Friday 29th of May 2020

the scientific panic guarantee... not the coalonavirus...

not the coalonavirus

A second plane load of Australian coronavirus evacuees from Wuhan will be quarantined at an unused mining camp near Darwin.

Key points:
  • Australian evacuees from Wuhan will be quarantined at a disused Inpex workers village on Darwin's outskirts
  • The village once housed 3,500 workers employed on the construction of a multi-million dollar gas plant
  • NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner says he has been assured there will be no risk to the general public


Australia's chief medical officer Brendan Murphy issued a guarantee for the safety of the Howard Springs community. 

"There is no way that I, or any of my medical colleagues in Territory health or nationally, will even pose the slightest risk to anyone in the community," he said. 

"Even someone who is unwell cannot pass on this infection unless you are in close contact, less than a metre with droplets spread."

Professor Murphy said anyone who became unwell at the site would be "immediately quarantined" and taken to Royal Darwin Hospital. 

"I personally will guarantee the safety of the community around Howard Springs," he said.


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Two Scomo sciences: Evident cartoon above from the Sydney Morning Herald cartoonist extraordinaire Alan Moir...

hope the locals will be compensated...

Christmas Island: Tropical destination, quarantine zone

The Federal Government have decided to use the offshore territory of Christmas Island as a quarantine zone for Australians affected by the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China.


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preparing for it before it...

Approximately six weeks before the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic, in early December 2019 in Wuhan (China), an exercise was organized by the Davos World Economic Forum in cooperation with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The exercise was held in New York City on 18 October 2019, for the specific purpose of mapping the response of transnational corporations and governments to a coronavirus epidemic.

15 world leaders took part in this exercise, including the two Chinese and American officials in charge of fighting epidemics.


Latoya Abbott, Risk Management Director, US-based Marriott International Hotel Chain.

Sofia Borges, Vice President of the United Nations Foundation

Brad Connett, President, US Medical Group at Henry Schein Inc. (world leading producer of medical equipment)

Christopher Elias, Global Development Manager, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Tim Evans, former director, World Bank Health Department.

George Gao, Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Avril Haines, former CIA deputy director and former national security adviser to President Barack Obama.

Jane Halton, former head of the Australian Department of Health, Board member of ANZ (Bank of Australia and New Zealand).

Matthew Harrington, director of Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm.

Martin Knuchel, Director and Head of Crisis and Emergency Management for Lufthansa Group Airlines.

Eduardo Martinez, legal counsel to the world’s largest postal logistics company, UPS, and director of the UPS Foundation.

Stephen Redd, Deputy Director, US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hasti Taghi, vice-president, NBCUniversal communications group.

Adrian Thomas, vice president of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson

Lavan Thiru, Governor of the Central Bank of Singapore


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epidemics of ideological viruses...

From Slavoj Zizek
The ongoing spread of the coronavirus epidemic has also triggered vast epidemics of ideological viruses which were laying dormant in our societies: fake news, paranoiac conspiracy theories, explosions of racism.

The well-grounded medical need for quarantines found an echo in the ideological pressure to establish clear borders and to quarantine enemies that pose a threat to our identity.

But maybe another – and much more beneficial – ideological virus will spread and hopefully infect us: the virus of thinking about an alternate society, a society beyond nation-state, a society that actualizes itself in the forms of global solidarity and cooperation. 

Speculation is often heard today that the coronavirus may lead to the fall of communist rule in China, in the same way that (as Gorbachev himself admitted) the Chernobyl catastrophe was the event which triggered the end of the Soviet communism. But there is a paradox here: the coronavirus will also compel us to re-invent communism based on trust in the people and in science.

In the final scene of Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Kill Bill 2,’ Beatrix disables the evil Bill and strikes him with the “Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique” – the most deadly blow in all of martial arts. The move consists of a combination of five strikes with one’s fingertips to five different pressure points on the target’s body. After the target walks away and has taken five steps, their heart explodes in their body and they fall to the ground.

This attack is part of martial arts mythology and is not possible in real hand-to-hand combat. But, back to the film, after Beatrix does it, Bill calmly makes his peace with her, takes five steps and dies… 

What makes this attack so fascinating is the time between being hit and the moment of death: I can have a nice conversation as long as I sit calmly, but I am all this time aware that the moment I start to walk, my heart will explode and I will drop dead.

Is the idea of those who speculate about how the coronavirus epidemic could lead to the fall of communist rule in China not similar? Like some kind of social “Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique” on the country’s communist regime, the authorities can sit, observe and go through the motions of quarantine, but any real change in the social order (like trusting the people) will result in their downfall. 

My modest opinion is much more radical: the coronavirus epidemic is a kind of “Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique” attack on the global capitalist system – a signal that we cannot go on the way we were up until now, that a radical change is needed.

Sad fact, we need a catastrophe 

Years ago, Fredric Jameson drew attention to the utopian potential in movies about a cosmic catastrophe (an asteroid threatening life on Earth, or a virus killing humanity). Such a global threat gives birth to global solidarity, our petty differences become insignificant, we all work together to find a solution – and here we are today, in real life. The point is not to sadistically enjoy widespread suffering insofar as it helps our cause – on the contrary, the point is to reflect upon a sad fact that we need a catastrophe to make us able to rethink the very basic features of the society in which we live.

The first vague model of such a global coordination is the World Health Organization, from which we are not getting the usual bureaucratic gibberish but precise warnings proclaimed without panic. Such organizations should be given more executive power. 

Bernie Sanders is mocked by skeptics for his advocacy of universal healthcare in the US – is the lesson of the coronavirus epidemic not that even more is needed, that we should start to put together some kind of GLOBAL healthcare network? 


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