Which Countries have managed Covid well?

The question of which country has managed the Covid pandemic the best is a moving target, and is dependent at which point the question is being asked, this is not a sprint but more a marathon, so time will tell who has manged the pandemic the best. The number of deaths from covid,  the economic impact,  mental health and vaccination rates are all factors, which will determine a countries performance. The US has a population of  330 million and have lost 713,000 people to Covid, a death rate of 2,141 per milliona. The UK has a population of 60 million people and has lost 136,000 people to Covid, a death rate of 1,998 per million. In contrast Australia has a population of 26 million and lost 1,278 to Covid which represents a death rate of 49 per million. It is clear based on this information only that Australia has performed well. But this is only part of the equation, the level of debt incurred as a result of stimulus packages, the economic recovery and mental health or other wellbeing issues will dictate which country has managed the pandemic the best. It is clear that the federal government in Australia has managed the pandemic well based on the current statistics, while there have been many levels of criticism aimed at the federal government such as the vaccine rollout, often politically driven. What is clear is that the low vaccine take up was predominantly driven by the very nature of the early success Australia experienced.  Evidence clearly shows around the world that when cases increase the vaccine take up increases so this was a double edge sword for the federal government. At the end of the day and as at the time of writing Australia looks as though it is getting through the pandemic well, sure there has been some pain, mainly sensationalised by the media. Hhowever there is one state which has not met the standards of other states and that is Victora who are heading towards having the longest lockdown periods in the world and while the death rate by world standards was low it could be considered that these deaths were as a result of  government incompetance  in the hotel quarantine system. As stated at the beggining of this post this is a marathon not a print so watch this space!!

Main Stream Bias!

Why is there a growing trend to mis-trust the main stream media. What has become quite evident is how the media influence their audience through the use of labelling or headlining to support their particular narrative. Examples of this were the Killing of George Floyd, which was immediately labelled as a “racist” act and the ensuing riots which followed labelled as “protests” The vast majority of the media ran with this story, with few offering an opposed view. The question has to be how do the media immediately label it as racist act, which de-stabilised a whole country without any evidence whatsoever.

Is this irresponsible/dangerous journalism, or was it a political ploy with an upcoming  election around the corner.

The questions that need to be asked is was this a racist act or an act of police brutality?  What is interesting is that very few media outlets actually condemed the BLM riots, in fact they almost justified them. Subsequent to this the January 6th march on the US Capital was labelled an “insurrection”, and the majority of the main stream agencies ran with this headline. In more recent times anyone who is against mandatory vaccinations for the COVID-19 virus are labelled “antivaxxers”  I think it is important that we ask the question how do the media know that over a million people who may have legitimnate concerns about the these vaccines are actually antivaxxers. It appears that anyone who supports freedom of choice are “Far Right” yet many would be left leaning or moderates.

This is why the media has lost the trust in may people

Some lesser known mdiat outlest actually reported that  George Floyd was arrested as a result of the shopkeeper making a call to police, as they suspected he was using counterfeit money. What was originally censored from the masses was his appaling criminal record of jail time and multiple previous convictions. There is no doubt that the police officer acted with excessive force but was that done on the basis of the colour of his skin – we will leave that for you to decide once presented with all the facts?

Can you recall hearing a single  positive news story on CNN about president Trump, or was you fed a constant dose of scandel, gaf’s and negative news. Now is that not a little  inconcievable that he did not do anything, which was good for the country. In contrast can you recall through the US elections hearing anything negative about Joe Biden, or was you fed a main dose of good news stories – now  doesnt that seem a little odd. 

The reality is that there was good and bad news and scandel for both but main stream media and big tech clearly censored much of the bad news on Biden.

The question here is not about whether you are pro Trump or Biden or Pro Democrat or Republican, more its about corruption & unhealthy political bias in the media and the influence of big tech which is far more concerning that who you prefer as president.

Tips for keeping a check on the media

Listen  carefully to the headline or labelling of  media stories, often used to sensationalize  an event.

In the recent protest outside the CMFEU the union indicated that many of the protesters were not union members, which was then echoed by the media. How did they determine that given there are over 300,000 members, did the union conduct a survey of the protesters to determine  who were not members. It is important to understand that the statement by the union was simply a “view” not a “fact” but when reported by the media many will assume it is a fact. The media also ran with a headline that many of the protesters are from “far Right” groups again you have to ask the question how did they determine this. Again this was a view put forward by the media has no real basis.

Is Life Today More Stressful

Suicide continues to be the biggest killer of young Australians .

  • Nine Australians die every day by suicide. That’s more than double the road toll.
  • 75% of those who take their own life are male.
  • Over 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt each year.
  • In 2019, 3,318 Australians took their own life.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44.
  • The suicide rate in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is twice that of their non-Indigenous counterparts.
  • People in rural populations are 2 times more likely to die by suicide.
  • LGBTI+ community members experience significantly higher rates of suicide than the rest of the population.

Source Lifeline

Is life in today’s world more stressfull than any time previously? The increase in mental anxiety amongst people in particular the young would suggest that the modern day world we live in has a signifcant influence in the stress levels, or does it suggest that many people just do not have the ability to cope with modern day life experiences. if we go back in history there are clearly far more stressfull periods such as through the 1st and 2nd world war – how can anyone today compare life with the terror of being bombed, killed, tortured or sitting in the trenches with little food and water.

In trying to make sense of the crazy stressfull world we live in today, we have to consider the following three  items: mobile phones, social media and the internet. These items were not around in the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s. and you know what – life seemed pretty simple! Trying to remember your password,  being asked ridiculous security questions to prove who you are,  chatting with virtual assistants rather than real people,  waiting in excess of 1 hour while on the phone all generate a level of stress and with increased frequency of these events occuring increases the stress levels. 

We have become so reliant on a single device to navigate our way through life it is frightening, which has been essentially forced upon many  by governments and big business, you have all experienced the teller in the banks instructing you how to do the transaction on your phone, while they shut down branch after branch.

The power of social media has reached dangerous levels in that it has the power to influence masses of people relatively easily, far greater than TV or newspapers ever have achieved.

How To Implement Change

Trying to implement change as an individual can be very difficult,  time consuming and frustrating. However what we have seen in more recent times, with protest becoming a more common ocurrence, is that if you are organised you can achieve more. It is clear that there are large numbers of people who are too busy to tackle some of the issues and feel frustrated in that their view is not being heard. By communicating, sharing experiences and collaborating together can achive far better results. Good examples of this are there are over 7,000 people  trying to return to their states through the Covid pandemic, all are being given the runaround due to the beaurocracies and incompetance of government departments. It was not until the media got wind of this that pressure was applied to get things moving quicker. 

Politicalfixit provides the forum for us to achieve change. To stop the wastage of taxpayers money, to become more transparent, to minimize bearocracy and become more efficient, to work on issues which we see as the priority, which could include the impact of drugs in the community, reducing crime by removing career criminals from the streets, helping the homeless to get off the streets, exploring why mental health issues are rising in our kids. 

 

Examining Human Behaviours

The pandemic has highlighted how people behave differently, and the way in which messaging can change or influence a persons behaviour. Some people are driven by fear and can become paranoid whereby their actions go well beyond the level of risk. Some people just do not absorb the detail of the instruction, some people will just do what they are told without question. However there is another category of human behaviour where they can rationalise, have a logical thinking mind, understand the statistics, analyse and question what they are being told. A classic example of human behaviour is the wearing of masks for example in South Australia. The rule in SA is for masks to be worn in indoor public spaces, including public transport, It has never been a requirement to be worn outside in open spaces. What is interesting is the vast majority are walking around wearing masks in outdoor open spaces –  WHY?.  We would estimate that around 75% of people who are walking around the CBD are wearing masks. Trying to work out why is a complex issue, While some will find it convenient to just keep the mask on, some will not fully understand what the actual requiremnts are, others will just be ruled by fear and emotion. The smaller percentage who do not wear masks in the open are more likely to fall into the category of those who listen to the instructions, are not ruled by fear or emotion and can rationalise and understand the risks. Not wearing a mask outside while walking around is most probably more healthy for you at the end of the day, but that vast majority of people just dont get it!

Our Political System

Many of the western worlds political systems are broken. Confidence in our politicians is at an all time low,  which is demonstrated by the inability to win a  significant majority for many years. The rise in independents and minor parties are a result of frustration with the major parties and it is becoming clearer with time that the two party system is failing us. If ever you have watched question time you could be forgiven for thinking you were watching a bunch of kindy kids all vying for attention in their little bubble. Unfortunately politics has become very dirty, oppositions go looking for dirt and or even to some extent create the dirt, while many of these items are not seen as a major priority by the people it generates news for the media circus. Many of our politicans are career politicians who have worked their way up through the ranks of the parties, while great at public speaking and presentation many actually lack the skills to manage effectively. There is a real lack of diverse skills within the ranks, while many are university qualified in either law, economics, art, accountancy etc. 

This is the story which looks at three General Managers over a 9 year period and their influence on a manufacturing organisation IN South Australia. The first GM had an engineering background and the influence was innovation by designing the machinery to  operate at faster speeds hence improving output, reducing the waste, implementing maintenance systems to reduce down time, and improving systems and procedures, this was a very successful period for the organisation. The second GM was of a marketing background whose influence helped improve the product performance, packaging sizes to reduce distribution costs and product innovation, this again was a very successful period for the organisation. The third GM had an accounting background whose influence was purely numbers, the influence was to reduce the holdings of stock in the stores, including spare parts, sourcing raw material from China rather than Canada, trying to operate to JIT principals, and streamlining resources to reduce costs – the impact was a disaster, the chinese raw material cost less but was inferior causing huge operational issues, increasing downtime, reducing efficiencies and increasing waste. when the macinery broke down spare parts were not available due to cutting back on inventory, the morale of the operators was at an all time low as they were under-resourced, and they finally shut down their operations and went off-shore. I think the principal of the story is pretty evident and would be familiar with many.

The Silent Majority Need a Voice

Do you ever feel like you are not being heard? . Do main stream media offer a diverse range of views, or do you find they all have a single perspective. Are your elected representatives working on the issues which are important to you?, or do you find politicians  appear to be focused on issues which are driven by activist, lobby groups or trivial scandels which ocurred 30 years ago. The old saying  “he who shouts the loudest will be heard” is an accurate term. So what happens is the silent majority who just get on with their lifes are not heard. What are the issues you want our politicians to be working on is it climate change, driven by activits and external idealogies or do you feel that drugs in society is a bigger issue, are we really interested  trivial debates in Question time on what may or may not have occurred 30 years ago, or  increased and violent crime in our local commuities, and sentances being handed out to hard core criminals which do not reflect community values or standards.

Most people (silent majority) have busy lives working, looking after kids etc and frankly do not have the time to lobby their local representatives to work on issues which we feel are important to the community – Unfortunately this needs to change and people need to take a more active role in politics apathy will not achieve anything. Politicalfixit provides the forum to achieve this by communicating with the masses, collating and collaborating to present the views to our polictical leaders.

Have our politicans got this right ?

Do our politicans have the response to the COVID pandemic right and why is there a lack of confidence within the community as to what they are being told. Many people who are unwilling to commit to the vaccine are not anti vaxxers, so labelling them so will only increase their resolve.  So why is there a general lack of trust by many  The information coming from our politicians has been inaccurate at times and  inconsistent at best. The response or retric has often been disproportional to the risk, which creates fear and paranoia within the community.

Here are just a few  questions which need answering:

  1. It often becomes confusing when politicians tell you that they are “following expert advice”  when you can do some basic research and find that the advice varies amonst states, countries, poltical parties etc. Wearing masks is a simple example where the expert advice in March 2020 by the WHO and western worl was that they were not an effective measure against COVID-19 this has now changed to become a mandatory requirement. Given that we all knew back in March 2020 that this virus spreads through droplets in the air allows us to question the validity of the so called experts.
  2. As at the 10th September the UK has not approved to vaccinate children between the ages of 12 – 15 and scientist are not in favour ot this action. In Australia they have chosen to vaccinate this age group, this has been adopted pretty rapidly based on the Pfizer vaccine being approved by the FDA, yet the FDA HAS NOT approved the Astrazenica vaccine – can you see the inconsistencies with this messaging and why people will question some of the decisions being made.
  3. The constant messaging by politicians to  “get vaccinated” unfortunately can have the opposite effect for those who lack trust in governments. Once the general community see that politics is influencing the  messaging  generates further mistrust and lack of  confidence in what they are being told. People have some genuine concerns and questions which need to be answered before they make their decision, the best way to get compliance is to answer the questions in detail.
  4. What is the long term implications of the vaccines – the answer has to be that no-body knows 
  5. What is clear is that Immunity is the only way out of this pandemic and that means through either natural immunity as a result of catching the virus or through vaccination.
  6. What is the rationale behind vaccine passports given that people who have had the virus also have immunity, which is comparible or better than a person who has been vaccinated and to accept the science that vaccinated people can also transmit the virus – these questions need to be answere in detail 
  7. In Australia it is clear to many that State governments in particular have become rougue and placed party politics in front of the health and wellbeing of the community. This has caused many to question the inadequacies the  political sytem

So it is no wonder that many  are suspicious and lack trust in what we are being told by politicians, the above clearly identifies why they should question many of the decisions being made

Is Federation A Flawed Political System?

or just being mis-used by rouge politicians

Has COVID-19 taught us that the Federation style of politics is flawed or is it just that politics has become a dirty game with rouge premiers putting party politics first. Australia has a 3 tier government system which is based upon the Westminster system of government.  Federal government, state governments and local governments form the three levels. What Covid has shown is that the federal government  have limited powers in running a country in the event of a crisis. Even the establishment in a National Cabinet on the 13th March 2020 to try and establish some cohesion and co-operation between the states appears to have failed. With five of the states held by labour governments and only two by liberal has clearly presented some problems. While it would be easy to blame the system, it is very clear that premiers have put party politics first and foremost in their pursuit of winning the next federal election which is just around the corner. This is more a reflection of the dirty politics which have entered the system in the last 10 years or so. This begs the question is it time to explore a different political system, that is more cost effective, more efficient and operates in the best interest of the people. A great example of this is the UK has a population of sixty million people with 4 chief  Medical Officers, whicle here in Australia we have a federal chief Medical Officer and one for each state or territory mounting to a total of nine, for a population of twenty six million people. Doesnt that indicate an in-efficient, costly and in-effective system of government. We think it is time to start exploring this opportunity and put the question to the people in a referendum.