Bad Covid takes

Written By: - Date published: 3:11 pm, December 19th, 2021 - 130 comments
Categories: covid-19, health, making shit up, Media, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

There seems to be a strong correlation between commentators who have both Herald and Newstalk ZB exposure and how really bad their Covid takes are.  There have been four examples of them this week.

Kerre McIvor seems to be going down the anti vax rabbit hole.  On talk back radio she struck a rarity, a caller with some intellectual chops and an ability to think clearly.  The caller, her name was Janine, made some perfectly valid points such as:

  • If National had beein in charge many more would have died.
  • She praised modellers and experts.
  • Relatives in other countries were terrified of the virus.
  • Omicron was something to be very afraid about.
  •  Aotearoa “should be grateful” for “how we’ve been looked after.”
  • Hospitals are experiencing patients coming in every day who are unvaccinated and they are partly responsible for the delays in some surgeries going ahead “because they’re taking up all the beds”.

The discussion descended into farce as Kerre:

  • Claimed the modellers had not got a single model right.  They were talking about many hundreds of cases and this had not happened.
  • “For god’s sake Janine,” McIvor said. “It’s that kind of absolutely bunkered mentality that gives me the ‘hee-bees’!”
  • Unvaccinated people are not taking up hospital beds.
  • It should be everyone for themselves.  “You’re full of it and I really fear for you. I want to be angry with you but I just feel sorry for you that you need a government to look after you, you sad pathetic creature” …

The call was then terminated.  McIvor then apologised and revealed there had been a lot of texts but claimed they mostly supported her.

It is terribly easy to dispel McIvor’s statements.  The modellers predicted that Covid cases would peak at 1,400 per week before declining in late November.  The actual peak in weekly cases was 1,426 on November 28 and numbers have reduced nicely ever since then.

And do unvaccinated people take up Hospital beds?  You becha.  From the same Herald article that reported McIvor’s rant included this passage:

As of December 13, there are 61 people in hospital with Covid-19, 13 are in North Shore; 19 in Auckland, 25 in Middlemore, two in Waikato and two in Tauranga. Four people are in ICU – two in Auckland, one in Middlemore, one in North Shore.

Of the cases in hospital and their vaccination status, 64 per cent are unvaccinated. 14 per cent are pare partially immunised – having one dose, while 14 per cent have had one dose, while 19 per cent are fully vaccinated. Of the remaining 4 per cent their status is unknown.

The link now leads to a 404.  I am not sure what happened here.

To follow up there have been two really bad takes by Heather Du Plessis Allan.

In the first, published yesterday, she wondered if we were freaking out too much about Omicron.

The internal inconsistency of her analysis was highlighted by this statement:

Granted these are early days so information and circumstances can and almost certainly will change.

But all I’m hoping to do is just inject a few facts into the hysteria.

Obviously we should not rush into judgment but she will anyway and accuse everyone of freaking out even though the science is far from settled and the UK and Europe are preparing for the worst.

She capped off that effort with this piece of trash fire this morning where she complained, like McIvor, that the experts and the modelers had got it all wrong.  And as the rest of the world struggles under the onslaught of Omicron induced spikes and experts struggle to work out how dangerous the virus actually is she pronounced with complete assurance that the Government was being too cautious.

From her article:

Only 12 weeks ago Covid modeller Shaun Hendy predicted 7000 deaths a year if we hit an 80 per cent vaccination rate. Even if we hit 90 per cent – which is where we are now – he forecast 1557 deaths.

We’ve seen nowhere near that level of carnage. We’ve only recorded around 50 deaths.

Again, that’s still sad. Every death represents a loss to a family, but it’s nowhere near the catastrophising we were sold.

Partly, that’s because the gloomy predictions fail to account for the human ability to adapt and be brilliant.

Hendy’s model was wrong because the vaccine was better than his headline numbers accounted for. He assumed the vaccine had medium efficacy. But actually, Pfizer’s brilliant employees managed to make something with high efficacy. And then Kiwis did their bit by getting jabbed at levels we had hoped for but not really believed possible.

Her bias is showing.  Instead of celebrating an outcome way better than any other country could have done through extremely high vaccination levels and other health measures she poo poos the experts.

And it is pretty clear she either did not read Henry’s research or, if she did, she did not understand it.  From the report:

We find that there are scenarios where, through a combination of high vaccine coverage (including amongst those aged 5-11) and moderate public health measures, population immunity is achieved, resulting in very low mortality burden. For example, with 90 per cent vaccine coverage of the population over the age of 5, a suite of moderate public health measures and an effective test, trace and isolate system, the modelling suggests there would be around 500 hospitalisations and 50 fatalities from COVID-19 over a one year period.

There are scenarios where, despite a high vaccination coverage, population immunity is not achieved, resulting in a disease mortality burden that is an order of magnitude greater. For example, with 80 per cent vaccine coverage of the population over the age of five and moderate public health measures, the modelling suggests there would be around 60,000 hospitalisations and 7,000 fatalities per year from COVID-19. Such outcomes could be mitigated if more restrictive control measures, akin to current Alert Levels 3 or 4, were utilised.

If this is the report Du Plessis Allan is referring to all I can say is that I cannot find her figure for 90% death rates anywhere.  Even with low Test Trace Isolate Quarantine measures at 90% vaccination levels for over 12s the annual death rate was predicted to be 260.  Current moderate TTIQ measures appear to have reduced predicted numbers of deaths although we are not through 12 months yet.

And as mentioned above subsequent modeling has been very accurate.  It was predicted that case numbers would peak at 1,400 per week and the peak would occur in late November.  The actual case numbers were 1,426 and the peak date was November 28.

And to cap things off the King of bad takes Mike Hoskins thinks the country has been badly let down by the vaccine rollout even though our vaccination rates are extremely good, the current incursion appears to be under control and our death rate is still extraordinarily low.  And he still is complaining about MIQ, even though with Omicron all bets are off.

I find these approaches very irritating.  The country is still performing extraordinarily well, thanks to the Government’s approach, the quality of the advice and the commitment of the vast majority of the community to making it work.  Having to continuously put up with these sorts of crap analyses which do nothing but reduce morale and the collective commitment to seeing this incursion off.  And with Omicron waiting at the boarder to be let in now is not the time for bad Covid takes.

130 comments on “Bad Covid takes ”

  1. These opinion pieces should come with a warning and a link to the actual facts, as per certain trigger words on social media

  2. waiting at the boarder.

    Might want to change that Micky.

    [Yes I do. Now fixed. Ta – MS]

    • Gezza 2.1

      If National had beein in charge many more would have died

      And to cap things off the King of bad takes Mike Hoskins

      Dude's name is Mike Hosking. Might want to change those too?

      (Your proof-reading is getting as bad as mine, Micky)

      [I certainly do. Agreed I was in a bit of a rush to get this out. Now fixed – MS]

  3. observer 3

    Ian Taylor has also taken up residence in Plot Lost Central. You can't even engage with that level of bile.

    • aj 3.1

      Totally agree observer. I got about four paragraphs into that and just couldn't, for the sake of my sanity, read on

      Bitter, twisted, self absorbed.

      • Ross 3.1.1

        I thought it was a very good read and illustrates some serious mistakes made by this Government. But I guess the truth can be painful, like telling someone they have a terminal illness or their child has been killed.

        The spin on all of this has been: "Look how many lives we have saved."

        A statistic that ignores the 45,000 women who have had their mammograms delayed, the cancelled/postponed health procedures that could ultimately cost people their lives, the overstretched resources in our hospitals where ICU nurses have to deal with multiple patients at the same time, the mental stress that comes with losing your business, your job, your future. The list goes on.

        In the week that government mandated vaccination passports for front-line workers across the country, rather than just have them show they were negative with better testing systems, here in Dunedin we unveiled a memorial dedicated to the memory of conscientious objectors during the world wars whose human rights we have taken so long to recognise.

        • Tricledrown

          Imagine we live in the UK or the US.

          1500 plus per million dying

          1 in 40 over 65's dying in the US.

          Get real. NZ 10 per million.

          The health system has been underfunded for 30 years so the well off have tax cuts.

          Whinging isn't going to stop covid from killing.

          The politicians are getting abused from all sides .

          • left for dead

            @ T …Not only"Tax cuts" for the upper middle/rich class, but a big stair to wards Private health.All the Tory/right wing or just self serving class, ministers came or went back too.

        • observer

          If he wants to make serious points, and debate in good faith, he shouldn't behave like a toddler having a tantrum.

          No reasonable person could object to the PM – or any other politician – saying "have a break, you deserve it" at Christmas. It's normal behaviour at this time of year. But Taylor uses that innocuous line as a launch pad for his tirade of insults.

          Generously, we might put it down to him cracking under stress. Except, he's under far less work stress than the people he attacks.

        • mpledger

          I visited ICU during level 4 lockdown and was there for several hours. There was one nurse permanently watching a patient plus other nurses coming and going to manage different needs and everything was calm and relaxed. There was at least one covid-19 patient in ICU at the time. There may be some hospitals that were stretched at times but certainly not all.

    • Tricledrown 3.2

      Sir Ian Taylor, cry baby who thinks he is more important than the health response.

  4. RedLogix 4

    Obviously we should not rush into judgment but she will anyway and accuse everyone of freaking out even though the science is far from settled and the UK and Europe are preparing for the worst.

    So far the data out of SA tells us that Omicron has mild symptoms like the common cold and has a low morbidity. What happens in the UK and EU over the next few weeks will tell us how it behaves in a different setting.

    But instead of taking this as a hopeful signal, it's my view medical authorities will insist we cannot know about Omicron indefinitely, we should remain ‘very afraid’, and the goalposts will keep shifting.

    In traditional Chinese culture people would pay a small regular amount to their doctor as long as they remained healthy. They stopped paying him when they got sick and could not work. I'll bet that model created a different set of incentives. devil

    • Poission 4.1

      So far the data out of SA tells us that Omicron is very mild with a very low morbidity.

      So far the data out of the UK and Europe suggest otherwise,and the high rate of infection (with lag rates) will produce more cases with severe outcomes as per the law of large numbers.

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        as per the law of large numbers.

        No need to glorify it with a fancy name, this is nothing more than simple arithmetic. There is a decent case to slow the spread down – as per the original 'flatten the curve' mandate we had back last year during the first lockdown, but the data from SA was quite positive – and as I said it's still too soon to be know how it behaves in a different setting like London.

        If the data changes I’ll change with it.

        • Poission

          No need to glorify it with a fancy name, this is nothing more than simple arithmetic. There is a decent case to slow the spread down

          Mendelian dynamics are of course of the multiplication type (GH Hardy),the spread is the risk rate across the entire population including reinfection which masks ( milder cases) the statistics.

          Here is the spread from the Darwinian casino.

          • RedLogix

            Not sure how that relates to 'in hospital case fatality rates' but according to the logic above the 're-infected' segment would have to be pretty bloody huge to make much difference.

            • Hanswurst

              Precisely that has been one of the main specific caveats to the data coming out of South Africa from the first mentions of Omicron, though. South Africa has a very high proportion of people who have had the disease, so a lot of their cases will be reinfections.

              • RedLogix

                Still not sure how that relates to 'in-hospital case fatality rates' but as I've said more than a few times – it's still too soon to know how Omicron will behave in other settings. Too soon to celebrate or panic.

                • Hanswurst

                  Well, I have no idea why you would expect my comment to say anything specifically about 'in-hospital case fatality rates'. Regardless, with your statements about the common cold above, and your prediction that officials will tend to keep urging permanent caution on Omicron regardless of evidence, it seems to me that you are actually the one peddling a particular spin, albeit with a strange pretence of neutrality, while others (like me above) are simply trying to point to why such conclusions are premature.

        • Tricledrown

          South Africa has a much younger population.which is a major factor in survivability.

          South Africa is in summer the UK in Winter

          People go indoors over winter creating more spreading environments.

          Redlogix the wait till its to late option is not a very smart option.Trump like.

          • RedLogix

            Yes – we don't yet know how it will behave in a different setting. Exactly what I've said several times now. What is your point?

            Mine on the other hand is simple and direct – in the event Omicron turns out to have a low IFR, comparable with say seasonal influenza, and it rapidly confers a herd immunity globally – then what would be the justification for continuing the mass controls on people ?

            We are not at that decision point yet, and continued caution is required in the meantime, but it's my sense there are plenty of people who will be very reluctant to let go the moral and political power COVID has conferred upon them.

    • Patricia Bremner 4.2

      Please show that source RL. “omicron is like the common cold?”

    • Bill 4.3

      Figures for Denmark. (Links in the page for official stats in English)

      From the 17th of Dec.

      "There’s a fairly large increase in Omicrons infections for those who are triple vaccinated. In just three days, the figure for Omicron breakthroughs in the triple vaccinated has risen from 8.9% to 10.3%, and for Delta (“other variants”), the rate has increased from 4% to 7.3%.

      It’s also worth noting the increasing vaccine breakthrough rate for Delta (“other variants”) in the double and triple vaccinated, which, in three days, has increased from 72.6% to 73.3% (66% + 7.3%) up to the 17th December 2021.

      There are now less cases of Omicron in the unvaccinated than there are in the triple jabbed."

      UPDATE 5 – 18th December 2021 – The Omicron infection rate for double and triple vaccinated people in Denmark has increased to 89.6%:

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.3.1

        There are now less cases of Omicron in the unvaccinated than there are in the triple jabbed.

        This might help, and it comes from a very credible news source.

        Mandatory remedial maths lessons planned for people who argue against vaccines with ‘most Covid patients in hospital are vaccinated

        It can be hard for the students; the idea that a small part of a big number can be bigger than a big part of a small number – it’s tricky if your brain isn’t good with maths. It’s our job to try and help these people.

        Ultimately our goal is to give them an understanding of the importance of the relationship between a numerator and a denominator. If we can get them to stop looking at numerators without considering denominators, then we’ll have succeeded.

        “The first exam is a really simple one. Students will be asked to pick a fictional lottery ticket from either roll #1, or roll #2. They are told that roll #1 has TEN winning tickets in a roll of 100. Roll #2 has ONE HUNDRED winning tickets in a roll of 10,000.

        “Anyone who says ‘I pick roll #2 because it’s clearly got the biggest number of winning tickets and I have a better chance of winning’ will have to go back to the start and do the basics again.

        • Bill

          Comment from a Christopher de Vidal left under a youtube vid 🙂

          Ok, it's really quite simple. The third dose increases immunity, so after the fourth dose you'll be protected. Once 80% of the population has received the fifth dose, the restrictions can be relaxed as the sixth dose stops the virus from spreading. I am confident that the seventh dose will solve our problems and we'll have no reason to fear the eighth dose. The clinical phase of the ninth dose will confirm that the antibodies remain stable after the tenth dose. The eleventh dose will insure that no new mutations will develop, so there is no longer any reason to criticize the twelfth dose.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Why bother with vaccines & physical distancing when you can pray Covid away?
            God save us – are vaccines part of Her plan, or a tool of the Devil? laugh

            Why people believe that religious faith will save them from disease
            I wouldn’t be anywhere else. I’m covered in Jesus’ blood. All these people go to this church. They could get me sick but they’re not because I’m covered in his blood.

            Had a wee chuckle at this Chris de Vidal video – no doubting his sincerity and intellect, but his beliefs and apparent sense of humour aren't for me. Still, some say laughter is the best medicine, in which case I should thank Chris, if not God.

            • RedLogix

              Why bother with vaccines & physical distancing when you can pray Covid away?

              I wonder what what future historians would think about our time, and our way of living. They probably wouldn’t care so much about our technologies or stupid politics. I think they’d really notice how disconnected we are from our inner resources, the healing forces within us.

              • Tricledrown

                Healing forces within us sounds like a infomercial for quackery.

                They will be looking at how quick we developed a usable vaccine so quickly.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                I think they’d really notice how disconnected we are from our inner resources, the healing forces within us.

                Don't forget the healing power of crystals. Guess it all comes down to what each of us chooses to believe – for example, why we put our faith in certain technologies, sky fairies, etc. etc., and not others.

                Thirty years a go I gave meditation a genuine go (went on a TM course, got my mantra and all that) – I know it works wonders for others, but yogic flying wasn't for me. Just like vaccines really – not for everyone.

                A moderately strong (if not completely uncritical) ‘faith’ in the 'healing forces' of modern medicine may have contributed to my good results so far – I'd certainly be dead without the intervention of various health professionals who wield those 'forces'.



                • RedLogix

                  Any competent GP will tell you that it is the body that does all the actual repair. Primarily during the REM phase of deep sleep as it happens. Doctors only create the conditions necessary for this process to work.

                  But your obdurate reductionist materialism is noted.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    But your obdurate reductionist materialism is noted.

                    Your opinion that I'm an adherant of "obdurate reductionist materialism is noted", but I can assure you that no amount of REM sleep would have repaired the debilitating condition I began to suffer from in early middle age. I was so lucky to have an open-minded and supportive GP who persevered in getting to the bottom of my symptoms – god knows what might have happened if I'd been shunted down the path of relying on "inner resources" for my 'healing'.

                    It took years for an accurate diagnosis (eventually confirmed by CAT and MRI scans), and even then I was reluctant to avail myself of the intervention that would have alleviated my gradually worsening condition – basically a bit of a fraidy cat when it comes to surgery.

                    Eventually opted to become bionic, and over 20 years later my device is still doing it's job without the need (so far) for revision, repair or replacement – touch wood.

                    Merry Xmas to you RL – hope you and yours have a good one.

                    • RedLogix

                      And as I've noted here before – my brother who has severe vision and hearing disabilities had his life transformed by a cochlear implant about a decade ago. He's even contemplating the possibility of something similar for his sight in the future. So spare me the special bionic pleading – I understand it's place perfectly well.

                      There was no need to frame this as a false dichotomy.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    So spare me the special bionic pleading…

                    Apologies RL; my comment wasn’t a plea, but rather intended simply as an informative response (you know – like you noting things about your brother) to your "obdurate reductionist materialism" jibe.

                    My sense is that it's going to be a joyous Xmas for you – be well.

                    There was no need to frame this as a false dichotomy.


            • Bill

              I've no idea who Christopher de Vidal might be. As I wrote, it was a comment left under a youtube vid.

              He could be a flat earth/lizard people conspiracy nut and it wouldn't take away from his amusing and pertinent take on the 'never ending' injection programme.

              Don't know why he didn't header the comment 'Lucky 13?' seeing as how he covered the first 12 …

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                I've no idea who Christopher de Vidal might be.

                Neither did I, but can you blame me for wanting to know a bit more about the apparent originator of that "amusing and pertinent take on the 'never ending' injection programme."

                Maybe Chris has a similarly amusing take on the pandemic that prompted the mass vaccination programme – such a take might assist some the many millions whose relatives and friends have died due to Covid-19 infections to cope with their grief.

                Great that we can both find some Covid cheer as we count down to Xmas.

            • UncookedSelachimorpha

              ” I’m covered in Jesus’ blood. ”

              I hope jeebus has had an HIV and hepatitis test!

          • Hanswurst

            Almost like trying to explain to fit, healthy libertarians why people are better off funding a public health system, isn't it?

      • Tricledrown 4.3.2

        Yes very small numbers but what about deaths and hospitalisation.Age group stats as well.

        Brian May and Wife get covid even after booster shots.

        Maybe those who are vaccinated think they are bullet proof.

        What are the restrictions in Denmark.

        What ever vaccine status you are doing the basics of isolating mask wearing hand washing blah,blah.

        Will people put up with another lockdown or red-light.

        Unvaccinated people no doubt are isolating and being ultra careful.

        Our short lived freedoms could be coming to an end.

        The Billy tks and Tamakis will be jubilant.

        • Bill

          “Yes very small numbers but what about deaths and hospitalisation.Age group stats as well.”

          The South African figures paint a picture on that front that's encouraging. Look them up.

          Of roughly 7K people in hospital who have tested +ve, there are some hundreds in ICU or on oxygen therapy. Not bad for a population of some 60 million. And when you take into account those numbers are for "all cause" admissions and "all cause" treatments – ie, Omicron infection is an incidental finding – then really, I'd be thinking there are a ton of politicians and public health care bureaucrats who need to calm the fuck down.

          • Tricledrown

            Bill I have.But being cautious is what every country is looking at.

            So why are most countries reintroducing restrictions.

            South Africa has a much younger population and it is summer.

            UK,US,EU its winter.

            The virus has proven to be far more transmissible indoor where people move when it's winter.

            Those countries have had massive waves of infection and huge death rates and are rightly cautious.

            No doubt you have a PhD in public heath responses obtained from a conspiracy site on Facebook.

            • Bill

              There is a politically coherent answer to the question of why countries are re-imposing heavy handed restrictions in spite of the available evidence pointing to Omicron being a bronchial infection (and therefor unlikely to cause either severe illness or death).

              And yes, there are differences between a South African context and other countries. "One size fits all" should never be a solution posited, much less forced on people when a situation is multi-faceted and apt to vary enormously in relation to a number of known factors. Oh, hang on – m-RNA injections are exactly that.

              • observer

                The "politically coherent answer" being … that governments want to be unpopular?

                For example, look at sport in the UK. Look at all the TV money they stand to lose, as games are called off. Look at how grumpy people are about – well, all of it really.

                Wouldn't it make more sense to give voters an easier life? So why don't they?

      • Tricledrown 4.3.3

        Reading your link it is new infections.

        Omricon Roughly 80%of new infections for double vaccinated

        10% for booster vaccinated.

        The complete picture rather than the headline.

      • Tricledrown 4.3.4

        Bill your link figures for Denmark

        80% of new infections double dosed

        10%of new infections tripled dosed/ booster shots.90% efficacy for booster shots.

        [RL: Last warning. If you are going to make claims of fact like this it is necessary to give unambiguous references in order that others can see the context in which they’re being made.]

        • RedLogix

          Mod note for you

          • Tricledrown

            Red logix can't I refer to the facts in the link from Bill.

            Which when you read past the headline clearly shows the fact he has posted.

            [RL: Failing to give a clear cut references and links to contentious claims of fact creates ambiguity, which in turn rapidly derails the debate because others cannot understand the context in which they’re being made. Nor is relying on others to do your work for you acceptable. If you want to use someone else’s reference, by all means do so, but then you should explicitly quote the section you are referring to.

            I realise that linking/copy/paste on some mobile platforms is a pain, but this is a requirement everyone else has learned to live with. You have now been warned multiple times on this. Putting you into pre-mod until you figure this out.]

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Mike Hoskins

    Might want to change that Micky.

    • Tiger Mountain 5.1

      Mike Cockskin and his motley crew are traitors to the majority of New Zealanders really, given the enormity of the pandemic. Underminers, terminal whingers, mouths for hire, fifth columnists, selfish and entitled etc.

      Yes they have the ability in a capitalist neo liberal economy to do what they are doing on private media channels–and others of us have the right, as Micky has done to push back and exercise our freedoms of speech, assembly and association to combat them.

      Ultimately clowns like McIvor will be rendered less effective on behalf of their masters due to the weight of numbers, 90% of eligible adults have rolled up their sleeves now.

      • Tricledrown 5.1.1

        They know by grovelling on behalf of the ultra wealthy they will get very well paid.

        Incendiary mercenaries

        • Tiger Mountain

          yes, it could be as simple as that–pecuniary benefits–rather than fancying themselves particularly as ideological warriors for the right, though the company people mostly keep does indicate something

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    What democracy does is institutionalise opposition to the govt. Formally, by incorporating it into the structure of parliament.

    What the news media does is balance both sides of an issue. Informally, by convention and tradition.

    Put these two influential components together, and you get a system which manufactures folk like those you are criticising. Naturally they oppose & criticise the govt by telling the other side of the story. It is their democratic right & moral duty to do so…

    • mpledger 6.1

      There is supposed to be balance and there ought to be truthfulness. Willfully misusing the statistics isn't balance or truthfulness.

  7. Rosemary McDonald 7

    The Kerre vs Janine stoush is here. Worth 3.15 minutes of your time listening to it.

    Kerre was correct…unvaccinated people are not taking up all the hospital beds.

    • Poission 7.1

      unvaccinated people are not taking up all the hospital beds.

      Clearly social hygiene is working then to protect the unvaccinated by reducing exposure and subsequent case loads.

      Where transmission has occurred (10000 cases in total) vaccinated hospital rates are around 6% of admissions.

    • mpledger 7.2

      Once people who have only had once dose get their second then it's very likely that the unvaccinated will be taking up a lot of the hospital beds set aside for covid.

      Maybe not all, because the more at risk a person is for covid-19, the more likely they are to get vaccinated. So, both groups have different risk profiles.

    • There are 19 times as many vaccinated as unvaccinated people Rosemary.

      • Rosemary McDonald 7.3.1

        Unvaccinated people are not taking up all the hospital beds.

        Ffs. I did not say that unvacinated people were not taking up any beds or that they did not amount to over 50 % of the Covid hospitalised…Janine stated that the unvaccinated were taking up all the beds. Filling up the hospitals at the expense of surgeries ans the like.

        Clearly an exaggeration, gross hyperbole…lying… and Kerre did right calling this very fearful woman out.

        • Hanswurst

          Clearly an exaggeration, gross hyperbole…lying… and Kerre did right calling this very fearful woman out.

          Well, mild use of a hyperbolic figure of speech, anyway. God forbid that you should engage in gross hyperbole yourself.

        • Bearded Git

          Kerre right? Now I know you are delusional.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          Looking at today's 7 day moving averages on the data summary at RNZ:

          Population (eligible):

          Fully Vaccinated = 74%

          Not Vaccinated = 8%

          New Hospitalisations (eligible):

          Fully Vaccinated = 7%

          Not Vaccinated = 55%

          Based on this, people who are eligible to be vaccinated, but choose not to be, require 73x more hospital beds than vaccinated people, per person.

        • Bill

          I wonder if vaccinated people being admitted to hospital are tested for Covid, or if they are just assumed to be "clean" and only "dirty" people are subject to those PCR tests that have something like an 80% false positive rate?

          (We already know people who test +ve are counted as a covid case no matter what their admission is for)

          • KJT

            Everyone is tested on admission, who have symptoms, vaccinated, or not.
            And the PCR tests, do NOT have an “80% false positive rate”.

            This is why anti-vaccers are not credible.
            They either don’t understand the research, or they just “make things up”.

            You really think all NZ medical staff would hide things that don’t add up?

            • Bill

              And the PCR tests, do NOT have an “80% false positive rate”.

              No they don't. Of the positive results, it's been observed that 80% of them are false positives. I know that's not quite what I wrote, but it is what I intended to say.


              • RedLogix

                Well that was definitely worth the time to watch. Having done Uni level Engineering Maths and Stats, and worked with process data all my life, this aligns with that experience.

                If nothing else the climate change crisis should have taught us how easy it is to misinterpret data.

              • Tricledrown

                Looking at ONS data less than 5% death rate in 2 dose people after 21 days that percentage goes up by a considerable amount with one dose post 21 days then by 10's of thousands for unvaccinated.

                Many claims he has made are untrue like age breakdowns not being available.pure bs .

                The ONS has a very comprehensive data sets on every age group.

              • Hanswurst

                Good video. Thanks.

            • Bill

              You say people with symptoms are tested. But I was asking whether people with no symptoms are tested. and if so, is it only those who have not been injected who are tested.

              That's what is happening overseas. I just don't know the protocol here.

              But if that's what is happening, then of course numbers get skewed.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                Heavens…there are enough double- shot out there to be able to run a straw poll. Something like…"If you have a bit of a sore throat and a snotty nose but you haven't been notified you've been at a place of interest will you go and get a brain scrape done?"

                And permutations on that theme.

                Anecdotally, many double-shot will not get tested unless officially notified of possible contact….because so many too many really do believe the Pfizer Product prevents infection and transmission.

                I'd say that was a win for the Government/MOH PR machine.

                • Bill

                  There is a huge amount of manipulation going on…

                  Admissions to hospital who get tested for Covid and come back with a +ve result are "Covid cases" regardless of the reason they were admitted to hospital.

                  Deaths where the corpse tests positive is a Covid death, and any death within 28 days of a +ve test result, is a Covid death.

                  Meanwhile, death occurring in close proximation to an injection is not due to the injection unless conclusive proof is attained.

                  And so it goes on. I dare say there are subtle variations across countries, but the manipulation is always going in the one direction – exaggerate case numbers, exaggerate Covid deaths and underplay the consequences of injection.

                  Worth noting that no age stratification is applied to any risk/benefit analysis of m-RNA injections, and that it's unclear if any risk/benefit analyses are being carried out, plus there is no public health messaging around how people might prime their immune system and ameliorate symptoms from infection and no actual treatment being offered for infection in people who are not hospitalised.

                  Anyone might think it's a political response that's being rolled out over a public health situation. (It is.)

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    There is a huge amount of manipulation going on…

                    Plenty of doctors would disagree with you.

                    “It’s frustrating to hear on the news, or from family and friends, that these numbers might be inflated,” Raja says. “I put a lot of thought into them [death certificates]. These are not things I do on the fly.”

                    There is some good explaining here and why and how. Excess deaths are another useful indicator that something out of the norm is happening.

                    "COVID-19’s role in a death is perhaps most clear in an ICU. By the time COVID-19 patients get there, they are suffering severe symptoms of the disease and have probably tested positive for it.

                    “They might die from septic shock,” Auld says, referring to a faulty immune response that can cause tissue damage and organ failure and has been linked to COVID-19. “But when you go back to the reason they came to the hospital and got so sick, it’s COVID. If you go back to the root cause, it’s COVID.”

                    It should also go without saying that complications from vaccines are rare and unusual. The usual process is to record close timings and then to investigate cases for evidence. Above there is ample evidence from the testing and symptoms – yes they have the COVID virus and yes they have COVID symptoms. It isn't hard.

                    Many of the vaccine side effects that would cause death require an autopsy to find them. It is apples and oranges. Trying to suggest the two things are as easy as each other is disingenuous – trying to suggest it is some sort of deliberate manipulation is plain dishonest.


                    • Bill

                      It should also go without saying that complications from vaccines are rare and unusual.

                      Really. Because according to figures obtained by Grant Dixon through an OIA, "all cause" deaths in the over 60s in NZ pretty much track the roll out of injections for the age group. (possibly looking at 100s of deaths across age groups)

                      That mirrors similar patterns in the UK where spikes in "all cause" death numbers rise and fall in line with the roll out of injections.

                      But sure – it should go without saying…some would prefer it to be so, and it probably goes a long way to explain why you'll struggle to find anything about Maddie de Garay in legacy media. (1 in a 1000?)

                    • KJT

                      NZ excess deaths have dropped.

                      If you were correct they would have gone up!

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      As KJT said. Excess deaths would have increased if the vaccine had added to the usual death rate.

                      We can be quite confident that as we know we had few COVID related deaths that if the vaccine was causing significant deaths over and above what would normally happen then excess deaths would have increased.

                      What we do know is that we have had slightly less deaths than normal because we didn't have the usual flu deaths. If it turns out that there are a number of vaccine related deaths then these would be somewhat less than the 500 flu deaths per year in a very worse case scenario.

                      Now it is more complicated than that but it certainly isn't as simple as correlation which is what you are trying to argue.

                      “Because according to figures obtained by Grant Dixon through an OIA, “all cause” deaths in the over 60s in NZ pretty much track the roll out of injections for the age group. (possibly looking at 100s of deaths across age groups)”

                      Apparently we are supposed to put links when we make these claims.

                    • Bill

                      In the graph produced by Dixon, excess deaths tracked the injection numbers – ie, rose when the number of injections was on the rise and fell back again as the number of injections being administered dropped.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      What you are saying makes no sense. New Zealand, possibly uniquely, had a reduction in deaths and so there were no excess deaths during the first wave.

                      At some point those deaths that would normally happen would manifest i.e. they were simply time-shifted. Eventually you play catch-up in an aging population. Those that were susceptible of dying from the flu and didn't still die – just a bit later.


              • Tricledrown

                Looking through his claims he focusee PCR test inaccuracies on the teenage population.

                He calls a person with only 1 dose vaccinated.

                Then he says the unvaccinated could be under reported.

                The wave of unexplained deaths could be because the PCR tests not working like he claims.

                He is a statistician but has chosen to make assumptions right through his post.

                Looking at other research he has done.

                He has looked at data around the vaccine efficacy and come up with the vaccine wanes significantly after 6 months

                The previous post doesn't mention anything to the length of time people in the study had been vaccinated.

                Or hospitalizations and percentages of deaths

                Or the fact that an immunised people are helping reduce the numbers of unvaccinated getting infected.

                In NZ the facts are out there with only small numbers of non vaccinated are making the largest numbers of infection and deaths.

                Maori making up 1/2 of cases means people who are trying to undermine the health initiative are being racist as well as ignorant.

                • Bill

                  What health initiative?

                  Aside from insisting everyone over the age of five gets an injection of m-RNA, and that certain "mechanical" procedures (social distancing and mask wearing etc) are adhered to, where is this health response you speak of?

                  Where is the health response that speaks to how people might optimise their immune system, or that speaks to what medical actions/medicines an infected person might take if they aren't hospitalised?

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    Because sometimes when dealing with large numbers of people in a crisis situation you are better to keep strategies simple and clear and not to start taking into account too much individual variation.

                    If you don't have an "optimised immune system" now you ain't going to suddenly get one – whatever an optimised immune system is.

                    Health, separate from the COID-19 response has been promoting non-smoking, healthy eating, less sugar for decades. You think COVID is going to be the catalyst that finally gets people to change? Pretty sure the rush on KFC when restrictions were lifted suggest otherwise.

                    Anyway I'm sure if people suddenly wanted an "optimised immune system" that there is a youtube video for that.

                    Once of course COVID-19 has got past your "optimised immune system" then you do get an individualised service with monitoring of your symptoms.

                    It may be that generic advice is simply not that useful or could be misleading.

                  • Tricledrown

                    Bill yesterday you put up a dodgy post trial site an antvax site run by a dodgy health guru

                    Today you put up a mathematician who dodged figures lied about not being able to access age breakdowns relative to covid deaths.

                    Anti vaxxers sowing the seeds of doubt .

                    That's your agenda
                    Back that up by tomorrow afternoon (21st Dec), or you’ll be off the site for 6 months. I’ve had it with your bad faith interactions – ie, your lies. – B

                    • RedLogix

                      You will need to start backing up your claims with some references from here on in.

                    • Tricledrown []

                      I can't link but the UK govts health statistics site the ONS is easily googled and very comprehensive.

                    • RedLogix

                      You have made numerous claims without any references and I'm contemplating putting your into pre-mod until you do.

                      If you want to continue unrestricted commenting I suggest you find a way to do what everyone else here is expected to do on reasonable request.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Here is a general link to the UK coronavirus data if it helps.


                    • Tricledrown []

                      Thank you Descend of Smith.

                      Looking at your link ONS figures show between February and July in England .

                      The death rate between fully vaccinated and unvaccinated.

                      Unvaccinated 849.7 per 100,000 dying

                      Fully vaccinated under 21day from receiving 2nd dose only 7.2 deaths per hundred thousand.

                      Fully vaccinated over 21 days after 2nd dose 26.4 deaths per hundred thousand this figure could include those with waning immunity or increased mobility due to feeling safer.

                      The difference is more than 33 deaths for unvaccinated to 1 for every fully vaccinated.

                    • Bill

                      Back that up by tomorrow afternoon (21st Dec), or you'll be off the site for 6 months. I've had it with your bad faith interactions – ie, your lies.

                    • Tricledrown

                      The claim by fenton that figures on age related statistics where they weren't releasing those figures may have been true at the time but looking at the ONS site www .ons people population shows all age groups. Maybe his outcry changed the way they reported.

                      But on Fact check UK claims were made that immunised were 32 ,000 times less likely to die.

                      Fact check said that was false and the real figure was 32 times less likely.

                      Which is the same rough calculation in the office of National statistics.

                      Age related deaths vary by age of course.

                      With increasing vaccination rates though there are less unvaccinated more vaccinated meaning more vaccinated people are catching covid even there there are still 4 times the number of deaths per infection. Than those who aren't vaccinated.Thats your link.

                    • Tricledrown

                      Descend of Smith link reading the ONS website of comparisons between vaccinated and unvaccinated.

                      The ONS says that covid infections amongst those who have been double dosed for 21days or more is lower across all age groups.

                      That's in contrast to your post bill.

              • KJT

                Tested on three succesive A and E admissions without covid syptoms, (fully vaccinated) even though the cause of my chest problems previously, was tested several times as non-covid. Workplace related.

                Protocols in Northland DHB.

                How about looking for actual facts in NZ before pontificating.

          • RedLogix

            It's way more complicated than that Bill.

            The question of false positives is a very messy one rife with issues and definitions. And even if the test works perfectly and the patient has no symptoms whatsoever – is this a 'false positive'?

            Personally I've just steered well clear of this one – there's very little chance of having a coherent or useful debate, whatever your pov.

            • Bill

              Norman Fenton's vid I linked to under KJT's comment has some revealing observational info about PCR testing and a statistical bomb shell or two. Highly recommended, if only to bend your head around some pertinent stuff that's not to do with PCR tests.

            • Tricledrown

              Fenton used the teenage rate of false positives to categorise all pcr tests.

              When it is known the younger you are the more likely you are to not present but be asymptomatic.

    • Tricledrown 7.4

      But given the percentage of people unvaccinated only 5% are taking up 80% of the hospital beds.

  8. mpledger 8

    This graph, at, is why the UK and Boris are in trouble.

    See also
    about why omicron is a problem even if it is milder.

  9. The World Health Organization recommends wearing a mask when listening to Hosking on Newstalk ZB.

    You say that Hosking says “the country has been badly let down in the vaccine roll-out”. 90.6% percent double jabbed today; 94.5% at least one jab. And this with the Pfizer vaccine that still seems to be regarded as the best of the lot.

    What a shambles! I used to own a backpacker hostel and always said there was a “5% wanker” element that checked in. It seems to be the same with vaccines.

    • Robert Guyton 9.1

      "The World Health Organization recommends wearing a mask when listening to Hosking on Newstalk ZB."

      Wouldn't it be wiser to wear ear-plugs?

      • Bearded Git 9.1.1

        smileyQuite right, and full PPE too.

        I always remember a guy coming round to my backpacker to get rid of the bed bugs. He said "its ok the chemicals are entirely harmless" and he was dressed like he was going for a walk on the moon.

  10. Anne 10

    Sent an email off today to Voice of Freedom outfit. Fed up with the garbage coming through my letterbox. Let them know in no uncertain terms what I think of them but was never rude or abusive (apart from calling them crackpots in the final sentence 😮 ).

    Got a A4 size page text back thanking me etc. and telling me about the great success they are having and they have hundreds of people emailing them every day. What they don't tell you is that the majority of those emails are almost certainly coming from people as fed up with the "crackpots" as I am.

    The next step will be to give the same message to these ZB dunderheads. Stopped listening to that station more than 20 years ago.

  11. Johnr 11

    Do we have any legal avenues to challenge these shock jock media opinions sprouted to justify or prove their daft suppositions. They have large audiences and seem to be able to say whatever they like without challenge

    • tc 11.1

      Nope which is why this shit will continue to damage our common sense approach.

      Collins had the opportunity but left them 'self regulating' and labours been either too busy or not interested with the likes of Faafoi.

  12. Tricledrown 13

    Right Wing squak back radio is gaining huge popularity with the Billy tks Brian Tamaki and all the nasty gangs who protest with those loonies.

    Heaven forbid lock down prevent gangs from selling misery/methamphetamine!

  13. gsays 14

    Bearing in mind that Talk Hate Radio and the Herald only exist to sell advertising. McIvor, Hoskings, Du Plessis Allan and co are there to keep people outraged till the next 'message from our sponsor'.

    Truth is, neither Janine nor Mc Ivor are wholly correct.

    • tc 14.1

      Comes down to what does a broadcasting licence do in NZ ?

      Provides a soapbox for pretty much anything when there's no financial dis-incentive on management or potential broadcast suspension for offending opinionators.

      Last time I heard ZB was in a taxi and the shock jock was encouraging civil disobediance, this was 2019 pre covid. In OZ that would likely see him hauled up and facing the music as the police would be most unimpressed.

      Just another day in radio rantland.

    • Ross 14.2

      The trouble is that Janine sounds terrified. But she has no reason to be. She is far more likely to die from a heart attack or cancer or stroke than from Covid. If she is feeling stressed about Covid, that could be having a serious effect on her health.

      Chronic stress, or a constant stress experienced over a prolonged period of time, can contribute to long-term problems for heart and blood vessels. The consistent and ongoing increase in heart rate, and the elevated levels of stress hormones and of blood pressure, can take a toll on the body. This long-term ongoing stress can increase the risk for hypertension, heart attack, or stroke.

      Repeated acute stress and persistent chronic stress may also contribute to inflammation in the circulatory system, particularly in the coronary arteries, and this is one pathway that is thought to tie stress to heart attack. It also appears that how a person responds to stress can affect cholesterol levels.

      She really needs to stop worrying about the unvaccinated, and learn how to relax.

  14. ianmac 15

    Kerri McIvor "interviewed" Luxon last week. She asked very few questions and let poor old Luxon ramble on repeating the same contradictory comments endlessly for 32 minutes. It did Luxon a terrible disservice as it was a boring monotone of cliches and it showed Luxon as a nonstarter as Prime Minister material. A bit sad as I thought Luxons first interview on Q&A showed promise.

    • Pete 15.1

      "Showed Luxon as a nonstarter as Prime Minister material?" As soon as Hosking deigns Luxon to be the best thing since God and Key, he'll more than be in the starting blocks.

  15. observer 16

    When there's a constant chorus of "move on, it's over, nothing to see here", nobody should be surprised when people start believing it, and act accordingly …

    Idiot listens to idiots, because freedom, or something

  16. Jimmy 17

    "Only 12 weeks ago Covid modeller Shaun Hendy predicted 7000 deaths a year if we hit an 80 per cent vaccination rate. Even if we hit 90 per cent – which is where we are now – he forecast 1557 deaths."

    Well at least his predictions are getting closer to reality after the 80,000 death prediction (which wasn't even the highly devastating delta variant).

    1,557 deaths may be accurate if taken over a few years.

    • observer 17.1

      You've quoted Heather (in the OP), not Shaun Hendy. Just to be clear.

      She did not provide the context, or anything else to inform the debate.

      • Jimmy 17.1.1

        Yes I realise that was Heather. But you must surely admit, 80k was a bit extreme scare mongering for a country of 5.5 million?

        Anyhow, I don't suppose you want to buy 79,000 body bags by any chance?

        • Descendant Of Smith

          "80k was a bit extreme scare mongering for a country of 5.5 million"

          Maybe if you exclude factors like an aging population and high numbers of Maori and Pacific peoples who are more susceptible and have a higher rate of other health issues. 15% of our population is already over 65 with a large cohort of 60-65 years olds coming up behind them.

          Not all populations are the same.

        • Craig H

          The modelling is of multiple scenarios, one of which is NZ does nothing i.e. no restrictions, no public health measures, no change in behaviour by people – obviously that won't happen, but it's useful as a baseline for at least showing that the worst case scenario from doing nothing is a bad plan.

          It would be more useful if reporting included other scenarios more prominently, but often they don't unfortunately.

          • Jimmy

            Sweden did nothing and "let it rip" (which IMO was crazy and have had around 15,000 deaths?). Sweden have double our population and are also disadvantaged as they are not an island surrounded by water like NZ, and are close to Europe with land neighbors so much harder to manage borders. They have not had 160,000 deaths, which is why the published 80k deaths was simply scare mongering to the extreme. And probably why we now have talk back callers too scared to even go on holiday within NZ for fear of Covid.

            • Craig H

              Sweden didn't do nothing, they encouraged people to distance and keep gatherings to a minimum which people did to some extent, PPE was rolled out, and laws changed to allow restrictions. Later vaccines arrived, and they also have vaccination requirements to enter the country. Obviously they were unable to eliminate as we did for good reasons as you have stated, but they definitely had a pandemic plan and messaging, and it wasn't "let it rip".

              The worst case scenario starts by assuming no PPE, no restrictions, no vaccines, no medications and that the population won't take any measures themselves like working from home where possible, or going out less, or whatever. Each of those are used as a variable in the calculation and modelling attempts to predict what each change would do by calculating outcomes based on the number assigned to each variable.

    • Descendant Of Smith 17.2

      You know that that modelling was the number of deaths if we did nothing.

      Assuming 20 "seed cases" and a transmission rate of 2.5 the model looks at what would happen if no attempts were made to stop the spread of the disease.

      It finds roughly that within 400 days roughly 89 per cent of the population would get infected, far exceeding the capability of our hospital system to cope and causing up to 80,000 deaths.

      and that the modelling you are bemoaning also inconveniently for you said this.

      Only a full mix of suppression strategies – population-wide social distancing with a lockdown and the closure of almost all businesses and schools – could keep the case numbers down enough for the healthcare system to cope, with a mortality rate of just 0.0004 per cent: About 20 people.

      Guess what we didn't "do nothing" and consequently we didn't have all those deaths. And we have had a total of 49 deaths over two years – 25 a year. Seems to me the modelling was very accurate.

    • Pete 17.3

      What were the conditions and circumstances which would have seen 80,000 deaths? Was that if the dumbarse Kiwiblogger scenario happened?

      You know, no masks, absolutely free border comings and goings, no lockdowns, no restrictions at all.

  17. Pete 18

    First of all. When there's a pandemic, who is more useful to society, modellers or Kerre McIvor?

    Then Du Plessis Allan. "Her bias is showing," or "she either did not read Henry’s research or, if she did, she did not understand it?" Those women are dumb, set on presenting bullshit, and exposing their intellectual limitations and simple wrong-headedness.

    Mike Hosking thinks the country has been badly let down by the vaccine rollout? That is unfair to him, not giving him the credit he is due, underplaying his nearly two years of spouting. Mike Hosking thinks the country has been badly let down by every single thing the government has done around Covid.

    Lots of shops have been closed, some sort of verification might be needed to get into some of them now, but let's be clear, through it all Hosking has been all over the shop. When one of his rants have proven to be crap (as regularly exposed on RNZ Mediawatch) he simply moved on to his next list of tosh. (I do appreciate it's been a hard year what with his hero, the oracle and guru of all things covid to him, Gladys Berejiklian, came a gutser.

    An anorexic whitebait wouldn't be wetted in the depths of the zb talent pool.

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  • Govt expresses condolences on the passing of HRH Princess Sui’ilikutapu
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has expressed condolences on behalf of New Zealand to the Kingdom of Tonga following the death of Her Royal Highness Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu Kalaniuvalu Fotofili. “New Zealand sends it’s heartfelt condolences to the people of Tonga, and to His Majesty King Tupou VI at this time ...
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  • Govt expresses condolences on the passing of HRH Princess Siu’ilikutapu
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has expressed condolences on behalf of New Zealand to the Kingdom of Tonga following the death of Her Royal Highness Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu Kalaniuvalu Fotofili. “New Zealand sends it’s heartfelt condolences to the people of Tonga, and to His Majesty King Tupou VI at this time ...
    6 days ago
  • Security support to Solomon Islands extended
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  • Minister Mahuta to attend the first Korea-Pacific Leaders’ Summit
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  • Tourism transformation starts with people
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    1 week ago
  • Te ao Māori health services more accessible for whānau
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    1 week ago

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