Covid review due today

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, September 12th, 2022 - 45 comments
Categories: covid-19, health, uncategorized - Tags:

Covid country comparison

I have not written about Covid for a while, which is I think a good thing.

Yesterday there were 981 new reported cases and no deaths.  It looks like we are through the surge that has happened over the last few months.

And our international performance continues to hold up.  Per million people New Zealand’s covid death rate is 380, slightly behind Japan whose figure is 340, and Singapore whose figure is 290. We are also ahead of Taiwan, whose performance was previously exceptional (430) and Australia (557).  Those countries have strongly adhered to mask wearing habits.  The world should take note.

Our figure compares vary favourably with the United States and the United Kingdom, both of which are over 3,000 deaths per million people.  And if you want a stop you in your tracks figure US life expectancy is crashing and New Zealand’s life expectancy is 6 years higher.

Hospitalisation rates are well down with 243 people with Covid in Hospital.  This figure is down by over two thirds.

The hospital system was creaking and groaning but we did not witness the types of events in Australia and the UK amongst others were hospitals were overrun.

So overall we are in as good a position as we could hope for.

Meanwhile China is still trying lockdowns in the hope that the disease can be eradicated.  I think the horse has well and truly bolted.

There is speculation that the Government will scrap the traffic light system and mandates today and let them expire on Wednesday when the legal instrument relied on expires.

I suspect this will be the case.

I hope that there is a strong campaign to support the use of masks in well frequented internal areas and on public transport.  This is not an attack on fundamental human rights.  It is a very practical measure that has shown to work.

The opposition are yet ahead getting in and demanding an end to mandates.  Just so they can crow if the decision is actually made and claim credit.

This is not over however.  Earlier indications that mutations tended to lessen the severity of the disease have shown to be correct.  And elimination and an outstanding vaccination drive gave the time and the resilience to be prepared.

But we are one adverse mutation away from another crisis.  Stay tuned …

45 comments on “Covid review due today ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Good summary Micky. We have likely not seen the end of COVID yet–as you say “we are one adverse mutation away from another crisis. Stay tuned …”

    Everyone it seems has something to bitch about with COVID, but if you are still here in reasonable health, rather than cremated ashes in a cupboard somewhere, a bit of reflection might be in order for thousands of you.

    The Govt. initial response was amazing, putting public health before private profit for many months. Some of my grumps were political rather than personal–not paying workers direct via IRD but via employers, second tier more generous benefit for middle class, media concentrating on SMEs and international travellers plight while virtually ignoring the local working class experience.

    Various things have changed for ever after lockdowns and the existential question of why and how do pandemics happen. Globalisation and ‘just in time’ if not history, are severely dented. You do not have to be on company premises to work. There are things to do other than work. Aided by social media, the long alienated and non participants have come out into daylight and adopted a form of politics e.g. Wellington Parliament occupation.

    Micky’s prediction is quite likely right, be good to see the entire COVID framework simplified but not dispensed with. I will still be wearing a mask as appropriate.

    • Tricledrown 1.1

      Weekend covid updates are rarely accurate as are the numbers in the community, people are not reporting covid infections as they may only have slight symptoms or have become fatigued by the Covid measures. The rolling average death rates up until the weekend have been around 10 plus a day with higher figures Monday through Tuesday as unreported weekend numbers come in.

      • lprent 1.1.1

        The death rates will still be there, and are likely to be the most accurate stats.

        However they don't look like they are on an upward trend, and as far as I can tell are largely where people have complications with other medical conditions. They don’t point to a widespread epidemic with the vaccine immunity and societal behavioural changes throttling it.

        Complications like my need to take pills every day to stop the stent in a heart artery blocking up. A respiratory disease is contra-indicated for that.

        Fortunately I haven't had covid-19 yet, nor has my partner. We try to protect ourselves with our behaviour. My 83yo father was not enthusiastic about the experience after he got it in July.

        Doesn't matter what the settings are, we'll continue to protect ourselves.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.2

      I will still be wearing a mask as appropriate.

      As someone who…(before the Covid was even a thing) suffered double pneumonia ! ..if was ever something like Covid ? I NEVER want to experience again.

      And Long Covid problems? All to come. But seems Scientists/Researchers getting stuck into it. Hope for success.. A link

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/474423/top-scientists-join-forces-to-study-leading-theory-behind-long-covid

      • joe90 1.2.1

        Same. I had the actual flu once and lost a week. I recall waking up in the early hours swimming in sweat and freezing cold but I don't recall anything leading up to that morning and nek minnit, a week had passed. Never again.

        • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.2.1.1

          hi. Yea I was shiver/shaking so bad my teeth were chattering. I got a bit better (I thought !) ..and biked..to Dr. "HOW did you get here?" she asked. . Got a ride home lol and heavy duty antibiotics. Medicine. etc.

          And..Never Again a good rule..to live by.

        • Tiger Mountain 1.2.1.2

          Yes, you can get hallucinations, shifting pains, change in perception, all sorts of weird effects.

    • aj 1.3

      Mask wearing is an IQ test and an empathy test.

  2. Patricia Bremner 2

    Cremated ashes in a cupboard somewhere.

    This is so true. So many who now moan over every perceived hardship and lay blame, wanting a sacrifice of some sort to appease their anger.

    Talking incessantly of overworked staff and damaged businesses, but not recognising the help offered by the Public Service and the Government.

    Very little comment that our lifespan has increased while in USA it has crashed.

    Then to top off the negativity, "No, no need to recognise the Queen's 70 years" says The Business Forum. We can't afford that…. but we do want Trade with Britain!!" Self serving BAU. No actual surprise there.angry

    We will be wearing our masks in enclosed areas, and getting our vaccinations. Keep safe folks, our son’s lingering symptoms of covid are miserable and incapacitating.

  3. Tricledrown 3

    looking at Japans figures and why they are lower is because of Masks.We need to continue to wear masks .The Mask worn properly and consistently is a very very cheap effective health measure.Our Health workforce is still under huge pressure taking away the mask mandate is the Stupidest idea we could do .

  4. weka 4

    NZ hasn't gotten to grips yet with what multiple infections mean. Is the government talking at all about long covid? Is the MSM asking questions? Do we have a massive level of denial and cognitive dissonance on this?

    https://twitter.com/Writagal/status/1569073009692131329

    • weka 4.1

      don't get yet what the problem is? Follow #longcovid on twitter and read the tweet threads from doctors, journalists and people with LC.

      https://twitter.com/search?q=longcovid&src=typed_query

    • joe90 4.2

      The outlook is pretty much shit all round but especially for those with disabilities.

      https://twitter.com/scottdlandes/status/1567570796800884740

      Even a mild case of COVID-19 can increase a person’s risk of cardiovascular problems for at least a year after diagnosis, a new study1 shows. Researchers found that rates of many conditions, such as heart failure and stroke, were substantially higher in people who had recovered from COVID-19 than in similar people who hadn’t had the disease.

      What’s more, the risk was elevated even for those who were under 65 years of age and lacked risk factors, such as obesity or diabetes.

      […]

      Troubled hearts

      People who had recovered from COVID-19 showed stark increases in 20 cardiovascular problems over the year after infection. For example, they were 52% more likely to have had a stroke than the contemporary control group, meaning that, out of every 1,000 people studied, there were around 4 more people in the COVID-19 group than in the control group who experienced stroke.

      The risk of heart failure increased by 72%, or around 12 more people in the COVID-19 group per 1,000 studied. Hospitalization increased the likelihood of future cardiovascular complications, but even people who avoided hospitalization were at higher risk for many conditions.

      “I am actually surprised by these findings that cardiovascular complications of COVID can last so long,” Hossein Ardehali, a cardiologist at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, wrote in an e-mail to Nature. Because severe disease increased the risk of complications much more than mild disease, Ardehali wrote, “it is important that those who are not vaccinated get their vaccine immediately”.

      https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00403-0

  5. Leighton 5

    I'm a bit puzzled about what was the point of including a "green" setting in the Traffic Light Framework if they never intended to use it. Seems odd to just throw away the entire regulatory framework as soon as there's a lull and then have to start over again if/when there's another flare-up.

    • Nordy 5.1

      It's not clear anyone is proposing to 'throw away' the regulatory framework. Rather, it seems, and we will find out later today, that the govt will remove most if not all the restrictions. The framework will still exist, even if modified. The point of any framework is that it is a tool to address a situation. Even if modified by science/experience, as is required, it is still a tool.

    • mpledger 5.2

      There could have been different settings in different regions. I suspect the South Island was pretty close to going green at one stage.

  6. Jimmy 6

    The shopping centre I walked through, it was about 50/50 masks/no mask.

    I would have thought they would keep masks for public transport, hospitals, rest homes, but maybe just optional everywhere else.

    • Ad 6.1

      Still holding firm in airports and Air NZ.

      I'd like it to stay that way.

      • lprent 6.1.1

        I'm not planning on going on any planes for any reason. Didn't like them much before covid (waste of my time, limited data, disease vector). Really don't trust them now.

        I didn't bother flying internationally from 1991 to 2013. Did a lot between 2014 and 2019 for work because of where I was working – no net access.

        Now I don't even want to hop on a local flight.

        • Belladonna 6.1.1.1

          Agree. I've had several friends Covid-free until they had to (or chose to) fly somewhere. It seems that airports/airplanes are just natural virus circulating grounds – regardless of mask-wearing [all of them were flying while masks were mandatory… but it seemed to make no difference]

          • Tiger Mountain 6.1.1.1.1

            Ditto. Friends who had been very careful for two years due to one having cancer treatment, took an Air NZ flight recently and developed COVID. Luckily things went ok after a few rough days, which is good considering Patricia’s comment @ #2.

      • Craig H 6.1.2

        Air NZ has removed reference to requirements to masks from the rest of the website and have dropped the requirement from tomorrow (https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/travel-requirements-international?redirectedfrom=covid19-international-travel). No reference to masks on the main page of the Christchurch Airport website either.

      • Patricia Bremner 6.1.3

        I agree. yes

  7. Jimmy 7

    Sounds like masks now optional everywhere including public transport. Masks only required in healthcare and aged facilities.

    • Craig H 7.1

      Correct, and traffic light system ends 23:59 tonight.

    • It will be interesting to compare mask-wearing today and tomorrow & see what the difference on the ground is. [Of course, only anecdata, not an actual statistically valid survey.]

      • Jack 7.2.1

        Will be no difference. Most haven’t worn masks for months. Most won’t tomorrow. Only thing that has changed is that the rules have finally caught up with really.

  8. Mat Simpson 8

    " The hospital system was creaking and groaning "

    Why ! After five years of neo liberal Labour policies.

  9. Grey Area 9

    Idiot/Savant tells it like it is. We're on our own.

    http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2022/09/labour-abandons-us-to-covid.html

    I really rated this government's earlier actions against Covid-19 and used to defend them from criticism when I could in some settings, but once they lost their nerve and started making political, rather than public health decisions, I also felt they had abandoned us.

    I also used to rate Jacinda Ardern but seeing her on TV tonight justifying this move by saying it would bring "certainty" was the last straw, so no more.

    • Mat Simpson 9.1

      " I also used to rate Jacinda Ardern but seeing her on TV tonight justifying this move by saying it would bring "certainty" was the last straw, so no more "

      Yes she has zero credibility with her promise of the most open and transparent government ever and the best one , climate change is our generation's nuclear free moment or doing anything meaningful for so many who live in hardship and economic degradation due to Adern and the others continuing to implement neo liberal policies.

      My advice is to NOT WATCH HER or her colleagues unless you enjoy being lied to and having the subject misrepresented.

      Its actually offensive receiving the people’s choice personally photocopied letters in the local body election’s promising to ( LOL listen and do better ) for the local constituents .

      How many times over and over have we heard that.

      It is outrageous and obscene .

      • Grey Area 9.1.1

        There's the rub though. Despite my great disappointment in Ardern and Labour, Covid under Nactional would have been far, far worse.

        But if I stop listening to Ardern at least I'll have more time on my hands, because I already ignore anything Luxon or Seymour say.

    • Craig H 9.2

      Masks only really bring population benefits if most of the population wears them. If mask-wearing is too low to be useful or realistically enforceable, there's not much point retaining a requirement for the whole population.

    • Jester 9.3

      We are just catching up with the rest of the world finally. No one wears masks over in Australia or Europe.

      • Hanswurst 9.3.1

        Bullshit. Here in Germany, they are still compulsory on all public transport, and that is observed apart from the occasional dickhead who considers themself exceptional for whatever reason. I have seen people kicked off trams, and told that they could happily board the next one, simply because they hadn't put on the mask that they had in their hand. In supermarkets etc., most tend to leave their masks off, but by no means everybody.

        When I was in Korea recently, everybody wore masks when going out, including outdoors.

        A large part of the problem with the world today is naive numpties like you, who seem to have an in-built assumption that the rest of the world must behave like they do themselves, because they are clearly so evidently sensible, and who seem to congregate in a sort of circle-jerk of mutual confirmation bias, attempting to spread out their idiot certainty onto the rest of the populace. Well, it's a load of crap.

        • Jester 9.3.1.1

          Where we were in France you would have been the only one wearing a mask. As far as they are concerned, Covid has been over for a long time and they have all moved back to a more normal life. The surgical mask most people wear are bugger all use any way as they don't even fit properly on the face so are a very limited protection. But it's always amusing to see people like yourself wearing a mask while alone in their car or out in the fresh air. It identifies who they vote for.

          • Hanswurst 9.3.1.1.1

            Still not getting it, I see. 'Where we were in France' indeed. You spend a bit of time somewhere outside New Zealand and come back an expert on the entire world. Just because there may be places that operate that way (and have been since the beginning of the pandemic) doesn't mean that adopting their approaches is 'catching up with the rest of the world'. Your second comment only serves to underline the ignorance of your first.

          • Patricia Bremner 9.3.1.1.2

            Oh so Korea (Sth) Japan and Taiwan will be voting for the Left?

            Good Their figures are great Jester, and putting politics on mask wearing is your stupid interpretation.

            Many will wear them in confined spaces because of age related conditions. So your statement is as silly as my first premise.

      • RedLogix 9.3.2

        I am in Brisbane – and since at least May this year there are almost no masks seen in public. I think they are still technically required on public transport, but few bother. The only significant exception is medical settings and air travel where they are still required.

        And yes a cursory glance shows many people wear them so badly they are effectively useless.

    • Tiger Mountain 9.4

      Yes, “certainty” is an ugly term now thanks to two years whinging, via media, from the SME, petit bourgeois, corporate and hard done by international traveller sectors.

      The Govt. waved the white flag months ago on COVID and it is now back to “BAU”.

      I got abused in the Far North recently because I was wearing a mask!-admittedly by a Sovereign supporter as I later found out.

      While it seems little compensation now, if you check out some Natzo and ACT statements from 2020/1, a lot more deaths would likely have occurred on their watch.

      • Grey Area 9.4.1

        I agree and said up thread, Covid would have been a real disaster under Nactional. Labour did great and then lost their nerve. I wonder what part that played in the resignations of Bloomfield and McElnay.

        One humorous spot for us is that term "certainty". Once I'd got over firmly telling idiots on the TV news from the hospitality, business, education and tourism sectors etc that them wanting "certainty" in the midst of a global pandemic was moronic and selfish, it has become a buzzword for us.

        Now if I'm undecided about anything I just say I want some "certainty".

  10. SPC 10

    They should have kept it for public transport – some people (those at risk) will be dependent on commuter transport being supplied to them.

    It will be the first thing brought back when*** case numbers increase.

    It will be interesting to note what impact the end of mask use has on case numbers***.

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