Lockdowns don’t get easier the more we have them. Melbourne, here are 6 tips to help you cope

Originally published on theconversation.com Shutterstock As Melbourne prepares to begin a second week of lockdown, it’s important to recognise the serious toll this is likely to take on many people’s mental health. Research during earlier COVID lockdowns in Australia found lockdowns were associated with poorer mental health, such as symptoms of depression and anxiety, among […]

Curious Kids: if trees are cut down in the city, where will possums live?

Originally published on theconversation.com Shutterstock If trees are cut down in the city, where will possums live? – Millie, age 9, Sydney. Hi Millie. Thanks for your question. I worry about this too. Trees are really important to possums in the city. Like lots of Australian animals, possums depend on hollows — a hole that […]

Speeding drivers keep breaking the law even after fines and crashes: new research

Originally published on theconversation.com Shutterstock Over 1,000 Australians died as a result of a traffic crash in the past year, with speed being a factor in around 20–40% of crashes. Historically, many of the attempts to convince drivers to obey road rules have relied on strategies that highlight the risks associated with the offence. However, […]

Why has Victoria struggled more than NSW with COVID? To a demographer, they’re not that different

Originally published on theconversation.com Shutterstock There’s been much talk in recent days about the demographic and travel behaviour differences between Melbourne and Sydney and to what extent they may help explain why Victoria appears to be struggling with COVID outbreaks, while New South Wales isn’t. Recent commentary has suggested transport, age, jobs, migrant population and […]

Indonesia may be on the cusp of a major COVID spike. Unlike its neighbours, though, there is no lockdown yet

Originally published on theconversation.com No one really knows true state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia, and that means it is unpredictable. But there are good reasons to worry about what will happen next. Fifteen months after Indonesia reported its first case of COVID-19, testing for the coronavirus remains among the lowest in Asia. Perhaps […]

Guide to the Classics: Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, a tragicomedy for our times

Originally published on theconversation.com Vladimir: Well? Shall we go? Estragon: Yes, let’s go. [They do not move.] Samuel Beckett originally subtitled his 1953 play Waiting for Godot “a tragicomedy in two acts”. Vivian Mercier, the critic for the Irish Times, dubbed it “a play in which nothing happens, twice.” Two tramps, Vladimir and Estragon, wait […]

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Mark Butler on the vaccine rollout and democracy in the Labor Party

Originally published on theconversation.com Despite this week’s strong economic figures, the pandemic is not as distant in the rearview mirror as many had hoped it would be by now. In Victoria, cluster outbreaks have forced the state into a new lockdown. With cases amongst aged care workers and residents, the state waits nervously as health […]

We’re seeing more casual COVID transmission. But is that because of the variant or better case tracking?

Originally published on theconversation.com Victoria’s lockdown is to be extended for another week to get on top of the growing number of community cases, which now stands at 60. But questions remain about what’s behind some of these cases. Victoria’s COVID-19 testing commander Jeroen Weimar said yesterday in about four or five cases, the virus […]

The four GDP graphs that show us roaring out of recession pre-lockdown

Originally published on theconversation.com Back in the first three months of this year when we had JobKeeper, enhanced unemployment benefits and no lockdowns, Australia roared out of recession. The GDP figures released on Wednesday tell us that in the months leading up to the end of JobKeeper and the coronavirus supplement at the end of […]

Growing up with trees: new books use story and science to connect kids with nature

Originally published on theconversation.com Unsplash/Pat Whelan, CC BY When I tell people I’m an environmental psychologist, they often assume that means I am a “tree hugger” and they are not entirely wrong. But it really means I spend a lot of time thinking and finding out about people’s relationships with the natural world, trees included. […]