Covid-19 Cases

Could Omicron’s “Sting in the Tail” Threaten Children?

a boy in white shirt holding green oxygen mask

Today Covid-19 cases were at record levels in all Australian States and Territories except for WA. For NSW, 11201 new cases were recorded today, demonstrating that the apparent levelling cases at around 6000, over the past few days, were an artefact of reduced collections and processing of results over the Christmas period. Indeed, there were likely more Covid-19 circulating over the holiday period than revealed by the published health data (especially in NSW).

Source: https://www.covid19data.com.au/cases-last-28-days

Ever since the omicron variant started infecting students and young adults in Gauteng Province in South Africa, it has seemed to be too good to be true: a variant that is much more transmissible (so that it replaces the more dangerous delta variant) but of itself, produces mostly mild symptoms with fewer hospitalisations. Bur omicron is still Covid-19; it hasn’t magically transformed itself into some kind of more friendly disease.

Is this the sting in the tail of omicron?

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Covid-19 Cases

Record numbers of Covid-19 cases in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT today. A Levelling of cases in NSW for the 2nd day in a row It’s still a holiday in Australia so cases numbers may be limited by testing centres and opening hours.

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What Happens After Omicron?

The sharp increase noted on Christmas Eve have stabilised somewhat in most States and Territories in Australia over the Christmas weekend though the increase observed increase on Boxing Day was a record for NSW since the pandemic began. The chart below shows the case numbers for Australia over the last month by State or Territory. Although most States showed modest increases these data may have been affected by long lines and more limited collections over the Christmas period. Indeed, many people have reported being turned away from getting tested at all.

Steep Increase in Covid-19 Omicron Cases

With days left before Christmas, there has been a vertical leap upwards in the cases of the Omicron variant: 5715 new cases in one day in New South West; 2005 new cases in Victoria; 484 in South Australia and 369 in Queensland. These are new cases and are recorded in one day. Now it’s important for me to add that a steep increase in base data is expected from overseas’s experience. There’s no reason for undue concern because of the evidence of milder symptoms for Omicron infections than for other variants of Covid-19, despite the sharp increase in transmissibility with Omicron.

The nearly vertical rise in case numbers can be seen from the chart below of cases versus the Month – Year of the pandemic (on the RHS of the chart).

Our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has been telling us for some weeks not to worry about case numbers because the nation has double-vaccination rates of near 90% or more. The Federal Government have been saying that

A Non-partisan View of the USA Elections 2020

In America, anyone can become president. That’s the problem. George Carlin

Vitriol and Cynicism

I don’t know why it was important to teach this in Australia, but as a schoolchild, in Sydney, in my early teens I was taught that: “anyone in America can become president.” It’s an enduring memory from my early 1970’s period of schooling. I don’t remember the context in which it was taught to me, possibly social studies, or maybe from a teacher on an exchange from the USA.

Anyone can grow up to be president” has been widely taught to generations of American schoolchildren but it’s always been a myth [1. 2]. You only need to look at the names of presidential candidates over the last few decades: Bush, George H.W. then Bush, George W.; and then Bush, Jeb made an unsuccessful run for president in the 2016 primaries; Clinton, Bill and then Clinton, Hillary (unsuccessfully); then Biden, Joe as Vice President and now Biden, Joe as a presidential candidate, and as I write, as likely President-elect.

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Time Loops in the Netflix “Dark” Series – Part 2

Roller coaster Ride. Photo by Stephen Hateley on Unsplash

Exclusive Content

This article is available exclusively on medium.com It is a unique review that combines factual physics with a review of the sci-fi fictional TV series “Dark“. Part 1 of this series is available.

The concept of circular time has arisen in the TV culture of Doctor Who and Star Trek as discussed in the free bonus material below.

In “Dark” the concept of circular time is more advanced than in the examples discussed in the Bonus Material and resemble the physics concept of closed time-like curves CTCs where the future communicates with the past and the past with the future. . CTCs are one of the weirdest concepts in all of physics .– and you thought that dark matter and dark energy were pretty weird.

indeed, the late, great, Stephen Hawking offered the chronology protection conjecture which basically states that CTCs are just too weird. Therefore the universe must have a way of protecting itself from them. Read more here:

https://medium.com/@quietvoice15/exclusive-time-loops-in-the-netflix-dark-series-part-2-aaa20045894a

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Time Travel in “Dark”: Embrace the Paradox

Promotional poster for the Netflix series “Dark” [1].

German Netflix series simply called “Dark” has been around since June 2017 (seasons 1 and 2) . The new season 3 has only recently become available. Watch out for the first scene in the first episode: a gruesome suicide by hanging which you might want to hit fast forward through. Very dark indeed. If you do fast forward don’t miss the short sequence in which the victim’s mother grabs the suicide note before anyone else can read it. The victim here is Michael Kahnwald and his mother is Ines. This whole scene, and the names of the characters, are pivotal to the whole story. We’ll return to the intrigue, setup by the first scene, after discussing some general comments about the time travel genre. Take the opportunity for a pause because “Dark” is a bumpy, head-spinning journey. (Edit: postponed to the continuation in Part 2).

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Is “Unprecedented Times” the Most Annoying New Cliché?

It was sometime in mid-March that I started to become aware of the phrase “unprecedented times” being used as a descriptive term for the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s only a few weeks ago but since the pandemic was announced by WHO (12th March), we seem to be living in a time-frame where one week feels like one-month pre-pandemic time.

I started to take notice of the phrase “unprecedented times” during the announcements by our Prime Minister Scott Morrison concerning the Job Keeper pandemic relief scheme on the 30th March. At the time I was impressed that the leadership of Australia was stepping up to the mark in making appropriate and well-timed responses to the pandemic  (see the YouTube video below).

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Herd Immunity and COVID-19

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By Snapwire from Pexels (free to use)

This morning I was watching TV, the Today show. as Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon were discussing the concept of “herd immunity” which had been considered by the UK Government early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Their casual conversion considered whether it might be a good idea to deliberately infect younger Australians with the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) [1] whilst isolating and protecting older and more susceptible members of the community. This apparently casual conversation raised alarms for me as I’ll explain below (see after the jump). The infographic video that Allie used to explain the concept of “herd immunity,” seemingly made a compelling argument for it. Fortunately, they brought in sensible expert advice in the form of Dr Sanjaya Senanayake an Infectious Diseases physician and Associate Professor from the Medical School at the Australian National University (ANU) (see the YouTube video below).

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