Circuit-breaker could become business-breaker lockdown

Despite telling us earlier this year she wouldn’t have to lock us down anymore (see Brisbane won’t face another virus lockdown), CHO Jeannette Young has imposed on SEQ two “circuit breaker” lockdowns in one month. And this one looks like it could go beyond “circuit breaker” to “business breaker”, with the Courier-Mail reporting the lockdown could go on for two weeks, which seems very possible given the spread of the virus already.

Even though CCIQ has stressed to the state government the high cost to an affected small business of a lockdown ($15k to $65k for three days), the state government is only offering one-off grants of $5k as compensation (as reported by the Courier-Mail). Based on CCIQ’s estimates, this will be insufficient and the circuit-breaker lockdown could indeed become a business-breaker lockdown. I should also note the state government will probably require excessive paperwork from businesses to access the grant, something small business owners tell me has annoyed them about state government grants in the past.

Alas, the Queensland Government doesn’t appear to understand just how much harm its lockdowns cause. I understand these are not easy decisions, as of course COVID-19 is a serious disease, but the government’s willingness to so quickly disrupt the lives of millions with only six hours warning (as it did on Saturday) and to impose authoritarian measures is very disturbing. If you also find this disturbing, please check out the Restore Democracy in Queensland e-petition to the Queensland Parliament.

It’s still early days in the current lockdown, so we’ll need to see just how severe the ultimate cost is, but I expect the accumulating costs will make more people question the wisdom of the zero-community-transmission target, a target which could see us locked down until mid-August, if not later.

Brisbane Grammar on Gregory Terrace, Spring Hill, one of the schools shut down due to the Delta strain outbreak.

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8 Responses to Circuit-breaker could become business-breaker lockdown

  1. Katrina Drake says:

    Your opinion today is very unhelpful when this dangerous disease is circulating, and hospitals covid wards already beginning to fill up, and children are becoming very unwell.

    Health is wealth.

    • Gene Tunny says:

      Katrina, thanks for the comment. I’m not advocating that anyone breaches the COVID restrictions. I’m complying with them, even though I feel they are excessive.

  2. Louise Cox says:

    There were 2000 people die of flu in 2018. There have been less deaths from a flu / COVID in the 18 months since this began. I think Gene’s comments are valid. We need balance. What we don’t see are the many people taking their own lives because the pressure is too great. Or the businesses that will be bankrupted forcing people onto welfare payments that don’t quite cover rent. Yes people are sick. Yes we should follow the law. But we need to continue to have a thinking mind and get a rational perspective. These are draconian Marxist actions and because Australians do look after their mates, we are happy to comply. But we need to remember there are other mates suffering badly because of these restrictions.

  3. Matt Canavan says:

    Spot on Gene. We are just kicking the can down the road. The results from overseas show that the vaccine does not stop transmission.

    • Paul says:

      Reports indicate that vaccines are around 90% effective so they don’t stop one getting infected, they don’t stop you spreading it to others if you are infected, (but do reduce it), most importantly, they do very significantly reduce your chance of dying or getting seriously ill. Stopping people dying from Covid 19 is the key objective.

      Australia is different to most other countries because we have far fewer cases and deaths from Covid 19. It’s not because we are lucky – it’s because we make our own luck.

      There is a reason we are not like other countries – and that is, quarantine, lock-downs, contract tracing etc supported by government and the population. All the public health measures necessary to stop an epidemic of an infectious disease. We have not given up and we have won – so far. The Delta variant is the new challenge.

      All epidemics of infectious disease start with a single case, just like bush-fires starts with a single spark. Covid 19 spreads at an exponential rate. The time to put bush-fires and epidemics of infectious disease is at the start which is why snap lock-downs are the way to go. A time for action not long winded debates. Lock-downs stop people interacting – that stops transmission and the spread of the virus.

      Effective quarantine is also the same reason we don’t have a range of other plant, animal and human diseases (eg foot and mouth virus in cattle) that other countries do. Success or failure of infectious disease reflects the culture and governance of a country as much as the scientific and medical treatment and advice. This is the case for Covid 19. Thank God for Australia.

      For those who claim a zero infection rate is unachievable or not worth the trouble/cost, I would strongly suggest not putting that view at a meeting of Queensland graziers. They would not be impressed. We keep, and have kept, the foot and mouth virus of cattle out in Australia, a zero infection rate for decades through effective quarantine procedures. For any infectious virus and host (whether animal, plant or people) quarantine is the way to go. We can, and should, do the same for our fellow Australians with Covid 19.

      The objective for Australia is to have no (zero) Covid 19 cases in Australia or to have virtually the whole population vaccinated or immune (which through herd immunity will have the same result). As one can’t identify, who in the population will have natural immunity and who won’t, then the level of vaccination becomes the de facto measure of population immunity.

      In time (perhaps 2022), virtually the whole Australian population will be vaccinated, just like it was with the polio vaccine, and safe from death and morbidity from Covid 19.

      In the meantime the Feds should expedite the funding of the construction of quarantine facilities for all international travellers adjacent to international airports in Australia (no different to quarantine facilities near ports in the nineteenth century).

      The only way the virus gets into Australia is via people on planes or ships. We do it to stop animal and plant diseases, it works, and it’s not hard to do.

      The Covid 19 epidemic in Australia is unambiguously due to Federal failure (political and bureaucratic) to keep it out of Australia.

      Covid 19 breaching Federal quarantine in early 2020 is forgivable, as it was new, but the recent incursion of the Delta variant in 2021 is not. That is incompetence. Quarantine is constitutionally a federal responsibility.

      The reason Australia is not like the USA, or other countries, with thousands of deaths, is because of swift and effective action by State health authorities – on both sides of the aisle. Thank God for the States.

  4. Katrina Drake says:

    Health is wealth – you all seem to be omitting to count the benefits and good the lock downs have actually achieved. As well the burden of costs to productivity of long-covid on a population.

    Calculations of the death rate from Covid in the UK, interpolated to the Australian population translates to 49,000 Australia deaths if co-vid were to run rampant in the community. That is 47,000 deaths postponed for another day. A lot of value in that !

    Vaccine may not stop transmission yet, but it achieves its purpose of preventing people from needing ICU and serious disease .

    Keep kicking the can down the road until we can get everyone vaccinated. Just keep rowing.

  5. Peter newey says:

    They simply do not care in reality they are in a Bubble completely separated from the rest of the state with a phyc profile that separates catering and emotion from the real world, unfortunately .

  6. Peter newey says:

    They simply do not care in reality they are in a Bubble completely separated from the rest of the state with a phyc profile that separates catering and emotion from the real world, unfortunately .

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