Tuesday, 3 August, 2021

Lockdowns, jabs and Bertie the Beetle; our Olympic hero from Sudan; pizza for vaccines; and not one, but two baby pandas!



Sifan Hassan’s incredible run from behind: https://7news.com.au/sport/olympics/hall-hull-cruise-into-olympic-1500-semis-c-3571891

Twin baby pandas: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-58052139


Squiz Kids Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/squizkids/?hl=en

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And it’s at least four more days of home schooling for hundreds of thousands of kids in south east Queensland after the number of new cases of COVID in the community there climbed to 13. 

Ten of those cases were children under the age of 10 – as the Delta variant began its dastardly work in the Sunshine State starting in a primary school in Brisbane. 

It means South East Queensland will remain in lockdown now until Sunday afternoon – by which time it’s hoped the outbreak will be brought back under control.

It’s also meant the cancellation of Brissie’s annual agricultural show, the Ekka .. for the second year in a row. No Bertie Beetle showbags, I’m afraid. How much crueller can this COVID get? 

Of course, down in Sydney, new cases of COVID reached 207 as the city entered yet another week of lockdown .. it’s now been over a month. We feel for you Sydney.  

Meanwhile the Australian government announced yesterday that some kids aged 12-15 will soon be able to receive a COVID vaccine. At the moment it’s just kids in that age group who have particular health problems that makes them more vulnerable to illness than most. Because that’s how we roll: first we look after the members of our crew who need it most,, then we sort out the rest of us later




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Britain, where – speaking of vaccines – the government is trying to entice young people to get vaccinated against Covid by offering them … pizza slices.

This kind of approach is called “using the carrot instead of the stick”, and it comes from the idea that the best way to get a donkey to move isn’t to hit it with a stick; it’s to dangle a delicious carrot just in front of it, so it keeps walking where you want it to go. 

Ten bucks says you’ve encountered it before. If you’ve ever heard your parents say “I’ll ground you for a week if you don’t tidy your room,” that’s using the stick. If they say, “We’ll have your favourite dessert if your room is nice and tidy by dinner time,” they’re going with the carrot. 

Governments all over the world have experimented with Covid jab carrots: in Moscow, five cars have been given away in a raffle each week; in Romania, jabs come with barbecued sausage sandwiches; Israel’s offering free beer; Malaysia, desserts. In a farming village in the Philippines, the mayor is raffling off a cow. And different American states have held lotteries for the vaccinated, with California planning to give away $116 million dollars! That would buy a lot of carrots. 



Those Olympics just keep on giving … so many excellent moments to pull apart from events in Tokyo … here are a couple of our most recent  favourites …

Did you see Dutch runner Sifan Hassan’s incredible effort in the 1500m semi-finals yesterday? Towards the back of the pack and with one lap to go, the runner in front of her tripped and knocked Sifan to the ground. She picked herself up and with Olympic determination, ran past every other racer to cross the finish line first. The living definition of picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and carrying on. 

Speaking of Olympian efforts, can we all just stop for a moment and give a great big Squiz Kids Salute to Peter Bol – the Aussie runner who won his semi-final in the 800m race on Sunday night? Peter came to Australia as a four year old kid, from a country called Sudan in Africa – which has been torn apart by war. His parents moved to Perth to try to build a better future for their kids. When Peter ran in a school athletics carnival, his teachers couldn;t believe their eyes. Years of training hard and he’s now at the Olympics, proudly wearing the green and gold, and a really good chance for medal. He’ll run in the final late tomorrow night … see if your parents will let you stay up ..




Question: what’s cuter than a baby panda? Two baby pandas, that’s what. Because that’s what happened at a Paris zoo yesterday when Huan Huan the giant panda gave birth to twins.

It’s really hard to get pandas to have babies anywhere – much less in a zoo environment. So the celebrations when twins were born at Beauval Zoo on the outskirts of Paris could be heard all the way at the top of the Eiffel Tower. 

The babies – which are also called cubs – were described by zoo staff as ‘pink and plump’ – which is just what you want a panda cub to be. 

Pandas were considered an endangered species, but their numbers in the wild have slowly crept back up in recent years. Which is excellent news. And now there are two more in the world. Hooray for that. 

I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to photos of the pink, plump new arrivals. 




This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. What super excellent food stuff is the British government using as a carrot to entice young people there to get vaccinated?
  2. Aussie runner Peter Bol will contest the final tomorrow night in a race of how many metres?
  3. In which city in Europe has Huan Huan the giant panda just given birth to twins? 




It’s August 3 … birthday of All Black Sonny Bill Williams and NFL legend Tom Brady.

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Tayana and Liberty from Shoal Bay, Matilda from Goomalling, Audrey from Toowoomba, Noah from Maroubra, Belle from Abbotsford, Sophie from Springwood, Archer from Paddington, Harmony from the Blue Mountains, Lucas from Sydney, Luke from Wollongong and Luke from West Wollongong.

Belated birthday shout outs go to …Jensen from Henley and Amelia from Stanmore.

Plus!!  … Because our friends in Greater Sydney and South East Queensland are in lockdown at the moment – we’re sending out Home Learning Herograms …  

To all the Year 5/6 classes and all the 3/4 classes at Abbotsford Public School. 

To the Year 5’s and Mrs Roland at Panania Public School who are working so hard with homeschooling, from your classmate Charlotte. 

To all of Year 2 at St Charles’ Primary School in Ryde. And finally a herogram to Claire, Johnno and Rose from Campbelltown who are awesome at staying on task while your mum Liz also teaches remotely at home. 

Plus a couple of classroom shout outs to those of you not in lockdown … 

to Grade 6 Yellow at Catherine McAuley Catholic Primary School in Orange. To Mr Ozzie and Grade 2O from The Basin Primary School in Victoria and to Miss Rangelov’s 3/4T class at Antonio Park Primary in Mitcham.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Pizza
  2. 800m
  3. Paris