Lockdown Flash Fiction

wake up and smell the humans


So Are the Days

Her breath sneaks out of the top of the mask and fogs up her reading glasses. She moulds the metal strip a little tighter over the bridge of her nose. The pubs are closed again. No income. Still casual after all these years. Another extension of lockdown is expected to be announced at 11am.

I’ll have to get online and apply for a payment.

At the shopping centre a man and his son are standing outside the pharmacy. Waiting? The father wears a football jersey and a long thin plait of hair runs down his back. He is mock fighting with his son. The boy jumps in trying to score a tap on his dad, then jumps back to avoid being slapped. The boy is not wearing a mask, neither is the father. Where is security?

Today, it is only ‘him’ she sees defying the…

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“Herd immunity” not responsible for Sweden’s control of COVID-19, say researchers


. . . . .

“When the third wave began to subside in late April, only about 5% of the population were fully vaccinated. The vaccine coverage was almost zero among those aged 0 to 69 years, with only hospital workers and people from other selected professions have been immunized.”

. . . . .

“Herd immunity” is the accepted scientific consensus

Carlsson and Soderberg-Naucler say that these figures would lead most scientists to conclude that NPIs and voluntary behavioral changes made the second wave bend downwards in early November and that public weariness and/or mutant viral strains caused the third wave. They would also assume that the third wave bent downwards due to renewed public compliance with recommendations in the face of the recent surge, adds the team.

“Indeed, this is the by now accepted scientific consensus among scholars studying the pandemic, which is sometimes called ‘herd-protection,’ and builds on the simple idea that when a major deadly epidemic hits, society reacts in a way that is impossible to predict mathematically,” writes the team.

“The pandemic response in Sweden challenges this interpretation”

Related Stories

However, the pandemic response in Sweden challenges this interpretation with Carlsson and Soderberg-Naucler now presenting an alternative explanation for the pattern of viral spread.

The team says experts have previously proposed that “pre-immunity” or immunological “dark matter” could underlie the unexpected trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, failure to identify this dark matter together with various erroneous predictions involving pre-immunity led to the hypothesis being discarded.

“We believe that it is too early to discard the hypothesis that some sort of pre-immunity needs to be taken into account, in particular for accurate mathematical modeling,” said the researchers.

The team suggests that what looks like pre-immunity on a population level, could in fact be a consequence of large variability in individual-level susceptibility. Furthermore, this susceptibility may depend on innate immunity and cross-reactive protective immunity initiated by another virus or other factors.

Pre-immunity is a necessity for successful mathematical modeling

Carlsson and Soderberg-Naucler have now shown that mathematical models considering variable susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 are equivalent to simpler models that incorporate pre-immunity.

“Pre-immunity is a necessity for successful mathematical modeling of the pandemic,” they say.

“We argue that this is the key factor that has protected Sweden from a much higher hospitalization rate and death toll, given the Swedish mitigation strategy, and that it helps to keep cases down to a much greater extent than predicted by traditional models for disease spread,” write the researchers.

However, “since cases can still go up if NPI’s are lifted, the term herd-immunity can be misleading… we call it herd-immunity under limited restrictions,” they add.

Vaccination is a must

The team emphasizes that this study is not suggesting that it is safe to lift NPI’s, but rather it implies that around 60% of the community could have some level of protection against SARS-CoV-2 under current NPIs.

Such protection could disappear due to emerging mutations and exposure to higher viral doses following the lifting of restrictions, say the researchers.

Furthermore, it is impossible to know if pre-immunity is present or not, they write.

“Based on this, it is our firm conclusion that the vaccination roll-out must continue with high participation to avoid both personal tragedies and COVID-19 becoming endemic.”

*Important Notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or treated as established information.Journal reference:

Lake Alexandra Reserve



Lake Alexandra Reserve Park, Mittagong

Lake Alexandra Reserve Mittagong E


Children’s play area, Shade Sail, Liberty swing, MLAK Disabled toilet and toilet facilities, picnic areas, water bubbler, duck pond, walking trail, exercise equipment

Daily COVID Deaths in Sweden Hit Zero, as Other Nations Brace for More Lockdowns

This is interesting!

The Most Revolutionary Act

By Jon Miltimore
Foundation for Economic Education

More than 100,000 people flooded streets in France over the weekend and multiple COVID vaccination centers were vandalized as opposition grew to the government’s most recent pandemic strategy. In President Emmanuel Macron’s latest incarnation of lockdowns, government officials have decreed that unvaccinated individuals will no longer be allowed to enter cafes, restaurants, theaters, public transportation and more.

Needless to say, people were not happy.

France’s approach is unique, but it’s just one of many countries around the world imposing new restrictions as fears grow over a new variant of COVID-19. Australia’s recent restrictions have placed half the country under strict lockdown—even though a record 82,000 tests had identified just 111 new coronavirus cases—while restaurants in Portugal are struggling to surviveamid newly imposed restrictions.

One country not making much news is Sweden.

Sweden, of course, was maligned in 2020 for foregoing a strict…

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Shellharbour Mayor furious at NSW Premier for extending Greater Sydney lockdown to region


ABC Illawarra / By Ainslie Drewitt-Smith

  • Shellharbour, Wollongong and the Wollondilly Shire are included the state’s extended lockdown 
  • Mayor Marianne Saliba is slamming the decision as “utter stupidity”
  • A local businesswoman says extended financial support does little to soften the blow

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba has criticised as “rubbish” Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s decision to include the Illawarra community in New South Wales’ extended lockdown.  

Key points:

  • Shellharbour, Wollongong and the Wollondilly Shire are included the state’s extended lockdown 
  • Mayor Marianne Saliba is slamming the decision as “utter stupidity”
  • A local businesswoman says extended financial support does little to soften the blow

Stay-home orders will now be in place across Shellharbour, Wollongong and the Wollondilly Shire until August 28, after the state recorded 177 new locally acquired cases of the Delta variant.

Among the new cases is a person from Wollongong, whose source of infection remains under investigation.

It takes cases numbers in Wollongong to 10, while Shellharbour has been free of the virus since early in June, when a person from Sydney infected with COVID-19 attended a baby store in the city.  

“It’s absolutely rubbish, complete and absolute rubbish [that] we’re being included in this lockdown,” Cr Saliba said.

“We had zero cases 30 days ago, we’ve had zero all the way through [the lockdown] and we still have zero.

“This government has continued to stuff this process up from Day One. It’s utter stupidity,” she said.

Blow for business

Her disappointment has been echoed by local businesswoman, Melissa Gorgievski, who owns hairdressing salons in Shellharbour and Wollongong.

“I was shocked. It’s not great for small businesses to battle through another four weeks,” she said.

“We thought we would be able to open one of our salons and [we] hung on to a bit of hope for that. But that’s gone now.”

On Wednesday, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet announced additional financial support for businesses impacted by the lockdown.

That included an increase of the annual turnover eligibility threshold from $50 million to $250 million.

Maximum weekly payments businesses could receive would also be boosted, from $10,000 to $100,000.

Ms Gorgievski said the changes did little to soften the blow for her business because it faced another month without trading.

“It doesn’t look they’re bringing any more to the table for small businesses. So, that’s disappointing,” she said.

Five women and a man stand in front of a hair salon
Melissa Gorgievski (third from right) says she is disappointed her salons at Wollongong and Shellharbour will have to remain closed for another month.(Supplied: Melissa Gorgievski)

Individuals who lose work would also be eligible for increased assistance from the federal government.  

Those who lose 20 hours or more of work in one week can now receive $750 a week, while employees who lose between 8 to 20 hours will be offered $450.

Construction resumes

A two-week pause on construction will end in the Illawarra from 12:01am on Saturday, with workers allowed to return to unoccupied sites in all but listed Sydney suburbs.

Tradies, including cleaners, can also resume work under the changes, so long as they don’t have contact with residents.

“I jumped for joy,” local cleaner, Terry Darby said.

“I’ve been stressed, worried about how I’m going to pay my rent, how I’m going to pay my bills.”

“It will depend on the clients but, maybe, they can go off for a walk while I clean their house for them,” she said.

an empty housing estate construction site
Construction work will be allowed to resume on Saturday in Wollongong, Shellharbour and Wollondilly, at sites where the are no residents. (ABC News: Brendan Esposito)

Families with children at school will have to continue home-learning for the next four weeks, but students in year 12 will be allowed to return to the classroom on August 16.  

Rapid antigen testing for those students is also being considered by the New South Wales government, to mitigate outbreaks.

Among the changes announced on Wednesday, a ‘singles bubble’ was introduced, with people living on their own now allowed to nominate a sole family member or a friend they can visit for companionship.

Related Stories

Big changes for shopping, schools and singles as NSW records 177 new COVID-19 cases

two women pushing a trolley doing shopping at a fuit shop

Organic cafe owners arrested and charged after $1,000 mask fine

A row of chairs at a counter in a cafe.

Pfizer says 2021 COVID-19 vaccine sales to top $33.5 bln, sees need for boosters

Interesting Information!

The Most Revolutionary Act

Pfizer's Projected $3B Drug: Name Will Shock You

July 28 (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) on Wednesday raised its 2021 sales forecast for its COVID-19 vaccine by 29% to $33.5 billion, and said it believes people will need a third dose of the shot developed with German partner BioNTech to keep protection against the virus high.

The company said it could apply for an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a booster dose as early as August.

Data showed that a third dose generated virus-neutralizing antibodies more than 5 times higher in younger people and more than 11 times higher in older people than from two doses against the more easily transmissible Delta variant of the virus.

“All in all, I think a third dose would strongly improve protection against infection, mild moderate disease, and reduce the spread of the virus,” Chief Scientific Officer Mikael Dolsten said on a call to discuss quarterly…

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I was asked by a young mother, “what it feels like to be single?”

Grounded Soul


What is the best age in human life? Have you heard the saying, ‘life begins at 40?’ I don’t know the sense of it. Does it mean that the first three decades are just a waste of time? That’s going to be a pile of massive rubbish then! Anyway, I’ll find it out soon. What about the 20s? Usually, most of us have already graduated from school at this stage. We have also found a decent job. Some of us were trying to save money to buy a dream car, to invest in a house, or to travel the whole world. At this point, we are starting to enjoy our freedom. No more school, less parental restriction and we handle our lives in our own ways. Oh! Also, people usually find their life partners in their mid-20s when everyone is already stable and ready to build a new cycle…

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Update about Diary on Coronavirus

I just read a comment here:


Gerard writes:

“Here is a website giving you the death rate per capita.
As I understand it the Delta virus is very good at spreading. The latest outbreak seems to indicate that within family groupings almost all members of a family become infected from just one contact.”

I replied as follows:

Thank you, Gerard, for the link to the Worldometers Website. There is such a huge amount of information on this website that I could click onto it for hours.
My understanding about the Delta variant of the virus is the same as yours: It is very good at spreading!
And my understanding why this is so, is that this virus is airborn and stays in the air we breathe. So to get fresh air, seems to me to be of the utmost importance. So why do we quarantine people in badly ventilated buildings? And why do a lot of people do their shopping in poorly ventilated buildings? It is beyond me, why so called ‘experts’ do not talk about it more. Just with vaccinations we cannot get on top of the virus. This is how it seems to me. For how long shall this hackling about the ‘cost’ (well ventilated buildings cost money”) for how long shall this hackling go on? Because it costs money, they don’t even want to talk about it. All these vaccinations, do they not cost money too? Someone has to pay for these. And big Pharma is in big, big business! Eventual we do need a good vaccine, this is true. But good vaccines need an awful lot of research as I understand it. But nobody wants us to talk about this. Fair enough, it is an emergency now. What we need is sunshine and fresh air, right?

Diary: I keep thinking about Indoor Air-Flow

In February 2021 The Conversation wrote: “Catching COVID from surfaces is very unlikely. So perhaps we can ease up on the disinfecting.”


And then in May, The Conversation wrote: “The pressure is on for Australia to accept the coronavirus really can spread in the air we breathe.”


I ask myself, Is there any acknowledgement in Australia that this is the case?

In this Conversation article it says: “The role of airborne transmission has been denied for so long partly because expert groups that advise government have not included engineers, aerosol scientists, occupational hygienists and multidisciplinary environmental health experts.

And then they explain the difference between aerosols and droplets.

In November last year the Conversation published an article with this heading:

Many of our buildings are poorly ventilated, and that adds to COVID risks.


It says: “Poor ventilation raises the risks of super-spreader events. The risk of catching COVID-19 indoors is 18.7 times higher than in the open air, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Why has indoor airflow not been a bigger part of the conversation?

Airflow inside buildings and other enclosed areas like public transport has received less attention than other prevention strategies, in part because of debate within medical and scientific circles about the role of aerosols in the transmission of the virus, with some experts focusing on bigger droplet particles as being more important in transmission.

Here another interesting point about the airflow in buildings:

“Airflow inside buildings and other enclosed areas like public transport has received less attention than other prevention strategies, in part because of debate within medical and scientific circles about the role of aerosols in the transmission of the virus, with some experts focusing on bigger droplet particles as being more important in transmission.

But in recent weeks, the World Health Organization, the American Centers for Disease Control, the European Commission and Canada have acknowledged airborne aerosol transmission has a significant role in the spread of coronavirus. . . .”

Here another expert opinion:

“All major buildings where people congregate should be assessed for ventilation, according to Professor Mary Louise McLaws, an expert in epidemiology, hospital infection and disease control and a member of the WHO’s expert panel on COVID-19.

She said confined spaces need ventilation rates of 3 litres of air per second per person.

“It’s [the ventilation message] not getting nearly enough traction because it costs money,” she said.

“It will cost money for every single building to go back and ensure it can do 3 litres per person per second and that is an enormous undertaking.

“They can do it in a hospital and some of the older-style hospitals are now being required to improve their airflow: they’re becoming woke to the importance of this.”

The Victorian Health Department’s Building Authority has commissioned engineering assessments of the HVAC systems within wards dedicated to suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients at 20 hospital sites over the coming weeks.

Some countries are already taking substantial action, with Germany recently investing 500 million euros to improve ventilation systems in public buildings.”

The above was already said in November last year! Now we have July, that is some eight months later. And what has Australia done in the meantime, I would like to know.

For instance, can anybody tell me, how much Australia is spending right now to improve ventilation systems in public buildings?

Does Australia even discuss this issue?

Good, improvements like this cost money. But wouldn’t this be money spent the right way?

Does anyone know, how much government spends on vaccinations? Yes, I agree, vaccinations are necessary. But it seems to me to improve ventilation systems in public buildings is absolutely essential, no matter how much it costs!