[AMA] I'm a VIC-Based COVID-19 Modeller

Hey Guys!

New restrictions for everyone in VIC today! I'm an academic at a major university based in VIC and have been involved in projects modelling the outbreak of COVID-19 as well as its social and economic impacts. By way of background, I have worked as an economist for my entire professional career, in government, private sector, teaching, and academic roles.

Ask me anything! I'll reply if I feel I'm qualified.

NB. This is not political and I won't comment on any overly political points. My focus is on understanding what the data says, disentangling what are facts from what is sensationalism, and thinking about the economic impacts of the pandemic.

Comments

  • Overall, do you think the lockdown was worth it?

    • +43 votes

      It depends on what the objectives were. The first time around, the primary objective of the lockdown was slow everything down whilst we figured out what to do with returning travellers and set up infrastructure in order to quarantine them appropriately. By that metric, yes, the lockdown was very successful. Most states, apart from VIC, have done quite well and day-to-day life has largely returned to normal. It was also very successful in VIC until the second outbreak occurred, which is a separate issue from the first lockdown IMO.

      If you're asking about this lockdown, it's much more difficult to say. The simple truth is that the outbreak we have now in VIC is very different from the first outbreak as it's no longer just primarily returning travellers. As with most things, there are diminishing returns. I doubt that the results from the new lockdown will be drastically different from the existing one because it doesn't actually address the sources of the spread. Most of the industries with the highest incidents are continuing to operate and there are no new enforcement measures for those who have tested positive.

      • Today was individual restrictions, tomorrow they're announcing business restrictions. Some businesses can continue as normal, some will need to reduce operations and others will have to close. He is also discussing enforcement more tomorrow.

      • -52 votes

        It depends on what the objectives were.

        What?!

        Did it stop the pandemic or not?

        If it didn't, they (profanity) up.

      • Absolutely brilliant assessment. I second the fact that no enforcement measures exist for those who tested positive. That is a very important aspect not being addressed. There are covid19 positive people walking around with masks. That is just ridiculous.

  • +14 votes

    Thanks for doing this, especially given there's a lot of homegrown keyboard economists and medical professionals.

    Have you modelled the social and economic impacts of the lockdown as opposed to the long term impacts of what would happen if we never had any restrictions to begin with?

    I've seen a lot of self-made 'researchers' who claim that the impacts of the lockdowns and restrictions are not proportional to the impact of the disease etc. and it drives me insane because it just sounds like pure speculation. Not to say there isn't an impact of the restrictions but these people are just speculating instead of having any kind of research to back their claims.

    • +37 votes

      Have you modelled the social and economic impacts of the lockdown as opposed to the long term impacts of what would happen if we never had any restrictions to begin with?

      No, I haven't personally as that's not my expertise (I'm not really a macroeconomist). However, there's a lot of research in this area. There is some evidence to show that countries which have had harsher lockdown measures fared worse economically, but it is impossible to tell whether this is because of the harsher lockdown or because they've been hit harder because of the virus.

      There's a lot of research looking at past pandemics. The evidence from the 1918 flu is that the economic recovery was swift and I suspect it will be very similar this time around. People love to predict doomsday scenarios, but the truth is that if I had to make a bet, I would bet that August 2021 will be no different to August 2019.

      It's similar to how people predicted that air travel would never be the same again after 9/11. Sure, there were additional security measures in place, but the world largely moved on very quickly. It's the same with this. I think it will have a long term impact on hygiene and just general awareness about disease, but people will move on quickly.

      I've seen a lot of self-made 'researchers' who claim that the impacts of the lockdowns and restrictions are not proportional to the impact of the disease etc. and it drives me insane because it just sounds like pure speculation.

      Haha! Even with data, a lot of it is speculation because so many things are happening at the same time that it's difficult to separate out any effects. There are people who do structural modelling where they simulate different "states of the world" by varying input parameters to these complex models that simulate human interactions, but there 's a lot of evidence to show that these sorts of structural models aren't very good at forecasting.

      Not to say there isn't an impact of the restrictions but these people are just speculating instead of having any kind of research to back their claims.

      Ultimately academia and politics answer different questions, something that I only learned years after I had already decided to be an academic (otherwise I would have become a politician or policy advisor instead).

      Basically, academia is concerned with a curiosity for the truth. Doing research is fun because nobody will die from it. Doing policy is much more difficult because people can (and do) die from bad policy. Not to mention that politics is clouded with a whole bunch of other things aside from what is "correct".

      • I would bet that August 2021 will be no different to August 2019.

        What makes you think the virus will be gone from the world by August 2021?

        • What makes you think the virus will be gone from the world by August 2021?

          Good news with vaccines, for a relatively wealthy country like Australia we'll be close to the first to get dibs. We also have one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers here (CSL).

          • @p1 ama: We were talking about the world though not just Australia, even with a vaccine it's not easy to eliminate a virus.

            • @trapper: We dont need to eliminate the virus, only reduce the impact to the point where the panic/drastic measures subside. At that point the virus' continued existence will fade from media/common consciousness & only those directly impacted will even think about it day to day.

              We wont "eliminate" this virus for a long, long time.

      • -33 votes

        But the 1918 epidemic ended because it burnt itself out - through old fashioned herd immunity.

        COVID is more similar to the 1957, 1968, 2009 flu epidemics… which no one has even heard of.

        Sweden will see about a 2% increase in annual deaths - just statistical noise. Without the incredible media attention its unlikely we would even be aware of COVID.

        COVID is fundamentally a virus driven by politicians and the media. The impact is more akin to WW1 or WW2, without the deaths of any young people (apart from suicide or interrupted regular medical care).

      • There is some evidence to show that countries which have had harsher lockdown measures fared worse economically,

        Which countries were they?

        but it is impossible to tell whether this is because of the harsher lockdown or because they've been hit harder because of the virus.

        Do you think there could be other variables at play?

        there 's a lot of evidence to show that these sorts of structural models aren't very good at forecasting.

        Why is that?

  • Do you think we should’ve gone to stage 4 earlier?

    • +65 votes

      I don't see Stage 4 as being that different from Stage 3. I think that we should have enforced Stage 3 a lot better, and I think that there should have been much stricter enforcement of restrictions on those who test positive. I'm well aware that harsher restrictions on those tested positive will deter people from getting tested, but this sort of thing can be sorted out with good policy.

      E.g. if you test positive, you have to stay home and wear a GPS tracker. In return, you get $500 per week in support payments to help you stay home and you'll get groceries delivered to your door every week.

      The problem is that when you just say "righto, you've tested positive, remember to stay home!" (and people who have tested positive were technically still allowed to go out and exercise, mind you), you wonder why nobody really followed the directives.

  • Do you think penalties are high enough? Only $1652 for going out while Covid positive, only $200 for not wearing a mask.

    • +48 votes

      Studies generally show that harsher penalties are not a good way of enforcing laws. This is in relation to minor offences like traffic violations. I suppose it will be the same here.

      I think we needed better monitoring of those who tested positive, e.g.

      (1) GPS tracking if they wish to isolate at home
      (2) Support payments and/or grocery deliveries for those who have to isolate
      (3) An option to move into government run hotels if they live in a household with essential workers or do not want to infect family…etc.

      Ultimately fining people because they go out will only breed discontent, right? You have to address the root cause of why people are going out in the first place.

      • I think your GPS tracking bracelet isn’t a practical or realistic idea. If someone wants to take it off, they will, and they’ll just leave it at home. You also have to pay for these, get huge numbers made, and pay for the monitoring of the bracelets. The government would be better off taking over hotels and putting people who have tested positive into them, and using the armed forces to police the buildings. Right now there are hundreds of empty hotels across the city, they could do with the business. That way you can feed, monitor and maintain strict quarantine.

        • +13 votes

          I agree - we can hash out those sorts of details, but the point is that you need to have some way of monitoring positive people and making sure they don't interact with others.

          However, I can already see the outcry from such a policy. The problem is that with public policy, if you quarantine one person, it's tyranny, but if you quarantine everyone, hey it's fine. Such is why we have widespread lockdowns rather than highly target lockdowns.

          Evidence shows that highly targeted lockdowns work too.

        • Gps tracking with heartbeat sensor, tries to fool that, but yes, i do agree put all positive covid in a hotel or mass field hospital, monitor and if they need help they can have it straight away

          • @hunterhalo: Wouldn't that create a huge disincentive for people getting voluntarily tested?

            • @Jolakot: get sick, and high percentage of being dead vs subduce the disease sometimes you need a little bit of CCCP for it to work, even today after the announce of stage 4, I can see so so so many flaws that allow covid carrier to sneak out and "exercise", please homie

              • @hunterhalo: I get your point, but you're also missing the fact that the people who are most likely to get infected, are also the people who are also the least likely to feel it as more than a bad cold. And they're the people who are most at risk of job/hour loses due to casualisation of the workforce, a lot of young employees have a genuine fear of being told to not come in after the 2 weeks are up, and there's no support at all if that happens for anyone under 22 (jobSeeker isn't available to anyone under 22 in 90% of circumstances).

                Hell of a lot easier to be a bit selfish and continue on with your life as if you just have a cold, than to go get tested and risk being forced to wear an ankle monitor or being locked away or losing your only source of income.

                It might work if there were positive incentives for it, like being paid a decent supplement that only stopped after you returned to work + the gov takes care of all your needs (dog walking, food based on your dietary requirements and preferences is delivered to you without charge, mental health care etc), but I don't know of a single young person who'd trust the government to not bungle that completely given their response to the tower lock downs.

            • +2 votes

              @Jolakot: That hardly even matters when people who have been tested and have positive results for COVID are still continuing to go and work, exercise and anything else they feel like they are entitled to do.
              But yes I think having super strict tracking on the individual would make people avoid testing more than they already are.
              It also sets the precedence that oh in the past we tracked people at X level, why don't we start including more of that in everyday life because of the "new normal" as such.

              • @91rs:

                That hardly even matters when people who have been tested and have positive results for COVID are still continuing to go and work, exercise and anything else they feel like they are entitled to do.

                What you're saying here just doesn't factually add up. You're saying that people who have tested positive are continuing to go to work because they "feel entitled". How does that make any logical sense?

                The overwhelming majority of people I know don't actually want to go to work, but have to because it puts food on the table. When I was a student, I remember waking up with a massive headache and barely able to stand, but still having to trudge to work because I was a casual and no work means no $$$ and no $$$ means a tougher life. Not to mention that I knew calling in sick could mean I won't get any shifts for the next few weeks.

                This is particularly true of young people who work in casualised industries.

                The reason people aren't taking time off work is because it puts them at risk, including at risk of losing their job. If you had support and protections for people with COVID-19, would you think that every single person who tested positive would be itching to take as much time off work as possible?

                But yes I think having super strict tracking on the individual would make people avoid testing more than they already are.

                You're still missing the point. The point is not about whether people want to test, it is about whether people want to isolate. If people don't want to test, it is simply because they don't want to isolate.

                Why don't people want to isolate? I've already answered that plenty of times.

                It also sets the precedence that oh in the past we tracked people at X level, why don't we start including more of that in everyday life because of the "new normal" as such.

                I'm a civil libertarian and would gladly fight for our freedoms. That's why I'd support something like this. Because guess what, we're not free right now. Everyone is locked inside of their homes with a curfew from 8pm - 5am. That is the definition of not free.

                The way I sort of see it is that it's similar to increased airport security after 9/11. You either have to make some concessions or nobody flies at all. It's the same thing here, you have to make those tough calls. The countries that have done best are the countries that have made those tough calls.

                • @p1 ama: Thank you so much for your long and detailed replies, good to see government policy is kinda following what you said re: supports. Sorry about the idiots on here :(

      • Studies generally show that harsher penalties are not a good way of enforcing laws. This is in relation to minor offences like traffic violations. I suppose it will be the same here.

        Perhaps there is no stats to draw on to answer this, but wouldn't incredibly harsh fines that instill genuine fear be more effective?

        $1,652, go on a payment plan and you won't even notice it and just move on.

        $50,000 however is enough to significantly financially incapacitate an individual, which seems commensurate to the damage said individual does to the greater community by being selfish/idiotic.

        • How much do you think the fine for running a red light or DUI should be? Way more immediately dangerous

          • @BobLim: I'd argue if there was a $50,000 fine for doing so that very, very few would risk it.

            People DUI because the risk is low.

            She'll be right, im close enough to 0.05. Fine is probably couple hundred bucks and some points.

            If $50,000 is on the table, people wouldn't even touch their keys.

            • @ptenkae: If $50k was the fine.. most people would end up in court saying they can't afford it.. the court would apply principles of justice and let them walk, creating a revolving door of offenders. WA started crushing cars for hoons, and all it did was create issues where people were hooning in stolen cars or their parents/ friends car where the owner had no control. Tougher penalties have law of diminishing return. $50k sounds great, but probably not effective.

        • +2 votes

          Perhaps there is no stats to draw on to answer this, but wouldn't incredibly harsh fines that instill genuine fear be more effective?

          No. Even the death penalty is not super effective as a deterrent (compare murder rate in USA to Australia), because most people deliberately breaking laws think they will get away with it.

          What is effective is increasing the chance of being caught. Frequent police checks, for example.

        • +16 votes

          Perhaps there is no stats to draw on to answer this, but wouldn't incredibly harsh fines that instill genuine fear be more effective?

          No, there is actually a lot of data supporting the exact opposite of this, which is that when penalties become so large, people revolt and the rule you are trying to enforce becomes extremely unpopular. E.g. why don't you fine people $50,000 for speeding? Because that seems so ridiculous to most people that it would turn them against speed limits in general and it'd be completely unsustainable.

          $1,652, go on a payment plan and you won't even notice it and just move on.

          You're misguided. Actually read what I've been saying. Fines are largely irrelevant because the number of people getting fined and the number of people "doing the wrong thing" is a minority. The majority of the outbreaks are not from people driving around, it is from some very particular industries which operate in ways that we need to address.

          Even if the fine was high, even if there were nobody "breaking the rules", it would hardly change what the numbers look like.

          $50,000 however is enough to significantly financially incapacitate an individual, which seems commensurate to the damage said individual does to the greater community by being selfish/idiotic.

          Again you are horribly misinformed. I would say completely misinformed. You are looking at what is probably 10% of the problem and completely ignoring the 90% of the problem that is actually driving what we're seeing.

          If $50,000 is on the table, people wouldn't even touch their keys.

          These sorts of statements show that you have no idea what you're talking about. Show me one single example of where being "tough on crime" has actually worked. Now go and look at the number of examples where being "tough on crime" (particularly small petty crimes) have devolved into a complete shitshow. Don't listen to me. Go look at the evidence and do your own research. Otherwise you're quite literally just making things up.

          In case you are lazy:

          1) https://www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/Pages/bocsar_media_releases/20...

          The largest study of fines (as a deterrent) ever conducted in Australia has shown that higher fines do not reduce the risk of re-offending.

          2) https://nij.ojp.gov/topics/articles/five-things-about-deterr...

          NIJ’s “Five Things About Deterrence” summarizes a large body of research related to deterrence of crime into five points. Two of the five things relate to the impact of sentencing on deterrence — “Sending an individual convicted of a crime to prison isn’t a very effective way to deter crime” and “Increasing the severity of punishment does little to deter crime.”

          3) https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/deterrence.pdf

          policies that increase the likelihood of being caught deter crime more effectively than those that increase punishment.

          4) https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/380471?seq=1

          Do you need more evidence that you're just cooking things up?

  • What is your professional opinion regarding herd immunity vs lockdowns and its effect on our economy? Which option will give us the best change for a quicker economic recovery?

    • +16 votes

      Depends when a vaccine will come. Given very good news on that front (and I'm not an immunologist), it's almost definitely the case that a lockdown in the short run would be a better bet. Medical professionals seem to be quite bullish about a vaccine coming soon. Nobel laureate Peter Doherty has said that he suspects one will be available by the end of October and Fauci has said the end of the year.

      If there was strong evidence that no vaccine would be available or if one was at least 5 years away (say), then yes, obviously a lockdown makes no sense.

        • That's what "available by the end of October" means. How can they approve something that hasn't gone through the stages of approval.

          To even make your comment, you sound like you are travelling the path of pseudoscience

          Do you also believe people die "with" COVID not "from" COVID?

          • @Superannuation: It took the FDA 13 years to approve a hep b vaccine.

            At the end of October is 3 days before November 3. D. Trump will get his second term. The first thing he will do is to sign an executive order to approve an unsafe vaccine and take credit for savings the American people and the rest of the world.

            • @whooah1979: The TGA isn't under the control of Donald Trump.

              Approvals can get sped up where a substantially similar product has already been approved (usually the case for generics).
              The TGA is very conservative (and I don't mean in the USA "muh rights" way)
              Their primary concern is safety. They do not assess pricing and are separate from Medicare and the PBS.

              There are approximately 125 potential vaccines in development globally.

              A vaccine may not be available in 6 months, but this fear mongering is really not appropriate. Not everyone's opinion has equal value, stop taking "political commentators" opinions as facts. They have no more expertise than you do

      •  

        Hopefully Vacine will be available late this year.

        But, from what I understand I think they probably mean that results showing vaccine is safe and effective will be out by OCtober or end of the year. Then manufacturing enough doses will probably take many more months.

        Is there any data to your knowledge about how long it would take to go from having a proven vaccine to having enough people vaccinated.

        • A lot of the promising vaccines are already being manufactured even though they haven't received final approvals yet. That way if they are approved they can be distributed ASAP to as many people as possible (countries will likely distribute to the most vulnerable first). Obviously there won't be 7.5 billion doses ready to go the minute the vaccine is approved but hopefully it won't take too long

      • My mother in law is working on getting plasma from recovered CV19 patients in the UK. She is not giving positive news, in that experimental antibody blood doping is saving people’s lives, but that the amount of recovered CV19 patients who actually have detectable antibodies is extremely low (I think she said 30%, vs 95%+ for a common Flu). This likely means that even if a vaccine was made from those who do keep the antibodies, it would be viable for only 30% of the population (who would probably develop a natural immunity anyway). She is in charge of plasma collection for a huge catchment area in the UK, and this right now is the primary focus of her job.

        • You are right. There is a lot of information that immunity might not be very strong. There have never been a vaccine developed for coronavirus. Flu vaccine is different every year because virus mutates very quickly.

          Governments should have stopped all travel once they heard about what was happening in Wuhan. To pretend you can have the economy going and fight the virus at the same time is fanciful thinking.

          • @netjock: Hindsight is 2020 mate. Should governments have stopped all travel at once when SARS hit? Ebola? Zika? Bird flu? Swine flu? Bovine virus?

            (mod: edited) at its best.

            • @Jaystea: Okay mate. If you think China shut down Wuhan and HuBei (the alleged source of the virus) and passenger flights were still flying zig zagging across the world.

              Sorry but the virus list you have:

              SARS hit? Ebola? Zika? Bird flu? Swine flu? Bovine virus?

              SARS: if you ever been to Hong Kong and China they still have temperature sensors at the airport and border crossings.
              Ebola: you think there isn't an international response to that to track / trace and stop movement outside of those zones?
              Zika: it isn't person to person transmission
              Bird flu: there isn't person to person transmission
              Swine flu: limited person to person transmission and they are slaughtering pigs en mass where they find it (you advocate that for people?)
              Bovine virus: you talking about mad cow? You only get it from eating brain material from cows infected

              You better do your research. Don't jump at shadows where there isn't.

          • @netjock: I've been reading a wide variety of sources and there is such a variety of conflicting information out there. Someone here in Qld muted several months ago that a Vaccine may never be possible because the immunity, if it existed at all, was short lasting.

            There are many vaccines where if is still possible to get the disease you are vaccinated for. Even TB immunity can wear off over time. Health workers have to regularly get retested.

          • @netjock: I think we need an expert opinion to say a vaccine isn't possible. There are a variety of adjuvants that are added to vaccines to improve the immune response. They can also simply use a higher dosage.

            I have not read the research, but it appears the virus affects the immune response in an unusual way. It could explain why Hydroxychloroquine can improve survival.

            (Hydroxychloroquine suppresses the immune system- don't take it for "prevention").

            Taking facts way out of context is leading to a lot of fear mongering and ignorance. If someone who actually has experience in the production of vaccines says there is a concern- only then is it a valid opinion.

            • @Superannuation:

              I think we need an expert opinion to say a vaccine isn't possible

              Reason for the links and I did not say it wasn't possible. Would people on these boards stop stuffing words into other people's mouths.

              This is from the CDC about COVID19 strike rate with kids, so think again about safety of children

              Hydroxychloroquine It could explain why Hydroxychloroquine can improve survival.
              Taking facts way out of context is leading to a lot of fear mongering and ignorance. If someone who actually has experience in the production of vaccines says there is a concern- only then is it a valid opinion.

              Stop bringing some drug into the conversation when you are not an expert. At least I did not influence people on specific silver bullets.

              • @netjock: I didn't bring "some drug" into the conversation, I brought up Hydroxychloroquine because of it's specific action on the immune system.

                I wasn't attacking you, this is a public forum and I wrote my comment assuming they will be read by more than one person.

    • Herd immunity is not possible without a vaccine, so until we get that lockdown is the only road to economic recovery.

    • Achieving herd immunity calculation for those that haven't done the numbers.
      Australia's population 25M
      Herd immunity 60% (I believe at 60 The R number drops below 1 hence the magic number of 60 not entirely sure tho) so 15million sick
      The number of overall cases per DAY in Australia that hospitals can handle lets say a generous10000
      15,000,000/10,000=1500 Days
      365 days in a year

      1500/365 = 4.11 years

      This is assuming that acquired immunity would be for life if immunity any shorter than 5 years then herd immunity will never be reached.
      Assuming 3% mortality rate thats 450,000 dead. if hospitals get overwhelmed and no lock downs are applied you are than looking at mortality of 6-9% which would be around a million dead.

      Does elimination make more sense now ?

      • Commercially available vaccines take years to hit the pharmacies. Ten years or more isn't unusual. Elimination is impossible without a safe vaccine and there won't be one by the end of October.

    • +24 votes

      Not OP but

      How many people do you 'personally' or know in the first degree, that have had a confirmed COVID case?

      6.

      of this how many died?

      1.

      Your question reads as though you don’t believe in it, so hopefully my answer helps negate that theory.

      • Yeah, but you could be lying. You might be George Sonos or Bill Gates who simply set up an account here 6 years ago to be able to post this now as part of your evil plan to microchip people for 5g mind control.
        Come on sheeple, what is more likely? jjjaar posting a legitimate comment on a website they have been a member of for years, or evil billionaires planning incredibly sophisticated schemes to enslave the population by restricting access to Bunnings till next month.
        You don’t fool me jjjaar, or should I say secret Jeff Epstein!

      • How did you come to the conclusion that I don't believe in it? I know 4 people who had it and tested positive. I'm questioning the quality of data being used by the decision makers and reporters - for example in most reliable studies the report maker obtains their own data set. My theory is that every country reports on this differently, so the data cannot be deemed reliable as there is no uniformity and the government response is also not appropriate as it is being made off incorrect data.

        • Your query about dataset reliability and the OP’s personal experience have no correlation. If anything they should not have any correlation. Interpretation of data should be as such, without influence of personal beliefs or biases. Whether or not OP personally knew people with COVID/died from COVID has no bearing whatsoever on the reliability of the data.

          Therefore your question about OP and their personal experience at best is just ignorant (and has been answered), at worst is you suggesting or doubting the idea that COVID data is real/reliable.

          • @Jaystea: I clearly asked separate questions, I did not mix personal experience with the question about the quality of the data set. You are the one being ignorant. Please read the questions again. My lack of the use of paragraphs does not mean they are one and the same question, I have separated these by question marks.

            • @TheBilly: By way of most people inferring the same - I’d say you’re wrong and it was indeed framed as such, whether you intended to or not.

              Also, never called you ignorant. Your question was ignorant. How you are as a computer being I don’t care.

              • @Jaystea: As the original poster of the comment on which you are forming an opinion, I can confirm you are wrong. I can also confirm that you lack basic individual and critical thinking abilities, as you form conclusions based on the conclusion of others.

                By way of most people inferring the same - I’d say you’re wrong

  • Do you accept that modellers are only useful if they make accurate predictions. Hiding behind the 'scenario planning' copout excuse is ridiculous. I can scenario plan winning lotto. Anyone can scenario plan their own lucky numbers. The talent is picking the winning numbers before the draw.

    • +16 votes

      Do you accept that modellers are only useful if they make accurate predictions.

      In academia, yes. In public policy, not necessarily.

      Academia has many luxuries that you don't have when you're enacting real policy. You have access to much richer data, you have the luxury of spending as much time as you want on a problem, a wider community of academics, as well as the fact that nobody will die as a result of your work. In that sense, academia has the luxury of investigating what is "right" because it can afford to with very little risk.

      Public policy is different. Moreso than what is "right", you have to be concerned with appeasing the public, of maintaining public confidence, acting decisively with the understanding that people can die with a mistake…etc.

      I'm not a policy maker, but I've worked in government before. Sometimes you just have to make do with what you have. To use your lottery example, the lottery closes in 3 minutes, sometimes you just have to take a punt, cross your fingers and hope for the best. It's a different field.

  • Given the current situation in Vic, do you wish you were in another state right now?

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