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Daily review 21/08/2020

Written By: - Date published: 5:30 pm, August 21st, 2020 - 51 comments
Categories: Daily review - Tags:

Daily review is also your post.

This provides Standardistas the opportunity to review events of the day.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Don’t forget to be kind to each other …

51 comments on “Daily review 21/08/2020 ”

  1. weka 2

    Can someone please get me up to speed on the testing of different covid strains in NZ? Is this part of contact tracing? They can tell who is linked because of DNA analysis of the virus that someone has?

    • Andre 2.1

      Here's three good pieces. The first two from Siouxsie Wiles and Marc Daalder are brief overviews, the third Newsroom piece from Marc Daalder goes into a fair bit more detail.




      • weka 2.1.1

        any chance of a few paragraphs of tl;dr?

        • Andre

          The first two articles are that. They cover more or less the same ground, it's just a matter of whether you find Wiles or Daalder more readable. They're pretty much the minimum needed to get any kind of minimally useful understanding.

          The third article is a lot longer and quite likely has answers to questions you may have about details left out in the first two.

        • McFlock

          When it comes to identifying possible undetected cases, contact tracing has two roles: identify people infected by your known case, and identify the person who infected your known case. Both with the objective of preventing future infections.

          Genome testing of known cases tells us which cases are in the same cluster. If you have a new case which is variant A, you're most likely looking for a connection with other people known to have variant A. Sometimes it's direct (they both go to the same church), but if there's no obvious workplace or social contact, you know there's probably an undetected case between your two known patients. It narrows down the direction for contact tracers to prioritise.

          Like with the quarantine tech: he had type X, a known patient had X, so they observed hours of camera footage to find any connection between the tech and the traveller. The closest they came together was the lift.

          Without genome testing, they might never have found the actual source. Knowing the origin removes uncertainty.

          Genome sequencing won't detect future cases, but it helps put the jigsaw puzzle together and identify cases we maybe missed.

          • weka

            Does the virus in each cluster usually have its own genome sequence?

            • Sabine

              This was interesting to

              read https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/424080/covid-19-genome-sequencing-esr-scientists-work-to-streamline-process


              and yes, it seems that each cluster is a copy of the inital carrier, my understanding.

              I am looking forward to the 'tree' these scientists are trying to build.

            • McFlock

              Genomics ain't my field, but best guess:

              A cluster would somewhere have a single index case, so all the infections would be descendants from that case. The descendants might have their own mutations, but that's just one gene changing between the four DNA chemicals. So the index case has gene 33456 going from the original outbreak "G" to "A", and it's child might mutate 2134 from "C" to "T".

              So if we have a case where 33456 is "A" but 2134 is "C", it's likely another descendent from that index case but not from the known child. But if gene 33456 is "G" or "T" or "C", we need to look for a source other than the known index case, because this latest case is probably not a descendant of that case and therefore probably not part of our known cluster.

              It’s the same principle as DNA ancestry testing in humans.

              • weka

                That was a yes, kind of, I think? Each cluster has viruses that are related to each other, enabling analysis of the genetics to help with tracking. If someone has a virus that isn't from that family, their infection probably came from somewhere else.

              • Koff

                Coronaviruses use RNA as genetic material rather than DNA. It's a single stranded length of nucleotides (bases) with uracil substituing for the thymine in DNA which is double stranded. Basically genome sequencing works the same way whether it is RNA or DNA by working out the order of bases and how they have changed through time (mutations).

      • weka 2.2.1

        Sorry, just needed someone to explain it simply, not up to reading atm.

        • Incognito

          You can ‘read’ the graphics 😉

          • weka

            I don't understand the first graphic.

            Science people often mistake what lay people can understand.

            • Incognito

              The horizontal line is the genome, a long string of code of four letters. The symbols are letters in the code that have changed, i.e. mutations.

              • weka

                "Science people often mistake what lay people can understand."

                • mpledger

                  Basically, the virus has some code that is passes on to it's descendents. The code for some random reason occassionaly changes over time. People with a virus that has a similar code are likely to be in the same infection cluster. People with a virus that has a disimilar code are very likely to be in a different infection cluster.

                  As the codes typically change one code piece at a time then it's possible to be able to work out the lineage of the virus by connecting up these single changes. If someone has the strain with code ACC then they are more likely to have got it from someone with code ACD then code AEE. (not real code names and codes are much, much longer.)

                  As different codings of the virus flourished in different places around the world then we can tell by the virus code where it is most likely to come from.

                  (So, you will have noticed all the likelys – so much here is going on randomly, and based on probabilities and averages – there are not a lot of absolutes.)


                  It is possible for two different infection clusters to have the same virus coding e.g. say person A in Melbourne infects person B and person C. Person B travels to Auckland and starts an infection cluster there and person C goes to Christchurch and starts an infection cluster there. If there are no random changes to the virus codings each cluster could have the same virus codings.

  2. greywarshark 3

    “Our most important asset will be knowledge and the weightless economy. Yet building this asset will require new strategies and much more than the rather limited efforts made by successive governments,” he [Sir Peter Gluckman] says.


    Those of us who are weighty had better start a home economy that operates satisfactorily at our peasant level, so we have enough money to live and love on, including to pay for the devices that require regular replacing as devious devils delight in demanding that we discard our old ones and deskill ourselves with numerous helpful apps to arrange our lives.

  3. Grafton Gully 4


    The accuracy of climate change models limited by what we know of the relevant factors, like haze and oceanic climate.

  4. Fireblade 5

    greywarshark at 1.1, Rod Emmerson. (Reply is not working).

  5. Sabine 6

    i just saw this….it is very cool and very unusual.

    10 odd water sprouts all at once.


  6. Pat 7

    I have great concerns about the complicating factor of international trade and foreign exchange buts theres no denying Mitchell is on target with his Guaranteed Employment concept…an excellent interview by Jeremy Rose


    • Sabine 7.1

      This is again a programme aimed at the working poor and those on benefits, so the question will remain, will people have a say in the jobs they are guaranteed, or are they told to pick a shovel and report to duty? How easily could this idea become the norm for 'work for the dole'?

      • Pat 7.1.1

        We had choices when a variation of this was running in NZ pre Douglas…no reason why it should be any different now

  7. ianmac 8

    Something odd in the log in. I am logged in but unable to post as usual.

  8. Sabine 9

    Who collects the covid data atm in the us?


    March 29, Vice President Mike Pence asked hospital administrators to report data about coronavirus through three different systems: the network provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), HHS Protect, and TeleTracking. Last Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that, beginning today, hospitals should report daily information about coronavirus cases not through the CDC system, which has been in place for 15 years, but rather through the other two.


    HHS Protect is developed by Palantir Technologies, a data-mining firm that works with the Pentagon and law enforcement agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Peter Thiel, a billionaire Trump supporter, co-founded the company, which last week confidentially filed paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to go public. An initial public offering (IPO) would have made bucketloads of money in any case, but a federal contract to compile coronavirus information is a sweet addition to its portfolio.

    The TeleTracking system also raises suspicions of a financial deal.

  9. Anne 10

    What the hell is going on here?


    Note: Of the seven photos attached to this article, five are women. I would say there's bullying going on but perhaps someone can enlighten me?

    • Ad 10.1

      It's MoH budget team and Lester Levy smashing the Canterbury clinicians so they can then wipe out the Board and install a tame executive team that says only precisely what they want MoH budgetary staff to hear.

      We are seeing the first of the long-range artillery barrage before Heather Simpson's reforms start smashing through the clinicians of other DHBs.

      The objective is to cower or eradicate DHB Boards as any power nexus that could resist the centre.

      Check out what the same Minister just did with all the Polytechs.

    • Macro 10.2

      Kathryn Ryan had a very informative interview this morning on this


      You can hear more on the podcast in the link

      • Anne 10.2.1

        Got the picture. Thanks Ad and Macro.

        Something similar happened in the Public Service department I worked for in the late 80s and early 90s. Smaller scale of course, but the shambles created by an arrogant new senior management, who were convinced they knew better than the long serving experienced staff, almost tore the Service asunder. It was finally turned into an SOE and that management replaced.

  10. Scud 11


    My mum used to work at CHCH Public before she took early retirement. She was a part of the support staff and she was so glad to get of there.

    Because the culture was so toxic between the muppets in higher management and those of the frontline and support staff. Note: this doesn’t include the any contact staff not employed by CHCH Staff.

    1.With decisions being over ruled by an out of touch management,

    2. lessons learnt from the earthquake and the mass shooting event in CHCH either being toss out or not completely enacted by senior management.

    3. And what finally drove my mother to early retirement was the fiasco of the rebuilding of CHCH Public which I think everyone outside of CHCH knows about. The short cuts driven by the last government as they wanted the rebuild done on the cheap. Senior Medical and Support ideas, suggestions and other medical methods etc toss out by a Senior Management team who knew best, but when it went tits up they blame everyone else but them etc etc etc.

    In other words CHCH Public is a shit fight for all to see as the band aids are now falling off started by donkey’s Government and now a shit sandwich for the poor bloody Ministry of Health in this Government on top a Global Pandemic.

    • Gabby 11.1

      A shame the resigners aren't a bit more forthcoming about what's been going on. Code of conduct and confidentiality clauses no doubt.

  11. anker 12

    Just for the sake of torturing myself on a Friday night I listened to Gorman being interviewed by Karen Hay on Radio NZ tonight.

    What a pompous git. I could only bear to listen to 5 minutes. He was on for 17 minutes. Karen must be stuck for guest in the late hours……..He must have used the word governance 5 times in 5 minutes…………..what an arrogant tosser.

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