Like many firms and institutions Macleay College’s student reporters will work remotely and in isolation to stay healthy and help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Here they blog about life under lockdown and the daily release of news on COVID-19 and it’s spread across Australia and around the world.
Latest: Australia 9,980 cases; 108 deaths.
July 14, 2020: Daily brief…the NSW government look to tighten some social restrictions again with pub bookings reduced from 20 patrons to 10 and large venues will be limited to 300 people; the Crossroads Hotel cluster at Casula reached 21 last night with more infections expected to emerge; long queues in south-west Sydney yesterday, urging NSW Health to open new coronavirus testing clinics; leaked emails reveal top bureaucrats warned health officials that security guards were unprepared at hotel quarantines; while in Hong Kong, movie theatres and children’s summer activities will reclose this week following an increase in coronavirus infections.
Symptom-free sportsmen…Russell Westbrook is the fourth All-Star, along with Nikola Jokic, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, to have tested positive for coronavirus this season, all symptom-free.
Japan brings back baseball games…enthusiastic fans are masked, getting their temperatures checked and sanitising.
It’s the little things…one step out of line and Richard Holmes is back in quarantine after accidentally crossing the “NBA campus line to pick up a food delivery.”
July 13, 2020: Daily brief…Australian citizens returning from overseas to NSW will be charged for their mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine; human trials begin today on a coronavirus vaccine at the University of Queensland; back to school for year eleven and twelve students in Victoria while prep to year 10 will be back to remote learning; fourteen new cases in NSW today but only 4 are returned travellers; the Crossroads hotel cluster continues to grow in NSW with 9 people infected; while in the US, Florida sets new state daily case record of 15,299
Bollywood in scrambles…three generations of Bollywood Bachchan family infected.
Troubling times for parents today…with free childcare ending today lets hope we don’t get a second wave.
Shocking images in Bondi…..Police shut down several parties in Bondi…again.
July 10, 2020: Daily brief…Alfred street tower in Melbourne remains shut with 53 new cases; today Queensland finally opens its borders at noon after over three months of closures to all states, except Victoria; next week South Australia will employ mobile testing stations around Adelaide to keep the virus in check; Gladys Berejiklian has warned it may be a few weeks before NSW knows whether the virus has made a resurgence in the state; WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wiped away tears as he expressed his disbelief in a “lack of leadership and solidarity” during the crisis and has released new guidelines on transmissions; while in India cases of COVID-19 soar with public health experts stating the rise is linked to crowding in major cities.
Sad Times….when the head of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cries with disappointment on national television.
Screaming on the inside… It seems reopened theme parks in Japan have banned screaming on rollercoasters as fears of spreading the virus grow.
Are you ok…? Mental Health is still a big issue since lockdown, especially in Victoria.
July 9, 2020: Daily brief... Melbourne’s CBD lies virtually empty this morning as the overnight lockdown of five million people in the city impacts on shops, many of which have chosen not to open; while 3,000 residents remain under hard lockdown in nine housing towers in Melbourne; the Queensland premier has announced even harder border restrictions for Victorians – they will not even be allowed to quarantine in the state; truck drivers carrying freight between the two states will have to renew their border passes every seven days; in the US, where COVID-19 infections have now passed three million, President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw state education funding if schools are not opened.
Now and then… It’s been over 100 years since the NSW-Victoria border was closed. There have been around 44,000 permit requests registered in a just a few days.
Failed leadership…Joe Biden debunking President Donald Trumps’s claim that the US rates have soared due to an increase in testing with a graph showing 28 states had more cases than testing.
Fingers crossed… This doesn’t happen. NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian could announce, as early as today, new restrictions for NSW.
July 8, 2020: Daily brief… The coronavirus may linger in the air and be breathed in long after a carrier has coughed or sneezed. A group of 239 scientists from 32 countries has challenged the World Health Organisation to update its guidance about the spread of the disease to airborne (as opposed to being spread by aerosolised droplets); Victoria has recorded 134 new cases overnight with the source of 123 infections unaccounted for; Melbourne will return to stage 3 restrictions from tonight; Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who has consistently played down the virus despite 65,000 deaths in his country, has tested positive for COVID-19; UK prime minister Boris Johnson has come under fire after blaming care home owners for the huge death toll (over 20,000), despite his government offering little guidance on minimising infections.
July 7, 2020: Daily Brief… Defence forces are to deploy up to 500 personnel to patrol from midnight in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19; Northern Hospital, Epping, has closed it’s emergency department for deep cleaning, after seven of its staff tested positive over the past five days; Three Melbourne A-League teams were unable to get across the NSW border, where they were to play games overnight; New Zealand has begun rationing places for citizens returning home during COVID-19; residents living in the Melbourne public housing blocks placed in ‘hard lockdown’ say they pleaded months ago for more cleaning and resources to help keep the virus out of their homes but authorities failed to listen.
July 6, 2020: Daily Brief…. Victoria has now recorded its highest daily total yet with 127 cases overnight and the death of a man in his 90s; Victoria’s border with New South Wales will close from 11.59pm tomorrow night; 3,000 residents are under strict lockdown, confined to their homes, in public housing towers and the postcodes 3031 and 3051 after the flare-up in infections in parts of Melbourne over the weekend, with Premier Daniel Andrews saying 23 coronavirus cases had been identified in nine Flemington and North Melbourne public housing estates; the Australian Medical Association has called for a pause in the easing of all COVID-19 restrictions across the country; Texas, along with Florida and Arizona have become hotspots for the infection in America, recording six days straight of cases above 5,000; India has joined the race to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, commencing human trials.
July 3, 2020: Daily Brief…. Day Two of Victoria’s postcode lockdown and the numbers are still soaring with 66 news cases today; Premier Daniel Andrews says he cannot rule out further restrictions or localised lockdowns, saying ‘I have to try to be as upfront as I can’ adding he cannot rule out other suburbs being shut down’; the Andrews government is announcing another $2million for mental health, focused on the hotspot areas under lockdown; Queensland begins its road to recovery with stage 3 restrictions being eased as of midday today; Florida has recorded over 10,000 new cases in a day; 50 Sydney Woolworths staff are in isolation over virus fears after two workers tested positive after visiting hotspots in Melbourne then returning to work; the NSW government has warned of hotspot crackdowns to prevent a second wave in the state.
July 2, 2020: Daily Brief…. The lockdown blitz in Melbourne has now begun with police setting up booze bus-style checkpoints and patrolling entries to coronavirus hotspots; some residents from Melbourne’s 10 hotspots have attempted to change their address on their license in the hope of getting through police checkpoints, with VicRoads saying they have moved to stop a significant surge in license amendments; David Clarke has resigned as New Zealand’s health minister over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which included twice being caught breaking the strict stay-at-home rule during lockdown; a Darwin man has tested positive for coronavirus, he had been in hotel quarantine in Melbourne, but visited family in a hotspot area before returning to the NT; Prime Minister Scott Morrison will use Friday’s national cabinet meeting to call for an end to the virus border wars, that have turned Victoria into a pariah state and put at risk the nation’s economic recovery from the pandemic.
July 1, 2020: Daily brief… Victoria will lock down 36 suburbs across 10 postcodes with a population of over 300,000 from midnight tonight in an effort to contain the latest coronavirus wave. Premier Daniel Andrews and the public health team say they are confident this strategy of lockdown will be successful; the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says travellers from coronavirus hotspots in Victoria are ‘not welcome’ and will be prosecuted if they come to the state; Big Brother contestants were in shock as the house in Manly, in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, went into lockdown after a crew member was exposed to COVID-19, prompting the decision to pause the game; Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced Queensland borders will reopen from July 10 to everyone except Victorians; the Australian War Memorial has reopened to the public with visitors being asked to pre-book and practice social distancing, as they were forced to close for more than three months due to coronavirus restrictions.
June 30, 2020: Daily brief… Authorities are closely monitoring Victoria as experts warn “now is the time to act” to prevent the spread of multiple cases mostly concentrated in 10 suburbs in the city’s north, west and south-east; NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has again encouraged Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to open her state’s borders, with no local cases recorded in NSW overnight; There are fears for some of the world’s poorest regions as COVID-19 gains a foothold in third-world countries. Health workers are reportedly fleeing their posts or turning away patients who are struggling to breathe in southern Yemen; the Australian Border Force has revealed they have directed narcotic detection resources into international mail centres following a rise in drugs being imported through the post. Organised crime gangs are using the postal service following a reduction in international travel due to COVID-19.
June 29, 2020: Daily brief… Global deaths from COVID-19 have reached 500,000 and the total number of people to test positive worldwide has reached an astronomical 10 million; Victoria is bracing for a potential second major wave as cases continue to climb once more; in a press conference this morning, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said that it was too soon to say if suburbs will be put into lockdown, after 75 new cases were recorded overnight, the highest since April, although only 11 cases have required hospitalisation; the Norther Territory has now reached 57 days since the last reported case of COVID-19; Woolworths and Coles have reintroduced restrictions limiting toilet paper and other essentials as shoppers again strip shelves amid fears of shortages; the Federal Government continues to back the COVIDSafe app despite mounting concerns the app is ineffective. There has only been one case where the app uncovered a case of a contact that had not yet already been established by a human tracer according to Nine newspapers; Iconic Australian swimwear label Seafolly is the latest retail outlet to have been crippled by COVID-19, announcing they have entered voluntary administration this afternoon. Administrators KordaMenthato is administer its 120 staff and 44 stores across Australia. All gift cards and Beach Club Reward points are still able to be redeemed.
June 26, 2020: Daily brief… Virgin Australia bidder Cyrus Capital has announced it has pulled out of the race to take over the embattled airline that was forced into administration by the coronavirus crisis. Cyrus claims administrators Deloitte failed to return calls, emails and did not ‘meaningfully engage’ for the last week. They have not ruled out re-entering their bid if negotiations resume, stating “[Cyrus is] willing to re-instate our offer if the administrators agree to re-engage in good faith”.
June 25,2020: Daily brief… Qantas has slashed 6000 jobs and announced that international travel is unlike to resume until this time next year. The ‘Flying Kangaroo’ has also announced that they will be grounding their A380 fleet for at least three year; The Federal Government has announced a $250 million support package to revive the arts and entertainment industry through a series of grants and loans; the Australian Electoral Commission has referred an apparent ‘disinformation campaign’ which falsely claimed Australian Labor Party candidate Kristie McBain had COVID-19 to the AFP.
June 24, 2020: Daily brief… Overnight an 80-year-old man became the first Australian COVID-19 death in over a month. It comes as Victoria experiences a spike in new cases, resulting in Woolworths and Coles hastily re-implementing product limits in Victoria to prevent panic buying; Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews knocks back an offer of support of the Army from the Prime Minister, stating ‘I don’t think we need to get to that point’.
June 23, 2020: Daily brief… South Australia’s border with Victoria will have a strong police presence from next week after a surge of cases in the state; NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has called NSW tourism vendors to ban any travellers from Melbourne and to ‘not interact’ with people from Melbourne; the Northern Territory is continuing with the decision to open borders to all interstate visitors from July 17; Russian authorities have confirmed more than 7,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours; South Africa has now surpassed 100,000 reported infections; eight staff members from Donald Trump’s campaign rally have tested positive to the virus.
The new normal… Aussies vacationing during the coronavirus crisis and travel bans.
June 22, 2020: Daily brief… Essendon are waiting for a decision on how many players and staff from their squad will have to follow Conor McKenna into quarantine, after the defender’s positive COVID-19 test. Their match against Carlton has been rescheduled to June 27; Victoria has confirmed 16 new cases of coronavirus which is their sixth consecutive day of double-digit increases; Premier Mark McGowan has announced Western Australia will move to phase four of eased restrictions this coming Saturday. The health minister has said Brazil now has a total of 1,085,038 confirmed cases and 50,617 deaths; two more cases in New Zealand have been reported, taking the country’s toll of active cases to nine; The AFL has banned full group contact training sessions for at least four weeks due to the Conor McKenna positive test.
June 19, 2020: Daily brief… South Australia will lift border restrictions to travellers from Queensland from midnight. People coming into the state will not be required to self-isolate for 14 days; Victoria has recorded 13 new COVID-19 cases ahead of a planned easing of restrictions this coming Monday. The Victoria Government are monitoring the coronavirus date on an hourly basis; South Australia has broken its previous record of 19 days with no new cases by not having any new cases in more than three weeks; Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson have spoken about a need to work together to push for an independent investigation into the origin of the coronavirus outbreak; New Zealand has three new cases of coronavirus, only days after it declared itself among the first countries in the world to be free of the virus; Chinese authorities have found trading areas for meat and seafood in Beijing’s food market to be contaminated with the coronavirus and suspect the low temperature and high humidity as contributing factors; Due to the nation’s jobless rate hitting an 18-year high, the Morrison government is looking to revamp its $70 billion JobKeeper program and maintain higher payments to the unemployed.
June 18, 2020: Daily brief… Australia’s unemployment rate climbed to 7.1 per cent in May from 6.4 per cent in April, with the Bureau of Statistics estimating a further 227,700 jobs were lost last month; a COVID-19 treatment trial has been approved for critically-ill patients unable to consent, where it is considered in their best interests and involves low risk; coronavirus cases in Victoria have risen by 18 with two childcare centres closed after positive tests were returned.
June 17, 2020: More than racing… Renault Formula 1 engineers have played a vital role in the development of a new COVID-19 treatment device. The aerosol shield, named the ‘Oxford Box’ has been designed to be a barrier between the frontline medical staff and the patient undergoing intubation. It allows access to the patient, while keeping medical staff safe from infection.
Daily brief… South Australia’s borders will be reopened to travellers from Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania from midnight. The change means travellers from those states will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days when they arrive in South Australia; Australians hoping for an overseas holiday are out of luck, with the federal tourism minister saying the nation’s borders are likely to stay closed until next year.
June 16, 2020: Did you know… The army is out there and helping on the frontline and behind the scenes contact tracing and planning support teams for all state and territory governments and supporting law enforcement agencies with mandatory quarantine arrangements, as part of Operation COVID-19 Assist.
Daily brief… Another person (the third) who attended the Black Lives Matter protest last weekend has tested positive for COVID-19, among 12 new daily cases; China has reported 49 new cases from an outbreak at a Beijing market; the UK Government is reviewing its two-metre social distancing rule despite the daily death toll still being around 100.
June 15, 2020: Bill of frights… The longest-hospitalised COVID-19 survivor, Michael Flor, 70, from Seattle who spent 64 days in Washington’s Swedish Medical Centre has been billed $1.6 million for his stay.
Daily brief… China has recorded a new outbreak, this time at a meat market in Xinfadi where six new domestic COVID-19 cases were confirmed. People were forbidden from leaving their homes in 11 residential estates in south Beijing’s Fengtai district near the market. .
June 12, 2020: Viral art… Street art has been springing up around Australia during the coronavirus crisis, with depictions of everything from the spiky virus itself to the bad advice of US president Donald Trump. Here’s a tip, don’t drink bleach and stay inside.
Daily brief… People with disabilities would no longer have to pay a 10 per cent coronavirus loading fee for support services and the extra charges will be scrapped on July 1, including 10-day cancellation periods; NSW Rose Bay public school has been closed temporarily due to a confirmed case of coronavirus now being investigated by NSW Health.
June 11, 2020: Balls up… AFL player Ollie Wines has been suspended from a match after breaching COVID-19 protocols. “The protocols are very clear that players and officials should only have essential visitors attend their homes.” AFL General Counsel Andrew Dillon said.
Daily brief… The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee states that a person who attended the large protest, Black Lives Matter in Victoria, have been tested positive and it will take some days to determine whether other people have been infected.
June 10, 2020: You booze, you lose… There has been a substantial increase in both men and women’s drinking habits during the COVID-19 pandemic, with women taking on childcare duties having the highest rise. Professor Nicholas Biddle from Australian National University Centre for Social Research and Methods said: “For males, a strong predictor for increased drinking was because of a loss of job or decline in working hours. For females a strong predictor for increased drinking was having child-caring role.” The World Health Organisation says alcohol consumption increases the risk of getting the coronavirus infection also.
Game on… English comedian James Veitch reviews and gives a tutorial on a Lockdown board game.
Daily brief… The Medical Research Future Fund and the Australian Government is investing $66 million in further funding for a COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research; The number of medical and health care support staff deaths in the US has reached nearly 600, the majority of them people of color.
June 9, 2020: Daily brief… China has warned students to think twice about studying in Australia citing a rise in racist abuse and attacks on Chinese over the coronavirus; There were just two new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours across Australia, with both being returned travellers; New Zealand today removed all virus restrictions after declaring it had been eradicated from the country; Limited numbers of football fans will be allowed to attend AFL games in NSW and South Australia this weekend, with around 2,000 allowed in general admission at Adelaide Oval; Moscow is easing lockdown restrictions after the first signs the coronavirus is abating there, one of the worst hit countries in Europe.
June 8, 2020: Daily brief…The Australian economy and its largest iron ore miners — BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals — are set to benefit from Brazil’s misfortune during COVID19; The Federal Government has announced that Australia’s free childcare scheme, that was brought in as a pandemic financial relief measure, will end on July 12; This morning New Zealand announced that they will move to “alert level one” from midnight tonight, after the country declared it had no active coronavirus cases; AMA Tony Bartone has urged anyone who attended a Black Lives Matter rally over the weekend to self-isolate for two weeks.
The royal treatment… Britain’s Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have revealed that they have been anonymously helping out on a crisis helpline during the coronavirus lockdown in the UK.
June 7, 2020: Protest goes ahead… A last minute reprieve in the NSW Court of Appeals today saw the Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney made legal despite public health concerns about the potential spread of coronavirus. Read James Yousif’s full report below.
June 5, 2020: Rally rejected… The NSW supreme court has tonight ruled tomorrow’s Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney is unlawful due to COVID-19 restrictions while Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy has urged Australians not to attend Black Lives Matter rallies planned across Australian cities this weekend, saying “the virus is still in our community”.
Daily brief… NSW hospitals are free of coronavirus ICU patients for the first time in weeks; India’s Health Ministry has reported another record spike in new coronavirus cases – more than 9,800 in the past 24 hours; Australia is expected to be nearly $200 billion in debt next year with no budget surpluses in sight thanks to the coronavirus hit on the economy; Qantas boss Alan Joyce says the airline needs to offer cut-price airfares to encourage pandemic-weary Australians to travel again and slow the company’s $40 million weekly cash burn.
June 4, 2020: The grass is greener on the other side… PM Scott Morrison announced a $688m HomeBuilder package where Australian’s looking to build or renovate will able to get up to $25k from the federal government to keep the construction industry moving but one homeowner wasn’t too impressed, worried about more pressing issues… his grass, see below.
Daily brief…Queensland opens for Queenslanders with premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announcing today that Qantas and Jetstar will put on 62 new intrastate flights every week by the end of June; Since 8pm last night there have been two more confirmed cases in NSW, both new cases are travellers who are currently in hotel quarantine; The latest estimates by market research company Roy Morgan found in May this year 14.8 per cent of the workforce (2.09 million Australians) were unemployed; New Zealand released a date for when it will achieve its grand plan of elimination of COVID-19: June 15; George Floyd, whose death has sparked protests across the United States was infected with COVID-19 at the time of his arrest, his autopsy has revealed.
June 3, 2020: Whats your ISO-persona?… Bloomberg reporter shares lockdown tips for introverts and extroverts from the The Myers-Briggs Company.
Daily brief… Australia is now in recession Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirms, breaking a 29-year stint of economic growth; Australian councils reportedly cant ‘keep up’ with the increased volume of household waste brought on by more spending and online shopping during lockdown; Victoria Police will not fine those attending a #BlackLivesMatter protest this weekend, though warn of risks for those involved of catching coronavirus; The government is spending $66 million on developing a COVID-19 vaccine; Australian loungewear brand Papinelle continues to boom in never before seen sales at almost a 300 per cent increase compared to the last financial quarter due to online sales.
June 2, 2020: Care on the catwalk… British Vogue has paid tribute to frontline workers in their July issue by sharing three covers featuring supermarket assistant Anisa Omar, train driver Narguis Horsford and midwife Rachel Miller.
Daily brief… An autopsy on the 30-year-old Queensland man that reportedly died of coronavirus last week has confirmed the test was a false positive, and that he had other health ailments; a preschool in Melbourne’s north-east has closed and children have been sent home to quarantine after a teacher tested positive; today it was announced that from Saturday June 13 NSW residents will be able to return to gyms, tattoo and massage parlours, yoga and pilates classes, dance lessons, community centres, indoor pools, saunas, and low contact sport.
June 1, 2020: Daily brief… Restrictions are easing across QLD, NSW, VIC and SA today with each state implementing their own rules; many of our favourite watering holes can open subject to the 4sq m rule; and restrictions are also easing on beauty and nail salons, museums, libraries, and places of worship; the PM has revealed a coronavirus stimulus plan with cash grants for new home builds and possibly home renos.
See here for a comprehensive list of restrictions easing in your area today.
May 29, 2020: Sign of the times… Hatch is wondering if we should paint a green circle on our bums to ward off coronavirus.
Daily brief… The National Cabinet met for the first time in two weeks today to assess how the country is emerging from lockdown; the outbreak on the live-export ship in Fremantle WA has now doubled in cases with a total of 12 crew members testing positive; a school student in Melbourne’s north-west has tested positive to COVID-19 in association with a recent family cluster, leading the school to shut down for a deep clean; South Korea has re-introduced social distancing restrictions after a spike in coronavirus cases, their highest rate of new infections in almost two months.
May 28, 2020: Stalkers… Times are tough at the moment, to the point that people are secretly trimming their broccoli stalks to shave off a few bucks at the checkout.
Daily brief… The United State’s has reached another grim milestone today as the death toll passes 100,000 while almost 1.7 million Americans have been infected with the virus; Australian department store David Jones will close dozens of stores after the pandemic has seen sales plummet; the NRL is finally back with tonight’s clash between the Parramatta Eels and Brisbane Broncos; Northern Territory will end the mandatory two-week hotel quarantine for interstate travellers from June 15, and instead travellers can self isolate at a place of their choice; and across the water New Zealand has now gone five days without a new case of COVID-19.
May 27, 2020: Daily brief… In the regional Queensland town of Blackwater which had previously reported zero cases, a 30-year-old man has become the youngest person in Australia to die of coronavirus; crew members that had tested positive to COVID-19 on the live export ship that docked in Fremantle, WA, were allowed to disembark and enter isolation while they recovered; Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews says there are eight new cases of coronavirus in the state since yesterday and has reiterated that if you’re working from home you should continue to do so until at least July.
Meanwhile, it looks like BBC News is a cheapskate like the rest of us after an interview was cut short when the 40 minutes ran out on their free version of Zoom.
May 26, 2020: Daily brief… The first human trials on a human vaccine in the southern hemisphere begin at Victoria’s Alfred Hospital today, conducted by US company Novavax; meanwhile the World Health Organisation has suspended trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which US president Donald Trump was taking, as unsafe; of the nine news cases of coronavirus yesterday seven were travellers from overseas who were immediately isolated in hotels; Victorian schoolchildren begin returning to school today; shops in the UK have been given the go-ahead to reopen on June 15.
May 25, 2020: Daily brief… Students head back to school full-time today in NSW and Queensland; four states and the Northern Territory have now recorded no new coronavirus cases for over a week; The AFL will release its draw today, with the season plying ahead without spectators.
May 22, 2020: Daily brief… An 80-year-old woman has died in Concord Hospital, Sydney, over night, the 48th death in NSW; there were only three new infection cases recorded in the state over the past 24 hours from 8600 tests; Victoria has recorded 12 new cases, five linked to the Cedar Meats cluster; South Australia has recorded only one infection case in the past 28 days; Qantas will not operate social distancing on board flights when they reopen for domestic and international flights, but will increase sanitising of aircraft and dispensing masks to passengers.
May 21, 2020: Daily brief… While Australia’s rate of infections has plummeted, the spread of the virus worldwide is still yet to peak, with a record 106,000 infections recorded yesterday.
May 20, 2020: A student at elite boarding school St Ignatius College Riverview in Sydney has tested positive for coronavirus, and the school has been temporarily closed.
Daily brief… Qantas says it will give passengers masks on its flights, but there will be no physical distancing on flights, even though there will be in terminals; restrictions on regional travel to be eased in NSW from June 1; there were only four new infection cases recorded overnight in NSW from 7,000 tests; across the country there are 47 people still in hospital; the Northern Territory Museum and Art Gallery has become the first major arts institution in Australia to reopen; the UK’s virus death toll has passed 35,000 with a quarter of a million people infected; Sweden, which has had far laxer restrictions than other nations, is currently recording the highest number of coronavirus deaths per capita in Europe.
May 19, 2020: Grim milestone… A resident at Newmarch House has become the 100th person to die in Australia of coronavirus, and the 19th at the aged care facility. She was been named as 93-year-old Alice Bacon.
Daily brief… School children will go back to classes full-time from Monday in NSW; US president Donald Trump has revealed he has been taking malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and zinc supplements for the past week and-a-half to ward off coronavirus; government officials are said to believe new barley tariffs imposed by China on Australian farmers are in response to Scott Morrison leading calls for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19.
May 18, 2020: Daily brief… A dozen McDonalds restaurants in Victoria have been closed for 14 days after a delivery driver, who tested positive to coronavirus, was linked to a cluster; a Dominos and a bedding manufacturer have also closed in the state after contact with a coronavirus carrier; meanwhile Cedar Meats, where Victoria has had its worst cluster, will begin a limited reopening; Qantas has won a federal court decision allowing them to stop paying sick pay during the pandemic shutdown; capacity on public transport in NSW has been cut by 75 per cent leading to long waits on some services as buses allow only 12 passengers at a time and train carriages 32, with authorities urging residents to cycle or walk to work; an emergency meeting of the World Health Organisation, backed by 116 countries, will be held today to discuss an Australia-led motion for an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus.
May 15, 2020: Daily brief… Pubs and cafes will reopen with strict limitations today in NSW and the Northern Territory; eight news cases have been identified in NSW from 12,200 tests in the past 24 hours; unemployment in Australia went up by one per cent in the past month to 6.2 per cent with almost 600,000 losing their jobs, however the rate was largely protected by JobKeeper subsidies and people still classified as working, though their hours had been slashed (the real rate is thought to be 11.7 per cent); the global death toll from coronavirus has passed 300,000 with more than 4.4 million infected; from yesterday every single country in Africa had been touched by the virus, with 2,496 deaths, among them a former President of the Republic of the Congo and a former prime minister of Somalia.
When all else fails… South Park has the answer.
May 14, 2020: Daily brief… Australia’s unemployment rate has risen to 6.2 per cent (up 1 per cent on last month) due to job losses caused by the coronavirus lockdown, with nearly 600,000 people being put out of work in a month; more than 6 million workers are receiving JobKeeper subsidies and are not counted in unemployment figures; South Australia’s chief public health officer Dr Nicola Spurrier says the recovery rate in the state has been 99.8 per cent with only on infection case still outstanding.
May 13, 2020: New symptoms… An inflammatory disease in children being linked to coronavirus has killed three young people, from five to 18, in New York and infected over 100, New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo has said. The illness which inflames blood vessels has symptoms like toxic shock syndrome and Kawasaki disease. Meanwhile, doctors around the world have reported a notable increase of strokes in adults who contract coronavirus, caused by increased blood clotting.
Daily brief… Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has tested negative for coronavirus after having a coughing fit at the dispatch box in parliament; another passenger from the Ruby Princess has died, taking the toll of fatalities from the ship to 22; China has banned Australian meat imports from four abattoirs in a growing tariff war with Australia; Russia now has the second largest number of COVID-19 infections in the world with over 232,000, but has recorded significantly fewer deaths than other badly hit countries such as Spain, France, the UK and the US; the city of Wuhan in China, where the outbreak began, plans to test every one of its 11 million citizens; performers, including Billy Joel, have taken part in a huge fundraiser for the City of New York.
May 12, 2020: Stage plight… Everyone’s had to make adaptions to life in lockdown, but how do you rehearse if you’re in a play in limbo? Hatch reporter Eilish Beahan-Goff finds out.
Daily brief… Victorian premier Daniel Andrews announces a staggered return to secondary school from May 26 and primary school from June 9; NSW has recorded no new infection cases for the first time since the start of the outbreak in the state; the White House has initiated a policy of staff wearing masks after at least two staff members tested positive for coronavirus; Britain’s Stay Alert campaign, signalling an easing of restrictions, has been criticised by the public as being incomprehensible.
May 11, 2020: Crisis and compromise… The full impact of pandemic-led curbs on basic rights, freedom of speech and the reporting and reach of the press is still evolving. In this interview with Hatch’s Yohan Yun, Rappler co-founder Maria Ressa discusses how the pandemic is affecting journalism.
Daily brief… School students start going back today in some states, including NSW, for from one day in primary to up to four days for HSC students; NSW has announced wide-scale easing of restrictions from Friday, with Victoria announcing its response later today; the federal deficit this financial year may be as high as $143 billion according to the annual Budget Monitor from Deloitte Access Economics, which also predicts a cumulative deficit over the next three years of $359 billion; over 4 million people worldwide have now tested positive for coronavirus, and more than 280,000 have died.
May 8, 2020: Daily brief… A cluster of cases at Cedar Meats abattoir in Victoria has grown to 62 cases, with 13 new infections recorded yesterday; the National Cabinet has met today to discuss easing restrictions across the country with the prime minister announcing a three-stage easing of restrictions; Australian banks have deferred $160 billion in loans during the coronavirus crisis; in 9,400 tests yesterday in NSW only four new infections were detected state premier Gladys Berejiklian said; over 33 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits since the March lockdown began, with over 75,000 deaths now – the worst affected country in the world.
May 7, 2020: This sporting life… Just sticking to your daily routine has been hard enough for average people, but athletes continuing to train for Olympics selection and other big sports meets are having it particularly hard. Hatch’s James Thompson looked at how some are keeping motivated.
Daily brief… It has been revealed that two healthcare workers who boarded the Ruby Princess cruise ship to treat sick passengers when it docked at Circular Quay, attended Newmarch House just two days later, but the link between Australia’s two worst clusters has been dismissed by NSW Health; the COVIDSafe app has been downloaded by over 5 million Australians.
May 6, 2020: Daily brief… Almost a million people have lost their jobs in Australia since social distancing laws were introduced; a 16th person has died at Newmarch House and the NSW state opposition has called for an inquiry into the cluster at the aged care home; in the US J. Crew has become the first big retailer to go bankrupt because of the virus, as the country braces for an estimated 3000 deaths a day; the UK has passed Italy as the worst affected country in Europe with over 29,000 deaths.
May 5, 2020: Daily brief… The inquiry into the Ruby Princess cruise line debacle, that has resulted in 21 deaths, has heard NSW Health based their decision not to quarantine passengers on the wrong information; new infection cases remain low in Australia as many parents prepare for their children to return to school part-time next week; Treasurer Josh Frydenberg warns the Australian economy is racking up $4 billion in debt every week of the lockdown; Sydney arts centre Carriageworks goes into administration claiming the shutdown or cancellation of live events for a six-month period has made the business unsustainable.
May 4, 2020: Daily brief… A week after schools went back with a limited number of pupils, schools in Victoria and NSW have been closed after a teacher and a student tested positive to COVID-19; the Auckland Warriors have arrived in NSW en route to Tamworth, where they are relocating for the start of the NRL season at the end of May; the number of people infected worldwide has passed 3.5 million with over 250,000 dying; supporters have rallied around Victorian premier Daniel Andrews after Federal education minister Dan Tehan accused him of poor leadership by delaying the staggered return to school in that state; the number of coronavirus cases at Victorian abattoir Cedar Meats has risen to 19.
May 3, 2020: Distrust of medical message… Interesting poll (inside a Twitter bubble albeit) of over 2,000 people who overwhelmingly feel the medical advice from Australia’s chief medical officer is politically slanted.
Daily brief… US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has alleged the deadly coronavirus escaped from a lab in Wuhan. It follows various reports over the past fortnight about virus testing on bats taking place at a facility in Wuhan, previously visited by US officials, over several years; a cluster of 15 cases of coronavirus has been identified at a meatworks in Victoria.
May 2, 2020: Daily brief… A 76-year-old woman has died from the virus at Anglicare’s Newmarch House, bringing the death toll from the cluster at the aged care home to 14.
May 1, 2020: Get into the groove… Here’s Hatch reporter Talya Jacobson TikTok doco’ing her sister’s isolation dance class she now does from her garage.
Come fly with me… British WWII veteran Captain Tom Moore, who has raised over £56 million ($109 million) for the National Health Service (NHS) celebrates his 100th birthday today and has been inundated with cards. Captain Moore began doing laps of his Bedford garden to raise £1000, but his appeal soon took off. He has since had a number one single in the UK with his cover version of You’ll Never Walk Alone. The RAF today did a flyover of his home.
Morning brief… Another death at Sydney’s Newmarch House aged care facility brings the total to 13, while in Melbourne the Hawthorn Grange nursing home is the center of another new cluster; from today groups of two people can visit other people’s homes in a slight relaxation of social distancing rules in NSW; more than 30 million Americans have now been made unemployed by the coronavirus; the Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin is the latest high-profile politician to test positive to the virus; in Michigan armed protesters have stormed the State House complaining about lockdown restrictions.
April 30, 2020: Hatch’s student reporters have been operating from their bedrooms and balconies since the start of the nationwide lockdown. Check out there latest series of reports.
Morning brief… Experimental drug remdesivir is being hailed as possibly the first effective treatment for coronavirus, with the US’s director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci saying it sped up recovery times and improved the fatality rate, albeit modestly; the US Food and Drug Administration is set to use emergency powers to approve remdesivir for use; a 12th person has died of COVID-19 at Newmarch House, making it the country’s worst cluster after the Ruby Princess. Question A? Why don’t they move seriously ill COVID-19 patients into an ICU for more expert care? Question B? Why is the prime minister threatening to prosecute aged care homes for not opening up to visitors? Mixed messages…
April 29, 2020: Morning brief… A total of five deaths from coronavirus recorded at Anglicare’s Newmarch House in the past 24 hours (now totalling 11), has made it the worst day for deaths in NSW and raised questions about why infected aged care residents are not being transferred to hospital ICUs; the federal government has offered private schools $3.3 billion to get students back to school within a month; most supermarkets today will lift restrictions on certain groceries you can buy, including toilet paper, pasta and rice; Tokyo Olympics officials have said the postponed games may have to be scrapped altogether if a vaccine for COVID-19 is not developed by next year to ensure safety.
April 28, 2020: Morning brief… New Zealand, which has had some of the strictest lockdown rules in the world, is easing some restrictions today and allowing people to go back to work, after eliminating community contact spread of the virus; a seventh resident at Anglicare Newmarch House aged care home in western Sydney has died; over 2 million Australians have downloaded the COVIDSafe app, but there are complaints that backpackers and foreign visitors are unable to access it on overseas phone plans; Bondi beach reopens for surfing and swimming; the last recovered patient has been released from a hospital in Wuhan, China, the source of the outbreak; global infection cases pass 3 million and deaths 211,000 (about a quarter of them in the USA).
April 27, 2020: Come together… One of the things the coronavirus lockdown has done is give people a greater sense of community, and whether you’re in Mudgee or Kolkata, communities are reacting in similar ways. Like the Canon Mooney Gardens Residents Association in Ireland.
Morning brief… New infection cases in Australia remain low and some states have started to ease restrictions, including Western Australia, where permissible gatherings will be extended from two people to 10; Health minister Greg Hunt says 1 million people downloaded its COVIDSafe app in the first five hours; British PM Boris Johnson has returned to work after recovering from the virus – in the time since he contracted the virus 19,000 people have died in the UK; more than 26 million Americans have registered for unemployment benefits after being made jobless by the virus.
April 26, 2020: Don’t worry, be appy… The Australian government tonight (6pm) has launched the COVIDSafe app to track the spread of the virus. The mobile phone app, similar to ones used in Singapore and South Korea, uses bluetooth to connect with other people who have the app on their phone. If you are within 1.5m of them for 15 minutes or more, the app logs the interaction. If in the following 21 days anyone (friends, family or strangers) you’ve been in contact with is positively tested for COVID-19, the app will warn you to get tested. Because of concerns about authorities using the data for other purposes, there are strict privacy measures in place, includng data being wiped after 21 days. Download it and save lives, maybe your own!
April 25, 2020: Morning brief… Anzac Day has been marked by Australians across the country by standing at the end of their driveway or garden path at 6am for a minute’s silence; while the rate of infections in Australia has slowed right down, the number of deaths jumped by five in 24 hours; former Democrat presidential contender Elizabeth Warren’s elder brother has died of coronavirus, three weeks after contracting it; there are now close to 3 million cases and 200,000 deaths worldwide.
April 24, 2020: Are you sure about that?… Prime Minister Scott Morrison says social distancing in schools is not important and has also threatened legal action against aged care homes which don’t open their doors to visitors. In the meantime experts in the UK say deaths in aged care homes are likely to more than double the UK’s fatality toll to 40,000.
Dance of life… It took a while for the message to get through, but it looks like social distancing has finally taken off in Manly (although we do hear it’s only among sculptures, and to stay away from the promenade).
Morning brief… NSW announces only seven new infections, despite ramping up tests to a record 7,000 a day, and extends testing beyond cluster areas and known-sufferer contact to anyone in the state who fears they may have symptoms; Victoria has recorded only six new cases among 3,500 tests in the past 24 hours; first human trial underway at Oxford University in Britain involving 800 people; the Ruby Princess cruise ship, which left Australia yesterday, has been linked to another COVID-19 cluster in Tasmania.
April 23, 2020: Special inquiry… Meanwhile the second day of the NSW Commission of inquiry into the Ruby Princess debacle has heard staff on board the ship were surprised when NSW Health did not come aboard when it docked at Circular Quay to disembark passengers, many of them infected (766 passengers and crew have been infected and 21 have died), on March 19. The liner’s hotel manager Charles Verwall said passengers were displaying symptoms of coronavirus even though tests carried out in New Zealand had come back negative. He said the actions of NSW Heath were in marked contrast to previous dockings where meticulous inspections were carried out.
Ship to shore… As the Ruby Princess prepares to leave port, Princess Cruises thanks the Illawarra for harbouring the ship, while many ports around the country and world have shunned COVID-19 affected liners. Jan Swartz, the firm’s president, also said the company was donating $50,000 to the Mission to Seafarers charity at Port Kembla, which had previously arranged a thousand care parcels for crew stranded on board. “The Illawarra community never lost sight of the fact that this was all about people caught up in difficult circumstances that were not of their making,” Ms Swartz said.
Morning brief… A doctor from the Ruby Princess has told investigating police that she would not have disembarked passengers at Circular Quay; new infection cases in Australia remains low, and there has been just one death since yesterday; the UN says there has been an 8 per cent decline in global carbon emissions because of the lockdown, bans on travel and the curtailment to industry.
April 22, 2020: Morning brief… Sydney’s Bondi Beach will reopen for surfers but not sunbathers next week; the UK says it will begin human trials on a vaccine for coronavirus from next week; the Ruby Princess crew, including over 40 infected with the virus, will be gradually taken off the ship and flown home, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said; global infections have passed 2.5 million with a quarter of deaths occurring in the United States; Singapore has experienced a serious second surge of the virus after initially successfully locking it down; the Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe says the country needs to seriously reform tax laws to give the economy a chance of recovering.
April 21, 2020: Morning brief… NSW schools will begin a staggered reintroduction of face-to-face teaching, with students returning to schools one-day a week from May 11, and a return to normal by the start of term 3; across Australia only 13 new cases of infection were recorded yesterday; restrictions on elective surgery to start being lifted today; travel bans brought in to stop the spread of the virus have pushed Virgin Australia into voluntary administration with over $5 billion in debts and up to 20,000 full-time and contractor jobs under threat; self-isolation has led to the lowest regular flu-rate for this time of the year in Australia, with only 99 cases logged, compared to 18,000 at the same time last year;
April 20, 2020: It’s sport Jim, but not as we know it… From marble racing (it’s mesmerising!) to the Tajikistan footie league, check out Hatch reporter James Thompson’s guide to lockdown sports.
Virus reviews… There has been an unprecedented, in scale and speed, response from the scientific community to finding a vaccine for coronavirus. A recent review found there are currently 291 active clinical trials being conducted around the world specifically on COVID-19, 109 of which are looking at effective drug treatments.
Die herd… Sweden’s government stood out in the early days of the pandemic as being one of the few countries putting the onus on personal decision-making, i.e. a herd immunity approach, but is coming under increasing fire as Sweden’s infection rate skyrockets. While Australia has seen its graph not only flattening the curve but on a determinedly downward trend, Sweden’s rate has gone near vertical.
Under the Milky Way tonight… Singer/songwriter Steve Kilbey (he of The Church) has been livestreaming shows from his Coogee lounge room during the virus lockdown. His latest is… tonight! 6pm. Check it out. But it’s not all beer and skittles and this is about performers trying to make a living. So if you watch the show make a donation too – even if it’s just a couple of bucks. Think of what you’d pay to see a live gig – that should put it in perspective.
Morning brief… The Grattan Institute estimates 3.5 million people could be made jobless during the pandemic in Australia; only one new case in Victoria identified from some 7,000+ tests carried out over the weekend; only six new cases in NSW from over 4,000 tests; no new cases recorded in Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, the ACT or the Northern Territory; cases of infected people in Europe passes 1 million and deaths 100,000; Britain’s Sunday Times reveals PM Boris Johnson missed five key coronavirus crisis meetings at the start of the pandemic – Britain’s toll of fatalities has now reached 16,060; restrictions on exercising lifted at some Australian beaches, including Maroubra, Coogee and Clovelly in Sydney, despite the areas being part of the city’s major virus hotspots.
April 19, 2020: McShopping… With the exception of Tasmania, you can now buy bread, muffins, eggs and milk at McDonald’s drive-thrus as part of the fast-food giant’s basic expansion into groceries during the pandemic. Strange times indeed!
Too cruel for school… While PM Scott Morrison continues to bang on about the low risk to school children from coronavirus and urge teachers to be ‘frontline heroes’ the government’s said nothing about cases outside of Australia that point to the risks of schools remaining open. Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s biggest cluster at the Marist College in Auckland saw cases escalate from eight to 52 in five days, with total cases now standing at 93.
Invisible infections… In a general sample of the population, blood analysis of 3,600 people living in Santa Clara, California, by researchers has found one in 66 was infected with the virus, making it at least 50 times more widespread than previously thought but also far less deadly.
Stir crazy, but brilliant… This is more F Troop than F1. Don’t let coronavirus get you down folks!
Morning brief… Deaths in Spain have passed 20,000, and the UK records 888 new deaths to pass 15,000; New York, the worst-affected city in the world, records its first decrease in the number of deaths in two weeks; the Ruby Princess, currently docked at Port Kembla, will leave Australia on Thursday with 160 of its 1,000+ crew having so far tested positive for coronavirus, among them 13 who had been hospitalised; all-up there are 21 known deaths linked to the ship and over 900 infections making it the worst single cluster worldwide; an extra 3 million flu shots have been bought by the federal government to cover a surge in demand.
The Big Pause… What many of us are thinking.
April 18: Morning brief… China updates its fatality statistics for the city of Wuhan, the source of the outbreak, by 1,290, saying deaths were 50 per cent higher than previously reported once cases at home, that had not been counted, were added and records in jails and funeral homes updated; China has strongly denied accusations, mainly in the US, of a cover-up of the extent of infections and deaths; a Japanese family is suing Carnival Corporation for $1 million following the death of a family member from coronavirus caught on board the Ruby Princess cruise ship.
April 17, 2020: Stay home… Are you coping with isolation? Getting bored yet? Hatch’s Talya Jacobson TikTok’s her day.
Morning brief… Scott Morrison has outlined the measures necessary for easing social restrictions and returning the economy to normal, which include wider testing of asymptomatic people, contact-tracing app-tracking of people’s coronavirus status and a more robust health system that could deal with local outbreaks; NSW has doubled the number of ICU beds and is upgrading a number of hospitals with specialist COVID-19 wards; the state is also considering a staggered rostering system of reintroducing face-to-face teaching in schools from week three of term two, saying the process could take up to a year; a seven-week-old baby boy has tested positive to the virus in Sydney; the Anglicare Newmarch House aged care facility in Caddens now has 29 confirmed cases; NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller says there has been an increase in domestic violence incidents, but DV assaults are down; with less cars on the road police say there has been a 40 per cent increase in speeding offences in NSW.
April 16, 2020: Mr COVID-19… A Sydney dance teacher once paid 100 euros to pose for generic stock photos doing stuff around his house has become the unwitting face of the coronavirus pandemic. Jeremy Tang’s image is frequently used in stories to illustrate life under lockdown.
Sign of the times… In the many press conferences being held on coronavirus, signers for the deaf have become almost ubiquitous. And one of the joys of seeing more signers on our TV screens is (because of their need to be hyper expressive in conveying their message) they always seem to be having a far better time than everyone around them.
Morning brief… Testing rates in NSW back up to over 3,000 tests in the past day, with only 11 new cases; 15 cases recorded at the Anglicare Newmarch House aged care home in Caddens in western Sydney, the latest major Australian cluster; now over 2 million infections worldwide, with the number having doubled in two weeks; Australians are drinking more while in lockdown new research shows; the real death toll in the UK is feared to be much higher with as many as 40 per cent of COVID-19 deaths coming from aged care homes, which are not being added to the official count.
April 15, 2020: Investigations socially distance… Fascinating that while a police criminal investigation into the Ruby Princess debacle is in full swing, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian comes out and announces her own, which will wrap up in faster time (with George Pell’s barrister leading it). Could Gladys be trying to get ahead of findings that paint NSW Health in a bad light? We bet those ‘all in it together’ morning press conferences she holds with police commissioner Mick Fuller will be a bit frostier now.
The distance between us… The New York Times has a great interactive graphic, showing how far sneeze droplets can carry (26ft – ouch!) and their app can show you how far to keep from people while socially distancing. Here’s me working out how close I can get to the cat and chickens. @newmanmartin
Morning brief… Donald Trump announces the US will cut it’s funding to the World Health Organisation, criticising it for its use of funding and accusing it of covering up the spread of the virus (smells like blame-shifting to us); he’s not the best orator (or mathematician) either is our Don, just told a press conference the worst day of his life was when he was told America would need 130,000 ventilators to deal with the crisis but was hundreds of thousands of ventilators short; the Australian government will this week discuss strategies for exiting the coronavirus shutdown; the International Monetary Fund has forecast a global recession with gross domestic products declining by 3 per cent, a 6.3 per cent difference to the 3.3 per cent growth projected just a few months ago in January.
April 14, 2020: The Love Boat… This really is heart-warming. More than 1,000 charity care packages have been loaded onto the Ruby Princess at Port Kembla today for the neglected, shunned crew of the tragic ship. The Mission to Seafarers Port Kembla organised the care packages – containing food, soft drinks, toiletries and other items such as make-up – to be given to those on-board. The packages have been donated from community members across the Illawarra and packed by the charity. The boat has over a thousand crew members and some passengers still on board, an unknown number of whom are infected with coronavirus. A win for humanity, amidst the fear and recriminations.
Down the Mudge… If you’re a city-dweller and thought life in the country, where everyone’s spread out more, might be a bit easier, think again. Hatch reporter Annika Baker reports from Mudgee, where businesses have ground to a halt and families struggle to get supplies in.
Keep your shirt on… Actor Matthew McConaughey has posted a DIY mask-making video on Instagram as alter-ego Bobby Bandito.
Stand and deliver… Not everyone is doing badly from the coronavirus. Online sales are booming and in the US Amazon has just announced they will employ another 75,000 staff. This comes after the company announced a month ago it was putting on 100,000 extra temporary staff. In Australia, supermarkets Coles and Woolworths, as well as telcos such as Telstra have all put on jobs to deal with increased demand. However, it’s not all good news, as some staff at Amazon in the US have been striking over safety and work conditions in its warehouses.
Morning brief… NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian says same-day negative test results will now be available in NSW; Australia’s unemployment level to rise to 10 per cent, the highest level in 26 years, from 5 per cent before the virus crisis; government says JobKeeper allowance has stopped jobless rate hitting 15 per cent; 700,000 to lose their jobs by middle of the year; only 100 international visitors due in Sydney today – that compares to the 11,500 daily average in non-coronavirus times; 1.9 million people now infected worldwide.
April 13, 2020: Morning brief… Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been issued in fines over the Easter weekend for breaking social distancing rules, including $800,000 in Queensland alone; the comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor, famous for his role in British comedy The Goodies, a favorite of kids growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, has died aged 79 from coronavirus; the government has unveiled a $440 million package for renters and landlords.
April 12, 2020: Pariah-status finally pays off for North Korea… Already self-isolating North Korea is one of the few countries to record no coronavirus cases yet (it claims) after being one of the first to lockdown it’s populace and quarantine anyone from abroad, who were mostly diplomats.
Haute COVID-19…. Coronavirus fashion appears to be loosening up.
Tassie hotspot… The Tasmanian government has closed two hospitals on the north west coast and put 1,000 members of staff or their families in a two-week quarantine. Almost half the states infection cases are from the area and 35 staff members have tested positive at the North West Regional Hospital and North West Private Hospital in Burnie.
Aged care… Europe is considering keeping elderly people on lockdown until the end of the year.
Morning brief… The quietest Easter Sunday has been ushered in in living memory in Australia, with church services moved online and families told not to visit one another; another passenger from the Ruby Princess cruise ship has died, bringing the national toll from the doomed pleasure cruise to 16 of Australia’s 57 fatalities;
April 11, 2020: Humour’s not black and white… The world’s first coronavirus sitcom launched in Spain on Tuesday to mixed reviews. All 15 actors in Radio Television Espanola’s Quarantine Diaries film themselves from their own homes. With over 15,000 deaths in hard-hit Spain the show really begs the question ‘when is too soon to joke about tragedy?’ Increasingly, it seems, as virtually everyone in the world has been affected in some way by coronavirus or its assorted impacts we all have a valid excuse to make light of it.
Like a virus… Holed up in London, Madonna has been documenting her coronavirus self-isolation in a series of Instagram videos and posts. In the latest she talks about three people she knows who have died from the virus, including a cousin, and complains about her son nagging her.
Owhhhh… Cute coronavirus baby pic.
Morning brief… The first 1,300 passengers to arrive at Sydney International Airport under the Air Transportation Quarantine Order today complete their mandatory 14-day quarantine in hotels around Sydney; South Korea says 91 patients who had recovered from coronavirus have retested as positive, after previously testing negative. They say the virus may have reactivated in them, rather than them having been reinfected ; the global death toll has passed 100,000 with more than 2,000 occurring in America in a day and almost 1,000 in the UK.
April 10, 2020: Struggle street… It’s hard not to notice more people’s belongings piled in the street as they move or are evicted for non-payment of rent, this despite a supposed moratorium on evictions.
Cough up the cash… The NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller says nearly 50 people have been issued with $1000 fines for ignoring new public health guidelines brought in to contain the spread of coronavirus. He added: “From today, police will be able to issue a $5,000 fine for spitting, coughing on an emergency service worker or someone going about their duties in a hospital or a pharmacy.”
Morning brief… It’s Easter Friday and there are strict curbs being enforced across Australia on travelling to meet family that should see an unparalleled reduction in traffic on the country’s roads for a long weekend; NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin has been fined $1000 for breaching the public health guidelines on non-essential travel by relocating to his Pearl Beach holiday home on the Central Coast; the US has recorded almost 2,000 deaths in a single day from the virus; British PM Boris Johnson has been moved out of intensive care as his condition improves; Saudi Arabia calls a two-week ceasefire in the bloody war in Yemen as 150 members of the Saudi royal family test positive for coronavirus.
April 9, 2020: Driven up the wall… These crazy days of self-isolation have stopped sport in its tracks and sent many sportspeople and organisations online. Check out Hatch reporter Charlie Bullis’ exclusive interview with racing car driver, now gamer, Todd Hazelwood about last night’s Eseries.
One more time… A 58-year-old man has been issued with $1000 fines on consecutive days on King Street, Newtown, in Sydney’s inner west, for ignoring police cautions about breaking public health guidelines, brought in to contain coronavirus. He was arrested on a third occasion and bailed to return to Newtown Local Court in June.
Morning brief… Parliament last night passed the $130 billion JobKeeper package to keep the Australian economy from collapsing; police from Strike Force Bast have raided the Ruby Princess at Port Kembla to seize documents, the voyage date recorder and to question crew and some passengers who remain onboard; The World Trade Organisation says global trade will slump by as much as 32 per cent because of the coronavirus crisis, having a worse economic impact then the Great Depression that lasted from 1929 to 1933; Bernie Sanders exits the race for the Democrat presidential nomination, saying he is too far behind Joe Biden and the impacts of coronavirus have made it impossible to continue campaigning; the states of New York and New Jersey have together recorded 7,772 deaths, more than the rest of the US combined, and much has been blamed on the dependence of New Yorkers on the tightly-packed public transport system (41 public transit workers have died and over 6,000 been infected); the UK recorded its worst day with 938 deaths; a second pop-up hospital has opened in Birmingham in the UK which can cater to up to 2000 people; British prime minister Boris Johnson is said to be sitting up in bed and doing better, although still in intensive care.
April 8, 2020: Mick moves fast… It was only a few days ago NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller prefaced a full and wide-ranging criminal investigation into the Ruby Princess debacle, and this morning Strike Force Bast (as we have just been told it’s called) had it’s first operational meeting. A team of 30 detectives from across State Crime, Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics and Marine Area Commands have been seconded to put the spotlight on everyone from the NSW Health Minister to Carnival Cruises. There have been 15 deaths around the country from the ill-fated cruise ship and over 600 people on board have returned positive COVID-19 tests. FULL BRIEF HERE
Coffee comforters… The patrons of St Marks cafe in Randwick pay extra to donate coffees to those doing it tough because they’ve lost their job to the coronavirus crisis. The tally as of this morning: 186. That’s community!
Cruise control… The army has joined police in monitoring ports along the NSW coast for public health compliance, i.e. crew and passengers on cruise ships and other visiting vessels remaining on board unless being escorted to hospital or quarantine. FULL STORY
Facetime… Want to make your own mask. Here’s a simple technique with a scarf and two rubber bands.
Morning brief… Wuhan, the city of 11 million people in central China, where coronavirus first broke out, is ending its 76-day lockdown, but folk still need permission to leave the city; China meanwhile recorded its first day in months without anyone dying from COVID-19; in contrast the US had 1,877 deaths yesterday and the UK had 786, both tracking higher than the previous hotspots of Spain and Italy; Japan’s infection rate has doubled in five days; jogging during the day has been banned in Paris; in Australia there were further signs of the containment strategy working, with a decline in infection cases continuing, although an increase in deaths, with seven yesterday; three children in quarantine at Sydney’s Hilton Hotel after returning to the country were rushed to hospital last night, one of them and an adult have now tested positive for the virus.
April 7, 2020: Can you resist… It’s that old chestnut: don’t push the button/push the button. What would you do? Well Hatch is definitely staying away from those stanky old buttons. @NicolaChrista
Every cloud… The hashtag #prayforbojo is trending in the United Kingdom with rare signs of solidarity across the country’s usually starkly divided political spectrum. Interesting times.
Who knew this would be right… In 1997 actor/director Kevin Costner brought out one of his most laughable films (there were a few) The Postman, set in a post-apocalyptic America where the mailman was the last reliable service left and a hero to those struggling with the collapse of societal norms. Fast forward to 2020 and the local postie has become a friendly face stuck-at-home self-isolators look forward to seeing each day as one of the few outside contacts in their daily routine.
State briefing: Queensland… Five cruise ships left in Queensland, all others have departed says Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, with remainder required to leave by midnight tomorrow; also registers a downward trend in infections.
State briefing: Victoria… Victoria premier Daniel Andrews says 108 non-compliance infringements have been issued; infection cases have stabilised in Victoria – but adds ‘we cannot get ahead of ourselves’; emphasises home learning and keeping students away from group gatherings as the state prepares for Term 2 flexible and remote learning next Wednesday; says every child who needs a laptop will get one.
State briefing: NSW… NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian reiterates advice to not go out, and says no one should be thinking about getting away for the Easter holiday; NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant says there has been a stabilisation and decline in new cases in NSW, although three more deaths; she says a sixth person has died from the Dorothy Henderson aged care facility and another passenger from the ill-fated Ruby Princess cruise ship; residents in Waverley, Woolahra, Lake Macquarie, Byron Bay, Nowra, Port Macquarie, Dee Why and other suburbs where unaccounted for COVID-19 infections have been found have been urged to come forward for testing.
Morning brief… British PM Boris Johnson admitted to intensive care after his symptoms worsen; worldwide there have been close to 75,000 deaths and over 1.3 million infections; Japan declares state of emergency; the death toll in the US passes 10,000 as the country now numbers more infection cases than European hotspots Italy, Spain and the UK combined; British Open golf championship goes the way of Wimbledon and other major sports events in being cancelled for 2020.
April 6, 2020: Publish or perish… It’s literally (literarily?) amazing just how quickly books are put out today on a breaking event. Have a browse through Amazon and there are already dozens (we stopped counting after the third page) tomes on the coronavirus outbreak, from self-help to quarantine romance novels. The Henry and Me boys clothes company has it’s own free e-book to explain the virus to children. CLICK HERE for a copy.
Buck up… Queen Elizabeth II has addressed Britain on the coronavirus fight to motivate and reassure her subjects. It is only the fifth time in her 68-year reign she’s made an unscheduled speech to the nation.
Morning update… British PM Boris Johnson has been hospitalised 10 days after he was diagnosed with COVID-19; the Ruby Princess has been allowed to dock at Port Kembla on the NSW South Coast, where the 1,040 crew members onboard will be treated by doctors FULL STORY HERE; cases in NSW are declining, but the government said it has also been testing fewer people; Americans told to brace for the ‘hardest, saddest week of their lives’; more than 4,000 people have now died in New York, the world’s worst-hit city.
April 5, 2020: Late update… An 11th passenger from the Ruby Princess has died, taking Australia’s overall death toll to 35; Iran announces it will begin low-risk economic activity from April 11 as one of the worst-affected countries starts to bounce back. Hoorah Iran!
#ironic… Notice how much the COVID-19 bacteria looks like one of those de-stressing balls.
Ruby update… Police commissioner Mick Fuller confirms a criminal investigation into the cruise ship fiasco will cover NSW Health, Carnival Australia, the port authority, ambulance and police. “The only way I can get to the bottom of whether our national biosecurity laws and our state laws were broken is through a criminal investigation,” he said this afternoon.
Plane offender… There are currently 55 flights to or through NSW, the country’s worst affected state, alone that have positively identified COVID-19 passengers onboard, the most recent six days ago. CLICK HERE to see the flight details and row numbers most affected, and for other states and territories.
Morning brief… Coronavirus cases in New Zealand pass the 1,000 mark as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern calls out ‘idiots’ failing to take it seriously; NSW Health announces three more deaths from the Ruby Princess, bringing the total to 10, while Sky News’ Andrew Clennell claims a police investigation into the debacle is about to become a criminal investigation (corporate manslaughter we wonder?).
April 4, 2020: A tale of two cities… Here’s a salient example from 1918 of how Philadelphia stuffed up while St Louis ‘flattened the curve’ in their different approaches to dealing with the Spanish Flu. It relates to today’s coronavirus crisis, but also worryingly warns of a second wave.
T’was a dark and stormy virus… How many books will be written about the coronavirus outbreak? We’ve probably all got at least one in us. Check out this very satisfying Twitter thread to see how a few of them might begin (Spot on Alex Leo).
Not in the pink… Singer Pink has revealed she tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago but has now recovered. She joins dozens of well-knowns who have caught coronavirus, including Idris Elba, Tom Hanks, Placido Domingo, Boris Johnson, Prince Charles, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Jackson Browne, Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Durant.
Ship of fools… NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard sounding a bit like Donald Trump at his press conference, defending the disembarkation of the Ruby Princess passengers, he says: “The experts who made the decision were the best in the world.” According to who? Brad. Both he and NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant both (stunningly) defend and try to mitigate the decision to disembark 2,700 passengers from the cruise ship despite NSW Health knowing there were possibly coronavirus cases onboard. So far, and counting, 662 people from the RP have tested positive and seven have died. So far, this is the most wrong-headed defence of a stuff-up we’ve heard in a long time. The opposition called for Hazzard’s resignation and he responded with the defence: “I didn’t know anything about the Ruby Princess.” Damning!
Morning brief… Donald Trump tells Americans they should start wearing masks as new research suggests that both a large percentage (at least a third of people) show no symptoms and the virus can be transmitted through the air just from speaking to someone, rather than by coughing or sneezing; Questions raised in the Washington Post about whether the death toll in China has been massaged by authorities – based on orders for funerary urns in Wuhan, the source of the global outbreak, the paper estimates over 40,000 may have died in that one city alone.
April 3, 2020: Keeping the virus out… Like we saw when the outbreak started in China, small villages barricading roads to prevent possibly infected outsiders bringing the virus into their community, so too the same response is now being seen in Britain.
Can Bondi please get its head out of its arse… Despite all the bad press about the denizens, or daytrippers, at Bondi ignoring social gathering laws there have been numerous reports that it’s still going on in Bondi, Manly and other nearby beach suburbs.
Same old same old… Check out this footage from a parade at the time of the Spanish Flu 102 years ago.
A debacle we can’t allow to be covered up… Channel Nine has come into some emails between NSW Health and the supervising doctor onboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship which shows a request for an urgent hospital transfer for two passengers with upper respiratory tract infections. They and 12 others were tested for flu onboard and returned negative results. Despite all the world knew about the coronavirus cases aboard the Diamond Princess in Tokyo the health department emailed back: “The NSW Health expert panel has assessed the Ruby Princess as not requiring on-board health assessment in Sydney. We could, however, ask you to send the 15 samples to our lab for COVID testing. You are free to disembark tomorrow.” Result: Seven dead (so far), over 600 infected and the virus spread to every state as the 2,700 passengers allowed to disembark made their way home. Heads must roll, probably Brad Hazzard’s. FULL STORY
Kiwi link… Meanwhile, The Ruby Princess is now being linked to outbreaks in New Zealand, where it stopped before going on to Australia. It’s clear the ship was already a giant COVID-19 incubator by the time it reached Sydney’s Circular Quay.
Where’s Kerbox?… Bondi Rescue is taking on a new meaning as the popular beach becomes the focus of coronavirus containment in Sydney.
Dance your troubles away… There has been no better coronavirus meme, yet, than Melbournian Jeff van de Zandt’s TikTok lip sync of the Scott Morrison v Andrew Proven presser last week. For posterity here it is…
Morning brief… The number of infected people around the world passes the 1 million mark, and the number of deaths goes past 51,000; the number of new cases in NSW has stabilised but there are more new cases from unidentified sources; NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian, in her morning press conference, echoes Prime Minister Scott Morrison, saying we are in this for at least six months; PM makes childcare free during crisis; Australian passengers, numbering 130, on the Zaandam and Rotterdam cruise ships allowed to dock in Florida after being one of the hundreds of cruise ships worldwide stranded at sea to be flown home in the next 24 hours; NRL players get 71 per cent wage cut during five-month coronavirus shutdown of rugby league season; In NSW 13 fines have been issued for infringements of social gathering rules; 6.6 million Americans now applying for unemployment benefits; New York hospitals to run out of ventilators in the next six days.
April 2: They walk among us… One in four coronavirus carriers show no symptoms at all according to researchers in the US. Dr Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said there was a case for everyone wearing masks as those who show no symptoms were still spreading the virus. Even worse, in Iceland as many as 50 per cent of people testing positive apparently showed no symptoms. In Australia, of course, where testing has largely been limited to those with the exact symptoms or who had contact with a carrier, hardly anyone is wearing a mask and schools are still open.
Indigenous news… The Australian Federal Police are sending 102 officers to remote Aboriginal communities, which are more susceptible to coronavirus, in the Northern Territory to keep the bug out. READ THE FULL STORY HERE
But questions are being raised about how much practical help the government has been giving remote Aboriginal communities after this video was shown on NITV.
Fur and away… Cats in Shenzhen are breathing a sigh of relief (as opposed to just sighing, which cats seem to do plenty of) after the city became the first in China to ban eating cats and dogs. There isn’t a lot of cat and dog eating in Shenzhen anyway, at 13 million China’s fifth largest city, but after the coronavirus shutdown of wild animal markets animal welfare campaigners see it as another step in the right direction.
Fake a look at me now… Here’s Hatch reporter Juliane Lehmayer’s attempt at a fake Phil Collins lockdown radio station. Well, we are all bored out of our skulls…
Music news… The Fountains of Wayne songwriter Adam Schlesinger has died of coronavirus in upstate New York. Schlesinger, who was only 51, won Grammy awards with the band and Emmys for his work on TV show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. He was also nominated for an Academy Award for the title song in the Tom Hanks film That Thing You Do.
More silliness… A woman has been charged with intentionally causing physical harm after deliberately coughing on several passersby in the Snowy Mountains. The 41-year-old was refused bail and will appear in Wollongong local court today. Good! Get with the program. FULL STORY HERE
Literary escapism… If you’ve had your fill of Netflix binging on Contagion and The Walking Dead, check out Hatch reporter Erin Christie’s list of the best doomsday books to fuel your imagination.
Morning brief… Police commissioner Mick Fuller says the laws on social gatherings will be enforced for at least three months; 200 Australian soldiers returning from the Middle East to go into quarantine; a 67-year-old woman has died in Orange, the 23rd person to die in Australia; a cut-down version of parliament will return to ratify the government’s $130 billion coronavirus subsidy package; the military will be used to test infected crew and passengers on cruise ships stranded off the Australian coast before ferrying them to safety.
April 1, 2020: Rapid transmission… A man caught speeding at 160kmph in his Lamborghini to get to Westmead Hospital for a COVID-19 test has been fined and had his license suspended. A motorcycle cop pulled the 35-year-old driver over in a 90kmph zone on the M4 at Lidcombe, in Sydney’s west. FULL STORY HERE
Love in the time of coronavirus… Apparently everyone’s libidos have gone to hell because we’re cooped up and can’t see anyone or are too preoccupied worrying about the future. But if you were feeling in the mood would any of these lines work for you?
Extra muscle… NSW Police has released pics of their officers out and about this morning in Sydney’s inner city with Australian Defence Force personnel conducting Public Health Order checks at homes and businesses and enforcing self-isolation requirements. Keep ’em honest!
Think I better dance now… Coronavirus giving you the blues? Well, we’ve come up with a feelgood playlist to lift your self-isolation spirits. Thanks @gillelandliam for compiling!
Morning brief... A fifth person from the Dorothy Henderson nursing home in Sydney has died from the coronavirus, the latest a 95-year-old woman; NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian at her morning press conference says the state has now tested 120,000 people and is doing more general testing to identify and isolate more people (why weren’t they doing this weeks ago? Hang on, it is April Fool’s Day today); she also urges Australian businesses to start making medical supplies because international supply chains are so pressured NSW can’t get enough of what it needs (some anticipation of this by our fearless leaders would have been nice); Police Commissioner Mick Fuller says cops have yet to issue an infringement for breaking social gathering laws and are using their ‘powers of discretion’; a pop-up clinic has been set up at Bondi where a significant outbreak of COVID-19 was detected among backpackers; America now has double the number of infections as China, but a comparable rate of deaths.
March 31, 2020: Bug evolving… Genome mapping researchers at Next Strain, which provides realtime tracking of pathogen evolution, have identified eight variants of COVID-19 that have mutated during the outbreak, although none more virulent than the original. It’s also got this nifty mapping tool, showing the global spread of the virus in timelapse.
Here’s Hatch reporter Matt Gordon’s TikTok take on panic buying.
Morning brief… NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller says the state’s residents should be in lockdown in their primary residence and not to travel to other places or holiday homes (urging people to only go out to go to the doctor’s or to get food); Spain, Italy the USA and France top daily fatality tolls, with Spain nearing 1,000 deaths a day and no sign of abatement; Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant reveals a coronavirus outbreak among Bondi backpackers has been identified and authorities are trying to trace people they were in contact with.
March 30, 2020: Start spreading the news… The US is steeling itself for as many as 200,000 deaths as the country’s infection rate soars well past all other countries. In New York’s Central Park a field hospital has even been set up by a Christian charity to deal with overflow patients from Manhattan hospitals.
Know your symptoms… It can be tricky knowing whether that seasonal sniffle you’ve got, might actually be the dreaded rona bug. Here’s a simple chart the good folk at Yahoo knocked up to put you at ease… or not.
Shelf-ish behaviour… A supermarket worker has let off steam about the long hours and toxic customers to deal with during the panic buying pandemonium. Check out Hatch’s report by Liam Gilleland.
Victoria premier Daniel Andrews (rapidly becoming the only politician worth listening to in this crisis) in his morning press conference doesn’t mince words: “Stay at home!” He adds there are only four reasons for going out: medical care, work, self-distanced exercise and buying bare essentials. “This is not just about grandma this is about all of us,” he adds. “If you don’t want to be burying an elderly relative, or your best mate, or your parents, stay at home. Do the right thing or people will die.”
Blue Monday… Former PM Julia Gillard, who is the chairman of mental health charity Beyond Blue, says one in three calls they are now getting is about coronavirus stress. They are setting up a dedicated virus hotline.
Morning brief… Government to announce a wage subsidy today with businesses expected to receive $1500 per staff member each fortnight to keep them employed; all people over 70 are urged to self-isolate (they should have said this three weeks ago); comes after last night’s announcement of a six month moratorium on rental evictions due to hardship, the closure of outside gyms and playgrounds and a ban on gatherings of more than two people (excluding family and housemates).
March 29, 2020: Super news… Coles has employed 7,000 people in two weeks and is looking for another 5,000! This is better than Little Shop. SEE FULL RELEASE.
Women at risk… The peril of domestic violence is increasing with lockdowns and self-isolating families. Here’s Hatch reporter Charlie Bullis’ story on it before the announcement of $1.1 billion in funding for DV, Medicare and mental health to come into effect today.
Wage subsidies… Scant information from Mathias Cormann, Finance Minister, on ABC’s Insiders this morning. Says announcement will be made in next few days about supporting jobless and businesses. Refuses to confirm David Speers question that up to 70 per cent of income will be guaranteed. Says it will be income tested, but light on detail. Come on SloMo, get it together!
Border farce… The growing scandal of the Ruby Princess, which is starting to look like Australia’s ground zero for the spread of the virus. So far 293 people of the 2700 allowed to disembark and wander around unchecked have tested positive for COVID-19. An additional 203 came from other cruise ships according to Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly.
Morning brief… The government is set to announce today a significant relief package similar to the UK’s which would guarantee a large portion of the wages of sacked staff, according to The Australian Financial Review; US president Donald Trump is on the verge of a complete lockdown of New York City, the epicenter of America’s coronavirus outbreak; Infections in Australia rose by 257 over the past 24 hours and there was one death.
March 28, 2020: Terminal times… There will be no more family greetings of international arrivals at Australian airports from tomorrow. Because many people ignored directions to self-isolate, authorities say anyone flying in will be immediately ferried to nominated hotels by police or the armed forces to quarantine for 14 days. And they’ve warned their family members not to show up at the airport. They must be losing so much money on those overblown parking fees!
Still it’s not all grim airside.
The new coronavirus crime… The level of silly behaviour on our streets re. the virus continues, with a woman arrested after coughing and spitting on police and claiming she was COVID-19 positive. This is the second person in three days arrested in NSW for this new form of crime, of which there have been even more reported incidents. FULL STORY HERE
Bet you like this… Are you superstitious and like a flutter? Then check out this story by Hatch’s resident punter Liam Gilleland about an auspiciously named racing dog.
Cop that… A 64-year-old man who was ordered to quarantine for 14 days after returning from Thailand has become the first known person in NSW to be fined $1000 for failing to comply with a direction under Section 7 of the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW). He was warned by police not to leave his home in Bourke in the state’s west, and was then found wandering down the main street. FULL REPORT
If you choose to put the lives of your community at risk by ignoring a direction, you will be caught and you will be fined.Central North Police Commander Andrew Hurst
Morning brief… British prime minister Boris Johnson tests positive for COVID-19 and goes into self-isolation; President Donald Trump signs into law a $US2 trillion economic rescue package to keep businesses afloat and support those made jobless; a doctor at Bathurst Hospital has tested positive for the virus; Victoria considering similar bans at beaches to those at Bondi in Sydney; PM says defence forces will be used to enforce isolation rules.
March 27, 2020: Worries ahead for medical workers… Hatch’s Maria Sajulga landed this exclusive interview with Australian Doctors Federation boss Stephen Millgate, warning of supply problems ahead for hospitals.
Desperate times… A man has been arrested by NSW Police over the theft of toilet paper from a number of shops. He is also accused of threatening one shopworker with a knife. Sheesh! FULL STORY HERE
It’s that simple… You have to love NSW Police’s social media team.
Poo joggers… Third jogger in a row with toilet paper !! @nicolachrista in Woolloomooloo
Corona cooking… How’s your cupboard looking? A little bare? Not sure how to cook up those odd items you’ve been reduced to after panic buyers stripped the shelves? Well Hatch’s Abby Seaman has the answer.
Morning brief… United States passes China for total number of infections, as 13 patients die in one New York hospital; Worldwide infections double in a week to over 500,000; NSW and Victoria said to be ready to go to stage-3 lockdown in defiance of the federal government strategy; Woolworths to put on 20,000 jobs.
March 26, 2020: Rate of deaths still nowhere near hot spots… Australia’s rate of deaths from coronavirus has begun to escalate in the past 36 hours but is still only at 0.5 persons per million of population, this compares very favourable to places like Italy (124), Spain (78) or Iran (25). But spare a thought for the tiny Southern European municipality of San Marino. With 22 deaths among a population of 33,344 it has the highest world rate of 619.
More stupid behaviour… An in-uniform assistant nurse is deliberately coughed-on and then punched in the face, while getting takeaway. Has the world gone mad, or just Australia? FULL REPORT HERE
Still no accountability…. Sydney Airport international arrivals. What a joke! @NicolaChrista
The morning brief… Australia’s death toll hits double figures after three more die, including two men in Victoria (the state’s first deaths); Spain surpasses China for virus deaths; Prince Charles tests positive and the 30-minute hairdressers’ rule is relaxed (God, can’t they just get it right the first time and stop changing tack?).
Wash your f****** hands!!!! In the meantime, if you thought you knew how to wash your hands already, check out this vid from potty-mouthed celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. @hyoseopyun
March 25, 2020: Put another fine on the barbie… Police have been given new powers to fine people $1000 or businesses $5000 for ignoring Ministerial directions on COVID-19. That means if you’re holding a backyard barbie, look out! DETAILS HERE
Stupid has new definition… A man has been charged after he allegedly walked into Coffs Harbour police station and deliberately coughed on a 71-year-old NSW Police Force employee while saying he was infected with COVID-19. His friend, meanwhile, was filming it. The whole station was shut down and quarantined as a result. READ FULL DETAILS
Lockdown pt2… Tough new laws are being brought in today after the PM’s stage two announcement last night on banning travel overseas and further limits on gatherings. But is it enough? Here’s what people have to get signed to leave the house in Cyprus at the moment.
March 24, 2020: Social distancing… There’s still a real divide between the people who think there’s a problem and the people who think it’s all just hysterical nonsense! @emmagillman3
Help for students… Good news for students who have lost casual work and are struggling to support themselves, as the Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston announces the extension of the coronavirus supplement to students and apprentices.
Instant mass unemployment… Government Services Minister Stuart Robert says “hundreds of thousands, maybe a million” people lost their jobs in the overnight shutdown.
March 23, 2020: Is this the start of a new Great Depression? Huge queues outside Centrelinks everywhere today. This in Bankstown.
On top of this, the MyGov website crashed. Systems overloaded everywhere. What’s next?
Order in, pleeeze… Victoria’s Prem Daniel Andrews, while going against the federal government to announce school closures, gets everyone’s attention with this great dinner party anecdote: “We had a case last week where a group of people, a dozen or so, went to a dinner party. As best we can tell the dinner party started with one person who had the coronavirus. By the end of the dinner party almost everybody at the dinner party had the coronavirus.”
March 21, 2020: Northern exposure… The Territory is closing its borders from Tuesday. If you’re from another state you’ll have to go into isolation for 14 days. The reward is there’s a Darwin stubby on the other side.
The heat is on… Strewth! The state government and police have closed Bondi Beach, Tamarama and Bronte after sun worshippers ignored new safe distancing rules about not holding gatherings of more than 500.
You cruise you lose… More COVID-19 positive passengers were on the Ruby Princess. NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard admits (while coughing through his press conference) in “hindsight” he wouldn’t have let loose the 2,700 passengers into the community. A shambles…
Mind your Ps and queues… Social distancing being enforced at Kellyville Woolies this morning: 8.15am. Check out the ‘hospital green’ line. @charliejbullis
March 20, 2020: Toll climbs… A seventh person has died in Australia of coronavirus, as the number of infected people rose to 814.
Exemptions for some… The PM announces a limit in venues of one person per four square metres, although it curiously doesn’t seem to apply everywhere…
No cruise control… The government has had to reach out to the public to try and locate 2700 passengers who disembarked from the cruise ship Ruby Princess at Circular Quay yesterday. Two passengers and a crewman have tested positive for COVID-19. Despite it being known they were sick at sea, everyone else was allowed to go home. NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said today: “If you know somebody who came in yesterday from the Ruby Princess, do our community a very big favour and have a chat and make sure that they are given this clear message. Put yourself in self-isolation.”
Glad to see the government’s got the situation under control.
March 19, 2020: Close to home… A confirmed COVID-19 case for a Myer employee at my local shopping centre, Castle Towers, today. The staff member was working there between March 11-17. Members of the public that visited during this time have asked Myer for more information but they won’t release details about what department or area the person was working in. @charliejbullis
Commonsense at last… Children’s panadol to go behind the counter, some medicines rationed to one per person, say Pharmacy Guild.
News for airlines gets worse and worse… Qantas has suspended all international flights, including overseas Jetstar flights from late March, following the government’s most recent advice for Australians to avoid travel. Two-thirds of the staff have been temporarily stood down in the hope of saving jobs in the long term. The majority of these staff members are expected to be stood down until late May.
Oh for Pete’s sake… Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud has urged panic shoppers to “take a deep breath and a cold shower”. He told Australians the only pressure being put on supply chains is “from the stupidity of people themselves”. His message comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke on bulk buying “stop doing it, it’s ridiculous, its un-Australian and it must stop”.
Now, how about doing something constructive, like enforcing rationing.
Dog days… Self-isolating from all humans not proving so bad. @SamanthaJurman
March 18, 2020: Toll rises… Coronavirus claims another life (now six) in Australia as authorities report the highest number of confirmed new cases in a single day – 104 and it’s only 2pm.
My Bluey heaven… Home with my six-year-old as we both have colds. I’ve watched the entire new series of ABC’s Bluey twice and I’m not upset about it. @charliejbullis
Shelf life… Corona-craziness!! Man assaults elderly women in a Lismore supermarket, when he can’t find any flour to buy. #panicshopping
On the platform… Morning rush hour at St Peters Station in Sydney’s Inner West as remote working takes hold. No chance of being in a big gathering here.
Main image creative commons licence by Prachatai/Flickr.