What would stage five look like if it did exist?

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All eyes are on Victoria right now.

The rest of the nation – and other world leaders, too – are monitoring how stage four lockdowns will affect stubborn COVID-19 infection rates.

The stage four restrictions and lockdown have to work.

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews himself admitted Victorians have no recourse should the harshest restrictions the nation has seen were to fail.

When Mr Andrews faced the media earlier this week to announce restriction details, he admitted Victoria had nowhere to go but to “stage five”.

Yet stage five doesn’t exist. Not yet, anyway.

“It’s hard to imagine what stage five would look like, but it would radically change the way people live,” said Mr Andrews in a statement.

But what would stage five look like if it did exist?

Melbourne is already a ghost town. Thoroughfares once known as car parks anywhere between 7am and 7pm are virtually empty. City streets are devoid of life. ‘War-like’ curfews are in place. (Most) residents haven’t shown the lower halves of their faces for weeks. 

How much further could restrictions go?

Stage five could be another “shock and awe” tactic aimed at scaring people into compliance.

But University of Queensland Associate Professor Paul Griffin told Crikey that it would most likely involve restricting movement and interaction between people even more.

“The current restrictions are very strict, but stage five might involve pushing harder at the things we have in place right now,” he said.

“Reduce the reasons to leave home, reduce the businesses considered essential, and restrict curfew even more to limit the time people are allowed out.”

Harsher penalties would likely be imposed for non-compliance with existing guidelines, he added.

University of Melbourne Professor Tony Blakely says possible stage five restrictions could mean no takeaway food or delivery services, shopping allowed only once a week, and not being able to travel further than one kilometre from home.

“The things we could do more of would be to shut all retail, shut all construction rather than partial construction, stop takeaway and delivery and restrict that five kilometre buffer to one kilometre around the home, as well as further restrictions on visiting the supermarket once a week,” Prof. Blakely told Herald Sun.

It is hoped the existing restrictions will be enough to get the current outbreak under control.

Prof. Blakely said he was 95 per cent certain current restrictions would work.

Victoria’s chief medical officer, Professor Brett Sutton, hopes so, too.

“We’re not thinking about a stage five,” he said.

“We’re thinking about a successful stage four. We know it can work. But it does require – and this is what we’re talking about (with) a stage five is – everyone’s cooperation.

“Stage four will work. The only question is how fast those numbers will come down and will it come down fast enough to make elimination (of coronavirus) a realistic goal.”

Prof. Blakely said the government would have an idea in the next two to three weeks if stage four restrictions have worked and added that to eliminate the virus the number of mystery cases would need to be zero for at least 28 days.

What would you imagine stage five restrictions would look like?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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38 Comments

Total Comments: 38
  1. 0
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    For God’s sake it’s intolerable now, I think that if they contemplated a so called “Stage 5” lockdown, then that’s when the citizenry would start really pushing back, uprising and demonstrating against the Government, as is happening in countless overseas places right now. I’m out in the countryside living in a small village which is only under the Stage 3 restrictions, and I find even those just barely tolerable.

    • 0
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      Actually we in queensland take it seriously and now enjoy eating out, going to the beach etc, so pull your heads in.

    • 0
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      Ah well, can’t grumble too much I s’pose, just back from a lovely long drive out into the countryside. Went to a country cemetery which was good as you don’t need a mask to walk among the dead !

  2. 0
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    Gee not everybody lives less than 1km to the shops. My closet supermarket is 2.6 km’s. I really do not like this Professor blakely. Everything he says is really doom and gloom. Everything bad I have read about the virus, has been written by him. I should have stopped reading this article when I saw his name.

  3. 0
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    Heard on the radio this morning that the gold coast is still preparing for schoolies week because people have booked and paid for accommodation already and the Gold Coast needs the business. Really? Going by that reasoning we can expect a lot more cases because younger people really don’t seem to understand that this will effect them as well! Well done Gold Coast outstanding work!

  4. 0
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    Don’t blame the professor, Leek. There have been so many cheats blithely ignoring previous restrictions, it’s not surprising that the plague has continued to spread. I would also take issue with the way some restrictions have been applied: ‘Oh, we’ll be closing the border in two days…’! What more incentive needed for an immediate exodus?? And why in heaven’s name are joggers exempt from wearing a mask while they huff and puff their way through public areas, when it is now believed that the virus can survive for some time in the fine droplets of exhaled air???!
    And perhaps fearlessfly could consider the possible alternative of a bout of the infection while he’s chafing about the ‘intolerable’ restrictions he’s now living under…

  5. 0
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    Yes, full marks to the Gold Coast and schoolies week. It’s about time this nonsense was discontinued. There are always problems with schoolies week with drinking and drugs and why anyone would want it to go ahead at this time is beyond comprehension.

  6. 0
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    Get rid of these unelected Technocrats and open everything up.Let this thing run its course

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      Goodbye to most oldies then! Also, some who think they are bullet proof. Just grow up and follow the rules.

    • 0
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      That seems to be Sweden’s approach Steff. With a polulation less than half of Australia, they have 5,766 deaths whereas we have 255. A significant toll in health care resources. Is this what you really want here? Also, as yet there is no proof that the Swedish economy is doing better with their unemployment for June 2020 at 9.2%.

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      Nor is there any indication that the virus is “running it’s course” if you are talking about herd immunity.

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      Victoria decided to open up after pressure from the Business community who started weeping and wailing that they were losing money, 22 hind sight indicates they opened up to early unlike the lefty, socialist, union dominated, Queensland government, who it seems listened to the technocrats and did and continue to do the sensible and safe actions. THANK YOU AND WELL DONE.

    • 0
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      Nice to read one critical comment Steff.
      The truth is not always the same as the majority decision. Pope John Paul II.
      “If a lie is repeated often enough all the dumb jackasses in the world not only get to believe it, they even swear by it”.

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      That being your idea, why don’t we also pull doctos and nurses away from looking after patients. Currently they are doing a fantastic job, but are getting infected. That way, why should they putting themselves in danger to attend to people like you who are prepared to let the death toll rise.

  7. 0
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    Let’s see whether the upcoming planned demonstration is allowed to proceed..it will say a lot about the vic government.

    • 0
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      The organisers’ homes have been raided and they have been arrested. Time has past for putting up with incitement and blatant rule breaking.
      Support the people trying to support you.

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      Ah good to hear that the leaders of these dangerous nitwits are being pre-emptively dealt with. There is no room for legal niceties in Victoria at this time, lock ’em all up and let them appeal their way all the way to the High Court before they see the light of day again – if then!

  8. 0
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    I am sure there are some Idiots out there who are purposely spreading the virus. That includes the wankers who refuse to wear a face mask. If the Vic Gov had started restrictions in the beginning, before things got out of control maybe things would be better.

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      My sentiments exactly. You can count the so called 400 (it seems to be the magic number of late) in that wanker league. They’ll be protesting the compulsory wearing of masks. Let’s hope Darwin’s theory prevails here.

  9. 0
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    As it has always been stressed, the key to getting this virus under control is by everyone obeying the rules. If they don’t, and I do not care whether it is young or elderly acting irresponsibly, then further restrictions must be applied. It is that serious, if this virus becomes uncontrollable it WILL mean total collapse of our society and all lives will become chaos. WE should do what the Chinese do, those found in breach of the isolation rules to be placed in detention in a secure facility far from society and remain there until the pandemic is over. With the irresponsible held in a facility will mean the pandemic will be over much quicker. However, the young, as usual, are brain dead and only think of themselves. Just think of this, young people, if this pandemic goes out of control you will die from it also because that is what happens to a virus, by expanding into more people, it becomes more aggressive and mutates.

  10. 0
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    You think this is intolerable? Have you ever lived with a disability where you can’t do any of those things anyway??? Think about it??? Many out there, this is no different to their everyday living over years and years.
    Let’s put things in perspective. I hope you never are struck down with a disability that renders the simplest task impossible, ie writing, cooking, going out, walking, showering, communication only when vision allows…..because you simply would not manage. Suck it up – it’s only for a short time.

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