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Daily review 24/03/2020

Written By: - Date published: 5:20 pm, March 24th, 2020 - 72 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 …

72 comments on “Daily review 24/03/2020”

  1. Cricklewood 1

    I hope there are going to be further assistance announcements shortly. 

    I'm pretty concerned about consumer debt, there are thousands of people with credit cards, car finance and the like that they are not going to be able to service. These are the people that will get absolutely buried in fees, penalties, repossessions etc in short order and credit histories destroyed.

    Really hoping this will be addressed. 

    On a positive note a friends landlord has said that given the mortgage holiday they will cut the rent over the shutdown to just enough cover rates insurances etc. Hope all landlords are acting this way.

    • weka 1.1

      how does the mortgage holiday work?

      • Banker with a B 1.1.1

        Banker here. Standard practise- what you would pay in interest is put onto your loan balance each month/fortnight/week. You then end up paying interest on your interest. 

        Great for short term cashflow. Horrible things for anything longer than 3-6 months. 

        We have been told to approve without any credit assessment for anyone asking for help due to the Covid situation. 

        • weka

          Holiday is a bit of a misnomer then.

          It does explain why amongst other reasons landlords won't want to ease up on rents, although those that can should.

          • SPC

            It would be similar for businesses – government may front (interest free from the QE) loans for them to pay rent (for a month, 3 or 6 etc). But the businesses (those that survive) pay it back later.  

            For residential rents, it's more complicated.

            There is income support to those who lose jobs (but not enough to cover their rent). Maybe all those who go onto income support should be able to evidence their circumstance to both 

            1. qualify the landlord for banker relief

            2. reduce their rent payment to 50%.   (with capacity to have this paid by government where even this caused hardship – outright or via interest free loan).

        • pat

          latest statement I saw had interest holiday as well…so no accumulated interest but banks will contact customers direct in next couyple of days with details


    • Muttonbird 1.2

      That's nice for those particular tenants but this is not a requirement so nearly no landlords will follow suit.

      They are simply not built that way.

  2. adam 2

    So we going to suspend capitalist economics from Wednesday , how about we just change the economy instead of reviving this corporate capitalist mess after this is over.  

  3. adam 3

    So even Muller and the DOJ now agrees the whole Russians meddling in the election – was horse shit. 




    • McFlock 3.1

      Well, no, that's not what your links say at all. Certainly no quotes to that effect.

      And if I were in a conspiracist frame of mind, rather than saying it was bullshit I'd suggest that dolt45's AG has merely protected people who played a significant part in getting the fool elected.

    • bill 3.2

      Yup. I saw the charges against the Internet Research Agency were dropped like hot potatoes when they said they'd turn up to court. Pity.  It would have been fun to hear prosecution arguments on how Jesus Masturbation memes on fb turned people to vote Trump….or Buff Bernie memes turned people off Clinton ..or, seeing as how the bulk of money spent by the IRA was spent after the election, how those ads managed to act backwards through space and time 🙂

      • adam 3.2.1

        The buff bernie memes are so bad, done by 2 year old nephew. I didn't even recognise it was bernie till someone pointed it out. 

  4. bill 4

    Watched an interesting youtube commentary that leaned on info compiled by COVID Act Now that was created by a team of data scientists, engineers, and designers in partnership with epidemiologists, public health officials, and political leaders to help understand how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect their region.

    Make of it what you will, but it strikes me as level headed. I

    Its focus is the USA, but a bit that pertains to here is on containment strategies. Essentially (or apparently), unless there is a Wuhan type containment strategy or a "Shelter in Place" strategy – which is kind of what NZ is doing (though you might say we're tilting a more towards Wuhan type containment) , then infection rates are reckoned to be over 70%. (That's for doing nothing and basic social distancing)

    The modeling covers 8 weeks Wuhan type containment and 12 weeks Shelter in Place.

    Here are the spread rates for the two scenarios.

    Wuhan R0 assumptions: 1.3 for 1 week, 0.3 for 5 weeks, 0.2 for 1 week, 0.035 for 1 week.

    Shelter in Place R0 assumptions: 1.3 for 4 weeks, 1.1 for 4 weeks, 0.8 for 4 weeks.

    If the modeling is reasonable, then there's no way level 4 containment is going to be lifted after 4 weeks (though I guess it might be lifted in places and re-imposed etc)

    Like I say, it’s an interesting read for those with a head for it. Recommended.

    • Sabine 4.1

      min of 12 weeks is my guess. it would make sense. 

      • bill 4.1.1

        I'm guessing 12 weeks if everyone sticks to the game plan. I don't expect everyone to stick to the game plan though.

        And I wish the foresight was there to shut supermarkets to the public where possible. Let local dairies use them as warehouse supply nodes.

        That way, any outbreak is much more likely to be very local – eg, limited to people who had gone to the local dairy as opposed to the far wider geographical and populous area of those who had hit the supermarket.

        • Sabine

          from what i understand that if you get it mildly two – three weeks, but even after that you might still shed the virus. 

          if you get it hard case you might need treatment up to six weeks, with a long recovery period at home and a chance of long lasting lung damage. 

          So take the current situation, if we were all to stay the f at home as we supposed to, within ten to fourteen days we would know where all the sick people and carriers are. 

          they then need another two to twelve weeks to get back on their feet. 

          so twelve weeks. Goes hand in hand with what China experienced, and in saying that one of the Parliament Critters from Taiwan announced a 'second' wave coming as people are not 'social distancing'. 

          It matters little if you go to the supermarket, the dairy, the market or if you partner is an essential services. Its an aggressive virus, it transmits easily, and the question for all of us not IF we get it but rather When. 

          The best they can do is limit the numbers of people in shops according to shop size, have people cover their hair, wear a mask, gloves, and goggles if need be. do their shopping, pay at the self check out and all the shop staff does is wipe everything down with high grade cleaning products. 

          Our best hope is really that they will get quick tests in fast for all, and then keep testing people daily / weekly what ever until they find a. treatment, b. vaccine. 

          Its gonna be a long 2 years. 

          • bill

            the question for all of us not IF we get it but rather When. 

            That had been my basic understanding – ie, about 70% of us would get hit over time, and the concern was to avoid everyone getting it in a short period of time and tanking health services and undertakers (basically).

            However. (And, I mean, this just leads me to say "dunno") According to what I'm taking as a level headed take on stuff from this link (randomly landed on figures for Kansas – which seems appropriate 🙂 ), the measures NZ has in place can result in a hit rate of as low as 3%.


            • Sabine

              compare NZ to my home country Germany. 

              Germany 88 million people and a transit country. I.e. people from the rest of europe driving through, stopping gassing up, eating, shopping etc etc etc. Massive issue. 

              NZ. 4.5 million, close the airports, only open to repatriate tourists, and to let kiwis come back. Quarantine set up at the Airport, set up by the Army manned with Army doctors/nurses etc, plus the country on look down.  And you pretty much only have 4.5 million to worry about. 

              We are in a remarkably good position to weather this with a low death toll, if people can stay at home. And that means no evictions, no foreclosures, etc etc etc and frankly i have yet to see the government really do something to make sure that ALL of Kiwis get to keep their house, not only the richest one.

              But hey, i must be whinging. 

              • bill

                But hey, i must be whinging. 


                Well, as a renter, I thought it jolly spiffing that mortgage holders got a six month holiday (or some such). Not so jolly spiffing for the mum and her 7 year old who got evicted this morning. (Normality persists for some)

                And as a Sick Ben (fucked if I know the 'new' label they applied to folk like me a few years back), I appreciate the opportunity for exercise being afforded me by not receiving any extra monies before this Wednesday.

                So happy to not have a problem of making space in my tiny kitchen for extra food items. And thrilled that I get to pay internet and electricity and rent just like before.

                Yup. Thankfully, I get to hang on to poor "normal" while the unfortunate, home 'owning' middle classes are no doubt going to be traumatized by the relief measures heading their way 🙂

                • Sabine

                  again, its businesses that have an anual turnover of 250.000 and 80million that can apply. You know. Not all mortgage owner are equal either.  Me and my micro business certainly don't apply, nor the dude that has a 70.000 or less income and a wife and three kids. WE so far got fuck all. 

                  And the really small businesses are told to go to the bank for a loan. But to be fair when the local Labour Wanabe gonna come collect 'donations and votes' for their elections, i will tell them exactly that…..go to the bank for a loan.:) 

                  Ahh, well i can't wait to cast my vote for a third party. 🙂 

              • lprent

                NZ. 4.5 million

                At least 5 million counting our remaining residual transient tourists. Based on December 2019 being 4,951,500

                But yes we are lucky, and yes, the main focus of support has been on employment directly or indirectly because that is how about 90% of the country makes its living.

                So far I have yet to see you describe how you'd have done it differently. 

                If I understand the deal with the 'retail' banks, they are now targeting SME's with support provided they can show that they were solvent prior to December 31st.

                In the meantime, I'm going to concentrate more on those who aren't likely to lose their house but are more likely to actually go homeless in an environment where there are no new jobs.

                • Sabine

                  I have actually said very early on, some 6 – 8 weeks ago thatwe need a 

                  mortgage / lease/ rent/ bill holiday for the duration of the shut down, for all. small and large businesses. By governmental degree. I have linked to several articles of countries that are doing this, Italy being one of the first todo so.

                  The main issue is that we need to keep people at home. We can't do that if they have bills to pay and can't keep up paying without money. Anyone who has will try to be essential services, it does not matter what hey do. And thus the disease will spread.

                  It is quite nice for the government to pay wage subsidies to companies large enough that hey can ride out the storm. However for businesses taht are not that big, don't have the big money behind them and need actual cashflow for monthly bills and overheads it means nothing. It would have been easier for the government to allow small businesses to let go of its staff early on and offer unemployement for the workers, coupled with heating assistance, food assistance, accom benefit to make up to the 80% of min wage as it does via the wage subsidy.  As we will hire our staff back once we can work. As it is, my staff will get some money for twelve weeks and then she will go on the unemployment benefit as there are chances that i will have to default on lease and overhead payments. 

                  Personally i am with bill, the easiest way wold have been to instruct IRD to send every adult of NZ a check of say 800 – 1000 per week. This would be enough in most cases to at least cover rent/food/utilites. No applying simply send out the check. The IRD should be set up for it as they already do that for tax refunds.

                  Next they could have cancelled the end of year/GST returns until say  August. Non of that we will wave late payment fees. AS if any of us have the mind to do a stock take and fill out forms, specially when we are in lock down. And again, non of us make money so we don't have money even with the higher thresholds. So cancel provisional tax completly and let businesses keep that money. 

                  Next they could have offered Goverment loans – this could have been done via WINZ – call them 'hardship' loans to businesses like mine. I don't mind taking out a loan, but i mind taking out a loan at standard interest rate because the government is not negotiating with the bank for us and thus even a small loan will be very expensive and hard if not impossible to repay. So a government loan with no repayments for say 4 – 6 month (depending on how long we may not be able to work) and then set the repayment rates according to business turn over. 

                  So far we have paid subsidies to some of the biggest companies in nz, many whom are very actively avoiding paying taxes in the first place. now we are offering companies a mortgage holiday – but only if they are over 250.000 anual turn over or more.  Instead we should have made it illegal for any evictions for the next 5 month. 

                  We should have made it illegal for companies to cut of utilities. 

                  My partner is the only income we now have – and he is a standard income waged worker, and  he is essential service – so will be out and about fixing computers in banks and super market check outs and the likes and if he falls ill or worse dies, i will be homeless. Because i will have no way to generate an income. And there are many like me. a few tens of thousands. But its ok. I am just whinging. 

                  We seem to have no issue asking for solidarity from those that have everything to lose yet we ask nothing from those that hoard money, houses, boats and the likes. 

                  • Graeme

                    We woke up 2 x lump sum wage subsidy in our account this morning, for a couple who run a tourist retail gallery.  One of our artists got a payment in his account too.

                    Apply, you'll get it.

                    If you've got a recent lease on an ADLS form there's a clause that covers this situation as a result of the Christchurch earthquake debacle.   Look up 27.5 and 27.6, No Access in Emergency.  Essentially rent ceases to be payable if a competent authority deems you cannot occupy the premises.  If the lease is older than 2012 this may not apply and I gather this is what government is moving on in coming days.

                    In an earthquake or other damage scenarios the landlord would be able to claim on their insurance to recover the rent, but in the current situation the will most likely be an exclusion for pandemics.  Hence Robertson said the other day that something was coming up regarding commercial leases, not doing something is going to get messy, and it'll be all the way up the chain to the big corporate retailers and others that have to close.  

                    I'm eagerly awaiting details of the mortgage / loan repayment holiday too, that will be handy for cashflow, even if it's just kicking the can down the road.

                    Evidently some of the larger landlords around Queenstown are offering their tenants rent holidays, so they may have knowledge that they will get it back from somewhere.


                    • Sabine

                      we have applied, we have so far received nothing. mind winz will be over run with applications.

                      i am eagerly awaiting anything the government has to offer. And i know quite a few people here in Rotorua that are also worried witless. 

                      Mostly i am worried for my partner. He will be out there working and we are in a two bedroom unit and its gonna be hell to quarantine either of us if we have/get the flu. 

                      i am however over with the bail outs for the very rich. At the very least there should be some strings attached to the aid the receive, like paying taxes. 

                    • lprent []

                      My tenants (while I was making sure that they weren’t going to have issues) said that their mate, a self-employed tradie, just got $12k in his bank account, meant to help cover 12 weeks of corona revenue drop (presumably in the past). I didn’t go into it further than that.

                • Sabine

                  you might find this interesting. 

                  Some question why Italy was caught off guard when the virus outbreak was revealed on Feb. 21.

                  Remuzzi says he is now hearing information about it from general practitioners. "They remember having seen very strange pneumonia, very severe, particularly in old people in December and even November," he says. "This means that the virus was circulating, at least in [the northern region of] Lombardy and before we were aware of this outbreak occurring in China."

                  He says it was impossible to combat something you didn't know existed.


                  a lot of my friends in the US also complained about the weirdest flu ever, hard hacking cough, no energy, fever every now and then, feeling weak and tired etc – which if you don't get the oxygen you need is what you would be feeling like. The only difference between the US and Italy, In Italy if you are ill you go to the doctor, in the US you take a pill. 

                  • lprent

                    It wouldn’t surprise me that there are bugs circulating. When they go retrospectively go through the biopsies and autopsy data at a genetic level then the origin will probably become pretty apparent.

                    However the basic issue is that history shows that the over-inflated human population has to be pretty damn careful of animal contacts. There has been a pretty clear species jump showing in origin morphology of all of the major pandemics of the last 2000 years where we have some reasonable histories. Often this is morphed into the human reservoir issue where a population get immune to a disease but acts as a carrier to another population.

                    It isn’t like we have the other major human reservoirs to uncap.

                    What we have left are animal population reservoirs and the unproven (but possible) ancient disease reservoirs (ie ones that show up in ice, but are not evident in any current population).

                    What I’m arguing is the we really need start focusing more closely at the sources of outbreaks. From HIV to Ebola to recent corona viruses we’re now routinely seeing cross-species infections.

              • swordfish


                if people can stay at home. And that means no evictions

                Then again, maybe evictions sometimes happen for a reason.

                Maybe they save lives.


                • Sabine

                  how many of violent sadistic state house tenants are there in NZ? i did not read any further.  Also i don’t like the picture of the dog. Its a good doggo and his images is used to show a violent sadistic state house tenant?

                  • swordfish


                    how many of violent sadistic state house tenants are there in NZ?

                    More than a few if my Parents' area is anything to go by. Some really violent, anti-social, out-of-control people moving in (over last 4 or 5 years) to what was always a wonderful, peaceful, socially-mixed & community-minded street. Corollary of the move towards almost exclusively allocating to the severely problematic end of the Underclass.

                    Pompous affluent Luvvies, of course, get to ostentatiously virtue-signal & paternalistically romanticise in order to enhance their own social prestige & assuage their own guilt without ever doing one friggin iota of the suffering. It's a great little con trick.

                    An interesting blend of covert sadism, sheer cowardice & rank hypocrisy parading as some sort of moral righteousness.

                    Long-term residents – the socially-minded poor & middle-class (the vast majority Labour & Green supporters, incidentally) – get to be the unofficial scapegoats who are apparently expected to do all the penance on the Luvvies behalf.


                    Also i don’t like the picture of the dog. Its a good doggo and his images is used to show a violent sadistic state house tenant?

                    Title of Post: Thrown to the Wolves

                    Illustrated by: A picture of an angry Wolf

                    Try not to be quite so silly. (or do I mean desperate ?)


                    • RedLogix

                      Oh fuck … so it's still going on. I read your post all the way through and could visualise it all. Unacceptable at every turn.

                      My only useful advice is to start recording what it going on using a time stamped security camera; they’re not expensive these days. You never know when hard evidence will prove useful.

                      One way or another … I'll resolve this predicament. And then I might start telling some Home Truths to a few people with highly romanticised (& highly paternalistic) ideas about the Underclass.

                      Absolutely; our own similar experience pretty smartly slapped the delusions from us too. 

                      This 'no eviction' policy is why landlords are so unhappy about the end of the 90 day 'no cause' termination notice. In this country the Police and Courts are of little assistance in dealing with anti-social tenants and effectively dump the problem onto the landlord.

                      Here in Australia we had a problem neighbour and when we talked to the property manager about it, we were promptly re-directed to the Police who very efficiently handled it. They made it clear to us that this sort of shite behaviour is either 'mad or bad'. What they told us to do was put a security camera pointing into the common area and if the behaviour changed then it meant the person had understanding that what they were doing was bad, and should then be held accountable and have consequences. 

                      It turned out our case was 'bad', and eventually the consequence was a Court ordered eviction.

                      NZ has a long standing problem with violence, and until we can have an honest conversation around it's root causes, leaving out the self-serving yelling about racism and colonisation, we're pretty much stuck with it. There are many complex threads that feed into it, but the hard truth the left is very resistant to, is that you cannot help someone who will not take responsibility for themselves.

                    • swordfish



                      Cheers, Red. Thanks very much for your support on this over the last year or so.

                      I'm familiar with your problem tenants & the serious trouble they've caused (been following your vigorous on-going debate with McFlock on the matter almost religously over recent weeks).

                      I'll have quite a bit more to say about my Parents' situation & the tacit No Eviction policy on my blog over the next few Months (but don't want to labour the point too much here … when people start going on about their private problems relentlessly on social media then it can get pretty tedious pretty quickly for everyone else. So probably just 3 or 4 posts on Sub-Zero outlining the problem, expressing my anger & frustration (hopefully without descending into a full-scale rant) & then exploring the broader political implications in a more sober way.

            • pat

              I was told by my daughter today her landlord in Edinburgh has had his curling rink commandeered for use as a temporary morgue….think that may be a pretty good incentive for us to do a better job of handling this than has been the case overseas

              • bill

                They must be anticipating one fuck of a spike then. Total deaths in Scotland atm are 10.

                edit Oops. 14

                • pat

                  thats what I thought….a helluva spike


                  • bill

                    Well…if that info I read around the impact of a successful "Shelter in Place" strategy is correct…

                    Am I the only one who has (perhaps mistakenly) laboured under the assumption that "flattening the curve" was only about spreading out the same number of infections over time?

                    I've been doing a bit of scattered reading the past few hours over a number of publications and noticing that the possible actual effects of isolation strategies aren't being explicitly stated – that the notion of "everyone" inevitably contracting the virus is the kinda accepted "truth" in more or less everything I'm reading. The containment info is sometimes in there (implied), but basically skipped over.

                    Assuming the "hit rate" can be brought down to single percentage numbers with good containment strategies in place, then…why isn't that message being pushed hard and repeatedly?

                    • Sabine

                      That is exactly what flattening the curve means. 

                      Not all of us at the same time, but spread out. 

                      and that is why this bullshit about bailing some rich fucker out here and there while throwing a few crumbs to the masses is such bullshit. 

                      if people can't pay their bills – on nothing or on 80% – they will go out and try to make a living. Even if it means dying. 


                    • lprent


                      The reason why is because there are zero treatments apart from keeping severe cases alive through the worst. That requires ventilators to help people breathe and near constant monitoring to save them if they're going under.

                      Flattening the curve (which you clearly grasped) is about making sure that there are ventilators and the treatments available for the severe cases. Thereby reducing the death rate. 

                      Otherwise there is the secondary option of a hopefully brief visit to the curling rink.

                      Roll on a vaccine of an effective anti-viral. Because we really can't afford the (calculates) the potential 200-300k at about a 5% fatality rate who could die in NZ if our health system gets swamped. Which appears to be about the 'natural' cull rate of covid-19 in an unsuspecting populace given the usual 4-5 waves before herd immunity is acheived.

                      We lost 9k with a much simpler and easy to survive disease in 1918/19 effectively without any kind of useful care. That was between ~0.7% (european) and ~15% (maori) death rates of the populations with what was for the time close to the best available care. 45% deaths in Samoa because the dimwitted NZ occupation forces were too pig-ignorant to institute decent quarantines.

                      FFS: Doesn't anyone here ever read history? Or are they too interested in wanking about their own problems?

                    • bill

                      Flattening the curve (which you clearly grasped) is about making sure that there are ventilators and the treatments available for the severe cases. Thereby reducing the death rate. 


                      Different strategies flatten the curve differently. Shelter in Place can mean a total infection rate in the single digits. Social Distancing on the other hand, means widespread infection (up to herd immunity levels) spread over a longer time span.

          • lprent

            from what i understand that if you get it mildly two – three weeks, but even after that you might still shed the virus

            For 37 days after infection to get close to 100% clear (ie something like a 99.5% certainty of clearance) of sheding according to the research I've been reading. Which is why they're using 14 days quarantine to prove clearance and after you're 'cleared'.

            That is why this virus is way way worse than the 1918/19 influenza pandemic. It has a much long tail and a much more likely later waves. Which is why 4 weeks is the minimum.

            • Sabine

              just read somehwere today that it can 'live' in feces for up to five weeks. 

              Yep, i am having no issues with the 4 weeks of isolation. Its gonna bankrupt a lot of us smaller ones but at least we hopefully get to walk out of it alive. 

              I would expect waves for about 2 years…until either we have decent testing – and fast testing, and a vaccine or people build up some immunity. 

              However what is going to be a killer if it lasts that long is the damage to the lung by the virus, specially if one can catch it more then once. essentially then it is a recurring illness that will lead to death in a very short time.  And that is my guess why everyone on this planet is currently tanking their economy. It is re-occuring and it is a killer. 

              • lprent

                It is likely we'd get an anti-viral first. 

                There has been a lot of aborted research on the various corona viruses over the last decade or two. SARS and MERS – but they've burnt themselves out too fast to finish the research. This one SARS-CoV-2 aka covid-19 looks like it will last long enough to get multiple disruption techniques finished.

                Personally I not really interested in 30k base pair biological program defeating us this time. Because they're only going to get worse and we need to prevent the next outbreak.

                Be nice to actually identify the human vector from the animal kingdom to this as well. A pogrom against whoever is rubbing up with the animal kingdom the wrong way and allowing these viruses to transfer so often is starting to look way more interesting than living with them. 

                I suspect that the Chinese government will have a good look at that.

                But in NZ, we should look at our pig-farming and chicken-farming practices. And remove antibiotics from the hands of all farmers – vet only and they should be rationed.

                Animal farming through much of the US and EU needs a severe curtailment.

                • Sabine

                  Essentially we need to go back to ethical animal husbandry and ethical farming. 

                  I hope for a decent test that is fast and reliable. Something like a blood sugar test, that can be done at home with a simle prick, daily if need be. Shows negative go to work, show positive of into self isolation you go for the next 12 weeks until at least two consecutive tests come back negative. What China did. 

                  Then a treatment. 

                  then a vaccines. Her is hoping that it will happen. 

                  • lprent

                    From what I understand, there appears to be too wide a range from known infection to testable results and to symptoms. The symptoms of whatever level show from 1 day to 12 days with the median at about 5 days.

                    Testing from what I have seen discussed is from 1 day to about 7-8 days for virus RNA or for antibodies. Which is what they’re testing for. The range of that means that testing simply is not that useful. Probably that is because most of the current testing is currently mostly based on swabs looking for RNA from the lungs.

                    If you look at the mechanics of a corona virus these delays become clear…

                    If you want grrrr.. for covid-19 read the section “Target: new infections”

                    The final step in the virus’ life cycle is infecting a new cell. Typically, what is taught here is a “lie of simplification,” which goes: the virus latches on to a protein on the cell’s surface, then uses that protein to gain entry into the cell. This is true as far as it goes, but for most viruses, things are considerably more complicated. Coronaviruses definitely fall into the “more complicated” category in this regard.

                    SARS-CoV-2 does latch on to a protein on the surface of cells in the respiratory tract; we’ve already confirmed that it’s the same protein as the one used by the original SARS-CoV. But that doesn’t immediately result in viral contents entering the cell. Instead, the complex of virus and receptors stays on the outside of the cell membrane. That membrane, however, gets pulled into the cell and “pinched off” from the cell’s surface, creating a sac within the cell that now contains “outside” material.

                    Once this occurs, the virus is technically inside the cell, but it’s still on the wrong side of a membrane from everything it needs to reproduce.

                    The cell takes over this compartment, lowering its pH and adding enzymes to break down its contents. Corona and other viruses actually take advantage of these changes to enable their infection. In the case of coronavirus, a protease made by the host cell cuts the viral spike protein. Once cut, the spike protein triggers a merger between the membrane in the virus’ coat and the membrane of the compartment it is trapped in. This finally places the virus’ genome inside the cell, where it can proceed with the infection.

                    That is complex, slow, and much of it is unlikely to trigger fast anti-bodies in the bloodstream (the virus targets the longs) or enough of an immediate expansion of viral RNA in the lungs immediately after infection. They are pretty much testing if someone is currently infectious rather than if they are infected.

                    A better way of testing would be useful because currently a single point in time for a test or at a single location is likely to miss the early infection.

  5. AB 5

    The 2020 Democratic primary looks more and more like a zombie election where dead ideas (and comatose people) are taking over. Compare Sanders being pilloried  for some obvious and non-controversial comments on the Cuban heakth system with this – Cuban medical team arrives in Milan. 


  6. joe90 6



    • Adam Ash 6.1

      The state of the national economy doesn't mean anything when (as happened to me many years ago) you come to realise that your breathing is not giving you enough oxygen, and if you don't get help in the next few breaths you will not have the strength to call out for assistance, and you will die soon thereafter.

      I have sat by a relative as they died of lung cancer, going from chatty to dead in a seriously short period of time as they pass that same threshold of getting enough oxygen to sustain life, to not getting enough.

      Sexton, Walsh, Kelly, Blanktein and Trump have no clue what they are talking about when they balance life against money.

      In extremis, triage based on medical condition and prognosis, I can understand. Triage based on a banker's and a politician's fiscal survival instinct I do not agree with.

  7. Just a thought – 

    If you want to speculate how Siomun and the Natz would have handled the Covid-19 pandemic – just look at how well Trump, Johnson and Morrison are doing – all right wing fwts.

  8. aj 8

    The lack of leadership in AU UK and US just highlights how lucky we are.
    That link from Bill up the thread is very scary

    ( https://covidactnow.org/ )

    • bill 8.1

      I thought it was very hopeful from a NZ perspective. Like I'm saying in other comments, I'm beginning to think I completely misunderstood the possible effect of a good containment strategy – ie, it's not about spreading an inevitable 'x' number of infections over a longer time period, but about drastically reducing the overall number of infections.

      • Sabine 8.1.1

        that would be the second reason. 

        slow down the cases of newly infection by denying the virus new bodies, and at the same time managing the cases arriving at the hospital. Not all people who have the virus will need the hospital. Many can simply stay at home and get better. Well if they can self quarantine at home without infecting the other people living at the house – something that China had an issue with initially. 


      • SPC 8.1.2

        While I thought we moved too soon – no real evidence of local spread. It's not clearly wrong, given

        1. we lacked the testing capacity for such reassurance (the price we pay for not being better prepared)

        2. the higher rates of returning Kiwis coming back infected and spreading to their self isolation others (each new one increased the risk of subsequent community spread). 

        Aided by airlines no longer operating and the arrival of testing kits from Singapore, we will come out of this month (includes the scheduled 2 weeks school holidays) better placed. 

        1. hopefully reassurance of no (or successfully suppressed) community spread (via community sample testing)

        2. more secure arrangements for returning Kiwis – individual placement in the city they arrive at (apartments within hotels or home stays rented by government?) in place

        3. the future risk is then Kiwis in Oz losing jobs and being denied income support (so if necessary we QE the dole to them and exploit the subsequent lower Kiwi dollar to the Oz one in trade)

        4. air b n b homes no longer being used for tourists ease our housing supply issues

        5. at some point we will have to determine on resumption of tourism – there will be antibody testing and vaccination (both depending on whether new strains emerge that can reinfect people). 

        What will inform us, is how China deals with multiple point reinfection through returning students (back from North America and Europe). 

        The only known at this point is that QEing our way our  of a pandemic is going to scare the capitalist centres no end – how will they react, and when (and will we see it coming). 

  9. aj 9

    Yes for the USA I mean. I'm an optimist for NZ, except between 2-5am sad

  10. Muttonbird 10

    Farrar watch:

    PDF must have started to lose some contracts because after week of ranting about how slow we were to react he's now flip-flopped and is saying we should weigh up the costs and benefits of our actions.

    Nothing like losing your job to hone one’ s analysis of the decisions under which you lost that job, eh Dave.

  11. Corey Humm 11

    Question. As stores are starting to no longer accept cash and the country is about to go in lockdown, what am I supposed to do if I've recently lost my wallet and can't find my birth certificate 😭 in the meantime while I wait for replacement id which is going to take absolutely forever due to this shut down,but I need id so my useless bank can issue me a card. I'm waiting on a new debit card but I'll need id to pin that card. 


    On a side note there are many people I know who are on welfare who have never had photo id because for some it's too expensive, for others seems too complicated etc what are old people and beneficiaries who rely on cash going to do if more stores demand pay wave or card only. This could be really, really, really bad for some people.

    • I Feel Love 11.1

      Can a business legally decline cash as payment? 

      • SPC 11.1.1

        Ever tried to order on-line using cash … 

      • lprent 11.1.2

        Not under current laws in reality – you have to look at the differences between legal tender and refusing payment. See the arguments here (related to the 2006 change in currency).

        The answer has greater theoretical than practical relevance.
        While the seller (‘creditor‘ at this point) is not required to
        accept the payment, the fact that a valid tender has been
        made means that in refusing to accept it, the seller is barred
        from recovering the debt in court. Therefore, in practical
        terms, the creditor has little choice but to accept the legal
        tender payment.

        Of course if you’re paying in cash, usually the amounts are too small to go an argue this in court (basically lawyers are way more expensive).

        On the other hand, the practical limitations of legal tender
        should be acknowledged. It is always subject to the intention
        of the parties, who may contract to receive payment in other
        than legal tender. For larger transactions, the courts would be
        likely to presume that the parties did not contemplate legal
        tender. And where disputes arise over payment, members of
        the public are likely to rely on pragmatic solutions, while the
        formal rules underlying legal tender would rarely have any
        bearing on the outcome.

        While I haven’t bothered to look at your discussion or why this query was raised, but generally not accepting legal tender as payment leaves the refuser in an invidious position if there is a substantial stake involved. Used wisely, it would probably bolster any case where legal tender was proffered and refused because it would speak directly to the motivations of the refuser.

      • lprent 11.1.3

        Not under current laws in reality – you have to look at the differences between legal tender and refusing payment. See the arguments here (related to the 2006 change in currency).

        The answer has greater theoretical than practical relevance.
        While the seller (‘creditor‘ at this point) is not required to
        accept the payment, the fact that a valid tender has been
        made means that in refusing to accept it, the seller is barred
        from recovering the debt in court. Therefore, in practical
        terms, the creditor has little choice but to accept the legal
        tender payment.

        Of course if you’re paying in cash, usually the amounts are too small to go an argue this in court (basically lawyers are way more expensive).

        On the other hand, the practical limitations of legal tender
        should be acknowledged. It is always subject to the intention
        of the parties, who may contract to receive payment in other
        than legal tender. For larger transactions, the courts would be
        likely to presume that the parties did not contemplate legal
        tender. And where disputes arise over payment, members of
        the public are likely to rely on pragmatic solutions, while the
        formal rules underlying legal tender would rarely have any
        bearing on the outcome.

        While I haven’t bothered to look at your discussion or why this query was raised. Generally not accepting legal tender as payment leaves the refuser in an invidious position if there is a substantial stake involved. Used wisely, it would probably bolster any case where legal tender was proffered and refused because it would speak directly to the motivations of the refuser. For instance and this has happened in cases of racial or sexual discrimination.

    • SPC 11.2

      The old card cancelled after losing the wallet I presume. 

      Get what ID you can. Your IRD number would be good – better with a print out of your last years income off their site. That and historic statements of the account linked to the old card. Even a facebook page with your mug on it would help. 

      You have a better chance now than normally of them being helpful. 

      • Corey Humm 11.2.1

        Thank you this is a good idea. I'll print out my old transactions. I'll also go in with my online banking logged in, proof of my address com services card a library card and ird 

  12. Fran 13

    Is it just me becoming a curmugen or are too many businesses taking the mickey? How is the warehouse an essential service? Mind boggling.

    If we have any hope of damage limitation with this virus then everyone must do their bit including the warehouse, liquor stores, domino's etc. 

    This pretty crazy. 

  13. I Feel Love 14

    I was telling a UK pal about Aderns "keep faithful" line & my pal said Boris used the same term, I figured our Govts are talking and getting advice from eachother but that did make me chuckle. Also I figure places like Warehouse and retail are closing just because they're places where the public congregate, they said the same thing about playgrounds, so trade centres and mechanics (on skeleton crews) are ok, for now. I do hope this works. 

  14. millsy 15

    Wow, that escalated quickly.

    I'm in an OK situation, the company I work for allowed me to take annual leave (I had a lot owing) for the lockdown, so I'm taking some good chill out time. I had the option of working from home, but wasn't really keen, thought it would be a big hassle.

    We will get through this. I'm just worried about what is going to happen afterwards, and what services that Finance Minister Paul Goldsmith will cut next year if National wins the election.

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