Squiz Today / 02 April 2020
Squiz Today – Thursday, 2 April
THREE MINUTE SQUIZ
“I’ve learned that all of this is so out of our control and that we just have to roll with the punches.”
Caught up in the great coronavirus border shutdown of 2020, Squizer Charlotte Goninan has just spent two weeks in lockdown in a hotel in Peru with her best mate. Heading into another two weeks of isolation, please welcome Charlotte to the Three Minute Squiz.
AMERICA BRACES FOR CORONAVIRUS CASUALTIES
America is staring down the loss of 100,000 to 240,000 lives to the COVID-19 outbreak - and that’s the government’s ‘best case’ scenario. The grim prediction was unveiled as the official modelling was released yesterday by President Donald Trump and top health officials. And it was matched by a plea to Americans to adhere to the government's mandated restrictions to slow the spread with a warning that the result could be much worse.
GEEZ THAT’S A LOT OF PEOPLE…
Is sure is. The US has the most coronavirus cases in the world - 200,000 of the world's 910,000. And its death toll overtook China's this week with more than 4,000 people succumbing to the virus to date. Of particular concern is what’s happening in New York. President Trump, a New Yorker, said it was these harrowing scenes and the modelling presented to him by the experts that convinced him to abandon his ‘reopen by Easter’ chutzpah and extend social distancing guidelines for a month. Three out of four Americans are currently subject to some or all of the restrictions - a big deal for the biggest economy in the world and its 245 million people.
WHAT’S AUSTRALIA’S MODEL SAY?
Don't know, we haven't spoken to Elle Macpherson about it. C'mon, gags are hard to come by these days, so give us that one... The answer is there have been calls for the government to release it, including from the Australian Academy of Science. On Monday, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said it would be “unlocked” this week, but it’s unclear what that actually means. Watch this space…
SQUIZ THE REST
MEANWHILE, IN OTHER CORONAVIRUS NEWS…
• Fatalities in Oz rose to 21 yesterday following the deaths of two people from NSW. The number of cases rose by another 300-ish to 4,864, and despite our curve starting to flatten, we need to keep up the good work on social distancing and other restrictions, officials said. And they said anyone over 65yo or with underlying health issue should get a flu shot asap...
• Grinding to a halt yesterday was work at the Port of Melbourne with stevedores from logistics company DP World refusing to unload a ship from China over coronavirus concerns. It's carrying toilet paper, surgical masks and tinned food. Sixty workers have been stood down as a result. Also refusing orders is German cruise ship Artania which wants to remain in port in Fremantle despite Premier Mark McGowan’s demands for it to leave.
• The death toll in Europe has exceeded 30,000. Spain had a terrible day recording 864 deaths taking its fatalities to more than 4,000. The UK also had its worst day of the crisis so far with 563 deaths. And Indonesia has declared a national emergency, but experts think many there already have the virus.
• And Wimbledon has been cancelled. "It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of the Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars but ...we believe it is ultimately the right decision,” said club chairman Ian Hewitt. Amongst the cancelled fixtures, Sportsbet has spotted an opportunity…
• Across the world, 910,000 people have confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 45,000 deaths, and 190,000 people have recovered.
NEW POWER DEAL PUT TO VENEZUELA
As COVID-19 threatens to exacerbate Venezuela’s years-long political and economic crisis, the US has offered to lift crippling economic sanctions in exchange for the country’s opposing political forces agreeing to a power-sharing deal. The US has proposed that President Nicolás Maduro steps down with a temporary council put in place until new elections take place. Note: Maduro’s regime is considered illegitimate by many around the world, including Australia. Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who is recognised as the country’s interim president by the world, would also be prohibited from serving on the council. The US, which accused Maduro of "narco-terrorism" last week, has not been able to shift him from power. And the chances of him stepping down seem as likely as Queensland MP Bob Katter doing something conventional.
HOME PRICES UP IN MARCH, BUT SLIDE TO COME
Home prices were up in almost every Australian capital city in March, according to the latest CoreLogic data, but they’re expected to fall over the coming months as COVID-19 uncertainty turns away would-be buyers. Nationwide, home prices rose by an average of 0.7% - the lowest monthly gain since the market began improving in July last year - with the largest gains in Darwin (2%) and Sydney (1.1%). But AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver predicts prices will fall by at least 5% this year as coronavirus shutdowns impact the economy, with a “significant risk” they could fall by 20% depending on how the pandemic plays out.
PETROL STARTS TO COME DOWN
With petrol prices set to drop below $1/litre across Australia in the coming weeks as global prices plummet to an 18-year low, some Aussie petrol retailers have been accused of price gouging. Global demand for oil has crashed amid the COVID-19 outbreak. And the Saudi-Russia price war, which has seen oil prices fall to their lowest level since December 2003, continues. But in Sydney, prices across different retailers differed up to a record 70c/litre, according to the NRMA. “We’re in the middle of a global pandemic. Families are struggling. People don’t know what their job future looks like… this is not the time to be hoarding profits at the bowser,” said NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury. Not that you’re driving very far, are you…
TAKING A SEC TO LOOK UP
One of the silver linings of the current state of affairs is that there is a massive reduction in stuff in the air. As the ongoing pandemic triggers global shutdowns of factories and an “unprecedented” decline in global air traffic, as well as road traffic, pollution levels have dropped around the world. And those clearer skies are good news for stargazers. If reaching for the stars is a bit too lofty for you, just check out the weather. If you’re in the east of our great nation, it’s about to get wet and cold. Which means it’s time to crack out some new home/office footwear - uggs.
WHAT A SPUDTACULAR IDEA...
For anyone thinking of spicing up their morning video-call with the team by turning on a jazzy filter - you’ve been warned.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Job Vacancies, February
Anniversary of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours going #1 where it stayed for 31 weeks (1977)
Birthdays for Michael Fassbender (1977), Michael Clarke (1981)
Anniversary of the birthdays of Hans Christian Andersen (1805), Serge Gainsbourg (1928), Marvin Gaye (1939)
Anniversary of the deaths of Samuel Morse (1872), Pope Saint John Paul II (2005) and Winnie Mandela (2018)
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