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How Australia Beat COVID-19

People enjoy outdoor dining along the Yarra River on November 19, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Victoria has recorded 20 consecutive days without a new coronavirus case. Lockdown restrictions in Melbourne were lifted on 28 October, after strict measures were imposed on 2 August 2020 following a second wave of COVID-19 cases in the community. (Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
People enjoy outdoor dining along the Yarra River on November 19, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Victoria has recorded 20 consecutive days without a new coronavirus case. Lockdown restrictions in Melbourne were lifted on 28 October, after strict measures were imposed on 2 August 2020 following a second wave of COVID-19 cases in the community. (Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

“We need[ed] to sacrifice in the short-term to gain the long-term back — and to gain our lives. And it worked.” That’s how the Australians beat back the COVID pandemic to just a few cases across the entire country. We discuss how Australia did it, and lessons for the U.S.  

Guests

Dina Rosendorff, manager of ABC Radio Melbourne. (@DRosendorff)

Jim Mangia, president and CEO of the St. John’s Well Child and Family Center—a network of community health clinics in Southern California. (@Wellchildorg)

Also Featuring

Mary-Louise McLaws, epidemiologist. Researcher and professor with the University of New South Wales Sydney. Member of the World Health Organization (WHO) advisory panel for Infection Prevention and Control Preparedness.

Megan Bates, mother, wife and teacher who talks about the experience of intense lockdowns.

Gerard Ryle, director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

From The Reading List

The Guardian: “Arriving in the US from Australia during Covid was like walking through the looking glass” — “As a trained epidemiologist with postgraduate qualifications in anthropology, I never thought I’d be a ‘participant observer’ of a pandemic on two continents.”

Washington Post: “Australia has almost eliminated the coronavirus — by putting faith in science” — “The Sydney Opera House has reopened. Almost 40,000 spectators attended the city’s rugby league grand final. Workers are being urged to return to their offices.”

Vox: “How Melbourne eradicated Covid-19” — “In July and August, the Australian state of Victoria was going through a second Covid-19 wave. Local leaders set an improbable goal in the face of that challenge. They didn’t want to just get their Covid-19 numbers down. They wanted to eliminate the virus entirely.”

CNN: “Controversy over Australian PM’s vaccine comments points to the next coronavirus nightmare“– “With one comment, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison managed to turn a positive coronavirus story into a public relations disaster, and highlighted the potential next nightmare of the pandemic: a fight over vaccines.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.