I've got a short time to talk about COVID crisis in Australia. So I'm in my best to get through a fair amount of information. So that's why I was asked to talk about today.
So I have actually worked on three books on.
COVID the kind of crisis internationally COVID societies bought that you see there on the left with the subtitle theorizing the coronavirus crisis.
I'll talk a bit more about it in a minute and talk a bit more about the content about that as the subtitle suggests is.
Social theory book.
Then there's an edited book with my colleague in Australia Karen Willis called COVID-19 crisis social perspectives and that does have contributions from different countries quite a few family Europe.
For example it actually came that came back and came out in April this year.
And it came out of a special section of the general health sociology review that I also edited and when I put out the call for papers,
In April last year and very early days of the COVID crisis received many many
Very good abstract small around the world. We could only choose seven to go in the special section of health sociology review.
That was published I think around August September last year but then we had many other others that we could select to go into this book so that's what that's how that book that book ended up coming into being,
And then with my postoperial team at the vitalities lab at the University of New South Wales please southern Marianne Clark and,
I led the book to face mask and COVID times associated material and analysis and again that's got a very international perspective and
We talk about a whole range of issues to do with how we understand the face mask which of course has become a very
Symbolic as well as a very I guess Monday simple object to protect against COVID infection
And we look at the politics around face masks which of course in many countries there's been protests.
Against when face masks,
We look at the environmental impact disposable face mask and how they're choking up the environment and people using them in throwing them away carelessly,
We look at the whole sort of entrepreneurial realizm around making face masks reusable face masks and the sort of commodity culture around face masks that is a face mask for every occasion
Whether it be christenings or bars or Halloween or
Christmas or funerals or weddings you can find a face mask that's customized for any,
Any occasion these days so there's a whole sort of commercial culture community culture around face masks as well so it's quite an interesting phenomenon that's really erupted particularly in
In the global north since the event of COVID but I'm not going to talk about those things today because I'm gonna focus.
But just to say that with this book the covid's in the coronavirus crisis it's it'll be too loud it's apparently impressed it'll be due out in March next year.
And what I do in this book is I look at the histories and the narratives of contagion so I can text the coronavirus pandemic.
Within other pandemics starting with the the playground breaks in European times and social cultural.
A perspectives and approaches and ways of dealing with the spread of infectious disease that have happened ever since those many of the times
Then I'll take a political economy perspective and look at the background political dimensions of COVID globally I then take a zucchini and perspective and look at via politics and governmentality and also cover the work
People like Roberto Esposito and,
Georgia again I command who had a fairly controversial perspective from a biological perspective on
COVID but also the necrob politics of Nabe. I I discussed in this in this chapter. I then move on to
The well known German sociology and we'll cat how Beck's work on society can be applied.
You understanding the macro political dimensions of the COVID crisis that I also draw on Mary Douglas's work the British and the college Mary Douglas's way to look at the symbolic,
And cultural dimensions of risk,
And how her work can be applied there. I have a chapter on gender and queer theory and how they can be applied to analyze the code crisis and then I bring in socio material,
In Moldingham and Siri took the more than human worlds of the COVID crisis globally and then I stepped short reflections.
So when I'm analyzing what happened in Australia.
From a political and experiential perspective I'm also.
Constantly thinking of of how to kind of contextualize what's happening in Australia and the global context as well because of course it is a global phenomenon.
I just to move on to what's happened in Australia so this is AA graph that I took from Bell Walden,
Data which is an international website that has many many interesting data points not just on on the COVID crisis but on,
Other dimensions of of everyday life. They do have a lot of statistics on COVID so you can easily look at these kinds of data,
And so I just really went on to that website today just to see what the latest data was so that,
Graph shows you that from March the first 2022 November the eighth was the most recent.
Period of the the day to where shown today that in Australia daily new confirmed COVID cases per 1 million people we had a small
Peak in March which is when we entered our first national lockdown the lockdown went very effectively then we had another peak in August which was
Actually mostly in just one state of Australia Victoria and in the capital city which is the second largest city in Australia Melbourne
Where there was an extended lockdown in our winter.
In 2020 then we had a long period where there were very few cases in Australia we were pretty much at the point of the eliminating COVID full.
For when people
Other countries and there was no winter quarantine but unfortunately there were few sort of escapes of the virus and so there was the odd case that went into the community during that long period but then the delta,
Variant reached Australia and we had a massive peep as you can see there that we're really only just getting over.
And it did affect again Melbourne but it also affected our largest city Sydney and both cities went into extended lockdowns again.
Earlier this year and I only just coming out of those lockdowns now.
So I'm just comparative progressively taken from the the same data so just to show how the Australian experience compares with with similar high income,
Countries, western countries. So, United Kingdom.
Well up there in terms of daily new confirmed COVID cases per 1 million people.
And I I just wanted to look at the last 2 months actually just took just to have a bit of look at how the dealer had infected these different countries.
Germany is the course of had a bit of AA peak lately with your cases United States has gone from quite a high place to,
To gradually going down France is doing well below the other countries in Sweden and Canada and where in Australia we're just there.
With very low cases per 1 million people comparative to these other high income countries and New Zealand is there below us too because I know there's been a lot of international interest in both Australia and New Zealand course,
Quite similar in terms of our geographical region but we're also island nations.
Cuz it's just much bigger than New Zealand and has a much bigger population but we both countries introduced fairly vigil lockdowns and closing of international waters early on in the pandemic and therefore,
Manage to pursue a fairly effective elimination strategy until the doctor there it came along earlier this year.
So vaccination has been a huge issue in Australia. Over the last few months.
We had a problem where our government basically fumbled, getting enough doses in. We had controversies over astrozenica which we had a lot of supply of because.
It is made in Australia but there was there were controversies over missed associated with.
Taking yesterday's car very rare risk but it got a lot of media attention and we didn't have enough supplies of Fisa so for a long time Australia's down there very long this grass,
In July the 4 months ago but since then we have made an amazing recovery and really got really high numbers vaccinated so we now.
The same group of countries we're now up there towards the top with 67%.
Having heads both doses of the vaccines are available to us so we've really made a huge
Keep striving in terms of population being vaccinated. Over just 4 months.
So I've had identified six phases in Australia's COVID-19 response so the first phase is the notion that was a distant threat we didn't really feel much of risk,
In January and February 2020 because we saw this something that was affecting mostly China and then Europe but,
No something that was really coming within our borders but then it finally did before too long so we entered phase two which was the national lockdown from May 2020 so in March 2020 to May
2020 it lasted for about 10 weeks.
That's when we had our first train cases and they were very rigid restrictions and they were in not any national border closures but.
Border closures between our different states and territories in Australia so we couldn't go from one area of Australia to another,
During that time then we we ended the COVID oh phase from June 2020 to January 2021.
Quite a long phase where we did manage to pretty much eliminate over over over several weeks in fact there'll be periods of time when then we know.
Active COVID cases at all anywhere in Australia. But that did include the prolonged Victorian lockdown to deal with their second wave.
Then we had the vaccine dilemmas and I've just referred to which basically went from February this year to May this year where we turn to the idea that vaccines were the way out
But we we didn't have any foot supplies so whether we wanted to or not we could really go and get and that's vaccination campaign happening
Then what I call the delta response where we did have the the variant into Australia and it did very quickly because it's my infectious takeover,
First in Sydney then at then in Melbourne mostly and also in Canberra our national capital so
Those three sittings did go through extended lockdowns very recently from June to September 2021 now we've entered the period.
That I call living with COVID which is the way the government talks about it from October. To the present time.
Where we've virtually used some restrictions in those three cities and in the states that both cities are in New South Wales this territory and Victoria,
Basically together those those states and cities that the largest cities sending Melbourne and then the largest states in terms of population so there was a significant
A portion probably at least half this train population that we're in lockdown for for a few months actually very very street lockdown,
But we're now focusing now that we've got very high levels of vaccinations we're focusing on offering third third doses and opening up live to everyone again and we've just opened up our international water for the first time really since.
March 2020. As many other countries have found it's.
Being the people from a low socioeconomic status who have been most affected.
By COVID cases and particularly deaths just because there is very strong interactions between social economic disadvantage and being someone who's exposed to COVID,
Infection because you're an essential.
Jobs and you can't shoulder at home. But also preexisting health conditions are higher in being people who have low socioeconomic status. They sorts of dimensions all come together but to mean that they've been far more affected.
Then the more privileged people in Island society which is very common story around the world.
And just to you know don't have too much time but just to finish off I just have a few examples of popular culture from Australia that kinds of COVID campaigns that were running Australia.
Campaigns urgent people to get vaccine or the previous one were about pretty much being very careful about hymn and.
Covering your face and nose and washing hands and so on but then we moved on to,
Crove vaccination campaigns I've been taking photographs in where I'm living so that it's a document visually.
What it's like living through the COVID pandemic in my own context so I've got a few there's that my gym there in the left we had squares on the floor marked out so that we
Couldn't get too close to people there's very specials that we were urged to to buy to protect ourselves our COVID safe app which was,
They're ineffective. All the kinds of signs that were around and they practices people had to engage in.
When they were checking in using their phones when they were going to places like supermarkets wearing masks there.
Testing, clinics, the way that face masks have been discarded in natural settings, the way that there were no, that's a flight center. They were no flights being.
Being advertised there and I thought I saw that I sort of thought of that to show that no one was travelling anywhere.
And he's just some funny kind of popular cultural representations of the state premiers for the system in state where we have a central government in also state governments.
It's state premiers became quite well known giving regular press conferences and.
Being put on these kinds of things like t-shirts and mugs. It became very well known.
And finally this is a Christmas ornament that pretty much encapsulates the Australian experience for 2021 that's available for sale I thought I'd put that there because it just puts everything together in terms of what it was like to be
Living through the crisis in Australia. Thank you.