COVID-19 Trends in QLD, Australia, UPDATED Sat 4th April , 1st post March 21 2020

UPDATED 4/2 2 weeks ago we were at a few hundred cases and the trends suggested we would be at 1000 cases today. in Qld . Well were are actually at 900 cases, which is a bit better than expected. It seems the social distancing has worked. We have hit a new challenge now though, there are cases in the community now with no identifiable source, meaning there are others out there as well. So we move to containment phase…lets hope complacency doesn’t sink in

1/4 Creeping up on two weeks since first post…/5 and nudging the prediction of 1000 cases by then too 😦

One the bright side the rate of new cases is steady

29/5

The growth in news cases has held steady for the past week …maybe its even dropping? Well done Qld!

27/5 Is growth slowing with the contain policies of the STAte Government…only the weeks ahead will tell. Can we keep our cases to 1000, rather than 5000?

25/5 There are likely ~5000 cases in the Qld community (assuming a 2 week delay until its measured). With a population of 5M in Qld, that’s 1 in 1000 cases. So any time you are coming into contact with surfaces that have close to this volume of people you are likely exposed. If the numbers are smaller eg your corner shop only has 200 customers a day, then thats a 20% chance.

24/4 See https://sabelconsult.com/c19/ for local information resources(its a bit draft at the moment) .

23/3 Qld Cases Updated 23/3. current trend suggests ~1000cases by 1st April. See comments section for a post from a friend in Germany (22/3) and what life is like there (sorry can’t make a link directly to her facebook post)

A post I shared to facebook Saturday 21 March early afternoon (as it will date pretty quickly). If our thinking (and behaviour) can move faster than the virus, we have a chance!. I’m putting it here so it has traceable references to the author, to avoid fake news accusations etc….

DISCLAIMER:

  1. Before you read my rant don’t trust me, instead see my bio and publications to decide if it’s reasonable or not, as this is well outside my primary areas of expertise

2. This is a useful article on the guardian on digesting information https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/22/coronavirus-overload-five-ways-to-fight-misinformation-and-fear

3. This is the primary source of Australian information on stats and epidemiology (updated weekly) https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/novel_coronavirus_2019_ncov_weekly_epidemiology_reports_australia_2020.htm

4. ABC News articles and infographics on cases and sources. Some state by state analysis too (It looks like its going to be updated beyond original publication date too). https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-17/coronavirus-cases-data-reveals-how-covid-19-spreads-in-australia/12060704

Deprecated graph 21st March (see top of page for latest..included here only for traceback purposes)

.

Hi Everyone, 

I’ve been tracking the Corona cases in Queensland (not Australia, not Italy, not China) but right here where we live and plotted them up. I have plotted them on something called a log scale (because this lets you see exponential data a bit more easily). On the data I have plotted lines for trends since the start, the last 2 weeks and the last week.

It is pretty clear we will hit 1000 detected cases in two weeks or less. 

When something is detected in 2 weeks time, it means it is likely already in the community RIGHT NOW, but symptoms are not showing yet, but spreading is likely. So taking steps right now to isolate and prevent spread is pretty important. As a community we are only going to be as strong as the most unhygienic amongst us, that we come into contact with, so limiting contact and upping our standard of hygiene is pretty important.

So look I am just a  guy in your street and not a medical person or epidemiologist (though they are saying similar things), but I have also been a research scientist for 30 years and my PhD is in Physics. Argument by authority is all things considered a weak form of argument, so am sticking to the data (except for trend lines)

 I encourage you to look at the data (actual confirmed data)  and the trend lines i drew (decide which one you like) and make up your own mind for the sake of your own family as well as for those in the community you might become a spreader for. I am all for listening to authority but I think that guy, Scotty from marketing is moving too slowly and more concerned about the economy and toilet paper sales (this is actually a slightly unfair emotive statement to make…apologies for that)

Some back of the envelope calculation that helped me decide to keep my oldest home from school this week. Population of Qld is 5, 000, 000, so assuming there are 1, 000 cases that is about 1 in 5000 in the population overall (this isn’t completely tru as the detected ones are isolated). His school is 3, 000 kids so thats almost unity odds that he will be exposed (through desk, chair, hand rail etc… when combined with his not great personal hygiene).

I am hoping the data is wrong, I would love it to be wrong…….

best to all ,

Dan

One thought on “COVID-19 Trends in QLD, Australia, UPDATED Sat 4th April , 1st post March 21 2020

  1. Post from a friend in Germany 23/3 (who are a few weeks ahead of us in terms of numbers) . i know it’s an n=1 experience but is a window into our future!

    from Sally
    It’s long, sorry. I just want to share our story. Share why we can’t understand people here and around the world right now. Share why everyone needs to take this seriously and #stayathome. *Share why you shouldn’t wait for restrictions and enforce them yourselves*. Share why you should be protecting yourselves and your loved ones.
    We waited too long. I don’t want you to. The ‘situation’ changes by the hour here. What we thought was ok two days ago seems to naïve, stupid and irresponsible. I admit it, we screwed up. I screwed up sending my children to school for as long as I did. We screwed up because we thought of the ‘ship sinking, staying on board to the end’ with our business.
    We screwed up.
    There is just too much unknown with Covid-19. Germany has one of the best healthcare systems in the world and I am relieved I am here. But cases are increasing rapidly. We haven’t hit the exponential curve yet and we are terrified. NZ and Australia are sleeping on it. Other countries too, but NZ and Australia are where my family live and I am writing this on request of friend living there. Schools are still open, people still going about their daily life. That is in many aspects still happening here with what I witnessed during our ‘last’ shop yesterday. People have to start taking this seriously. Germans will react to this thinking I’m overreacting, hysterical, perhaps insane.
    Do not let your children go to school tomorrow. Please.
    Do not gather in groups. Please.
    Do not touch anyone or go near anyone you don’t know. Please.
    Do not use buses or trams or undergrounds. Please.
    Look away as someone nears you. Please.
    Use your cards not cash. Please.
    Wear gloves when out and about. Please.
    793 people died in Italy yesterday. Yesterday. Can you even stop for one second and imagine that? 793 Grandmas, Grandpas, Mums, Dads… children. This virus does not only kill the elderly. There are no funerals. There is no way to say goodbye. They are being loaded into trucks to be stored… somewhere… who knows what will happen with them… God, may they rest in peace. Nurses are having to decide who lives and dies. And this is Italy. Italy’s healthcare system has been reported to be ‘poor to begin with’, but could it really be THAT poor? Is yours so much better? No one can judge that, but somehow this whole ‘Italy’s system was a disaster to begin with’ makes people complacent thinking theirs is so much better… how do you know that? Italy was the first hit country in Europe, and they enforced restrictions slowly. What a horrifying consequence… it could have been anywhere. It’s time to learn from mistakes made.
    Germany has made a lot of mistakes dealing with this. We are as of yesterday 20705 cases, with only 72 deaths (thanks to the health professionals and our facilities, our expensive system). Italy has 47021 cases with 4032 deaths… not sure if the 793 is included in that. China – well – doesn’t it all just sound rosy what’s coming from China right now – people out and about again, no new cases. Do you believe that? I sure don’t. 81457 cases with 3261 deaths. As a chemist told me last week, ‘they aren’t testing’ anymore… funny that all foreign journalists have been expelled from hard hit regions. Funny is probably not the correct word… more like terrifying.
    But Germany has slept on announcing restrictions, which is why I say, restrict yourselves. Please. Don’t wait for governments. As much as businesses will hurt, support them in other ways. Buy gift vouchers instead of going to the shop. They will open one day, but just don’t go there. Buy things from local businesses online. Call them up and ask them if they will send you something… maybe not in the next weeks but later on… there are ways to support them.
    Our story is as follows. As I write it, I feel nauseous. We screwed up.
    Three weeks ago, as I started to buy just that bit more – I didn’t buy 15 packets of toilet paper but two instead of one for example – people ‘tutted’ or thought I was overreacting.
    Three weeks ago, my children were taught at school that the Corona Virus has the second lowest death toll from all known flus (March 2nd).
    Three weeks ago, we went out for the day, to one of the biggest Museums in Germany (Munich) because we had had it planned (March 1st), and why shouldn’t we? We went with our children’s Godfather, his wife and two children. Their children had been in northern Italy three days before for the one-week Carnival school holiday. They weren’t in a risk area. Everything was fine.
    Two weeks ago, these ‘non’ risk Italian areas were newly categorized as risk areas (March 6th). Tens of thousands of people from southern Germany, who regularly travel to northern Italy to ski for our one-week Carnival holiday, or on weekends, were abruptly sent home from school and offices… where they had been the whole week. My children spent the whole day that Thursday (March 5th) with their best friend, shopping after school for a birthday party present that would be held at a pool the following Saturday. The next day, that friend was told to go home from school. Confusion, fear, tears, children getting bullied, by other children but also the teachers who treated them like they had the plague. What my children witnessed was disgusting behaviour.
    I let Ahna and Lea go to that pool party (March 7th).
    Two weeks ago, we started to lessen social contact. We actually lied that we had other plans. I’m sure we’ve probably lost a few friends over this.
    Two weeks ago, the cases were starting to increase, slowly. First death, first case here in Ulm… ‘you know XXXXX, I heard she has it…’
    The school week of starts (March 9th). The neighbouring state (Bavaria) decides to close down schools by the end of the week (March 13th). Bavarian is a 5 minute walk from where we work. Here in our state (Baden-Württemberg), they announce on that Friday, March 13th that Monday (16th) will be the last school day.
    It seems a life time ago, but that was just last Monday. We thought twice before sending our children to school. We did it, because here in Germany you actually are abided by law to do so. Our children would have missed key information to keep up with the grueling syllabus. Back then, less than one week ago, we still thought it would be ok.
    With having the children at home, life changed quite a lot but it was ok. Ok, because my children are 12 (triplets), and they could look after themselves. Being the teacher I am, I organized a daily plan. As we were not ‘allowed’ to (will explain in a sec) shut our salon, we just had to trust they would do their school work. They had tasks set by teachers they could download from the school’s website. They have to scan in or send a photo of the work they do. The schools have been very supportive. Teachers had to still go to school.
    From last Wednesday (March 18th) on, restrictions went into place. All shops were to close, all sporting facilities. Exempt from this included cosmetic and hair salons (our business), restaurants (but with restricted hours), supermarkets and chemists, hardware stores, perhaps a few more. Office spaces are expected to continue with good ‘airing’ of the offices. 1,5m should be kept between all people, anywhere. No gatherings of over 5 people.
    We asked ourselves how we should abide by these restrictions and still cut and wash our customers hair? Funny videos and pictures flooded social media – funny to watch but at the same time we shook our heads. Last week we saw several ‘types’ of customer, the:
    • ‘what are you all overacting about, I’m not scared’ type
    • ‘I’m self-isolating, can I make an appointment in May’ type
    • ‘Can I come today, for sure lots have canceled’ type
    • ‘Can I come today because I can’t handle two weeks looking like this’ type
    • ‘Are you using disinfection, masks and gloves’ type
    • ‘Should I come, I don’t know what to do’ type
    The government had deemed salons to be ‘vital for daily needs’. We wanted to shut down, to protect our workers and ourselves. The customers who came, were doing so at their own risk, but we had to be there. Last week we lost thousands of euros in revenue. It’s not yet clear, what support will be offered. We are hanging in financial limbo. We have to pay the wages next week and that’s not going to be easy. I’m grateful we have some ‘just in case funds’, but they will be used up quickly.
    We felt like we had to be there, as shutting would mean financial ruin. If we chose to shut, we wouldn’t be supported. If we stayed open, we could at least register for support. As my husband said ‘I will be the last to leave, I’m the captain’. Standing in an almost empty salon, that is usually thriving was physically exhausting… it felt like suffering a slow business death. Sounds dramatic and for sure many can’t understand, perhaps people will even criticise, but watching your ‘baby’ that you built up over 20 years suffering such loses, being so empty, the unknown, was heartbreaking.
    Friday (20.3) evening, we got the message from our State President, that from midnight extra restrictions will be enforced. Hanging to the end of our sofa, we listened his message. ‘Salons will be closed’… 4 words we had waited for, for what seemed a lifetime. We cried tears of joy. Relief. We called our workers and cried together (thank God for whatsapp group videocalls!). I will never ever forget that moment.
    Saturday (21.3), we did our last shopping (with masks and gloves) and have put ourselves in quarantine. We don’t know if we have it or not, we have no symptoms, but we need to find out. Only eliminating contact with others will tell us. It’s going to be a hard time, but hopefully also a beautiful time together as a family.
    Just want to add to this, if you are still with me, the masks I refer to are not medical masks. They were 10-year-old dust masks we had bought for cleaning purposes. Somehow they helped though… got some comments, strange looks. I just coughed… and they turned away.
    I have to go now and start lunch. To end with, I will write what I have bought to prepare for this. It is not a ‘accurate’ scientific calorie-based list but just what I did… with a little of the ‘damn it’, forgot that…… what can I use instead of …….? – it is going to be an interesting time!
    Make your ‘last shop’ a fresh fruit and vegetable shop… buy green bananas and produce that looks like it will last a long time.
    List of what I have bought, and sorted into weeks:
    • Pasta, rice
    • canned vegetables and fruit, including purees
    • chips (my children love chips!)
    • bread (in the freezer)
    • potatoes (keep in a cold place)
    • oil, salt, stock and vinegar
    • sweets (why not?)
    • wine (again, why not!)
    • toilet paper, cleaners, soap, washing liquid, kitchen towels (they are not available anymore and I didn’t buy bulk, my husband guards them – it’s hilarious – HALT!)
    • cereal treats for the children – each have their favourites, with the ‘once they’re gone, they’re gone’ understanding
    • meat – all vacuum packed and in the freezer (I wish I had a bigger freezer!)
    • long life milk (it’s very common here, more than fresh)
    • medicines – Lea has had lung issues since birth, Zac allergies and I have allergies and asthma
    I forgot rock salt and baking powder, and the kitchen towels… will just have to make do.
    I don’t think I’ve forgotten anything… but will edit it if so… I am sure my ‘I forgot’ list will grow but we are at the start of this and you only know you don’t have something when you need it. I will keep you all informed. Sorry if I bored you. Sorry for my at times ‘German grammar sentences’, I’ve been here too long! Sorry for autocorrections and the mix of US and UK English words. Sorry if you think something was false or dramatic… but this is my experience and having been asked to share I started this and now I’m at 4 Word pages. Sorry for the long-winded response Danny! You asked!!
    I’ll be in touch as the days pass. Stay healthy out there. #stayathome
    With love, Sally

    Like

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