One of the problems with DXA is that the “Currently Working” lights only show operators who have logged QSO’s since they started their shift. This is NOT (necessarily) how many stations are on the air. There can be other stations calling CQ on an empty band. For example, the team has been on 20M calling CQ for hours with no answer.
The polar conditions are very different than in higher latitudes, and the VK0EK operators have been on bands that are just plain dead, when these bands can be open at higher latitudes.
Never give up, never surrender. WIth the SFI at 88 and SSN at 11 or so – it can be a tough slog.