#COVIDSafe

Queensland Double Standards Act 2020

Posted by Queensland Senator Matt Canavan.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has shown nothing but egregious double standards. Her government threw on the full works for AFL players from Victoria at taxpayers expense after the state secured the AFL grand final. Several players returned the favour by getting into a brawl.

However 12-yo kids looking to spend time with their families would be subject to ridiculously strict quarantine provisions.

We so hope Queenslanders have the good sense to turf this government in 54 days.

The next thing we’ll read is it is un-Australian not to download it

We wrote about the blind ignorance surrounding the COVIDSafe app last week. Nothing has been put in context. No perspective. Just the media peddling fear. Even worse, people felt compelled to share their “commitment” on social media. It seems more like a desperate attempt for validation and approval than helping.

As we wrote, “99.9997% of Aussies haven’t died from COVID19. Furthermore, 99.98% haven’t caught it.”

We have a 211x higher chance of dying of heart disease and a 37x more likelihood of passing away from the flu. We’d have a 36x higher chance of kicking the bucket if we fell from a ladder.

Why not a FLUSafe app? Surely Australians are just as deserved to track someone who has the flu but selfishly handles fruit and vegetables at Coles but ends up not purchasing any.

Or a LADDERSafe app to ensure that people don’t risk 7 years of bad luck by coming into contact with someone who had walked under one?

In some media, anyone who hasn’t downloaded the COVIDSafe app is now being labeled selfish. News.com.au noted,

And yet while four million have – millions others haven’t. Whether they’re too selfish, too lazy or too ignorant to do a little research and realise their privacy is not at risk, they’re compromising all of us by choosing not to be one of the 10 million needed to take up the contact-tracing app for it to be a success…To cite distrust of the government or threats to privacy as reasons not to download the app, is not only grossly self-important but a wilful act of self and collective sabotage.”

When will the left work out that shaming doesn’t work?

The hysteria is extreme. 94% of coronavirus deaths have been a result of comorbidities. That is a weakened immune system. A previous record of heart disease and so on. Coronavirus was a catalyst, not the primary cause.

This isn’t to trivialize the pandemic but we are more concerned at sheepish conformity by certain members of the public who don’t seems to be considering the data.

Perhaps millions more of these unAustralian Aussies don’t smell what is happening to the them as fair dinkum. Moreover, they aren’t prepared to trade an expedited trip to the pub as a reward for downloading an app.

Sheepishly downloading the COVIDSafe app is a warning for all of us

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We have no problem with people individually choosing to sign up to the COVIDSafe application launched yesterday. After all, it is voluntary and we believe in personal freedom. However, we are perplexed why so many people feel compelled to post their newfound compliance on social media feeds. It is this blind obedience that worries us.

It is hard to see such self-promotion on social media as anything more than the same virtue-signalling mindset of those who drape their social media avatars with the flag of the country where innocent people were slain by terrorists. Comments such as “I’m doing my bit” reign supreme. Why do people so sheepishly comply to sign up to this when the data is seriously unconvincing to warrant its introduction? Should we report our friends who haven’t publicly declared their status? Admitting one has signed up to COVIDSafe is borderline accepting to become a slave.

The most important point people need to consider is that there is absolutely zero downside for the government during and after this crisis. Remember that number – ZERO. If the economy goes into a prolonged recession or depression, our politicians can simply play the “we did it to save lives” card and tell us it was all for our own good. They can claim they couldn’t have done anything else. Unfortunately, we bear all the risk no matter what the outcome. That is a bad equation in any language. Why would anyone willingly sign up to it?

Indeed, saving lives should be congratulated, not censured. Still, at what point will we realise that the draconian measures put in place are leaving a disproportionate drag on the economy? As we wrote yesterday, if we take the JobKeeper support package alone, it presently costs $1.5 billion per death. Or $19.5 million per infection. The $130bn JobKeeper program is almost as much as the annual federal expenditure on education, healthcare and defence spend combined, three of the four largest budget items. Is this sustainable? If we stay in lockdown beyond the date of the package, this universal income will undoubtedly be extended.

There is a snowball’s chance in hell that we will have a V-shaped recovery. Our central bank might send us comforting lies to maintain the illusion that they are competent but it simply won’t happen.

Our authorities have suggested that the domestic economy comprises 75% of GDP which will provide a great cushion but on what planet do they believe that a crushed export sector which employs so many can be airbrushed to give us a V? Double-digit unemployment, at levels double or treble the present figures will all but guarantee a slower recovery. With household debt exceeding 180% of GDP, any future spending will be directed at rebuilding the balance sheet, not consumption. We’ll be lucky to get an L!!

There will be no normality after COVID19 abates. So much of our domestic future will be driven by the rest of the world’s approach to their own economies. Our neighbours will undoubtedly pursue more nationalist policies which prioritise domestic production. They will also need to contend with the likely aggressive reset of their own relative risk weighting, currency and fiscal positions. For anyone to believe that the magic pixie dust sprinkled by Canberra will avoid any calamity is dangerously naive.

Australia faces a $1 trillion deficit. Await the raft of new taxes on housing, inheritance and income to pay for it. We will absolutely hate what is coming. The sad thing is that we could have taken the pain over a decade ago yet we put short term expediency ahead of rational principle and now await the consequences. We are reaping what we sowed.

Much of the reasoning given by Aussies to sign up has been this belief that it will accelerate the government’s ability to reopen the economy sooner. If the government requires this sort of overlaying safeguard on top of the 99.98% of Australians that don’t knowingly carry the coronavirus or the 99.9997% who haven’t died from it, we should worry about our lawmakers’ ability to manage risk. Seriously.

Why are governments using future hard dates to consider reopening the economy? If today is the best day to do so, why wait till May 30th? Our own experience is that people are broadly respecting the social distancing guidelines. Sure, some might hang out in a park to break the monotony of staying indoors, but we are falling for the taglines from the government to #StayHome a bit too literally. The government should be rebuilding confidence. It isn’t. This app is unlikely to do much given the law of already minuscule numbers. It is all a feel-good measure.

With more than one million COVIDSafe app downloads in the first hour, many have proven that we are willing to conform to guidelines at a moments notice without considering the underlying facts. We saw this during the bushfire season. People blindly donated millions to the rural fire services when we proved their administrative skills were so severely lacking that these monies would unlikely be spent wisely.

In closing, many citizens have sent a wonderful signal to the government that they can easily strip more freedoms away by using panic as a tool to achieve it. The longer the economy is left to rot, the easier it will be to drown obedient plebs in even more regulations and restrictions because we failed to stand up and question the methodology. We will continue to do so. After all, former US President Ronald Reagan once said,

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.”

Statistically, is there a point downloading the COVIDSafe app?

Given that so many people happily give away their private information on social media, why should anyone object to downloading the new COVIDSafe app? Do you really trust your government not to store your info?

The government intends to send a message if you’d been in the vicinity of someone that may catch it down the line so you can freak out that there is a 99.98% chance you probably haven’t got it. You have a 211x higher chance of dying of heart disease or 37x more likelihood to be killed by the flu. You’d have a 36x higher chance of dying from an accident such as falling off a ladder.

While the intention is good, is there a point to have it, statistically speaking?

0.027% of the population or 6,711 people have been identified with COVID19 after 500,000 tests.

0.00033% or 83 people have died from it. So in short, 99.973% haven’t knowingly caught coronavirus and 99.9997% haven’t died from it.

Even if we unrealistically annualized those COVID19 deaths we would get around 496 in total.

Compare that to the figures 158,000 deaths in Australia in 2018. We included the average age of those who died in brackets.

Heart disease claimed 17,533 (84.7)

Dementia/Altzheimer – 13,963 (89.0)

Ceberovascular disease – 9,972 (86.2)

Throat/Lung disease – 8,586 (73.6)

Respiratory disease – 7,889 (80.9)

COVID deaths in Australia average 79 years and we can imagine that comorbidity has been a driving factor than just coronavirus in isolation.

In essence, the COVIDSafe app would offer you next to no value added:

1) because if your neighbours didn’t download the app you wouldn’t know, much less have a guarantee they switched their Bluetooth on to activate the app.

2) if your fellow citizens did have coronavirus it is unlikely they’d be floating around Woolies or Coles until they’d recovered.

3) if a coronavirus carrier didn’t download the app you wouldn’t get a message.

We are already amazed at how many people are openly stating on their social media profiles that they’ve downloaded it. Why should the ability for the economy to reopen pend on an app which isn’t compulsory and won’t tell us much? How sheepish can people be without considering the data?

As we’ve contended for a while, the hysteria and reaction to the virus is disproportionate to the profound economic damage that it is creating.

Time to reopen the economy. People are already well on top of social distancing. Restaurants should be able to open as “reservation only” so they can adequately create distances between tables.

We think the app creates more fear mongering than actual output.

Remember 99.987% haven’t got it. Is it worth killing the economy? The JobKeeper program alone is costing $1.5 billion per death and $19 million per infected so far. That is false economics.