively speaking) but it’s most certainly a closed border … no matter how hard the Conservatives and ‘big business’ squeak about they’re hurting. I basically have no fucks left to give for any excuses anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  • anne54

    I was looking at the Health dept website this morning and was very surprised to see that one recent case is linked to the Ascot Vale Family cluster. That’s the first I have heard about a cluster here, but it sounds like it has been known about for a few days. As you say, understanding what is happening is difficult when we don’t get the information we need.
    I am hoping that the current rise of cases is that we are testing in much higher numbers. Control, of course, relies on being able to keep up with the contact tracing. Fingers crossed that they will not be overwhelmed. And then we are relying on those who are waiting for test results or have been tested positive to do the right thing and self-isolate.
    Thanks for bringing this into the light, Meeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Gah, I didn’t know about the Ascot Vale cluster either. DHHS is going to have to do a whole lot better. Remember how we’d get updates on the TV during the bushfires? I think we need something like that /now/.
      And definitely more testing. I mean I know we’re doing more than the other states anyway; we’ve been doing that for a while now. But it’s just not enough when we have community spread.
      Dan Andrews has to make this personal to young people somehow. And men. No offence guys but the stiff upper lip will get us all in trouble. 😦
      Hope your Fella and your Mum are both well. And you too, of course. πŸ™‚ -hugs-

      Liked by 1 person

      • anne54

        Yes, all well here.
        I agree that we need to make this more personal. We need young people to understand that it is not just older people who are at risk. Not as many younger people die, but some do get very sick and some die. And we have no idea of the long term health effects of the virus. So if people are not prepared to help save their grandparents and parents, then maybe they can think about the effect on themselves. You made the connection to the bushfires, where we had harrowing stories of how the fires affected people’s lives. I think we need similar stories of the virus.
        Anyway, off my soap-box, and time for a cup of tea. Stay well my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          I’m glad you’re all well. -hugs-
          Feel free to hop on that soapbox any time. I agree with you completely. The one thing I’d add, and this may be me seeing patterns that aren’t really there but…I can’t help wondering whether the emphasis on the effects of the lockdown rather than the virus itself was…deliberate. Public opinion can be formed in many ways, and omission can be a powerful tool.

          Like

  • Yvonne Hertzberger

    I fear we’ll spoke again here in Ontario, too, as folks are not obeying the rules – gathering at beaches, etc. Sad that the rest of us have to suffer because these few idiots won’t deny themselves a few pleasures temporarily.

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      Ugh, there too? Things really aren’t going well. I hope that people come to their senses before things get too bad. Stay well.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yvonne Hertzberger

      That should read “spike” not spoke.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Widdershins

      Our numbers are doing a bit of an upward slow crawl here in BC too, because of our reopening strategies, manageable so far, but we’ll have the big Canada Day weekend exposures leak into the figures over the next two weeks or so. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • acflory

        -sigh- I just don’t understand our respective governments. Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, every country that mandates masks in public has very little in the way of infections. Masks bloody well /work/. If we must reopen then why do we have to be suicidal about it????
        Sorry, rhetorical. Just so ticked off. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

        • Widdershins

          Mandatory mask wearing is slowly being introduced to our very reluctant population. Every time we go out, just a few more people are wearing ’em. I think it’s progress.
          The biggest hurdle seems to be the whole ‘I am the center of the universe, and everyone elses’ attitude that our culture has devolved into.

          Liked by 1 person

          • acflory

            I’m glad things are changing for the better, however slowly, and yes, I think you’re right about cultural attitudes. Carol, my friend who lives in Thailand, told me this lovely story about how her neighbours went to the market to buy food. On the way back, they stopped at her house and gave her something, can’t remember what, that they knew she really liked. They’d bought it specifically for her. I believe these were Thai people, not expats.
            I’ve got very nice neighbours here, and we do look out for each other when it comes to bushfires, but none of us would do something so…caring. Maybe we’d feel embarrassed at such a ‘show’. Or maybe we’d think it wouldn’t be appreciated. Or…I don’t. But the loss of that caring is killing us in a very real sense.

            Liked by 2 people

  • Remembering Lives

    I accidentally posted before I had finished. I said exactly the same thing. Daniel Andrews did not want to open up. There was drama because he didn’t open up in time for Mother’s Day. As I said at the time to anybody who would listen. 1000 people per day were dying in the UK and as for poor old New York. A fellow blogger had one of those makeshift trucks being used as a mortuary parked almost outside her flat and people were fussing over one missed Mother’s Day.. My own poor mother had been in lockdown in the UK on her own for months but she understood it was to protect her. He was called names at the time. Thank you, I am glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Remembering Lives

    I was reading the comments today. I am on the same page over much of this. The coverage is very unfair.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Yeah, we’re definitely copping it, and things would have been a whole lot worse if Dan Andrews had listened to that moron who heads up the Libs here in Victoria. That dimwit has been in front of the cameras every chance he got, asking why VIC is lagging behind the other states in terms of reopening. The man is …expletive deleted… Ahem.

      Like

  • CarolCooks2

    I am so sorry to read this as I thought Oz had it sorted… obviously not…My grandson are In Perth over the other side so I am hoping commonsense is prevailing they tell me it is…Please stay safe as there are some stupid people on the loose as there is in the UK…

    Liked by 2 people

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