My go-to person for Covid19 information is Dr John Campbell, and in the video below, he explains the 3 most recent CDC reports on the effectiveness of mRNA vaccines. There are links to each report.
The second half of the video is an update from France which addresses government strategies to encourage vaccinations:
Of particular interest to me was the comparison between the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines. I was also interested in the report from France as some politicians here in Australia are talking about giving vaccinated people privileges over unvaccinated people. This strategy hasn’t gone down well in France, leading to ongoing protests.
Here in Melbourne, we’re only just starting to count the cost of the ‘protest’ staged by a crowd of roughly 4000 people yesterday. Some were obviously trying to keep the protest peaceful, but a far greater number were out to have a brawl with police.
Take a look at the gorilla parading around on top of the tram stop shelter.
Take a good look at those faces. Do they look like people who care about an ideal? Or do they look like a bunch of thugs using the protest as an excuse to have a punch up?
I don’t know who is organising these protests, but I would really like the AFP [Australian Federal Police] to investigate:
Sky News/After Dark [Murdoch-run Newscorp] see Alan Jones below, the Guardian article is an eye-opener.
All of the above have worked tirelessly to undermine Australia’s health response against Covid19. Why? My guess is:
No one has the ‘right’ to act in a way that endangers others. And I don’t give a flying fuck if they believe the Covid conspiracy theories or not. Saying ‘I don’t believe in Covid’ is like saying ‘oh but I didn’t believe the gun was loaded when I pulled the trigger.’
Not one of the morons listed above is medically or scientifically qualified in any way. Not even a little. They are spouting opinions, opinions based on belief. Or perhaps not even belief. Perhaps they simply see a way to exploit this awful pandemic for their own benefit.
On Saturday, July 24, 2021, roughly 3,000 men, women and children marched through my city, demanding ‘freedom’.
Freedom from what? From a lockdown designed to save the mostly unvaccinated population of Melbourne from the Delta variant of Covid19.
Virtually none of those selfish, stupid people were wearing a mask. None of them were ‘socially distancing’. And all of them thought there was ‘no danger’. No danger to them and no danger to the rest of us.
No danger from Delta… -grinds teeth-
I’m not going to rant about those people. Instead, I’m going to address the criminal misinformation they were fed about Covid19:
The first thing to understand is that the virus infecting NSW, Victoria and South Australia now is not the same as the version we fought during the first wave, back in March 2020. It’s a mutation of the virus called ‘Delta’.
Delta is miles more infectious than the original version of Covid because it incubates faster and has a hugely greater viral load.
Delta’s incubation period – i.e. the time it takes for the virus to start infecting others – is roughly half of what happened with the original version. It’s now about 30 hours.
Delta’s viral load – i.e. how much active virus is being manufactured by the body and shed outside the body – is 1260 times more than the original version. Just think about that number for a moment. 😦
Delta can also infect via super fine aerosol spray [from just breathing], droplets [heavier drops from say sneezing] and contamination of surfaces [from droplets landing on surfaces and staying active].
Taken all together, this means that many of the things we thought we knew about Covid no longer apply.
We used to think that Covid only spread via droplets and surface contamination. We now know that Delta can and does spread via super fine aerosol spray. That’s how Delta has been escaping from hotel quarantine.
We used to think that children and the ‘young’ were pretty much safe from dying of Covid. Wrong. Recent data from Indonesia shows that children and the young are much more likely to become sick and die if they catch Delta.
We used to think that being outdoors, or in a properly ventilated area would protect us from Covid. We now know that Delta can and does spread outdoors. The spread from the MCG is proof of that. Air circulation does dilute the viral load, but wherever large groups of people come into close contact, spread does occur.
Imagine this, you’re walking along in a crowd of people, completely unaware that the person directly in front of you has Delta. Maybe they don’t know they have it either. As they breathe out and move on, you walk through the air that just came out of their mouths! If you breathe in at that moment, you’re breathing in the Delta virus.
3000 people in Melbourne may have done just that on Saturday, and not just for a few seconds, but for the entire time they marched through our streets. Some of those people are just plain nuts – you would not believe the conspiracy theories being bandied about. Most though, have probably been taken in by the misuse of statistics from overseas.
I saw one tweet on Twitter touting the fact that the percentage of people who died from Covid was tiny, so there was ‘no danger’. Those stats came from the CDC in the US and were totally misleading. The percentage of Covid deaths out of a population of 350,000,000 may be ‘a little number’, but that’s only because there are just 100 numbers in a percentage – from 1 to 100. The number of deaths, however, is huge – over 600,000. That’s over half a million people like you and me.
For those 600,000+ people in the US, the danger was very and very fatal.
The only thing that stops us from facing the same danger is luck. Or lockdowns. I may be a control freak, but know which I prefer.
Getting back to those 3000 people in Melbourne, many were saying they had been fully vaccinated and therefore should not be locked up with the rest of us. I sincerely hope they were vaccinated, because otherwise they could die if they catch Delta. The latest victim was a young woman in her 30s who had no underlying health problems.
But being vaccinated yourself does not mean you can’t be infected by Delta. And it definitely does not mean you can’t pass Delta on to those who are not vaccinated. Recent data coming out of Israel shows that whilst vaccines continue to stop people from becoming sick and needing to be ventilated, their ability to stop transmission of the virus reduces drastically with time.
How drastically? Down to about 39% after 4 months. Four months. That means anyone who is not fully vaccinated will be in danger…from those who are vaccinated…after just four months. And this is data about the Pfizer vaccine! The gold standard for protecting health and reducing transmission.
But the worst news is that Delta may not be the worst variant of Covid we have to face. In Peru, almost all of those with Covid have been infected by a variant called Lambda. And Lambda is spreading out of South America, with cases now found in Texas.
No one knows which variant will prove to be the winner in this war of the viruses, but being vaccinated is no longer the magic bullet we all hoped it would be. In a few years time, Generation XX of the vaccines may stop transmission as well as hospitalisations, but this first generation of vaccines can’t, or at least, it can’t stop transmission permanently.
What does this all mean for us? It means we need virtually 100% vaccination rates – across all age groups, including children. It also means boosters, boosters, and more boosters. And it may mean that wearing masks in certain settings becomes the norm rather than the exception.
But don’t take my word for it. Check out these videos from Dr John Campbell:
And re viral load:
As for the fools marching through our streets on Saturday…I really wish there were a vaccine for stupid. These people actually saw themselves as ‘heroes’ who would be applauded by the rest of us.
Well… 10,000 of the rest of us contacted Crime Stoppers about the protests. Surprise, surprise.
Yes! I went shopping today. For the first time in over eight months. And yes, it was exhilarating. 😀
My little shopping expedition was also hot and sweaty because I decided to be daring and go for a walk first. Bad move. I parked at Bunnings and walked to Autobarn, a short hop…by car. What I’d forgotten was that most of the way to Autobarn was uphill, and guess who’s a wee bit out of shape?
By the time I’d walked back to Bunnings [wearing my surgical mask and one glove], I was literally dripping with sweat, and the inside of the mask felt like a wet towel. That said, the outside of the mask was quite dry, proving that it really does catch all those potentially toxic exhalations.
Anyway…one of the first things I saw inside Bunnings was a customer with his mask down under his chin, mooching around with a takeaway cup of coffee in his hand. After all the fear and stress of the last eight months, I totally lost it and told him off. He came back with ‘oh but you’re allowed to not wear a mask if your eating or drinking’. I politely suggested that he ‘eat or drink’ outside.
I know the restrictions have been eased, but this prick was deliberately abusing the privileges we’ve been given. I am so sick of selfish morons trying to find loop holes in rules designed to protect everyone. We’re virus free for the moment, but as South Australia discovered, all it takes is ONE idiot. Ahem…
Smarmy piece of shit aside, the whole setup at Bunnings was brilliant. One door to go in, a different door to go out, physical distancing lines painted on the floor leading to the checkouts. Staff all wearing masks and directing ‘traffic’. I felt quite safe, which is saying something. And I loved being able to select things for myself again. Online shopping is okay, but unless and until they make online shopping a virtual experience, it’s just not the same as being there.
Oh, and in case you’re all wondering what I actually bought? Well…I bought a trickle charger for the batteries that drive my fire-fighting pumps, a new 30 metre garden hose, a timer-tap so I can’t forget to turn off the tap, and a small sprinkler head to water the new veggie box.
Nothing exciting, I know, but I feel great anyway, and in a day or two I’m going to go out again to buy…bread. A beautiful Vienna with a crisp crust and a fluffy white interior:
The vienna has to be unsliced, of course, so we can pop it into a hot oven for a minute [to decontaminate] before slicing and smothering with fresh, cold butter….
Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make us happy. 🙂
If you only have time for a few snippets, this warmed my heart:
‘I left that day with a full heart thanks to all the “thank yous” and “I love yous” from the residents. We were invited into many homes, and even offered tea and coffee. I went into a few rooms with elderly, frail people and young children (this was optional and only if we felt safe). We felt like guests. ‘
Near the end the nurse writes:
‘I have so many wonderful memories of the past few days, all positive. I’d like the broader community to understand that sometimes media portrayals of what goes on are not necessarily true.’
For a very long time now, I’ve noticed that 9 out of 10 news stories are about people who are not infected by the virus ‘doing it tough’. I don’t deny that a lot of people are doing it tough; a massive drop in weekly income will do that to you. But where are the stories about our local heroes? The doctors and nurses and paramedics and yes, police officers who are risking their own lives to keep everyone safe?
And how about the heroes who keep our cities alive? The jobs they do are poorly paid but vital. Can you imagine what would happen if our rubbish were not collected? Or if the power went off and there was no one there to turn it back on again? Or how about food? It doesn’t just appear magically in supermarkets.
We owe every one of these heroes a huge vote of thanks, yet the media ignores them.
And last but not least there are those who have been infected. Why aren’t we hearing their stories? I’ve heard one story about a 23 year old man with Type I diabetes. He came down with Covid-19 and survived, but it wasn’t fun, not be a long, long stretch of the imagination.
If governments want us to co-operate then we need to be told the full story, the good, the sad, and the scary, not just the stories that confirm that life is not ‘fun’ at the moment. If we are to have any kind of life during this pandemic, we all need to rediscover what it means to be socially responsible. We all have to become heroes.
The first part of this video is a little bit technical, but don’t be put off by all the scientific names. Keep watching and you’ll learn why Vitamin D may be useful against our favourite virus. You’ll also learn about its importance for other conditions, such as osteoporosis. I most definitely did not know that.
The thing I found most interesting was the explanation about why people in different geographic locations may be Vitamin D deficient. Apparently, it’s all due to the season, the angle of the sun as it hits the earth, and a country’s distance from the equator.
The video talks about the USA, but I was interested in Australia, so I went looking for a map of the world showing the equator. Then I copied the area from the equator to roughly the middle of the USA. This was the distance from the equator that gets sufficient Vitamin D in summer and winter.
Next, I placed the copy next to Australia. This is what it looks like:
Zooming in on my home town of Melbourne, we get this:
I drew the green line across from the subset map to see if Melbourne does, in fact, fall within the area that receives enough Vitamin D in winter. It does, but only just, and Tasmania seems to miss out entirely.
So yes, we all need Vitamin D, for a variety of health reasons, but no, not all of us can get it from the sun during winter. And if we go from house to car to office and back again, then there’s a good chance we won’t be getting enough Vitamin D, even in summer.
If Covid-19 has taught us anything, apart from how to bake bread, it’s that we can’t rely on technology to save us from everything. Sometimes, living an old fashioned, healthy lifestyle really is the best medicine.
Like many Melbournians, I was immensely relieved to hear that the Grand Prix had been cancelled due to Covid-19, but I was puzzled, and angered, by the Federal government’s continuing mixed messages about the virus. On the one hand Scott Morrison says the authorities will put social distancing interventions in place, but not until Monday [March 16, 2020]. And they won’t apply to schools, universities and public transport.
Why give the virus a whole weekend to turn up at the ‘footy’ and in churches and concert halls and theatres etc etc etc.
If these interventions are meant to stop the rapid spread of the virus, why wait?
Why encourage people to ‘go to the footy?’ And why not close schools, universities and public transport?
Is the delay all about the money?
Despite my cynical anger, there was something about all of this that simply did not add up, especially as the Premiers of all states and territories appear to be in agreement with #ScottyFromMarketing. As my state, Victoria, has a Labor government, I would have expected the Premier, Daniel Andrews, to be more caring of people’s lives than old Scomo.
It was at this point that I remembered an episode of The Drum I had watched just a few days ago [the 12th of March, 2020]. On this episode, the panel of The Drum included a guest, Professor James McCaw, a mathematical biologist and Infectious Diseases Epidemiologist from Melbourne University. Apparently, Prof. McCaw and his colleagues have been modelling the spread of the Covid-19 virus and have been advising the Federal government.
Keep that point in mind, ‘advising the Federal government’.
During the course of the discussion, the panel talked about interventions such as forced social distancing – e.g. cancelling the Grand Prix – as a way to avoid getting the virus and jet propelling it through the community.
To explain the reasoning behind social distancing, they displayed this graph:
Those of you who have been following the Covid-19 virus online will be familiar with graphs that look very similar. The sharp peak is what happens if the virus is allowed to spread without interventions. The flattened, ‘fat’ curve is what happens when you slow the spread of the virus via interventions. The important thing to note from this graph is that a slow spread allows hospitals to cope with the influx of desperately ill people infected with Covid-19.
So far so good. But if interventions slow the virus, and slowing the virus is good, why would mathematical biologists and infectious disease epidemiologists have to model anything? Isn’t it obvious?
Going back to Professor McCaw, I think I’ve found the answer, or at least understood it. This is what the Professor had to say about the virus and interventions:
“The really important thing to be aware of, though, is by avoiding that transmission [i.e. of the virus] all of the people who may otherwise have gotten ill, they are all still susceptible. So as society returns to normal…the population is still equally susceptible, and this is where the mathematicians have a role to play.”
ABC, The Drum, March 12, 2020, at minute 19:55
You can find that episode of The Drum on iView If the link doesn’t take you to the right episode, look for the episode aired on March the 12th, 2020.
So, what exactly does all that mean?
I am no expert so my reading of Professor McCaw’s comment may be completely wrong, but this is how I finally understood it:
the whole world is going to get this virus sooner or later, so…
if Australia stops the virus from spreading, we’ll simply postpone the deaths until a later,
but if a lot of the most healthy people get the virus, they are likely to get only a mild version that does not need hospitalisation.
this will leave the hospitals free to deal with those who do get very sick,
so it makes logical sense to allow this younger, healthy group to get sick, recover and become immune before interventions are put in place,
then, once this first pass of the virus is over, and a vaccine is available, the uninfected members of the population can be protected as well.
From a theoretical perspective, this ‘strategy’, if that’s what it is, would stagger the victims of the virus, making the epidemic manageable. I guess it would also have less of an impact on the economy.
But even in theory, this strategy can only work if the authorities actually know how many cases of Covid-19 there are in the community so they know when to apply the breaks via more draconian interventions. It also assumes that everything else needed to apply the breaks is already in place, ready to go.
Given the lack of widespread testing, I don’t think the authorities do know. I think they are guessing on the basis of how quickly the virus has spread in other countries and extrapolating that to Australia.
More worrying still is the lack of clear, public messaging. People are getting their information from social media, and they’re scared and confused. Getting them to go along with drastic social interventions ‘when the time is right’ can only succeed if everyone understands and agrees with those interventions.
Australia is not a ‘command and control’ country. How are the authorities going to enforce these interventions? Using the police? The armed forces?
People working in the GIG economy, the underemployed and those who think they are immortal will continue doing what they think they need to do for themselves.
This is human nature. Expecting people to behave like robots may work on paper; it will not work in the real world. In the real world, individuals who ignore the interventions could easily infect far more people than the ‘strategy’ anticipates. This will skew the timing and effectiveness of the interventions so when they finally do come, they may not work at all. Or they may not work well enough, allowing the curve of the graph to continue shooting up like a rocket.
But practical considerations aside, nowhere in this strategy is there a recognition of all those who will become collateral damage, the ones who will catch the virus, get sick and die.
According to the statistics, children under the age of 10 don’t die of this virus, but those over the age of 10 do start to die. It’s a small percentage, but it exists:
So who are these children and teens likely to be?
Right from the start, we’ve been told that people with pre-existing conditions will be most vulnerable to the virus. Well guess what, children and teens have pre-existing conditions too. They have asthma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, Crohns, ulcerative colitis, leukemia, cancers of all sorts… the list goes on and on and on.
What part of the strategy protects these vulnerable young people when they go to school or university or travel by public transport?
And then there are the older age groups. As we age, almost all of us develop some type of chronic disease. I’m pretty fit and healthy, but I’ve had cancer. If the virus gets out of control and the hospitals can’t cope, will I be triaged to die because I am less likely to survive than someone younger?
That kind of soul destroying triage is already happening in Italy.
And what of remote Indigenous communities? They are already behind the eight ball when it comes to health. How are they going to survive when they are often hundreds of miles from the nearest doctor let alone hospital?
We are people, not numbers, yet the silence about us has been deafening. Self isolation is fine, but where are the systems that will make it effective?
I went to Coles [supermarket] this morning. I arrived at 7am, thinking I’d be almost alone in the store. Thank god I was wearing my mask because there was a conga line waiting outside the entrance. What were they all waiting for? Toilet paper.
Coles is now doling the toilet paper out, one packet at a time, but to get a packet you have to stand in a queue next to people who may already be infected but not showing any symptoms.
Toilet paper aside, whole families packed the aisles of the store, stocking up, and every single cash register was open and working at a feverish pace. Instead of being in and out in ten minutes, it took me an hour and a half to get my shopping and leave. The whole time I stood there, flanked by overflowing shopping trolleys, I was acutely aware of the people around me. I didn’t hear any sneezing, but someone did cough behind me. Just a little cough… Probably just clearing their throat… 😦
Professor McCaw’s models may work on paper, but as they are currently being implemented, they are ensuring that the most vulnerable in our society pay the price if things go horribly wrong.
One of the first things I read this morning was that the WHO have finally declared Covid-19 to be a pandemic. It’s hardly a surprise, and yet the news sent a sick shiver down my spine. I only hope that authorities all over the world finally throw away their rose coloured glasses and put their countries on a war footing.
What does that mean?
I hope it means that governments close borders, stop public events, restrict public transport, set up drive through testing stations, and triage industry so that everyone gets the necessities of life, like toilet paper. Beyond that, I hope they force industry to change production, where possible, so that critical medical supplies and equipment take priority.
Why? Because we will not be able to source these critical supplies from overseas, not once the virus really starts to bite. Sadly, we are about to learn that self-sufficiency is more important than global trade agreements.
Will it be possible to become ‘self sufficient’ in the critical things?
Maybe. I have no idea whether local companies have the capacity to build hundreds of new ventilators, but at the very least, we need to have people capable of repairing them if need be. And those people should become critical resources in their own right.
Ditto food production and transport.
Ditto food delivery to beleaguered households.
Ditto medical supplies, not just for hospitals, but for people with chronic illnesses. If they can’t get their prescriptions filled, many will die.
Ditto delivery of prescriptions.
And on and on and on. I don’t know enough about how to run a city much less a country, but someone must, and that someone or someones have to put procedures in place to deal with the logistics of supplying a country in lockdown.
Will it happen?
I don’t think so, not yet. From statements put out by state and federal governments here in Australia, it seems that most are still trying to juggle health vs the economy. An example of this is the Andrews government’s decision to allow the Grand Prix to go ahead in Melbourne. We’ve heard on the news that members of the Renault, McLaren and Haas teams have been put into self-isolation while awaiting test results. Yet the government and organisers are still saying the race will go ahead…with spectators.
Why can’t we be sensible like Bahrain and ban spectators? Or be like China and postpone the Grand Prix altogether?
Covid-19 is already loose in Melbourne. The latest victim is a teacher at Carey, a prestigious private school, who tested positive despite NOT having travelled or knowingly interacted with someone who has. That means the virus is already in the community.
I very much fear that shutting the economy down will cost less, in the long run, than letting this virus rampage through the community at the speed of light. Have a look at this graph from Dr John:
The labels are mine in case you don’t want to watch the whole video [which is here]. In Italy, the authorities were taken by surprise and the virus pretty much spread unchecked before they even realised they had a problem. That is basically the red line. The North Italian hospitals are only treating the most severe patients and they are still not coping. Translate that into people dying because there are not enough beds, ventilators and staff to keep them alive.
The blue line on the graph is what happens when governments stop people from congregating and spreading the virus. There are still infections and sick people in hospitals, but the hospitals can cope and the fatality rate goes waaaaay down.
Oh, and by the way, all those who think that Covid-19 will only kill off the ‘old and sick’, think again. The latest figures from Italy show that the median age is now 65.
Median does not mean ‘average’. Median means the middle point in a long line stretching from youngest to oldest. Or, to put it in really simple terms, there are now as many people under 65 dying of Covid-19 as above 65. Think about that.
You should also think about the positive side of this equation. The ‘draconian’ measures enforced by China to stop the spread of Covid-19 are working. The rate of new infections is slowing. That means China is coming out of the sharp red spike on the graph. Their situation is improving.
Here in Australia we are still in denial, and every day of ‘business as usual’ and ‘let’s protect the economy’ pushes us closer to the Italian nightmare.
My thanks to Don Charisma for posting the latest Dr John Campbell health video on his blog.
For those who haven’t yet heard of Dr John, he’s a retired UK nurse/teacher/researcher who is analysing the latest data about this virus and explaining it to us. He has a Youtube channel, and this is his latest video:
I strongly recommend watching the entire video because it is full of information relevant to different countries, but here are the bits of particular interest to me.
Confined spaces and aircon
There was some meticulous research done [in China] on the spread of infection in a bus. I don’t know what it is about the air conditioning in the bus, but it basically doubled the radius of infection to 4.5 metres. In simple terms, the virus from an infected passenger travelled much further than previously thought.
Note: the radius of infection is basically how far droplets containing virus will spread in the air before falling to the ground.
Virus survival on surfaces
Another thing that worried me is the information about how long the virus survives on surfaces such as metal, cloth, paper etc. It can survive – on surfaces – at 37C for days. That’s roughly 10C more than previously thought. That means this virus is hardier than we imagined. It also means that every infected person has the potential to infect people he or she is never in physical contact with.
Think about all the shopping trolley handles we touch, how many counters in shops, how many door knobs, tables, chairs… The list is endless, which means we have to be super vigilant, not just to protect ourselves, but to protect those we love. Do NOT soldier on, you could kill someone.
And finally, a word about government intervention. The countries that have been proactive about stopping the spread of Covid-19 are doing better than those which have not. We need to learn what works and do it in our own countries.
One thing which has worked particularly well in South Korea is ‘drive through testing’. You stay safe inside your car – your own little bubble of protection – and drive away without having to come in physical contact with others who may or may not be infected.
When I saw news footage of people waiting in long queues [here] to be tested, my first thought was, “well, if they didn’t have it before, they may well have it now”. Gatherings of people who may already be infected is such a bad idea…
Daniel Andrews [Premier of my state of Victoria] has declared that his government is going to take more stringent measures against the spread of Covid-19. I’m glad, but I still think that allowing Moomba and the Grand Prix to go ahead in Melbourne was a bad idea.
I understand that we do not yet have the level of community spread that triggers more ‘stringent’ measures, but we also don’t have the community awareness required to take this threat seriously. Traditional, normal public gatherings like these simply reinforce the idea that we’re ‘safe’.
We’re not safe, and we have to get used to that idea. We have to get used to taking precautions such as wearing masks and gloves, washing our hands religiously, staying away from crowds and air conditioned centres. We have to start doing these things now so that when things do get worse, they’ll get worse at a slower rate.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to slow the spread of this virus.
The following is a screenshot of a thread I read on Twitter last night. It’s from Northern Italy and describes a health care system teetering on the brink of collapse. Yet Northern Italy has a world class health system.
We have world class hospitals in Australia too, but people with the pneumonia stage of the infection need ventilators. These machines are capable of breathing for the patient until they are capable of breathing on their own again. But if everyone gets sick at once, how many are going to miss out on ventilators because there aren’t enough to go around? How many will die?
Deaths by age
Going back to the Dr John video, the stats showing the break down of deaths by age show that small children appear to be remarkably resilient:
From the age of 10 onwards, however, young people do die from Covid-19 as well. 0.2% of deaths amongst young people may not sound like much, but they are still people, real people.
Do you really want your ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to result in the death of your brother, sister, best friend, lover, wife, husband?
Or what about your parents? Aunts? Uncles? Grandparents?
We have to slow the spread of this virus, and we have to start now.
It’s officially 43 C in Melbourne, and my air conditioner died yesterday, yet the inside of the house is a relatively comfortable 26 C :
My office is a fair bit warmer because it’s a small room, and the desktop computer puts out quite a lot of heat [AMD processor], but it’s still bearable.
Magic? No, fire resistant shutters.
I wrote about my fire resistant shutters back in this post. They’ve never been tested in a bushfire situation, but by god they keep ordinary heat out!
The following pics were all taken from inside the house to show the shutters at work:
Almost every door, verandah and window in my house has been fitted with these fire resistant shutters. They weren’t cheap, but every winter since then, they’ve kept the warmth in, saving me money in heating costs. And in summer they keep the heat out, with or without the air conditioner. 🙂
Much as I love my shutters, however, I have to say that on their own they would not have been enough. Part of the reason they work as well as they do is that I insisted on having an insulating foam applied behind the door and window frames. The foam fills up all the gaps in construction conveniently hidden by the frames. A small thing, perhaps, but the foam has stopped those elusive draughts from leaching the heat from the house.
Apart from the shutters and the foam, two more things helped keep us from melting today. The first was the weather overnight. The temperature dropped to 14 C which allowed the cross ventilation in the house to cool everything down before the heat climbed again. If it had been hot overnight, we would have been in trouble.
The second thing is that orange towel shown in the last picture. And no, it’s not my washing. :p
That humble towel is wet, and it’s hanging in front of an oscillating fan. As the water in the towel evaporates, it cools the air. The fan then circulates that cooler air around the small family room and into the kitchen.
My jerry-rigged evaporative cooling is probably good enough for some light cooking but…bugger it, we’re having take away! Ahem. I deserve it.
If you’re an Aussie, I hope you stayed cool and safe today. If you’re from the northern climes, I hope you stayed warm and toasty.