How are we faring here in Australia with COVID-19?
As summer draws closer and Christmas nears, Australia is cautiously but collectively breathing a sigh of relief as Coronavirus seems relatively under control here (touch wood).
As mentioned in my last Corona Chronicles post – Corona Chronicles #4 -The Second Wave – Victoria, Melbourne specifically, has had the worst situation in our country to deal with, with a second wave bringing numbers of new infections as high as in the 700’s each day, lots of community transmission – some traceable and some mysteries, and far too many daily deaths.
Finally, after a 3rd and very long and harsh lockdown, Melbourne (and regional Victoria) is reaping the reward and must be congratulated. At the time of typing this, it is the 12th consecutive day of 0 new infections and 0 deaths – hence the term DOUBLE DONUTS – and that is something to be very proud of.
In Australia, donuts have symbolised Covid hope since 20 April, when Anthony Macali, data and reporting analyst and founder of Covid Live, tweeted a donut emoji in commendation of South Australia’s third day of zero new cases.
Donuts are a fun way to celebrate achievements and a bit of fun is certainly much needed during these times!
As a consequence of the ‘Double Donut’ symbol of Covid hope, donuts have been selling out across Australia! Social media has been filled with photos of donuts and the hashtag #donutday has been very popular as people celebrated another ‘double donut day’.
The restrictions in Victoria continue to lighten and Victorians are rejoicing in their much deserved freedoms. Borders within Australia are slowly starting to reopen, and there is some talk the country MAY be fully open by Christmas. There is of course, ongoing arguments between politicians on this topic but I won’t get into that. I don’t like to discuss politics on the blog, preferring to keep my opinions to myself (thin skin and all that jazz).
We’ve had 907 deaths from Coronavirus here in Australia, with 819 of those being Victorian, 53 NSW, 13 Tasmania, 9 Western Australia, 6 Queensland, 4 South Australia, and 3 in the ACT. At the time of typing this there has been no deaths from Covid-19 in Australia for 12 straight days. I hope this continues!
Currently (at the time of typing this) there are 85 active cases in Australia, 20 of these people are hospitalised (0 in ICU). 38 of the 85 are in NSW, 18 in SA, 10 in WA, 7 in NT, 8 in Qld, and 4 in VIC. Of the 85, 42 are in quarantine having returned from overseas.
You can see all the current stats for Covid in Australia here at CovidLive.com.au and here at the Australian Government Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alert.
Australia/New Zealand Travel Bubble
A one-way travel bubble between New Zealand and parts of Australia kicked off on October 16, with NSW, the Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria having now all opened their borders to allow New Zealanders to travel without the need to quarantine on arrival.
The problem with the arrangements though is the reciprocation, whereby any travellers flying across to New Zealand will still need to fork out for two weeks of quarantine. New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Ms Ardern, has said that while her country will consider implementing a travel bubble with parts of Australia, she has previously pointed to a 28-day threshold before making any decisions. To be honest, I can completely understand her caution!
It’s all good though. We’re getting there bit by bit.
There is hope on the horizon!
The following paragraph includes an extract from a November 10 article in The Australian (by foreign correspondent – Jacquelin Magnay).
From what I’ve read there are at least half a dozen frontrunner vaccines being tested that are looking good. This morning (10 Nov) there was very promising news that global medical experts have hailed a dramatic coronavirus breakthrough, predicting normal life may return by Easter as Pfizer announced its vaccine was more than 90 per cent effective, wildly exceeding initial expectations. That is a much higher percentage of effectiveness than they usually get with flu vaccines so it is very promising news!
You can read more information about this promising vaccine at the link to the full article above.
We’re very lucky here in Australia that we are approaching a summer with Coronavirus numbers low (please can they stay that way) as we are very much aware that it is a different scenario in the US, UK and across Europe. As the northern hemisphere moves into winter, the number of Coronavirus cases seem to be peaking again. This is why the news about this vaccine should be a great source of hope for us all!
Until a safe vaccine is available, my hope is that with the passage of time already passed and to come that scientists, doctors, and health professionals have learned, and continue to learn, new ways to successfully manage and treat this disease to reduce its spread, its severity should you contract it, and increase survival rates, so that there is much more hope and less fear and suffering in this very battle weary world. 2020 – what a year huh!
Everything that is done in the world is done by hope ~ Martin Luther
How are you feeling about the COVID situation where you are? Are you feeling more hopeful now? I hope so!
Ciao for now,
Hi Min, Over here at this time our case numbers have been on the rise and public health officials have implemented restrictions (e.g. no indoor dining in restaurants, no large gatherings, etc.). We’re advised to go outside for exercise and essentials only, and limit contacts to just people who live in the same household…I’m an optimist and I’ve been following public health measures since March so I’ll continue doing what I’m doing. I believe that nothing is permanent and this pandemic will end or become less of an issue eventually. #lovinlifelinky
Hi Natalie, I know things have worsened somewhat in your part of the world. I feel confident your Governments will do what is required to keep people safe. I think you’re being sensible and you have been all through this. I agree with you that this will eventually end and life will return to a new normal (some precautions that have been adapted will stay I believe) again. xo
I love the donut analogy and have wondered where it came from… the two zeros / donuts?
We are so fortunate in our numbers here – a consequence of our location (being an island), closing our international borders early and having the compulsory hotel quarantine for anyone returning to Oz, and the lockdowns. I hope it continues to impact us minimally until the vaccine arrives….
Hi Deb – yes the two zeros represented by two donuts. We are indeed very fortunate here for all the reasons you mentioned and more. I hope it continues to impact us minimally until the vaccine arrives too!
I think I already said this, but my Dr friend said Vic was actually our first wave and until then we didn’t really get it. He’s also very wary about opening the internal borders (thinks that’s a big mistake). Personally, I just hope we don’t mess it up and we learn from what happened in Europe over their summer. Still being very cautious and still wearing masks (Dr says everyone should wear masks all the time when out in public). Given SA just got a case after not having a case in forever, that’s our warning. It’s not over and it’s no where near gone. But for now, in NSW, it’s statistically good odds to go out and about.
Complacency is my worry too. I know it’s not gone. It’s still here – just as we’ve seen in Adelaide now (with a new outbreak)! It’s very rare to see anyone wearing a mask here in Brisbane. I am cautiously hopeful that we can keep control on this thing till a vaccine is available.
Hi Min – I’m so grateful to live in a country where the virus has pretty much been kept under control. If we could deport the idiots who don’t follow the rules, then we’d be on a definite winner! WA opens its borders to the other States on Saturday and that will be the big test, considering there were people cheating to get in, I’m assuming there’ll be cases that pop up from those who don’t quarantine – but we can’t stay in lockdown forever, so let’s hope they all do the right thing.
Deporting the idiots would be good Leanne! Just as we’re opening borders here in Qld, we’ve (& other states) had to slam its shut to SA again already due to their recent outbreak. We’re not out of the woods yet but I’m hoping we can keep control on this thing till a vaccine is available etc.
Every time I see the donuts used, I want a donut! I don’t even like them that much but the pictures!
I think we as a country will learn to live with COVID in the background or how ever it’s put.
I believe the very low rates of flu in Australia this Winter can be attributed to greater personal hygiene and taking care of social distancing.
I hope that all of Australia is open soon and that there is more freedom to travel.
We don’t have the wherewithall or the stamina to travel much and OS is out of the question but we are very happy that we can see our family more.
Very comprehensive post, Min!
Thanks Denyse – my favourite donuts are the plain ‘ol cinnamon ones. I don’t like the rich and sweet iced variety though they look pretty! Travel options around Australia are pretty good now, though sadly Qld has shut its borders to SA again due to their recent outbreak. I guess it’ll chop and change for a while until depending on the circumstances until the vaccine is available and the world moves into its new form of normal. xo
Double donuts! I love how we say that. With my bestie in Pennsylvania getting yet another wave go through with alarmingly increasing numbers I can safely say I am counting our lucky stars here in the land of Australia, even with the SA episode. We are doing so well at nipping things in the bud quickly and for our fellow Aussies actually doing what’s best for the world. Yay to donuts!
Donuts for us also have another special meaning being Chelsea’s fave. Ours must have sprinkles in her honour.
I’m so grateful to be an Aussie at the moment too Leanne. I hope your bestie stays safe over there! Darling Chelsea – I can clearly see her beautiful face in my mind’s eye. Hugs and donuts with sprinkles for you! xo