Working from home

By April 8, 2020Other

One thing about the pandemic and its consequences I am pretty confident about is that when the virus is properly under control more and more of us will continue to work from home. For knowledge-workers it just makes greater sense. Perhaps even for Wilson, as below:

I have had the great good fortune to have been able to work from home throughout my working life. At the time it was just the way it was. As a married postgraduate student with children I was able to live in a student apartment that had a sort of study built into it. Along with postgraduate study went my care of our first baby. Her mother went off to teach, and I looked after the infant until mum came back from school in the late afternoon. It was a good trade, and kept us in money. I did that for a year. The baby is now 60, and we have a special relationship.

When my wife and I finally had enough money to buy our first house I appropriated one of its rooms for my study. She did not object, at all. At the time she thought it was the right thing to do. I had hundreds of books already. I wrote all the time, books and learned articles for academic journals. I had a super-duper IBM golf-ball electric typewriter. I wrote editorial and opinion pieces for the local paper, and earned extra money that way. She was a high-school teacher of French, and used the dining-room table as her study. As time passed I began to realise that we all need a room of our own. When we moved to Sydney we bought a house that had been owned by another academic. It had a splendid study upstairs with views of the city, the bridge and the opera house. Of course, that was mine. We made a sort of a study nook for her off the bedroom.

The house we sold to come to this aged-care facility had two studies, one for me and one for my lady. It was still the case, however, that hers was also the place where we watched television, listened to music, and gathered with one or two others. We had another family room, and a living room, but this one had an ambience that was special.

I mention all this personal stuff because I came to learn over the years that women are as important as men, that wives are as important as husbands, and that each of us needs a space in our relationship and dwelling that is our own, to which we can retire and where we can read, think and write without interruption.  In my case, especially as I gained more and more administrative and teaching responsibilities, such a place was crucially important, as was the time I could spend there. To go ‘to work’ was to be surrounded by demands to do this and that. Yes, all of that was important. My staff and students had needs too. But the thinking, the ‘intellectual’, the writing work could not be done in such an environment, which is why so many academics used their vacations to seal themselves off to try to cram into a few weeks all the research and writing that had had to wait while they taught, advised, marked and examined.

To cut to the present dilemma, people who can are doing their best to work from home, and those with children are also having to supervise and partner with teachers in what is now a kind of home-schooling. A harassed father with a rueful smile said on a TV grab that he now had a new respect for teachers. I do know what he meant.

Now for those who don’t have school-age kids, and even for those who do, there are things you can do around the house that break the flow of work, especially if you are working with a computer. Apparently the DIY business is doing well. I notice that the tradey utilities are still plentifully in evidence on the roads. And that takes me to another thought about how life has changed over the past century and a half. I start with Oxford in England, where I lived in the 1960s for part of the time in a large house, since demolished, which had been the home of the Haldane family. Upstairs were the servants’ quarters. There would have been a lot of them. In 1964/5 the place was a student warren. Heaven knows how much money the Haldanes had, but a maid cost about £20 a year, though you had to feed and accommodate her. The fellow of a wealthy college might have a stipend of £1000 a year.

Australian wages were distinctly better, but the difference still applied. A Commissioner for Lands might earn £3000 a year, but maids’ wages were not much better than those in the UK. The depression of the 1890s put a stop to all that, and the big houses that had absolutely depended on cheap domestic labour fell into disuse. In the first world war they became nursing homes for injured soldiers. Another depression and another war ended it all. 

Then, as postwar Australia and England grew wealthier, and the middle class began to restore houses, domestic service came back in new forms, first the labour-saving devices like vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, gas and electric heaters, and so on. These were for your wife, and came with advertisements that showed a smiling young woman with her new gadget. (My favourite: ‘Don’t kill your wife with housework. Let ELECTRICITY do it!’) Then came the tradesmen, able to fix these new gadgets. After a while came the expert franchise. Gardeners, cleaners, electricians, plumbers, painters and restorers moved into being self-employed, rather than employees. They were much better, for the most part, than the work we could do as amateurs. 

But we too got more skilled at these tasks finding, for many of us at least, that skill with the hands was a useful complement to our work with the mind. We began to do things that would have been unthinkable for a 19thcentury middle-class professional, though my father (1905-1992) was adept at anything that required the use of his hands, even though he was a mathematician. Money was tight, and you re-used anything you could. I picked up some of that sentiment from him, and dislike leaving waste of any kind. In retirement my wife and I bought and restored two coastal houses, leaving the really skilled work to a friend who made a good living out of being a multi-skilled handyman, but we did all the painting, clearing, cleaning and finishing. We loved it, though we didn’t make much money from our labours.

What will happen when the crisis is over? My guess is that some of what we have all learned to do, helping the kids with their studies, painting a room, restoring the garden, becoming a better cook — will stick but, slowly and probably painfully, we will return to the way things were before we had even heard of a coronavirus. Will we have learned well how to deal with the next pandemic? And what will happen to the push for globalisation?

Join the discussion 112 Comments

  • Peter Ridd says:

    Thanks Don, I got a good laugh out of the sheep dog and electricity jokes. Peter

  • Neville says:

    A very good summary Don and so much that I can relate to over the years.
    Certainly academics can more easily work from home and this will only improve as more computer power and better software continuously hits the online market into the future.
    Most of the Victorian students will spend this winter online ( I think that’s right) from home it seems and free computers are available to any child if they need one.
    But I think you’re correct when you say that other workers may now work from home in the future. I suppose only time will tell.
    I also think there will be big changes in the so called climate change debate and funding, because most wealthy countries will have much higher debt to worry about because of the lock down due to COVID-19. Could adaptation now fill a much higher percentage of funding in the future? I certainly hope so.
    BTW there’s already been a big collapse in the EU carbon market since March and (perhaps) a further lowering of the price forecast for the rest of this year.

  • david purcell says:


    I have fond memories working from home in the early 1980’s. At age 32 I retired from a pleasant, safe, well paid job of 13 years. The aim was to find that exciting self employed alternative. It took 3 years to establish the business ( I thought I could do it in 1!). My most obedient wife went to work to support us all (2 boys aged 6 and 7). It turned out to be the most enjoyable time ever. I had become “mum” and that’s what I was called from day one (accidentally).
    I built 2 rooms under the high standing house, one a workshop for rock specimens and equipment. That’s where I disappeared to build the business. I did the field work (remote areas) when my wife took holiday leave.
    Like you Don, I have a special relationship with both sons who later took time off their study and jobs to give me a hand with the field work. A wonderful time.

    • Over-Boots says:

      The thing is Neville that many of the millennium generation have tried working from home with the result that they now congregate in the new age work places because they need social interaction

  • spangled drongo says:

    Working on cattle and sheep stations you always work from home even though you can travel further than most city workers.

    When I left bush work I was lucky to strike it rich in city work and retired at the age of 33 from which time I ran a few small design and construction businesses from home and have done so for the last 50 years.

    It’s the only way to fly if you can manage it. Your own business is mostly pleasure even when you are forced into the effort of building something you designed because everyone told you “it couldn’t be done” and you have no choice but to face the music.

  • Boxer says:

    We have become part of a family education unit as our daughter must attend work, and her two children (primary and secondary school age) are now being home schooled by my wife and me. Like working from home, this will be one of the new norms for perhaps a year. In perverse ways this is an improvement on the previous state of affairs for us.

    Our primary age grandson was drifting into a group within his class who were being child-minded rather than educated, and now under his Grandmum’s tutoring, he is working hard and learning, and enjoying it. Unfortunately teachers today appear to be powerless in dealing with these groups of distracted and lazy students, and I assume that it is because no child can fail any more and everyone gets a prize for breathing. I understood as a primary school child that failure was a possibility, and no one wanted to repeat a whole year as the occasional student was compelled to do.

    Our secondary school granddaughter is a contrast with her younger brother. She is a serious, opinionated, feisty, rebellious, humorous person, but she was falling out of school due to serious anxiety, as are thousands of other teenage students. Our family, medical professionals, and teachers were wrestling with this drama and trying to get her to school as much as possible, and school her at home when necessary. This fluid arrangement was not working well. With the pandemic, the system has moved online and into the homes, so she is now back in the mainstream. She is applying herself to her school work, and has to a large extent caught up in two weeks after a very messy first term.

    Until recently I was also increasingly concerned about the atmosphere in secondary school. The occasional activist teacher would spout the usual socialist/catastrophist arguments, though most staff avoided this behaviour. Then as the pandemic began to build up, our granddaughter was being accused by fellow students of being negative (?) because she did not accept the prevailing “end of days” narrative fostered by climate panic and the virus. Breaking up this mob of potentially hysterical young people may be a good thing for all of us. I wonder what will happen when they all go back to school next year?

  • Boambee John says:

    I suspect that there will be major changes to education after this period.

    Distance education for those in remote areas has been around for a long time. The same methods can be applied in future in urban centres, reducing the requirement for bricks and mortar schools.

    This cannot be universal, however, as any course with practical elements (physics, chemistry, biology, woodwork and metalwork being examples) will still require face to face contact.

    Those courses that can be taught remotely are likely to be taught “virtually” by a few highly skilled practicioners, using live streaming or digital media such as DVDs. For courses requiring hands on work, a larger number of tutors will still be needed.

    A few quick thoughts.

  • Chris Warren says:

    In Australia, the virus is under control as the rate of new infections is falling. We only need to keep on this course into the cooler, wetter weather that is approaching.

    We will probably reach 100 cases in the ACT tomorrow, but social isolation and contact tracing (plus hospital facilities) should be sufficient to deal with this.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      In the past, epidemics have always waned. Can you explain why this one is unique? If you look at the data, it is also waning.

      • Chris Warren says:


        What data? – “wane” is a weasel word.

        In the ACT on 9 April there were 99 cases. On 10 April there were 103. This is a warning.

        In essence for most nations – what could have been an “exponential” rise has been converted into a “linear” rise which continues.

        A few states – Australia, Austria, Switzerland, Iran, Germany, China and South Korea have seen declines in active cases according to Worldometer data. All other states (with cases over 5000) are still climbing their respective linear trends in active cases. This is the problem – the challenge to the various health systems including for resources in hospitals, ambulances, morgues and for contact tracing.

        Epidemics only “wane” naturally when they are exhausted. History is chock-full of examples. Any decline in a few nations is a product of artifical interventions by local governments and health systems.

        There is no “wane” if “active cases” are increasing.

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          Epidemics cannot continually undergo exponential growth, in fact they cannot expand indefinitely. Either they kill the entire population, which to my knowledge, has never occurred, or they reach a point at which they cannot successfully infect others. Thus, they reach a peak, after which they wane. ‘History’, that you are fond of quoting, is quite clear on this point.

          • Chris Warren says:

            Bryan Roberts

            True, but a different point to your “they are waning”?

            Even in those few that show current “waning”, if South Korea is any guide, waning levels off.

            Epidemics can easily continue forever if there is no vaccine – polio, smallpox, flu, TB etc. There is then no waning.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            But none have ever continued forever. The virus remains in the population, but not at epidemic levels. Infection and immunity, dear boy.

          • Chris Warren says:

            Bryan Roberts

            You do not know what you are talking about.

            “Epidemics can easily continue forever if there is no vaccine – polio, smallpox, flu, TB etc. There is then no waning.”

            Do you understand English dear little girl?

          • spangled drongo says:

            Could it be that Bryan understands the real world as compared to the alarmist one that our dear little blith just can’t help himself from promoting?

            Still true to form.

          • Boambee John says:

            “dear little girl?”

            Chris resorts to the patronising sneer as a debating technique.


          • Boambee John says:


            “Epidemics can easily continue forever if there is no vaccine – polio, smallpox, flu, TB etc. There is then no waning.”

            These things wax and wane over time in the circumstances you describe. The Black Death is a good example.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            “dear little girl”

            Right on, cock. My girlish traits are bitchiness and a conviction that I’m always right.

          • Chris Warren says:

            Bryan Roberts

            Correct: “My girlish traits are bitchiness and a conviction that I’m always right” plus confusing epidemics after a vaccine is available with epidemics before a vaccine was available plus not realising that the “Black Death” only waned after social isolation and quarantine was practiced and a vaccine emerged.

            All diseases wane when they are countered by preventative actions. The plague continued causing outbreaks until at least 1900.

            We cannot do nothing in the expectation that corona will wane. This would be a fool’s paradise. Viral diseases such as measles and chicken pox (including corona – aka the common cold) infect everybody.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Since I have been in the area for the entirety of my working life, Ido not think I am flattering myself by believing that I know a lot (a whole lot) more about it than you do.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            By the summer of 1919, the flu pandemic came to an end, as those that were infected either died or developed immunity.

            The first licensed flu vaccine appeared in America in the 1940s.

            Happy now?

          • Boambee John says:


            There were outbreaks of the plague at least in the 1960s/1970s.

          • Boambee John says:


            You have to understand, Chris is the ultimate polymath. You ask him, he’ll tell you.

  • Aert Driessen says:

    Thanks Don, a nostalgic read. I know nothing about academia land but as for home relationships and experiences, I could not agree more. I don’t recall teaching my children (and my better half) anything, we just shared life. Thankfully something must have rubbed off because my grandchildren are as wonderful as my own children. I miss my dear wife, who has passed to her reward two years ago. We have both had a privileged life, Don.

  • Ian says:

    Hi Don,

    There have been a few newspaper articles about the pressure the Uni system is coming under with the fall-off in overseas students. Some Uni VCs have been calling for Commonwealth support. In the comments section under these articles the reaction is almost universally negative – you’re rick so dip into your own reserves; welcome to the real world; serves you right for your arrogance/anti western sentiments; get rid of the lefty courses like gender studies and focus on teaching real subjects to Australian students; etc.

    I’d be most interested to read your views.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      They are apparently still so affluent that they can support ‘The Conversation’, which would be very unlikely to survive on donations.

      • Boambee John says:

        Deakin Uni is said to be putting up $25 million to support its overseas students who have lost their part time or casual jobs and are not eligible for taxpayer support. Don’t seem to be short of cash?

        This suggests that the universities have got a massive stake in full (greater than full?) fee paying students. How did they let themselves become so dependent on this source of income?

  • Ian says:

    “rich” not “rick”, lol.

  • JMO says:

    Good reading and always enjoyable. Thanks Don.

    I noticed the clear sky during the previous sunny day, there were no jet trails. This reminded me of the last scene in the 1969 film ” The Battle of Britain”.

    Here in the ACT we are underneath one of the world’s busiest air corridor; Sydney/ Melbourne.

  • spangled drongo says:

    There I was , self isolating and working from home this morning, pulling devil’s fig in the nat park next door when I get an Easter email from my local MP to say that from today that NP is strictly off limits with heavy fines involved.

    I always knew devil’s fig was bad but I didn’t know it spread CV19.

    Now I’m gonna be dead AND broke.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Something to consider while working from home and self isolating over Easter:

    “Only human beings make hospitals. We do so not by worshipping nature but by subduing it.

    “If the COVID-19 virus destroys the foolish veneration of nature and leads more people, especially the young, to a new respect for the Judeo-Christian worldview, it might be the one silver lining in this catastrophe.”

    Maybe Nature Shouldn’t Be Worshipped After All:

  • Neville says:

    The ABC is doing their level best to feed us the usual nonsense this morning.

    We’ve been told repeatably that the USA is by far the worst country for CV-19 infections. Of course it also has a pop of about 330+ mil people and about 50% of the deaths from CV-19 are in NY and NJ. NY + NJ states are about 29+ mil pop and remaining USA pop of about 300+ mil make up the remaining 50% of deaths. IOW about 9% of the pop has about 50% of all USA deaths. Think about it.

    Here’s a list of the deaths per mil of the top 11 countries with CV-19.

    1. Spain 366 PER Mil.

    2. Italy 329

    3. Belgium 311

    4. France 221

    5. Netherlands 160

    6. UK 156.

    7. Switzerland 128

    8. (Luxembourg 1058) just for interest sake and should be no 1.

    9. Sweden 89

    10. Ireland 68. All deaths per mil

    11. USA 66 Don’t forget these 11 countries are deaths per mil.

    This is from the Worldometer site this morning.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Thanks Neville.

      And if we could get the real story out of China?

    • spangled drongo says:

      “China is lying to us. They either are lying about the numbers, or they have a solution to this virus that they are not sharing. Nobody seems curious about why that is, or what it means.”

  • spangled drongo says:

    More alarmist promotion by those who never let a good crisis go to waste:

  • Chris Warren says:

    Bryan Roberts

    Your claim was that epidemics wane.

    If you now want to make the childish claim that:

    “But none have ever continued forever. The virus remains in the population, but not at epidemic levels. Infection and immunity, dear boy.”

    then you need to understand that this was only a result of vaccines, social isolation, and quarantine.

    Before vaccines, smallpox did not wane, TB did not wane, polio did not wane, etc.

    Today, corona virus does not wane.

    So, dear girl, epidemics either exhaust the supply of susceptibles or they continue at a rate depending on the R factor being > 1.

    A R factor > 1, is proof that the disease whatever it is, does not wane. Viruses always grow exponentially if they can find suitable hosts within the required time.

    If a vaccine was not available we would still be seeing outbreaks of polio, smallpox and the plague and presumably at greater ferocity than previously due to greater travel and population densities.

    • Boambee John says:


      Evidence?? Sources?? Links??? Papers in “august scientific journals”??

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      Dictionary. wane: to decrease in size, extent, or degree, which is exactly what the government is currently skiting about.

      “then you need to understand that this was only a result of vaccines, social isolation, and quarantine”

      Since you appear to lack the capacity to acknowledge facts, I repeat (from Wikipedia) ‘By the summer of 1919, the (Spanish) flu pandemic came to an end, as those that were infected either died or developed immunity. The first licensed flu vaccine appeared in America in the 1940s.’

      Stop making a fool of yourself.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Because there are so many rightwing nutters on the blogosphere engaging in conspiracy theories such as corona was a secret Chinese laboratory experiment – it is worthwhile looking at the science.

    It is clear; “SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.”

    • Boambee John says:


      Do you support the theory that the Kung Flu bug crossed into humans via the “wet market” in Wu Han?

      If you do, do you support the decision to re-open that market, as the WHO has? If not, what is your theory as to its origin?

  • Neville says:

    It is clear that the first signs of CV -19 or Wuflu were hushed up and the Chinese Communist party rigorously pursued anyone ( including some very brave doctors) who tried to give the rest of the world the important necessary information.
    Of course a number of those doctors were arrested and vital weeks were lost when so much of the media seemed to be more concerned about calling out so called racists and donkeys like De Blasio +Cuomo + the US Dems tried to lay the blame on President Trump.
    We only need to look at the mess in New York and New Jersey, because of the failure to isolate early enough while they pursued Trump and his lock down of air travel etc from China. Even the Biden+ Sanders morons joined in line to try and paint Trump as an opportunist and racist.
    And we now have the terrible outcome because NY and NJ ( pop 29+ mil) have as many deaths from Wuflu as the rest of the USA combined. ( pop about 300 mil) Also the small size of these two US states is a poor argument when you compare them to Taiwan and Singapore. Little present lockdown now in these two countries but they locked down vulnerable sectors very early and protected the most vulnerable like the elderly and the sick at the start.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Some good advice from Peter Smith at Quadrant:

    “It is time for governments to take their current public health advisers out of the firing line. While they remain in the firing line they will not and cannot give balanced advice. The risk of them giving advice that things can be opened up is too great for them personally. They suspect people will go on dying, unless we wait for forever and a day, and that they will be blamed. Who can blame them for being risk averse? They are not paid or elected to suffer public floggings for missteps. Politicians are.

    Now is the time for presidents, prime ministers and governments to come to the aid of their nations. Not hide behind the skirts of their experts. Governments have plunged their populations into the misery of unemployment and despair; not the experts. Governments must take the risk of more infections and death in relieving that despair; and the sooner the better. Like the end of this month and no later.”

  • Neville says:

    In the last week Singapore had a second wave of Wuflu deaths and now has 2 deaths per mil and ditto NZ has now increased to 2 per mil, the same as OZ.
    But these are still very low compared to most other wealthy western countries.
    And Professor Brendan Murphy considers that OZ probably has the best data in the world.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Bryan Roberts

    Every time you post a opportunistic snark – it blows up in your face.

    The 1919 epidemic was countered by massive actions.

    Details are;

    “The first line of defence was to try to prevent the virus reaching the Australian mainland. The Australian Quarantine Service monitored the spread of the pandemic and implemented maritime quarantine on 17 October 1918 after learning of outbreaks in New Zealand and South Africa.

    The first infected ship to enter Australian waters was the Mataram, from Singapore, which arrived in Darwin on 18 October 1918. Over the next six months the service intercepted 323 vessels, 174 of which carried the infection. Of the 81,510 people who were checked, 1102 were infected.

    The federal government’s second line of defence was to establish a consistent response in handling and containing any pneumonic influenza outbreaks that might occur in Australia.

    It held a national influenza planning conference in Melbourne on 26–27 November 1918, at which state health ministers, the directors-general of their health departments and British Medical Association representatives met with Commonwealth personnel.

    The conference agreed to the federal government taking responsibility for proclaiming which states were infected along with organising maritime and land quarantine. The states would arrange emergency hospitals, vaccination depots, ambulance services, medical staff and public awareness measures.”

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    Oh dear. baby, you gotta do better. “…a national influenza planning conference in Melbourne on 26–27 November 1918…agreed to the federal government taking responsibility for …vaccination depots. The first licensed flu vaccine appeared in America in the 1940s, so what were they vaccinating against? What evidence is there that the measure was effective, and if so, why was it not employed world-wide-for 20 years? Peer-reviewed publications only. Enjoy yourself.

  • Chris Warren says:

    It is good that Bryan Roberts has exposed his lack of knowledge.

    Of course they were using vaccines in 1918 and any junior school pupil could easily find this out.

    So I wait for the needed Roberts retraction.

    • Chris Warren says:

      It is good that Bryan Roberts has suggested that I enjoy myself because that is precisely what I am doing.

      Here is more evidence as to how societies fought against flu and therefore it did not die out by waning.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        If you bothered to read what I wrote, rather than repeat what you wrote, I might have some regard for you. Until then, sorry, kiddo.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        Our local ‘researcher’ has found a random blog that conclusively refutes any statements I have made. The following is word-for word.

        What were the vaccines they came up with? Did they do anything to protect the immunized and halt the spread of the disease?…it is clear that many hundreds of thousands, if not a million or more, doses of vaccines were produced during the pandemic year…Certainly none of the vaccines described above prevented viral influenza infection.

        So the infection died out, or ‘waned’?

        • Boambee John says:

          Oh noes!! Surely Chris Warren would not cite something that has not been peer (or even pal) reviewed, or published in an “august scientific journal”??

          Shocked, I am, shocked to my very core!!

  • Chris Warren says:

    The only thing that is waning is Bryan Roberts’ mistaken assertion that epidemics always wane without realising that this is only because of either control measures or running out of susceptible contacts.

    Where there are no control measures – epidemics either continue forever (as smallpox was prior to inoculation) or infect almost the entire population (as with the common cold).

    If control measures had not been initiated – SARS, ebola,and MERS would have swept through Australia and would still be with us today.

    Plague, smallpox and polio would still be infecting Australians with no sign of any relevant waning.

    • Boambee John says:


      “running out of susceptible contacts.”

      Pretty sure that Brian made exactly this point a few days ago, I’m sure he will appreciate your support!

      Just stop, your perpetual wish to have the last word frequently leads you to make a fool of yourself.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      Luckily, most people going into medical and associated fields are not as obstinately obtuse as you.

  • Boambee John says:

    Should this come under “Lies, damn lies, and statistics”?

    “UPDATE: NYC Death Toll Soars Past 10,000 in Revised Virus Count. The city has added more than 3,700 additional people who were presumed to have died of the coronavirus but had never tested positive.”

  • Neville says:

    So Trump drops WHO funding and sane people ask, “why is this even news.”
    Another solid and interesting post by Jo Nova.

  • Neville says:

    More on the latest Wuflu data.
    Taiwan deaths from the wuflu are now 0.3 per mil and NY state deaths are now 821 per mil.
    Yet Taiwan is only about 29% the size of New York state ( sq klms) and has been/is operating in a fairly normal way, certainly no lock downs etc while NY has been operating under severe lock down for weeks.
    Also Taiwan is about 110 klms from the China coastline and has about 4 million more people than NY state. What’s going on or as J S Miller would say , “why is it so”?
    Check it out for yourself.
    Some other deaths per mil from the Wuflu as at this morning.
    OZ and NZ still 2 per mil.
    USA 104 per mil.
    Japan 1 per mil.
    Singapore 2 per mil.
    Hong Kong 0.5 per mil.
    New York 821 per mil.
    California 24 per mil.
    Texas 14 per mil.

    • dlb says:

      Basically they had prior experience with SARS and had an action plan ready. Closing their borders early was a telling decision. See this article in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

      • Boambee John says:


        Closing the borders. Didn’t the WHO describe that as waaacisst?? And unnecessary since they agreed with the Chinese Communist Party that there was no human to human transmission?

        The WHO failed massively in this matter.

        • dlb says:

          Not as much as a failure as Dr Trump, with his nothing to worry about bedside manner.

          • Boambee John says:

            The CCP/WHO failure allowed the Kung Flu to move from being an internal Chinese issue to become a world wide pandemic. Correct action early on would have stopped the Kung Flu from spreading so far.

            So that seems like a massive failure to me, certainly far worse than the many failures of non-CCP/WHO authorities attempting to rectify the initial failures.

          • Neville says:

            Dlb you couldn’t be more wrong.
            Trump stopped air travel from China and was pursued by the clueless Dem pollies, the media etc for being racist.
            Certainly California Gov + New York governor eventually thanked Trump for his help for their states.
            But Trump also stopped air travel from the EU, then the UK, soon after banning China as well.
            NY Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio should hang their heads in shame, certainly when you check the much better outcomes for Texas and California etc.
            What is it you don’t understand about this data and evidence?
            And I wonder who you’d vote for in the USA elections later this year? I mean Biden seems so intelligent that he hardly knows what day it is, or where he is, erroneously yells out hundreds of millions repeatedly in one debate, while Sanders and media are stunned, wants to literally fight former Dem voters because he can’t counter their arguments, is now accused of rape by an office worker who was then summarily dismissed.
            The bloke is a first class dangerous fool and shouldn’t be running a chook raffle, yet he is running for President of the most powerful country in the world.
            And he is also suffering from cognitive problems as he often loses his train of thought in mid sentence. There are numerous videos on You tube that proves my point.

  • Neville says:

    BTW here’s Trump’s chief adviser Dr Fauci telling the clueless left wing media that Trump has always followed his team’s advice.
    If Fauci wanted anything done Trump did it and yet the morons keep asking more idiotic nonsense. Even Dr Fauci gets annoyed at the end and calls out a very stupid woman.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Obviously Neville is the clueless, idiotic moron.

      But Fauci has now implicated himself in the US disaster by recommending “strong mitigation”, initially for 15 days, not a shutdown.

      Notice too, how he would not come clean about the date he was able to meet Trump.

      New Yorkers are now dying at 1,000 per day.

      • Boambee John says:


        First Trump is criticised for (supposedly) not following the advice of the “experts”, now he seems to be criticised for following such advice.

        Be honest, you favour him following the advice only of those “experts” with whom you happen to agree.

  • Chris Warren says:

    While it seems the virus spread can be slowed – this is not guaranteed.

    Deaths in New York now @ 1,000 per day.

    If you are in a room or space and can smell someone smoking then, is that the situation/distance you can inhale corona aerosol (from a child) and thereby maintain the chain of transmission?

  • Neville says:

    For our resident donkey, who doesn’t understand very simple data and the proper timeline I’ll try once again.
    Trump stopped air travel and was roundly condemned by the left pollies and media etc for being a racist.
    Later the Mayor and Governor of NY and Gov of California BELATEDLY thanked Trump for his response and helping to fight the Wuflu.
    I’ve tried to keep everyone up to date about NY, NJ, Texas and California every few days. So today NY+NJ have registered over half the total deaths from Wuflu ( 20.9 thousand ) while total USA deaths today are 37.1 K.
    NY +NJ pop is about 30 mil and USA is about 330 mil and NY has a death rate of 873 per mil and NJ 432 per mil. USA death rate now is 112 per mil and California ( pop 39 mil) is 27 per mil and Texas 16 per mil.

    • dlb says:

      Trump did not stop air travel from China, he only stopped non US citizens from China entering the country. Actually, three major US airlines ceased operations to China three days before Trump’s decree.
      I do agree that anyone claiming that the decision is racist is probably a ratbag.

      From what I can see, Trump is totally out of his depth with this crisis, his pronouncements and tweets are laughable.
      Neville, why are you such an apologist for Trump? Is it because any enemy of the Left must be a friend of mine? From what I can see, the GOP only support him because he wins them elections.

      I may be wrong, but many of our Covid 19 infections seem to have come from places other than China. Where did Tom Hanks pick up his infection from? was it lax conditions in the USA?

  • Stu says:

    “Liberate Michigan” etc, sack the head and dismantle the expert team set up by previous admin, withdraw expert eyes from China mid last year, run down the health stockpile, refuse to take a national approach to managing an emerging national crisis, pick fights with governors on a partisan basis, use a daily “information” session as nothing more than a political rally. Appoint unqualified family members to key posts etc etc.

    Yes I would say the man and his administration are way out of their depth. I don’t know what your sources of information are but they appear to be very narrow and ideologically driven.

    Did you see the blatant moves by republican forces in Wisconsin to affect the vote for their Supreme Court? It went very badly for them with the challenger to the sitting justice winning by a long margin.

    Between now and November the powers will either rein in the man or dump him once they (McConnell, Collins, Graham etc) realise they will be rejected unless they change tack. Meantime people are noticing that the emperors new clothes are looking very transparent.

    Also consider this. Trump complains he was let down by China regarding information. Since when did the US rely on foreign (in this case communist) officials as the source of its national intelligence on any subject including pandemics? Convenient! And once alerted he did bugger all, shutting flights from China was not sufficient and the bulk of the US infection came via europe. And now he is encouraging civil disobedience (putting it mildly). He never acts with statesman like panache. If you think he does you are easily impressed.

    Finally go and look up the op-ed written by Biden on January 20 regarding the emergence of Corona.

    • Boambee John says:


      “run down the health stockpile,”

      I think you will find that this process started under Obama, but don’t let that ease your TDS.

      “let down by China regarding information.”

      That would be China aided and abetted by the WHO?

      “shutting flights from China was not sufficient”

      But it was sufficient to cause the Demorats and MSM (BIRM) to accuse him of racism? ROFLMAO!

      Try for once in your life to take your partisan blinkers off, and notice that there is sufficient blame for all to share.

      • Stu says:

        “Run down the stockpile”. We only have TanTrumps word for that, which is not very trustworthy. People are laughing at how his name is on the relief cheques because of his history of bad debts, people thought if he signed them they might bounce. And cheques to porn stars, another story.

        Let us say the stocks were run down. He had three years to fix the problem if it existed, he did nothing. Many of the ventilators in the stock were allowed to become unserviceable because his admin baulked at the cost of keeping them maintained. And that was as recent as a year ago. And then he sent millions of masks and other PPE to China because “we only have 15 cases and it will soon be zero”.

        He got rid of the pandemic task force because “as a business man I hate paying people to sit around doing nothing”. The Obama team ran the transition admin team through a pandemic response exercise. Most of the Trump “best people” in that exercise are no longer working for the White House.

        Regarding the chinese flights, all he did was restrict foreign nationals who had been in Wuhan. Others including US citizens of chinese origin were allowed in, some 40,000. And as said before, he shut the gate on europe too late, and spasmodic. Like his many spur of the moment decisions he excused Ireland and UK for a time, till he was advised of the silliness of that. By the way the main US carriers stopped flights from China three days before his ban.

        “No one told me about the virus”. “I knew it was a pandemic before it was a pandemic.”

        Have you actually watched any of his “briefings”? He cannot even speak in full sentences without reading what someone else has written and even then has trouble. Do you recall the chaos after he announced the EU ban included trade? Probably not.

        And I gather from your “partisan” accusations you are ignorant of the nature of the Democratic party in USA. On many issues they are to the right of our Liberals here, so if you are shying from them because you think only the Republicans have the answers, think again. So yes let us all remove the partisan glasses, this is about performance or rather lack of. The man has blood on his hands through dithering and incompetence. “I have the power to direct the states under the constitution…….. – …….. it is up to the states and their governors to open the economy”. With family in the USA I say thank dog for that.

        I expect to see you out protesting to liberate Queensland or wherever it is that you frequent. And demonstrating against Bill Gates for creating the virus and profiting from it. How are you going with your 5G protests?

        Oh and by the way it has long been WHO policy to oppose blanket travel bans, something to do with its nature as a beast of its creators.

        • Boambee John says:


          Too old to bother Fisking your rant, so I will comment on just one point.

          “Have you actually watched any of his “briefings”? He cannot even speak in full sentences without reading what someone else has written and even then has trouble.”

          Did you ever see Obama when his teleprompter failed?

          • Stu says:

            Oh please try again, that is pathetic. There is just no comparison. I repeat again Trump ad libs in the most appalling way leading to catastrophic misstatements like his EU ban whether he is reading it or not. Do you also hate black people, because that is straight out of birther movement bull shit which I thought we had left behind. And you did not answer “have you watched any of the pressers?” Did you see his Easter message on twitter? Most people concluded it was done by the staff because it was in full sentences, made sense and most of all showed empathy. But I do agree with you he is very smart, evilly so like a cunning rat.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Stop the political waffling and check some facts, stu.

      It’s dreadful to think that Trump is investigating this:

      How dare he!!!

      • Stu says:

        Just read the facts above. At least this exercise has shown where you and your mates whacky climate ideas come from. Brilliant.

      • Stu says:

        She quotes Luc Montagnier , you might therefore also like this reference which might explain the recent spate of mobile phone towers catching alight.

        Professor Luc Montagnier
        Potential Mechanism of Action of Homeopathic Formulations:

        Based on recent studies showing energetic activity of highly diluted biological compounds.

        Electromagnetic Signals Are Produced by Aqueous Nanostructures Derived from Bacterial DNA Sequences.

        Professor Luc Montagnier is a French virologist who co-discovered HIV and who won the Nobel Prize in 2008. Dr. Montagnier has received many other significant awards, though his newest research, which may explain how and why homeopathic medicines maintain their biological activity in extreme dilution, may be his most significant to date.

        In a recent paper, Prof Montagnier and his team report the results of a series of rigorous experiments investigating the electromagnetic (EM) properties of highly-diluted biological samples.

        The abstract of this research in part asserts, “A novel property of DNA is described: the capacity of some bacterial DNA sequences to induce electromagnetic waves at high aqueous dilutions. It appears to be a resonance phenomenon triggered by the ambient electromagnetic background of very low frequency waves.”

        Although homeopathy is not mentioned anywhere in the article, the researchers used aqueous solutions that were agitated and serially diluted (the researchers note that the solutions were “strongly agitated” and that this step was “critical for the generation of signals”). The researchers also note that they used a device made by French immunologist Jacques Benveniste (the famous physician/scientist who conducted studies testing homeopathic doses and whose work was initially published in Nature, and then, it was “debunked” in that same journal a month later).

        The researchers found that pathogenic bacteria and viruses show a distinct EM signature at dilutions ranging from 10-5 to 10-12 (corresponding to 5X to 12X) and that small DNA fragments (responsible for pathogenicity) were solely accountable for the EM signal.

        The researchers also noted that one experiment found significant effects from dilutions as high as 10-18 (equivalent to 18X). The EM signature changed with dilution levels but was unaffected by the initial concentration and remained even after the remaining DNA fragments were destroyed by chemical agents. Of additional interest was the researchers’ observation that they observed the same results whether their initial concentration of cells were just 10 or 109.

        They observed that the EM signal was destroyed by heating or freezing the sample (a common observation that homeopaths have also found in their medicines). Also, a ‘cross-talk’ effect was found whereby a negative sample inhibits the positive signal in another sample if they are left together overnight in a shielded container. The researchers propose that specific aqueous nanostructures form in the samples during the dilution process and are responsible for the EM effects measured.

        The researchers also detected the same electromagnetic signals in the plasma and in the DNA extracted from the plasma of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

        The researchers also quote Italian physicist, E. Del Guidice, the same scientist who Benveniste cited, for positing that water molecules can form long polymers of dipoles associated by hydrogen bonds and that electromagnetic radiations that they emit enable them to avoid decay.

        With this initial paper Prof Montagnier and his team have started a very promising line of enquiry, which has direct relevance to homeopathy as they continue to investigate the characteristic physico-chemical properties found in high-dilutions of biological material.

        Reference: Luc Montagnier, Jamal Aissa, Stéphane Ferris, Jean-Luc Montagnier, Claude Lavallee. Electromagnetic Signals Are Produced by Aqueous Nanostructures Derived from Bacterial DNA Sequences. Interdiscip Sci Comput Life Sci (2009) 1: 81-90.”

        • spangled drongo says:

          And is your point messenger-shooting perchance?

          Shirley Nott!

          As I said, stop your pollywaffle and answer the real facts.

          • Stu says:

            Take it any way you want. Just illustrating that the guy has some interesting areas of research and if you have been following current events would know this could be one of the sources of the 5G conspiracy theories which could be getting out of hand. And those sort of conspiracies are becoming entwined with corona virus, but you probably have missed all the Bill Gates misinformation etc. As for facts, you have not responded to any of the facts regarding Corona virus and USA actions that I posted have you? That is a key difference. I usually follow up on the links you post, while you appear to hardly ever even fully read what is written here, let alone check the sources. Please correct me if I am wrong on that.

          • Stu says:

            And please forgive me if you are a believer in homeopathy. I admit I am not and from what I have read it is quackery, but I know some people swear by it, though it lacks empirical robustness.

          • spangled drongo says:


            You have to admit that your “facts” on USA corona virus actions are mainly governed by your own TD virus.

          • spangled drongo says:


            A timely reminder of your past [and ongoing] confusion on facts:


  • Chris Warren says:

    Australia has done exceptionally well based on these charts however we may have had the benefit of going through a hot dry period, inimical to virus spread, and recent data shows some sign that recent declines are slowing down. I hope we are not in for a bathtub trend if too much relaxation is permitted. SkyNews nutters are a threat.

  • Stu says:

    SD and by reference Neville. What exactly is the point you are making about the Viking mountain path? Are you suggesting that some time 1000 years or whatever ago that the pass was ice free? That is not what they say. Read it again. And what is the relevance of all that to the current thread?

    Since you bring up past posts I refer to our Neville. Back on April 6 he seemed to infer that Corona was killing less than normal in UK. Here is what he posted.

    “Here is the UK govt’s latest data for total deaths for England and Wales. This compares the same period for the last 5 years compared to 2020.
    Here’s what they have to say for this year and the average for past 5 years.
    “Looking at the year-to-date (using refreshed data to get the most accurate estimates), the number of deaths is currently lower than the five-year average. The current number of deaths is 138,913, which is 4,869 fewer than the five-year average. Of the deaths registered so far in 2020, 108 mentioned the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the death certificate; this is 0.1% of all deaths. Including deaths that occurred in week 12 but were registered up to 25 March, the number involving COVID-19 was 210 (this is not shown in the chart)”.

    So just wondering how those figures are going now.

    • spangled drongo says:

      You’re having trouble understanding what ice melting, revealing objects that were put there 1,000 years ago and still well preserved, is telling you, stu?

      Somehow I thought you would.

      • Stu says:

        Ah something like, folks dropped things on the snow/ice which got covered by later snow fall. Now with ongoing melting (climate change) those things are once again exposed. Problem solved. Or were you there back then and have a different story? Story of an ancient trade route. They have not concluded that the pass was ice free back then, just utilised.

        • Boambee John says:


          Keep wriggling, nothing can be allowed to challenge the “narrative”, can it?

          • spangled drongo says:

            Yes BJ, our stu is, like these glacial “scientists”, still very glacial in his thinking.

            The bleedin’ obvious is not his strong suit.

            And they call us deniers. Oh dear!!!

          • Stu says:

            SD “You’re having trouble understanding what ice melting, revealing objects that were put there 1,000 years ago and still well preserved, is telling you, stu?”

            Well then, stop talking in riddles and tell us what it means? I am sure folk are gasping in anticipation.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Nothing riddly about it stu.

            But when you are in denial [like the glacial experts here] of all the historical warm periods that are supported by hard evidence as opposed to “scientific” proxy assumptions based on a couple of tree rings. the bleedin’ obvious is always bleedin’ difficult – if not bleedin’ impossible – for you.

            As you demonstrate beautifully.

          • Stu says:

            Oh no, that is not an explanation, that is just a statement. Try again. I am sure it is not just me who would like to see it.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “Oh no, that is not an explanation”

            Particularly when it’s so bleedin’ obvious, hey?

          • Stu says:

            Ok I will do it for you. I know you bang on about medieval warm periods etc but this is about that article referring to the archeology on a mountain pass in Norway , yes. Go back and read it again. Nowhere does it say that pass was ice free, or even less icy in the past. It just says that as the ice has retreated now they are finding artefacts from long ago. It actually refers in several places to sleds (ice and snow) and a horse which died in the ice. It would have been quite common to lose things including horses and staffs etc during bad weather (snow etc) while crossing the “icy” pass. Another example refers to the fabric of some footwear with the bristles on the bottom to aid traction “on the ice”. The laplanders still use similar boots today. The reason these things, including the horeshit, are so well preserved is because they were lost in snow and ice, not a bare mountain pass. It helps to read the complete article before drawing conclusions, it helps with comprehension. Now what is your counter claim please?

          • spangled drongo says:

            Your denialism of the real world was just so predictable stu.

            There is factual geological evidence of sea levels being metres higher than today during this period awa observable evidence of tree-lines being much further north which require a world warmer than we are in now.

            And claiming that manure is preserved IN ice better than it is UNDER ice sounds like more of the same that you specialise in.

          • Stu says:

            No, no, no. You were making claims based on that article, stick to that. The rest of your extraneous stuff is just noise. Back to the article please.

          • spangled drongo says:

            When you plainly don’t get it stu, please stop with your usual extrapolations.

            I was relating that article to its similarity with your usual silly claims as compared with the real world.

  • Neville says:

    I shouldn’t reply to stu,but I’ll remind him that my quote about UK flu and CV -19 deaths was from the UK Govt source.
    At that time what I said was correct, but I didn’t ever say what the numbers would be by now. But I would never have thought that the UK numbers would’ve been so bad today and ditto for NY and NJ etc.
    Australia has handled the CV crisis much better than most other wealthy countries and our deaths from the cruise ships were another problem to be taken into account.

    Here’s another update from the Worldometer CV site. Both Sweden and the Netherlands have chosen a much more open approach with protection of the elderly and vulnerable, but a more normal way of life for nearly everyone else.

    Meanwhile Taiwan still has 0.3 per mil and South Africa still very low at 0.9 per mil. Singapore has about 2 per mil but later deaths are nearly all from migrant workers in their country. Germany is a bit of a puzzle, but I don’t think many would doubt the accuracy. But who knows?

    Total pop of California, Florida and Texas is about 90 mil and average of about 28 deaths per mil.

    USA 122 per mil. UK 237 per mil.

    NY 933 per mil France 302 mil.

    NJ 473 mil Germany 55 mil.

    California 29 mil Spain 454 mil.

    Florida 38 mil. Belgium 490 mil.

    Texas 17 mil. Netherlands 215 mil. Sweden 152 mil.

  • Neville says:

    Sooner or later the world will need to have a reckoning with China and the WHO about CV-19.
    It will need to be thorough and the first important step is to see a total clean out of the WHO leadership team and a ban on the wet markets in China.
    Jo Nova has been following the CV-19 history from the start and if half of what she suggests turns out to be accurate we must ensure this can never happen again.

    • dlb says:

      Bolt claims that Dr Swan tweeted: “Bring the public with you. Young people as well as the elderly will die unnecessarily if we don’t act. Today’s cases are the result of what we didn’t do two weeks ago.”

      So true Dr Swan, had Australia slammed the doors shut 2 weeks earlier we would probably be fully open for business now (O.S. visitors excluded).

      I think Jo Nova has lost a few followers for her total eradication stance. Her faithful watchdog “Bill” seems to enjoy nipping at libertarian heels whenever they appear.

  • Neville says:

    More on their ABC predictions and extremist claims about the number of ICU beds that would be required in our hospitals.
    Dr Swan and Fran Kelly should wake up to themselves. Of course Fran Kelly has also made any number of stupid comments about their CAGW over the years. Just what we should expect from their biased ABC.

  • Stu says:

    SD, you crack me up. You wrote “And claiming that manure is preserved IN ice better than it is UNDER ice sounds like more of the same that you specialise in.”

    Actually yes I do. Think about what you imply. You are really saying that all those artefacts and the manure was left on the mountainside one fine afternoon and then it snowed and buried it for 1000 or more years to be found now well preserved. How else would it all be UNDER the ice rather than in it. Sure, when it all melts it finishes at the bottom.

    Reality says the objects are not all from the exact same time, a great herd of horses did not pass by on one day. Or did the snow arrive, and stay there, miraculously, each time some article dropped or a horse relieved itself at just that spot. Ice caps and glaciers do not just appear one day preserving what lies beneath them. Perhaps you are arguing that climate can change almost instantaneously which would be very interesting in the current context.

    So if you were just referring to your earlier claims about warm times, which I acknowledged that you did, then it is a very poor example and does not add to your case at all.

    Anyhow you have taken us away from the context of this thread which is about Corona etc. So perhaps we should return to that

    • spangled drongo says:

      Certainly we should stick with the context, stueyluv, but as you can see I was simply giving you some exercises in the bleedin’ obvious.

      However, when you say things like; “Reality says the objects are not all from the exact same time…” that is indeed the SO bleedin’ obvious but you are still a long way away from understanding the real world.

      But keep up the good work. And please try a bit harder.

      • Stu says:

        OK you win, I give up, you are a waste of space. Time to move on.

        • spangled drongo says:

          Yeah stu, that’s the way. No real world assessment, no facts and no evidence but you just move on.

          Why am I not surprised?

          • Stu says:

            Just STFU you are now beyond boring, I am sure others have had enough also.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Now, now, stu, be nice.

            I realise how “boring” it is to have your obtuseness shown to all and sundry but keep working on those facts and evidence and you will soon be overcome with excitement.

            As opposed to your current excrement.

  • Neville says:

    Every year govts try and track the influenza virus even during the summer months.
    Here’s a link to our data up to 11-4-20 and so far this shows that we have very low cases of the normal influenza virus up to April. Probably historic lows, certainly compared to 2019 and the very bad year of 2017.
    And this morning we’ve been told that so far over 3 times the number of people have been vaccinated compared to this time in 2019.
    Plenty of graphs etc to show the latest data for OZ and individual states. Hopefully this will ensure lower than normal deaths from the common flu this season and much lower than 2019 and 2017.
    Who knows and this will be interesting to follow through late Autumn, then winter and the spring. I must admit I’ve never washed my hands so much for years.


  • Chris Warren says:

    SkyNews training notes – How to report on corona?????

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