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Covid-19 lessons from a plagued flight

Written By: - Date published: 10:43 pm, January 11th, 2021 - 22 comments

In September there was a 18 hour flight Dubai that ended in Auckland. A relatively close group on that plane showed infection after arrival, and a genetically similar version. The evidence of in-flight infection is very strong and points to the on-going issues with shipping virus hosts around the world. This has some pretty strong implications for long-haul flights in particular. But also to the risks of having travel ‘bubbles’ without enforced quarantine.

The UK is now the world’s Covid cot case

Written By: - Date published: 9:09 am, January 6th, 2021 - 25 comments

Well after the emergence of a mutated Covid virus that is much easier to spread and faced with surging infection rates Boris Johnson has put England into a lockdown similar but not as strong as New Zealand’s original lockdown.  But the question is, has he done too little too late?

Chris Bishop goes woof woof on variant ‘B.1.1.7’

Written By: - Date published: 1:26 pm, December 28th, 2020 - 43 comments

I realise that this would normally be our silly season, but it seems a bit macabre with the northern winter death toll. But nothing really excuses Chris Bishop for being a complete dickhead in barking for immediate offshore testing for travellers from the UK. It is pointless. The government are a bit more sensible. They’re instituting an extra test at our border.

Plan B activists still think NZ should be like Sweden

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, December 26th, 2020 - 171 comments

In a letter published in the Royal New Zealand College of Medical Practitioners journal Plan B academics have criticised the Government’s Covid elimination strategy because of the economic effects at the same time that recently announced growth figures show the economy grew in the past 12 months despite Covid.

Beefing up the border – expensive and essential

Written By: - Date published: 11:31 am, December 21st, 2020 - 30 comments

From a few days ago (it seems like an eternity), RNZ reported “Govt to pump almost $3 billion into its Covid-19 response after report identified failings”. There were several points I’d make about the border controls and generally with our border and the long slow years in constraining this pandemic. But the Sydney outbreak and the UK Xmas Grinch appear to be making them for me already.

Must New Zealand Pay Back All This Public Debt?

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, December 20th, 2020 - 22 comments

Without much fanfare, Minister Robertson has used 2020’s crisis to bury the historic scourge of monetarism and within it the excuses of the governments that used it as a pretext to sell off our key government income generators.

Operation warped

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, December 20th, 2020 - 30 comments

Donald Trump has spent the past week stuffing up the vaccine roll out in some states, fighting attempts to cancel the Trump wall and blaming China for Russian hacks on American institutions and corporations.

The human Pangaea

Written By: - Date published: 8:10 am, December 9th, 2020 - 16 comments

Humans have created the most recent virtual super-continent. At least as far as species movement has been concerned world wide. We’ve picked up species from around the world and transplanted them almost everywhere else – including microbiological. Pandemics will be the inevitable result. Could be amphibians dying off. It could be us. Perhaps it is time to have an intelligent discussion about the risks.

What happens when the Covid vaccine becomes available?

Written By: - Date published: 7:42 am, December 4th, 2020 - 60 comments

The United Kingdom has used emergency procedures to approve for general use the Pfizer Covid vaccine.  But this will nor provide overnight respite from Covid.  How do you handle the mass vaccination of pretty well the whole planet?  And what are the implications for New Zealand’s border policy?

Media crisis may be most problematic

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 am, November 27th, 2020 - 34 comments

The government is simultaneously grappling with the Covid, economic and housing crises, but its failure to act urgently and boldly on the crisis in our Fourth Estate may have the most damaging longer-term effect. Bernard Hickey has lashed out at Broadcasting and Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Jacinda Ardern, for their fiddling-while-Rome-burns response to an industry in meltdown.

The Speech From The Throne

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, November 27th, 2020 - 21 comments

I’m sure one needs a particular depth of political nerdiness to give a flying fig about such things, but since I am one of those, these are my highlights from the speech from the throne to Parliament this week.

National announces terms of reference for its election campaign review

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, November 24th, 2020 - 62 comments

National wants to work out what went wrong during the last election.

South Australia’s new Covid strain

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, November 19th, 2020 - 16 comments

During a week in which two Covid vaccines have been announced there is disturbing news coming out of Australia where a new more potent strain of the virus has appeared in South Australia.

COVID19 Vaccine and New Zealand’s K-Shaped Recovery

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, November 11th, 2020 - 36 comments

IF the discovery of a potential Covid vaccine looks like a new dawn, let’s not forget that this is the accelerating point of the K-shaped recovery New Zealand have been dreading. Our already rich are on the line heading upwards. They are getting richer because of a range of our Government policies.

If Biden wins, then what?

Written By: - Date published: 11:29 am, November 7th, 2020 - 39 comments

I hope that I am not tempting fate by saying this but a Biden presidency seems almost inevitable. But presuming he prevails the transition is going to be one of the most difficult and most important in America’s history.

The Covid crisis

Written By: - Date published: 11:43 am, November 1st, 2020 - 51 comments

A surge in Covid infections in Europe and in the United States is raising the specter that the most pessimistic predictions about the disease and its effect on the health system may occur.   And right wing governments appear to be spectacularly unable to deal with the crisis.

Aotearoa New Zealand is a hell hole paradise dystopian democracy

Written By: - Date published: 8:09 am, October 29th, 2020 - 55 comments

Fox News has seized upon a four month old video of Jacinda Ardern to suggest that New Zealand has a terrifying new response to the disease and are throwing people into quarantine camps.

Melbourne gets on top of Covid

Written By: - Date published: 8:36 am, October 27th, 2020 - 15 comments

Yesterday the city of Melbourne recorded its first day of no new reported covid infections in nearly five months. At the same time in America the White House has effectively said that control is too difficult and that it is giving up.

Is this woman being coerced into unsafe healthcare by the DHB’s handling of covid testing?

Written By: - Date published: 1:21 pm, October 8th, 2020 - 13 comments

Why is the Ministry of Health not stepping in to ensure nationwide standards for covid testing, and ensuring that isolation facilities meet our Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights?

The Trump Covid game

Written By: - Date published: 2:17 pm, October 6th, 2020 - 10 comments

Let’s imagine a scenario where you are the President of the United States and it is in the middle of a pandemic.  You then contract the virus yourself.  How would you rate compared to Donald Trump?

Meanwhile, the climate crisis

Written By: - Date published: 11:56 am, October 4th, 2020 - 44 comments

A large wildfire has destroyed many homes in the village of Ohau in the Mackenzie Country, and hundreds of people have been evacuated.

Trump’s not so bad: the holding our breath edition

Written By: - Date published: 11:17 am, October 4th, 2020 - 79 comments

An occasional series

POTUS, Covid and the New Zealand election

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, October 3rd, 2020 - 122 comments

News that Donald Trump has tested positive for Covid will have a significant effect on the US election as well as our local election.  It raises the issue who will you trust to lead the country against this most agile yet deadly virus?

Vote Labour To Support Your Job

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, September 24th, 2020 - 100 comments

This is a backpocket election – and that’s where most of Labour’s effort is going as it rightly should.

National’s many and varied Covid border policies

Written By: - Date published: 7:31 am, September 24th, 2020 - 12 comments

On Tuesday National announced the fifth variation of its Covid border policy this year.

National’s lolly scramble tax cuts

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, September 19th, 2020 - 55 comments

Despite claiming that the PREFU figures were catastrophic and despite stating a month ago that it would not do this National has come out with a policy of temporary tax cuts favouring the rich.  They must be desperate.

Choosing ‘enough’ rather than ‘more’

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, September 18th, 2020 - 104 comments

A brief look at steady state economics and the values of enough rather than more.

Qanon is here

Written By: - Date published: 7:37 am, September 14th, 2020 - 132 comments

While a few in the media leapt at the opportunity to vilify a small evangelical community at the latest COVID 19 spread, the really big COVID 19-conspiracy story landed by the thousand this weekend. It’s overdue we woke up to QAnon here.

Covid, the US President and the Evangelical churches

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, September 10th, 2020 - 123 comments

There has been disturbing local news that some members of a local evangelical church, influenced by American equivalents, refused to accept the threat posed by the virus. And in America a new book from Bob Woodward suggests strongly that Donald Trump knew how big a threat Covid would be but chose for political reasons to downplay the risk.

Covid – New Zealand has similar levels of freedom to Sweden

Written By: - Date published: 1:41 pm, September 6th, 2020 - 83 comments

Simon Thornley is claiming that New Zealand’s covid response is a failure and we should be more like Sweden. But it appears that in more recent times Sweden has toughened its stringency tests so that they are similar to New Zealand’s.

Will our cities revive?

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, September 5th, 2020 - 43 comments

Our cities are the nation’s lungs; they recycle and accelerate external goods and transform them internally into faster circulation. Auckland and Christchurch have had tens of billions invested in them over successive local and central governments, but has this improved our strength or wealth as a country at all?

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