Also see: Preliminary Overview on early epidemics


    Note that the early theories about the origins of the Covid-19 virus have always focussed on the wet-markets of China. The common explanation has been that these are places where wild animals are sold for eating ... bats, civet cats, pangolins, etc., and it is often assumed that the virus has transferred from the live bats on sale (known to have coronavirus-type infections).

    However the term 'wet market' applies across Asia to a wide range of fresh-food markets which are generally open air, and lack refrigeration. They are washed down on hot-days, and always at nights after the stall-holders have gone home.

    The problem with making these assumptions, is that we now know that in the developed countries, one group of workers in abattoirs and the meat-processing industries have also proved to be especially susceptible and have had break-out clusters of infections. Yet in the west these are food-handling areas with refrigeration; where the beef, pork and lamb carcasses are delivered already dead.

Covid-19 Crisis




The 2019 military war games officially known as the 7th CISM Military World Games, were held in Wuhan, China. This was the first international military multi-sport event and also it was the largest military sports event ever to be held in China, with nearly 10,000 athletes from over 100 countries competing in 27 sports.

China sent a delegation of 553 participants to the games. Around 230,000 Chinese volunteers were recruited for the event.


This is generally judged to be the time of the first emergence of the new Covid-19 disease in Wuhan, China. It is only days after the end of the war games. In July of this year, a re-examination of the records for this period tend to confirm that China had a number of cases in November, and it is possible that the military transfered some mild cases back to the USA undetected

The virus may only have been in a mild form in October, but it appears to have been killing about 1% of its victims by November (mainly the elderly). There is no report of participants in the war games dying from an unknown virus, so the virus was obviously in an early mutation phase until December.

    Given the Wuhan War Games, the joint secret services of the major countries in the western world (known as the "5 Eyes" group) would have been reporting about any serious virus problems back to their superiors in the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and France. If a serious epidemic was raging in Wuhan, then it is difficult to believe that many thousands of military athletes, often at hospitals with minor injuries, wouldn't have been aware that the epidemic was an added danger.

    The military authorities would have had a keen interest in the possibilities that their members had been infected. If they weren't, then the West has serious problems.

    Given the existence of these war games with military personnel in attendance from around the world, the later claim by President Donald Trump that China had been covering up a raging epidemic, is ridiculous.


16th: It is leaked to the Australian press that their Prime Minister has quietly gone on a family holiday in Hawaii while the country is in the midst of a drought and is being ravished by a massive series of bushfires. The threat from a viral epidemic has not featured significantly in the Australian media.

8-20th: Minor outbreaks are now being noticed in the Chinese Wuhan province: detection appears to have been highly variable on a day-by-day basis. There were very few serious cases reported throughout December.

21st: This is the date of the first of 40 unexplained deaths in California, which the American CDC is now reviewing as a potential early case of Covid-19.

20-26th: Notable rapid increase in case numbers in China, but still highly variable and not yet diagnosed as a new dangerous form of coronavirus. It was seen as a virulent form of Influenza (like SARS) or maybe a form of viral pneumonia (which has both bacterial and viral forms) which sometimes results from the lung congestion. Most of these Covid-19 cases were only diagnosed retrospectively.

20-30th: Dr. Zhang Jixian, the 54 year old female head of respiratory department at Wuhan's Hubei Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine (HICWM) hospital. (a Chinese provincial hospital), first recognised the disease as a novel form of the coronavirus pneumonia or influenza during these ten days. She insisted on reporting it as potentially an epidemic, and by the 30th, she'd seen seven [or nine] virus patients in all.

26th: An American virus expert Dr Gregory Gray, working in China with a team of wild-animal virus hunters, received the first known US scientific samples of the new novel virus. It took a further two weeks for the Chinese Wuhan laboratory to sequence the virus.

27th: Dr Jixian Zhang MD, reports to the Chinese version of the CDC on four cases of an unusual form of pneumonia.

28-29th: Dr Jixian Zhang MD, reported on five more cases of this unusual form of pneumonia seen by her at the HICWM hospital.

Dr Zhang was later commended for identifying the problem as a potential epidemic.

30th: Apparently based on information leaked from Zhang's report, Dr. Li Wenliang, a 34 year old opthalmologist, posted information about the novel virus on a private WeChat group he shared with his medical school classmates, adding a warning that there was potentially a likely outbreak at his hospital.

He warned them that there were:
    "Seven cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) from the Huanan (Wuhan) Seafood Wholesale Market".[which western journalists called a "wet-market"]. He requested that chat group member keep this information to themselves, but suggested they should ...     "remind your family members and loved ones to be on the alert."

The post was leaked and circulated widely. It was mainly factual, however Li and six other Wuhan doctors were reprimanded by the police for rumour-mongering. Li was mildly threatened, and his signed (and circulated) statement acknowledged only that he knew that rumour-spreading was a crime. He had inadvertently become the whistleblower because his chat notes about someone else's discovery had been released on WeChat, and then widely circulated.

31st: The Wuhan Health Commission alerted the National Health Commission and the China Center for Disease Control. The Chinese authorities hurriedly established a task force in Wuhan City.
[Note: Li Wenliang contracted COVID-19 and died on February 20 2020.]

    The Chinese authorities now emerged from their initial denial stage (as did the USA and UK authorities a few months later). They believed that the virus was a form of the influenza which they suspected was not easily transferable between healthy people. Since they did not wish to unnecessarily alarm their subjects or drive away trade visitors or tourists, the Chinese authorities consistently downplayed the seriousness of the outbreak.
        This is unfortunate trend shared by both authoritarian regimes and the more stupid leaders in a democracy. Politicians of both persuasions suppressed or oppressed their media. The Chinese admonished the medical specialist who first went public with news of the new dangers, while the Americans simply ridiculed theirs.

At the end of 2019 and the beginning of the new year, information about this novel Chinese-based epidemic was now widely circulating in the western media. Worldwide, the visitors to Hong Kong were now being warned in the media of the threat, and told to avoid kissing, hugs, closeness, and shaking hands with other than immediate family.

    The Australian Prime Minister was overtly disdainful of these precautions believing it to be doom-saying by left-wingers. He made an open display of shaking hands to show that he disbelieved the 'scare-mongerers'. By mid-December the Australian government had also largely dismissed the threat of climate change expressed at the Madrid international conference: the Prime Minister then suffered criticism over taking a holiday while Australian bushfires burned up large sections of the country.

The WHO has now triggered its emergency management status program.



1st: The Huanan (Wuhan) Seafood Market was closed by the Chinese authorities as the suspected source. However the authorities also directed that biomedical details of the virus's potential not be published or disclosed, and that all samples of the virus held in other laboratories be destroyed.
    This was probably nothing more than a precautionary measure because many Chinese research labs had poor security provisions; twice in recent years laboratory samples had escaped and become infectious (1977 SARS, etc.). However, this was interpreted by the Americans and some of the Western media as an attempted cover-up.

2nd: The Australian PM Scott Morrison was heckled at a public meeting discussing the virus and other problems (as shown on TV) where he attempted to shake hands with a reluctant woman. The refusal was actually NOT related to COVID-19; it resulted from Morrison's clumsy attempt to avoid being shunned by one of his political bushfire critics. The confrontation where she refused to shake his hand was actually over Morrison's poor handling of Australia's devastating bushfire problems. He had taken Xmas holidays while large parts of the country (and the woman's house) burned.

4th: WHO reported that there was a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, but no deaths.

5th: WHO has published news on the outbreak of the new virus in its technical information system.

5-7th: The Wuhan genetic laboratory had now sequenced the new virus.

The disease is identified by the Chinese authorities as a "novel form of the coronavirus" related to the annual flu.

7th: Jeremiah DeLap, in Orange County, California, died of an unknown pneumonia-like respiratory congestion failure illness; he had become sick on only Jan 3rd. This has now come under investigation as a possible unrecognised early case of Covid-19; at about the same time there were a few similar cases of congestive respiratory deaths among younger children (who appear now to be more resistive).

The World Health Organisation was also notified.

However the WHO took nearly a month to declare this a "public health emergence of international concern" [Note: not yet a pandemic ... rather than just a Chinese epidemic]. It was generally believed within the WHO and the West that this was just a new novel virus -- perhaps an especially virulent form of the annual flu which sometimes produced pneumonia.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) offered help to China in early 2020, but apparently this was rejected -- probably because the Chinese medical establishment was concerned about being seen as inferior to the West, and so they would rather rely on their own medical expertise and resources. At this stage, the Chinese medical establishment rightly believed themselves to be the experts on this new virus.

At this stage the WHO's global experts seems to have calculated that it unlikely that this new outbreak of a flu-like disease would become more than a substantial multi-national epidemic. They all saw it as a virulent form of the closely-related annual flu, and they perhaps accepted that it had the potential to kill a moderate number of elderly and frail people, just like all flu strains. Those playing down the problem constantly compared it to the seasonal flu which also killed dozens of the elderly-frail in many countries. None of the global health monitors or authorities had yet moved into panic mode.

    It is now obvious that this must be the date when the potential global threat was finally accepted and understood outside China. The west's politicians, and most of China's neighbours, together with all members of "The 5 Eyes" secret surveillance group must have had plenty of information about the Chinese experience.
        They obviously began to hold emergency meetings and to prepare for a serious pandemic.

6th: Indonesia declares a top-level emergency after discovering a few local cases of the virus infection. They also receiving some intelligence from China.

A Silicon Valley technician dies from what is later diagnosed as the first unambiguous US death from Covid-19.

7th: The British Health Secretary, Matt Handcock and PM Boris Johnson met and had a serious discussion about the threat. The potential for a serious global health problem must have been circulating among the top politicians of the developed nations at this time, but mainly it was being circulated quietly behind the scenes.
   However, the UK's COBRA (crisis management) group met several times over the following weeks. The media still treated the news as if it was a flu-related problem which could be contained to China and its neighbours in Asia. The newspapers hadn't been advised that this was a real problem and a global threat at the level of SARS or Ebola.

10-11th: China makes a formal announcement of deaths from Covid-19, dating back to early cases in December.

It is now known that the Chinese authorities realised that this was potentially a pandemic disease, but they delayed six days before officially warning their own public. They also engaged in a tit-for-tat PR battle, praising their own country's medical expertise, and suggesting that the source of the virus may have been from a US delegation which had participated in the Military World Games in Wuhan the previous October,

Donald Trump [according to John Bolton's later memoirs] didn't want to hear about the epidemic in China, because it might jeapardize his promotion of Chinese Trade deals. Also at the time, the Chinese were oppressing the minority muslim Weigers [Uyghurs] and the USA didn't want to be forced to take any stance on such human rights issues.

12-13th: The DNA genome sequence of the virus is shared [via the WHO] directly from China. The WHO publishes a technical guidance package on the detection, testing, and management of the outbreak with all the information they had available at the time, and a test kit also becomes available from China.

13th: The first recorded case of a known COVID-19 infection outside China (in Thailand)

14th: The WHO's Acute Respiratory Program has been told that the disease is not readily transferred human-to-human (or is only limited to family members). This caused them to delay actions for many weeks.

20th: The first known case of coronavirus was confirmed in the USA.
    In the USA, Covid-19 is classed at this time simply as a "B grade" notifiable disease.

WHO experts from China and the Western Pacific Regional office now visit Wuhan. This is about five weeks after the first evidence emerged that this was a serious epidemic disease problems. The Chinese authorities now openly admit that the virus was relatively easily transmissible from human to human.

Steve Bannon is still advising the US President and recommends that the Americans need to take the virus outbreak seriously and implement preventive measures. Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, at the head of a Wall Street group of influencers, opposes these measures and wins.

On this day the Carnival Cruise Corp: ship Diamond Princess sets sail from Tokyo Bay. Notices were posted in the cabins that there was a new "novel virus" circulating in Asia, and that anyone with flu-like symptoms should see the doctor. One guest checked positive in Hong Kong (only on Feb 1) after leaving the ship on January 25th [only confirmed 6 days later].
    [The cruise ship business is worth $A130 billion, and employs 1.2 million worldwide. They are generally registered as flags of convenience both to dodge regulations and tax.]

23-24th: Wuhan City was shut down, and the following day another 15 Chinese cities go into clampdown.

25th: The cruise liner Diamond Princess was now in Hong Kong. Two sick passenger were taken off in an ambulance, and one of these later (after the liner sailed) became HK's 14th death from the virus. The ship was notified, but there was no response. One of the passengers with an infection was an Australian, the first Aussie to get the disease.

Eight of the Japanese health officials who checked out the Princess tested out as positive, and it was known that about 90 health ministry employees visited the ship before 19th Feb. (the end of the 'safe' quarantine period)

25th: US President Donald Trump tweet: "China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!"

25-31th: Chinese Luna New Year national holidays when everyone returns to family birthplace for celebration. The schools were shut down and the holiday period extended for both students and non-essential workers.

27th: Donald Trump's famous announcement "We have 15 cases, and by the end of the week we will have zero."

(Late January) Rick Bright, working at the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, later told Congress he had emails from Mike Bowen, an executive at a US medical supply company, telling him that America's supply of N95 masks was "completely decimated". He said: "We're in deep shit. The world is.... And we need to act.".
    Bright said he got no response from the HHS. The White House was slow to use the Defence Production Act to compel American companies to manufacture masks and other protective equipment.

29th: Italy's first known cases were two visitors from Wuhan, China. They were immediately placed in isolation in a hospital in Rome.

30th: The WHO declares a "public health emergency of international concern."

There are now 7818 confirmed cases worldwide, and 82 in 18 countries outside China. WHO reconvenes its Emergency Committee.

A 44-year old Chinese man visiting from Wuhan was hospitalised in Queensland, Australia. After a few days it was confirmed that he had had the virus, and he was in hospital for about a week. His tour group of eight (including one child) were placed in isolation.

Italy became the first European state to block flights to and from China, but the virus was already circulating in the country.


Early Feb. China has gained control of the outbreak by locking down Hubei Province after initially trying to silence the doctors who reported the problem. They then begin testing millions of people, and quarantining suspected cases.

1st: Funerals in Wuhan province dominate the news.

Australia introduces border control measures for any non-Australian arriving from China. All arrivals are require to self-isolate for 14 days. Australia also issues a "Do Not Travel" advisor for China. This is initially only a short-term measure for two weeks.

Just over a month after the first recorded case in China, the virus is beginning to circulate in Northern Italy. Australian government leaders were fairly relaxed about the potential problem (as were most European countries) and thought it could be confined to China.

2nd: In a 'tit-for-tat' round between tin-pot dictators, Trump now retaliated against Xi Jinping's suggestion that the US delegates to the Military Games in Wuhan had brought the virus into China last October. He claimed to have convincing evidence that the disease had leaked from a Chinese virology lab; he was echoing a rumour being spread by Fox News.

3rd: It is now known that the Diamond Princess had had at least one case of Covid-19 when it arrived in Yokohama, but they claimed on Feb 3rd that it was all under control. "Princess Cruises confirms there are 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew currently onboard covering a range of nationalities. Approximately half the guests onboard are from Japan."

4th: Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, claims in public to have "enormous evidence" that the virus had been an accidental release from the Wuhan viral diseases laboratory (who were diligently working on ways to test and treat the disease).

Passengers were not allowed ashore from the cruise ship Diamond Princess at Yokohama. The ship was quarantined for 14 days after Japanese health officials find 10 tested positive -- 2 Australians, 3 Japanese, 3 from Hong Kong, one from USA (all passengers) and one Filipino crew member.

7th: Doctor Li Wenliang, who had first issued warnings (but only to his on-line associates) died of the coronavirus in the Central Hospital of Wuhan. He had been reprimanded by the local police force for "rumour mongering"
    A few hours after Dr Li's death, the hashtag #WeWantFreedomOfSpeech garnered nearly two million views on Weibo. Meanwhile, another with the hashtag #WuhanGovernmentOwesDrLiAnApology had tens of thousands of views. Both were quickly censored.

Only a few days after it had birthed with only 10 positive cases, the Diamond Princess cruise ship, now anchored off Yokohama, has 41 cases.

11th: The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention published a report with details of 72,314 cases known to that time. At this stage only 62% of these had been confirmed; 22% were only classed as suspect (based on symptoms and exposure only); 15% were clinically diagnosed only (mostly in Hubei Province, but with Wuhan exposure).
    The Chinese testing capacity was insufficient to meet the demand, and only about 5% of these cases were judged to be critical.

11-12th: A research and innovations forum of the WHO convenes to discuss the problem. It was attended by 400 experts and funders from around the world.

13th: Around the world now 58 countries have implemented some form of travel control measures to anyone arriving from mainland China. Australia banned the arrival of Chinese citizens, and imposed a self-isolation on returning Australian citizens, then raised it for a further two weeks only (until 29 February).

The higher-education sector was protesting vigorously because these bans blocked the arrival of 65,800 international students at the beginning of the university registration period (a loss of A$1.2bn).

16-24th: A joint WHO-China mission with experts from Canada, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore and the US (CDC, NIH) travelled to Wuhan and two other cities. They spoke with health officials, scientists and workers in health facilities.

18th: Italy has confirmed evidence that the virus was circulating in their country. A sick local man who had been turned away on two days from his hospital without being tested, was finally admitted on the 18th with serious breathing difficulties.

19th: The Diamond Princess now represented the largest outbreak of the disease outside China. Eventually they had a total of 700 confirmed cases and 13 dead.

Passengers were allowed to disembark from the Diamond Princess in Yokohama despite the fact that the ship had recorded another 169 cases in the previous two days. The Australians and other passengers could be taken from the cruise ship, provided they were not diseased. Australia, Canada and Hong Kong were all organising charter flights to bring their citizens home from Japan.

The new health protocols for cruise liners were delivered to all ships, but these were not updated by the Ruby Princess which was cruising in the Sydney area.

20th: Worldwide there are now 75,660 cases of Covid-19 on record -- with 2,000 deaths (outside China, presumably).
At this time, all 10 people who had been diagnosed with the virus in Australia contracted the disease in Wuhan, except for one who had been in contact with a Chinese carrier.

Italy had its first case confirmed (It takes days for full confirmation). Codogno and 10 other villages in the north of the country were put under notice, and curfews were introduced for bars and restaurants in Lombardy.
    Prime Minister Conte openly blamed the Lombardy officials and hospital staff. And Lombardy's Governor Attilio Fontana disbelieved the seriousness of the threat and told the regional parliament the disease was "just a little more than a normal flu" Lombardy even reversed the curfews on restaurants on the next day.

25th: The count of 700 confirmed COVID-19 cases linked to the Diamond Princess had not included infections discovered among passengers after they'd disembarked and returned home. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 36 of America's passengers who had returned on emergency flights had now been confirmed as carrying the virus.

Apart from this cruise ship, by the 24th March Japan had identified only 144 cases of virus infection. This included Japanese citizens repatriated from Wuhan, China. With the liner, their total of 844, meant that Japan was then ranked second (just behind South Korea) in the number of cases confirmed outside mainland China. [Later Japan would prove to have largely escape the problems.]

26th: Medical experts are warning an epidemic is on the way. The trajectory of infections prompted a record plunge in the US stock market as analysts warned the outbreak could wreak economic havoc on a scale not seen since the 2008 financial crisis.

27th: All passengers of the Diamond Princess in Yokohama have now disembarked, but 500 crew remain aboard, awaiting charter flights. The Australian firm Aspen Medical has been hired to provide daily health checks, and provide laundry, meal services. etc. because Japan has clamped down on them.

Italy at this stage had only several hundred confirmed infections, and 12 deaths. But they still had no effective response organisation and only a very limited, highly rationed, test service. Italy was a confused bureaucracy trying to come to grips with an unfolding crisis.

29th: The Guardian attacks the Australian government inaction on virus preparedness: "It is obvious the government needs to have a considered and credible plan for managing a mass outbreak of the coronavirus, because the spread of this illness, and the negative economic consequences associated with it, is a deeply serious issue, not some passing bit of political confection or rank opportunism."


First week of March:This is now widely accepted as the date when the USA authorities should have begun to take the problem seriously -- locking down cities, and limiting social contact. (A later Columbia Uni study says the USA did so only two weeks later at a cost of an additional 54,000 lives.)

1st: The first recorded death in Australia from COVID-19.

1st-6th: The first week of March marked the end of Australia's bushfire crisis. Until this date, Australian politicians had their focus on other things, and COVID-19 was not yet a global pandemic. There are only a handful of active cases in Australia; it was still seen as a Chinese epidemic problem, that only needed watching.

4th: The cruise liner Grand Princess advised its passengers that the ship has a COVID problem and was not allowed to enter San Francisco; it was required to anchor off Oakland. It had been discovered that among the previous guests on board from Feb 11 to 21st, some had now been confirmed as having been infectious.

6th: End of first week of March: the concern over a viral pandemic has now escalated in Australia. A panic buying frenzy at supermarkets (including a rush on toilet rolls) pushes store sales up 30% for the month. This had the beneficial effect of making risks seem very real to the public, and it primes them to listen to the medical experts.

Kimberly Clark paper mill goes into mass toilet production overnight, and supermarkets begin rationing and implementing home delivery. The panic buying tapers off over the next two weeks.

Two more passengers on the Grand Princess (anchored in USA waters) have now tested positive. They were off-loaded, but 19 sick crew were left on board in isolation.

8th: Another cruise liner, the Ruby Princes with 1000 crew and 2500 passengers, sailed from Sydney at 4 am in the morning to escape the NSW border movement bans. Everything was OK for a few days, but on the trip to Wellington, New Zealand, some passengers were sick.
    However on arrival, other passengers took tours around the town. The medical tests turned out later to be negative, but it sailed again with 24 of the tests left behind, still unresolved.

Italy, as a whole, now had 12,462 coronavirus patients diagnosed, with more than 1000 in intensive care, and 827 already dead. Lombardy how had over 4,000 cases of the virus and 267 deaths. Rome now extended the lockdown from just Italy's north to the whole of the country.
    Because of low expenditure on health services, lack of incubators, etc., Italy had a 8% mortality rate which is double the global average.

10-11th: The Australian health guidelines (CDNA - Communicable Diseases Network of Australa) now demanded testing of any cruise-liner passenger showing any signs of respiratory distress, or who had been in a foreign port in the previous two weeks.

11th: The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared this a pandemic. Until this date the Australian public had still not absorbed the social-isolation message from China; people were still greeting each other by kissing.

On this day, Dr Anthony Fauci, as US director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (and President Donald Trump's most visible scientific adviser ... until May), testified before the US House of Representatives that the coronavirus was a serious threat, and warning that "Things will get worse".

12th: Italy is now dealing with a full-scale epidemic which is spreading across Europe. They have abandoned mass testing. Over a thousand Italians had died and the hospitals in the northern part of the country were overloaded and understaffed.

Boris held a press conference in the UK where he stressed that this was the "worst public health crisis for a generation" and that many more deaths should be expected. However the UK still had no lockdown; no school closures; no bans on mass gatherings. Bars were still trading openly, visitors were permitted into aged care homes; and airline flights continued unchecked.

The UK announced a pivotal move from the CONTAIN phase to DELAY. This was a critical non-decision by UK politicians. They had already abandoned contact tracing, and testing was restricted to only those in hospitals with symptoms. The statistics were now untrustworthy. The hospitals were already overloaded. Many UK politicians still believed in the "herd immunity theory" that the contagion would burn itself out.

President Trump now announced a 30-day ban on travel from most of Europe to the United States. He exempted travel to the United Kingdom. He also announced some economic relief plans including low-interest loans for small businesses.

The number of known global "novel virus" cases exceeded 120,000 and WHO's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said:
    We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction."
The WHO reinforced the message, saying that governments should intervene to the maximum:


A total of 2,042 people (passengers and some crew) had now disembarked from the Grand Princess which had been anchored off San Francisco since the 10th.

Mid-March China reports that it has gained control over the spread of the virus, and now reported no new cases. It was a slight exaggeration, but essentially the truth.

13th: The Australia government finally accepts the facts and began to take notice. It issued an advisory (not a ban) against gatherings of more than 500 people.
   However Prime Minister Scott Morrison strutted his machismo "soldier on" image by declaring his personal intentions to attend Cronulla Sharks' round one NRL football match against the Rabbitohs on Saturday ... leaving sporting fans confused about whether they should be attending mass meetings and sports events or not. [He backflipped the following day]

  • Cricket Australia had independently banned spectators at the SCG on Friday and Sunday, and they then banned another test in Hobart on March 20.
  • The Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix had been cancelled in Melbourne.
  • The AFL had begun to cancel all early season games ... but they now reconsidered and decided that they may push ahead.

Meanwhile widespread lockdowns were going on overseas. Sporting tournaments were cancelled everywhere.

The UK's chief science adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, promoted the idea that Britain needed to "build up some kind of herd immunity so more people are immune to this disease and we reduce the transmission". He suggested that herd immunity is achieved with 60% or 36 million survivors. [ie. He was willing to tolerate approx. 360,000 deaths at 1%]

The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has closed schools and restaurants, but suggests that the Netherlands should look for a "controlled distribution" of COVID-19 "among groups that are least at risk". Scientists still say that there is no guarantee that the immunity confers long-term safety.

14th: Australian Prime Minister Morrison (who had recently had an unfortunate experience with handshaking) has now implemented a ban on his Liberal politicians shaking hands. He has finally recognised that the viral epidemic was a serious problem. The process of shutting Australia down now got underway.

The USA was beginning to record a significant number of indisputable Covid-19 cases. The rates rapidly climb over March to reach a temporary plateau by April. At long last, some American cities were now implementing business lock-downs and social distancing requirements, but on a state-by-state basis under bans. These were imposed by some State governors. Daily new cases fluctuate around the 20-30,000 level until mid June, when they begin climbing rapidly again.

15th: Australia moves to introduce Stage 1 lockdown restrictions.

The Australian government's medical advisors told a press conference, unambiguously, that the virus was highly infections. However their modelling of the pandemic was way out: they said that Australia should expect 20% to 60% of the population would be infected, and that about 1% of these would die = ie, 50,000 to 150,000 deaths. [This prediction was made on the basis that there would be no emergency action; no lockdown. The politicians were promoting the idea of "herd immunity". Without a vaccine, this was a modern form of eugenics.]

New Zealand and Australia now had banned cruise ships, however the Ruby Princess was given an exemption. She was turned around and return to Sydney so that the passengers would disembark a couple of days early because of the crisis. The on-board doctor said the ship had an Influenza A outbreak with 53 sick, and 10 of these had a temperature. NSW Health gave the ship the OK to disembark passengers, but more reported sick after this OK was given.

16th: The Ruby Princess's sister ship, the Grand Princess was now moored off San Francisco under quarantine. Princess Cruises confirmed that all the liner's guests and more than half of its crew members have disembarked in San Francisco. The ship had been moved from the port of Oakland and was now anchored in isolation in San Francisco Bay, with a substantial crew still aboard.

A Japanese man who had recovered from the disease and was supposedly now immune. However he tested positive for COVID-19 only several weeks later, and he promotion of the idea of "herd immunity" was quickly dropped.

19th: The European Union now proposed a temporary ban on all non-essential travel to anywhere on the continent. Spain and France had only recently introduce similar lockdowns to Italy. There were still no prohibitions for people entering the UK from Europe. England's schools will remained open. Tests were not available.

Italy has now overtaken China in the number of deaths. On the Sunday they had 368 deaths, Monday 349, and Tuesday 345. Deaths overall in Italy had reached 2,500 with 28,000 cases diagnosed. Coffins were piling up, unburied, despite the crematoria running 24-hour schedules.

This appears to be about the date that UK prime Minister Boris Johnstone abandoned the idea that "herd immunity" would be the solution to the pandemic. He suggested a voluntary three month isolation of everyone over the age of 70, starting from the 21st March, and asked that anyone exhibiting symptoms should take it upon themselves to isolate. The UK now had 1,300 positive tests and modelling now said the potential death toll could be as high as 250,000.

The UK hospitals immediately suspended elective surgery, and implemented a vigorous testing regime of all health workers, aged and residential care workers, detention centres, boarding schools and military bases. They introduced a three-phase plan for relaxing bans and restrictions.

The Carnival cruise liner, Ruby Princess, had returned to Australia on the 19th after a two-week cruise around New Zealand. On board as it was entering Sydney Harbour they had a normal farewell party with dancing, etc. with the passengers all mixing, kissing, etc. There were no more health checks. But when later tests were processed, some swabs proved to be positive.
  Another cruise was scheduled and some passengers were waiting at the wharf; the ship was due to take off the 22nd but the NSW health authorities quarantined the ship temporarily.
  The 2700 passengers from the Ruby Princess were allowed to disembark. This leads eventually directly to 700 cases and 20 deaths from Covid-19.
    The Australian health authorities had been put on notice that there were sick people on the cruise ship, but it was still allowed to dock. No one was immediately let off because some 360 people believed they were sick with a 'flu-like' sickness. Swabs were taken. But inexplicably, the bans were dropped and the 2,700 passengers dispersed.

The total toll from the Ruby Princess fiasco was later said to be responsible for 914 cases (including 202 crew) infected and 24 (or 26) deaths. Many died from secondary infections. The passengers spread the virus to all parts of Australia and some returned overseas. When tracing was done, there were 105 secondary infections from this group.

19-21st: The concern about hospitals not having the equipment (mainly incubators) needed to handle a potential flood of COVID patients had finally reached General Motors, who sent six engineers to Washington to study the design and manufacture of ventilators. It planned to urgently set up and make tens of thousands.

20th: Australia closes its international borders.

23rd: This is the peak of the statistical infections period in Italy. However Italy has a slow drop off of the rate, so the decline was only modest for the whole of April.

23rd: Prince Charles tested positive. The UK authorities finally imposed restrictions on business and public activity, saying that the country had not yet "turned the corner". Boris now imposed stringent restrictions, during which police were given new powers to fine people who leave home unless on essential work or seeking food and medicines. The UK government bought 3.5 million self-test antibody test kits, now made available for purchase on-line or at pharmacies.


To his credit, the Australian Prime Minister called together a National Cabinet to coordinate Australia's reaction to the Covid-19 threat. The national cabinet comprised the prime minister and all state and territory premiers and chief ministers, who agreed to put aside their "politics as usual" squabbles.
    The regular meeting of politicians is supported by all of their chief medical officers, who meet as the Australian Health Protection and Principles Committee (AHPPC). They are charged with pulling together the modelling, research and data that form the basis of decisions to be made by the national cabinet.

26th: Another 181 died in the UK this day. Britain now had 758 deaths among 14,543 confirmed cases (but they were still not counting those in aged-care homes.)
    Boris Johnson was now diagnosed as having caught the COVID-19 virus himself. He says he will self-isolate, but continue to lead the country from 10 Downing Street using video-conferencing. The Health Secretary Matt Hancock also had a mild case, dating from the same period.
    Boris now belatedly ordered a virtual lockdown of the British economy in a few days; banning Britons from leaving their homes except for one of four non-essential reasons: buying basic necessities, exercising once a day, medical needs, or travel to and from work.

27th: President Donald Trump now realises that a serious epidemic is almost certain, and he instructs General Motors (invoking the Defense Production Act) to begin manufacturing ventilators. [Two weeks earlier they had actually begun designing and tooling up to produce 10,000 a month]

Australia's National Cabinet meets (all states and federal) and decide that all returning international travellers must spend 14 days isolated in a hotel at government expense.

It is proposed that Remdesivir, used for the ICU treatment of SARS-CoV-2 (a similar virus), may have potential for relieving some of the symptoms of Covid-19. [It turns out to be so, but it has no notable beneficial effects on reducing the death rate.]

28th: Despite having the disease, Boris Johnson, makes a show of strutting around in a macho mood, promoting the "we must soldier on" message. The UK is slower than other European countries to impose the lockdown. And they resisted entry bans at airports until June.

The Australian National Cabinet expressed the opinion that the virus would be circulating for at least six months, and promotes the need for social distancing.
    Indoor and outdoor gatherings were to be limited to two persons only except at funerals (max of 10) and weddings (max of 5). Playgrounds, skate parks, outside gyms, all closed. People over the age of 70 should be self-isolating at home. The Australian government imposed a moritorium on evictions for six months (commercial and residential).

    By this time 211,000 tests had been taken in Australia and there were 3,966 cases confirmed. The majority from travellers returning from overseas. Protective equipment for health workers is still in short supply. They were releasing the new Coronavirus app for Apple and Android mobile phones.


1st: The Artania, a medium-size cruise ship, was quarantined in Fremantle (WA) at a dock. It had 12 passengers still aboard (who had been deemed as unfit to fly) while the others had been flown home to Germany by charter flights. The Australian Boarder Force was insisting the ship depart after being responsible for more than 41 coronavirus cases (passengers and crew) in WA hospitals. The crew of 450 were resisting being forced out to sea; they wanted another two weeks (one incubation cycle). The WA Premier said he didn't want Fremantle to be seen as a safe harbour for other cruise ships in the region having problems.

3rd: The first case of meat-works infection detected in Victoria's CEDAR meat works in Brooklyn, West Melbourne. This eventually leads to 111 infections from this one outbreak, but no deaths among the labour-hire firm. 67 of those infected were meat-line workers and 44 were close contacts.

Kevin Rudd says that, on this day he signed an open letter, together with 100 former US Secretaries of State, National Security Advisors and heads of other institutions calling for an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus epidemic -- but this wasn't directed at any claimed negligence or malfeasance by China.

The Australian spate of panic buying has now subsided. People are beginning to enjoy the lock-down novelty.

Two hospitals in North-West Tasmania are infected by a health-care worker who had picked it up from the Ruby Princess. Initially they discovered 2 infected patients at North West Regional Hospital, but it spread also to Mersey Community Hospital and resulted in the lock-down of the whole North-West Tasmanian area.

5-9th: Boris Johnson was hospitalised urgently and spent three nights in intensive care in London's, St Thomas Hospital (no ventilator - but needed oxygen). He was moved back to a regular ward on Thursday 9th but was said to be "in the early phase of his recovery". He then took two days to begin walking.

10th-13th Easter (Friday to Monday) holiday. Australian supermarket supplies are now stable and plentiful. The supermarkets averaged a 30% monthly increase in sales during March. There was no diminution in meat sales because no one admitted they had a problem in public. About this time Victoria had 54 infections in their quarantine hospitals, but no deaths.

Dominic Raab, (UK Foreign Secretary) and stand-in Prime Minister, implored people not to travel to see relatives over the Easter Holiday weekend.

12th: Easter Friday: It was announced that Boris had survived and was now "back on his feet" and strutting. His father said that Boris "almost took one for the team". Of course team, "Britain" would have won more it he had.

The UK death toll was now nearly 8,000 and rising.

14th: The WHO warns that COVID-19 could eventually become endemic (recurrent) disease like HIV; they warned against any attempt to predict how long it would remain circulating and calling for a "massive effort" to counter it. See WHO

Two hospitals in Burnie, Tasmania, were shut down to be deep-cleaned by specialist teams. More than 60 cases in the state were linked to this unexpected northwest outbreak, which included 45 health workers and nine patients. There was an increase of six cases on the Monday, bringing the state total to 150.

    [NOTE: Tasmania was proud of its record as having contained the Spanish Flu in 1918-19 better than any other region in the world.]

15th: Easter Monday: Murdoch's Sky News and Peta Credlin call for an investigation into the Chinese handling of the virus outbreak after suggestions that it arose via a Wuhan genetic engineering laboratory. This was a rehash of a US claim by Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State.

The Newmarch House Anglican aged-car facility in NSW was found to have a worker who infected others, and eventually 30 staff needed to be isolated. However the elderly patients were left within the home, along with the infected patients. This craziness resulted in an outbreak, with 69 infections: 32 among staff, and 37 among residents. Overall 19 residents died. There is a Class Action following this. [The home was declared virus free in June 12]

16th: At a White House press conference President Trump now refers to "the Chinese virus" and raises the prospect that China deliberately caused the outbreak that had by then killed more than 39,000 Americans:

"If it was a mistake, a mistake is a mistake. But if they were knowingly responsible, yeah, then there should be consequences.
    "It could have been stopped in China before it started and it wasn't, and the whole world is suffering because of it."

This charge that China deliberately encouraged the virus to migrate to the outside world was still being echoed by Trump's Trade Ambassador Navarro on 9th July (PBS News Hour).

Australia's PM Scott Morrison follows Donald Trump in attacking China and suggesting an international inquiry was needed into the Chinese administration and possibly the Wuhan genetic laboratories. Both the Murdoch press and Donald Trump claimed there was a "Five Eyes" (Joint secret service) intelligence dossier which backed Trump's claims that the virus had leaked from a Chinese laboratory. [Later denied by the CIA and FBI]

18th: Republican strategists obviously now believe that making China the arch-enemy in a biological warfare attack, culpable for the creating and spreading the virus, would redirect America's growing animosity toward Trump, to an attack on Beijing. This was probably the best strategy they had to salvage a difficult election.

Australia's foreign minister, Marise Payne, is now also calling for an independent global investigation into the spread of Covid-19. She is echoing US President Donald Trump in pointing to the Chinese authorities as those to blame for the escape of the virus.
  Payne says she does not think the World Health Organisation should run the investigation; she shares some of the concerns expressed by the US about the agency's handling of the pandemic. During an interview with the ABC Payne was also reluctant to answer questions about whether she "trusts" China in terms of its response to the virus. The federal health minister, Greg Hunt, also took a swipe at the WHO, saying its response to the crisis "didn’t help the world".

South Australia, the most aggressive testing regime in Australia, recorded the second day without any new cases. They had had only 77 active cases overall, and had reported only 4 deaths. Two were still in an ICU.

20th: US Immunologist Dr. Rick Bright was quietly removed from his post as head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the agency in charge of overseeing the development of vaccines and therapeutic treatments for COVID-19 in the USA. He was transferred to the NIH, but he filed a whistleblower complaint over the treatment. He said his removal was the result of him clashing with senior figures in the Department of Health and Human Services. [Dubious report and date - see May 13] He later said it was retaliation for opposing President Trump's promotion of hydroxychloroquine to treat/prevent the COVID-19 disease.

Bright was the American CDC's main expert on virus epidemics and infectious diseases, and principle adviser to their coronavirus task force. BARDA was also the principle adviser on contract-development of vaccines and other drugs with the private pharmaceutical research companies. Bright had served as advisor to the WHO.

President Bolsonaro of Brazil begins to clone President Donald Trump, and ridicules the medical experts cautions. His stupidity is probably indirectly implicit in a half-million unnecessary deaths by the end of 2020.

21st: The Tasmanian hospital outbreak had now spread to 114 people, and of these 12 died.

24th-28th: Beginning with the UK's Matt Hancock ... Germany, Chile, and the US, are floating the idea of issuing special passports to those who are potentially immune to the disease. It depended on a blood test being developed which could reliably identify those who had recovered from the disease and had immunity ... but then, it would only be safe if recovery from a light infection conferred a lasting form of immunity.

Others pointed out that the passports would encourage young people to deliberately risk a mild form of the disease, because it would give them special work advantages and release from the lock-down limits. This potentially would increase the rate of spreading, and give those with the certificate a false sense of confidence. The WHO was generally opposed. [See chicken-pox parties in the smallpox outbreaks.]

26th: Australia is promoting the downloadable COVIDSafer near-contact application on to mobile phones. It is promoted as the public's "sunscreen" against a major outbreak and any further need for tighter social isolation. By June 28th it had proved to be totally ineffective; despite 6.44 million downloads it had not had any beneficial effect in helping with 1.5 million contact tracings.

28th: The infectious case detection in Australia peaked this day at 460. Two million people are locked down and many are now working on-line.

In the UK Boris is released from the hospital and says he is now going back to work.

The UK death toll from covid-19 has now passed 20,000, and world-wide Britain was now fifth behind the USA, Italy, Spain and France.

The UK was still not counting deaths in aged care facilities as virus deaths, and they had no airport border-entry controls.

Australia, which implemented a clamp-down early, was now averaging only 7 new cases a day.

Western Australia experienced its last case for many months around this time. New Zealand only experienced its last case in May.

???? The importance of blanket testing is now being realised. However in America, it costs between $50 and $120 for an anti-body test and many people don't have the means to pay for it.


2nd: A dossier sent to the Saturday Telegraph claiming to be a "5 Eyes" official analysis said the problem arose from the Chinese Wuhan Genetics laboratory and made accusations that it was deliberately distributed. This later turned out to be concocted from newspaper reports and a highly dubious slur on one of China's main researchers.

4th: Italy beginning a partial reopening.

8th: Report on coronavirus blood-clot complications. Suggestion that the virus attacks the arteries and blood vessels of the lungs, as much as the lung tissue itself. This is the first hint from both Netherlands and France that the deaths might be thrombosis-related. The capilliaries were clogged with blood clots. This is new and unexpected. in pneumonia the lung sacs are clogged with fluid and puss, not microclots. [See later Kawasaki disease which affects pre-school age children.]

10th: The USA is said to be in a "rush to reopen". It begins when the state stay-at-home orders begin to expire and the various governors are erratic in their extentions.

President Trump promotes the relaxation, saying: "If there's a fire we'll put it out".

Australia copies the USA and begins to relax rules: Aged care visits now restricted to two people a day and restricted to only to their rooms or outdoors

12th: Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said the initial wave of outbreaks in cities such as New York City, where one in five people have been infected, represent only a fraction of the illness and death yet to come. He was damned by the President as a "liberal" and scare mongerer. See USA today

13th: Dr Fauci, who was not permitted to give evidence to the US House of Representatives, was invited to speak before the US Republican-led Senate. He also maintained that the USA was not over the 'hump', and that politicians should not be too quick to relax their bans on the movement and clustering of citizens.

He said America should be "focused on the proven public health practices of containment and mitigation" and stressed there were still many things scientists did not understand about the virus. As an example, he pointed to the example of young children, infected with the coronavirus, who have developed a "very strange inflammatory syndrome", similar to Kawasaki disease (a auto-immune inflamatory condition involving blood vessels in children) which was now being investigated. [It is also called PIMS-TS].

Fox News host Tucker Carlson attacked Dr Fauci the same night, because the infectious disease expert had cautioning the nation against reopening schools too soon.

13-15th: Following a BBC report: the suspicion that the Coronavirus disease is related to the children's Kawasaki disease (aka PIMS-TS) circulates around the world's research establishments. Interest in this connection appears to have died out fairly quickly.

Dr Fauci in the USA warned governors and local officials not to reopen schools during the pandemic. Trump rejected Fauci's words of caution.

14th In the USA, a top US health official, Rick Bright, has turned whistleblower to Congress saying that, without a ramped up response, the US will see the "darkest winter in modern history". He gave evidence before the US House of Representatives painting a damning picture of the Trump administration's early response to the coronavirus, telling Congress he believes hospital workers died because of a failure to procure enough surgical masks at the beginning of the pandemic. Trump returned the favour by attacking him on May 14 also.

Avi Schiffmann, the 17 year-old who built one of the most popular coronavirus-tracking websites in the world (30+ million a day) turned down $8 million to put ads on his site. See

In Australia, emphasis is now switching to some secondary consequences of the clamp-down: there is an increased rate of suicides. This is now triggering funding for more mental health intervention and research. However, Japan reports that they are experiencing a decrease in suicides.

15th: This is a milestone day in the Australian reaction to the coronavirus clampdown crisis. With Taiwan leading, then New Zealand, followed by Australia, are now clearly the three nations which have been most successful in handling the pandemic.
  The Australian National Cabinet, with only a couple of new cases a day (and only one hundred deaths) believes it is now confined to elderly in aged care homes, and is now moving towards lessening the limitations.

  • Australian hospitals are now in the process of moving back to normal operations - now willing to undertake general surgery (hip replacements, etc.)
  • Schools are gradually opening up (they'd been maintained in limited form to support working single parents)
  • However, Western Australia and Queensland have refused to relax their border crossing bans.

18th: At a WhiteHouse press briefing President Trump shows his primary concern is with the economy. He anticipates a V-shaped economic recovery from the pandemic, citing a stock market rally spurred by some favourable vaccine news:
"The market is up very big. And I think you're going to have a 'V'-- I think it's going to be terrific."

18-20th: The World Health Assembly is to hold an inquiry into the WHO handling.

19th: California recorded 132 new coronavirus-related fatalities -- the most in a single day since the pandemic began. At the same time counties across Califonia state continue with their plans to reopen their economies.

20th The major national epidemic was now running most strongly in the:
- 1. USA (various states had varied lockdowns and some had mask requirements)
- 2. Russia
- 3. Britain (Scotland had its own lockdown)
- 4. Brazil
These four nations now accounted for about a half of the known new cases of global coronavirus cases.

The presidents of USA and Brazil were promoting the daily use of the untested malaria drug hydrochloroquine as a prophylactic measure, while at the same time encouraging the relaxation of all clamp-down measures in order to drag their national economies back into shape. Massachusetts reported it had reached a total of 6,000 deaths. This was in the two months since the first in Boston. New Jersey's death toll reached 10,700 (with 150,400 infections)

The World Health Organisation recorded an additional 206,000 cases/day globally.

21st: Kaiser Health News reported on a Columbia Uni research project revealing that if the USA had shut-down (with social distancing) only one week earlier, it would have saved 36,000 lives. Two weeks earlier would have saved 54,000 lives by May.

22nd: Chinese National People's Congress was held two months late. They were now freeing up.

Australia had 14 new cases. [Totals now 7093 confirmed; 6478 recovered, and with 101 deaths; 39 in hospital and 7 in ICU.
    The Australian government finally admitted their JobSeeker predicted budget error -- and dropped it down from $130bn to $60bn.

    Worldwide there are now 5.35 million cases confirmed; 2.05 million have recovered, and there are 343,000 deaths reported.

25th: Relaxation of minor clampdown in Japan. Despite the population and average age, Japan only had 850 deaths, which was put down to: i) bowing rather than handshaking. ii) Obsessive hygiene. iii) Low levels of fat in the body and diet.

In Western Australia a live-sheep export ship the Al Kuwai arrives from Arabia, bringing (eventually detected) 20 infected among the 48 in a multinational crew. The ship is cleared by a federal department and allowed to dock; local workers went on board before information about (the initial) six ill workers was passed to port authorities.

26th: Australia's chief medical officer Brendan Murphy told the Australian Senate that the country had avoided about 14,000 deaths by its early implementation of social distancing.

27th: Australian students generally are going back to school this week. A couple of the older students proved to have carried the virus, but generally it went reasonably well. Other schools weren't taking students until the second week of June.

29th: There have been at least 231,700 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Italy, according to the Italian Department of Civil Protection. They have had 33,142 deaths. Most were in Milan, Brescia and Turin in the north. [It is possible that there was not so much testing in the south.]

Now some relaxation of isolation requirement in Italy in the shops, restaurants, bars etc. But they still required social distancing and strict hygiene controls. Religious celebrations were now allowed, and travel was permitted within regions.

George Floyd has just been killed by Minnesota police; blacks are taking to the streets in protest, and Donald Trump stokes the flames by tweeting: "When the looting starts, the shooting starts". He then blames the riots on AntiFa (who are anti-fascists opposed to the white supremacists.

30th: Further relaxations in Australia. Casinos can now have a few hundred gamblers. Club and bars can have dozens provided they maintain their 2 sq metre spacing.

US President Donald Trump carries out his threat to defund the World Health Organisation which he claims collaborated with China in concealing the serious nature of the virus in Dec 2019.


1st: Global tally now reaches 6.2 million infectious cases; 391,000 deaths, and 2.6 million have completely recovered.

Brazil is now the hot-spot with 30,000 new cases overnight.

Donald Trump organises to send Brazil 3 million doses of his "malarial cure" medicine, hydroxychloroquine, which the medical establishment says does not work, and which increases the potential heart problems among elderly people.

America is in turmoil over "Black lives matter". States now going into another form of lockdown; the National Guards are reinforcing the police in 15 states; 40 States now have nightly curfews. The White House briefly comes under siege, and Trump retreats to his underground bunker.

3rd: The USA now has had 1.6 million infected by COVID-16 and over 106,000 deaths.

The demonstrations following the Minnesota police killing of George Floyd has brought millions of protesters into the streets. Many were not wearing masks and none observed the safe distance from each other, thus producing a super-spreader event. The rates of deaths and hospitalisation among black Americans now far exceeds those of whites. Demonstrations in Los Angeles led to the closing of virus testing sites.

Italy now opens all its borders to terrorists, while France, Spain and Germany indicated that they would follow in a fortnight if they had two more weeks of guaranteed success.

The UK was still locked down against all incoming travel, but this was still strongly discouraged in Europe.

4-5th: Revelation that the two main studies dismissing the value of hydroxchloroquine as a preventative or treatment for the COVID-19 virus were highly dubious, although one was published and peer-reviewed in The Lancet.
  One had been done by a dubious small company which used data known not to be trustworthy; and the other had selected its participant from internet volunteers (not to be trusted). The WHO announced that it would immediately fund a real study -- although it was generally agreed that the drug still had no proven efficacy.

New Zealand announced that it would open its borders on June 15 if no more active cases. It has already had a period of two weeks with no local distribution.

Australia still has 40 active virus cases under treatment. The Northern Territory is to allow spectators at an AFL football match.

7th: Brazil is now out-virusing Italy and moving into second-place behind the USA in known cases, hospitalisations, and in virus deaths. The President of Brazil, Bonsonaro is going ahead opening the country, and he bans the reporting of both cases and deaths.

India is also opening up the economy despite the worsening problem. It will soon reach second place on the cases and deaths scale. It is threatening to have far more deaths than Brazil (many are unreported).

9th: New Zealand becomes the first country to declare an end to all interior bans. They say that COVID-19 is eliminated but not eradicated. NZ retains international border bans, but they have a preliminary agreement with most Australian states to relax quarantining rules.

An American professor of epidemiology at Harvard Global says that, without the shutdown, the USA would have had 60 million cases and about 0.5 million more deaths.

The WHO has recently claimed that asymptomatic victims don't infect those around them, and they are now have been forced to walk that claim back. [May have been true of SARS] They still maintain however that the virus is carried by droplets and via hands on physical objects.

15th: New South Wales health authorities announce that the Newmarch Aged Care Home outbreak was now under control after 71 infections and 19 deaths.

20th: The WHO warns that Covid-16 spread is accelerating. A new highpoint of 150,000 extra cases each day has been reached -- yet many of the countries worst affected are relaxing their social isolation controls.

20th: Australia is beginning to remove bans on the size of clusters (10 in your house, etc), and allowing sporting clubs, etc. to function again.

The state of Victoria has a resurgence of cases over a few days - and is forced to hastily restore their bans.

The World Health Organisation again warns that the global pandemic is getting rapidly worse. Now
  • 8,525,042 known and confirmed cases (probably 20% more than this)
  • 456 973 confirmed deaths (probably an undercount of at least 20%)-- with about 10,000 dying each day around the globe.
  • 4.7 million people have recovered.
  • 3.7 million are active cases, with 1% classed as serious or critical.
  • 216 countries/territories have now reported cases

Brazil is now close behind the USA in number of cases (if you believe their truncated statistics) at the top of the table of virus cases, followed by Peru, Chile and Mexico. Russia and India are both at about half these numbers, followed by the United Kingdom.

Spain and Equador are close behind, Germany has had a fresh outbreak. Sweden is moving up into the top ranks along with South Africa. China is now reporting only 26 cases a day, about the same as Australia on a bad day.

22nd: The WHO has warned that it may be 2.5 years before the world has a vaccination program wide-spread enough to control the virus. They also warn that the rate of infection worldwide is accelerating:

  • It took three months, until late March, for the worldwide incidence of Covid-19 cases to reach the 1 million mark.
  • In this week the world had moved from 8 million to 9 million KNOWN cases of infection in the previous 8 days.
  • They knew that there was gross under-counting in Africa, South America and the Middle East, so the rate of increase must be more than a million a week.

23-25th: Questions are being raised about how there have been so many outbreaks in meat processing plants? These outbreaks have occurred in Germany, France, Spain and the US. One answer (from Europe), is that this jobs are low-pay work done by temporary migrants who often live in unsanitary conditions and are closely packed into dormitory accommodations and transported to the factory crammed into a bus.
    Another possibility (perhaps just a contributor to the problem) is that meat is a refrigerated products, and the often work closely together on dark assembly lines (no sunlight) and rarely have two-metre separation. The factories are noisy - so the workers need to shout to be heard (creating droplets).

25th: The American CDC announced that 23 million had been 'officially' infected in the USA, but it is also suggested that the real infection rate could well be 10-times that number. [Note: if so, then the death rate following an infection could be about 1/10th the percentage previously calculated, unless deaths were also not being noticed.]

Harvard's Global Health Institute says the American States were "opening too quickly, and too much." Those states which promoted mask-wearing in public had reduced new case rates by 24%, while those not encouraging mask-wearing were up 84%.

Globally the covid-19 rate of infection was now at least 1 million new cases each week. South America rates were "too difficult to imagine".

26th: The USA has 40,000 new cases in 24 hours; a new record. Arizona, Texas and Florida now realise that ignoring public spacing requirements has been a major mistake. Back-pedalling begins, with Texas and Florida banning groups at bars. Arizona says it believes in prayer rather than action.

Trump insults China once more, calling the epidemic the "kung flu". This is a follow up to his rash claim that the virus is a form of biomedical warfare, created in a Wuhan laboratory.

Europe now bans travellers from the USA. It is seen as one of the main global hot-spots.

27th: In Melbourne's Al Taqwa College, following the Ramadan family celebrations, there were 113 infections among 2000 students. The first was on June 27th, and by July 8 there was 102 known secondary infections.

In the UK, more Londoners have died from Covid-19 (43,230 deaths) over a couple of months, than died during the 8 months of the London Blitz during World War II (43,000).

The UK now had 150 dying every day, which on a per capita basis was probably the highest in the world. However, Boris, who was keen to end the 3 month lockdown, announced that from July 4, hotels, museums, churches, parks and some service businesses could open. He introduced a 1 metre distance rule, replacing the older 2 and 1.5ms. Since the impression given was that the problem was now over, people in their thousands flocked to the beaches on the warmest day of the year.

30th: Dr Fauci in the USA warned that the USA could well go from 40,000 new cases of infection a day to 100,000 since the public wasn't taking the need for isolation seriously. Texas begins shutting down some aspects. Deputy President Mike Pense is seen on TV with the Governor of Texas, both wearing a mask -- he has broken with the Trump mandate.

In Australia the second surge begins:
Victoria shuts down 36 suburban areas in Melbourne after case numbers begin to head towards 100 again. Over a thousand people refuse to get tested. Queensland and other states prohibit visits from Victorians; incoming international air craft are diverted to Sydney.


1st: Victoria now overnight locks down ten "hot-zone" postcodes and suggests that they may need to lockdown many more areas ... maybe the whole state.

3rd: America sets a new record of 50,400 new Covid-19 cases identified in one day. The US total was now 2.9 million cases with 132,101 deaths. Daily rates were now on a rapid increase across most of the USA ... as states continued to ease their lockdown restrictions case numbers began to rise again.

Texas daily rates had hovered at around 1,000 from April until June, but it has taken a "swift and very dangerous turn," said the Governor, "Over the past few weeks, the daily number of cases have gone from an average of about 2,000 (in June only), to more than 5,000." Governor Abbott closed down bars and restricted restaurant indoor seating .. as did Florida and California (but only in some cities).

The pharmacology producers of Remdesivir, the only drug reported to offer some (albeit marginal) symptom-relief to seriously-ill Covid-19 patients (in the ICU ... but not any death-rate reduction), now increases the price of the drug, 10-fold. Australia accepts the drug as effective in very limited cases in mid July.

4th: President Trump hosts a mask-less Independence Day crowd in a celebration at Mount Rushmore with 7,500 ticket-holders. The celebrations include the traditional Hot Dog Eating Contest, a fighter jet flyover, and 10,000 fireworks. In his speech Trump railed against the "cancel culture" of the "left-wing cultural revolution" -- those who toppled monuments during recent anti-racism protests.

5th: The first day that Victoria exceeds 100 confirmed cases, in the second wave of infections.

6th: In Australia, Victoria goes into a fierce lockdown when Covid-19 is found circulating among the largely migrant residents of a half-dozen high-rise council flats -- called "vertical liners" in reference to the 'Ruby Princess' debacle in Sydney. The private security firms which the Victorian government had previously hired to maintain isolation rules are all fired, and they are replaced by a squad of police to rigidly enforce the lockdown. The 3000 residents are confined to the buildings without warning, but they are to have their rent paid, and given money to compensate for wages lost.

7th: Victoria experiences a second-wave rash of new cases, 191 in a day, which is nearly four-times the previous daily peak of 46 in April.

Premier Andrews says that harsh measures are necessary because people have developed a "sense of complacency". Overnight, Victoria now suddenly has 772 active cases, with new case numbers appearing to double every five days.

Premier Andrews will put the whole state into a full lockdown again. NSW places an overnight ban on visitors from Victoria and sends police down the Albury to enforce the road block; drones are to be used to make sure people don't swim across the Murray.

An idiot seeking to avoid the border crossing ban, drives his caravan overnight from Victoria to Sunderland in NSW and brings the virus with him.

In order of sheer political stupidity and lack of effective action:

  1. In the USA, on the July 4 Holiday weekend, Trump says that 99% of Covid-19 cases are "totally harmless" and the high case numbers are simply the consequence of the USA now having tested 40 million people.
    • Florida, Arizona, Texas and southern California experience sharp spikes in the number of cases from the weekend.
    • Florida has 29 deaths, and 10,059 new cases (206,000 overall).
    • The US death toll now reaches 130,000 and the hospitals in 30 states are near capacity.
    • The US has had 2.9 million confirmed infections. They get 50,000 new cases a day, and they have these numbers now several times each week. In about 11 days they have almost doubled the number confirmed.
  2. Brazil, which is now second to the USA, has 1.6 million confirmed cases and 65,487 deaths.
  3. India, now third, has 22,252 new cases, and 20,000 overall (known) deaths among 718,665 confirmed infections.

China, now with few cases, exploits the American Covid-chaos generated by the certifiable narcissist in the White House to extend their draconian grip over Hong Kong. They also engage in even more cyber infiltration of global institutions, and the FBI calls them out over IP theft.

We get the first hint of the re-emergence of the old Cold War mentality on both sides.

8th: Worldwide the number of confirmed cases reaches 12 million. This is believed to be about half the number of actual cases.

    The world health authorities are now changing their view: it is not just droplets which can transfer the virus by air or by hands touching droplets on surfaces. They now say the virus can live in aerosols which are too small to settle out of the air. These aerosols can pass to others through air-conditioning systems, and only the top surgical masks can stop these. [However, they generally don't accept that this is a major form of transfer.]

Greater Melbourne is put into full lockdown once again, and crossing the NSW border is banned. NSW Police are sent to Albury.

9th: NSW is now testing 18,524 people a day, and the State detects 14 new cases in the 24 hours.

10th: Overnight Victoria has 288 confirmed cases. The National Cabinet halves overseas flight entries and limits them to:
  * Perth - max of 525 people a week
  * Brisbane - 500 people a week
  * Sydney - (main) now 450 a day.

By sheer coincidence ... or agreement made by transAtlantic phone call (not to upstage each other), on the same day ...
        BORIS JOHNSON WEARS A MASK ON TELEVISION! (and also has his hair styled to look more like Trump).

To deflect attention from the mask, Trump pardoned his strategist, convicted felon and Congressional liar, Roger Stone. Stone had been the old corporate lobbying partner of Paul Manafort (Trump's campaign director): they ran political dirty-tricks operations together from 1976 (for Ronald Reagan). Stone had worked for the Republicans from age 11 (licking stamps for Barry Goldwater's abortive 1964 campaign) later also worked for Bob Dole. From 1980 on, Manafort and Stone were named partners in the tobacco industry's main GOP lobby firm Black, Manafort and Stone (later Kelly also). They sold only one thing: "Access to Power."

12th: Australian meat works are still racking up the numbers in the new cluster numbers, probably because of close working conditions and lack of air-conditioning (to retain the cold on the line)]
-- The Al Taqwa College still comes in first in Victoria with 113 cases.
-- But CEDAR Meats is now a close second with a record for an industry-based cluster of 111 cases.
-- JBS meats has 5 cases
-- Somerville Meats (Vic) has 11 cases.

Two New South Wales pubs have been closed. This follows their lack of adherence to enforcing the distance separation, and the detection of positive cases.

Florida: Walt Disney World opens up so that those on the front of the roller-coaster rides can spread their spittle and droplets on those riding close behind.
[Remember it takes about two weeks for the virus symptoms to show up.] On this day, Florida, with 15,000 new cases in 24 hours, leads the top group of 12 US States which have each set new State records.
  -- Florida's extra 15,000 cases brings the US total to 276,000 cases officially detected [Total deaths in Florida = 4,000]
  -- USA as a whole; increased number of new cases has reached 66,500 a day.
[Total US cases 3+ million, and deaths = 135,000]

13th: Florida reports 12,000 new cases in 24 hours. The WHO predicts that the pandemic is likely to get much worse.

In Australia, the second wave outbreak of the virus in Victoria (mainly among the nine
government-funded, Flemington/North Melbourne high-rise 'social housing' apartments) now reaches 270 overnight. These are 20-level towers, housing a total of 3000 people, with only two small lifts to each block.

14th: WHO World Situation report says 13 million cases, with 570,288 deaths (recorded) and a further 200,000 new cases being detected every day.
    The American region still leads with 6.7 million cases and 288,430 deaths.
    South-East Asia has only 1.2 million cases and 30,000 deaths.
    Australia has 9,980 cases and 108 deaths (plus 182 new cases this day).

15th: Australia'a totals ... cases = 10,251, deaths = 108, recovered = 7,835 (others in hospital)
    [Note that 189 cases of crew members on a visiting ship were now to be classified as NSW.]

The tenor of the virus discussions on radio, TV and in the newspapers, appears to have changed in the last couple of days. In Australia, New South Wales had a major outbreak of infections from the Crossroads Hotel, and it now appears unlikely that the tracing of contacts in Victoria will be able to restrain the spread.

Australian commentators and many in the public now appear to be assuming that the only solution in the long-term will be a vaccination. But they are now often accepting that a vaccine giving long-lasting protection may not be possible.

Some discussion is now drifting towards what institutions Australia will need if the Covid-19 virus becomes a persistent problem -- if only (hopefully) for a few years; but maybe more -- given the difficulty in policing the borders between states, and also the impossibility of policing trade and migration between nations in most of the world.

17th: In Australia, this was a record bad day for Victoria experiencing its second Covid-19 flush with 428 new cases. Victoria is now on Stage 3 restrictions for the whole week.

New South Wales only had 15 new cases, four of which were returned travellers. However the Crossroads Hotel cluster numbers have now reached 45 (Bikie gang pub on the road between Sydney and Melbourne). Total confirmed cases in NSW were now 3550 with 49 deaths.

18th: Victoria's new cases have now halved since the day before (a Friday) with only 217 new cases on this day, which is the lowest daily-increase for a week. They appear to be over the sudden spike. Victoria has now had 5353 cases overall, and 405 of these have been health workers. Three died this week (State total now 25).

New South Wales advises that Sydney will now cut overseas arrivals by 100 a day back to an International total acceptable figure of 350 a day.

19-22nd: Victoria now sets record number of new cases every day, and moves into full lockdown mode. People are being fined $200 for being out of their home without a mask.

New South Wales has fresh outbreaks at Batemans's Bay and further contact cases from the Crossroads Hotel cluster.

22nd: The world has now recorded 15 million Covid-19 infections -- up from only 10 million one month before.

Victoria in the previous 24 hours has 5 deaths and 403 new cases bringing their total to 69 deaths and 3630 cases overall.

New South Wales is now expecting a full-scale outbreak and probably a state-wide lockdown. It reports 19 new cases in the previous 24 hours: they are having problems with contact tracing.

30th: The world has now recorded 17.2 million Covid-19 infections -- up by at least a million from only a week before. (The counting may be inaccurate or being adjusted.) They claim 10.1 million recovered and 216,000 deaths.

Australia (Nationwide) had 744 new cases this day. Victoria's outbreak reached a new high with 723 new cases and 13 deaths (total deaths now 190). Many cases were in the aged care section and nearly half of these were staff (Part-time staff, moving between venues to make a living.)
    NSW had only 18 new cases, but was battening down for many more. Queensland had 3, traced to a couple of young party girls who may have been smuggled over the border from Victoria (who then infected an associate).

31st: Victoria has 627 new cases, and 8 deaths in 24 hours. It was celebrated as a downturn???
    [NSW has now had 3,436 confirmed cases, and 49 deaths since it started.] Australia overall has had 16,303 confirmed and 721 deaths.


    Stewart A. Fist

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