DIGEST

The Informer: Take a moment to reboot, but watch this space

Reboot, but watch this space at the same time

Ever get the feeling you need to empty your head? Or maybe wish you had some kind of control-alt-delete functionality?

It's increasingly becoming a "Friday thing". But then, with the days of the week still merging into one amorphous mess, it's sometimes hard to know.

But there are pointers it's Friday. The most obvious one is Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews promising "significant announcements" on - you guessed it - Sunday. The popular belief is that it will involve lifting "the border" between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne. Masks, of course, are likely to remain.

And while Mr Andrews maintained the need for vigilance it's also important to note that today marked the seventh day straight without a new COVID-19 case in Victoria. And to celebrate (no, not really - just happenstance) he announced that direct flights from New Zealand into Melbourne will resume on Monday.

Victoria's hotel quarantine inquiry tabled in parliament its interim report and recommends that returned travellers are assessed individually to see if they are suitable for home quarantine. The same 14-day period applies and there would be penalties if breaches were identified.

Interestingly, overnight the Washington Post published an article headlined "Australia has almost eliminated the coronavirus - by putting faith in science".

"Several practical measures contributed to Australia's success, experts say. The country chose to quickly and tightly seal its borders, a step some others, notably in Europe, did not take. Health officials rapidly built up the manpower to track down and isolate outbreaks. And unlike the U.S. approach, all of Australia's states either shut their domestic borders or severely limited movement for interstate and, in some cases, intrastate travelers," author A. Odysseus Patrick wrote.

As you might expect when a link to the article was posted on Facebook, not everyone agreed with the characterisation of Australia's experience. But hey, not a surprise.

Meantime, the world continues to bob about in between expected waves of blue and red from the US election. Neither Democrat Joe Biden nor President Donald Trump have hit the magical 270 electoral votes to claim victory just yet. Given the Republicans' views on the counting of votes, the scrutineering of votes and all else, there's no way it's going to be quite that simple.

Twitter has upped its moderation game and has added this warning to five of Mr Trump's most recent tweets: "Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process." While Mr Biden account has escaped censure, the words are also unlikely to dull the President's thumb activity.

Facebook also has taken down a 350,000 member-strong group called "Stop the Steal". Some members had called for violence, while many falsely claimed that Democrats are "stealing" the election from Republicans.

Regardless of all that, we'll be election-watching with the best of them over the weekend. Stay with us and stay informed.

But take a moment to reboot, too. We all need it.

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