Monday, 23 March 2020

According to Roy Morgan Research Prime Minister Scott Morrison is distrusted by a majority of the Australian public - along with US President Donald Trump, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and disgraced former deputy-prime minister Barnaby Joyce

Roy Morgan Research, Finding No. 8333 Topic: Public Opinion Press ReleaseSpecial Poll Country: Australia New Zealand United States, 19 March 2020:

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has highest ‘Net Trust Score’ of all political leaders while Australian PM Scott Morrison has a ‘Net Distrust Score’ to overcome

A special Roy Morgan survey on ‘Trust’ and ‘Distrust’ of government leaders shows New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern scores the highest ‘Net Trust Score’ of all – meaning the ‘Trust’ felt toward the New Zealand leader far outweighs the ‘Distrust’ – according to a special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Survey of 974 Australians aged 14+ conducted over the last two days.

People surveyed in Australia were asked ‘Which government leaders do you trust. List as many as you can think of?’ and also ‘Which government leaders do you distrust. List as many as you can think of?’ By subtracting distrust from trust we arrive at a Net Trust Score (if trust outweighs distrust) or Net Distrust Score (if distrust outweighs trust).

Women dominate the Net Trust Scores filling four out of the top five positions. Other leaders to score highly on Net Trust include Opposition Leader in the Senate Penny Wong, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and former ALP Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek.

Top 10 Political Leaders by Net Trust Score

Source: Roy Morgan Snap SMS survey conducted on March 18-19, 2020.
Base: Australians aged 14+. n=974.

Scott Morrison has a ‘Net Distrust Score’ alongside colleague Peter Dutton

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is mentioned as a ‘Trusted’ leader by more Australians than any other. However, unfortunately for Morrison, there are far more Australians that have a ‘Distrust’ of the Prime Minister than ‘Trust’ him – leaving the Prime Minister with a ‘Net Distrust Score’

Other prominent political leaders that have ‘Net Distrust Scores’ include Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, US President Donald Trump and former National Party Leader Barnaby Joyce.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s trust has been built on taking decisive actions in many challenging situations since becoming Prime Minister:

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has demonstrated impressive leadership since taking New Zealand’s top job in responding with empathy to the Christchurch mosque shootings a year ago and the tragedy caused by the eruption of White Island last year. Most recently, Ardern’s decisive leadership was demonstrated with New Zealand becoming the first country to impose harsh restriction on all foreign nationals from entering the country in response to the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

In contrast our own Prime Minister Scott Morrison faced a ‘wall of criticism’ for his handling of the Summer bushfire crisis and this has continued for many with his handling of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Given the current uncertainties, it is important Australians trust our Prime Minister. Although the results show Morrison is trusted by a wide variety of Australians there are far more that distrust the PM meaning he has a significant ‘Net Distrust Score’.

One of the most striking results of this unprompted research assessing opinions of political leaders is the leading performance of many of Australia’s female politicians. As well as New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern on top, Opposition Leader in the Senate Penny Wong, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and former ALP Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek are all in the top five. Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard is also not far behind in eighth position despite living in the United Kingdom for the past few years.

Additional detail on the reasons Australians have given for ‘Trusting’ and also ‘Distrusting’ this diverse range of political leaders will be released in coming days.”

Northern Rivers independent schools and tertiary institutions are considering their options during this global pandemic

The Northern Star, 19 March 2020: 

Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School will be the first school on the Northern Rivers to effectively close due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Parents of 370 children the school have been advised to keep the kids at home from Wednesday if possible. School is open, but most kids have stayed home. 

“We have a very small number of students here at school,” Principal Nerida Johnson said. 

“It’s been quiet all week, we had 34 per cent of students absent yesterday.” 

Vulnerable staff and students were advised to stay home early in the week and her directive, issued to all students on Wednesday morning, has been met with relief. .....

“Essentially, we are making decisions looking at all the reports and making sure we’re doing our bit to keep the community safe,” Ms Johnson said.

“Parents have been overwhelmingly supportive; I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many messages of support. 

“Parents were feeling frustrated at the mixed messaging, we are being told to self-isolate and at the same time to send our children to school. 

“We cannot possibly do physically distancing with the younger classes; we cannot keep classrooms of children 1.5m away from each other.

The Northern Star, 19 March 2020: 

Southern Cross University will deliver all its study programs online from Monday, March 23, but its campuses will remain open. 

This includes Lismore, Coffs Harbour and Gold Coast regional campuses, as well as metropolitan campuses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. 

Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker announced the move as a response to the continuing impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“We have made this move in the best interests of our students and our teaching staff,” the Vice Chancellor said. 

“While every degree that we offer will now be available online, all of our campuses remain open.” 

All teaching will convert to the online mode by Monday. “Unless otherwise advised, classes will be delivered online at the same time that face-to-face classes would have occurred. 

Students’ timetables will not change, but how they engage with classes will,” Professor Shoemaker said.

“Some activity which cannot be undertaken online — such as clinical placements in Health and Teaching practicums — will continue unless otherwise advised.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

A word from the NSW Northern Local Health District.......

TheDaily Examiner, 18 March 2020:

THE Northern NSW Local Health District boss says the group is working with North Coast Primary Health Network to ensure the region has an appropriate and effective response to Covid-19 (coronavirus).

Chief executive Wayne Jones said this included regular daily briefings at a state and local level, sharing information with primary health providers, providing advice on testing and monitoring, and working with Queensland Health.

Covid-19/flu clinics are established at Lismore Base Hospital and The Tweed Hospital, for those with respiratory symptoms or fever and who were at risk of Covid-19, such as those in contact with a Covid-19 case, or those who had returned from overseas in the 14 days before the onset of symptoms.

The clinics are open from 10am to 6pm seven days a week.

People do not need to call ahead to attend these clinics, but if attending an Emergency Department outside these hours, or attending a GP, are asked to phone ahead, or discuss symptoms with healthdirect on 1800 022 222.

A spokeswoman said anyone with acute symptoms could present to an ED and alert staff on arrival.

As with other public hospitals in NSW, we are arranging to double the ICU capacity in hospitals in Northern NSW and to prepare for a significant increase in respiratory presentations to Emergency Departments,” Mr Jones said.

All our facilities are planning for a potential increase in presentations of people with respiratory illness over the coming weeks and months, and we’re working with NSW Health to maximise available critical care resources.

We have not cancelled elective surgery, but are reviewing the need to bring some cases forward, particularly those which may require Intensive Care support, in light of the expected increase in demand for ICU services in the coming weeks…...

This is not the Australia I grew up in.......

The Age, 17 March 2020:

Regional towns are being swamped by bus loads of panicked "Coles tourists" who are driving from the city to strip supermarket shelves of basic supplies.

The Age has heard reports of city-dwellers rushing supermarkets in Gisborne, Kyneton, Romsey, Seymour, Woodend, Daylesford and even in towns as far away as Kerang and Deniliquin.

Woodend, about 70 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, is now pleading for outsiders to give them a few days' break so its own elderly residents and families can buy necessities.

"We have one supermarket in town, a Coles, and we love our tourists, but we've got bus loads of people coming through and doing multiple runs through the store," Reverend Mel Clarke said.

"Coles have put limits on, but they're still able to clear us out."

Reverend Clarke, from St Mary's Anglican Church, said people had been coming to her door asking if she had supplies, but she too had now run out of many essentials.

She was in Kyneton when she spoke to The Age on Tuesday and said two buses had just arrived at the town's Woolworths.

"I don't know what they think they're going to get," she said.

"(In Woodend) we're trying our hardest amongst the community to make sure everyone has enough. We've got a neighbourhood house where if you've got a spare roll of toilet paper you can drop it off. We've got community groups popping up.

"But we just need a few days without the Coles tourists to get us back on our feet."

At the Romsey IGA, about 20 kilometres east of Woodend, it's been "like Christmas Eve" every day since mass cancellations began on Friday.

Kristi Gilbert, who co-runs a community Facebook page with more than 2000 members, said she had never seen anything like it in 10 years of Romsey life.

She said reports from shop staff was that many people were arriving from Melbourne, but some were also coming from larger regional centres like Bendigo.

Kate Bossence, from Kerang in northern Victoria, said supermarket shelves there started emptying during a rush of Melbourne tourists on the long weekend last week.

The 47-year-old said she had noticed mini-buses full of people stopping off at the local supermarkets that had "cleaned out absolutely everything".

"Since the long weekend, I just noticed that people behind the cash registers are struggling with the amount of produce that people are buying," Ms Bossence, an ex-nurse, said.

"It's kind of really reached a critical stage now.

"That leaves us locals, and aged pensioners, disability pensioners, with no food to really survive on for the next couple of weeks if we do go into lockdown which is looking more and more likely."

Woolworths opened at 7am on Tuesday and admitted only those with pension or disability cards for the next hour. Results were mixed across the city.

In Prahran, more than 100 elderly people lined up before dawn and almost all went straight for the empty toilet paper aisle.

They get us out of bed so early in the morning and the shelves are bare," Leah, 71, said.

"The three most important things - tissues, toilet paper and meat - and they are not there. I had to buy gyoza. We're not used to eating gyoza, but now we have to eat anything.

"I woke up at 3am and I didn't want to go back to sleep in case I slept and missed the toilet paper. But I missed it anyway. It's hard for us because we're old. I can't even walk. I had to take tablets just to be able to get here."

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Northern NSW Local Health District now number five

Northern NSW Local Health DistrictMedia Release, 19 March 2020:

UPDATE: Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in NNSWLHD  

Northern NSW Local Health District has confirmed another two cases of COVID-19 within the LHD since our last update on 18 March. This takes the total number of cases of COVID-19 in NNSWLHD to five. 

All five cases are currently in self-isolation and are being monitored daily,

To date, four of the five cases had returned from overseas and the source of acquisition for the fifth case is under investigation at the time of this release. 

North Coast Public Health Unit is contacting people who had been in close contact with the two new cases. Close contacts are asked to self-isolate for 14 days from their last contact with the case, or to be tested if they develop symptoms. As with other cases, these individuals will be followed-up daily and supported with ongoing advice. 

One confirmed case travelled on Virgin Australia flight VA1141 from Sydney to Ballina, arriving 10 March 2020. Contacts were in rows 7 – 11. 

The risk to those passengers is considered low because of the flight time, however as a matter of caution, we do ask that people who were seated in those rows 7 – 11 be alert to signs and symptoms of COVID-19. 

Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and sometimes shortness of breath. 

If you develop these symptoms, call your doctor and let them know that you were in those seats on that particular flight. 

There are no other locations that pose an ongoing risk to members of the public at this time. 

There are two COVID-19 / flu clinics in NNSWLHD at present, located at The Tweed Hospital and Lismore Base Hospital. These clinics are open from 10am to 6pm daily. 

These clinics are for those most at risk with respiratory symptoms or fever, those returning from overseas or in contact with a COVID-19 case, or people like our health workers. 

People without symptoms do not need and will not be tested at this stage....  

healthdirect AUSTRALIA – providing expert health advice 24 hours a day to NSW residents – Tel. 1800 022 222 

NNSWLHD is closely monitoring the volume of respiratory presentations at our facilities, and will use this information to determine when and if additional COVID-19/ flu clinics need to opened at other hospitals in the District. 

We encourage everyone to play their part in containing the spread of COVID-19 by washing your hands often, covering coughs and sneezes, maintaining social distance and staying home if you’re unwell. Visit the NSW Health website for more advice.

Quote of the Week

"If the battle cry of our government’s response to the global financial crisis was “go early, go hard, go households”, this government’s approach to the current crisis seems to be “go late, go half-measures, and go ... well ... go to Hillsong”." [Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd, writing in The Guardian, 16 March 2020]

Joke of the Week

Found on Twitter