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Your views: on an immediate lockdown


Today, readers comment on former RAH Trauma chief Bill Griggs’ call for an immediate lockdown to combat coronavirus.

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Commenting on the story: “We’ve got it wrong – we need to shut everything down”: Ex RAH Trauma chief

Absolutely agree, there should have been definitive action at the outset in January stopping flights, closing borders.

This wasn’t done due to economic considerations and as a result the situation is now more dire.

 Whatever happens, it’s going to be exceedingly tough for most in the community.

Staged shutdown won’t help this and may have serious negative effects on medical resources. Meredith Kaesehage

Enough of the “She’ll be right mate” attitude, this is very, very serious – learn from the situation worldwide, take action now and lock down.

Haircuts essential. Are they joking?

Social distancing? Another ambiguous joke. In order to carry out routine employment, most people will need to flout the social distancing concept in some way.

Sadly, I have experienced first hand the consequence of a flu virus on a perfectly healthy 13 year old young man within days of being contracted.

Be safe, or be sorry. If you have a chance to be. – Julie Dvorak

So much common sense from Dr Bill Griggs. The numbers just keep going up, look at the WHO daily situation reports.

So many myths: “flatten the curve” (sure, but however flat you make it, the system is still overwhelmed), or “herd immunity” (sure, but 5% of your population die), or “wash your hands” (sure, better tell Italy that, as they need to know this important information right now!).

There are some much more sophisticated ideas coming out of China.

Namely, you aim to shut it down comprehensively, with quarantine and real lockdowns, over a period of 3 to 4 weeks, and then you open up links with areas that have also done similar lockdowns.

That means, in practice, you could lock down Kangaroo Island, prove it now has no cases, and then open up trade with most of China. Later you could do this with the whole of South Australia.

So how to shut it down properly?

First, look at countries that have succeeded (or are almost there). They are: China, South Korea and Singapore.

It takes a lot of hard work. You have to shut down planes. No cruise ships are allowed in. Roads are blocked.

Anyone who wants to enter has to go through 14 days of quarantine, and it is real quarantine, not just signing a piece of paper saying you are going to agree.

Real quarantine is not that hard though, maybe it involves the State paying for hotel rooms, and tracking via ankle bracelets or mobile phones?

And you go hard on contact tracing before the system is overwhelmed. There are systems to do this for sexually transmitted diseases. Just think of it as “there is a cruise ship wanting to dock and a third of the people have gonorrhoea”. What do you do that is sensible and follows existing protocols?

It is absolutely possible right now to shut this down in every state in Australia. The barriers are all political.

We need to shut down schools and childcare centres. We need to do it all at the same time to prevent cross-infection between states.

We need to massively ramp up contact tracing and we need real penalties for breaching quarantine rules.

It is not that hard. Dr James Moxham, GP

Totally agree. Should have done it weeks ago. Onya, Bill. – Rod Murray

The PM is both right and wrong.

He’s right when he says it’s both a health crisis and a financial crises. He’s wrong in going slow.

Logic yells at you that you fix the economic crisis by fixing the health crisis, and that has been proven to be best done by going hard and fast.

Wounds are best healed when cauterised immediately, not over time.

Will the PM’s new monker read SloMo, as some have suggested? – Richard Pagliaro

The confusion on who might get the virus is worrying. No wonder there’s so much anxiety in the community.

Obviously, if people remain at home then those individuals who get the disease will not infect other’s in the general community.

They can also be self-isolating and be medically checked on regularly.

I would have hoped Australia had significantly clearer procedures from the start. Mark Neville

Given Australia’s natural advantages, and South Australia’s in particular, not to mention the good start we got by banning travellers from China early, it is extraordinary to watch the deliberate actions by national and SA politicians taking us to catastrophe by the slow boat.

Picture the TV show we were in. There are two boxes with signs above them.

Box A: a short sharp complete closedown of Australia at national and state boundary level, for, maybe six weeks. Then business as usual within Australia.

Box B: health and economic catastrophe, the likes of which we have never seen.

The PM of Australia and SA’s Premier, Murphy and Spurrier have chosen Box B. 

The population at large could have chosen Box B anyway, sort of the way we ignored the PM during the bushfires, just pick the right thing and get on with it, but we haven’t. 

We would all do well to remember that when the doctors start ‘choosing’ who is going to live and who is going to die in the forthcoming debacle, the choice has actually been made by  every Australian who thought they were the one who didn’t need to do the right thing.Cathy Chua

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We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.

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