Voices against lockdowns – 20 August 2020

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This is an archived version of one of Gigi Foster’s email missives. Some links may no longer be current.

Dear all,

An update here on some resources and information about opportunities to work towards sensible policies on Covid in Australia.

First, a video recording of my PAEC testimony is available for viewing here: 

The supplementary material I sent to the committee subsequently – a draft cost-benefit analysis, and a collection of small snippets of content on different aspects of the problem, informed at many spots by your collective contributions, and including many references – is now available for public download here (look for the two “Tabled Documents” in the row containing my name), where a full transcript of my testimony should also soon appear:

https://parliament.vic.gov.au/paec/inquiries/article/4554

I also published an op-ed in the Australian Financial Review earlier this week to follow on from my testimony, linked here:

https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/we-can-t-cure-the-virus-by-making-the-economy-sick-20200817-p55mcg

Second, for those interested in watching or participating in a lengthier and less-formal discussion of the issues raised in my PAEC testimony, I will be appearing together with Dr Simon Thornley of New Zealand on an hourlong livestream with David Limbrick MP this coming Saturday afternoon, as advertised here:

Third, in addition to the class-action lawsuits mentioned in my first missive, a number of other initiatives have begun by various like-minded people.  I have sketched these briefly below, together with contact details for people you can make contact with if you’d like to lend your hands to the effort:

  1. Development of a simple message targeting the broad public, and a graphic presentation of that message, and the production of a large advertisement containing that message to be placed in newspapers.  This effort requires a graphic designer, someone with experience in business communication/crafting messages to the public, and also a web developer and one or more people to create content for a website to which the ad would direct readers, via a url, to learn more about the policy being proposed.  People with experience designing and formatting ads for newspapers would be especially useful.  The contact for this effort is Woah Back (bondi.coogee.sydney@gmail.com) – please email Woah if you would like to get involved.
  2. Development of messaging for potential use by, and to be sent to, the PM and/or other Australian political leaders, to show them how a changed Covid policy course could be sold to the public.  The contact for this effort is Dijana Dragomirovic (dijana@theleadicon.com) – please email Dijana if you would like to get involved.
  3. Instigation of a Facebook page and associated messenger group called “The People” at facebook/thepeoplecomau, with the following activities in mind and whose contact person is Sibby Ilzhofer (sibbyais@gmail.com):
  • Providing factual and informative material for people to access, without the fear mongering in an attempt to uncover any misconceptions and misunderstandings
  • We are planning to have regular ‘live’ sessions with guest speakers to openly discuss issues that need to be addressed
  • We will have a website, where we plan to have a pool of resources and information for people to access and download
  • We are getting all the MP FB pages researched, to find MP’s that are against the lockdowns or are currently sitting on the fence, with an attempt to include and inform them and gain their support for our objectives of re-opening the borders and putting an end to lockdowns
  • We will track down Sky reporters that have been increasingly critical of the government decisions and lockdowns and seek their support
  • We will create and link a Twitter account to the FB ‘The People’ account and actively try to distribute information and facts to the right circles
  • We will be discussing the legal implications and ramifications of the legislative changes, the lockdowns and other current and future mandatory changes and the impact on society with the attempt to raise legal support in this cause

Fourth, a few months ago I co-organised this Open Letter calling for the opening of Australia’s economy; it has collected over 1000 signatures so far and is still available for electronic signing:

Finally, for those who did not receive my first message to this group, which now includes about 150 people who support a position against wholesale lockdowns in respond to Covid, please scroll all the way down to view that first message.

I will never share this email list with anyone else, and I do not plan to email this group frequently or forever – only to send updates, resources, and information on opportunities to push for sensible policies re: Covid over the next weeks/months.  If for any reason and at any point you’d like me to take you off of this list, please just email me.

Best wishes and chin up.  I sense the tide is starting to turn, and more ways are opening up to help that happen more quickly.

gigi

PS a bit of humour in these awful times: https://twitter.com/PhaatBoyz/status/1295231862307270656/photo/1

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Author

  • Prof Gigi Foster

    Gigi Foster (Professor, UNSW School of Economics; BA Ethics, Politics and Economics, PhD Economics) works in diverse fields including education, social influence, time use, lab experiments, behavioural economics, and Australian policy. Named 2019 Young Economist of the Year by the Economic Society of Australia, she publishes in both specialised and cross-disciplinary outlets, and her innovative teaching was awarded a 2017 Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. She has filled numerous roles of service to the profession and engages heavily on economic matters with the Australian community, as one of Australia’s leading economics communicators, in the media and at live events. She is co-author of The Great Covid Panic (Brownstone Institute 2021, with Paul Frijters and Michael Baker) and Do Lockdowns and Border Closures Serve the “Greater Good”? (Connor Court 2022, with Sanjeev Sabhlok).

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