NSW records another 22 cases locally. Is it time to consider a lockdown?
"We don't do things that way in NSW"
The time to have a lockdown was on the 15th, when the index case was discovered - in the community and infectious for 5 days. All the subsequent super-spreading events would have been prevented, as would seeding events in New Zealand, Illawarra, Bourke, Brooklyn and of course, Melbourne.
Assuming they identified the Westfield BJ Super-spreading event and those exposed were found on the Fri (as they were) and isolated (as they wern't, only some regarded as casual contacts), the outbreak would have ended there, the lockdown would have ended on Mon 21.
Had they locked down on Fri 15 when the BJ superspreading event was discovered - and acknowledged the bleeding obvious: you can't seriously contact trace everyone who's been to a westfield - most of the bases earlier this week would still have occurred, but we'd be in a position to credibly claim the outbreak is contained today, and lockdown could be released Next Monday 27.
Now ... who knows. We (NSW) are where Victoria was during the second wave when they attempted to ring-fence hot spot suburbs, ~20 cases a day. It might work in NSW where it failed in Victoria, because we're special. It's a very similar policy response: too sacred to make an unpoipular call, just doing the imimum that most agree to in the hope rather than expectation it's enough. I think we are creaping into a full state wide lockdown, probably for 2 or 3 weeks. The situtation in Sydney is worse than in Melbourne at the start of your/their most recent 2 week lockdown. If we get to 100 cases a day, then it'll be months rather than weeks. But that's where we are heading.
If 1 case were the threshold, NSW would have already had 3 or 4 precautionary lockdowns this year. But a precautionary lockdown of 2 (working) days would have stopped this outbreak. The other 2 or 3 precautionary lockdowns would have been a waste of time.
If the identification of an untraceable super-spreading event were the threshold, NSW would be in lockdown for 1 week (this week) and 2 weekends.
If interstate borders closed on either of these thresholds, Melbourne would not be looking at having to contain it's current outbreak.
1) Precautionary lockdowns work - most are unnecessary, but even when they work they *seem* unnecessary.
2) We've had more than a year of rolling lockdowns, yet every time there is mass confusion as politicians wing it on how to adjust the rules to make them less overbearing. Everyone should be prepared, and already know what to do in the event of a snap lockdown. That would greatly reduce the cost and inconvenience of them, meaning they could be shorter (ie days rather than weeks) AND more effective, AND politicians wouldn't be sh*tting themselves about calling them. It'd be a wet long weekend FFS. Maybe sacrifice a public holiday later in the year to "pay" for it. It's not that hard.
3) Interstate borders:
I think there is a strong case to restrict interstate borders to *any* jurisdiction that has a single (uncontained community) case. Not full HQ, but quarantine for 3 days, in HQ of they have nothing else available.
That would have stopped the Melb/Sandringham dry cleaner going to the party in Wetheril Park, or at least kept at home until he discovered he was a close contact.
Other states (VIC in this case) clearly needed to be faster closing/restricting their borders to NSW.