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COVID & AFL 2021



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On 6/6/2021 at 10:00 AM, Dr. Gonzo said:

I'm pretty sure the curves been flattened out now. I was all for the lockdowns last year while they got their [censored] sorted but this can't just keep going unabated, especially for a virus that has around a 2-3% mortality rate.

Shutdown any international travel until they get the quarantine facilities built and the vaccine is rolled out on a large scale and let the rest of us get on with our lives.

It's not just the fatalities, a lot of people who 'recover' are having a bad time. I have one friend who had it last November (caught from a child), wasn't even hospitalised but has been unable to work or do much else since: can hardly walk (in spite of two foot operations), has lost hearing in one ear and is permanently tired.

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15 minutes ago, DeeSpencer said:

We let the doggies back in with some cheap ones at the end of the 2nd quarter and then the first bit of the 3rd and a lot of the last was a slog. Apart from the lack of atmosphere it was decent for neutrals. The Lions game was even better with the major downside being the remote callers and fake crowd noise.

But overall it’s a lot better than those years when Carlton, Coll or Ess were rubbish and getting 5 Friday nights a year.

I know people don’t like it for travel reasons and planning but overall I feel a flexible Friday night fixture has to stay. I’d fixture games for Saturday or Sunday each round and then pick the best of the Saturday games 4-6 weeks out to be the Friday night. 

I think the AFL is going to want flexibility, but it won't be easy.

Unless the Saturday night games qualify to be flexed, you really only get four options (you can't move a Sunday game). If you're moving Saturday night games you're then adjusting a second prime time match and making more difficulty for fans who might plan around that night game.

It also won't always work each week - see, for example, this Friday night, which is Sydney v Hawthorn. But there just aren't any other good games other than Port v Geelong on Thursday night.

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20 minutes ago, DeeSpencer said:

Scroll down further in the article.

Each game has an average audience. Ie. how many people watched in a minute or some other measurement across the duration of the game. More would’ve flicked it on or off but 1M watched our Friday night games, or 1 in 25 of the Aus population.

3.7M people watched all the games combined in round 11. 4M people watched round 12. (Excluding streaming).

The 7M is all the games (measured by average audience) added together. So yeah, it’s cumulative.

 

Thanks. So, in summary, it's a meaningless number unless you add to the story that its out of a total potential audience of about 390,000,000 (population of Australia multiplied by 15 games).

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Anyone have the inside word or care to speculate when games and crowds will return to the MCG and Marvel?

I'm assuming 11 June - 17 June will be a very slight easing of restrictions such as what regional VIC are currently on. Absolutely no crowds, as per no fixtured games in VIC.

18 June - 24 June - A further step up. Will Geelong/Dogs, North/Bris and Hawks/Dons get to host a small crowd at GMHBA, Marvel or MCG?

25 June - 1 July - Will this be the week they allow restricted crowds back and therefore we can go to the Dons game?

A lot of people are rightly barracking for the GWS game to be in Alice for the $800K, but crowds should be back at the G by 4 July and it would be a shame to miss out on yet another game.  

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Posted (edited)

This genuinely is a thorny issue. Even more so for me as I don't live in Australia at the moment. However, I would like to give an international perspective on it.

Lockdowns in the world we live in are an unavoidable bugbear. We here in Japan have yet to do one properly, despite me wishing they did so at the start. Our government has put out requests to refrain from going out, paid businesses to stay closed and given out public health advice.

We have avoided the worst of other countries such as Brazil and India by virtue of our infrastructure and housing being more developed. We have also avoided the worst of countries such as the UK and USA in that preventative measures haven't become part of a 'culture war' where what you do marks you down as being on one ideological team or the other. Indeed, I've tried explaining the anti mask and vaccination movements as well as the Pete Evans phenomenon to people here and I get a look akin to a confused, constipated puppy from the party opposite when I do.

The problem isn't whether one launches a lockdown or not. It's whether they do the lockdown properly and whether those with a megaphone are willing to accept basic reality in their messaging and to embrace a temporary reticence to 'own the libs' for at least the life of the pandemic.

The four examples I have raised there are pertinent examples of not what to do in this regard. 

1) After imposing a strict lockdown with little financial compensation and one that saw millions of migrant workers walk hundreds of miles back to their villages as they could no longer work and the train lines were shut down, Indian PM Narendra Modi claimed that 'India had saved humanity from the virus' during a mass rally in a cricket stadium. Meanwhile, members of the BJP (Modi's Hindu nationalist political party) and their fellow travelers encouraged Hindus to attend Kumbh Mela (a Hindu religious festival which can see up to 9 million people bathe in the Ganges river) and to drink cow urine as a cureall for the virus.

2) After describing the virus as a 'little flu', stating that you could beat the virus if you were a superior athlete like him, undermining lockdown measures prescribed by state governors, overriding health ministers to the point of having a general take over in the role, as well as promoting hydroxychloroquine as a treatment, Jair Bolsonaro has now overseen the largest per capita death toll in the world and is likely to be defeated by Luiz Lula Da Silva (a man I greatly admire) in the next election if he isn't impeached first for leading a response that has been likened to a genocide.

3) Upon the outbreak in the UK, Johnson held back on calling a lockdown and allowed events such as the Cheltenham and Royal Ascot races to proceed as well as British football matches. Despite 'successfully' getting out of the EU, the government callously rejected an offer from the EU (who they were still in a holding pattern with) to receive a batch of personal protective gear as part of their ongoing and imaginary war against Brussels. Johnson proceeded to shake hands with infected patients on live TV and one week later was fighting for his life in intensive care. While I don't deal in rumour and innuedo, his equally morally vacuous advisor, Dominic Cummings, has come out in front of a parliamentary inquiry to testify that he was going to be injected with the virus on live television to prove it was harmless.

4) I'm not going to go through Trump's idiocy.

This isn't necessarily a Right-Left issue (although I didn't mention the need for certain politicians on the Right to troll hysterical Lefties). Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico, a populist leftist, took a cavalier attitude to the virus, a fraught proposition in a country such as Mexico where infrastructure, policing and population density in the bigger cities make it a petri dish for infection.

Until we get everyone vaccinated, pulling together and sacrificing for the greater good (a foreign concept in Australia post WW2 as most elections are fought on the issues of the maintenance of upper middle class, consumerist lifestyles) is the number one priority. People's lives are on the line.

As we speak, I have two close friends in India: one is in Delhi and the other in the Northern countryside. It is because of a negligent, obscurantist and cynical view on fighting the virus that their safety is now compromised (especially in the former case as he has just recovered from a round of chemotherapy). While discussion and criticism is a natural right for all of us, I just hope that conversation isn't glib, superficial or unnecessarily pugnacious. Attitudes like the ones described in the four bullet points above put their lives at risk.

We live in serious times. We need to be serious people.

Edited by Colin B. Flaubert
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7 minutes ago, La Dee-vina Comedia said:

Thanks. So, in summary, it's a meaningless number unless you add to the story that its out of a total potential audience of about 390,000,000 (population of Australia multiplied by 15 games).

Yep! Radio rating press releases are the best, they find whatever small demographic they’ve improved in and let everyone know about it. This is similar.

I think the 3 numbers that are somewhat interesting are:

1. The 2 Friday nights games putting up big numbers with non traditional big clubs. However these are influenced by everyone in Victorian locked down with nothing else to do.

2. Dreamtime. Again see above.

3. The QLD audience for last Friday. This one might be the most important for the AFL. Obviously it’s because the Lions played but they should get more Friday night games. They’re good to watch and the AFL can make good inroads in to NRL territory 

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5 minutes ago, Colin B. Flaubert said:

Lockdowns in the world we live in are an unavoidable bugbear. We here in Japan have yet to do one properly, despite me wishing they did so at the start. Our government has put out requests to refrain from going out, paid businesses to stay closed and given out public health advice.

We have avoided the worst of other countries such as Brazil and India by virtue of our infrastructure and housing being more developed. We have also avoided the worst of countries such as the UK and USA in that preventative measures haven't become part of a 'culture war' where what you do marks you down as being on one ideological team or the other. Indeed, I've tried explaining the anti mask and vaccination movements as well as the Pete Evans phenomenon to people here and I get a look akin to a confused, constipated puppy from the party opposite when I do.

The problem isn't whether one launches a lockdown or not. It's whether they do the lockdown properly and whether those with a megaphone are willing to accept basic reality in their messaging and a to embrace a temporary reticence to 'own the libs' for at least the life of the pandemic.

It looks like Japan have managed reasonably well as a non lockdown country. The death toll is a sad number but seems more in line with a seasonal flu than the atrocities seen elsewhere. 

That said, I do think we’ve suffered less mentally and economically. It’s bad in lockdown here but once the restrictions ease things feel relatively normal. Living with the virus circulating and riding the ups and downs would be very taxing. The anti lockdown people here forget if you don’t lockdown at some stage you’ll be forced in to serious restrictions. 

Honestly the biggest frustration as a Melburnian is hearing from people in or about Sydney. Our failings here (bad luck of geography aside) have come from our health care system being decentralised and the DHHS being understaffed. They’ve been playing catch up. It’s mind boggling that the state politicians haven’t kicked things along faster but the reality is things take time. They spent all last year under the pump so it’s hardly a surprise they’re still a little behind the states who have had nothing to do but plan all year.

It’s a bit like a good coach taking over a bad club and taking a long time to fix through issues and copping injuries along the way. The lesson from the pandemic is to have strong stable institutions that are organised and prepared. Otherwise you’re on the back foot.

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3 minutes ago, DeeSpencer said:

It looks like Japan have managed reasonably well as a non lockdown country. The death toll is a sad number but seems more in line with a seasonal flu than the atrocities seen elsewhere. 

I think part of it is that mask wearing isn't an issue here. It is considered natural during hay fever and flu season rather than being indicative of living in Airstrip One next to Winston Smith.

The death toll isn't near flu season. 75 died yesterday but as you mentioned, it isn't getting to the point in India and Brazil where morgues were overflowing and parks were being used as crematories. 

Part of the problem I believe as well is Melbourne's geography and demographics. As much as we hate to consider it, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast are more temperate (meaning that it's possible to have rooms that can be ventilated by merely keeping windows open), the former two are not as congested, nor have a culture of public transportation Melbourne does.

The hotel quarantine leak that led to the four month lock down was abominable, but that system also needs to be revised at the federal level. Ventilation, congestion, logistics and medical and epidemiological planning need be better considered in said facilities. To be fair, it would have been difficult at the start as a lot of governments, while being advised by epidemiologists, were taking a fairly ad hoc approach. However, 1 year in, it's time to get this done (and I believe Morrison has been dragged to this decision kicking and screaming).
 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Colin B. Flaubert said:

This genuinely is a thorny issue. Even more so for me as I don't live in Australia at the moment. However, I would like to give an international perspective on it.

Lockdowns in the world we live in are an unavoidable bugbear. We here in Japan have yet to do one properly, despite me wishing they did so at the start. Our government has put out requests to refrain from going out, paid businesses to stay closed and given out public health advice.

We have avoided the worst of other countries such as Brazil and India by virtue of our infrastructure and housing being more developed. We have also avoided the worst of countries such as the UK and USA in that preventative measures haven't become part of a 'culture war' where what you do marks you down as being on one ideological team or the other. Indeed, I've tried explaining the anti mask and vaccination movements as well as the Pete Evans phenomenon to people here and I get a look akin to a confused, constipated puppy from the party opposite when I do.

The problem isn't whether one launches a lockdown or not. It's whether they do the lockdown properly and whether those with a megaphone are willing to accept basic reality in their messaging and to embrace a temporary reticence to 'own the libs' for at least the life of the pandemic.

The four examples I have raised there are pertinent examples of not what to do in this regard. 

1) After imposing a strict lockdown with little financial compensation and one that saw millions of migrant workers walk hundreds of miles back to their villages as they could no longer work and the train lines were shut down, Indian PM Narendra Modi claimed that 'India had saved humanity from the virus' during a mass rally in a cricket stadium. Meanwhile, members of the BJP (Modi's Hindu nationalist political party) and their fellow travelers encouraged Hindus to attend Kumbh Mela (a Hindu religious festival which can see up to 9 million people bathe in the Ganges river) and to drink cow urine as a cureall for the virus.

2) After describing the virus as a 'little flu', stating that you could beat the virus if you were a superior athlete like him, undermining lockdown measures prescribed by state governors, overriding health ministers to the point of having a general take over in the role, as well as promoting hydroxychloroquine as a treatment, Jair Bolsonaro has now overseen the largest per capita death toll in the world and is likely to be defeated by Luiz Lula Da Silva (a man I greatly admire) in the next election if he isn't impeached first for leading a response that has been likened to a genocide.

3) Upon the outbreak in the UK, Johnson held back on calling a lockdown and allowed events such as the Cheltenham and Royal Ascot races to proceed as well as British football matches. Despite 'successfully' getting out of the EU, the government callously rejected an offer from the EU (who they were still in a holding pattern with) to receive a batch of personal protective gear as part of their ongoing and imaginary war against Brussels. Johnson proceeded to shake hands with infected patients on live TV and one week later was fighting for his life in intensive care. While I don't deal in rumour and innuedo, his equally morally vacuous advisor, Dominic Cummings, has come out in front of a parliamentary inquiry to testify that he was going to be injected with the virus on live television to prove it was harmless.

4) I'm not going to go through Trump's idiocy.

This isn't necessarily a Right-Left issue (although I didn't mention the need for certain politicians on the Right to troll hysterical Lefties). Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico, a populist leftist, took a cavalier attitude to the virus, a fraught proposition in a country such as Mexico where infrastructure, policing and population density in the bigger cities make it a petri dish for infection.

Until we get everyone vaccinated, pulling together and sacrificing for the greater good (a foreign concept in Australia post WW2 as most elections are fought on the issues of the maintenance of upper middle class, consumerist lifestyles) is the number one priority. People's lives are on the line.

As we speak, I have two close friends in India: one is in Delhi and the other in the Northern countryside. It is because of a negligent, obscurantist and cynical view on fighting the virus that their safety is now compromised (especially in the former case as he has just recovered from a round of chemotherapy). While discussion and criticism is a natural right for all of us, I just hope that conversation isn't glib, superficial or unnecessarily pugnacious. Attitudes like the ones described in the four bullet points above put their lives at risk.

We live in serious times. We need to be serious people.

If the governments were serious about ensuring Australia can carry on BAU they would cease all international arrivals until we have a proper quarantine system in place and a healthy majority of people vaccinated.

Edited by Dr. Gonzo
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21 hours ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

If the governments were serious about ensuring Australia can carry on BAU they would cease all international arrivals until we have a proper quarantine system in place and a healthy majority of people vaccinated.

Increasingly we're going to find that a majority of people who want to travel to Australia have been vaccinated. The EU is implementing a plan where if you've been fully vaxxed, you can travel freely (within its borders), presumably Australia will do something similar at some point.

Get my second dose in 3 weeks.

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We’re coming out of lockdown tomorrow night. Substantial easing of restrictions. One step closer to having games played in Melb again. Isn’t anyone even a little excited?! 

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I have been and still am in favour of targeted lockdowns where necessary. Do I think we go over the top in Victoria because we are so scarred by previous failings? Yes. Do I think our public health is criminally under funded and has made the handling of the pandemic worse in this state? Absolutely. 
I read today the horrific rise in suicides and calls to helplines by primary school aged kids in the last year. Primary aged! 
Lockdowns work, but they also bring a lot of mental and financial anguish and in such a well spaced out country where most people live in single dwellings, we should be able to handle 5-10 cases a day without the need for lockdowns. 
Our entire problem in this country is we got greedy. We managed to get and stay at 0 and now we want to maintain that at all costs. Even if those costs include the lives and livelihoods of people. 
I’m furious that we are chasing elimination but our vaccination rollout has been a disaster, and likewise that we insist on bringing international arrivals and yet have just one purpose built quarantine facility in the whole country. What we want and what we have put in place to achieve that, is the thing that takes the least amount of effort and work from governments and the highest toll on citizens. After nearly 2 years of this thing, you’d think we would get it right. We have resources that few countries can dream of, yet we are largely unvaccinated and have been in more lockdowns than most countries. 

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, WalkingCivilWar said:

We’re coming out of lockdown tomorrow night. Substantial easing of restrictions. One step closer to having games played in Melb again. Isn’t anyone even a little excited?! 

We can leave the home but where can we go? Ridiculous you still can't have visitors over, I don't think many people will be taking these rules seriously.

It's great the kids are back at school though, really there was no need to keep them home these last two weeks. They need the interaction and support and positive reinforcement, being stuck at home was unnecessary.

Edited by Dr. Gonzo
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2 minutes ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

We can leave the home but where can we go? Ridiculous you still can't have visitors over, I don't think many people will be taking these rules seriously.

It's great the kids are back at school though, really there was no need to keep them home these last two weeks. They need the interaction and support and positive reinforcement, being stuck at home was unnecessary.

True. The remote schooling is probs causing untold damage to kids, psychologically and physically and socially etc. The results of which may not be apparent ‘til further down the track. 
But today’s announcement is a step in the right direction, albeit a small step. 

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16 minutes ago, WalkingCivilWar said:

We’re coming out of lockdown tomorrow night. Substantial easing of restrictions. One step closer to having games played in Melb again. Isn’t anyone even a little excited?! 

Are we really coming out of lockdown? I am not excited at all. 
 

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1 minute ago, ANG13 said:

Are we really coming out of lockdown? I am not excited at all. 
 

But it’s so much better than another extension. Glass is always half full. 🙂

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10 minutes ago, ANG13 said:

I wish I was as upbeat as you. 

By “upbeat” do you mean “delusional?” 😁

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5 minutes ago, WalkingCivilWar said:

By “upbeat” do you mean “delusional?” 😁

No not really, I actually think it’s great that the slight easing of restrictions is making some people feel better. 

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My friend is a teacher and 30 weeks pregnant. She doesn’t want to work during an outbreak because she’s 34 so can’t get vaccinated and doesn’t want the risk of catching Covid. She’s not alone. 
Why aren’t we prioritizing teachers to get vaccinated so we can stop constantly shutting down schools? We know child to child transmission is minimal and kids rarely get very sick. So why not vaccinate school teachers and staff and never have to shut schools again, apart from the rare occasion where we have an outbreak at a school and then we can isolate that particular school community. 
Thinking is just too hard for our governments. 

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30 minutes ago, ANG13 said:

No not really, I actually think it’s great that the slight easing of restrictions is making some people feel better. 

Right now I’m grabbing at anything that can even slightly lift the mood. Slim pickings, I know. But it’s something. 🙂

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1 hour ago, Jaded said:

we are largely unvaccinated and have been in more lockdowns than most countries. 

Second part of that is just not true. I'm in France, and we've been in some kind of lockdown, including periods of hard lockdown, for going on 6 months from last October, just coming out of it now. I should also point out that across most of that period we were losing +/- 300 people PER DAY.

Yes, there've been no crowds at the footy for a couple of weeks, but people from over here look at Australia gobsmacked at what you're able to do.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, bing181 said:

Second part of that is just not true. I'm in France, and we've been in some kind of lockdown, including periods of hard lockdown, for going on 6 months from last October, just coming out of it now. I should also point out that across most of that period we were losing +/- 300 people PER DAY.

Yes, there've been no crowds at the footy for a couple of weeks, but people from over here look at Australia gobsmacked at what you're able to do.

Sorry I should clarify that we’ve been in more lockdowns than any country with such low numbers of cases. 
Don’t think you can compare Australia to Europe or America both in terms of people or cases. 

Edited by Jaded
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31 minutes ago, Jaded said:

We know child to child transmission is minimal and kids rarely get very sick.

Er ... children can (and do) transmit to their families, parents, grandparents etc. etc. As I posted above, I know someone in her forties who's currently looking at being unable to work for the rest of her life due to the long-term effects of Covid picked up from a child.

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