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Covid and kindness

Written By: - Date published: 10:16 am, October 20th, 2021 - 127 comments
Categories: covid-19, disability, health, Maori Issues, vaccines - Tags:

I’m still seeing a fair number of people advocating for ‘opening up’ on the basis of either individual responsibility (‘I’m vaccinated’), and/or fuck the lazy/selfish bastards (‘never mind 90% vax rate, we can’t wait’).

Underlying this seems to be the idea that the vaccine will save us. I just saw someone say that there is absolutely no risk to New Zealand if they were to travel from Queensland (in an area where there is no covid),  as they have been double vaccinated. It’s a problem that this far in there are still people who don’t understand how the vaccines work in individuals and as a public health measure.

The Pfizer–BioNTech and Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the highly infectious Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 — but their protection drops away over time, a study of infections in the United Kingdom has concluded.

The vaccine developed by Oxford and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in Cambridge, UK, was 69% effective against a high viral load 14 days after the second dose, falling to 61% by 90 days.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02261-8 (19 August 2021)

Those figures don’t mean the vaccine is useless, it means the vaccine is one tool among many and we need to use all the tools together strategically, rather than relying on any one in isolation.

The vaccines are tools to help limit spread and reduce risk to individuals. They’re not a panacea. The ‘helping limit spread’ thing needs multiple tools in addition to vaccination, including controls on borders, periodic lockdowns, MiQ, mask wearing, hand washing, distancing etc.

The debate right now isn’t ‘when can we open up again?’ It’s how can we manage those tools to balance the needs of various groups and the governance of New Zealand as a whole for our short, medium and long term wellbing?

Auckland is doing the heavy lifting right now, and has been for weeks on end. Understandably many Aucklanders are stressed and frustrated, some highly so, and the pressure on businesses affected by lockdown is intense.

Lots of people are frustrated with the government not doing better. I tend to the view that delta is a second pandemic and we are having to learn anew how to manage. I also understand that there are people in government who haven’t had a break since the pandemic began. That’s high stress, and we need to pay attention to this being a long commitment, not something that will be over in the next six months and then everything goes back to a slightly altered normal.

I suspect that 2022 will a hard year for New Zealand. Either we open up to the point that covid is in the community across the whole country and we have whole new set of stressors to deal with as death and disability rates climb, our precarious health system stumbles a lot more, and we have to figure out how to manage waning protection from the vaccine.

Or we try and contain covid as much as we can, which means more periodic lockdowns, and having to adapt at a much deeper level across society – think major changes to industry and work sectors as businesses fail, how to diversify education, redesigning cities and suburbs to make containment more tolerable or even enjoyable. If that seems extreme, factor in a new variant worse than delta.

I’m listening to Māori a lot currently, and disabled people. I wish I was hearing more from the elderly, Pasifica and other vulnerable groups (vulnerable to covid, but also vulnerable to neoliberalism’s entrenched poverty which increases risk in multiple ways). These are the people that will be disproportionately affected individually and in their communities.

But, these are also the people who hold some of the solutions to the challenges we are facing.

It’s pretty clear that despite Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Crown has failed to protect Māori to the same level as Tau Iwi.

We can blame Labour or ‘the government’ but this ignores the reality of longstanding issues within the Health system from decades of neoliberal fuckery and that make centralised control a high priority and cultural safety a low priority. It breaks my heart that New Zealand is still so bad at letting Māori look after themselves, because of the sovereignty tearing impact on Māori, but also because New Zealand as a whole would benefit from many of the ways that Māori approach problem solving.

Rates of vaccination in disabled people are too low, and I’m seeing hardly anyone talking about this.

I’m seeing centre lefties shift towards authoritarianism.

If there was any point in our lived history for being kind, for reasserting kindness as a deep value, this is the time. Kindness and fairness. There’s a storm coming, much bigger than the one we are in now, and we need our values to be set and straight, not veering off into meanness and self-interest.

If we understand covid as a long term crisis, then it means that attending to Te Tiriti becomes even more important. New Zealand as a whole has much to learn from Māori about prioritising people, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

We also have a great resource in the disabled community, who are experts at adapting to limitation in creative and life affirming ways.

I also believe that we should be merging the pandemic response with climate action and addressing the ecological crises. Both those things are worsening while our attention is elsewhere, but the good news is that mitigation and adaptation for all three can go hand in hand. A small example: delta requires us to spend more time outside, this is something that can bring many health, social and ecological benefits. If that means time in our neighbourhood, how about we spend the next year making our neighbourhoods good places to be.

127 comments on “Covid and kindness ”

  1. Covid is a hard problem in addition to all the other issues we face. In a time of crisis we need leadership and government to exercise its authority. This means mistakes will be made. The vaccine rollout was planned to prioritise vulnerable groups by age. Only the far left continues to bring race into it. That doesn't actually help anybody get vaccinated.

    Multiple crises — in housing, poverty, climate, and a pandemic — demand a vigorously assertive response by Government using its power. Like Ad posted today, "Kindness" only gets us so far. Public health advice suggests that fear is the motivator that will get compliance from the vaccine hesitant. And force is the only language that entrenched right wing interests will respond to.

    Not advocating direct force, but with the right incentives/penalties, people will make a rational (i.e. selfish) choice.

    • weka 1.1

      Only the far left continues to bring race into it. That doesn't actually help anybody get vaccinated.

      If we understand why Māori for instance don't have high enough vax rates, we can target those problems. (likewise any group). Can't see how we can leave ethnicity out of it. And as the tweet in the post shows, Māori were ready to go early and weren't funded.

      We can also easily see that long term socioeconomic issues affect Māori in specific ways, and that is now coming back to bite us.

    • weka 1.2

      The government should lead, but they're not the only leaders, and communities in particular know how to do things, often better than central govt.

      • roblogic 1.2.1

        Accusing the government of racism when we have one of the best vaccine rollouts in the world, is just spiteful & petty. I cannot imagine the logistical challenges required and sacrifices from the health sector in order to achieve our vaccination rates.

        • weka 1.2.1.1

          how do you account for the low rate of vaccination among Māori? Or disabled people?

          • roblogic 1.2.1.1.1

            Vaccine hesitancy. Something the government is spending millions on trying to combat.

            • weka 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Why are Māori and disabled people more vaccine hesitant than other people?

              What barriers do disabled and Māori face in access vaccination?

              • KJT

                From where I sit, I see influential people in the Maori community, Iwi leaders, church groups and even a couple of Doctors, spreading anti vacc mis-information.

                Up our way, a lot of the problem is simply access. Getting time off work, getting to vaccination centres combined with a degree of complacency (Ngati Hine were almost going to close their vaccination centre before Delta arrived. when there was little covid in Northland). There is also an issue of affording even a few days of work with minor side effects, for a lot of people. Of course while we had almost zero cases, that was a more immediate issue for many.

                The covid buses, community workers, local Doctors and pharmacies starting clinics has got a lot more vaccinated. As has the "Aunties" getting behind it. The drive through centre was great for getting time strapped workers to come along.

                • weka

                  thank-you for acknowledging access (and that it's not just about some people being lazy/selfish/stupid/anto).

                  • KJT

                    Those who have problems with access, and many of the mis-informed/hesitant, will get vaccinated. It will just take time. I don’t consider them Anti’s. The refusers, however.

                    • weka

                      My own position is to focus on the hesitant in terms of upping the vax rate (don't try and get the hard core anti-vaxers vaccinated, it's not the best use of time right now). And address the social issues around information (social media, protests) separately from that, don't conflate or confuse the two. And charge Tamaki and hope they lock him up this time.

                      Vaccine uptake hasn't stalled, it's just that the time frames are under a lot of pressure.

                    • weka

                      Heh, just seen this,

                      Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki has been charged with breaching his bail conditions after claiming he’d avoided charges over his attendance at a second “freedom rally” against Covid-19 restrictions, Stuff understands.

                      On Wednesday, police said they’d charged a 63-year-old man with failing to comply with an order under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act and Alert Level 3 Order and is also appearing before the court for breach bail conditions.

                      He has been taken into custody and is due to appear in the Auckland District Court via audio-visual link.

                      Stuff understands the person is Brian Tamaki.

                      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/300433941/covid19-police-charge-brian-tamaki-again-this-time-for-breaching-bail-conditions-stuff-understands

                    • weka

                      Fingers crossed it's a good judge.

                    • georgecom

                      there is some more time KJT yes, but that window is narrowing. Simply put people will not wait around for every such person to get on board. The Sandra Goudies or Pembroke Birds of the world do no one a service with their views, anyone who buys into some of the ill informed drivel Pem Bird spouted good luck to them, they will catch covid. I am supportive of the hesitant been given good info and having a bit of time to digest it, time is not on their side though. Everybody has the change to be vaccinated, efforts are continuing for ensure that happens.

                      I have no truck with rule breakers, be it horse riders & lawyers, hookers, so called 'influencers' who now have little credibility, drug dealers or pastors. If they get named on the front page of the newspaper all well and good. People can call my comments authoritarian if they wish, to me it's social responsibility and the good of us collectively. Covid calls for a collective action, not self entitled pricks.

                      However people see things or label things, or what their views are, the harsh reality of covid life will meet such people sooner or later, and very probably sooner.

                  • KJT

                    Comment in the back end for you.

                    I think Tamaki getting charged is well deserved.
                    The equivalent of running around lighting matches while everyone else is fighting the fire.

                    Making him a martyr to his followers may backfire though.

                    There are worse than him that are not so open about it though.
                    Some of the “happy clappy” churches are quietly undermining the covid response under the radar for one.

              • KJT

                Just about all of my Maori Whanau are health care workers or Teachers, and vaccinated as soon as they could. BTW.

                They are a lot meaner about “anti-vaccers” than I am.
                Very conscious of the threat to their community.
                The 1918 flu epidemic is a painful memory.

                On the other side there is a lot of, justified, distrust that Government is working in their best interests.

          • DS 1.2.1.1.2

            Elderly Maori have excellent vaccination rates, as do Maori in Wellington and the South Island. Pasifika also have very solid vaccination rates.

            The problem is Maori under the age of 50, in the upper North Island.

      • Patricia Bremner 1.2.2

        I think the failure was some DHBs being the Silos Andrew Little said they were.

        The mistake was letting DHBs control the funding.

        Centralising the programme, but funding locals to implement it would have been an improvement. Trusting Iwi.

        Receipt distribution and storage of pfizer was problematic as low storage temps were needed.

        The failure to plan according to needs. Maori and Pacifica should have been able to come as families, rather than asking them to come 3 times to do the generations in one household, leaving the largest cohort 'till 1st September.

        I think the PM has had the correct attitude, but ingrained management DHB behaviours are hard to change. Pene Henare has a job on his hands

    • Molly 1.3

      People smugly touting their double-vaccinated status, before launching into a socially sanctioned rant about those unvaccinated, should stop and consider what their motivation to do so is:

      1. Is it just to have a rant, and bask in the company of other ranters?

      2. Is it to lead into a narrative about how vaccination rates can now bring us some semblence of Business As Usual? (My perspective is that the world has changed, let go that notion, and retain the things of value while we build for resilience and change).

      3. Is it to persuade those with access and able to vaccinate, the persuasion to go get vaccinated? (Because in my own experience, watching people derisively yell at others, is not exactly a method of persuasion with positive outcomes)

      There is a lot of fear. Might be irrational fear to you, but rational in terms of someone's life experiences and exposure to unverified information. Finding out where the diversity of fears originate, might help provide information that allows those fears to be eliminated.

      If people are scared of the mRNA vaccines, then let's make moves to procure and approve the Novovax as soon as we can. Do we want them vaccinated, or do we want them to do what we say? They can be involved in the clinical trials for approval in NZ.

      As an example, I have an acquaintance that had four Covid tests in the first couple of months of the pandemic, and was terrified of catching the virus. Added to that was a vastly reduced income for a previously comfortable financial life, and uncertainty about what was happening and when it would end. Fast forward to a year later, with having experienced a fairly non-restricted life after NZ pursued a Covid-elimination strategy, she is refusing to be vaccinated, along with a large cohort of her acquaintances. (Heavy Facebook user, and very conservative in politics and beliefs). I can partly see that the extreme fear that she felt, was offset in part by the freedom that she had enjoyed for many months, and during that time, constant messaging that the threat was nowhere near as bad as the government made it out to be. There is a relief from that extreme fear, that comes from messaging such as there is no real pandemic, and therefore no need to get vaccinated that I can understand. Don't particularly think that is a useful way to deal with some of the larger challenges in life, but can understand it. She has a similar approach to discussions on climate change.

      This is an example of what we have to address when trying to design and plan for New Zealand moving forward.

      Most people want to live a life of health and wellbeing, and enjoy the company of friends and family while they do so.

      For improving vaccination rates we need to stop pontificating, and do the hard work of understanding what are the various reasons that are stopping them, and then address those. But if you are someone who wants to continue ranting, go ahead. Understand that it is for your benefit (release of frustration) rather than a method of persuasion.

      (We do need to have a clear blueprint for the road ahead, but that's another aspect of where we go from here.)

      • roblogic 1.3.1

        I'm all for understanding, persuasion and kindness on a personal level.

        But on a society wide basis certain behaviours carry consequences and will entail a visit from law enforcement. If people persist in science denial, conspiracy theories, making dangerous & selfish choices, and spreading misinformation, they need to understand that "free-dumb" and "my choice" will have consequences.

        Just like driving on the wrong side of the road, running around with scissors, playing with fire.

        We didn’t lock down Auckland for 10 weeks for a lark. 1.8 million people are going through a lot of shit, and we are running out of patience with the lunatic fringe & antisocial arseholes. “We are all in this together”, except for a few munters who are paddling the waka the wrong way and trying to sink the lot of us.

        • Molly 1.3.1.1

          … and your solution is?…

        • weka 1.3.1.2

          [deleted]

          • Rosemary McDonald 1.3.1.2.1

            Weka.

            Incognito banned me a few weeks back for referencing UK government JCVI advice expressing caution around Covid vaccines for young people.

            I was told I was not allowed to comment on TS again unless I agree NOT to discuss Covid or the vaccines.

            I am just throwing this in here to see if my ban is still in force.

            Moderators allowing comentators to refer to the unvaccinated as "fucking filth" marked an all time low point on TS.

            There's robust debate and then there's…something else… that I'm not sure I want to a part of.

            Okay, so I’m in moderation. I take that as a ‘no’ then?

            • weka 1.3.1.2.1.1

              You're not banned, you're in premod. I'll take a look later. If you can link me to where you were moderated it will be easier to sort this out.

              • weka

                I've taken you out of the premod list for now but will have to talk to the moderator who put you there when they are next around.

            • gsays 1.3.1.2.1.2

              Hi Rosemary, FWIW, I enjoy reading your contributions and I think you have maintained a dignified stance even though others have slid into emotional outbursts.

              I don't always agree but you offer insights forged in experience and often offer a fresh perspective.

              I have missed your presence.

          • roblogic 1.3.1.2.2

            Reforming society, rebuilding the health system, saving the environment are all long term projects that I can get behind. But that doesn't address the immediate crisis facing Auckland right now.

            You say that lefties are going authoritarian. No. Endless lockdowns are authoritarian. A robust response is required precisely to avoid this situation in future.

            (Also, smash capitalism! ✊ )

      • Peter 1.3.2

        Gang members need elemental change. They need to be reprogrammed so they see life, the world and themselves differently. (Accepting there areveconomic factors.)

        Your acquaintance too. She is as distorted as them.

  2. Sabine 2

    The issues in the Health department are bipartisan. And frankly we should blame the government, specifically if we are 'blaming' Maori for not getting vaccinated, while at the same time we have Maori setting up a Give a little page for their Vaccination Van and service.

    In the meantime people running out of money, and can't keep up with their payments because despite this long lockdown, nothing was done to help the people that are on a lesser income but stuck with a hundred percent of their bills.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/covid-19-delta-financial-stress-people-are-at-their-breaking-point-says-govt-funded-service/K22PXCVU45TXU5T7DRZZUXMYLI/

    In the meantime people who live overcrowded and move every other week to a different sofa may really don't feel that inclined to help the rich to be rich and carefree and able to travel again. And may really not think about vaccinations as something important when they try to figure out where to go next.

    What this pandemic shows in no uncertain terms is the collective failure of Government – of all stripes and all coalitions in regards to housing, education, food security, and access to good health services etc. So as long as it did not bother our well to do class of our well to do academic / financial/ journalists/tv and politicians crowd they could not care less, maybe a bit of lipservice here and then when it just got too bad visually, but in the end that was it.

    We – the proletariat and the precariat are supposed to be kind, kind to the makers and the shakers of this country. We are not to get angry at being left without recourse to fill the buckets with trickle of water to stop the fire from growing. And here we are and its not working, and it is our 'work from home full time with full income' elite that is getting scared of losing the perks that made their lifes so enjoyable.

    In the meantime some essential worker will ready themselves to work, and hope to god that he/she won't come back with the virus to then infect the rest of the 5 – 15 people they share a property with. Because that would mean even less money in the kitty, and even more hardship for those already doing it tough.

    We are reaping what we sowed. And the crop is bad.

    • Molly 2.1

      "We are reaping what we sowed. And the crop is bad."

      The failure to even recognise the long-standing truth of the issues that you bring up, is such a huge failing for the government, the commentariat and those of us who have the security and the time to draw attention to these problems.

      The resilience of some of those forgotten demographics in NZ is admirable, but should not have been given the environment in which it was necessary to develop. And those that break and fall are legion.

      The resilience of the comfortable elite that fill the newspapers with their withdrawal symptoms from overseas trips, retail shopping etc is pitiful in comparison. Their sincerity in these complaints only makes the disconnect more apparent.

      The government is going to make mistakes. They need to recognise and address them before going forward. The failure to accept the offer of Whānau Ora should be recognised as a bad decision, and they should now be going to Whānau Ora to develop the current strategy and listening this time. I hope they are.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    more periodic lockdowns

    That scenario looms if containment strategies fail. The more such failures occur, the more folks lose faith in govt strategy.

    Now if the govt were to abandon paternalism & try genuine communication with the public instead, voter loyalty would be steadfast in their favour. Your point re ministerial stress is a good one: stress management involves diagnosis of that problem & correction action. Any sign of that from Ardern? Not as far as I can discern.

    I watched Hipkins this morning & didn't get the accountability I was looking for. Still not saying he's incompetent though. He handled the young ethnic tv presenter on One capably despite her scepticism. Seems to me he's genuinely unaware of the public mood shift. As long as Labour polling holds up, fair enough I guess.

    • weka 3.1

      Do you think it's an issue of Labour making mistakes? Wrong approach? A really difficult situation for which there are no perfect, or probably even good, solutions inside neoliberalism? Don't know what they're doing some of the time?

      I think our expectations are too high, not because we shouldn't expect the best, but because we might not recognise what the best is atm.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        My best guess currently is that they've lapsed into managerialism as a mindset. In an evolving situation that enables them to cope – but at the cost of rapport with the people. We know the PM has a natural flair for what ex-pres GWB famously called "the vision thing", but no evidence of that flair being applied to the current situation.

        If they're in the murk, is it unreasonable for us to expect clarity? Not hard to connect the dots on the causal pattern: the number of linked cases is sufficient, right? So they know how Delta is being spread. They seem reluctant to share that gnosis with the public in relation to their evolving strategy for containment.

        Their stance seems to be `let's keep on doing the same thing'. Not a sensible match to an evolving situation, right? Gambling that people won't notice the mismatch ain't sensible, right?

        Oh well, I'll just keep hoping the PM regains her clarity of vision, figures out that the loss of faith in the system is a problem for her to solve, and then presents with the solution. I don't expect the current drift to last. Maybe Friday will clarify.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          Your first paragraph is one of the best theories I've seen.

          If they're in the murk, is it unreasonable for us to expect clarity? Not hard to connect the dots on the causal pattern: the number of linked cases is sufficient, right? So they know how Delta is being spread. They seem reluctant to share that gnosis with the public in relation to their evolving strategy for containment.

          It's reasonable. But, what if clarity isn't possible? Do we want Ardern to resign? Labour to step aside?

          You and I are system thinkers. Not sure to what extent the Caucus and MoH are. I haven't been following the dailies, as my covid-free life is overwhelmed with other things, I don't have a sense one way or other how reasonable what they are doing is.

          I do think Ardern is caught between a rock and a hard place. It's not hard for me to envision merging covid response with climate/eco action, but that just wouldn't be possible within neoliberal world views, and I wonder if she's reached the limit of how far she can push neoliberalism. Not that she's alone in that, many people atm are turning to authority (rather than visionary leadership) as the way out of a really difficult situation. That she has been cautious about implementing authoritarianist responses is to her credit.

          • Dennis Frank 3.1.1.1.1

            My take on Jacinda is that she's strongly intuitive, but with a hefty grasp of practical management strategies & tactics that seem to displace reliance on intuition. Excellent on crisis management – but that's due to the crisis kicking her into intuitive mode. Once past crisis, she slips back into reliance on departmental advice.

            Bureaucrats are plodders by nature. Bloomfield has proven himself an exception to that rule but currently he's not showing fresh initiative.

            I reckon there's two kinds of systems thinkers (maybe more): BAU type & adaptors. Green systems thinkers are adaptive by nature. But no, Ardern has no reason to resign nor ought Labour to "step aside". What's missing is high-level political advice. That could come from anywhere.

            Would be good if it came from the Greens. Too bad no Green politicians are providing it – as far as we know. They could be doing so without informing the public. If so, they ought to tell us. It would lift their collective mana.

          • Sabine 3.1.1.1.2

            I do think Ardern is caught between a rock and a hard place.

            this is very true, and it is a place of her own making. First thing that would be to change perception is to either admit that yes, they are not telling us all, or that no they are not more informed then us and they are making it up as they go along.

            Making it up as we go along with the information we have is what everyone of us is doing.

            So have a fireside chat, a come together with the nation, televised, via radio, facebook, and all the other medias and start having that discussion with he tangata.

            People need to understand what is going on, they need to be motivated, they need to feel that their contribution makes a difference. That has not changed because of Covid. But yet here they have failed in their communication. It is as if they had communicated to themselves, their own peers and class and caste, and forgotten the ones that don't tune in at 1 pm because they are at work, or don't have a tv / computer.

            Strong leadership can impose restriction that suit the times, this must not be automatically considered authoritarianism. It can just be a tool. But that tool can not be the only thing to use. As for the left, it should always ask itself : Am i condoning under my party/ies what i would abhor under the opponents party/ies? Is it ok if Labour does it if it were not under National? that should be our guiding line.

            • I Feel Love 3.1.1.1.2.1

              Bloody great little thread weka, Dennis & Sabine. Most positive & constructive thing I've read on TS pretty much ever. Impressed.

  4. Pete 4

    The dimensions of the situation come into focus when you have someone online today saying:

    The experimental injection trial has already saved thousands in pensions as the old are 'coincidentally' killed off.

    As the boosters destroy the trial subject's immunity more will perish saving even more money but it will be worthless because of inflation and the collapse of our economy as planned.

    This is about banking and control. The injected have been deceived and are now marked. They have started down the transhuman pathway with altered dna from reverse transcription of the retrotransposons.

    Jacinister is a liar and a snake who has led her lambs to the slaughterhouse and more are waking up to her tyranny each moment as thing no longer add up

    (sic)

    [edited formatting for clarity – weka]

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    COVID has really exacerbated what was already there. Extinctions, near extinctions and habitat destruction or change via Climate Disaster tipping points, has been implicated in cross species virus transmission. So humans are getting “paid back double” and many people have had the time to reflect on what their lives really mean and what positive change we can make.

    Others are unmoved and champing at the bit to get back into the service economy, commodity fetishism, and jingle tills. So despite all the obvious practical matters to be dealt with when Delta is let rip–like funerals and blighted lives–there is some intense political struggle coming. Neo liberalism has to be retired and the existing Parliamentary parties will not go there!

    So, the politics that dare not speak its name will make a comeback…s-s-socialism and I would say it must be Eco Socialism, because greenwashing capitalism is not going to work out.

    • weka 5.1

      thanks for this. I really should be writing more posts about what our options are given all that.

    • Patricia Bremner 5.2

      smileyyes Agree, good points Tiger Mountain. Eco Socialism YES!!

    • Patricia Bremner 5.3

      smileyyes Agree, good points Tiger Mountain. Eco Socialism YES!!

    • SPC 5.4

      Humans getting paid back double – people involved in that issue, human encroachment on wildlife areas and the possibility of disease to humans resulting from this were involved in gain of function research developing the very spike protein of the pandemic coronavirus. Something that the US military wanted nothing to do with because they thought it too dangerous …

  6. miravox 6

    I agree with much of what you say here. Especially with the delay in Māori vaccination roll-outs. Andrew Little has decided (rightly so, imo) that a Māori Health Authority is needed to address access to health service, yet none of the already identified board members have, in the spirit of the new structure, been standing up with or as an alternative speaker at the 1pm covid briefings. And there has been no show of leadership or authority at this top level of the vaccination rollout.

    Second – people with influential roles in society who spout anti-vaccine rhetoric with no science to back it up can get in the sea as far as I'm concerned. They're as bad a drug dealers, dealing in disease instead. As with their enablers, including Facebook and Instagram who allow 'influencers' to peddle this rubbish.

    People who are just living their lives and are subjected to these false claims and bugger all alternative information about how vaccines will work for them, in their situations deserve time, money and empathy to get them over the line.

    I heard yesterday about some people making the decision to go for their first dose in a workplace clinic. Absolutely in tears with fear about what they were doing, even though they knew it was the right thing. The kindness and empathy of the staff made all the difference. The decision processes these people had to go through to get that dose should be admired and lead to some refection from others about just how hard it is to leave the anti-vax indoctrination behind.

    • weka 6.1

      I wish I could have put that in the post. That last paragraph is spot on imo. I've been around vax hesitant and anti-vaxxers all my adult life, they're just a normal part of my community. Not hard core out there selling the life, but just quietly making different decisions about their healthcare. Some won't change this time round but they might next so long as they don't get radicalised.

      The other aspect is what do we do going forward about the internet and misinformation. It's not like this is the only issue where it matters, and it won't be the last time it's critical. Again, while I'm good with Tamaki etc being arrested, I think we need to look at the cultural issues that have sent otherwise rational people down the rabbit hole.

      • weka 6.1.1

        I also think it would be worth it to look at the variations of anti-vaxers, and why they belief what they do, rather than just ostracising them. The solution is in the problem (to steal a concept from permaculture).

        • Tiger Mountain 6.1.1.1

          Agree. There are generations that grew up in a non essential or no vaccination culture. Unlike me, who has two friends that use their arms as legs (with sticks) due to polio, and had school mates with leg callipers to aid walking. I still have my TB injection scar and had numerous other shots when young including Tetanus for various cuts.

          Two COVID shots was a no brainer for me. My partner is a union organiser and deals daily now with members between a rock and the proverbial over vaccination. A gentle approach to all the nuances is needed. They are not hard core anti in the main, just have a different life experience and trying to decide what to do.

        • miravox 6.1.1.2

          Thanks 🙂

          I also think it would be worth it to look at the variations of anti-vaxers

          ^^This

          It's all too easy to think of people in a social/demographic or any other category as a hivemind, or an amorphous mass. There's a lot of context and nuance to think about before understanding where they're coming from.

          • weka 6.1.1.2.1

            It's very easy to hate and then worse when people are seen as one amporphous lump. It removes humanity, for them and in the person hating on them.

            I'm really disappointed today in the number of people insisting on a binary, good/evil view, so that when I talk about kindness and fairness they assume I am against boundaries or that I don't support Auckland getting out of lockdown. People are losing their shit under a lot of stress, I understand that, I just wasn't prepared to see the political values shifted so fast (no jab/no benefit, wtf). I get that this is way too much for a lot of people, so I'm not really blaming people, just disappointed. I also think there are people whose background fear is making them follow/accept the hard line path.

            Otoh, there's been some excellent comments across a range of views here.

            • weka 6.1.1.2.1.1

              got it a bit clearer. It's the idea that we can have kindness and lose control of covid, or we can be authoritarian and something else that's better. No space for kindness and Auckland getting out of lockdown, or kindness and restrictions on non-vaxed people and use getting to a high rate.

        • Cricklewood 6.1.1.3

          For a section of the community who im very familiar with, the messaging has completely entrenched them as against. For context they grew up or lived in communist eastern europe.

          When they hear messages from authority along the lines of 'we will be your sole source of truth' and words like propaganda the hackles go up and trust in govt dissolves it makes some are extremely fearful especially the hotlines to dob ypur neighbour etc.

          Then for example when the debate around Ivermectin started and it was called horse medicine, dangerous stc etc it reinforced the distrust. A quick google you can learn enough to know that it is widely used in humans even won a noble peace prize for the positive effects it had in dealing with river blindness. Response along the lines of Ivermectin is an effective medication but is not an approved or effect treatment for Covid would be far more effective.

          As the response gets more Authoritarian the more fearful they become some have left others will do so, some who cant are distraught and in a really bad place.

          NZ society is getting pretty ugly now and pitting Vaxxed against Unvaxxed is really bad thing.

          • weka 6.1.1.3.1

            completely agree. Thanks for the insight into that particular community, hadn't even thought about that. The people I know tend to be either American (who have a similar position on government overreach although it's ideology and politically based rather than experiential to the degree that Eastern Europe has had). Or kiwis who are just in that alternative health community and who have different ideas about how health should be managed and have real fear about the vaccine.

            The latter group should have been reached a long time ago, but what I remember, especially online, was the same kind of ostracisation and outright abuse, and many of those people just stopped talking to pro-vaxxers and carried on with their lives and their health position. Job restrictions will push some people to vaccinate, and others to radicalise further, because now they're joining the ones freaked out by authoritarianism.

            • Cricklewood 6.1.1.3.1.1

              The sudden appearance of an authoritarian streak in many on the left is scary… having the author of the other post speculate on or out another authors vax status in the comments was a new low for The Standard those sort of actions have been emboldened by the vaxxed v unvaxxed narrative.

              We need to respect each other through what is a very difficult time, ostracizing sectors of society will have far worse and longer term consequences than covid.

          • weka 6.1.1.3.2

            the ivermectin point is good. Because what happened is social media was used to present a falsehood and it didn't have to be that way. That the left seem to believe they can do what they want on SM but others can't is again just going to radicalise people even more.

          • Patricia Bremner 6.1.1.3.3

            yesMiravox

    • Molly 6.2

      Great comment, miravox.

      Especially the last paragraph. These are our people.

    • Patricia Bremner 6.3

      yesYes Phobias once in place are hard to shift. Well done to change.

  7. georgecom 7

    One point that seems to have evaded discussion – the pfizer vaccine altering your DNA. It might indeed be true. I would imagine getting the vaccine will make people smarter

    • dv 7.1

      One point that seems to have evaded discussion – the pfizer vaccine altering your DNA
      THATS BECAUSE IT DOESN’T

      https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/is-it-true/is-it-true-can-covid-19-vaccines-alter-my-dna

      The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine uses a fragment of messenger RNA (mRNA) to instruct your body to make an immune response against COVID-19.

      There is a crucial difference between mRNA and DNA.

      DNA, which makes up our genetic code, is larger, double stranded and very long. The mRNA is a single stranded copy of a small part of the DNA, which is often released to send instructions to other parts of the cell.

      DNA is stored in the protected centre of our cells – the nucleus. The mRNA is broken down quickly by the body. It never enters the nucleus, and cannot affect or combine with our DNA in any way to change our genetic code.

      Instead, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines teach the cell how to make a protein that triggers an immune response specific to COVID-19. The vaccines work with the body’s natural defences to develop immunity to disease.

      • georgecom 7.1.1

        yes I know, it was a comment on the weak minded who swallow the myth it does

        I suggested getting the pfizer vaccine will probably make such people wiser, whether that's altering their dna or not, they will certainly be that bit smarter

        like the old saying but now updated, every antiavxer who moves from NZ to Aussie raises the IQ of both countries

  8. lprent 8

    The Pfizer–BioNTech and Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the highly infectious Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2

    From a pandemic basis, they are of limited value unless essentially the whole population has been vaccinated or has previously had the disease.

    The vaccines don't stop people getting infected with covid-19 and infecting others – they just make it less likely.

    What they are good at is limiting the hospitalisations amongst the vaccinated.

    So if you release other health measures like lockdowns, mask wearing, border controls, stay at home, etc – then what you get is the whole population rapidly getting exposed to and often getting covid-19 delta over months – both vaccinated and unvaccinated.

    The bulk of the infection will come from the sheer number of the vaccinated getting it (albeit at a lower infection and spread rate) and infecting the unvaccinated or those with a partial vaccination.

    In the meantime the health system collapses under the number of people requiring medical treatment and hospitalisation for covid-19

    And that is before you look at issues of the inevitable new and more infectious variants. Plus of course the vaccines themselves will favour variants that bypass the bodies developed immune systems.

    I figure that there will be at least 5 more years of beating covid-19 to the point that it is a minor nuisance rathat than a problem every year.

    • weka 8.1

      what makes you think it will become a minor nuisance rather than continuing as a major, transmissible infection? Better vaccines? Humans developing better natural immunity?

      • lprent 8.1.1

        Multi-sided.

        Populations developing a wider and deeper immunity from repeated infections by variants – even amongst the vaccinated.

        The wider use of vaccines enhancing and sharpening that immunity, especially as they not only look at combining existing strains in the vaccines, but also probable changes. This is especially the case with the mRNA vaccines, but also with all of the 'clip-on modern vaccine types like the Oxford one.

        More and better treatments are slowly coming out of the labs now and will do for a number of years. Mostly targeted anti-virals that are actually effective, but also probably antibody treatments. That will eventually cut the long spread of infection periods. If you get it, recognise it (or your doctor or nurse does), they will cut the breeding period short.

        It is likely that those will be combined as well and may well wind up as a preventative. That is something that is nearly impossible with influenza because it has a actual mutation rate, but covid-19 is far more stable. The current and future variants of covid-19 should be as targetable as HIV eventually turned out to be.

        Plus I think that we get some actual changes in the way people operate. Look at masks in Asia after SARS. Plus who in the hell really wants to spend 10 hours in teh air-conditioned tube check and jowl with other disease carriers. I suspect that passenger air-travel will be slow to recover. Probably so will cruises, and…

        It will just take time.

    • RedLogix 8.2

      Then again there is this.

      Note how the goal posts keep moving.

      • weka 8.2.1

        isn't this what Lynn was saying? That the transmission rates are still high despite fully vaxxed people? Although I will note that the % of population fully vaxxed isn't high enough. If what that study suggests plays out, I won't be surprised. I think a lot of people are in for a shock next year though.

        • RedLogix 8.2.1.1

          Yes.

          As I’ve tried to convey from the outset, and you have in this post, this pandemic is about a lot more than just a singular focus on vaccines.

      • lprent 8.2.2

        Note how the goal posts keep moving.

        Yeah, it would have been different if they'd managed to make a near sterilising vaccine that prevented a foothold infection. Something like the measles or modern polio vaccines are.

        That changes the pandemic maths. You need much lower vaccination levels because the vaccinated aren't acting like a asymptomatic covid-19 Typhoid Mary

        But so far a sterilising vaccine doesn't currently look likely with covid-19. Maybe one day? But you only have to look at the bat immune systems and the body costs associated with that to realise how much of a struggle producing a sterilising vaccine will be for covid-19 in humans.

        Problem is that most people think of vaccines as being sterilising (I got the vaccine – I am effectively immune) rather than a preventative against the worst effects (I got the vaccine, I am less likely to get really sick).

        That is because after decades of development most of our vaccines that were mainly preventative got developed into sterilising to the point that a endemic disease could be effectively removed from a population except for small outbreaks.

    • McFlock 8.3

      Slowing the rates of infection is a bit like turning a tsunami into a very large and dangerous swell.

      The bigger the tsunami, the more people will be "collateral damage" in the outbreak, dying not so much because of their illness or injury but because the means to keep them alive isn't available.

      Alert levels are a massive part of that, even at a vax rate in the mid-90s. But if the horse bolts just before the vaccine gate closes, it's still a tsunami. Which would suck.

  9. weka 9

    • Andre 9.1

      When someone's values include apologia and justifications for willful disease spreaders, I don't want any part of them.

    • coreyjhumm 9.2

      To be fair , if you're on unemployment you are required to be work ready and since businesses won't hire unvaccinated people you're not getting work ready.

      I go in and out of being pro no jab no benefit.

      Im not interested in political kindness, I'm in interested in keeping my family and friends on welfare alive. I have so many poor family members, Maori and white who refuse to get vaccinated, all of them are on unemployment, no ammount of silly adds or organizations run by rich Maori or marketing executives will get through to them because rich Maori understand poor Maori about as much as rich white people understand poor white people,

      the only thing that will would get through to my friends and family would be financial penalities like no benefits for unvaxed and then they will make time.

      I'm not interested in kindness if it means tens of thousands if not more Maori, poor and vulnerable people die and spread the illness in overcrowded housing.

      Our hospitals are already full with unvaccinated poor people.

      It's incredibly frustrating that people won't get vaccinated and time is absolutely running out before the virus is allowed to run rampant all carrots and sticks need to be on the table.

      If anything like this were ever implemented backpay would be a must and perhaps rent and power be paid directly and food be paid by green card until the client is vaxxed.

      It raises a lot of issues though, it really does…. It's a harsh horrible awful thing to do but if it helped people save their lives… Do the ends justify the means?

      I hate the idea of putting the boot down on the people at the bottom who already suffer the most but these are the people most likely to die if they aren't vaccinated.

      If we don't do that , The current schemes and promotions and ideas aren't working, maybe instead of getting rich white,rich maori ,rich Pasifika "community leaders" maybe we get poor Maori poor white people poor Pasifika to lead the fight to get people vaccinated.

  10. Pete 10

    Covid and kindness? Hannah Tamaki at the hubbub outside the Henderson Police Station today appealed for people to be more gracious and be the "beautiful loving country we once were".

    Were we ever a country when we were gracious to smartarses flaunting their arrogance ignorance and stupidity?

    • weka 10.1

      I think they should be in prison (and I'm really not a lock people up kind of person). Just because she is propagandising kindess, doesn't mean we should abandon it, nor should the left give away fairness and human rights.

  11. chris T 11

    "I just saw someone say that there is absolutely no risk to New Zealand if they were to travel from Queensland (in an area where there is no covid), "

    Haven't been keeping an eye on Aussies cases to have a real opinion on that, but I think it is pretty obvious the South Island should be at level one now and it is getting a bit silly their end of things.

    • weka 11.1

      Only way that the SI could move to level one is if we quarantine NI and SI. Essential worker from Auckland working outside of Auckland, gives covid to someone also outside of Auckland who hops on a plane to Chch, Dndn or Qtown. Could we contain delta better than Auckland at L1? Seems a pretty big risk.

      • chris T 11.1.1

        If they can pull finger and get that fast saliva testing thing working I think it is kind of doable. I get what you men though.

        The ferry side of things would be easy as, but agree, flights would be an issue.

        Just seems a bit over kill to screw half the country over though, given the big bit of water there.

        I hadn't actually thought of it before, but is Stewart Island on level 2? Poor buggers tend to be forgotten even on the weather, let alone the Covid thing 🙂

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          lots of logistics around flights, who flies and why, same with ferries, then goods transport and supply lines. A shit load of stuff is managed in and shipped from Auckland or the rest of the NI. It looks doable but I don't think it's easy.

          Stewart Island will be at L2 because they too don't want to be cut off from the test of NZ.

          • chris T 11.1.1.1.1

            It is quite interesting the whole ferry thing.

            Was listening to a port worker on talkback the other day. Didn't realise.

            Apparently a fair few trucks are actually driverless these days.

            Driver unhooks trailer units. Machine puts them on theory. Driver drives off. Machine takes them off at Picton. Another driver puts them on their truck.

            Admittedly only someone as pathetic as me would find that interesting tbf, but can see why they would do it and quite handy given Covid now.

            Not sure of the proportions though.

        • KJT 11.1.1.2

          Have you looked at the reliability of saliva testing. Could do more harm than good.

  12. Andre 12

    lefties (tbf, mostly centre lefties) arguing for the removal of human rights in NZ because we've lost so many rights already in the past 18 months

    What rights do you think lefties are arguing for the removal of?

    Nobody is arguing for removing the right to refuse medical treatment. But that right completely ends exactly at one's own skin. What some lefties are arguing for is that exercising the choice to refuse a quick, safe, effective and free precaution against spreading disease in a pandemic should result in consequences, on public health and safety grounds. It's a matter of a choice, not removal of rights.

    In contrast, you, weka, are in actual fact arguing for the removal of people's actual rights by calling for lockdowns. Specifically, the rights to freedom of movement, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association, and freedom of religion, as codified in the Bill of Rights.

    These removals of our actual rights are not a matter of choice. Those of us that have had those rights removed have been given zero options or choices we can make to get those rights restored to us.

    Weka, you are the one advocating authoritarianism here. And I'm absolutely fucking disgusted with your attempt to authoritarian shame those of us getting frustrated with the glacial progress towards restoring our actual rights.

    • weka 12.1

      I've seen lefties and centre lefties on TS argue for forced vaccination, and that unvaccinated people with covid should be triaged in a tent in car park and/or refused treatment.

      Apparently today someone had to say no jab/no benefit.

      In contrast, you, weka, are in actual fact arguing for the removal of people's actual rights by calling for lockdowns. Specifically, the rights to freedom of movement, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association, and freedom of religion, as codified in the Bill of Rights.

      Are you saying that next pandemic you will be against the state taking the measures it needs to to contain the spread of infectious disease? That there should never be lock downs of any level ever again?

      I'm not sure I am calling for lockdowns so much as pointing out what our options are and arguing that it's better to be pragmatic and honest. Honesty was this bit in the post where I said we have a choice between two horrible options.

      These removals of our actual rights are not a matter of choice. Those of us that have had those rights removed have been given zero options or choices we can make to get those rights restored to us.

      Yes, but again I will ask you, do you want the state to note have that power?

      Btw, my tweet that you quoted was in response to the line that Ad was running strongly for a while.

      • Andre 12.1.1

        I've seen lefties and centre lefties on TS argue for forced vaccination

        Who?

        Links please.

        • weka 12.1.1.1

          nope, it's been many times across multiple conversations. I saw it pre-covid too.

          • Andre 12.1.1.1.1

            Ah, the joys of being a moderator so you don't have to back your assertions.

            • weka 12.1.1.1.1.1

              can't say being a moderator today has been anything close to a joy.

            • SPC 12.1.1.1.1.2

              The moderator who would require assertions to be backed up is also likely to eliminate anyone criticising the moderators …

          • weka 12.1.1.1.2

            I will however point it out to you as I see it going forward.

            There's a comment below about how we should take people's benefits off them if we need to. Comparison is with Fiji.

            I'm not immune to your argument about freedom and state power. I think we should be looking closely at what Labour are doing in that regard.

            But it also blows my mind that so many on the left cannot see the authoritarian/liberatarian Overton Window shifting (albeit in some atypical ways)

    • SPC 12.2

      There will still be lock downs under the traffic light system applied after the 90/90 vax rate is realised.

      We're only going for the higher rate because of the weakness of our health system – other nations opened up at a lower rate because they invested in a stronger health system.

      Ultimately the problem is that – a weak health system.

      • Andre 12.2.1

        Indeed.

        That's why I'm so obnoxiously loud about wanting to know what the government plans to do to lift vaccination rates so that those future lockdowns can be short and sharp rather than the extended lockdown with no end in sight we currently have in Auckland.

        That's why I also want to know what the government plans to do when (not if) our health system gets overwhelmed with unvaccinated covid patients.

        The only answers I see to both those conundrums are ugly. But those people offended by my stating those answers have been completely lacking in any kind of realistic concrete alternative.

        • SPC 12.2.1.1

          Getting the A-Z antibody cocktail to the vaccine resistant will help. Then there is the Merck anti-viral. These two things might ring fence a limited ICU capacity.

          The sad thing is at some point the majority of impost on the health system will come those vaccinated (given the waning protection from infection and the deleterious impact on those with weaker immune systems – and here in Enzed we have too many people with poor health, not just old, who will be at risk).

      • The Al1en 12.2.2

        I can't dispute your point about the weakness of our health system, but I will quiz the notion others opened up with lower rates because of stronger health investment.

        The UK and U.S were and are hugely stretched by their respective daily case numbers, with many hospitals still desperate for ppe, medical supplies and more staff. In America, despite all the invermectin, bleach smoothies, bright lights up the arse, Hydroxychloroquine, mask denial and half the politicians being groomed then radicalised by the former president, even now the worst affected states run out of capacity and need government crisis units set up in car parks to prevent all hope being lost.

        In Great Britain, lets not forget their botched responses in 2020 throughout 2021, failing to lock down quickly enough multiple times, opening up with the virus raging, paying people to go out and have a meal, staging mass gathering sports competitions with up to 60000 people at a time with delta ravaging the community etc.

        The simple, logical fact is any investment, or infection rates, case numbers and deaths have zero to do with them opening up earlier than us. It comes down to money and the government not giving a shit about the populace.

        • SPC 12.2.2.1

          Sure, the USA does not even do socialised medicine it is an outler, and the UK is not even requiring vaccination for jobs or as internal passports for gatherings like grown up nations in the EU. But these,in decline, nations are not the bench mark.

          Generally nations that are sort of soundly governed tend to have strong health care and a sufficiency of affordable housing – we are not one of them and in that we are an outlier. We have a serious underclass issue (and that is also reflected in health statistics) and part of facing up to that is recognising that this is a case and managing our pandemic response based around accepting this.

          Sweden has a good health system and a healthy population – this informed their response. Oz has a good health care system (and also had the possibility of elimination) and so it chose to exit lock down at a lower vaccination rate than we would risk.

  13. lefties (tbf, mostly centre lefties) arguing for the removal of human rights in NZ because we've lost so many rights already in the past 18 months, or because covid means we have to, is a sight to behold.

    It's very disappointing to see the left show themselves to be as ignorant as some righties are. There's going to be a hard core who get won't vaxxed, and though the majority will say they should, I doubt that will have any effect at all. Knowing that a double jabbed person can still catch and pass on the virus doesn't help, but to bring out all the authoritarian nonsense favoured by conservatives somewhat reminds me of benny bashing.

    Just like there is a percentage of people who do choose to live off the state with no intentions of working, penalising those with kids only hurts the most innocent, and I suspect most readers here would be appalled when it happens. I may feel it’s selfish but the children should always come first. Calling for blacklists in healthcare or halting the right to work, for example, just turns my stomach.

    Seeing some state how they may swing blue in 23', sort of shows the time for an audit of value systems may already have been passed over for a bit of knee jerking, because it's easy to blame others for our inconveniences. Wanting to deny sick people medical treatment because they won't play by our preferred rules is not only sucks a donkey's dick, but puts both feet on the precipice of a slippery, sliding scale slope. All good when you're at the top pushing, not so much when you suddenly find it’s you’re the one in free fall.

    • SPC 13.1

      Surely the vaccination requirement for some jobs is valid during a pandemic?

      • The Al1en 13.1.1

        Sure, I accept it for some health workers and potentially other essentials.

        • McFlock 13.1.1.1

          Basically, anyone dealing with large numbers of people.

          • weka 13.1.1.1.1

            or vulnerable people eg home care workers.

          • The Al1en 13.1.1.1.2

            Somewhat agree, yet with masks mandatory in enclosed public spaces, I wouldn't sack the checkout lady in the supermarket because she won't get a jab, especially as the double jabbed kid on the next till could catch and then infect customers.

            • McFlock 13.1.1.1.2.1

              Oh, definitely masked and distancing still.

              But the double-jabbed kid on the next till is still substantially less likely to transmit the disease than an infected unvaxxed person. That slows the spread, too.

              • The Al1en

                Interesting report, ta.

                I had read the vaccinated were less likely to transmit, but I still wouldn't sack the non jabbed checkout and force her onto the dole (if she were still able to get it if some people's dictates came in to force), especially in areas without outbreaks.

                In areas with active community spread, which in the good old days would have been a L4 lock down, I'd definitely consider a shut out if they were getting wage subsidy.

                • McFlock

                  There's a solid chance we are transitioning to active community spread everywhere within weeks.

                  But with better treatments, masks and distancing (and vaccination) to slow the spread, and vaccination to lower the individual severity of the illness, hopefully we won't see the death and debilitation that occurred oversease last year (and that seems to be reocurring in the UK this year).

    • weka 13.2

      and not so good once NACT are in (and have a majority). Shifting the Overton Window is a really, really bad idea.

    • Tabletennis 13.3

      I too am standing on the sideline and looking at the intolerance against "others". Well fed by NZ Radio constant news covering of the one subject, amplified by social media and fear.
      You would think if you are vaccinate you do this in the knowledge that when getting the virus you'll not end up in hospital. Why are people only think about the worst outcome, while so many have caught the virus, but didn't know till a positive test came back.

      I'm standing on the sideline and think about the history that led up to the 2nd world war, were only one part of the German population was blamed for the economical down turn.

      What happened since the days "they are us"?
      Isn't they are us to mean: regardless of their believe system, dress code, culture.

      What happened to all those people that put a "they are us" circle around their profile-picture, but now demand discrimination since well 'they are not us'.

  14. DS 14

    I personally favour a more authoritarian approach to getting people vaccinated – not because I want to open up the border (hell, the very prospect of that terrifies me), but because it's (1) For their own damned good, and (2) it makes suppressing the virus so much easier. I don't care about holidays to Sydney… but I do care about my (fully-vaccinated) parents dying because some muppet read something on the internet.

    The right to life here is paramount.

    • weka 14.1

      what more authoritarian approach would you like to see?

      • DS 14.1.1

        A vaccine mandate (or individual exemption) for any job that involves leaving your house. Vaccine certificate required to study at university or polytech. Authorise businesses to refuse service to the unvaccinated (yes, that's something David Seymour actually got right).

        Fiji actually has gone with the "no jab, no benefit," policy, and though it has worked there at getting people vaccinated… I'm not sure I necessarily want to go full Colonel Frank on them. Not yet anyway. For now, I'd give jabbed beneficiaries a one-off $100, and set up mobile vaccine stations outside supermarkets.

        • weka 14.1.1.1

          so delayed benefit cuts?

        • roblogic 14.1.1.2

          That is a bloody brilliant idea. A $100 bonus to everyone on a benefit who is vaccinated by Christmas.

        • Sabine 14.1.1.3

          do you believe that only people who work outside the house will leave he house?

          Do you not think that people who work from home also go to supermarkets, pharmacies, the beach, a picnic in he park, walkies for the dog etc?

          Because frankly that idea seems to be a bit like a colander. Only the biggest chunks get caught the rest gets through.

          Also can we see a list of whom is actually vaxxed by profession and income, including beneficiaries? Just to see where the hold outs actually sit.

  15. Vivie 15

    See David Farrier's comments of 04.10.21 on http://www.webworm.co "Destiny Church Isn't The Problem". He has highlighted church leader Peter Mortlock of City Impact, who seems to have been motivating his congregation to participate in irresponsible behaviour, by suggesting they could think about attending Brian Tamaki's protests because their "freedoms are being stripped away". Clearly opponents of the Government want to encourage social disarray. Will critics of Tamaki comment on and criticise Mortlock?

    Early in 2020 Opposition MPs, their supporters, business owners and many in the media minimised the seriousness of COVID-19 and demanded that NZ's borders remained open for the business sector, tourists and overseas students. Leaders of tertiary education institutions and people wanting to set up private MIQ facilities did not explain, and were not asked by media, how they would provide medical, monitoring, catering, security, cleaning and transport services for returning NZers and overseas students during the two weeks isolation period. Most then agreed with closed borders, but wanted Alert Levels to be lowered too quickly.

    Opposition MPs supported returning NZers spending two weeks in isolation at home, then heaped criticism on the Government when some returnees breached isolation, claiming the returnees were not being monitored properly.
    Opposition parties and supporters advocate self responsibility, self reliance and accountability, yet continue to attack the Government when people breach Alert Level requirements.

    What state would NZ be in now if we had a National/Act government throughout this pandemic? Which Opposition parties' policies do critics of the Government support? To those who haven't read the following books, you might find them very insightful into the deception, bullying and low moral functioning of some National MPs and their supporters:

    "The Hollow Men" by Nicky Hager

    "Dirty Politics" by Nicky Hager

    "Whale Oil" by Margie Thomson

    Since the start of the Pandemic some Government opponents have spread disinformation and lies about the Government's strategies to manage COVID-19, and then about the Pfizer vaccine, to create a sense of fear and mistrust throughout the community. These people display typical hypocrisy and cynicism. They now claim the Government is spreading fear by providing factual information and statistics to the public about the effectiveness of high vaccination numbers, on advice from scientific and medical experts. This information is clearly motivating people to participate in the programme. Knowledge is power.

    Developing strategies to manage COVID-19 will likely continue to evolve, guided by expert opinion. Can the Government's critics advise which countries are managing COVID-19 more effectively than NZ, taking into account population ratio case numbers and deaths? In which countries has COVID-19 had a lower impact on the economy? Which country would these critics prefer to be living in at this time? Given the huge numbers of people demanding to be able to return to NZ, clearly NZ is regarded as a desirable to live. So why does the vocal minority continue to complain about the Government's COVID-19 response?

  16. RedLogix 16

    On the topic of kindness, mental health and the impact of COVID lockdowns I'm posting this video.

    My partner follows a number of YT vanlifers and had gotten to know this couple for some years – in a strange sort of one way fashion they become part of your life – and she cannot yet bring herself to speak about this.

    This one isn't fun at all. The relevance here is that lockdowns have a cost that isn't being spoken of – and that online behaviour matters.

  17. Gabby 17

    I wonder who's behind the fake vacc bookings on the east coast.

  18. KJT 18

    In Kawerau one thing impedes the effort to vaccinate Māori: New Zealand’s history | New Zealand | The Guardian

    ""If you inspect the government’s vaccination map, a national register laying out every vaccine centre in New Zealand, you might notice something startling: there are barely any vaccine centres in rural Māori communities. This essay asks why.""

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