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COVID-19

How will we cope with 8 million in Melbourne if we have another pandemic?

Over the last 30 to 40 years, an inexorable process has been in train in Melbourne.

A city that once boasted houses with gardens for the majority has given way to the cannibalisation of our gardens in the interests of accommodating an ever-increasing population. Thus, we have seen increasing medium and high density living in our suburbs, with significant and ongoing loss of trees, other vegetation, and space per person. At the same time we have seen encroachments on public land for ever more residential development. To name only two of many examples, there was the Commonwealth Games Village in Royal Park and the Eastern Golf Course in Doncaster which were both turned into housing developments. The State Government in Victoria now plans to facilitate development on golf courses, according to their definition by a committee of developers as redundant green amenity.

Can Australia's government learn from COVID-19?

Covid-19 is a warning. We can take it as such or ignore it if we get through it and come out the other side.

High density, high population, high throughput, globalised manufacturing, global high mobility, are not working for us now. When we first learned in January of the outbreak of Covid -19 in Wuhan my first thought was that "This will be in Melbourne soon." Thirty years ago, I would not have had such a thought because China was so distant and separate. I was right, within a few days it was in Melbourne. On January 25th Australia had its first four cases, the first in Melbourne and another three in Sydney. At this time the city of Wuhan in China was in "lockdown".

COVID-19: Time the unsafe Australian Construction industry stopped demanding special consideration

On 27 March 2020, the AWU and Master Builders Australia jointly called on governments to ensure the continued operation of the building and construction industry, claiming that without it the economic knock-on effects would be devastating on a scale that would dwarf what we have seen to date.

There is no question that many dependencies on this very costly and demanding industry would cause more economic disruption, but what about safety with regard to COVID-19? Although the industry argues that it can be safe, we will argue that the industry is not suited to workers keeping safe distances. On the principle that a stitch in time saves nine, it would be better to shut down sooner rather than later because the later action is taken, the worse the grip of COVID-19 will be on the economy. Since the virus has caused the government to cease the mass migration that has driven huge expansion in the construction industry, demand has dropped, and now is the perfect time to massively curtail construction industry activity. In the meantime, will the industry take responsibility for the return home of the many temporary migrant construction workers from China and Indonesia who, unlike international cruise-ship passengers, are already onshore, virtually invisible, but numerous? And an industry worker argues that the industry is not capable of adapting to safe distance practice.

Staying Safe with COVID-19 in Australia

Last night a nursing home informed me that my 95 year old mother was in isolation, having developed high temperatures. She had been swabbed for COVID-19 and results might be available in two to five days.

I was not at all surprised, not just because of the known vulnerability of patients in nursing homes, but because of my personal experience in nursing and with this nursing home.

What do we know about Chloroquine use against COVID-19?

Chloroquine (and hydroxycloroquine) are related drugs that have been used for over 70 years to treat and prevent malaria. They have both antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

French studies

Professor Didier Raoult, who has a laboratory and hospital beds in Marseille, France, has been promoting chloroquine as an effective treatment for COVID-19 Coronavirus. From 16 March 2020 he trialed treatment of 24 COVID-19 patients with 600 mg of Chloroquine daily for 10 days.

He reported that six days later only 25% of these patients still carried the virus, whereas without chloroquine one would expect 90% to still be infected and infectious. The implication is that Chloroquin shortened the course of the illness.

The study may also have suggested that additional treatment with the antibiotic azithromycin led to better outcomes where secondary pneumonias of bacterial origin occurred.

Quarantined Italians Send a Message to Themselves 10 Days Ago: What They Wish They Knew Then

Countries like the US, England, France, Spain and Germany are about 9-10 days behind in the COVID-19 progression. For our benefit, the video channel called "A THING BY" asked Italians to record a message they wish had heard 10 days prior. Let's take careful note of what they have to say.

Capitalism, Closed for business & COVID-19? Oz economist, Steve Keen

Our version of capitalism is something the narcissistic writer Ayn Rand would have adored, but in a headlong rush to hyper-individualism, have we chosen freedom of the individual over the survival of our species…

Host Ross Ashcroft is joined by economist and author, Professor Steve Keen to discuss why coronavirus has closed capitalism.

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