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Victoria – the place no one wants to be!

By August 10, 2021BGL Update

I used to live in the once great state of Victoria, Australia.

But after 6 lockdowns, this once great state is a shadow of itself.

I am really angry about the scaremongering from the politicians and the media.

Every weekday, I listen to the 8.30 news and all I hear about are infection numbers – scare, scare, scare. They don’t tell me how many people are actually sick or how many are in hospital or how many are in ICU, but they definitely tell me when someone (unfortunately) dies, but not whether they died with COVID-19 or from COVID-19. Scare, scare, scare!

So, let’s first look at the facts.

There has been 37,013 people infected with COVID-19 in Australia from a population of 25,825,438. 30,462 have fully recovered. 5,538 (99%) have a mild condition. Just 70 (1%) are in a serious or critical condition. There has been a total of 943 deaths. My source, before you say he is making these figures up, is https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/australia/. By the way, I should say, more COVID-19 tests have been performed than the population of Australia, costing us some $1.7b. Wow!

So less than .0014% of the Australian population have been infected and on the scale of deaths per million of population (37) we are 168th in the world.

Some people might say this proves our politicians have done a great job – but have they really? You cannot measure performance on just one statistic – so let’s look at a few others….

Mental health of our children is at an all-time low. Kids Helpline data tells us attempted suicide rates among Victorian teenagers have skyrocketed by 184 per cent in the past six months. Teenagers aged 13-18 are the most at risk, accounting for 75 per cent of the total crisis interventions from 1 December 2020, to 31 May 2021. 44% of Victorian emergency interventions from 1 December 2020, to 31 May 2021, were responding to a young person’s immediate intent to suicide, while child abuse emergencies triggered 31 percent. More than 13,000 calls were made by suicidal children last year, including 1,150 with “immediate intentions’’ or a current attempt to kill themselves. Check out the story on news.com.au. So, while our politicians may have protected some people in our community, they have not protected our children…

What about adults? Business people who cannot put food on the table for their families? Business employees who have lost their jobs with businesses that will never return? Politicians seem to think you can turn off and on business like a water tap. Maybe if just ONE had actually worked in a business, they would know better.

Recent ABS data gives us some idea of the extent of the problem. In June 2021, one in five (20%) Australians experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress in the last four weeks. Almost one in three (30%) younger Australians (aged 18 to 34 years) experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress in June 2021. In June 2021, more people living in Victoria (27%) experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress compared with the rest of Australia (18%).

Before COVID-19, the cost of mental illness to the economy was $60b each year. What is it now?

Small businesses have been decimated. Our governments have introduced schemes to help our small businesses but in reality, most of these are just spin, spin, spin. The grants and loans are simply impossible for most small businesses to get. Again, let’s look at some statistics from the City of Melbourne. Economic output is down 22%. Job losses are up to 75,000 or 15%. Our Lord Mayor Sally Capp should be very proud of herself. Here, hopeless policies around parking and bike lanes, unsafe injecting rooms and her refusal to clean up the streets has turned the City of Melbourne into a ghost town. Check out the stats at www.melbourne.vic.gov.au.

And this is just the city. The cost of the lockdowns to debt ridden Victoria is $150m per day. And we certainly are not All in this together. Our politicians and public servants have had two pay rises since March 2020 whereas the cost of the lockdowns have been borne 100% by business, employees of businesses and the self-employed. 100%. Not 50%, or 75% but 100%. We are definitely NOT All in this together.

But probably the most disheartening thing for me is what this country has become. What has happened to our compassion? The Andrews government lockdowns are brutal and cruel and far worse than they have to be. When I hear of a woman with a baby and her child in a car at the Victorian / NSW border being turned away when she wanted to go less than 100 kms to a farm to isolate or a small business woman who calls the Victorian Government Business Help Line and is recommended a Stress Down program, one has to wonder: our politicians and public servants are simply out of their depth and have lost the plot. When you have clown premiers saying Queensland hospitals are for Queenslanders and a child who lives in Tweed Heads cannot cross the border for treatment and subsequently dies, I wonder what has happened to common sense. What has happened to our compassion?

So, what’s the solution? Well I wish someone were listening. Our politicians and public servants are blinkered. All they care about is 0 0 0. They don’t care about people. They don’t care about what the lockdowns are doing to people. They think they can buy their way out by promising money – that is never delivered. The emergency power legislation in Victoria calls for a proportionate response to a medical crisis. So where is the medical advice? Why has NOT ONE PIECE of medical advice been published? The response in Victoria has not been proportionate. It has been cruel and brutal. There is no compassion.

As one of the lucky few whose business has not been overly affected by this government-caused crisis, I am very thankful. But rolling lockdowns have sapped the confidence of what once was a vibrant city. The people of Victoria are fed up.

Our governments keep relying on models. Models that told us in March 2020 150,000 Australians would die from COVID-19. Models that have been wrong time after time after time not only with COVID-19. Models, models, models. And as all the model-creating experts keep saying, they do not know what effect any single restriction has on their models. So really, the models are rubbish. They don’t actually tell us anything. So, what should we do?

A couple of thoughts: If we only isolated people with COVID-19 (or people who are sick), how would this affect the models? Nobody knows.  If we locked down suburbs or communities, how would this affect the models? Nobody knows. And there must be 100 more ways to contain COVID-19 outbreaks. But nobody knows. Because we have not tried. Because lockdowns are easy and scared people seem to love being locked down.

A recent survey in Victoria revealed 38% think if they get COVID-19 they will die. That’s right – 38%! Not surprising considering there’s only scare, scare, scare it’s the 6.30 news! Maybe we should go the way of the UK and Singapore and stop the media reporting COVID-19 numbers? And maybe we need to set a Freedom Day?

Australia is in a mess. Our politicians are oblivious. They don’t know and most don’t care as long as they get their paycheck every month.  The only way they will change what they are doing to us is if 1,000,000 people protest in the streets – like the Vietnam protests many years ago. But of course, today standing still out in the open – is illegal!

Ron Lesh

Author Ron Lesh

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Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Kamal Sanghvi says:

    Hear hear! What about the fact that our borders have been closed for the best part of 18 months, except, of course, for celebrities, billionaires and sports people, while tens of thousands of Australians are denied their basic human rights to return home? What about the latest outrage of stopping foreign citizens from leaving the country to return to their home countries? We are the laughing stock of the world except there is nothing remotely funny about what is going on in this country.
    Is it too far fetched to invoke the moniker of a police state the way our law enforcers have been carrying on? What about the circus of barely articulate state premiers fronting the media each morning as though this is their one chance to go on a power trip? I could go on and on but you get the point. And where is the great Australian larrikin spirit in the face of this absolute debacle? We are cowering!

  • mayuri sanghvi says:

    Hear hear. Couldn’t have put it better myself. We need to be treated like adults and learn to live with it as other countries have done!!!

  • Amy Holdsworth says:

    Thankyou for always being a voice of reason Ron, so we’ll said and I couldn’t agree more!

  • Frank Vandermeer says:

    Well put Ron. Thank you.

  • Robert Phillips says:

    You have raised a number of interesting points, Ron. I would like to add some wider points that may help.

    When the pandemic began, the first and reasonable assumption was that this was not dissimilar from the annual influenzas. Many of the influenzas are caused by coronavirus too. So much so, that in Asia there is a natural 10% or so of the population who are immune to Covid-19 because they have already been infected by one or other certain influenza-causing coronavirus.

    When Covid-19 hit Italy, the elderly were hit hardest and had a disproportionate share of the deaths. It soon became evident the elderly people with pre-existing heart-related and lung-related disorders and especially obesity, were the most likely to catch the disease, have the worst symptoms and be the most likely to die.

    That posed a political problem: no government would survive high numbers of very sick elderly people and high elderly death rates if both were commonly thought to be preventable. The only way we currently know how to prevent such infection is the same as is used with all serious infections (for example, Ebola): isolation of the vulnerable and trying to get the rest of the population to minimise spread by minimising contact in one or more ways.

    All western countries, with one exception, have gone done the lockdown route. Because we didn’t know any better. Basically, that approach has worked with respect to quickly pulling down the death rate and severe infections (measured as hospitalisation and at the next level, the need for ventilation). One big advance in the hospital side of things was discovering that cheap-as-chips dexamethasone could dramatically reduce the severity of infection for people with severe symptoms.

    Then we started getting the variations from the first Covid-19 strain. Nevertheless, all was going reasonably well until the Delta strain emerged. It is far more infectious, but overall, does not seem to cause as much serious illness compared with other strains that have not been as infectious. But the elderly and especially those with the pre-existing conditions mentioned above, are still the most susceptible and still get it the worst. The vaccinations are proving their worth, even, generally speaking, against the Delta strain.

    The most important point to remember is that there is very little in medicine that is guaranteed to work 100% of the time for 100% of people. The very nature of the diversity of human beings does guarantee there will always be exceptions to every “rule”.

    Coming back to your points, Ron, the media always makes more money from bad news than good news. So the highest negative numbers, the highest wind speeds, the highest waves, the highest temperatures in summer, the highest number of infections and the number that died and so on, always get the most attention of publishers and consumers.

    Australia’s and NZ’s biggest advantage has been and still is, its isolation from the rest of the world. We had the advantage of seeing the rapid and huge effects of Covid-19 in Europe before it got here. So we were reasonably ready to take the necessary steps once the virus arrived here. But the biggest factor in what happened next and is a constant in life, is that democracy is an adversarial process, not a mutually co-operative one.

    Each political party has to be seen to be scoring the most points if they want to win – by the hour, the day, the week, the month, the year and by the whole political term – if they want to be re-elected. So each political arm at any and every level of the political system is constantly trying to out point their opponents at the council, state and federal levels. (We rarely see altruistic politicians.)

    So if we evaluate many of your points against actions based on proven past experience, what drives the media and what drives any and every political activist, that may help, one way or another.

    There is no question there are stupid decisions made along the way. But we need to keep two important “rules” in mind.

    “Disasters” are always the last step of many small errors building one on top of the other.

    When somebody is not seen to be doing their job properly, most of the time the source/cause is with that person’s manager.

    For example, when someone in an organisation puts up an internet page with complicated, hard to understand wording, who is “responsible” – the person who actually typed it into the computer, the person who created the text, the person who approved it, the person who thought it ordered it be done, the person who sets the tone and policy of the organisation? Or do they all have some portion of the responsibility?

    Does every member of “the public” always act in the best interest of the community?

    When we take all these factors into account for any given situation, is there ever one single outstanding, plain as day step that is the undeniable cause of the success or failure of the situation? How much of the answer depends on the interests of the person or group trying to answer that question?

    Seems to me that overall, we are doing as good as can be expected when the community as a whole wants its leaders to ensure the best outcome to an out-of-the-blue situation in which all the leaders (at every level) and all the vested interests (at every level) are acting first and foremost in line with their own perceptions of “the best outcome”.

    Can it be, should it be, better than it is? Absolutely. But there isn’t a single person with enough cash, clout or charisma to make it so now or even the next time around.

  • Brian Lloyd says:

    Thanks Ron you have put into words my thoughts on this constant lockdowns for a sickness which is not really doing much damage. Of course people have died and that is sad but people die everyday but know one seems to take any notice of these deaths. How much is each covid test costing the taxpayer. How much does each Jab cost the taxpayer. It must be billions. Anyway thanks for saying it so well

  • Darren Hagarty says:


    At the risk of intruding on this echo bubble, let’s remember you are not an epidemiologist. Rather, you are a seller of software.

    • Ron Lesh says:

      Darren, you are 100% correct, I am not an epidemiologist. But so far these so called experts have been wrong on every count. From 150,00 deaths in Australia calculated by their models last year, to many of the other stupidities. The response to COVID-19 has been political – what is best for the politicians and public servants – not what is best for the community. Australians are being denied their freedoms to meet unrealistic targets. And we are being denied personal responsibility and our right to assess our own health risk. This is simply wrong and totally un Australian. Mental health is also in a pandemic – one our politicians don’t want to talk about. And our politicians are killing our children – this weeks example of closing playgrounds shows just how cruel, sadistic and out of touch they are. You are right – I am not an epidemiologist but I want our COVID-19 response to take into account all the issues – not just one. PS: and BTW, I am not going to be shut down or cancelled! I am going to continue to speak my mind and provide people diversity of ideas.

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