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aviation_enthus 9th Jan 2021 00:20


Originally Posted by dr dre (Post 10963644)
So again Covid at the moment is not like the flu. It has a high reproduction number and exponential spread. This is why all these measures (social distancing, travel restrictions, lockdowns etc) are being taken. To limit the total spread which limits spread to vulnerable populations.

The reason why governments aim for total elimination is because if the population is not immunised then any outbreak has a high chance of becoming uncontrolled leading to the disasters we can see in other parts of the world at the moment. At one point Italy, Brazil, UK, USA all had one case, but even with lockdowns and restrictions the virus has caused mass amounts of chaos. Australian governments have decided to not let the country get to that stage of collapse.

When we have a vaccine that eliminates the potential for overcrowding of hospitals, wiping out of vulnerable populations, mass spread, etc then the pandemic is over. The virus remains, and may flare up from time to time, but the pandemic is over.

I’ll repeat, the vaccine is about stopping a pandemic, not a virus.

Ok you’ve made this point multiple times now, but you’re still ignoring the point people are trying to make.

The political narrative in Australia has not/is not preparing the Australian population for a RISE in cases once the vaccine is rolled out. I’m sure this will come, but given the political games being played, there’s plenty more “political fodder” to be made by playing the COVID fear game a it longer.

Australia is an island, so closing international borders and trying to suppress the any virus internally is always going to be the best strategy (with COVID or any future pandemic).

But after scaring the s*** out of people for what will be almost 2 years (by the time the vaccine is widely available), do you honestly think Australians will just ignore a rise in cases around the end of this year??

Green.Dot 9th Jan 2021 00:28

Well said aviation_enthus

aviation_enthus 9th Jan 2021 00:29


Originally Posted by Green.Dot (Post 10963552)
Look beyond the flightdeck and whether you are at MGH and have a good read of this and see what life is like on the other side of the globe... Hospitals at breaking point... civil unrest in the US is only the beginning... US Generals being asked to withhold Nuclear codes from a Rogue President. Sh*t is seriously messed up on a large scale worthy of a Hollywood script.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-...eaths/13044376

It would seem there is no happy ground in between “Elimination/Very High Suppression” and “Letting it run its course”. Good luck Brisbane, no one wants to see you follow Melbourne.

Look further than the USA and you’ll find countries living in the “happy ground” in the middle.

The UK has made almost no good decisions. TBH they would have just about been better to do nothing.

The USA is beset by the same political system problems as Australia. The health systems are run by the states, a lot of the health rules are set by the states, yet the federal government controls the international borders. Sound familiar? In my opinion a more localised response in a country the size of the USA makes more sense anyway, outbreaks have not been uniform nation wide.

Somewhere like NZ has one level of government able to make national decisions.

Sweden did “ok” in the first part of last year. By “ok” I mean it’s health system could cope with the ongoing infections.

I’m currently in the UAE. They completely reorganised the health system back in April (while under a very strict lockdown). They created multiple isolation field hospitals for COVID patients, dramatically expand testing and completely reorganised the school systems etc to ensure social distancing and isolation facilities existed. They currently process around 100,000 tests daily (for a population just under 10M). To be honest I’ve been quite impressed with the way they’re dealing with it. There is a good balance between allowing life to continue (schooling/work) while still restricting the spread of the virus (no large gatherings etc).

Green.Dot 9th Jan 2021 00:50

Good that UAE has struck a balance.

I was more referring to countries that previously appeared to have things in check, (most European countries, Thailand, Japan, etc) and now the wheels are falling off.

gordonfvckingramsay 9th Jan 2021 00:50


I’m currently in the UAE. They completely reorganised the health system back in April (while under a very strict lockdown). They created multiple isolation field hospitals for COVID patients, dramatically expand testing and completely reorganised the school systems etc to ensure social distancing and isolation facilities existed. They currently process around 100,000 tests daily (for a population just under 10M). To be honest I’ve been quite impressed with the way they’re dealing with it. There is a good balance between allowing life to continue (schooling/work) while still restricting the spread of the virus (no large gatherings etc).
The monarchy (benevolent dictatorship??) in the UAE can do that sort of thing without having to play all the angles politicians have to here. Not that we’ve done a bad job of saving lives in Oz.

aviation_enthus 9th Jan 2021 01:49


Originally Posted by gordonfvckingramsay (Post 10963674)
The monarchy (benevolent dictatorship??) in the UAE can do that sort of thing without having to play all the angles politicians have to here. Not that we’ve done a bad job of saving lives in Oz.

Yes that’s the (sometimes) benefit of being not a democracy. Same way China could do things no one else can get away with (dealing with the virus anyway).

UAE do well in a few areas due to this “advantage”. But that’s only because they are blessed with a reasonable leadership that actually want their country to succeed.

Australia hasn’t done a bad job. Never said otherwise. But Australia has the massive advantage of being an island that is relatively self sufficient. The relative advantages of individual countries should dictate strategy. The only countries Australians should be comparing themselves to are Singapore, NZ, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. All are islands (or effectively so in S Korea case). I wouldn’t count the UK in this list as it’s directly connected to France (Chunnel) and is highly dependent on traffic to/from the continent.

That being said I’ll take the problems of a democracy over a benevolent dictatorship long term thanks. They do well when the leadership is good, much harder to change if the leadership is rubbish.

WingNut60 9th Jan 2021 02:11


Originally Posted by aviation_enthus (Post 10963693)
Yes that’s the (sometimes) benefit of being not a democracy. Same way China could do things no one else can get away with (dealing with the virus anyway).

UAE do well in a few areas due to this “advantage”. But that’s only because they are blessed with a reasonable leadership that actually want their country to succeed.

Australia hasn’t done a bad job. Never said otherwise. But Australia has the massive advantage of being an island that is relatively self sufficient. The relative advantages of individual countries should dictate strategy. The only countries Australians should be comparing themselves to are Singapore, NZ, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. All are islands (or effectively so in S Korea case). I wouldn’t count the UK in this list as it’s directly connected to France (Chunnel) and is highly dependent on traffic to/from the continent.

That being said I’ll take the problems of a democracy over a benevolent dictatorship long term thanks. They do well when the leadership is good, much harder to change if the leadership is rubbish.

The advantage of being an island nation is the relative ease of controlling international travel.
Controlling ingress of potentially virulent arrivals is the key.
The UK is not exempt from this advantage. And the Chunnel is a poor excuse for not implementing effective movement controls.
Singapore has no Chunnel but it does have a causeway.
And ALL are highly dependent international trade.

In a sense you might even consider Western Australia an island within an island.
We have our Chunnel (the Nullabor highway) but it has been the effective (possibly Draconian and admittedly not perfect) implementation of border controls that has kept WA free of Covid in the wild for the last nine months.

You can't have it both ways.

aviation_enthus 9th Jan 2021 02:44


Originally Posted by WingNut60 (Post 10963701)
The advantage of being an island nation is the relative ease of controlling international travel.
Controlling ingress of potentially virulent arrivals is the key.
The UK is not exempt from this advantage. And the Chunnel is a poor excuse for not implementing effective movement controls.
Singapore has no Chunnel but it does have a causeway.
And ALL are highly dependent international trade.

In a sense you might even consider Western Australia an island within an island.
We have our Chunnel (the Nullabor highway) but it has been the effective (possibly Draconian and admittedly not perfect) implementation of border controls that has kept WA free of Covid in the wild for the last nine months.

You can't have it both ways.

I can’t tell if you’re agreeing or disagreeing....

The UK is a completely different ball game simply because of its dependence on Europe. The Chunnel
is just one example. The other major one is the lack of international borders within the EU (in normal times). Creating a border from scratch is much harder than simply applying a restriction to something that already exists.

Singapore is highly dependent on the southern part of Malaysia BUT they actually have a competent government that can organise a chook raffle.

Like I said, various natural advantages should dictate a national strategy. For example trying to make Germany an “island” within Europe would not have worked.

Australians have be duped into thinking they have a “world class” quarantine system though. The government has been able to hide this fact for so long because we are an island and the huge advantage that comes with that.

dr dre 9th Jan 2021 03:09


Originally Posted by aviation_enthus (Post 10963653)
The political narrative in Australia has not/is not preparing the Australian population for a RISE in cases once the vaccine is rolled out. I’m sure this will come, but given the political games being played, there’s plenty more “political fodder” to be made by playing the COVID fear game a it longer.

But after scaring the s*** out of people for what will be almost 2 years (by the time the vaccine is widely available), do you honestly think Australians will just ignore a rise in cases around the end of this year??

OK let's have a think.

We have a vaccine coming that will take the steam out of the health crisis. This vaccine has been developed safely at an unprecedented speed due to the amount of resources put into development. At the start of the pandemic I read best case scenario was end of 2021, so the fact members of the public were receiving Covid vaccinations in December 2020 is a testament to the knowledge and dedication of those medical scientists. It's come so quick that our own government has been able to bring our vaccination plan start date forward to next month, but has probably been caught on the back foot because of it's speed.

In terms of priority amongst all governments now would be containment of current outbreaks in Australia, then reducing risk for inbound international travelers. Once that is done then the vaccine plan comes in to effect, thought first of all needs to be given to which order various groups will receive it, then how it will be distributed, transport, vaccination sites and staff, an knowledge campaign to educate Australians on how to get the vaccine. Along with all the other functions of government at the time. So I can forgive the government if their number one priority right now isn't loudly shouting "Don't worry once we all get vaccinated and there's still some cases!" There's a lot of other higher priorities now, especially since the vaccine rollout is being expedited.

That type of messaging is probably best left towards the end of the vaccine program rather than the start. If people get complacent with messaging that a few cases aren't a problem then the things that are still required at the moment like hygiene, social distancing, app check ins etc may become lax. If the PM just says: "Now we have herd immunity don't worry about low numbers of isolated cases, the consequences of that are not as bad as before when we did not have immunity" at the end of the rollout that's probably enough.

We can see some indication of what future messaging will look like when we get to this stage from this Federal Health Department document:

Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Page 45 under the Standown Stage - Public Messaging heading. Plans that will be implemented include "Advise of the commencement of transition to normal arrangements and how this will be managed", "Coordinate public messaging through media networks", "Notify the public that services will transition to normal arrangements and the reason for this" and "Provide the media with access to information regarding the change of the status of disease spread and the transition of the response". That last point will be crucial to ensure the media don't continue to portray low numbers of cases as a serious health threat as it is now. This messaging is the correct one but as the document states it wouldn't be prudent to start this messaging until well into the vaccine program.

As a side note there's also some information in that document about the future of borders and air travel in a Covid normal world.

It's easy to think that politicians are just playing political games for votes, and in some respects that has been true, but they all have a goal for re-opening as soon as safely possible and there's official policy out there about this if you look hard enough. I know as pilots we would want these politicians to be shouting the end game at the top of their lungs so we have the assurance our industry will be back to normal at a specific time, but that will come within time as this vaccine program is rolled out.

LapSap 9th Jan 2021 03:14

Trying to figure out the logic raised by the latest case of a UK arrival to Melbourne travelling to QLD.
Seems you are better off arriving and testing positive ASAP.
That way you go straight into isolation (as opposed to quarantine) for 10 days and are allowed out.
Meanwhile the rest of us mugs who worked hard to stay Covid free and returned, sit there for 14days .
How does that work??!!
Health Minister says that’s completely in line with international and domestic protocols.
Say what???!

aviation_enthus 9th Jan 2021 03:23


Originally Posted by dr dre (Post 10963711)
OK let's have a think.

We have a vaccine coming that will take the steam out of the health crisis. This vaccine has been developed safely at an unprecedented speed due to the amount of resources put into development. At the start of the pandemic I read best case scenario was end of 2021, so the fact members of the public were receiving Covid vaccinations in December 2020 is a testament to the knowledge and dedication of those medical scientists. It's come so quick that our own government has been able to bring our vaccination plan start date forward to next month, but has probably been caught on the back foot because of it's speed.

In terms of priority amongst all governments now would be containment of current outbreaks in Australia, then reducing risk for inbound international travelers. Once that is done then the vaccine plan comes in to effect, thought first of all needs to be given to which order various groups will receive it, then how it will be distributed, transport, vaccination sites and staff, an knowledge campaign to educate Australians on how to get the vaccine. Along with all the other functions of government at the time. So I can forgive the government if their number one priority right now isn't loudly shouting "Don't worry once we all get vaccinated and there's still some cases!" There's a lot of other higher priorities now, especially since the vaccine rollout is being expedited.

That type of messaging is probably best left towards the end of the vaccine program rather than the start. If people get complacent with messaging that a few cases aren't a problem then the things that are still required at the moment like hygiene, social distancing, app check ins etc may become lax. If the PM just says: "Now we have herd immunity don't worry about low numbers of isolated cases, the consequences of that are not as bad as before when we did not have immunity" at the end of the rollout that's probably enough.

We can see some indication of what future messaging will look like when we get to this stage from this Federal Health Department document:

Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Page 45 under the Standown Stage - Public Messaging heading. Plans that will be implemented include "Advise of the commencement of transition to normal arrangements and how this will be managed", "Coordinate public messaging through media networks", "Notify the public that services will transition to normal arrangements and the reason for this" and "Provide the media with access to information regarding the change of the status of disease spread and the transition of the response". That last point will be crucial to ensure the media don't continue to portray low numbers of cases as a serious health threat as it is now. This messaging is the correct one but as the document states it wouldn't be prudent to start this messaging until well into the vaccine program.

As a side note there's also some information in that document about the future of borders and air travel in a Covid normal world.

It's easy to think that politicians are just playing political games for votes, and in some respects that has been true, but they all have a goal for re-opening as soon as safely possible and there's official policy out there about this if you look hard enough. I know as pilots we would want these politicians to be shouting the end game at the top of their lungs so we have the assurance our industry will be back to normal at a specific time, but that will come within time as this vaccine program is rolled out.

Thanks for the well thought out reply. Doesn’t happen to much on here! Hahaha!

I agree the messaging should NOT change now. Nothing has changed as far as the virus goes (containment is key). Nothing will change until the vaccination levels are well past 70% I would imagine.

It’s the political games that worry me I guess. While some decisions are made for public health reasons, the fact remains, an “external” crisis is always a vote winner for an incumbent government. People don’t like to change teams in an emergency/pandemic/wartime.

compressor stall 9th Jan 2021 03:49


Originally Posted by LapSap (Post 10963712)
Trying to figure out the logic raised by the latest case of a UK arrival to Melbourne travelling to QLD.
Seems you are better off arriving and testing positive ASAP.
That way you go straight into isolation (as opposed to quarantine) for 10 days and are allowed out.
Meanwhile the rest of us mugs who worked hard to stay Covid free and returned, sit there for 14days .
How does that work??!!
Health Minister says that’s completely in line with international and domestic protocols.
Say what???!

It’s really not that hard. My 11yo read about it and explained it to his brother.

very very simply

From exposure day you may develop COVID and become infectious at any point in the next 14 days.

From when symptoms develop and you are tested as positive you only remain infectious for up to ten days and have been symptom free for three.

So diagnosed day 1, symptoms for a week. Three day buffer. Out on day 10 (that’s 7+3)

The reason why they don’t test on exit to date is that you can still test positive for weeks but you are no longer infectious. Won’t achieve much - but might with the variants.


LapSap 9th Jan 2021 04:05


Originally Posted by compressor stall (Post 10963718)
It’s really not that hard. My 11yo read about it and explained it to his brother.

very very simply

From exposure day you may develop COVID and become infectious at any point in the next 14 days.

From when symptoms develop and you are tested as positive you only remain infectious for up to ten days and have been symptom free for three.

So diagnosed day 1, symptoms for a week. Three day buffer. Out on day 10 (that’s 7+3)

The reason why they don’t test on exit to date is that you can still test positive for weeks but you are no longer infectious. Won’t achieve much - but might with the variants.

Thanks for the reply.
I only returned about a month ago but until then at least, nobody was tested in the hotel until day 10 at the earliest. Provided negative, out on day 14.
How do you go about getting tested on Day 1?
Don’t tell me- had a cough and sniffles while filling in the BF form?
Check with your 11 yo would you?


compressor stall 9th Jan 2021 04:11


Originally Posted by LapSap (Post 10963723)
Thanks for the reply.
I only returned about a month ago but until then at least, nobody was tested in the hotel until day 10 at the earliest. Provided negative, out on day 14.
How do you go about getting tested on Day 1?
Check with your 11 yo would you?

If you are symptomatic you will be. (Although YMMV from state to state on triggers for that).

Global Aviator 9th Jan 2021 07:22

Q hotel when I did it -

Day 1 - Covid test (second day in hotel as arrival day was day ZERO. Remember this well as 1st ever C test),
Day 12 (I think but can’t remember, result day 13, free next day?) - Covid test.

Obviously negative on second one and set free, I chose to leave the Q hotel very early, had to book the release time.

My additional observations no way one could have escaped without being seen, all contacts sticky PPE, anything leaving the room put in plastic bags.

Cant see why hotel Q does not work nationwide, it should if done right and not have the ridiculous caps.

neville_nobody 9th Jan 2021 07:39

The entire Australian problem has always been the staff of the Hotel spreading it through the community, not the actual occupants themselves.

aviation_enthus 9th Jan 2021 07:46


Originally Posted by Global Aviator (Post 10963756)
Q hotel when I did it -

Day 1 - Covid test (second day in hotel as arrival day was day ZERO. Remember this well as 1st ever C test),
Day 12 (I think but can’t remember, result day 13, free next day?) - Covid test.

Obviously negative on second one and set free, I chose to leave the Q hotel very early, had to book the release time.

My additional observations no way one could have escaped without being seen, all contacts sticky PPE, anything leaving the room put in plastic bags.

Cant see why hotel Q does not work nationwide, it should if done right and not have the ridiculous caps.

Yes it should work. This is the fact that annoys me the most, the current setup is not good enough for a country that is aiming zero cases.

Testing on departure:
- should have been implemented at least 6 months ago when widespread testing became available. I know it doesn’t guarantee no positive cases would arrive, but what it does do is provide a “first stage” filter to the system. At the very least it would reduce the number of positive cases in quarantine in Australia.

Quarantine hotels for flight crew:
- again this MASSIVE loophole should have been closed back in April at the latest. I think every single capital city airport has a large hotel either at the airport or nearby. This should have been allocated for flight crew only and posted with some sort of security force.

Testing for quarantine hotel staff and security:
- as the system was developed, anyone with a second job should have been removed from the staff. Anyone living with vulnerable people should have been removed from the staff. Testing should have been every 2-3 days (not weekly). Basically create a full time, reasonably paid, semi isolated pool of staff that reduces (not able to be eliminated) the risk of transfer to the wider public. This includes the transport drivers to/from hotels.

Masks and social distancing:
- I’ve been to Australia multiple times since March and I’ve got to say I’ve been surprised how relaxed some of the border staff have been greeting international flights. Regularly saw no masks, no clear plastic barriers on desks, etc.

As for the constant demands to move it from large CBD hotels.... Personally I don’t see the issue, IF it’s run properly as I’ve described above. Reality is, building a “detention centre” next to Alice Springs wouldn’t work. It would cost far more money than they currently spend, the union workers wouldn’t have even started construction yet and it’s impractical from and airline point of view (what about the freight???). So using large, empty buildings, close to respective airports, with a capable pool of staff nearby, makes sense for what is supposed to be a time limited requirement.

Basically what I’m saying is, you want to isolate from the rest of the world, do it properly!!! All these loopholes and weak areas have taken almost 10 months to fix.

Traffic_Is_Er_Was 9th Jan 2021 12:40


Testing on departure:
- should have been implemented at least 6 months ago when widespread testing became available. I know it doesn’t guarantee no positive cases would arrive, but what it does do is provide a “first stage” filter to the system. At the very least it would reduce the number of positive cases in quarantine in Australia.
So what happens to the people who show a negative test prior to departure? Do they get released into the wild on arrival as if it was a Green flight? It would be a hard sell to expect them to pay for 14 days of quarantine when they just proved to you they don't have the disease. If it doesn't guarantee that no cases will get in, you may as well just take all the ones coming back and quarantine them anyway. In the great scheme of things, the number of positive cases in quarantine vs the number of people rotating through quarantine is 4/5ths of f*ck all (in QLD currently 21 out of 3975 people in active quarantine). Make the system that contains them work, and welcome back!


surprised how relaxed some of the border staff have been greeting international flights. Regularly saw no masks, no clear plastic barriers on desks, etc.
And yet with the hundreds of thousands of returned travelers since March, practically no Border staff have contracted COVID, even with their lax protocols. Funny that.

Global Aviator 9th Jan 2021 21:17

All of the QF repatriation flights required a negative Covid test prior to departing. This doesn’t stop
cases popping up in Q as we know. That is what Q is being used for.

Bend alot 9th Jan 2021 21:29


Originally Posted by Traffic_Is_Er_Was (Post 10963961)
So what happens to the people who show a negative test prior to departure? Do they get released into the wild on arrival as if it was a Green flight? It would be a hard sell to expect them to pay for 14 days of quarantine when they just proved to you they don't have the disease. If it doesn't guarantee that no cases will get in, you may as well just take all the ones coming back and quarantine them anyway. In the great scheme of things, the number of positive cases in quarantine vs the number of people rotating through quarantine is 4/5ths of f*ck all (in QLD currently 21 out of 3975 people in active quarantine). Make the system that contains them work, and welcome back!


And yet with the hundreds of thousands of returned travelers since March, practically no Border staff have contracted COVID, even with their lax protocols. Funny that.

If you read it again, you will find it is the 1st stage filter.
Not a free green card into the wild.

Very few if any details are released other than ground zero cases in a spread/cluster only numbers - other than the number of health care workers that have been infected.


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