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Here again, but Delta gives less latitude. So give less latitude.

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, August 18th, 2021 - 31 comments
Categories: covid-19, health, Social issues, uncategorized - Tags:

For anyone who hasn’t caught up, we’re back in lockdown again. For Auckland and Coromandel there are 7 days at level 4. For the rest of the country at level 4 for 3 days. Then a decision will be made on the basis of what shows up based on the the spread of what is presumed Delta variant.

Based on what we have seen overseas, Delta is a very infectious disease. You only have to look at the way that a hesitant response by the NSW state government and some truly irresponsible fuckwit Australians have spread the outbreak across states . It caused what should have been a minor outbreak into one that is has 400+ newly infected people identified per day in NSW alone, and a near expodential growth in their numbers.

Delta doesn’t seem to have much of a problem infecting both the vaccinated and the un-vaccinated. Both can spread the disease to others.

The only real difference is that the infection doesn’t take as much of a hold on the vaccinated. The vaccinated rarely require hospitalisation or die from being infected with Delta. However that makes them far more dangerous to both the un-vaccinated including children and those with diminished immune responses. They’re more likely to wander around with a sniffle spreading their virus load.

Generally the Delta variant is less of a picky killer than the previous variants. In the US, the reports show that the median age of hospital admittance for covid infections is closer to 40 years old, rather than the 60 years old of previous outbreaks. Almost all of the hospital admittance are people who are un-vaccinated, and so are the deaths.

While the deaths are tragic, in a lot of ways, the probability of increasing levels of long covid are worse. That will exert a load on medical systems and a overall decrease in productivity over the long term.

Wearing masks in public, keeping distances outside of your bubbles, and not breaking constrained bubbles is going to be even more important when going out in public than in the previous Alpha and Beta outbreaks. It is currently the only viable technique for preventing the spread of the disease and gives us the time to get towards the 80-90% vaccination rates that seem to be required to constrain covid-19 spreads in the population and to prevent the severity of future outbreaks. Something that no state has yet managed to achieve.

So work not only at keeping yourself safe. But also try to work on keeping others safe.

I don’t know about everyone else, but based on what I know about the transmission of Delta, this is very important. You only have to look at New South Wales to see what happens when health warnings and guidelines are ignored.

I’m far less inclined to give latitude about people endangering me and others by not conforming to Ministry of Health advice this time. I’m going to exert my right to express that to them. Also to take photos of such social miscreants around me and to publish them with my commentary on their behaviour. All in a lawful manner in shared spaces – the kinds of spaces that I have to be in for groceries, exercise and medical attention.

After all if they wish to express themselves by endangering others, then as far as I am concerned they just gave me a reason to exercise my right to express my opinion of their behaviour. After all (he says piously) it is for their good as well.

31 comments on “Here again, but Delta gives less latitude. So give less latitude. ”

  1. Well. Bloody. Said.

    Will be doing likewise as well, with my Covid diary updates on my blog.

    • Anne 1.1

      Hear, hear and hear!

      I’m far less inclined to give latitude about people endangering me and others by not conforming to Ministry of Health advice this time. I’m going to exert my right to express that to them. Also to take photos of such social miscreants around me and to publish them with my commentary on their behaviour. All in a lawful manner in shared spaces – the kinds of spaces that I have to be in for groceries, exercise and medical attention.

      Yep. No leeway this time round. Anyone who breaks the rules in my presence just might see – and feel – the bottom end of my walking stick – wot I need to get around with until I finally get my new knee. Not strictly within the law but never mind.angry

  2. Andre 2

    Generally the Delta variant is less of a picky killer than the previous variants. In the US, the reports show that the median age of hospital admittance for covid infections is closer to 40 years old, rather than the 60 years old of previous outbreaks. Almost all of the hospital admittance are people who are un-vaccinated, and so are the deaths.

    That could be purely a reflection of older people being much more likely to be vaccinated. Around 90% of over-65s have had at least one jab, while the 25-39 group is around 60% and the 40-49 group around 70%.


    • Patricia Bremner 2.1

      In NSW they found the rule breakers were in the 24 to 40 age group. Perhaps older folk don't feel so bullet proof.

    • lprent 2.2

      Yes. There will be some of that. Also that older people who are more susceptible khave already had it or know people who have, so tend to be more cautious.

      But to drop 20 years in median age means that a whole lot of under 40s are winding up in hospital. Fare more than with the alpha or beta versions. The statements from US hospitals and their staffs tend to support that.

      • Enough is Enough 2.2.1

        Australian data also back ups what you are saying there. There are a whole lot of younger people in Sydney hosiptals right now with the virus.

        That also might have something to do with the "irresponsible fuckwit Australians" being generlly younger as well.

        • lprent

          I pointed to the US as the outbreak in aussie is still relatively small. Compare it with Tennessee..

          She said hospitals were already pretty full before the latest resurgence through the delta variant and the facilities are struggling with staffing shortages and and workers sick with COVID-19.

          “An interesting and startling statistic is that in the first 15 days of August, we’ve had 1,023 hospitalizations,” Piercey said during the video news conference. “That is higher than any other full month combined in the pandemic, which was November and it was in the 900s.”

          Currently, about 2,200 people are hospitalized in Tennessee with COVID-19, with 43 of them children, according to the state, compared to about 3,300 in January. Notably, the influx of patients led Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville to say late last week that its adult hospital and emergency department are “completely full.”

          She said that from May through July, 88% of hospitalizations and 94% of deaths were among the unvaccinated, while vaccinated hospitalizations mostly involved immunocompromised patients. An additional shot of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines is now encouraged for immunocompromised people.

          With the age ranges in the US getting hospitalised

          During the start of the pandemic, before there was a vaccine, those most likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 were older adults.

          Now that the Delta variant is spreading widely in the United States, physicians are seeing a worrying trend of younger people ending up in the ICU.

          According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, recent weeks have shown an increase in COVID-19-related hospitalizations for all age groups, with hospitalized adults ages 18–49 accounting for the largest increase.

          The dramatic increase in cases seems to be related to the more infectious Delta variant.

          “The Delta variant comprises well over 80 percent of what is circulating in the U.S.,” Dr. David Hirschwerk, infectious diseases specialist at Northwell Health in New York, told Healthline. “It is likely that Delta will continue to circulate in the fall, but naturally we all will be carefully scanning for the emergence of new variants.”

          According to the recent CDC data, in the week ending July 24, people ages 18 to 49 are the largest demographic hospitalized for COVID-19.

          This age group is currently affected far more than those ages 50–64 — and significantly more affected than the next oldest group (ages 65 and older), a trend that began in March of this year.

          “A major reason for this is that vaccine uptake has been high among those over 65, and this was a group very vulnerable to severe illness,” explained Hirschwerk. “By proportion, fewer patients of more advanced age are currently being hospitalized with COVID.”

  3. KSaysHi 3

    The only real difference is that the infection doesn’t take as much of a hold on the vaccinated. The vaccinated rarely require hospitalisation or die from being infected with Delta.

    If only that were the case.

    1. Preprint finding that neutralising activity (which I assume to be effectiveness against the virus but please correct me if I'm wrong) is just under 200 days.

    Looked at patients (n=225) who got 2 shots of Pfizer in February and then took a look at their neutralizing antibodies.

    Neutralizing activity half-life: 68 days (2-months), total loss of neutralizing activity: 198 days (6.6 months).


    1. This seems to support to the increasing stories around hospitilisation and vaccinated people

    These are over 80 and fully vx'd, but the claims made were that vaccination would protect the vulnerable. https://www.theportugalnews.com/news/2021-08-13/covid-victims-mainly-fully-vaccinated/61668

    I don't have a list of all the stuff I've watched/read supporting this point, but after a quick search found this (data taken from news report in Hebrew). Most of Israel have been fully vaccinated with Pfizer so are a handy early indicator. There are plenty of others but data is still early.

    Sorry I think I've wandered a little from the point which was YES we do need to ensure that people comply with basic lvl4 requests, BUT we also need to get as healthy as we can rather than rely soley on the vaccine, and most importantly not wait for a directive from MoH/PM to do so.

    Last night I heard there were protest organised in the main centers. Very sad. Hoping for an extreme weather event to disperse wanna be participants. A few days of storm would be ideal.

    • Jenny how to get there 3.1

      “95% of the severe patients are vaccinated”.
      “85-90% of the hospitalizations are in Fully vaccinated people.”

      Quoting individual cases is meaningless, that is not how vaccination works.

      It is a population thing.

      Known as community immunity. Vaccination works best when everyone is vaccinated.
      In simple terms every extra person who gets vaccinated lessens the spread of the disease in the community. If enough get vaccinated the spread of the disease from person to person fizzles out

      Herd immunity occurs when the majority of a population is immune to a disease or virus. Otherwise known as community immunity1, it helps to slow the spread of infectious diseases in two ways:2

      1. People contract the disease and develop an immune response.
      2. People are vaccinated.

      When enough people are vaccinated, everyone—including those who are too young or too sick to be immunized—receives some protection from the spread of diseases. An infectious disease is less likely to spread from person to person because there are fewer germs around to infect others. And if a person does get sick, the likelihood of an outbreak is low because more people are immune.



    • Incognito 3.2

      Guess what happens when a country (e.g. Israel) relaxes the rules? More people are infected.

      Guess what happens when more people are infected? More people fall severely ill and die.

      Neutralising antibody titres might indeed go down over time. This is normal and expected and although this may correlate with decreasing protection, it does not take into account other mechanisms of immunity such as cellular immunity that may be more stable over time (and occurs after an antibody response after vaccination). However, many other non-individual (i.e. immune status and response) factors are important too such as exposure risk.

    • KJT 3.3

      95% of hospitalisations are vaccinated. Yes you would expect that if most of the population are vaccinated.

      The question is, what has been the change in total hospitalisations per capita, for Covid.

      Which in Israel and other places where a majority are vaccinated, if you look at real statistics, not facebook reckons, has been greatly reduced.


      “This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,”

  4. Jenny how to get there 4

    Wearing masks in public, keeping distances outside of your bubbles, and not breaking constrained bubbles is going to be even more important when going out in public than in the previous Alpha and Beta outbreaks. It is currently the only viable technique for preventing the spread of the disease and gives us the time to get towards the 80-90% vaccination rates that seem to be required to constrain covid-19 spreads in the population and to prevent the severity of future outbreaks. Something that no state has yet managed to achieve.


    So could we do it?

    Could we do something that no other state has managed to achieve?

    Overseas experts and conservative commentators here, told us that elimination was impossible, we proved them wrong.

    Now experts are saying that the high levels of immunisation, 85% to 95%, needed to achieve herd immunity are unachievable.

    But one leading US Dr, has told us that if any country could achieve herd immunity to covid-19, it is this one.

    So could New Zealand achieve over 85% vaccination coverage?

    Could the team of 5 million pull it off?

    Could we again achieve a world beating victory against covid-19?

    If it is possible, then we owe it to the world try. If New Zealand can demonstrate that it is possible to achieve herd immunity, then other countries and territories might be encouraged to follow our example, possibly saving millions of lives.

    One of the United States' top doctors says New Zealand has a unique opportunity to create an "immunity wall" against COVID-19, but time is running out……

    "…..you are in a powerful position – if you can get close to 100 percent you will have an immunity wall that's extraordinary, and I hope that you'll be able to get close." Dr Topol

    Polls show only about 70 percent of Kiwi adults say they'll definitely get the jab. Another 20 percent are on the fence, and 10 percent don't want it at all.

    NZ 'naïve to Delta', at risk of 'vicious spread' if Kiwis don't get vaccinated – top US doctor (msn.com)

    Let's do this.

    • lprent 4.1

      So could New Zealand achieve over 85% vaccination coverage?

      I suspect that we can here. Certainly the vaccination program has been showing (apart from the near stock out of vaccine in early July) and impressive ability to stick to a reasonable plan without the flailing around and policy divergences that is so apparent offshore.

      When we get towards the tail off of people willing to get the vaccine, then we'll carefully open borders and let the immunisation happen the natural way. People get it and develop defences against it. It looks like natural immunities aren't as effective as the vaccine we are using.

      The only real trick at that point is to make sure we have the capacity in hospitals to deal with the percentage who fall very sick. But if there isn't even after we boost that capacity up, well then – we have allowed people to make their own choices.

      The next real issue is actually to figure out how to maintain a vaccine administering booster programme over the next decade that is less ad-hoc than the flu programme. Because covid-19 will be endemic in the world outside our borders and that gives this 32k base pair virus room to select for its other so far unused capacities.

  5. Treetop 5

    Prior to vaccines being available I look at what has worked. There is a lot of debate around the part vaccines are playing. There is going to be trial and error until vaccines give enough efficacy.

    All a vaccinated person can ask of a non vaccinated person is to do everything a vaccinated person is asked to do. Stay home if unwell, get tested, wear a mask in public, scan or write down where you go, wash or sanitise hands, social distance and remain in your own bubble.

  6. Andre 6

    Here's the best discussion I've come across so far of waning immunity, interpreting data from different countries, possibilities for boosters, new vaccine recipes for variants, the realationship between antibody levels and immunity, and much more. A long-ish read, but well worthwhile.


  7. Patricia Bremner 7

    The payments this Government is putting in place for workers and businesses is not happening in other countries. This money alone helps people to conform, because they know help is there.

    Most did all the last minute things to be ready, rereading the rules, contacting family and friends, buying toilet paper? Mostly we were grateful for our clear thinking PM who made the right moves again.

    We all admit to getting a bit smug and comfortable, but one case becoming five overnight reminds us we are in a marathon effort against a tricky foe.

    Those in Coromandel and Auckland, keep safe and well. Thank you those getting tested. You are helping to beat this thing again. It was good to see masks ahead of the actual lockdown, and yes we do need to what we did before, even better than before.

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    Will be wearing a mask in public that's for sure. And I have noticed a number of other locals doing the same this morning.

  9. Gypsy 9

    Ironically, I was due my first jab today. I've received a text to say to contact them 'towards the end of August'. Why do I have to wait until then?

    • Andre 9.1

      My appointment was today as well. * sigh *.

      I went straight onto the bookmyvaccine.nz and rebooked. First slot I could get was September 7th. You'll need your booking reference from your first booking.

    • Incognito 9.2

      Because we’re in Level 4 lockdown for obvious reasons. They are evaluating how to re-start the vaccination roll-out safely in 48 hours, AFAIK. Odd that you didn’t know this.

  10. Ad 10

    Just wait for the kick two thirds through. I like Beau.


  11. Jenny How to get there 11

    Delta gives less latitude. So give less latitude


    There is no latitude to give.

    I mean none.

    If we are to have any chance of avoiding a full blown outbreak, we will need luck as well as the application of the most stringent measures possible to nip this one in the bud.

    Lockdown not enough to stop Australia’s delta variant crisis

    New Scientist, 17 August, 2021

    ….The city’s lockdown is now in its eighth week – people can only leave home for reasons like buying food and essential work – but covid-19 cases and deaths are climbing….

    ……There are several reasons why case numbers aren’t going down this time, even though the same lockdown, test, trace and isolate strategies that successfully contained previous outbreaks have been deployed…

    …..The extreme contagiousness of the delta variant was highlighted when 45 of 50 people who attended a funeral in Sydney that breached the 10-person limit were infected with the virus. In another instance, a person appears to have been infected simply by walking past someone with the virus in a local shopping centre,

    Covid-19: Lockdown not enough to stop Australia’s delta variant crisis | New Scientist

    No gatherings no, slip ups, no take-aways, no leniency to wilful breaches.

    Weddings and funerals must be held off as long as possible at least until we are in Level 3, and then to very limited numbers.

    Some businesses are broadening the essential worker regulations in a way they didn't do before. I am getting confirmation of workers being told they are now essential workers who weren’t essential workers last time and called to come into work at workplaces that were shut during the last Level 4 lockdown but are being kept open this time..

    This sort of abuse must stop, or we will not get out of this crisis.

    In her last briefing for the day Wednesday, the Prime Minister gave a list of essential industries. None of the businesses that I have had brought to my attention for staying open were not on that list.

  12. KSaysHi 12

    Just a reminder that disability is often invisable

    Please don't attack disabled people for not wearing a face mask!!

    The MoH have an exemption card available but it is not compulsory.

    From the above link

    You also do not need to wear face coverings if:

    • it is unsafe, for example if wearing one means a driver cannot safely operate the vehicle
    • there is an emergency
    • you have a physical or mental health illness or condition or disability that makes wearing a face covering unsuitable
    • you need to prove your identity
    • you need to communicate with someone who is Deaf or hard of hearing
    • you need to take medicine
    • you need to eat or drink, if eating or drinking is usually allowed
    • it is not required by law.
  13. Jenny how to get there 13

    Good Job

    Former far-Right leader to spend weekend behind bars after alleged lockdown breach

    Marine Lourens, Sam Sherwood and Hamish McNeilly, Aug 20 2021

    Former National Front leader Kyle Chapman will spend the weekend behind bars…..

    …..Chapman applied to be released on bail, but this was refused by Judge Quentin Hix.

    ……Nuttall first appeared in court via video-link on Friday morning, wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Covid lies NZ dies”, he was also denied bail.

    …..Police received 684 notifications from when online reporting of breaches began at midnight on Tuesday and 5pm on Wednesday.

    Of those reports, 322 were about a gathering, 320 about a business and 42 about an individual.


    I am amazed at the number of businesses that weren't essential services during the last lockdown, and now magically are.

    Maybe some employers need to spend a few nights in the cells to get the message through.

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