b'Canberra observed Canberra observedFurthermore, the rate of increase in thefalls along with their prices. The second number of confirmed cases is decreasingis we are not able to travel; this affects so that we might only have at mostexploration as well as tourism. The third about 8000 cases, and a maximum ofis that the number of unemployed rises about 120 deaths. Compared to the 1918and consequently there is less money Spanish flu, when approximately 13 500available and whole economy of the Australians died, the present numbersnation shrinks. When we are living in are particularly good. lockdown, we dont spend much, we use fewer resources and we survive - without The State, Territory and Federalthe luxuries we used to enjoy.Governments have worked together to provide this excellent health outcome.The collapse of the oil price following But this is only the beginning. The socio- domestic and international travel bans David Denham AMeconomic disruption from COVID-19was spectacular. Figure 1 shows the Associate Editor for Governmentwill be massive and affect everybody.daily prices of West Texas Intermediate denham1@iinet.net.au Ironically, this is because we are a very(NYMEX) Crude Oil from the start of wealthy nation. 2019 until May 2020 (https://www.macrotrends.net/2516/wti-crude-oil-Consequently, a large percentage of ourprices-10-year-daily-chart).Fire, smoke, hail and nowjobs are not essential for providing our basic needs. We do not need so manyOn Monday 20 April 2020, the price went COVID-19, welcome tosporting events, gambling facilities,negative, for the first time, as traders got Canberra restaurants, coffee shops, beauty parlours,caught in a flurry to sell their contracts gyms, concerts, or tourist attractions tobefore having to actually receive the survive. And yet, these activities are worthoil. The speed of the decline in price Welcome to 2020 in Canberra. What abillions in terms of providing jobs, and arewas remarkable (Figure 1). It had been year it has been; and we are only aboutan integral part of our culture. chugging along steadily between halfway through it. $uS50-60/bl throughout 2019, and then The devastation from the bushfires aroundShould we have been betterCOVID-19 struck.Canberra was shocking. Fortunately, ourprepared? The drop in price affects the whole city was spared the disaster of the 2003petroleum industry from exploration fires, but the claustrophobic smoke weRoss Garnaut, in 2008, forecast that,through to less gas sold from the pumps. endured for days on end was enervating.because of climate change, fire seasonsIn other words, if you are an explorer or a It is estimated that more people (over 400)would start earlier, end later and beproducer your market has vanished, and died in Australia from smoke inhalationmore intense. He also said, This effectif you do not have access to storage you than from fire (https://onlinelibrary.wiley. increases over time, but should be directlyare really in trouble.com/doi/full/10.5694/mja2.50545). Inobservable by 2020. SARS and MERS gave Canberra it is estimated there were 31us ample warning of the risk of new corona excess deaths, 82 cardiovascular hospitalviruses. Why werent we better prepared? Energy Minister Taylor organises admissions, 147 respiratory admissionsstorage of Australian oilin uSA!and 89 asthma related attendances from the smoke haze. How does COVID-19 affect resourceThe shortage of storage for oil didnt industries and exploration? stop our Energy Minister, Angus The bushfires were followed on 20Taylor, announcing on 22 April that January by a gigantic hailstorm. The totalThere are three main affects. The first isthe Australian government is to spend damage in Canberra was more than halfthat the demand for many commodities$94M to begin building up a stockpile a billion dollars, and that includes over 7000 vehicles written off. Homes are still being repaired from the hail-damage.Finally, the apocalyptic COVID-19But these events were nothing compared to what we are experiencing from COVID-19, which is affecting the whole country. At the time of writing (11 May), the number of confirmed cases in Australia is 6948, we have 97 deaths, an 89% recovery rate and a fatality rate of only 1.4% (https://epidemic-stats.com/). Amuch better record than countries such as the uSA (5.9%), uKFigure 1.Daily oil price of West Texas Intermediate (NYMEX) Crude Oil from the start of 2019 in $US/bl. (14.7%), Canada (6.9%) and Italy (13.9%). The lowest daily price was $11 on 21 April 2020.23 PREVIEW JuNE 2020'