The Corona Crucible – Fri 10th April

World 1.6 million      USA 460K+    Spain 150K+  Italy 140K+    Germany 118K+       

World Fatalities        95K+

Today is Good Friday, but perhaps we should rename it Awful Friday.

New York State now has more cases of COVID-19 than any country in the world with new infections rising at more than twice the speed of anywhere in Europe. New cases in the US as a whole are increasing by more than 30,000 every day. But that’s just those who are being tested. The actual number could be far, far worse.

It’s estimated that around 200 people are dying at home every day in New York City and these deaths are not being recorded in the official figures. The fact is they simply don’t have the capacity to test those who are dying at home. They don’t even have enough basic equipment or tests for front line health workers. But New York governor Cuomo insists they are flattening the curve, because there are fewer hospital admissions.

Prisoners are digging mass graves on Hart Island in the Bronx. Across America cars and people line up for miles at food banks that are overwhelmed by the demand.

If the horror of this pandemic is not enough, the aftermath could be worse. The long term future is looking grim. The IMF is saying the global economic fallout from COVID-19 could exceed that of the Great Depression. Worldwide trade could plummet by one third this year alone.

The world is shrinking and this will have some positive effects too. It will seed creativity at the local level, but there will be many people from all parts of the globe who will fall through the cracks as poverty becomes much more widespread. It will take a very long time to recover.

There’s a disturbing report from South Korea. Over 90 patients who had recovered from the virus, have tested positive again, in what they say are ‘reactivated cases’.

Australia is in an enviable position to get through this crisis. We must keep doing what we are doing and staying home. It will still take time, but we are on the cusp of slowing the infection to the point that it dies out. The rate of infection here has dropped sharply over the past week. There are now 23 countries with more cases than we have in Australia. India, Norway and Ireland now have more. Meanwhile, in a small piece of Good Friday news, UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has been released from intensive care.