I wear a mask whenever I come within two metres of another person. If you come within two metres of another person, you should be wearing a mask.
People are infectious with the virus for four days before symptoms appear. The most common transmission occurs not from surfaces or hands, but from breathing. It surprises me that more in my local community are not wearing masks – in other countries, it is default behaviour to wear a mask even if you have no symptoms. Given that there are now projections for 50,000 to die in Australia, you could save a life by wearing a mask.
A four day incubation period with no symptoms. Act as if you have the virus.
The way that news is propagated to the public has changed.
Before social media
Before social media, important government announcements in Australia were efficiently transmitted via:
two newspapers in each city; and
five television channels in each city.
The situation now
Now, a large proportion of the public’s primary source of news is via social media channels. News-related posts are mixed in amongst posts about cats and selfies.
This makes it more difficult during crisis situations for government to communicate a consistent message to the public. There is no consistent timing for social media posts to appear in a user’s feed, so it can happen that news stories can be out of sequence in a user’s news feed, resulting in misinformation and confusion.
What needs to happen?
In future, government should legislate so that in a crisis:
Government posts are mandated as highest priority across the main social media used in Australia; and
Mandated SMS text messaging should be used for official government information.
My inexpert guess is that Coronavirus infections will be contained within the next 6 months.
The basis is the following:
Australia is a sparsely populated country. It is one of the least densely populated countries. Therefore people coming close enough to each other to be infected is less likely.
Australia is an island and can more easily control its borders.
Australia has a strong health system to support virus testing and remediation of the infected.
Australians are well informed of hygiene, and infection mitigation.
The virus does not cope well in the hotter temperatures in Australia.
The ongoing risk is mass infection triggered by a single event, example as follows:
An infected individual attends a mass event. The infected individual comes into enough sustained contact to infect a large number of people. The whereabouts of this large number of infected people are untraceable after the event.
If this single event occurs, then all bets are off and contagion will be much more widespread.
The most likely consequence for most of the public in Australia will not be health-related. The effects will be damage to the economy due to loss of confidence; disruption in international trade; less international tourists due to restrictions; and a shortage of some goods.
Personal opinion only. The infection rates of the coronavirus are impossible to predict accurately and most affected by the public’s actions.