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Get a haircut and get a real job

Written By: - Date published: 5:19 pm, October 24th, 2021 - 63 comments
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I haven’t been out of my bubble much but I suspect there’s an uptick in the number of skinheads and longhaired hippies. This will throw people who judge a book by its cover. My Covid coupe is starting to resemble that of an extra in the musical Hair but without the other perks.

Once the Covid traffic light changes to red, I’ll floor it to race to a hairdresser. Quite a few have disappeared already and there will be longer queues than for a testing station at the beginning of an outbreak. The lead-up to Christmas is always a bad time to book an appointment anyways.

I guess it will involve a lot of paperwork to ensure the haircut is done safely. Barbers may have to brush up on their bikini trim techniques to work around the mandatory facemasks. It’ll be lots of fun, no doubt. I also assume the mall Santas will be cancelled this year.

I’m lucky enough to have a job where my hairdo doesn’t affect my ability to do my job and I’d like to think that I’d be re-hired easily if it came to this. In NZ, we firmly believe we must not discriminate based on appearance and we not only tolerate but also celebrate diversity. Don’t we? Obviously, being vaccinated against Covid does affect my ability to meet the requirements of my employment if/when my boss says so because our Government has made it so. If you read that sentence without blinking an eye or raising an eyebrow, you should stop reading this and go to OM or somewhere else. Pretty please.

Presumably because of urgency consultation by government is even less optimal than usual and even unions are less involved, which is ironic for and under a Labour Government. The overdue Health Protection Order covering health and disability, education, and prison workers was announced by Government only yesterday (Saturday) and during a long weekend for the whole nation.

The mythical bubble of kindness has already burst and made way for a cynical hard-line coercive approach to meet the 90% vaccination target with or without which we will ‘enjoy’ Freedom Day before Christmas AKA the show must go on. I’d never have thought that we would follow Plan Boris here in NZ.

I’d have more problems working with an office psychopath than with an unvaccinated colleague irrespective of their hairstyle, for a very simple reason – no need to explain. But psychopaths have rights too AKA Human Rights and these must be respected and are protected by (international) Law. In fact, it is pretty legal to be a psychopath as long as you don’t harm anybody else and don’t get caught.

Socialising with workmates or friends will be different when we all have to wear facemasks, carry a vaccine certificate + photo ID, scan, and maintain social distance once inside a bar or restaurant. It kinda kills the whole experience – I really enjoy watching people, particularly their faces, but now I have to look at their amateur haircuts done with DIY kits bought on Trade Me. But Kiwis are a malleable lot who will happily conform to the new rules imposed by the authoritarian government and wear the Covid niqab as a badge of national pride and honour and socio-civil obedience.

Far from being a social butterfly who goes out at least once a week I not only lament the ‘new normal’, I resent it. This virus is starting to really piss me off and I wish it would just go away and leave us alone. With a bit of luck it’ll become endemic over the next 5 years or so and we can or will treat it as almost any other infectious disease. However, as we have seen with the security measures put in place after 9/11, once these authoritarian measures are in place they’re almost impossible to unwind even when their intended impact and effectiveness arguably have waned. This is yet another example of Kafkaesque development with Frankensteinish rules & regulations supported by Orwellian methods of mass manipulation and control management that is stifling and suffocating not only individual but also social agency.

Besides the infantile (but not always futile) attempts at political point scoring and other usual forms of ego-wanking, finger-pointing, and blame-gaming there’s been very little real robust critical analysis of what’s happening at the moment in our society and how the plates of (central) political power are drifting and shifting due to human forces generated by the pandemic. In addition, there are potential fault lines of social division opening up. This is a huge worry.

63 comments on “Get a haircut and get a real job ”

  1. Barfly 1

    "I’d have more problems working with an office psychopath than with an unvaccinated colleague"

    Well for me having severe hypertension, diabetes, alpha 1 anti-trypsin deficiency and blood type A – I ll take the vaccinated psychopath for 10 points please frown

  2. Patricia Bremner 2

    Keep safe Barfly. smiley

  3. This gentle soul on the vid under asks us not to be afraid of the unvaccinated.

    The thought has not crossed my mind actually as all of those I am sharing time at the moment, (reduced numbers from normal) have shared our vaccination status and not one is unvaccinated by choice. A couple are immuno compromised and will have special vaccines and treatment but still will be vaccinated as much as they can be.

    I am still mask wearing and will continue to do so. Pretty much second nature now. .

    The hard point for me is that some of the hostile anti vaxxers that I have been in convo with on boards are also anti maskers as well. So I guess I will be treating unmasked as unvaccinated.

    I want us to get to the 90% (I have no doubt we will and will with time to spare and over the 90%), adopt the traffic light system, get businesses cranking in Auckland and see what happens. I suspect many of the non vaxxed will find their 'social' (as opposed to those with deeply held and considered views) anti vax status a bridge too far.

    Having had the misfortune to work with a pyschopath in a voluntary job and being quite unprepared having never come across one before, I think that working with an unmasked unvaccinated person would come in equal place. One bad for the soul and the other bad for the health.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      There's a better than 99% chance you'll survive an encounter with COVID unscathed, the office psychopath – not so much.

    • Patricia Bremner 3.2

      The unvaccinated include children under 12 years of age. We are helping them by being vaccinated which reduces the opportunities for the virus to transmit, but I imagine some Grand parents will be nervous once school starts.

      We all know how quickly norovirus spreads among children, and know from past experience schools are vectors for infection. There will be anxious parents scared for their children who have diabetes or other issues which could be difficult with covid.

      The unvaccinated should be afraid of the virus, they are 33 times more likely to succumb to it. The unvaccinated scare me, as they could perhaps become vectors of new resistant variants.

      • RedLogix 3.2.1

        The information I'm seeing is that there is probably not a lot of difference in transmission rates between vax and non-vax.

        The important and valuable benefit of the current vaccination technology is they substantially reduce the chance of hospitalisation and death. But they are not a sterilising vaccine – this means even vaccinated people still get infected and will pass it on.

        If you are already vaccinated, well done. You have the best protection available and you should not be afraid of other people, vaccinated or not. Keep up with all the other sensible measures, mask properly indoors, keep social distancing and consider low cost, low risk interventions like Vitamin D supplementation.

        The reality we have to face is that all of us will encounter COVID sooner or later – and some of us will get very ill or die. People we know, maybe even you or I. I don't want to pretend otherwise – but this is an enemy we should face knowing we've done our best to prepare for and get on with our lives fearlessly. The odds of getting through are quite good really.

        • Patricia Bremner

          RedLogix I don't think your first statement is quite correct. Most experts are saying even though viral loads may be similar vaxed or unvaxed, transmission rates appear to be lower in the vaxed..(overseas and here). Otherwise how could the R rate be lowered by vaccinating a population?

          • Gypsy

            " transmission rates appear to be lower in the vaxed.."

            There's this recent study that has this:

            "At the country-level, there appears to be no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases in the last 7 days (Fig. 1). In fact, the trend line suggests a marginally positive association such that countries with higher percentage of population fully vaccinated have higher COVID-19 cases per 1 million people."

            "The lack of a meaningful association between percentage population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases is further exemplified, for instance, by comparison of Iceland and Portugal. Both countries have over 75% of their population fully vaccinated and have more COVID-19 cases per 1 million people than countries such as Vietnam and South Africa that have around 10% of their population fully vaccinated."

            "The sole reliance on vaccination as a primary strategy to mitigate COVID-19 and its adverse consequences needs to be re-examined, especially considering the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant and the likelihood of future variants."

            Of course RedLogix is correct – being vaccinated appears to significantly reduce the severity of symptons, and therefore the strain on the health system.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              Didn't Subramanian and Kumar's recent European Journal of Epidemiology paper, that you linked @, ring any alarm bells?

              In summary, even as efforts should be made to encourage populations to get vaccinated it should be done so with humility and respect.

              A classic case of seeing what you want to see, I reckon, and I should know!

              Vaccination rates and COVID-19 cases: a commentary of “Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States.

              The manuscript from Subramanian and Kumar shows a lack of vaccine efficacy on Covid Incidence. However, this paper suffers major pitfalls : inadequate outcome, lack of confounding factors, inadequate time period (7 days), inclusion/exclusion criteria not respected, causal inference from inappropriate data, and erroneous interpretation of the data. We comment on these issues in detail and show that Subramanian and Kumar’s paper is flawed and misleading.

              • Gypsy

                I hadn't seen that, so thanks. As my comment below to KJT shows, I'm not taking sides in this, just trying to be over the research. I have a number of vaxx hesitant people in my circles of contacts, and I'm finding trying to convince them to get vaccinated a frustrating process.

                As an aside, when I chose to get vaccinated I was not anticipating never catching Covid, for me it was more about minimising the impact if I did, particularly for at least one member of of family who suffers from COPD.

          • Gypsy

            Thanks for posting that. Although that seems to have a different conclusion than the NCBI paper, the Lancet study uses one country, and therefore one population data set, which is a solid approach IMHO.

            • KJT

              Note the study gives the transmission rate from both symptomatic and asymptomatic vaccinated people. Which gives a more accurate picture of the transmission rate from vaccinated people with covid than several which only use the number of vaccinated people who were tested because they had symptoms.

          • Patricia Bremner

            Very interesting DrowsyM. Kram and KJT. Thanks xx

    • Tricledrown 3.3

      Shanreagh I avoid both like the plague .I had a boss like That once I stuck it out for 4 yrs then never worked for a boss like that again . I became self employed and only had short stints working for a boss and realised NZ largely is still stuck in the 18th century when it comes to the worker boss relationships.

  4. pat 4

    Covid is getting fingered for a lot that was already there.

  5. AB 5

    In 2020 I thought this pandemic might have some positive long-term outcomes – I don't know exactly what, but maybe some reaffirmation of the importance of the public good and power of collective action to protect and enhance it.

    Now I suspect we will come out of it worse off. We are in a sort of semi-controlled crash back into the way things were – all the grim old problems, but now with an added layer of aggressive individualism, intolerance, alienation and depression. All our possible choices from here look like bad ones.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      Yes – I agree with you on this. To the point I think it's worth a post.

    • Shanreagh 5.2

      Up until I found out about the large number of unvaccinated and then some of them morphed into the hostile unvaxxed, I would have thought the same as you AB about this being the making of the country or at least a new start. So I have only been despondent for a couple of weeks now.

      Regen ag, climate change actions would follow on from an energised populace.

      I am not giving in though as I said further up the thread. I am still thinking we will get over 90%, we will do it with time to spare……it is two days though since Friday and the waiting is getting to me and the negativity is getting to me.

    • Ad 5.3

      Those food parcel queues being reported by the Salvation Army are telling the tale.

      The state has sought to fill the hole of COVID's social damage with over $60billion, and the hole is still deep.

      • Patricia Bremner 5.3.1

        People are not able to fish find seafood hunt forage for plants berries roots and fungi. Also they could not work together in community gardens, or mind children while someone worked, sing and enjoy fellowship in their churches

        Covid has made the social structures used by their cultural groups when under lock down less attractive and even dangerous So welfare and food parcels are a patch on the hardship. The Government have used businesses charitable groups and cultural contacts to distribute the millions in food and goods.

        A survey of who has become unemployed and programmes to assist people to cope while they pivot and learn new skills and become employed again is needed.

        Children who have left school early should be paid for an education day, partly by the employer, and the balance by the Government to help build their skills in tech, (math reading writing cultural pursuits sport) etc and guidance for training and further educational opportunities. Poverty of opportunity, loss of direction and hope will need to be addressed before it is normalised.

    • Tricledrown 5.5

      This is not as bad as what previous generations had to deal with.

      We have had the best run without major catastrophes in human history no world wars 60 years without pandemics.

      Our resilience has not been tested to this level since WW2.

  6. mickysavage 6

    Good post Incognito. I am working out how my respect for human rights and disdain for central control is reconciled with support for some sort of mandate, which to be frank is not too extreme.

    It all boils down to the numbers.

    Up to 90% vaccination rate for eligible people and there could be thousands of deaths. Over that figure and it could be hundreds.

    It is not an easy calculation to do on the fly.

    • Poission 6.1

      There is no final number,the evolutionary equations are infinite dimensional,the use of a number plucked out of someones arse for political gain is repugnant for a multitude of reasons,the foremost being so one can have entertainment.

    • Patricia Bremner 6.2

      I seem to recall one expert saying in answer to that % question with the answer "110%"

      Which I took to mean "As many as possible and even then there would be cases."

  7. Ad 7

    I am more impressed by the exceptionally strong social cohesion we are displaying.

    The excellent trick is that Ardern has outsourced enforcement to business and the 'traffic light' system. Those holding the lightning rod of authoritarianism are not the state but the shopkeepers: there is no human right to be served by a business.

    That's a decent BORA runaround if I've ever seen it.

    Authoritarianism one mall at a time, well, its a deep blue soft velvet glove wrapped around the hand of a big fat plushie-dog.

    • Robert Guyton 7.1

      That's how I see it also, Ad.

    • Graeme 7.2

      The State is still going to have to enforce the shopkeepers, publicans and pastors. I presume it will be an offence to have over 100 people in the premises without a verifiable vaccine certificate checking system. Can see police checks of this in bars, malls and places of worship. Kinda like the underage raids on the student pubs in 70's.

      Can see all sorts of fun descending on a few businesses and organizations around here.

      • Ad 7.2.1

        Yes a little.

        But the primary force applied will be the utterly more powerful force of supply and demand.

        • Graeme

          Without solid enforcement it'll be no more effective than scanning has been over the last 12 months. Looking at the bar next to us that targets a younger demographic scanning by punters is close to zero, and it's taken until very recently to get the staff to wear masks. Even our scan rate with an older demographic is pitiful and getting people to wear masks is just not worth the aggravation. Might change once there's confirmed covid around, it certainly did for a couple of days after Judith was swanning around town.

          My pick for the outcome of this as covid rolls through will be most people will go voluntary Level 4, and the place will pretty much shut down for the duration. Those businesses and customers that don't care will use the fig leaf of vaccine certificates to do what they want until either Covid or the State shuts them down. I'm watching one that's unlikely to end well and probably quite quickly, but the restrictions and support up till now has effectively been saving him from himself.

          • pat

            "My pick for the outcome of this as covid rolls through will be most people will go voluntary Level 4, and the place will pretty much shut down for the duration."

            Indeed …a point that many seem to be overlooking… mandated or not the level of activity is not returning to pre covid levels anytime soon.

    • Paul Campbell 7.3

      I'm actually happy with this system, I have preexisting conditions (more than one) and even though I'm double vaxxed once there's covid in my community I'll largely be staying home (back to level 3/4 for me).

      What will be great about this scheme is that I'll be able to tell which businesses the unvaccinated are using and avoid going near them – I think this is a great safety plan – this is not all about the rights of those who choose to not be vaccinated, it's about the right not to die too

  8. Cricklewood 8

    Good post, I sincerely hope we follow the path of Denmark rather than Israel.

    We're going to chop somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of our eligible population from society. Thats easily 300000 people, could run to close to 100000 in Auckland alone its going to cause a permanent scar.

    There are other solutions such as providing a negative test result etc.

    Theres already an underground network of sorts springing up in response. Haircuts etc.

  9. I like the traffic light system. By passing enforcement down we are also ensuring that people/businesses who want it to work for the sake of their business will make it work and will chivvy the Govt along to keep improving it so it is kept fit for purpose.

    • Cricklewood 9.1

      We'll see if it works, but lets see how long it takes to get second shots to 90 then apparently there will be a yet to be determined period of time to let those second shots take effect so minimum 6 weeks from today I expect.

      Outsourcing state functions to businesses has worked out really well in past what could possibly go wrong…

      • Shanreagh 9.1.1

        Outsourcing state functions to businesses has worked out really well in past what could possibly go wrong…

        Yes good point Cricklewood.wink

      • Ad 9.1.2

        It's the way the NZ state has functioned pretty well for over 30 years now.

        Most of the vaccine rollout has been undertaken by private contractors.

    • joe90 9.2

      Anti-vaxx gym owner/trainer I know intended dying in a ditch over the issue. Right up until the agency that refers his most lucrative re-hab clients advised him that having any unvaccinated staff or patrons on the premises could mean the cancellation of existing arrangements and an end to referrals. Booked his first vaccination on the spot and he's hoping for a period of grace while he waits for his second.

  10. weston 10

    I had a haircut once in about 83 but apart from the odd trim nothing since so i dont really get all the angst around haircuts .Ilike my hair and wouldnt want to cut it .Your post isnt really about haircuts obviously but saying stuff like "We celebrate diversity dont we ?"id have to say you gotta be kidding imo at no other time in modern history have we been more conformist especially men .

    Agree with you about the social divide though .Still think the simplest solution would be just pay people to get vaxed but not peanuts like key was suggesting make it substantive after all if its costing 2 bil a fornight for the business subsidy whats a couple to bring everyone possible onto the same page fast ?

    • Graeme 10.1

      The idea of a Christmas bonus to those that have vaccinated has a bit (maybe a lot) of merit if we're sitting just under 90% in a months time. $500 – $1000 pp just before Christmas would focus a lot of minds and give a solid boost to the discretionary economy through December / January. Similar outlay to a months business support and probably more effective

      • Bearded Git 10.1.1

        Graeme-at $500 that would be a couple of billion. But it is not a bad idea, its just that is a lot of money.

        Maybe $250 (one billion) would be enough of an incentive to vaxx?

      • Ad 10.1.2

        So let's walk through that ACT+National idea on steroids of yours.

        Just imagine the state giving $500 for Christmas to ALL Kiwis EXCEPT a less-than-10% of us who are Maori, or Polynesian, or paranoid, or poverty-stricken or mentally ill who refuse vaccination.

        It would quite reasonably be charged to be racist, classist, anti-disability, and cruel.

        • Patricia Bremner

          Tax cuts were good for the haves, and mostly missed out the have nots.

          So what would be the opposite?devil

          • Ad

            If you really wanted to boost incomes to the poor, you could always wipe out the tax on all benefits and NZSuper. It would be massively expensive, but it would target those with the very least income pretty accurately.

            I suspect we won't know until after the Christmas holiday season how bad the poverty has really got.

        • Graeme

          What's more racist, classist, anti-disability, and cruel, ending up with Covid ripping through the people who won't, or can't (it depends on who's perspective you see it from) get vaccinated, or do everything you can to get as many can vaccinated to try and safeguard those that can't consent to getting vaccination. Rewarding civic minded behaviour may come into the picture along with solid support for those that can't. Both groups should get support / rewarded.

          Might be just as effective as spending a billion a week on support to business, a good proportion of which is going to prop up businesses that haven't got a future and would be better shut down. The current support is very top (trickle) down and not much is getting to the consumer end, especially once you get into discretionary stuff. Putting stimulus / support into the economy at the bottom might be more effective than dropping it on the business owners because the consumers will spend that money in businesses negating the need to support those businesses directly.

          • mauī

            "What's more racist, classist, anti-disability, and cruel,.."

            Probably forcing medical treatments on people is much worse at a human level, but that's just me.

            If we decided we were doing all we could to protect people who couldn't be vaccinated from a dangerous disease, we should probably be looking at a collective effort on child RSV instead.

            • McFlock


              Go tell it to Ashley. He's waiting for your great knowledge of how to prevent RSV (and RFD and RHD, for that matter. And any other health-related TLAs you've heard of in the past year).

              I'm sure there's a youtube video you can point him towards.

          • Ad

            If you were putting stimulus at the bottom, you would simply bring forward the budgeted benefit increases. That is appropriately targeted to the worst off.

            There are enough divisions in this society without making new ones with the State Santa only giving to those who have been good.

  11. Castro 11

    …beacuse the fault lines and social division created by having a propertied class and an underclass, combined with neo-colonial migration levels weren't enough? frown

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