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New Zealand 2 Covid 0 so far …

Written By: - Date published: 8:36 am, December 30th, 2021 - 280 comments
Categories: australian politics, covid-19, health, labour, uk politics, uncategorized - Tags:

If the last few days Covid results are anything to go by we may be heading back to elimination of Covid. This would be an outstanding and exceptional result. And the pivot from the original form of elimination and fortress border to a much more sustainable system based on high vaccination rates and looser border controls is logical and has been executed pretty well flawlessly, no matter what the naysayers claim.

Overseas countries are in their fourth and fifth waves. And in Australia and Europe Omicron is raging. Early commentary suggests that Omicron is less dangerous, but hospitalisation rates are increasing and it may be touch and go if their health systems can manage. And meanwhile the disruption to their economies and their communities continue. And we still have no understanding of the long term implications of infection are.

Meanwhile there has been a new scare.

An English DJ by the stage name DJ Dimension served out his ten day isolation on arrival in the country and his first three tests were negative. He had his day nine test but there was a delay in getting the results. He chose instead to go out to various locations in downtown Auckland although the rules are pretty clear. He should have continued to self isolate until the results of that test came through.

He has expressed regret and cancelled out of performing at Rhythm and Vines.

There are two questions that have to be asked:

Firstly it seems there is at least a possibility that he contracted Omicron in MIQ. Do we have to dial up the hygiene and security settings?

Secondly and more importantly WHY ARE WE TRUSTING THE COUNTRY’s HEALTH SYSTEM TO INDIVIDUALS DOING THE RIGHT THING? Dear reader I am afraid that the world’s history is littered with humans doing the wrong thing. If there is one species on the planet that can be trusted to fuck things up and do something stupid it is Homo Sapiens.

To all those claiming that the MIQ system is a travesty and a gross violation of human rights DJ Dimension shows why we can’t have nice things. We cannot trust humans in the middle of a pandemic to act appropriately 100% of the time. And with a virus as potent as Omicron we cannot afford to take any risks.

The Government’s very careful steps towards loosening up MIQ, long derided and attacked by the Opposition, are clearly spot on.

Meanwhile I suspect consideration will be given to keeping Auckland at level three for a longer period. Just to be sure.

 

280 comments on “New Zealand 2 Covid 0 so far … ”

  1. Julian Richards 1

    "hospitalisation rates are increasing and it may be touch and go if their health systems can manage"… Omicron variant.

    Where is this the factual case where omicron has displaced the delta variant??? UK, no, Sth Africa, nope, Australia, no. This is the concern/precautionary narrative, but no evidence anywhere suggests this to be factual. Unless you can provide the links to such data to your readers, slow down on the doom and gloom misinformation maybe?

    Covid19 is not the end of the world, we really need to stop believing it is!
    https://ourworldindata.org/covid-hospitalizations

    • mickysavage 1.1

      That is a hell of a gamble you are proposing. In South Africa it appears that the Omicron wave has washed through. But it is a younger population in a warmer climate.

      The thing that runs health systems into the ground is the hospitalisation rate, and this always lags a spike in infections by three weeks or so.

      Best we wait it out and take the precautionary principle and see what happens rather than trusting that a few optimists are right.

      • Rosemary McDonald 1.1.1

        Best we wait it out and take the precautionary principle

        Such a pity the same precautionary principle does not apply with the forced injection of the novel mRNA products.

        But I guess those affected (and dead) are acceptable collateral damage.

        [lprent: It hasn’t been ‘forced’ in any legal interpretation of the word. That appears to be your inaccurate opinion. Nor has it been coerced, threatened, or any of the other language variants in a legal sense.

        Being able to prove that vaccination has been made a condition of employment in certain situations either by directives under the health acts or by employers taking care of their customers and staff. It has been left as a free choice for individuals to make for themselves or in their role as a adult guardian. For that matter it becomes a choice for employers – they just run the risk of suffering legal and social consequences.

        Making inaccurate factually inaccurate statements on this site will cause me to prevent you from making them by a ban for some period. However choosing that course of action is also a matter of choice for you. There is no ‘force’ applied in that instance as well.

        This is your warning – read the policy. I’d suggest that you make it clear when you are making a statement of fact or when you’re expression your opinion because I’m somewhat finicky about that. I carry the legal consequences from your actions, and I choose to be irritated by guests lying about factual matters. ]

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.1

          This “novel” vaccine appears to have performed pretty well.

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1

            No they haven't.

            Three things to note.

            Reporting to this database is voluntary and is widely understood to be a considerable underestimate, by around 80%. In other words multiply these numbers by around 4 or 5.

            Note also the dramatic difference between conventional vaccine harm and the new mRNA ones.

            And finally note the death toll – 19,249. Last I looked the very dangerous Ivermectin after decades of use had around 28 adverse events and maybe 2 deaths.

            • Psycho Milt 1.1.1.1.1.1

              "Performing pretty well" is a relative concept. In the NZ context we've injected ca 8,000,000 Covid vaccinations and have had one person die. In assessing whether that is "performing pretty well," the performance is relative to the fact that we've had ca 14,000 Covid cases and 51 deaths.

              • Julian Richards

                Correction; two deaths now acknowledged.

              • RedLogix

                I was responding in the context of Rosemary's comment "Such a pity the same precautionary principle does not apply with the forced injection of the novel mRNA products." My comment speaks to that.

                In the global context I agree they have performed for a period to reduce harm from the Delta wave, and that was no small thing.

                But that needs to be weighed against their rapidly declining effectiveness, the apparent need for endless 'booster' shots and the fact that Omicron just walks right through them.

                • Craig H

                  Seems a better approach than not attempting to develop vaccines for new pandemics and just letting them wash through until they have settled down and then looking into it.

                  • Bill

                    Better yet, develop vaccines in line with all the safety, oversight and testing/trialing that has been required for vaccine development right up until the time of the m-RNA injections

                    And in the time that lapses between development, rigorous testing and approval, explore the many off label uses and permutations available from the vast array of existing drugs that we already have comprehensive safety data for.

                    And circulate sound public health messages that people can use to good effect – not some sickening fear porn that just fucks up peoples' mental state and that never leads nowhere good.

                    • lprent

                      Micky's piece is marinated in fear.

                      Not noticeably. It is pretty close to my world view as well, and probably to many others as well. Especially those who have read about the course of previous pandemics and epidemics in history.

                      The ones where vaccines, if produced, would happen decades after the pandemic subsided.

                      I flipped this reply over to this comment, because this one had some content rather than just a disconnected snide comment. I’m just interested in finding out how many people you think should die because you want to add a extra years to the process of producing vaccines?

                    • Bill

                      Hardly going to be noticeable to you if you're in the same boat. And yes, a cursory glance around myself at the madness on display in NZ today would suggest you’re correct to suggest many others share your take.

                      That's the problem.

                      Vaccines, if produced, take some years due to requirements for comprehensive trials and safety protocols. In the interim, already existing drugs are explored for potential 'off-label' use.

                      None of that happened with m-RNA injections that were allowed to be a horse and carriage riding through established medical safeguards.

                      That aside, instead of public health messaging around what (often simple) measures people might take to ameliorate the impacts of any infection running in conjunction with honest information on how many people found themselves in deep water with Covid and what commonalities there were between those people – we got "project fear" from the get go that has resulted in NZ being socially fucked over for no reason based on any medical science.

                    • Craig H

                      They did. All steps were followed, all trials undertaken in full. The speed was because stages 2 and 3 trials were conducted concurrently, analysis and regulatory approval processes were conducted in real time as data became available, rather than months or years later as would normally happen due to lack of resources.

                    • Bill

                      They did, what? They did trials? On the effects of m-RNA on pregnancy for example? A trial that would take at least nine months. They did that in full, did they?

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    "Seems a better approach than not attempting to develop vaccines for new pandemics and just letting them wash through until they have settled down and then looking into it."

                    Add to that ignoring that the common cold, if it was the instigator of the Spanish flu, is less harmful now because the most resistant survived and shared their genes through the current day population.

                    This isn't just some current thinking as part of the COVID response. This was written in 2006 for instance in looking at the impact of the Spanish flu and the likelihood of a new pandemic..

                    "On repeated exposure to a given pathogen, the progeny of resistant mutants will finally predominate in a population; an individual protective mutation becomes a property of a group, then of a population, and finally of the species."

                    It is this which some of the commentators bemoaning restrictions seem to ignore. In many countries the new variations will kill less people because many of the susceptible ones have already been killed. While Omicron may be less harmful New Zealand is still pretty much like the lost tribe with no previous exposure. How much the vaccine can offset the genetic risk of death and severe illness from exposure is a big unknown.

                    Bill's framing of this as fear, as do the anti-vaxxers, is just annoying. Only a few people I know have had the vaccine out of fear. They like my family member tend to have compromised health – in her case a genetic lung condition for which she has been hospitalised many times. The vast majority simply see it as a sensible thing to do. They are not naive, or misled or as Bill puts it acting as a result of "fear porn".

                    They see vaccines as a perfectly normal response to a range of things – they have been having flu injections for years for goodness sake not forgetting the rubella, tetanus, etc shots. Even the notion of community responsibility is less of a driver than the simple notion of vaccines help and we are used to having them.

                    It is people like the anti-vaxxers and Bill living in fear. They are just afraid of the wrong enemy.

                    https://academic.oup.com/femspd/article/48/1/1/529808

                • Psycho Milt

                  Fortunately, we have many epidemiologists and public health researchers doing exactly that.

            • lprent 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Seems like you (and the authors of that site) are equating vaccines produced over decades like MMR or polio against something that was produced and delivered last year.

              It'd be interesting to project the expected deaths or adverse effect of the covid-19 against the same data. You could do a pretty good projection just looking at the hospitalisation and death rates of the unvaccinated vs vaccinated based on recent data – including for what is known for the latest variant.

              I'd expect that would throw some clarity over the choices.

            • locus 1.1.1.1.1.3

              Widely understood to be a considerable underestimate by around 80%

              This is framing and bullshit unless you can provide references

        • lprent 1.1.1.2

          See my moderation note above.

          • Rosemary McDonald 1.1.1.2.1

            In response to your moderation note.

            It has been left as a free choice for individuals to make for themselves

            I'll focus on this one line…just to make things easier.

            What a fucking joke and oh the fucking irony that this should be expressed by the Head Moderator (and Grand High Poohbah) on a supposedly left wing political site.

            Does it have to be spelled out that "force" does not have to be explicit in order to have the desired effect?

            The cowardly arseholes that are our government and MOH officials adroitly avoided much of the blame for the job losses by passing the responsibility onto employers. Making it an offense under the Covid 19 Public Health Act 2020 to employ those with no proof of double vaccination. (Going to create a bit of a hassle rewriting the legislation to force three, or four, or however many it takes… isn't t???) Or by making it unfeasible to continue operating your business should the stupid fucking infantile traffic light change and you need all your staff to have been jabbed.

            No, no siree, no force here.

            Such deflecting and divide and rule tactics have been deployed by governments and their overlords since before the pretense of democracy.

            One day Prentice…those hundreds of people 'forced' to take the Pfizer Product (because, like, income and rent to pay and kids to feed and mortgages and all of their lives to maintain) and consequently harmed by it will come back and haunt those who have done this.

            Do you have any idea of the numbers of mostly young New Zealanders who have been harmed by this 'vaccine'? Have you not met or spoken to anyone at all who experienced heart issues after their first or second shot? I personally know four people…two in their early thirties, one about 45 and one about 60.

            You either live in a deep cave with no contact with anyone or you truly believe that either these victims are making shit up, or… they are acceptable collateral damage to protect the Aged and Infirm.

            The last ban I was threatened with here was by Incognito back in September when I had the temerity to post about this… Covid 19: JCVI opts not to recommend universal vaccination of 12-15 year olds. Why the threat of a ban for this…I have no idea.

            There is something very wrong going on here…

            You quibble, Prentice. These people have been forced to either have the jab or lose their job. Whichever way you look at it, it is force.

            This is my opinion.

            Oh, and I really, really object to being accused of lying.

            • weka 1.1.1.2.1.1

              The last ban I was threatened with here was by Incognito back in September when I had the temerity to post about this… Covid 19: JCVI opts not to recommend universal vaccination of 12-15 year olds. Why the threat of a ban for this…I have no idea.

              Actually this seems to be the point where the ban was advised.

              .https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-30-08-2021/#comment-1812340

              After that Incog started deleting parts of comments he thought were false. Eventually you were put in premod, and it got left and I let you out after a number of weeks because I couldn't at the time find why you were in premod.

              Thing is, having talked with Incog, I think the reason for the ban was because a moderator had run out of patience. I'm getting to the same point. I ran interference at the time and made suggestion on how you could frame your point that wouldn't piss off a moderator. You've chosen to carry on doing the same thing. Much of moderation is about patterns of behaviour, and ultimately it comes down to whether we want to spend any more of our free time chasing people up for shit they've been told about enough times already.

              You can choose to pick a fight with Lynn, instead of listening to him when he says there is no legal force being used and understanding why the way you argue here causes problems for the site. Likewise with me. But if you can respond to the moderations, as the moderators have asked, then things will get easier.

              • Cricklewood

                In legal terms yes, in real world terms some measures have undoubtedly blurred the lines on what constitutes informed consent.

                I particularly find the stories about Vax busses parking opposite schools and offering inducements ie cash to kids to vaccinate.

                • weka

                  yes. I think it's a semantic issue, and we need to be more careful with language. We have to be able to differentiate between these things:

                  • you will be physically restrained and have a vaccine injected into you (cf to some mental health treatments)
                  • you will be required by law to be vaccinated and if you don't you will be prosecuted
                  • you will be required by law to be vaccinated to work in certain jobs, due to OSH
                  • you will be required by law and individual business to be vaccinated before entering certain areas or countries, or board certain transport
                  • you will be denied entry to some public and private facilities

                  Informed consent is another whole issue. But we weren't that good at it before covid either

            • Cricklewood 1.1.1.2.1.2

              Have two at my work who have developed heart issues a few weeks after shot no 2 both under 30 and 1 at my wifes who was 40ish.

              Helluva coincidence that.

              Also, An aunt who had some kind of allergic reaction with a wide spread rash and Bells Palsy after no 1 (who now has an exemption) and an Uncle who add quite a rare side effect that effects vision which thankfully cleared after a few days.

              I do wonder if we are getting the full story in regards potential side effects, I really hope we dont end up with a raft of issues down the track.

            • locus 1.1.1.2.1.3

              Rosemary, your language and opinions are both littered with lies and deeply offensive and hostile to many who have seen how bravely our frontline workers have cared for and care for our vulnerable. I personally will no longer tolerate such damaging expressions of antivac beliefs. Views that are uncaring, inconsiderate and framed by selfishness.

              Thank goodness that soon 95% of eligible New Zealanders will be vaccinated and reject your framing

        • locus 1.1.1.3

          Now if only the mainstream media also called out blatant lying, particularly on topics where those lies encourage some people to potentially make decisions that could be fatal for themselves or others

      • Bill 1.1.2

        Drop. the . fear.

        Yes. South Africa has a younger population and the UK hasn't, and it's summer in one place and winter in the other – Omicron "washing through" both.

        Higher infection rate, severe illness and death 'decoupled' from infection rate in both places.

        Any stress on the UK health system is down to enforced absence of several days for any staff returning a +ve result (the pingdemic).

        In this instance, arm waving for precaution is simply to be advocating that people die.

        • Shanreagh 1.1.2.1

          Why do people keep saying drop the fear when no-one I know is actually frightened? Many of us have faith in our team response, have had all along pre and post vaccination availability. Is this constant fear refrain designed to make people frightened?

          I flicked back to the response that this 1.1.2 is in response to and find no mention of fear in anything that MS wrote…….far from it. It all seemed rational, pointing out the lag times, the effect on the possible upping of the rate of hospitalisation and the precautionary principle. So MS response was sensible and commonsense rather than fearful.

          • Bill 1.1.2.1.1

            Micky's piece is marinated in fear.

            • Shanreagh 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Really, are you sure it is not the chops you are doing for the BBQ tonight? wink

              To me it is more a statement in that all of our public health or public good measures ie those brought about for all of us there is always the missing link…..

              The missing link is us or the human side of the equation. Our fellows can be the ones to blow it for all of us. Fact of life, we cannot do much about it.

              Also said watchful waiting until we know more is good, or the precautionary principle.

              No rushed moves. the Govt is still at 1.42pm on 30/12/21 moving the traffic lights from red to orange tonight for Auckland et al so that all but Northland will be orange. Doesn't seem to be fear oriented.

              'If the last few days Covid results are anything to go by we may be heading back to elimination of Covid. This would be an outstanding and exceptional result. And the pivot from the original form of elimination and fortress border to a much more sustainable system based on high vaccination rates and looser border controls is logical and has been executed pretty well flawlessly, no matter what the naysayers claim."

              MS opening paragraph above seems to be the exact opposite to what you are taking from it.

      • julian richards 1.1.3

        "That is a hell of a gamble you are proposing".

        I didn't propose anything aside from asking for your data on your claim?

    • Shanreagh 1.2

      Covid19 is not the end of the world, we really need to stop believing it is!

      Are you seriously reading this into Mickey's post? Wow.

      Our family clan motto (Lamont/McGregor/White) back in Bonny Scotland is

      Vincit qui se curat

      'He Conquers Who Conquers Himself'

      or in our branch 'He conquers who is cautious'

      An abundance of caution is not fear but commonsense. Get the facts then act. It has worked for NZ so far so why would it not work when the Govt looks at Omicron

      • Bill 1.2.1

        And where was this caution when all and sundry were being gleefully pressured to "take the plunge" on a drug still undergoing trials or face the loss of their careers/jobs/houses/ability to materially provide for their children or access to swathes of society?

        • locus 1.2.1.1

          More than 700 million Pfizer Covid19 vaccines administered worldwide. Death from Covid reduced from about 1% to 0.1%. This vaccine has saved hundreds of thousands of lives and has prevented the suffering of millions who have either lost loved ones or would have had far more severe symptoms from the infection.

          • Bill 1.2.1.1.1

            “…saved hundreds of thousands of lives and has prevented the suffering of millions…”

            Maybe and maybe not. There certainly isn't any evidence showing the vaccines prevent more harm than they cause on a societal level.

            The official UK numbers were crunched and showed up some very strange phenomena. When they broken down into age groups, it seemed from the data that people who were not injected were dying in far greater numbers from non- Covid reasons than the injected.

            When attempts were made to correct for that 'impossible' scenario, it turned out that the deaths showing up in non-medicated people were actually among people who been injected – and they came hard on the heels of vaccination roll outs and subsided as the rate of injection subsided.

            I don't know if the death rate from Covid was ever as high as 1%. It may have been, and if so, then yes, m-RNA injections have saved the lives of some of those infected with Covid. But whatever that number may be, it can't be taken in isolation from whatever the number is on the other side of the ledger – eg, deaths occurring because of 'vaccination'.

            And to repeat, whatever the risk/benefit is, no-one has shown the benefit of the 'vaccine' outweighs the damage it causes.

            • locus 1.2.1.1.1.1

              https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality

              So you now know a bit more Bill about mortality rates from covid…

              And to help understand how massively effective the covid vaccine is

              https://ourworldindata.org/covid-deaths-by-vaccination

              • Bill

                So you now know a bit more Bill about mortality rates from covid

                Not really. Countries tally their deaths with covid in with their deaths from covid, so the numbers of deaths from covid are (to be kind about it) unfortunately opaque.

                As the CDC reports, 95% of its Covid tally is people who died with covid and had an average of 4 co-morbidities per person.

                And the deaths from vaccines are opaque too. For example, heart attacks are just heart attacks, and if they happen in close proximity to an injection, they are still just heart attacks and therefor not subject to further investigation according to authorities ‘everywhere’.

                • locus

                  Bill, you spit out the word authorities which imo sums up the driver for your entire commentary on this post and threads …

                  there are many thoughtful and intelligently presented arguments others have posed in response to your framing.

                  I can only hope your views don't discourage the last few New Zealanders from getting this life saving vaccine

                  • Bill

                    the last few New Zealanders from getting this life saving vaccine

                    For the vast majority of people there's nothing "life saving" about he vaccine. For a minority of vulnerable people it will negate the requirement for hospitalisation.

                    Anyway. Can you point me to these "thoughtful and intelligently presented" arguments I seem to have missed? Much appreciated.

                    • Blazer

                      I've been following this discussion.

                      I must say Bill..as someone who thought being double vaxxed was the right thing to do… my prevailling mindset is fuck the..booster.

                    • mpledger

                      It may be that for the vast majority of people the vaccine might not be "life saving" but there is no "X" on their head to show which ones they are. And while it might not be "live saving" for me, my having the vaccine may save the life of someone else who may have got infected from me.

                      Death is not the only downside. Long-covid, as well as screwing people's health in a big way, screws up their livelihoods too.

                    • weka

                      For the vast majority of people there's nothing "life saving" about he vaccine. For a minority of vulnerable people it will negate the requirement for hospitalisation.

                      This patently ignores (or doesn't understand) what public health is. It's about the collective, not a set of individuals.

                      btw, there are people who aren't vulnerable who die from covid. And there are people both vulnerable and not who get long covid. Life saving depends on one's perspective.

          • Julian Richards 1.2.1.1.2

            Yes no suffering due to the punitive measures enforced to control/reduce the spread of the virus… Yip, no suffering to be found outside death

            • weka 1.2.1.1.2.1

              this is idiotic. You might be thinking in binary terms, doesn't mean other are.

              • julian richards

                To use your own words @weka "This patently ignores (or doesn't understand) what public health is. It's about the collective, not a set of individuals."

                The collective has endured social harm due to these punitive measures, just because you as an individual doesn't see or feel it, depending on what side of the fence you're sitting, doesn't mean there has been great 'social' harm created.

                • weka

                  you're missing the point. I know that harm has been done. You insist in presenting your argument in a binary frame and miss that all these things are true:

                  • some people are harmed by lockdowns and mandates,
                  • we would be worse off without any of the restrictions
                  • the pandemic causes great harm

                  The debate then becomes whether the harm from mandates was avoidable (unless you want to argue that letting covid run free was a better option, good luck with that). I've argued that I think they could have been done better (harm minimisation), and that I think they will cause long term problems. Whether that is worse than the other harms caused by not using those things, there's no way of really knowing.

        • Shanreagh 1.2.1.2

          'Gleefully' and 'pressured' sound like an overreaction/exaggeration to me but it is your story and no doubt you are sticking to it.

          You will know as well as I do that the vaccines have undergone testing all over the world and our own Medsafe reviewed the data etc before giving the OK. I am assuming therefore that your query is rhetorical.

          It was a conscious choice, working on a population basis to act as the NZ Govt did. The people of NZ then made their personal choices. If they made a choice to forego the vaccine but don't like the consequences then that suggests to me that their decision making process may not have been very thorough.

          For those against the mRNA vaccine for whatever reason, I understand that one of the other vaccines has been approved and presumably those ones will be able to take that vaccine. For those against all vaccinations then I am not sure what to suggest. When I did lots of travel to out of the way places, up until about 10 years ago, there were vaccination schedules that had to be fulfilled before going to some countries. Again I am assuming that the idea of curtailing one's future travel was thought about before making the decision.

          The ability to get a vaccination at any stage in the future is open to those who change their minds.

          What makes me sigh and my partner go 'ho hum' (used to express boredom or resignation) is the constant rehashing of the arguments by the anti vaxxers. I accept that they have made their decisions based on an assessment of their health and moral/ethical stance so why do we have to hear them over and over and over again.

          • Bill 1.2.1.2.1

            m-RNA underwent very partial testing with no independent oversight – far, far shy of a traditional regime for drug development. So no, my query on lack of caution is anything but rhetorical.

            • Tricledrown 1.2.1.2.1.1

              Bill mRNA vaccines can be developed much quicker than traditional vaccines.

              Like the horse and cart vs the modern car.

      • julian richards 1.2.2

        0.035% mortality rate in NZ.

        0.5-1.0% mortality rate worldwide.

        Take the medicine or lose your job (your choice apparently) in many cases. Take the medicine or lose your participation in society (your choice apparently). Take the medicine, take the medicine, take the medicine…. It's your choice.

        607 suicides in NZ last year.

        • locus 1.2.2.1

          Julian, suicides in NZ are down since Covid, life expectancy in NZ is up by 2 years. Vaccination is saving thousands from this dire disease that is hospitalising and killing…. mostly the unvaccinated…. worldwide

          The choice is to protect the vulnerable or to loudly proclaim the 'freedoms' of a few antivaccers who have lost their jobs in critical roles where people serve, look after, care and interact with the vulnerable.

          Choose to get vaccinated in these critical roles, or choose not to and look for one of the many jobs where you aren't a threat to vulnerable people

          • Julian Richards 1.2.2.1.1

            Brilliant, suicide rate is down to 607 last year. 52 (possible) covid related deaths in NZ and according to Medsafe, another 55 deaths post-vax unlikely related, and another 57 deaths with insufficient data.

            This is a victory in your mind?

            I say possible because the MoH will not report on co-morbitities etc. Just tick the box with a covid death. The young boy a couple weeks ago was a perfect example of this. But when someone dies shortly after vaccination, nope not related.

            • locus 1.2.2.1.1.1

              It is difficult for antivaccers to understand how the post vaccination adverse events reporting to Medsafe works. So far there have been 2 deaths related to vaccine reactions which is awfully sad. Medsafe is absolutely open and transparent about this reporting.The Medsafe figures do not support justify antivax views and the way you are framing them is entirely a misrepresentation.

              • Julian Richards

                I'm not your angry slogan #antivax, I'm vaccinated.

                Do not just cancel, dismiss and push aside with your angry slogans. Listen and talk about what is happening, because there are some very unusual things going on. Rapid antigen test anyone? Nope, the MoH is withholding these from the public for the time being… And the media refuses to report this!!!?

                MoH is not transparent with their reporting, or the NZ Media either.

                Again I contacted MoH to question the numbers reported daily in ICU. It is reported daily the number of one dose, two dose and no dose in ICU. The no dose conveniently includes those who are not eligible (under 12 yrs). I requested the actual numbers of eligible non-jabbed in ICU (under 12yrs excluded) and was told they do not record/hold this information, BUT I can request this in writing from Dr Bloomfield. WTF? Really, they don't know this data but Dr Bloomfield does, come on?!

                • mpledger

                  The MoH probably don't hold the data seperated by age. The hospitals would hold the data but it's not something they report to the MoH. To them the age threshold has no bearing on care or transmission.

                  It's actually a tricky area because care has to be taken about reporting on people aged under 12 – we don't want to identify children that young e.g. if yesterday 21 people were unvaccinated and had covid and today we're told that 20 of those people were unvaccinated, had covid and were 12+ then that 1 person under 12 becomes very much easier to identify.

                  • julian richards

                    …..And we should be able to identify those numbers in the statistics, otherwise it's clearly manipulating the facts.

                    Which the MoH and media are. If for example 40% of those in hospital are vaccinated (eligible) and 60% are non-vaccinated (both eligible and not eligible) the public has a vested interest in these numbers, because if for example 80% of the non-vaccinated are below 12yrs that's screwing with stats to promote vax for eligible people in society!

                    It should/needs to be reported how many 'eligible' vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals are in ICU care: one dose, two dose, three dose and no dose, as well as under 12yrs. This would dramatically alter the publicized % numbers of those who've taken the medicine alongside those who haven't who've been admitted into hospital. Currently the reporting sits around 30% vaccinated (2 & 3 shots), 10% 1 shot, 60% no shots…But the no shots include under 12yrs (not eligible), how many? Are they symptomatic? As the medical/scientific consensus is, children are at little too no risk from covid19!

                    Also it should be reported those admitted whom are symptomatic individuals, alongside those incidental positive test numbers. Just because you've been infected with covid19 does not mean you're in hospital receiving care because of covid19 (asymptomatic). If this wasn't the case why are so many positive cases isolating 'at home'.

  2. Rosemary McDonald 2

    But, but, Mickysavage, I thought all arrivees had to have had all the necessary Injections of the Immunegenerating Products in order to come here?

    We have some of the harshest punitive measures against citizens who refuse these products in the world… and we still have the obedient and compliant testing positive for Te Virus.

    What gives?

    If the 'vaccines' are not stopping infection then all discrimination against those who choose not to partake of these mRNA products must cease.

    Immediately.

    • Psycho Milt 2.1

      Vaccines aren't magic. They lower your chances of catching/transmitting the disease, not eradicate the very possibility of becoming infected. "If vaccines don't have magical powers, we shouldn't promote their use" is a poor argument.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        Vaccines aren't magic.

        Depends who you are. Anthropologists inform us that tech is indistinguishable from magic to those who don't understand it.

        Just cos vaccine technology is familiar to us and seen as such by anyone who has learnt the logic that produced it doesn't mean to say it isn't magical to most people. Anyone ever measure the ratio of those who use reasoning to those who operate on blind faith? Thought not. My bet is that rational westerners would come in around 10-20% of the populace. The vast majority operate on blind faith in the medicine man just like the hottentots.

        • Gezza 2.1.1.1

          I’ve been vaxed x 2. Have you, Dennis?

          [RL: It’s entirely over to Dennis to offer this information if he wishes, not for you to demand it. End it here.]

          • Julian Richards 2.1.1.1.1

            @Gezza What's your STD status?

            [RL: Note to both of you – this will end up nowhere good. End it here.]

          • Dennis Frank 2.1.1.1.2

            Thanks for being considerate RL but I read that as a request rather than a demand. Since I already informed readers here a few months ago when I got double-jabbed it's on the public record!

            • lprent 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Basically as moderators we don't tend to look at history of comments. After all there are published on the site – 1,736,388 Comments and 26,949 Posts. Trying to remember even a teeny fraction of them rather exceeds our bandwidth. While they could be looked up, that would chew up my server time and probably not leave any time for moderators to actually read the comments.

              We tend to look at language. Framing comments as a demand for personal information is something that is strongly discouraged – as RL implied – it just leads to pointless flame wars and more work for moderators. We prefer to just deal with the people with poor behaviour who initiated such foolish behaviour.

            • Gezza 2.1.1.1.2.2

              Thanks Dennis. I had a feeling you said you'd been double jabbed.

              And, as you note, that was a request, not a demand. Hence my offering info on my own vax status as a measure of good faith.

              I've read enuf of your contributions to know you don't feel obliged to answer any question you find gratuitously impertinent or unjustifiably inquisitorial.

              So – how much research did you do before deciding to have the pfizer jabs?

              And given the amount of debate now happening on this site on whether they're safe and even necessary, do you think it was enuf ?

              And lastly – it's not anthropologists who said that:

              "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

              That was Arthur C Clarke. It's known as Clarke's 3rd Law.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke%27s_three_laws

              • Dennis Frank

                Ah yes, that rings a bell. Think I did see the quote sourced to him long ago. Nowadays one tends to encounter it non-attributed.

                how much research did you do

                I didn't make any organised effort. My right-brain works way better than my left (always has) so a gestalt forms from the myriad of info incoming, and at some point the sense I get from the constellation of impressions makes a decision likely. That sets the context.

                Then I found myself contemplating the decision timeline (as outlined by govt). Despite the decision in the early '80s my second wife & I made to give our daughter the natural path (no govt jabs) I considered the pandemic a sufficient threat to play it safe in response. I'd had all the govt jabs when young so just did the pragmatic thing.

                Re the discussion of pros & cons onsite here, yeah I do read quite a lot of that. As in a lot of complex situations, there's good points on both sides of the binary divide. I was born with Libra rising & it sure as hell fit what I knew my archetypal outlook was when I first learnt about it! Situations typically present a question of balance…

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Question_of_Balance

        • Obtrectator 2.1.1.2

          Gentle reminder needed that that last word (starting with 'h') is now regarded as derogatory.

          • Dennis Frank 2.1.1.2.1

            No kidding?! I always assumed the 19th century explorers reported it as native usage. But then, of course, people who are into arbitrary allocations of words into the derogatory category wouldn't be interested in ethnic authenticity.

      • Rosemary McDonald 2.1.2

        These mRNA products are not "vaccines" in the true sense of the word.

        In fact, they had to change the official definition of "vaccine" to accommodate them.

        Here...brought to you by that bastion of journalistic integrity FactcheckersRUs.

        • Psycho Milt 2.1.2.1

          The definition looks to me to have been made more accurate – a step probably taken due to all the misinformation peddlers out there taking any vagueness in any published statements as evidence of some plot against our precious bodily fluids.

    • Julian Richards 2.2

      Correct, but everyone is sleepwalking with their beliefs that they're protected by technology.

      NZ Ministry of Health position statement:"

      Asymptomatic infection is the issue, not the vaccination status of the patient."

      "Developing a separate pathway for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals will not prevent the risk of inadvertently seeing an infectious person (regardless of vaccination status)"

      https://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/article/news/new-position-statement-care-unvaxxed-causing-confusion

      Confirmed by @stuff media journalist via email, but she refuses to report until comment from the Ministry of Health is received.

      Domestic passports are a national disgrace!

    • weka 2.3

      If the 'vaccines' are not stopping infection then all discrimination against those who choose not to partake of these mRNA products must cease.

      FFS, this has been explained ad nauseum. Vaccines reduce risk. Stop implying they are useless.

      If you want to make an argument against the mandates, then have at it. There are all sorts of ways to do that without making shit up about the vax programme.

      • Julian Richards 2.3.1

        There are a few things that reduce risk…

        -Wear masks

        -Wash hands

        -Social distance

        -testing

        Vaccination is not the only thing that reduces risk.

        Opportunity passports/vaccine passports what ever you wish to label them are a national disgrace! Especially as the vast majority believe this keeps them safe by not allowing people who chose different healthcare options to participate in society.

        False prophets anyone?

        • Poission 2.3.1.1

          Not all can be vaccinated the young for example.The change in the demographic is an obvious one.

          https://twitter.com/VictimOfMaths/status/1476185028728176643/photo/1

        • miravox 2.3.1.2

          There are a few things that reduce risk…

          -Wear masks

          -Wash hands

          -Social distance

          -testing

          Yes. And if you do all these things and still get Covid, the vaccine with reduce your risk of serious disease, hospitalisation and death. Thereby protecting you, the health system and the people working in it so we can all get treatment for other things if and when we need it.

          • Julian Richards 2.3.1.2.1

            Still no justification to fire people from jobs, ban from activities and areas of society.

            Developing a separate pathway for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals will not prevent the risk ofn inadvertently seeing an infectious person (regardless of vaccination status). Asymptomatic infection is the issue, not the vaccination status of the patient. MoH.

            And vaccination status does not 'reduce' your asymptomatic condition.

            Again, these domestic passports are a national disgrace!
            The mandates are also a major national disgrace, and not necessary in the context of NZ.

            • miravox 2.3.1.2.1.1

              Still no justification to fire people from jobs, ban from activities and areas of society.

              That wasn't the point I was making – it is that vaccinations also reduce the risks associated with severe disease.

              However, only hiring vaccinated people is very much a justification for some jobs that have close and long contact – usually indoors – with people like the elderly, and also young children who are normally regularly in contact with people with a higher risk of bad outcomes from contracting covid.

              We've been requiring vaccinations for certain jobs since vaccines were invented. This is nothing new.

              Agree asymptomatic Covid is an issue. Non-vaccinated is also an issue – because disease is more severe and there is a greater risk of inadvertently coming into contact with a person with Covid if they are not vaccinated, because non-vaccinated are more likely to get the disease (yes, I know Omicron is changing that).

              I'm not even sure that domestic passports is any more of a disgrace than having pro-covid people preventing people at high risk of serious outcomes from participating in the community. Sometimes there's no good answer. Which one do you choose?

              https://theconversation.com/no-vaccinated-people-are-not-just-as-infectious-as-unvaccinated-people-if-they-get-covid-171302

              • julian richards

                'Which one do you chose"

                Well, the obvious: those who predominantly are at risk because of age, comorbitities, immunocomprimised etc, their choice to get vaccinated or not.
                And the same for everyone else, your choice with no coercion or mandates that you'll lose your job etc. follow the simple preventative measures such as wearing a mask, washing hands and social distancing. Simple right? Unfortunately for right or wrong in the governments eyes, it's extremely difficult to carry out the forth most simple preventative healthcare measure and have access to cheap and easy testing (rapid antigen).

                And if you're really worried being in the group above, socially isolate, which is exactly what the omricon variant will force 'individuals' to chose if they're at high risk.

                P.S. I’m not antivax. But I am totally against business requiring anyone to do so to keep a job etc, that is very wrong! We’ve already lost 5% of NZ medical personal from the DHB’s, we won’t find out how many from the private sector until the end of January. Or teachers, what are we teaching our children by forcing this on their teachers? Or injecting children to protect the above catergories when they do not need it at all! These domestic passports are a disgrace to our society! Shame on us for allowing this to happen!

                • miravox

                  'Which one do you choose"

                  Well, the obvious: those who predominantly are at risk because of age, comorbitities, immunocomprimised etc, their choice to get vaccinated or not.

                  Yes, it is their choice at the moment – unless they’re working in a mandated job. Note that, while their chance of surviving Covid is increased with vaccination, the chance of the vaccine working as well for them as the general population is lower. They are still more likely to get sicker.

                  And the same for everyone else, your choice…

                  This is where your proposal goes awry. Covid will still be spreading rapidly in the population. When it is spreading like this hospitals have to delay treatments for non-covid illnesses. We see this overseas in every news round. People at risk because of age, comorbitities, being immunocomprimised are less likely to get the health services they need to survive. We see that in the changes in life expectancy rates in developed countries since the covid pandemic began

                  I’d be happy to see doctors and nurses who are working with patients (i.e. not management) be the people to decide whether Covid was a problem in them providing the healthcare we expect from a modern health system while there are low vaccination rates. When they don’t feel the need to advocate for vaccinations, I’ll be happy with that.

                  Also a little story – you remember NZ’s first Covid death right? A woman down south with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? The weird thing is, some RA drugs (also used to treat other auto-immune rheumatological conditions) have been found to be really good at treating covid. The first of these was Hydroxychloroquine, then sulfasalazine and now tocilizumab. You might think RA drugs are interchangeable, but they’re not. We now have shortages – who knows what the next effective med will be and who it will affect. People with RA cannot get the meds they need to live without pain and joint deformity – so with an overwhelmed hospital staff, and meds shortages, they’re effectively confined to home – because unvaccinated people are using the meds they rely on to stay alive. I’m sure people with cancer, MS, and similar high needs diseases have their stories about not getting the healthcare they need too.

                  …with no coercion or mandates that you'll lose your job etc. … Simple right?

                  I absolutely cannot agree that people who refuse vaccinations should have the right to work with vulnerable people. The added risk of covid on top of a pre-existing health issue is just too great – even with vaccination.

                  This is where the problem lies.

                  And if you're really worried being in the group above, socially isolate, which is exactly what the omricon variant will force 'individuals' to chose if they're at high risk.

                  And there we have it. The option that is considered acceptable for people who have conditions that make them vulnerable to bad covid outcomes, but is completely unacceptable for healthy people who choose not to be vaccinated.

                  • Julian Richards

                    Look mate, you can carry on with your beliefs that you're not at risk a d you've reduced others risks because you're vaccinated.

                    I'm vaccinated, and I do not for one second believe I'm a lesser risk to my sister who has Rheumatoid Arthritis, or my elderly mother. Because the facts remain, you can and will still contract and transmit the virus, especially the omricon variant. You can live in your reduced dream state, but you're still a problem as a host for the virus, and don't forget this virus is now transferred to a number of other mammalian populations. Step aside from in front of the sun, you're blocking the much needed vit D.

                    This does not justify ending individuals careers, injecting children, and banning some members from elements of society. This is sick and is a total national disgrace for NZ!

                    • miravox

                      you can carry on with your beliefs that you're not at risk a d you've reduced others risks because you're vaccinated.

                      I never said I personally was not at risk. The evidence (not belief) shows that risk is reduced, however.

                      I'm a lesser risk to my sister who has Rheumatoid Arthritis, or my elderly mother

                      You have vulnerable family members and you're not interested in assessing relative risk! I hope you've told your sister you'll refuse the meds that might help you because it might impact on people like her.

                      This does not justify ending individuals careers

                      But you're ok with risking lives it seems. Still reckon an unvaccinated healthcare worker should be nowhere near my 85 y.o. mother as well.

                      injecting children

                      I was happy to agree with my kids being injected with MMR vaccine, tetanus and Meningococcal vaccines (as well as others). I see no reason at all not to support my children to have their children vaccinated against Covid.

                      vit D.

                      I have plenty, thanks. Take it for my RA (even in a NZ Summer, because I understand unwarranted health beliefs, rather than evidence, can be comforting).

                      And I'm not your mate.

                    • Julian Richards []

                      'mate' I am very interested in the relative risk.

                      I am not in any way supportive of firing people from their careers, destroying livelihoods and families economically or socially. These passports need to be abolished immediately! And forcing/coercion in any form of the word(s) is plain wrong.

                      And of you don't understand the difference between the MRNA vaccines and the former types, that's for you to get your head around as an assumed educated 'individual'.

                      That risk of life, 0.035% mortality rate in NZ. Are these very unnecessary domestic passports worth the damage done socially? This will not be forgotten by many, and I for one support them in their somewhat muddled protests every chance I get even as a vaccinated person! It's wrong what where doing to those who chose differently.

                    • miravox

                      I am not in any way supportive of firing people from their careers, destroying livelihoods and families economically or socially…

                      And you’re fine with workers having to risk contracting Covid as part of their job? You’re fine with other workers having to leave their jobs because they risks they face if they do contract Covid is too great due to underlying conditions, in themselves or family members?

                      And of you don't understand the difference between the MRNA vaccines and the former types, that's for you to get your head around as an assumed educated 'individual'.

                      Yes. Just like I understand there are differences in the development of vaccines, as there have been with medications I use to keep well. Thank goodness we have scientists who continuously improve existing products and expand their knowledge to develop new products that we use to keep well. Sending a message to a cell is rather clever, I think. [Link – 1min 56 sec video]

                      I’d hope people would read up a bit on tocilizumab, the latest RA med to be used for covid, and see if that’s the medication they’d prefer to be treated with, rather than a vaccination for prevention. I guess as someone taking a Biologic drug to be able to walk, my view on the risk of a messenger vaccine is contextually different than the views of some other people.

                      That risk of life, 0.035% mortality rate in NZ. Are these very unnecessary domestic passports worth the damage done socially? This will not be forgotten by many …

                      You think people who are vulnerable to Covid should just take it on the chin, rather than fight for their right to participate in society? We have the same argument here but from different perspectives.

                      That risk of life is super important think me, but the covid mortality rate is not the only risk. NZ has done really well in this regard, as seen in life expectancy figures, through lockdowns and other restrictions https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj-2021-066768.short

                      • There’s still Long Covid, that we don’t know enough about.
                      • Treatment is much more expensive (and invasive) than prevention.
                      • As a society we still don’t have a plan for people who are at severe risk of being in that 0.035% that you state, other than having them separate themselves from their family and community.
                      • The lack of a functioning health system affects everyone, and we can see the issues with covid getting out of had everyday in overseas news articles where government policies don’t support virus control, as well as mortality and life expectancy rates.
                      • The so-called freedoms you’re advocating for place an exceptional burden on people in public-facing manual jobs. They can’t work from home, or avoid contact with people, and the more covid, they greater their risk. Of course, these jobs are low paid, so the burden of ‘choice’ falls mainly on the poor.
                      • People working on the ground in health settings should never have to work in the conditions they’re being asked to endure in places that have not controlled covid. This weighs heavily on my thinking about vaccinations and vaccine mandates.

                      The bottom line is we’re using vaccines to avoid lockdowns to save lives, livelihoods, and the health system. Both require a whole of community response. The government has made its choice based on the best evidence it has. You’re free to vote them out in 2023.

                  • weka

                    lovely nuanced comment, thanks miravox.

                    That last paragraph. The discarding of the disabled without a blink of the eye. In all this debate, here and elsewhere, I've yet to see a coherent and competent argument for how people at particular risk from covid would either protect themselves or society would protect them.

                • Christopher Randal

                  "We’ve already lost 5% of NZ medical personal from the DHB’s,"

                  Citation please

                  • Julian Richards

                    My apologies. That was incorrect it currently stands at 1.8% from the DHB's.

                    1.8% too many lost during a pandemic that has been hardly affected NZ for many reasons.

                    We will not know the full impact however of healthcare professionals lost to the imposed mandates until the end of January when private healthcare facilities report their numbers (possibly). Only DHB’s required to reveal numbers as of yet.

          • Bill 2.3.1.2.2

            If I'm a reasonably healthy person of working age, then even with Delta, I was unlikely to get seriously ill or die. So a dose of m-RNA would do….what? Certainly wouldn't be 'protecting' the health care system.

            And wouldn't prevent me contracting Covid.

            And wouldn't prevent me infecting others with Covid.

            But here's the deal as of today…

            kids from age 12 up are being denied access to all public utilities unless they can show proof of a m-RNA injection that provides them with zero health benefit.

            kids under 12 are being notified they will be unable to partake in extracurricular activities at school next year, unless they can show proof of injection.

            Health care providers from right across the board have been scoured from the health care system if they failed to accede to injection.

            And unless I can "show my papers", I will be refused service for a loaf of bread from the bakery that has a cafe attached.

            Y'all gotta wake the fuck up and then hang your heads in shame for the rest of your natural days.

            • julian richards 2.3.1.2.2.1

              Amen Bill. You understand the shame of these mandates! The real sickness in NZ at present.

            • miravox 2.3.1.2.2.2

              If I'm a reasonably healthy person of working age, then even with Delta, I was unlikely to get seriously ill or die. So a dose of m-RNA would do….what? Certainly wouldn't be 'protecting' the health care system.

              And wouldn't prevent me contracting Covid.

              The thing is, public health isn't about 'me' it's about 'us" and this is where your next reckon comes in…

              And wouldn't prevent me infecting others with Covid.

              It will significantly reduce your likelihood of infecting others with Covid. and significantly reduce the likelihood of other, not as blessed physical specimens as you, requiring hospital care.

              kids from age 12 up are being denied access to all public utilities unless they can show proof of a m-RNA injection that provides them with zero health benefit.

              kids under 12 are being notified they will be unable to partake in extracurricular activities at school next year, unless they can show proof of injection.

              Again, individual vs community rights. To me, neither 'we let covid rip and at-risk people are effectively left out of society, and the health system is overwhelmed' or 'we keep the unvaccinated out of society so everyone else can go about their usual daily lives' are acceptable options.

              Honestly, I'm not sure where the balance is, but I'm certain there is one e.g. for starters, unvaccinated people working in close contact with at-risk people is not a good idea in a pandemic imo.

              • Bill

                It will significantly reduce your likelihood of infecting others with Covid.

                No it doesn't.

                Who has ever said that vulnerable people should not be offered measures of protection? (Hint: no-one). A public health response doesn't hinge on the question as to whether to "let covid rip" or not.

                Had authorities followed age old, tried and tested approaches for using leaky vaccines to deal with viral infection, then m-RNA injections would have been offered to the vulnerable and thereafter given to those who wanted them. – end –

                But, by insisting that everyone receive an injection, and a second, and who knows how many boosters into the future, public health decision makers entered into a very dangerous game of Russian Roulette by creating an environment that medical science absolutely knows, holds the potential to force the evolution of the virus in a deadlier direction.

                • miravox

                  No it doesn't.

                  That little piece of misinformation has long been countered. It's also why DJ Omicron is unlikely to have caused a super-spreader event despite his arrogance.

                  Who has ever said that vulnerable people should not be offered measures of protection?

                  I guess I stand corrected. They've been offered "shielding" or "protection" by staying at home and isolating.

                  Had authorities followed age old, tried and tested approaches for using leaky vaccines to deal with viral infection

                  I don't even know what you mean in terms of public infection control. I grew up with measles, polio, TB being a population health thing… like with covid. I guess you'd say the methodology for these diseases was wrong as well?

                  holds the potential to force the evolution of the virus in a deadlier direction.

                  So far, the only thing that has made covid mutate is by letting it rip through populations. Pretty sure the Pfizer vaccine won't be any worse than that. I haven't known of that happening with other vaccines either (yes, I know – different with mRNA despite the many years of research into how they work).

            • Cricklewood 2.3.1.2.2.3

              Yep, Im completely against wide spread mandates, I find banning children from organized sports, Libraries, Museums etc so fucking egregious.

          • lprent 2.3.1.2.3

            …the vaccine with reduce your risk of serious disease, hospitalisation and death. Thereby protecting you, the health system and the people working in it so we can all get treatment for other things if and when we need it.

            Not to mention that the duration and volume of viral load when infected being discarded is also significantly diminished. That is useful in its own right.

            • Julian Richards 2.3.1.2.3.1

              "the duration and volume of viral load when infected being discarded is also significantly diminished"

              Provide the link to this because it appears to be false information…. Again.

              • arkie

                From Scientific American:

                There has been good news, too, on the subject of viral load in breakthrough cases. Researchers in Israel studied vaccinated people who became infected. The viral load in these breakthrough cases was about three to four times lower than the viral load among infected people who were unvaccinated. Researchers in the U.K. reported a similar result.

                https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-021-01316-7

                https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00628-0/fulltext

                • Julian Richards

                  From the link provided – "Previous studies have shown no difference in viral load between symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.54, 57 In our study, individuals who did not report symptoms had lower viral loads than symptomatic individuals….. limiting our ability to assess the lineage of low viral load specimens, which were over-represented in asymptomatic participants"

                  "Helps reduce symptoms when the vaccine is reasonably well matched to the circulating variant."

                  Current mRNA vaccines produced for the Alpha strain.

                  "prevention of transmission might be temporary as the virus adapts to natural or vaccine-induced immunity."

                  Hmmmmm

          • Treetop 2.3.1.2.4

            What you have to say about being protected from Covid is aligned with how I feel.

            Were vaccination optional I feel that more businesses would close due to less foot traffic. I would go out less often.

            Those who work in the health system are the ones who need to have the pressure taken off.

            When the evidence shows that being vaccinated carries the same risk of serious illness and being hospitalised or dead compared to being unvaccinated, then my opinion will change about being vaccinated.

        • weka 2.3.1.3

          Vaccination is not the only thing that reduces risk.

          Yes, that’s what I just said. We need to use all the tools including vaccination. Did you not understand my point?

      • Rosemary McDonald 2.3.2

        FFS, this has been explained ad nauseum. Vaccines reduce risk.

        There has to be much more to it than 'reducing risk' to justify what has been done to those refusing the injections.

        I'm under the impression that all those traveling to NZ have to be fully 'vaccinated'?

        No?

        Why then MIQ for all those arriving from overseas? Why self isolation?

        And the other day I replied to one of your posts about Long Covid with this story.

        Desperate for exemptions from getting the Pfizer shot…or worse from having to have the second when the first made them really ill…and the NZ expert saying that a quarter of the 25,000 ME sufferers stand a very high chance of a severe reaction to the shots(based on overseas experience)…and the criteria for exemptions from MOH specifically says that the second dose should be had when the sufferer has recovered from the adverse reaction to the first…….

        What the actual fucking fuck weka?

        Don't you think that this situation with this particular group of Kiwis needs to be looked at a little more closely? This is seriously fucked up…insisting that these people with known dodgy immune responses have a product that merely 'reduces risk' of infection and transmission and has a very , very poor safety record compared with other 'vaccines'.

        I would really like your thoughts on that piece. Also been highlighted by

        telly news , Natrad and the Herald.

        I need to get out and paint before we hit 32 degrees up here again, so I'll catch up with your response later. I'm looking forward to your opinion on those suffering from very possible virus induced ME and how to them the Pfizer shot is definitely not a lifeline.

        • weka 2.3.2.1

          I’m under the impression that all those traveling to NZ have to be fully ‘vaccinated’?

          No?

          Why then MIQ for all those arriving from overseas? Why self isolation?

          Again, vaccination provides partial protection. We need to use all the tools including vaccination, MiQ, self isolation to prevent spread of covid. What is so hard to understand about that?

          You don’t like the vaccination programme. I’m saying make your arguments based on what the vaccination programme is designed to do, not your misunderstanding of it.

          In the above comment you appear to be positing that the vaccine should be 100% effective. You are wrong. This has been explain to you many times.

          • Rosemary McDonald 2.3.2.1.1

            Sigh…'reduces risk of infection and transmission' for a short amount of time, two weeks after the second shot is not a good enough reason to discriminate against the non takers.

            Imagine, if you will, a bar full of (of course) fully vaxxed and covid passed up drinkers. Some are two weeks and 3 days post 2nd shot and should be fairly 'safe' from catching the virus. Some are 6 weeks and 4 days post second shot and are less 'safe' from being a catcher or transmitter. Others are at around 12 weeks post second shot and have very little in the way of actual immunity against infection…how are you to know the difference...how are you to assess the risk from those at the tail end of their so called vaccine induced immunity?

            And results were similar in Qatar.

            Conclusions

            BNT162b2-induced protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection appeared to wane rapidly following its peak after the second dose, but protection against hospitalization and death persisted at a robust level for 6 months after the second dose.

            You see the problem here?

            These studies were published in early October 2021. Yet on 22nd October 2021 our government, knowing full well that the 'vaccine' was failing to prevent infection and transmission beyond 10-12 weeks post second dose, (because of course they have people whose job it is to keep up with these things) decided to declare the Pfizer Product sufficiently effective in preventing transmission that they needed to keep the fully vaccinated safe from the unvaccinated.

            And I use the term 'vaccinated' advisedly.

            No weka. There is no justification for claiming the fully 'vaccinated' are safer to be around than the unvaccinated unless they happen to be in that special window where the so called vaccine actually does lower the risk of infection.

            And the argument that those getting the shots are doing it for the sake of the community is just wrong. More so since these (and other) studies were published. You are getting these products to protect yourself from serious illness, hospitalisation and death.

            Unless of course y'all are not keeping up with the research.

            Anything to say about the ME sufferers trying to get the 100% vaccinated obsessed MOH to give them exemptions to a product that could make them very ill, or worse?

            Because they are being lumped in with the "anti-vaxxers" and are not happy.

            It's complicated weka.

            But hey…you seem happy for those of us erring on the side of caution with regards to the Pfizer Product to be cast forever into the margins, and for us to be painted as being sociopaths for not doing 'our bit'…

            [moderation 1:

            Sigh…’reduces risk of infection and transmission’ for a short amount of time, two weeks after the second shot is not a good enough reason to discriminate against the non takers.

            Please provide evidence for the assertion that covid vaccines provide no reduced risk of infection and transmission after two weeks. Evidence needs to be cut and pastes that demonstrate your assertion, as well as links. Links need to be in the clear not embedded in your words.

            I’ll read the rest of your comment when we’ve addressed the assertion in your first sentence – weka]

            [moderation 2:

            But hey…you seem happy for those of us erring on the side of caution with regards to the Pfizer Product to be cast forever into the margins, and for us to be painted as being sociopaths for not doing ‘our bit’…

            Please provide at least two examples where I have said I’m happy with casting non-vaxxed people to the margins forever, and to be painted as sociopaths. I want quotes and links (again, in the clear). While you’re looking, see if you see the comments where I have said the opposite.

            And please, everyone, no moaning about suppression of speech. You can argue whatever you want, within the rules of the site, but you cannot make up shit about the views of authors/mods and definitely not on controversial topics. Whatever greivances you may be feeling, we’re the ones doing the mahi here over and above the arguments. Rosemary, you’ve been here long enough to know better – weka]

            • weka 2.3.2.1.1.1

              mod notes above. I see Lynn has given you one too, so I'm putting you in premod to make it easier for us to manage. This means none of your comments will appear unless released by a moderator, and I will hold them back until I see the moderations responded to as requested.

            • weka 2.3.2.1.1.2

              On the ban list now. If you respond to the mod requests above I will see them in Trash, and address them then (and whether to let the ban run). If you can't provide evidence, just retract both statements and we can move on.

              Taking you out of premod and onto the ban list because I don't want to have to chase this up. Otherwise ban will run for a month.

        • weka 2.3.2.2

          Don’t you think that this situation with this particular group of Kiwis needs to be looked at a little more closely?

          Of course it should. If you’d been paying attention you’d have seen my comments in recent months about the various problems about vaccination causing relapses or flares in chronically ill people.

          This needs to be addressed alongside the people who are going to be damaged by covid.

          I have a chronic illness, I’m one of the people impacted. I have a fair idea of the issues. Please stop talking to me as if I’m a mainstream health cheerleader. I’ve got my own set of stories about how fucked up the health system is and how largely useless it is for complex chronic health conditions.

          It’s complex. I refuse to see this in binary terms (vax good or bad).

          • Matiri 2.3.2.2.1

            I also have a chronic illness, so "I’m one of the people impacted. I have a fair idea of the issues." Well said Weka.

            • Bill 2.3.2.2.1.1

              Have public health authorities forced you to forego an m-RNA injection? Has a government displaced you from society because of a personal decision around accepting or rejecting a medication – the administration of which has no bearing on anyone apart from the recipient?

              Because that (surely!?!) would be a level of madness that no person of even moderate cognisance would blithely accept. No?

              • Matiri

                No. I have chosen to accept three m-RNA injections after careful consideration of the risks/benefits of both the vaccine and infection with Covid to me personally and my family. I am also grateful to be able to contribute to, and participate in society as a result.

                I consider myself more than moderately cognisant, and well educated.

                • Bill

                  And that is how it should be. For all, ie – weigh up the risks and benefits and make a decision based on personal circumstances.

                  I suspect there's a misunderstanding, I wasn't (and don't) question the intelligence of anyone making a decision around their medication.

                  I was wondering at those who condone conditional freedoms being meted out by government based on what decision an individual came to with regards medication.

                  • locus

                    Thank you Matiri. You are right and supported by the vast majority.

                    Bill, it is really basic… you are free to choose not to be vaccinated

                    The vast majority of people know that covid vaccination reduces the risks of transmission hospitalization and death

                    Despite the belittling and disparaging comments from antivaccers about scientific peer reviewed studies that prove this, the vast majority have freely and intelligently chosen to be vaccinated.

                    The vast majority also fully support governments' Public Health mandates that are based on advice from epidemiologists and scientists.

                    The vast majority fully understand that these mandates… only required during and as a means to curb this vile pandemic.. limit the access of unvaccinated to places where epidemiologists, air quality experts and scientists have advised the risks of transmisssion are unacceptable.

                    It is a tough reality for all of us and it is particularly tough for antvaccers who are now facing public opprobium from the vast majority for their constant self centred self pitying outrage at loss of freedoms or being forced to carry vaccine passes or fired from jobs where vulnerable people and key health providers are at much greater risk from covid

                    • Shanreagh

                      Thank you to Matiri, Miravox and Locus. AND of course MS who has found his OP interpreted as showing fear and……

                      To the others – what is to be gained by repeating arguments over and over again especially if we have read them ad nauseam from the start of the idea of vaccines, and then the rights of whole populations ie the majority to be protected. The need to help our health system cope etc.

                      These arguments have been canvassed interminably on this site and others and do not get any more compelling with repetition.

                      US Commentator Jeff Tiedrich said back in October (13/10/21)

                      "holy fucking shit, vaccine mandates are causing teachers who don't believe in science to quit, nurses who don't believe in medicine to quit, and cops who don't believe in public safety to quit. I'm failing to see the downside to this"

                      I believe that some have made their choices based on inflammatory/inaccurate information and anything that will get some of them off farcebook and into the actual science is welcome. There is now the ability to choose a different vaccine if mRNA is not for you.

                      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300452571/covid19-nz-government-says-anyone-will-be-able-to-get-astrazeneca-vaccine

                      Your mind is focussed when you have to choose. I am picking that those who will end up being affected by the mandates will be a small proportion of the whole and if it weeds out those mentioned by Jeff Tiedrich ie the non believers in health or science then so much the better.

                      Recently we had some interesting/compelling discussions about the issue of consent and the care that has to be had when those who have long term illnesses and who want the vaccine……so discussions on the application of the process.

                      Ideas for careful and nuanced discussions that don't leap into the done to death and intractable arguments for or against the vaccine, and the requirement from a public health perspective for as many to be vaccinated could be:

                      1 Are people expecting many of the non vaccinated to chose to be vaccinated with the Astra Seneca vaccine ie has the more revolutionary nature of the mRNa been a turn off for many?

                      2 How many people are cutting their noses off to spite their faces ( an expression used to describe a needlessly self destructive over-reaction to a problem) ie won't get the vaccine that could save lives or make symptoms less serious, how do we counter this?

                      3 How real are the concerns about vaccinating children? Do they get a choice to have the Astra Seneca vaccine and does this make a difference? If children have had vaccinations all through their lives what is the real difference between a vaccine for TB/polio or MMR and a vaccination for Covid? I am assuming the nature of the mRNA is one.

                      I think we should move on or at least 'taiho' on the effect that a requirement for a vaccination will have until we see what results. At the moment 1.8% would be significantly less than the usual staff turnover so if you are budgetting for 10% staff turnover pa this 1.8% may form part of this and not be additional to it.

                      As well as masking, scanning and hygiene, vaccine passports may work well and not having them will affect fewer and fewer people as more get vaccinated by the Astra Seneca vaccine if mRNA was their concern. Many places I go to I have scanned once then have been let in without it on later visits as people know me, other places scan each time.

                      Just a wordy plea to find a more nuanced way of thinking through our response to Covid than:

                      vaccines good or bad

                      and

                      job requirements for vaccines good or bad

                      and

                      Vaccine passes good or bad.

                      Please.

                    • Shanreagh

                      I should mention that I usually fall into the group described by GB Shaw in Man & Superman.

                      “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man'

                      Long family tradition going back several generations. During war or other calamities all bets are off…..the Covid Pandemic, to my mind, is one of these other calamities. In war we had conscription etc etc.

                    • KJT

                      Shanreagh at 31/1228

                      "holy fucking shit, vaccine mandates are causing teachers who don't believe in science to quit, nurses who don't believe in medicine to quit, and cops who don't believe in public safety to quit. I'm failing to see the downside to this"

                      Exactly.

                      The anti-vaccers have learnt to seem more plausible with their Bullshit. And, like the National party, seem to think constantly repeating BS, makes it true.

                      One thing that really gets on my wick is the deliberate or ignorant mis-use of statistics, and cherry picking of references.

        • lprent 2.3.2.3

          Why then MIQ for all those arriving from overseas? Why self isolation?

          Because no vaccine is magic. It is a way of reducing the risk of harm.

          Unlike magic or faith or the opinions of that mate you last talked to or read on the net, the level of risk reduction is measured and is measurable.

          So are most of the the usual health measures like masks, social distancing, indoor ventilation, and border quarantining. The way that you keep reducing risk to to layer those measures one on top of another to reduce the overall risk levels to acceptable levels.

          This isn't exactly modern practice – I was learning this more than 40 years ago as a medic. My grandparents and parents learnt this the harder way – by going through series of epidemics and pandemics.

          Offhand I don't know of any single medical treatment that could meet the magical criteria that you appear to want covid-19 vaccines to meet. Perhaps you should provide some examples of these miracle cures, along with some objective evidence that it isn't just horseshit from a silver tonged shyster….

          • Rosemary McDonald 2.3.2.3.1

            These are not "vaccines" in the traditional sense of the word and they only provide protection from infection (and transmission) for a short amount of time. Please name another regular vaccine that does not provide long term immunity and claims only to provide protection from serious illness, hospitalisation and death. (Other than perhaps the influenza vaccines which on a goo yer might 'work' for 50% of takers.)

            See the research that I linked to.

            I have set no specific measure of risk reduction…but it has to be better than "pretty good for a short while then sweet fuck all…" to justify the mandates and 'no jab no job' policies.

            Who said anything about "magic" or "cures"? And who is this "silver tongued shyster" of whom you speak?

            • DukeEll 2.3.2.3.1.1

              MIQ and it’s lottery for you, but not if you’re an international dj. Then you’re a critical worker with grounds for queue jumping

              • mpledger

                Apparently, I think it was on Stuff, there was space in MIQ because people who had booked had pulled out.

        • Tily 2.3.2.4

          I'm one of those 25,000 with ME. I'm also immune compromised from a degenerative condition which requires medication to reduce my immune system. I’ve also had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and yes I got very sick for about nine days after each dose. But the thing is contracting Covid would be incredibly problematic and a lot worse than getting the vaccine.

          For me and my situation this is all about risk minimisation. Every day I need to make decisions to reduce my risk of contracting a viral illness. I am very thankful that my work place will be under a vaccine mandate from early February, because at work is the one place I go that it is much harder to reduce the risk of contracting Covid.

          Before Covid I wore a mask, washed hands etc. Reducing the risk by way of the vaccine is an absolute godsend for me.

          • Bill 2.3.2.4.1

            I am very thankful that my work place will be under a vaccine mandate from early February

            How will that prevent you from contracting Covid? (Hint: it won't)

            Meanwhile, what of your unvaccinated co-workers, who would have presented no more of a threat than your vaccinated co-workers, winding up unemployed and enduring the ripple effects of that (familial and financial stresses etc), even though they could well have represented less of a risk to you if behavioural rebound is taken into account?

            • weka 2.3.2.4.1.1

              How will that prevent you from contracting Covid? (Hint: it won't)

              No-one says that immunisation stops all covid. I don't know why this line is still being run. Vaccination reduces risk. As do other measures. All of them reduce risk more than one alone. It's not rocket science.

              • Cricklewood

                Widespread mandates reduce the risks by a very small margin…

                The collateral damage they are doing to society will be far greater than the supposed benefit. In the face of Omicron they make very little sense at all.

                • weka

                  I think the mandates are going to cause all sorts of problems. But I also think they upped the vax rate fast right at the time we needed that to happen.

                  Exactly what is happening with transmission and vaxxed people is unclear, but it still appears to be less than unvaxxed people.

                  So I'm not convinced that they reduce the risk by a very small margin.

                  Omicron is a different kete of ika. Too soon imo to make any definitive statements about it. We may find that the boosters give more protection, but I have my doubts that NZ can maintain a 90%+ rate that relies on 4 or 6 monthly vaccinations. That's a big conversation, about what should happen, and we can't know until better data on omicron is in.

                  • Cricklewood

                    In Auckland ar least with 90 percent plus double vax I think the benefit is very small… take the Newmarket mall for example its absolutely packed… the Coffee shop wont sell Coffee to you if you're unvaxxed but you can by a drink from Countdown and sit at the same table and retail isnt requiring a pass for customers… so I dont think they're achieving much at all outside of as you say a coercive effect to push up vaxx rates.

                    Omicron is going to make that moot give it seems 2 shots has very little effect on transmission and given its infectious nature will be much harder to keep on top of with MIQ in its current format.

                • mpledger

                  Widespread mandates are good for getting many of the unvaccinated to vaccinate. They are typically not anti-vax but tend to be the ones who find it inconvenient to get vaccinated until it's made more inconvenient not to be.

                • locus

                  Good grief, have you not seen what is happening in the rest of the world where they didn't put widespread mandates in place early enough!

              • Bill

                Tily's comment revolved around risk minimisation and their belief that a mandated workplace would minimise their risk of infection. It won't.

                After a fairly short time, m-RNA vaccines prevent zero covid transmission, and some studies have suggested there may actually be a negative effect – such that people who have had an injection eventually become more susceptible to infection than those who had never been injected. Possibly worth looking into.

                Regardless, and thankfully, it seems from reports that contracting Omicron is indistinguishable from a common cold for most.

                • mpledger

                  "For most" are the operative words – say equate it to 90%. If the infection spreads to 5,000,000 (i.e. NZ pop) then 10% of that is a shit-load of people getting harmed.

          • locus 2.3.2.4.2

            Tily, kia kaha. I really hope that you are going to feel safe enough to go to work, and that your workplace focuses on all the known measures that reduce the risk of exposure to covid.

            I'm one of the fortunate 80% of NZers that is not disadvantaged by by medical condition, age or any of the other high risk factors related to the likelihood and severity of being infected and consequences of contracting covid.

            I absolutely know that my choice to be vaccinated is contributing to the elimination of this pandemic and reduces the likelihood of transmitting covid to others if I am infected. I sincerely hope that all vaccine hesitant and who are close to disadvantaged or vulnerable people can step beyond their personal beliefs to truly care for others …. and can accept some temporary sacrifices about what they can do and where they can go if they choose to be unvaccinated

            Our workplace mandates vaccination but allows unvaccinated if they have a daily rapid antigen test, which the employer pays for. Our workplace measures ventilaton efficiency (parts per million of carbon dioxide is a recognised method and easily done) and has worked out how best to improve ventilation and ensure indoor space occupancy is at safe levels.

            I'm working hard to persuade our employer to require masks in the workplace, but if this doesn't get mandated during a red traffic light setting we at least have the choice to work from home.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Your two questions are indeed worth asking. Re efficacy of MIQ, who knows? The apparent false negatives could just indicate the bug was a sleeper, eh? If so, efficacy of MIQ is a red herring. Dormancy or latency becomes the issue.

    Science of that would be ecosystemic. Ecosystems are complex and tipping points are both inherent and indeterminate. A gestalt shift gets produced by a tiny trigger, which then cascades effects throughout the whole, becoming transformational in outcome.

    Your second question points to the balance between state control & civil rights. Looks like govt policy derives from freedom of individual choice being exalted in neoliberalism. The belief system in the heads of PM & cabinet tells them they must toe the party line. Public health mandates are old-fashioned socialism, so we ought to credit them for their use of both/and logic. Reluctance to head further down the road of state compulsion is the answer to your question!

  4. alwyn 4

    The people in the Rotorua area had better hope that we don't have any outbreaks of the disease. The two main centres for vaccination in the city have closed down for the holiday period.

    "The Rotorua Vaccination Centre closed on Christmas Eve and won't reopen until January 5th. The Te Arawa Covid Response Hub closed on December 26 and will reopen on January 17."

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/rotorua-daily-post/news/covid-19-coronavirus-holiday-closure-of-rotorua-vaccination-and-maori-response-centres-criticised/OAQDRY2NRSD46F6UL65C6Z2LZY/

    Way to go baby. I'm sure the virus is happy to shut up shop for the holidays. After all, if it is good enough for the Government to shut down for the Summer Holiday season why shouldn't everything else?

    I am tempted to try and ask Andrew Little what the health system is up to but he is no doubt far to busy at the beach.

    • Pat 4.1

      Shame on them…why arnt they working triple shifts 7 days a week?

      • Anne 4.1.1

        Yeah… that's what I thought Pat. Why should staff and volunteers who have been working 24/7 for months and months get a holiday? Gosh… who do they think they are? (sarc)

        • alwyn 4.1.1.1

          And what is your evidence that the vaccination centres have been working 24/7 for months and months Anne?

          It certainly wasn't what the people running it claimed.

          Oh that's right. You just made it up!

          • Pat 4.1.1.1.1

            https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19-vaccination/lakes/rotorua/

            By my count there are at least 8 locations currently vaccinating in Rotorua…

            • alwyn 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I suggest you look at my 11.21 am comment below which quotes what the paper had to say about medical centres and pharmacies being listed on the website you quote as being opened but when they were contacted they said they weren't.

              The numbers you quote certainly don't match what the paper said.

              I don't live there so I can't drive around to check. Do you live in the area?

              • Pat

                "Only two medical centres were offering vaccinations and only 2 Chemists. The medical centres required bookings and were only open for a couple of days a week. All the other medical centres apparently said they weren't offering the service again until mid-January. Only one of the two Chemists was offering walk-ins."

                So there are 4 available options by your own check….including a walk up. Shocking!

                • alwyn

                  I see we have a true believer in Superman, or Superwoman, among us. A pharmacist, in his spare time between making up prescriptions, or a Medical Centre practise nurse, or perhaps their receptionist, can in her spare moments do what a whole specialist vaccination centre does. Easy Peasy as the saying goes.

                  Yeah?…. Naah.

                  • Pat

                    So weve gone from bemoaning the inability to get vaccinated in Rotorua over the Xmas break, to 'concern' about the reduced number of facilities available to now displaying faux concern for stressed pharmacists…..nothing if not flexible.

    • alwyn 4.2

      Actually I have a correction to the dates of the shutdown period. The Te Arawa Covid Response Hub shut down on December 16 (not 26) and will reopen on January 17 2022.

      That is just a couple of days short of five weeks off. I don't think we really need triple shifts Pat. Perhaps someone there during normal working hours would be nice though?

      • Koff 4.2.1

        https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19-vaccination/lakes/rotorua/

        Plenty of places to get vaccinated in Rotorua it seems.

        • alwyn 4.2.1.1

          You obviously never read the story I linked to. It states that a lot of places are listed on the website as being available but they aren't actually open.

          Only two medical centres were offering vaccinations and only 2 Chemists. The medical centres required bookings and were only open for a couple of days a week. All the other medical centres apparently said they weren't offering the service again until mid-January. Only one of the two Chemists was offering walk-ins.

          Don't believe everything that the Health Department and it's offshoots tells you.

          If you can't read the link have a look at the Rotorua paper on PressReader.

        • Pete 4.2.1.2

          It seems there have been plenty to places to get vaccinated in Rotorua over a period of time. And still are. To try to make some of those providing vaccinations out as villains is pathetic. People there jumping up and down about not being able to be vaccinated in certain places now?

          They should go and jump in the bloody lake.

    • Patricia Bremner 4.3

      That is the “management” by Lakes DHB. There are Chemists available Alwyn. I live here and I am booked into the hospital for my booster on the 12th of January. Oh, and it is being reviewed in the face of what has happened. Cheers.

      • alwyn 4.3.1

        "it is being reviewed"

        Good. Isn't it a pity that they don't think things through at the beginning though?

    • lprent 4.4

      Damn and I was out of Auckland bringing the joy of my presence to Rotorua and my father over the last few days.

      However I agree that does seem very stupid. That is more than 10 days without being able to verify infection and a need for isolation.

      • alwyn 4.4.1

        I didn't think it was the testing that had lapsed. It was the vaccinations themselves that were being shut down. The Vaccination Centres weren't doing test as well were they?

      • julian richards 4.4.2

        Try getting a rapid antigen test…. Good luck, it's not possible/available to the general public!!? Only available at present in NZ to medical professionals i.e. Doctors, ambulance etc etc and those who have chosen not to be vaccinated flying or sailing domestically.

        The government changed the availability of these tests which they said would be free of charge nationwide from Dec 15th, they changed their mind on this on Dec13th as they said it may deter those yet to be vaccinated from getting jabbed.

        I contacted the MoH about this and they confirmed that yes they are holding stocks of these tests and not distributing around the country yet. WHY?

        No coercion….it's your choice on your individual healthcare options right?

        Again, "asymptomatic infection is the issue, not the vaccination status of an individual" – NZ MoH

        • Gypsy 4.4.2.1

          "I contacted the MoH about this and they confirmed that yes they are holding stocks of these tests and not distributing around the country yet. WHY?"
          As recently as 25th November, the government were witholding 10,000 rapid antigen tests that could have been used in the community.

          I have an Uncle in the UK who has been visiting his wife in a dementia unit daily for several months simply by taking one of these quick response tests daily.

          In answer to your question 'why'? – it's either incompetence or some kind of control fixation. Not sure which, but it sure ain't kind.

          • mpledger 4.4.2.1.1

            When the virus is spread so low in the community, a positive result for a RAT is most likely to be wrong. It's better to have the more stringent test as the first option otherwise it's an extra step, at some cost, that provides no useful information.

            It's useful in the UK where spread is high and a positive result is more likely to be a true positive.

            • Gypsy 4.4.2.1.1.1

              I hear you, but I'd rather have false positives and allow humane practice than what we have now which is cruel.

  5. Pete 5

    Why are we trusting the country's health system to individuals doing the right thing?

    Because people should be trusted. Because people can be trusted. Because we demand we be trusted.

    And then, as has happened all the way through, when someone shows someone can't be trusted to do the 'right thing' we can blame the Government.

    From the beginning when there were strictures, the cries were about the Government treating us like children, not trusting us, taking away our freedom. When someone did something wilfully stupid, regardless of the circumstances, it was Ardern's fault. We should have been free, but someone climbed a wall, and we should have had army tanks pointed at each MIQ hotel window.

    The perfect scenario for the likes of Chris Bishop to cuddle the cretinous. Enough noise has been made about 'scaremongering' but we did not to any large extent have to deal with the reality and some of the horrors of covid. We got off lightly.

    We needed one of the "covid is nothing" doctors or one or two of the prominent anti-vaccination leaders to get covid and suffer gruesome demises. They let us down twice over. Not that such episodes would have made a difference to the most-hidebound, least brain-advantaged. No doubt they would have turned that to being 'God's will.'

    But still found a reason somewhere to blame Ardern, Hipkins or Bloomfield.

    • Anne 5.1

      'But still found a reason somewhere to blame Ardern, Hipkins or Bloomfield."

      Yep. I spent Xmas listening to rellies blaming every mortal thing that has happened on Ardern. No use arguing when you're out-numbered. They just gang up on you.

      But in this instance the Govt. does have to take some of the blame. Why oh why did they allow these mass music gatherings to recommence in the first place? I figured they were taking a big risk and now it may have come to pass. The DJ in question would not have been in the country had it not been for that decision.

      • Pete 5.1.1

        Why did they allow these mass music gatherings to recommence in the first place? Probably because if they hadn't, your negative Nelly rellies would have spent Christmas going on about Stalin Ardern. And if an outbreak happens from one of them? It'll be her fault for not stopping them.

    • Gypsy 5.2

      "Because people should be trusted."

      No, they should not. Not when we are being asked to comply with restrictions on a host of 'rights' we ordinarily take for granted. Not when people are being told they will lose their careers if they don't comply with health orders. Not when people are being stopped from visiting loved ones who are in the last days of terminal illness.

      Let leaders take decisions as they see fit, but trust them? Not a bit.

  6. weka 6

    Just in case anyone is unclear on the MiQ rules, this apparently is what DJD would have been given.

  7. joe90 7

    First covidote – acquaintance's anti-vaxx bro hit the roof when his kid got herself vaccinated. Fast forward to the Papakura tangihana outbreak and three of the family became sick. The vaccinated kid came good after couple of mild days, her unvaccinated mother endured a fortnights misery and the bro became very unwell, spending more than a week in hospital. Sadly, and despite struggling with all manner of post-infection problems, the bro remains vehemently opposed to vaccination.

    • Pete 7.1

      The bro who became very unwell and spent more than a week in hospital: did he trust the medical professionals? Did he let them carry out medical procedures which history, research and knowledge show whereof benefit? Did he take any medications prescribed?

      He is an idiot whom the professionals did their best to help. It sounds like he has more problems with his brain than any other part of his body.

  8. weka 8

    Good summary thread on today’s covid update for those that missed it.

  9. so… LPRENT…..so if one said that ones freedom of choice has been removed does that fit the bill? it is in no way ones choice with all the punitive measures arrayed against one if one "chooses" to do so…..an awful Hobsons choice really i think and certainly personal body sovereignty i:e freedom from external control is being crushed…..are those who think otherwise now the new Lepers of today?….to be banished from all contact with community? or i guess you will say NO they still have a choice….a mean circular arguement methinks…….and whatever the case a happy new year to you and yours.

    • Anne 9.1

      One has freedom to do what one likes provided that freedom is used responsibly and does not negatively impact on other people. One does not have the right to wilfully refuse to accept that precautionary measures need to be taken in the event of a world wide pandemic that has the potential to more easily expose them as well as others to this dangerous virus.

      Now it might be hard for some folk to understand the above but do try to make an effort.

      • Bill 9.1.1

        One has freedom to do what one likes provided that freedom is used responsibly and does not negatively impact on other people

        That's cute.

        I do not currently have the freedom to buy a loaf of bread from the cafe/bakery.

        I do not currently have the freedom to use the public library.

        I do not currently have the freedom to go to the swimming pool.

        I do not currently have the freedom to sit in the doctor's waiting room before an appointment.

        I do not currently have the freedom to go to the pub….or a cafe…or a restaurant…or an indoor market…and so on.

        Y’see. I lack “papers”.

        Fortunately I was ahead of the curve, and so did not have freedom from earning a weekly wage forced on me. So there's that.

        And the virus, although deserving intelligent caution, wasn't nearly as dangerous as all the fear mongering would have had us believe. And that was before Omicron which, if the figures of 70% to 80% reduction in severe illness and death coming out of the UK are to be believed, would warrant Omicron being given FDA approval.

        Anyway. The conditional freedoms being exercised by the stupid and the callous among the vaccinated – are they to be exercised in ways that do not impact negatively on others? Or are they expected to be the Covid Cops enforcing the state's over reach?

        • Anne 9.1.1.1

          Actually I was talking to theotherpat.

          But since you have responded:

          I can do all of those things and I live in Auckland – the part of the country most affected by Covid. You could too if you wanted to but that is your choice.

          And I think you know that the reason it hasn't been as "dangerous as all the fear mongering would have us believe" is precisely because NZ took the strong measures it did in the first place. And the NZ Govt. did so because it knew only too well it WAS as dangerous as it has turned out to be in many other parts of the world who did not take strong action from the start.

          • Gypsy 9.1.1.1.1

            The action our government took was on the money in 2020. But then they slipped up. The lack of preparation for subsequent variants showed an arrogance and incompetence that resulted in much harsher measures and a much more severe economic impact than other wise may have been necessary. Why were we not rolling out vaccines in early 2021 like many other OECD nations? Why have we been so slow to roll out rapid testing? You can quote the case and death numbers all you like, but the negative impacts on our society of the governments handling of covid will be with us for many years to come.

            • Blazer 9.1.1.1.1.1

              '

              the governments handling of covid will be with us for many years to come.'

              They will never ever be as severe as the effects of neo liberalism/globalisation that culminated in the GFC…and are still reverberating around the world…today.

              An average house in Auckland is just under $1.5 million…that's perfectly 'normal'…understandable.angry

              • Gypsy

                The GFC was triggered by, amongst other things, prime lending in the US, a policy that is the antithesis of neo liberalism.

                House prices in Auckland are the result of the failure of successive governments, including this one.

                • Blazer

                  I think you mean sub-prime lending,liars loans,teaser loans,robo signing,anything to write mortgages and bundle them up to on sell to make fantastic profits and bonus..=neo liberalism…writ large!

                  and when the music stopped….Govt bailouts to the greedy charlatans that …caused it!

                  • Gypsy

                    Sub prime mortgages came out of the Community Reinvestment Act and other intrusions into the private lending market by government under Bill Clinton. Nothing to do with neo-liberalism. Government interference leads to more government interference and the dance always continues.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Repeal of the Glass Steagal Act by Clinton lead to the GFC."

                    I think you need a history lesson.

                    “However, the argument that repealing Glass‐​Steagall caused the financial crisis, and that bringing it back would prevent future crises, is not supported by the facts. Glass‐​Steagall could not have prevented the bank failures of the 1920s and early 1930s had it been in force earlier, and wouldn’t have averted the 2008 financial crisis had it stayed in force after 1999.”
                    https://www.cato.org/policy-analysis/repeal-glass-steagall-act-myth-reality#

                    • Blazer

                      Yeah right!-Cato link…trying to exonerate the very people that caused it.

                      Spurious argument considering GS separated commercial and investment banking!

                      U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, and the late Senator John McCain, a Republican, had been introducing the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act for the past five years in the U.S. Congress. Just like the legislation proposed in Australia, it would have restored integrity to deposit-taking commercial banks by separating them from the predatory investment banks that financially incentivize their employees to fleece unsuspecting customers while using the deposits to engage in high-risk gambles that regularly implode. The powerful mega banks in the U.S. and their legions of lobbyists have worked hard to prevent this legislation from gaining momentum.'

                      No history lesson needed here…thx.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Yeah right!-Cato link…trying to exonerate the very people that caused it."

                    Did you read the RBA article? Or did you see the Cato link and lose your shit?

                    The Oonagh McDonald article makes it clear that your assertions about Glass Seagal are wrong by showing how that act would have been impotent against the Clinton prime lending policies. Policies that were specifically engineered to enable lending to people who fundamentally couldn’t afford the loans without ongoing rises in property values.

                    • Blazer

                      That has been the bankers lame excuse ever since the GFC.

                      Good doco to watch=Inside Job.

                      De regulation of banking is an ongoing….disaster.

                  • Gypsy

                    "That has been the bankers lame excuse ever since the GFC."
                    It's not the bankers making those claims. And it's just common sense. You lend to people who don't have the equity purely on the basis of forecast capital gains and things will not end well.

                    • Blazer

                      Pray tell who is making those claims then!frown

                      Common sense!!!-'no one saw it coming…btw…I don't mind ..Gypsies,but you are presenting as ..an unruly ..traveller.cheeky

                  • Gypsy

                    "Pray tell who is making those claims then!"
                    The very excellent article I linked to was written by Oonagh McDonald. Aside from her significant academic credentials, she was a British Labour Party MP.

                    • Blazer

                      McDonalds dissertation is alot broader than the GFC.

                      She gives her educated opinion,but interpretation of GS is coloured by the banks rampant use of new financial 'products'.

                      Even today the big banks break every law under the sun and are merely fined for it=a cost of doing business.

                      McDonald is very learned on the topic but at odds with Stiglitz,Warren and many other commentators.

                      Her work includes-

                      Holding Bankers to Account: A decade of market manipulation, regulatory failures and regulatory reforms

                  • Gypsy

                    "McDonalds dissertation is alot broader than the GFC."

                    "However, the argument that repealing Glass‐​Steagall caused the financial crisis, and that bringing it back would prevent future crises, is not supported by the facts. "

                    "McDonald is very learned on the topic but at odds with Stiglitz,Warren and many other commentators."
                    This is not Warren's territory at all. Her academic career was mainly in commercial and bankruptcy law.

                    If you read the RBA article I linked to, they too refer to sub-prime mortgages as the key to the unfolding of the GFC.

          • Bill 9.1.1.1.2

            You're all heart. A choice, if it is to mean anything at all, occurs in an environment free from coercion. But putting that aside…

            Do you not recall how it was being reported back in early 2020 that people in Wuhan were literally dropping dead on the street and how those reports implied the reason was Covid?

            Or maybe you don't recall how we were told the death rate could up in single digit percentages? (In fact, this utter bullshit is from the ODT on 24th Dec this year – "Most agree that 2 percent of primary Covid-19 infections lead to death by any complication")

            The reason Covid infection was serious, but not within the ballpark of official narratives/numbers is because all the fearmongering was bullshit. Plenty of countries with low vaccination rates and high infection rates didn't experience "apocalypse" (at least, not until lock downs were enforced)

        • Shanreagh 9.1.1.2

          RE 9.1.1
          If you are vaccinated then you are able to do all of the things you say you cannot by downloading the vaccine pass. I understood you to say that you were vaccinated so it is not clear why you have not downloaded your pass yet.

          Or are you claiming not to be able to do these things out of sympathy for people who are not vaccinated?

          There are two sayings that my loved father used to have to remind me of when I was growing up and these were

          don't fight others battles for them,

          https://www.businessinsider.com.au/fight-your-own-battles-2013-2

          don't cut off your nose to spite your face is an expression used to describe a needlessly self destructive over-reaction to a problem

          Also one I have found and that is to look around at those who might also be supporting the same people……you can tell a great deal about an issue by the company it keeps so on the anti vax issue we have

          the people in David Farrier's Loopy article https://www.webworm.co/p/loopy

          we have people who believe:

          magnets, 5g, trackers etc are in the vaccines

          that sinister forces are massing via the vaccines

          that having a vaccine is against the Bible

          Brian Tamaki

          We have people who have vandalised vaccination centres or their surrounds in Kilbirnie and Richmond out of Nelson and several places overseas.

          • RedLogix 9.1.1.2.1

            Also one I have found and that is to look around at those who might also be supporting the same people……you can tell a great deal about an issue by the company it keeps so on the anti vax issue we have.

            Otherwise known as 'smear by association'. Let’s see how this game is played:

            For instance I see that you'd call yourself a left winger, which the mass murderer Pol Pot was as well. Pretty sick company you keep.

      • Gypsy 9.1.2

        Anne I am fully vaccinated, as are all members of my household. One aspect of my life has required me to have regular Covid tests over recent weeks, which have been unpleasant but I have willingly complied. I carry a covid vaxx pass and so on. Despite these measures, and 90% of the adult population now vaccinated, I am not free to do many things. Your last sentence was uncalled for.

        • Anne 9.1.2.1

          "Your last sentence was uncalled for." I am assuming you mean my comment @ 9.1

          Nope. theotherpat was talking in riddles – not helped by poorly constructed sentences where it was hard to tell where one ended and the other began.

          Apart from that I've had enough of the claims of the uninformed who try to turn the Covid response into some kind of mind control ritual by the Ardern government – not to mention the incessant repeated notion that our "freedoms " are in serious danger and we will all end up zombies with functionless brains controlled by some "1984" style totalitarian regime. (yeah… the last bit was "made up" to satisfy alwyn who apparently doesn't understand that hyperbole is not meant to be taken literally. 🙂 )

          So, you can expect more of it coming from me. angry

          • Gypsy 9.1.2.1.1

            Ok, I don't buy into the mind control bs either, but we have been deprived of freedoms, and you are wrong to say they are by choice.

            • Shanreagh 9.1.2.1.1.1

              …..we have been deprived of freedoms, and you are wrong to say they are by choice.

              This presumably is the royal 'we'. We have had lockdowns and the traffic light system to combat the spread of Covid. I don't regard these as as a loss of freedom per se but as a small price to pay for the health of the whole community.

              If we had to have a referendum before acting in cases of urgency we would have lost valuable months of combatting the virus. We elect governments with the idea that they will fulfill their manifestos but also to act speedily, using the powers of the state if need be when the occasion demands.

              Using a public health model is the driver of the desire to get vaccine uptake as high as it can be, allowing people to work, shop and go about their business while mimising the chance to catch the virus. Again not sure how you would go about getting agreement from all and sundry to this course of action.

              As far as the vaccine goes this is by choice. We have rights as consumers of Health services not to have 'things' done to us. To adopt medical advice and force it on a person eg mental health aspects and against some religious extremism usually requires a hearing in a court setting,, ie dealt with carefully.

              We have been given the choice of having a vaccine. Not one person has been forced or coerced into having the vaccine. With any choice there are consequences. I think we have to take it as read that people who have decided not to have the vaccine have done this with thought, just as those who have decided to have the vaccine have done.

              • Gypsy

                The 'we' I am referring to is those of us who have 'chosen' to vaccinated.

                " Not one person has been forced or coerced into having the vaccine."
                This is possibly one of the greatest lies promulgated by this government. When faced with a 'consequence' such as not being able to feed your family or pay your mortgage, you are being coerced. I recognise that and I'm pro vaxx. Shame on those who are so blind as to defend this level of deceit.

          • alwyn 9.1.2.1.2

            I understand what hyperbole is Anne.

            I also understand that making any foolish claim about something and then claiming it is OK to say it if you simply label it with "sarc" or "hyp" is not acceptable.

            If you accepted that approach it would be claimed that one could say something like. "XXXX is a complete raving loon who deserved to do time for arson and murder in her younger days" 'sarc'. Then you could justify it because it was "only hyperbole" and nobody expects it to be real. Is that sort of thing OK by you?

          • Drowsy M. Kram 9.1.2.1.3

            So, you can expect more of it coming from me.

            I do hope so, Anne – mindsets underpinning the witterings of the 'freedums' brigade are largely opaque (to me), and your comments help to shed a little light.

    • lprent 9.2

      Answering a question with another question to detirmine what freedon of choice is acceptable.

      If someone considers that they should have a AR15 made into automatic do they can attack others, that imposing gun control measures like removing their ability to import of buy parts to make that dream a reality is a punitive measure?

      That we should not prevent people with a history of driving drunk from having a license or owning a car is punitive?

      That being required to pay taxes is a punitive measure?

      That throwing people into jail because they keep thieving from others is a punitive measure?

      Where exactly do you draw the line and how would you explain where that line is drawn.

      The fact is that we have punitive measures around us all that are external controls to prevent each of us from harming or damaging the lives of others. From what I can see – you are probably stupid enough to think that these are all some kind of natural law, rather than the historically developed human laws that allow the individuals large societies to work together.

      In this case the punitive measures that you are foolishly carping about are the direct result of centuries of law that developed to try to reduce the impacts of pandemics and epidemics. The very word quarantine came from one of the first societal organised attempts to prevent the black death entering coastal cities.

      That and many other measures have been carried as options in our laws for centuries in NZ long before this pandemic.

      I just suspect that you are simply ignorant of their existence – probably just too lazy to find out.

  10. Koreropono 10

    Fear mongering is at the heart of this 'pandemic' and that fear has led to people becoming addicted to mis-reporting and sensationalist doom and gloom headlines that confirm the fear is justified. The escalated fear allows people to self-righteously hide behind their masks of doom and gloom while congratulating each other on doing their bit for the 'team of five million'.

    The 'team of five million' of course only includes those who bought into the fear mongering and rolled up their sleeves for self-protection, while imparting this notion that they're protecting each other, which is another delusional nonsense that keeps everyone thinking they're being community minded while openly vilifying and excluding others. Then of course each of the in 'team', get to sit back smuggly and point the finger at those who, through informed choice, decided not to take the injection. The 'team' in fact has turned a blind eye to the discrimination and segregation inflicted, not only on adults, but also onto children.

    And when it looks like the news of doom and gloom is starting to unravel, another desperate attempt is initiated to keep the gullible, the frightened and psychotic masses hooked into a constant state of psychological distress. Meanwhile people have lost jobs, including many doctors and nurses who could be working in our supposedly over-stretched health system (because of Covid). How does this make sense.

    The truth is, we are actually all going to die. It's inevitable. It may be Covid, could be cancer, could be heart disease, asthma, an accident, and even, God forbid, old age. Meanwhile keep up with the 'sky is falling' narrative and hide in caves and don't look up to avoid looking to see if the sky is actually falling. While at the same time harassing and actively harming anyone who dares to look at the sky, only to discover the image in the puddle is actually just a reflection of the sky and it's not really falling after all.

    • McFlock 10.1

      It's inevitable.

      lol. whenever someone says that, it always reminds me of Palpatine.

      The bulk of the medical profession is about delaying the inevitable.

      And people who stare at the sky while driving cars can kill themselves or others.

      • arkie 10.1.1

        The bulk of the medical profession is about delaying the inevitable

        Keeping Away Death
        Relief sculpture on the side of the Near Grady Hospital, Atlanta. (source)

        • alwyn 10.1.1.1

          Do you happen to know whether the building, or at least the sculptures are still existing? From your source, dating from 2017, I see they were threatened with demolition.

          I think they are magnificent.

          • arkie 10.1.1.1.1

            After a quick dive I have found the artist was Julian Hoke Harris and sadly it seems the building that displayed the sculptures has been demolished and I was unable to determine what happened to them.

            (from reddit)

            • alwyn 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Damn. Oh well, I guess I can still hope that they survived the death threat and were saved The other one was even better, at least to my eye.

    • Koff 10.2

      "We are all going to die". So what? Most of us want to postpone the inevitable for as long as possible. Getting whatever vaccines are available is only like looking out for traffic when crossing a busy road: it doesn't guarantee not being knocked down by a maniac, but it sure beats walking straight across without looking. At my age I'll take whatever vaccines, boosters are on offer, mask up, use the QR scan, keep away from crowded places and keep an eye on the news, which right here in Australia at the moment is not a pretty picture.

  11. weka 11

    Anecdotal but still worth bearing in mind.

  12. McFlock 12

    Good post.

  13. observer 13

    In online debates there's no way to convince the deluded. If they're dedicated to self-deception, no evidence will ever break through. We've done this for a year and a half now.

    Sadly, the debate then ends in a way that has become familiar and predictable … logging off for good:

    https://www.newsweek.com/economist-robin-fransman-prominent-coronavirus-vaccine-skeptic-died-covid-netherlands-1664069

    • Bill 13.1

      Newsweek running with the tired old "they weren't vaccinated and (wink, wink) got what was coming to them. And btw – Bleach".

      With a misleading fear porn vid on automatic play just for good measure.frown

      • observer 13.1.1

        If you'd prefer another messenger to shoot, there are dozens of others. Google away.

        The news doesn't change in any of them.

        • Bill 13.1.1.1

          Well – when google algorithms favour legacy media outlets and legacy media is marching in lockstep with regards the 'acceptable' Covid narrative…

          Try googling for Maddie de Garay and see what you get. My browser's showing up some results now, but that's probably only because I'd previously hunted out info on the case. (The first legacy media hit I get – from nbcnews – is still a predictable corker on the "dismiss anything that counters the official narrative" front)

    • Pete 13.2

      Fransman said it was okay for vulnerable people to get vaccinated but vowed not to get the shot himself. He considered himself not vulnerable. Classic.

  14. tsmithfield 14

    As a counterpoint to the graph Micky refers to in his article, here is a good article from the UK.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/29/how-can-we-measure-the-true-scale-of-uk-covid-hospital-admissions

    Notice on that graph that hospitalisations have virtually flat-lined and at a much lower level than the peak in January this year.

    From the article:

    "What is clear is that while numbers are increasing, admissions are not rising as fast as cases, even taking into account the time lags between infection and becoming severely ill."

    So this article appears to provide further evidence that Omicron is not as harmful likely due to a combination of its mutations, and the large amount of natural and vaccinated immunity in the community.

    Given that rates are nowhere near as high as the peak in January this year, and that they seem unlikely to get anywhere near that, it appears that Omicron in the UK is unlikely to overwhelm their health system.

    So that gives us good reason for hope and optimism when Omicron eventually becomes established in New Zealand.

    The other point is that once Omicron does become established, then vaccine mandates and traffic light systems etc will become redundant due to the fact that nearly everyone will end up with Covid, vaccinated or not.

    • lprent 14.1

      Given that [hospitaisation] rates are nowhere near as high as the peak in January this year…

      Yeah, but that is an idiotic argument. You're doing the equivalent of comparing oranges and apples for natural acidity rates, and how it relates to alcohol production – kind of a pointless argument.

      High vaccination rates are probably more of a factor for preventing hospitalisation than omicron’s capacity for damage. In Jan there was bugger all UK vaccinations. Now there is a high vaccination rate that reduces the probability of someone fully vaccinated needing to go to hospital even if they get infected. That is why most of the hospital admissions are from the minority of the population who are foolish enough to not be vaccinated.

      See this crap Daily Mail link that was at the top of my search. In London with the most accurate numbers, about 40% of the admissions are from un-vaccinated. Admitted London has low vaccination rates…

      However the real issue is that omicron appears to be far more infectious than the alpha variant that was present in January. Alpha had a natural r0 of something like 2-3. Omicron is closer to 10. Which is why we're seeing places as varied as London and South Australia getting 6 fold growth in infections per week as of last week. From that same crappy Daily Mail article


      England's worst-hit neighbourhoods saw their Covid outbreaks sextuple in size during the week before Christmas, according to MailOnline's analysis of Government statistics…

      So reiterating the discussion we had last week about simple geometric growth curves and applying it to London districts at 6x per week

      1600 last week, 9600 this week, 57600 next week, and 345600 in the second week of January….

      It keeps rising fast until the available uninfected bodies to infect drops. It also means that all of the demand on medical systems isn’t spread over months like it was for alpha. It is spread over days at worst and over weeks at best.

      Basically the problem is that even if the proportion of patients needing to hospitalise is lower, the rate of increase still increases the need for beds faster than patients can be discharged.

      In NZ with our limited hospital surge capacity, what it means is that we would probably have to return to the 1918 spector of having tents up in the domain for people unable to be treated properly simply so they can die away from others.

      In a few months that means that after killing off large numbers of our more foolish population members – the rest will be better able to withstand the next variant when (not if) it comes through. As I pointed out last year, this is a social disease that has a lot of genetic capacity to produce variants with high probabilities to keep sweeping through our populations. I'd anticipate that we have at least 3-4 more years of culling to go.

      • tsmithfield 14.1.1

        Thanks for the reply:

        I probably don't disagree with much of what you are saying, and to a degree we are probably talking at cross-purposes.

        "High vaccination rates are probably more of a factor for preventing hospitalisation than omicron’s capacity for damage."

        I did say in my comment:

        "So this article appears to provide further evidence that Omicron is not as harmful likely due to a combination of its mutations, and the large amount of natural and vaccinated immunity in the community."

        There is science to explain why it is less harmful:

        https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/omicron-thrives-airways-not-lungs-new-data-asymptomatic-cases-2021-12-15/

        Omicron tends to multiply much faster in the airways, and much more slowly in the lungs than other variants. This tends to explain why it is less harmful, but more contagious.

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/30/uk-covid-case-numbers-hit-another-record-high-at-more-than-189000

        Exponential growth continues with cases at 190000 per day now. But that has been continuing for awhile now, and hasn't seemed to show a corresponding trend in hospitalisations. Also, around a 3rd of admitted cases were not being treated primarily for Covid, but likely admitted for something else, and testing positive for the virus while in hospital.

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/12/31/one-third-englands-covid-hospital-patients-not-treated-primarily/

        So, it will be interesting to see how the hospitalisation trend goes, going forward.

        Given that Covid will be with us forever now, I think it is the interest of the world population to exercise some control over the evolution of this virus by allowing the emergence of milder versions to spread, and take strong countermeasures against the more harmful ones. That will build up more natural immunity against Covid generally, and should decrease hospitalisation rates, and eventually get us out of this pandemic.

        Time will tell whether Omicron is the "magic bullet" in that respect. But if it is relatively benign, and peaks quickly, when it arrives here, which it will, then we may have a month or two of pressure, but relative normality after that.

        • lprent 14.1.1.1

          I probably don't disagree with much of what you are saying, and to a degree we are probably talking at cross-purposes.

          Probably. But if you notice when reading anything that I have written over the last two years on covid-19, mortality has never really been the issue I have written about.

          What I keep writing about is the potential for covid-19 to damage health systems directly by overwhelming them. That in turn causes damage to the fragile infrastructure of our economic systems especially trade and infrastructural investment – the unravelling of complex societies.

          You'd have to be as obsessive as I am about the history of epidemics and pandemics to see what damage that causes and why. But the classic issue in all known instances of that kind of unravelling has been people trying to cling to business as usual. They try to rush back to normality without having a hard look at how they will have to do that safely by changing and adjusting.

          The National Party dithering regularly swinging from 'open up now' to 'how could you have let the disease enter' has been characteristic – along with the whining about their investments in tourism, bilking overseas students, and the advantages of debt-peon farm labour. It makes me almost nostalgic for the documentation about the similar less cloying expressions from their rapacious predecessors of the aristocracy and guild members during the black death in Europe.

          Also, around a 3rd of admitted cases were not being treated primarily for Covid, but likely admitted for something else, and testing positive for the virus while in hospital.

          People coming into hospital tend to come in because they are feeling unwell.

          From my time as a army medic, I can attest that something like 70% of those (ie those without bleeding or broken injuries) will turn up with misleading symptoms and be admitted for causes other than what they or the doctor or nurse or medic thought might be the issue. They are admitted for observation – which is exactly what it sounds like. These days they usually send for tests to determine what the issue actually is.

          So if someone tuns up saying that they have this really bad headache or that they have a fever (the most common omicron symptoms), then they will be admitted because they appear to be at risk of meningitis, stroke, measles, mumps or a bacterial infection. They test to find out what it is.

          So clutching reports (like a religious talisman of the middle ages) of people in hospital finding out that they have covid-19 in hospital just sounds a bit desperate to me. That is what normally happens at any medical systems admission port

  15. I know not everyone on here is a fan of Chris Martensen of Peak Prosperity, but he's looked at the data on omicron and is pretty positive:

    1) the omicron variant seems to be driving the delta variant out and

    2) omicron seems much less fatal, even if it is much more transmissible.

    His conclusion: we're at the beginning of the end of the pandemic! Video about 40 mins long.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD2-QVBQi48RRQTD4Jhxu8w

  16. DS 16

    As of today, there were more new Covid cases in Te Kuiti (population 4700) than Auckland (population 1.6 million).

    • arkie 16.1

      The number of new cases in the US each day (465,670) is more than the total number of cases in China since the pandemic began (101,890).

      • Dennis Frank 16.1.1

        Big is good! Don't laugh, the number of people who actually believe that is uncountable, and not just in the USA. But I suspect they will use free enterprise as a rationalisation. Those few who consider the comparison, I mean. I'd be surprised if any msm outlet over there was so uncouth as to actually run a story drawing viewer attention to the comparison!

        So a pr consultant would probably advise going with

        free enterprise motivates our people to use themselves as social science experiments. Sadly, the numbers are quite high, but the nobility of their self-sacrifice testifies to the merit of their enterprise. Some even recover! God's will is truly mysterious.

        The communist atheists, on the other hand, have lower case numbers due to the state not allowing them to experiment. They are controlled. Well, even more than we are, I mean!

  17. Adrian 17

    DJD ? is the d for dickhead? Dickhead has been telling lies apparently and witholding contact infomation. Whatever his fee is for coming here should be the size of the fine, 150+ K.?

    He''s lucky he didnt make it to the South Island, down here if anything less than optimal wanders into the flock it is quietly taken around the back of the woolshed and turned into dog tucker.

    [lprent: Bad idea to even imply violence on this site – I’d strongly suggest you desist. Not to mention unhygienic and unlawful dog tucker practices. If you’re doing dog tucker as I used to regularly do decades ago, there are some sanitary and animal welfare requirements. I’d suggest that you do as I just did and warn the damn fools off their vile practices. ]

  18. Christopher Randal 18

    I don't care how many "vaccine sceptics" or "antivaxxers" die of this terrible virus and all it's mutations.

    I have my 3 shots of Pfizer and I'll have as many more as are recommended, and I'll have my flu shot after April 1st whenever is offered.

    I'm 72 years old, and I'm obese with a tendency to CHD.

    If one of those "antis" infect me because "it is their right to do so" I shall be severely pissed off.

    It is my right, indeed it is enshrined in Workplace legislation, to enter a premises such as a shop or shopping mall, and expect to be safe to do so.

    My suggestion to this site's owners is that they ban discussion on Covid as such discussion serves no purpose other than to discredit those agin it.

    And before any of the protagonists yell "censorship" I would refer you to the pro stance of MSM.

    • locus 18.1

      Thank you Christopher. I really hope that you will stay well and safe. I hope no covid positive person comes anywhere near you and that the unvaccinated behave with consideration and respect for the massive limitations that covid in the community would impose on your freedom. Kia kaha

    • mauī 18.2

      Would you like us to obstruct our breathing, hide our faces in social interactions, and stunt our childrens social development, all in the name of your health too?

      • weka 18.2.1

        no more wearing sunglasses I guess.

        • Robert Guyton 18.2.1.1

          smiley

        • Shanreagh 18.2.1.2

          Or sunhats…..as I hopped on the bus today with my sunglasses, mask and sunhat I thought along with all my vaccinations over the years I am a walking precaution. My growth was 'severely stunted' by having to wear a sun hat, sunscreen and not able to go out to the beach between 10.00am -3.00pm as children at our bach because of the risk of sunburn on extremely fair skin. I now see the good sense of my mother who imposed these restrictions all those years ago.

          Would you like us to obstruct our breathing, hide our faces in social interactions, and stunt our childrens social development, all in the name of your health too?

          These restrictions are to help us all. To say that masking and vaccinating stunts social development is an odd statement. I wondered and still do if you were being sarcastic or ironic……are you? Most children I come across are much more educated than to think this and many want to do their bit to help themselves, their families and others.

          • mauī 18.2.1.2.1

            I never said anything about vaccines stunting development, but perhaps you mentioned that because you believe me to be an "anti-vaxxer", which would also be untrue.

            We are a social species that communicate using our faces, and I can't think why it is odd to think that covering our faces on a regular basis might affect child social development, as well as adult communication and wellbeing. These are common sense questions I would have thought.

            (Here’s some science to back it up)
            https://principia-scientific.com/study-face-masks-do-harm-childrens-development/

            • Robert Guyton 18.2.1.2.1.1

              Where do children see masked people?

              How important is it to see those people's un-masked/un-sunglassed, faces?

              • weka

                I find sunglasses a social barrier. More so than a mask.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Wearing a sun hat, sunglasses and a mask (in addition to other clothing!), I'm nearly unreadable. It's wonderful – so relaxing; loving summer!

                  A bit shady: does wearing sunglasses with a face mask work?
                  [28 July 2020]

                  Finding the fun in wearing a mask [11 October 2021]
                  When you’re feeling down, stop and look at yourself with a mask on, try adding a hat and sunglasses and just for a moment, have a good laugh.

                  Not for everyone, of course, but some Kiwis like/get it smiley

                  • miravox

                    I was in Europe when governments there were wrestling with the issue of Islamic dress – eventually some of them passing laws to ban all (so as not to be accused of racism) face coverings in public.

                    I think about that a lot these days.

                  • Shanreagh

                    Yes indeed see my thought earlier on being a 'walking precaution' while out today with sunhat, mask, sunglasses and with all my vaccinations. Also sunscreen on the areas not covered by clothing!

                • Shanreagh

                  Yes I do too……eyes are very important when communicating and I often see others who talk to the sunglassed ones taking off their sunglasses during the conversation, perhaps as a signal to the other that seeing the eyes is important. I have seen much fun conveyed by mask wearers through their eyes.

            • weka 18.2.1.2.1.2

              We are a social species that communicate using our faces, and I can't think why it is odd to think that covering our faces on a regular basis might affect child social development, as well as adult communication and wellbeing. These are common sense questions I would have thought.

              They're good questions. But I would expect mass death and disability in society would stunt childhood development in other ways. As always, this is the comparison.

              Children are resilient, and we can assist that resilience in specific kinds of ways. I often think it's not the hardships we go through that harm us as kids, it's whether we have the support and skills to manage. Obviously there are limits to that, but I don't think seeing lots of adults wearing masks out in public is such a huge trauma.

            • joe90 18.2.1.2.1.3

              (Here’s some science to back it up)

              A study concluding in part that the primary factors underlying our observed trends remain unknown backs up what exactly?

            • Shanreagh 18.2.1.2.1.4

              Sorry Maui point taken re vaccines. No I have never thought you were an anti vaxxer but masking is an important part of the whole response to Covid, and an important one too. I tend to look at these things as some thing that hopefully will not be with us forever.

              Many cultures/countries wore masks when out and about and in crowded indoor places well before any mention of Covid. I would not have thought that this stunted their social development. Others have clothing that covers the face. Generalising I don't think their social development has been affected over the many years they have been doing this.

              My point is that children are resilient, want to do their bit and will also want to do any mitigating that is necessary. As a person wearing bi lateral hearing aids, and with them good hearing, I found mask wearing a little concerning at first because in poor speakers many of us who lip read where sound was difficult, could not do this. It has become progressively easier as I suspect those same muffled speakers without a mask are being asked by non deaf people wearing masks to speak more clearly and are doing so.

      • Christopher Randal 18.2.2

        All the name of MY health?????

        No, in the name of the vast majority of incredibly intelligent New Zealanders who have been vaccinated!

        BTW, mRNA vaccine is not the only one available, there are others which some posters have conveniently ignored

      • locus 18.2.3

        Ah yes, clearly my social development was stunted … and possibly my views on the value of medical science …. because of the many, possibly a hundred vaccinations I was required to have growing up as a child in West Africa.

        • weka 18.2.3.1

          I think the stunting is from being excluded, or in lock downs. I think of it as resiliency building. We have choices. We can bitch and moan and make the worst of it, or we can walk into the reality of life as it is, and figure out how to make it work.

          As a disabled person whose life was curtailed long before covid, I find the consternation understandable but at some point you have to get on with things. This doesn't preclude politics around fairness and approach, but it irks to see specious arguments.

          Stunted children is the argument made against homeschooling or kids living in remote areas, but those kids just learn a different set of skills. They're not better or worse.

  19. Tricledrown 19

    Looks like the antivax brigade has taken over the Standard by bullying/trolling everyone into submission.

    When only 5% are against widespread vaccination it seems the antvaxxers have only a small voice.

    But taking over the conversations on social media seems widespread.

    Cherry picking evidence.is the only argument ant vaxxers have.

    Using other countries statistics to make assertions about NZs covid response when NZ has a completely different demographic.

    [RL: You are held in pre-mod until you demonstrate the ability to show references to support contentious claims of fact. See here. ]

    • RedLogix 19.1

      Mod note for you

    • Descendant Of Smith 19.2

      If only the same rules were applied to others. Look forward to Bill going into moderation.

      It will significantly reduce your likelihood of infecting others with Covid.

      "No it doesn't."

      [you can ask for references from anyone, but please don’t tell us how to moderate. There are different rules for authors than commenters and even though I disagree with Bill on much here, and don’t like lots of assertions of fact without back up, it irks to see commenters saying authors should be moderatoed because it tells me you don’t understand how things work here. Happy to explain in comments more if you want, but this has been long standing TS culture and policy – weka]

      • RedLogix 19.2.1

        Bill has provided numerous references to support his claims. If you want to clarify one of them take it up with him.

        • miravox 19.2.1.1

          Bill has provided numerous references to support his claims. If you want to clarify one of them take it up with him.

          Sorry to disagree RL, but on this post, Bill provides very few references to 'take up with him'.

          Is it possible to have a general moderator ruling on this aspect of the vax debate? I do understand that, like commenters, you all have different views, it's just that it looks like rules (regardless of personal views) are not consistent here.

          • RedLogix 19.2.1.1.1

            The requirement to provide references has to be applied reasonably. For example it would be silly to demand a reference for the claim that Jacinda Ardern is the current PM of NZ. It's simply not a contentious claim.

            Nor is it reasonable to demand the same reference repeatedly every time the same or similar point is made, that would be irksome for those who had already seen it, and tedious for everyone should that rule be applied with an idiot consistency.

            Nor should the burden of providing a cite be a one way street – if you disagree with something being said, there is a reasonable expectation in my mind that you should do your own work to explain why and provide your own counter claim. Simply demanding a cite is not a substitute for a whole argument.

            Where I have drawn the line is when a participant repeatedly refuses to give any cites at all.

            The quality and flow of the debate is my primary concern as a moderator; and how each of us interprets this is part of the manifold beauty and complexity of operating here.

            • miravox 19.2.1.1.1.1

              The requirement to provide references has to be applied reasonably.

              Yes, I understand this.

              Nor is it reasonable to demand the same reference repeatedly every time the same or similar point is made

              Yes, it's just that in Bill's comments here repeat the point, with no original or subsequent referencing

              Nor should the burden of providing a cite be a one way street – if you disagree with something being said, there is a reasonable expectation in my mind that you should do your own work

              Yes, which is why I provided links on this thread when I was stating more than just my opinion.

              Where I have drawn the line is when a participant repeatedly refuses to give any cites at all.

              On this post, I believe this is what has occurred. Apologies if you disagree with me on this.

              The quality and flow of the debate is my primary concern as a moderator…

              Fair – but I, and it seems others, are quite frustrated that the quality and flow is being hindered by straight up unsubstantiated misinformation rather than expression of opinion.

              … and how each of us interprets this is part of the manifold beauty and complexity of operating here.

              Are you saying there is no interest in consistency of rulings, especially on these heated topics? If so, how are commenters meant to interpret that?

              • weka

                there are different rules for commenters and authors. It's rare for authors to moderate each other. Lots of reasons for this state of affairs. See my mod comment above.

                I agree that Bill makes a lot of assertions of fact without referencing. I also agree that this causes problems in the debate. But he's generally better at explaining things than most people who make uncited assertions, so there are other ways of addressing this.

                I'm going to write a post of guidelines soon because I'm sick of reminding people. It will be up to authors whether they want to follow them or not, but it should help commenters.

                • miravox

                  This is helpful, thanks.

                  I have read the policy, and know the risk of self-martyrdom. I wasn't expecting authors to moderate each other, more a case of it's hard sometimes to know where a line is drawn until it's crossed, and why it is different for some people.

                  I look forward to your post.

                  • weka

                    It basically comes down to not an issue about citing, but that commenters can't tell authors what to do, and mostly authors let each other get on with it.

                    Re the issue raised today, I'm basically ignoring most of the comments that are unfounded assertions, not least because it's just FB level convo and I can't be bothered. I don't care if someone linked to something yesterday, in this fast moving, heated debate, that sits within the context of wider issues around evidence and belief, we need to be more careful. From my pov with robust debate, it improves the debate to keep the evidence in front view, but I can see that some people don't like doing that because then it's easier to challenge what they say. It's very good that TS commentariat includes a number of people that can critique research, I wish we had more.

                    (and I will say here that the anti-anti vax side have not been super great either, there's been too much counter assertion without explanation or back up).

                    I think it's fine to say to anyone (authors included) that x assertion is unfounded, or ask for back up/cite. I also think it's useful to talk about the meta issues of why back up matters and why doing that repeatedly and often matters. And specific to this debate which is less abstract than many we have had here.

                    But with some authors you also need to be careful when it gets personal or when they reach their limit, and that's not always easy to judge.

                    • Shanreagh

                      Weka, when you do your post could you explain the definitions of a commenter and an author. I had thought an author was the person who wrote the opening section and commenters were the rest of us. I seem to be reading that people who write responses can be authors and commenters, I may have got it wrong.

                      On the Covid vaccine debate there is now much heat and light but very little argument/debate that has not been hashed over either here or in other fora. To allow rehashing especially without refs does irk. As I said I was interested in the consent issue and the disability issues (ongoing) and looking forward to hope that those who were concerned before may find Astra Zeneca more to their liking and if this will have an impact before schools starts etc.

                      My flatmate is a nurse and she says that before embarking on her training/study she and her fellows had to get vaccines from a very long lists and not having them then, immediately put your future career in doubt. Where these are time limited there is the expectation that they will be updated though HR in large hospitals would do reminders etc. Those in the Armed Services have also had to get vaccines as part of their inductions.

                    • weka []

                      will do. In the meantime, authors are the people who write the posts. Some of those also comment, some also moderate. The authors currently active in comments are Lprent, micky savage, RedLogix, Bill and myself. Incognito is around at times too. Mike Smith puts up posts and occasionally comments.

                      Mike and Lprent (Lynn) are the two trustees of the Trust that owns The Standard. Not quite sure the details of how that works, but the buck stops with them legally. Hence Lynn’s tetchiness at times over comments that put the site at legal risk or heading in that direction (put Lynn and Mike at legal risk).

                      One of the dynamics at play currently is people are fighting their corner, hard. It’s more personal than a lot of other topics. Generally we don’t want to suppress that because we’re here for the robust debate, and imo this is how good politics develops. If people are free to say what they need to say and people can pull that apart and see if it makes sense, then we get somewhere. If someone is talking shite, they usually get pulled up on it. I agree there’s a degree of rehashing and I too am not sure of the value of that, but I suspect that in January we will see covid changing on lots of levels and new topics will arise. I will also be writing about other things.

                      My usual suggestion for people getting annoyed, concerned or upset about the way comments are going is to put up the kind of content they want. Start new threads on the things you want to see discussed and figure out how to get people interested. Figure out how to engage with the people you want to talk with. Consider writing a guest post (feel free to ask how that works and what the guidelines are). All that generates energy for different debate and discussions. It’s fine to take a step back and ignore the stuff that pisses you off, and talk about something else for a while. You’ve just raised a number of interesting and important points about covid in NZ, keep doing that 👍 What happens if you talk with people that are more aligned with your views?

                      I’m also fine with the meta discussions, about how TS works, the dynamics going on. I like the meta. Some authors are less into it. Just bear in mind we frown upon criticising authors and mods, and there’s a line there to protect authors (who are the ones that make the whole thing work).

                    • RedLogix

                      The authors currently active in comments are Lprent, micky savage, RedLogix, Bill and myself. Incognito is around at times too.

                      And not to put too fine a point on it – at the moment 99% of the moderation is being done by weka and myself. There have been a number of people in the role over the years, and I was active here since the site in 2007 as author and moderator. But for period after about 2017 I stepped back from this. The baton then passed to to both weka and Incognito for a quite a few years – who lifted the moderating game here considerably.

                      Considerable credit should be given to both for evolving this site and keeping it fit for purpose. There are not a lot of left-leaning places like this around.

                      Some months back Incognito stepped back from participating – I didn't see any explanation as to why, but I would guess that they found balancing their strong views on COVID and being even handed on moderation too much of a burden. As a result – I've become more active in the moderation space because it's entirely unreasonable for the task to fall onto one person alone.

                      And this of course does not neglect Lynn who as sysop I tend to regard as our deus exmachina who erratically tosses searing bolts of lightning around to keep the rest of us from getting complacent.

                      However one of the basic rules that we learned the hard way here some years back is that we had to be very careful how authors and those authors actively moderating, treated each other. It will come as no surprise to anyone if I say that weka and I disagree with each other on almost everything – but we will act in unity to protect the site.

              • RedLogix

                Are you saying there is no interest in consistency of rulings, especially on these heated topics? If so, how are commenters meant to interpret that?

                Expecting every moderator to be a like an AI that implements a perfect algorithm is never going to happen. There is a diversity of moderation here for a reason, sometimes we get it right and sometimes wrong – but over time we evolve in a particular direction.

                At the moment there is one participant in pre-mod because they have refused to give any references at all, nor made any response to that request. Any more weaseling around this will attract all the wrong inferences from me – as well as wasting my time.

                Edit: I see weka is also making the same point from a somewhat different perspective.

                • weka

                  Agree about moderation being variable and not a perfect set of rules.

                  I would add that so much moderation comes down to us being pissed off at having to spend more time on something unnecessary. I really appreciate the people that listen and ask when modded, rather than pick a fight. The later is incredibly tedious. A function of a thriving left to challenge authority I guess, but things would run more smoothly if people got that there are actual boundaries here and the best way to understand them is to pay heed to moderators.

                • weka

                  btw, there's a note in the back end for you about one of the moderations if you haven't already seen it.

            • weka 19.2.1.1.1.2

              Nor is it reasonable to demand the same reference repeatedly every time the same or similar point is made, that would be irksome for those who had already seen it, and tedious for everyone should that rule be applied with an idiot consistency.

              True, but one pattern of behaviour I'm seeing from a number of people is that they just keep making the same assertions over and over, despite having previously been asked for back up and then that back up being critiqued. So is the debate actually happening or is it more groundhog day?

              This is why Rosemary is in moderation now, because despite the same thing being explained over and over, she has thus far refused to change how she frames things. This doesn't mean that she has to agree with someone else, but to repeatedly misrepresent science when she doesn't need to, harms the debate.

              At some point one of the mods is going to get rid of that problem via a ban. At the moment I think we're all trying quite hard to not ban people, but eventually it just becomes and issue of how much time we have.

              • weka

                I tried to have this out with her and Incog, a lot of it is semantics with people using language to suit their own agenda. I see this a lot in the gender/sex wars, where language is highly weaponised, and I think we should be addressing this now in the covid debates to pre-empt it getting to that point.

                eg some people repeatedly say that the covid vaccines doesn't provide immunity. Simple solution here is to talk about full immunity and partial immunity. But talking about partial immunity doesn't support the agenda of people arguing against the vaccination programme. I'd appreciate if we could use language to further communication rather than shore up positions, but I realise this can be a fine line sometimes.

                • RedLogix

                  I usually try to use the 'least force necessary to achieve the desired goal' – and on this I repeat – we have one commenter in pre-mod who has repeatedly refused to give any references at all. It's something you have done prior and I'm not sure why it's suddenly become an issue.

                  While in principle we could demand a cite for every single claim of fact made in the threads – I'm not sure if that's either achievable or even desirable. For the most part I'm happy for people to self-determine what they need to reference and if they choose not to – to respond reasonably when challenged. Failure to do so is pretty obvious to everyone, it's only when it derails the debate that I think moderation should intervene.

                  On the other hand there are others who just demand cites as a lazy substitute for an argument. It irks me to see people who snipe at others while making themselves a small target. So there is a balance to be struck here.

                  • weka

                    we have one commenter in pre-mod who has repeatedly refused to give any references at all. It's something you have done prior and I'm not sure why it's suddenly become an issue.

                    It's not an issue for me. As far as I can tell it's not an issue generally, DoS just used it to take a pot shot at Bill.

                    While in principle we could demand a cite for every single claim of fact made in the threads – I'm not sure if that's either achievable or even desirable. For the most part I'm happy for people to determine what they need to reference and if they choose not to – to respond reasonably when challenged. Failure to do so is pretty obvious to everyone, it's only when it derails the debate that I think moderation should intervene.

                    Sure, but I just outlined pattern of behaviour, and there are some debates where the moderation boundaries change because of the nature of the debate.

                    I don't think anyone is suggesting that there's a cite for every claim of fact.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      "DoS just used it to take a pot shot at Bill."

                      No I didn't. It was irrelevant to me that it was Bill or in fact that he was an author/moderator.

                      However I have duly noted the reminder about different rules for authors, the fact that moderation isn't a perfect art and take solace in this:

                      "I agree that Bill makes a lot of assertions of fact without referencing."

                    • weka

                      Cheers.

                      No I didn't. It was irrelevant to me that it was Bill or in fact that he was an author/moderator.

                      Fair point.

      • weka 19.2.2

        mod note.

  20. Drowsy M. Kram 20

    Thanks for your great post Micky – can only hope that the proportion of (hard to know how best to describe them) 'pro-hesitant' comments here is not representative of the views of the 92% of eligible Kiwis who are double-vaccinated with 'Pfizer stuff'.

    Every unvaccinated COVID-naive body is a unique 'playground' for SARS-CoV-2:
    "Your Body is a Wonderland!", and the number of active cases of COVID-19 (currently 27 million) has never been higher. Maybe the best path 'out' of this pandemic was always to let the virus run its course, but even in 2020 that just seemed so – heartless.

    Massive numbers of new COVID–19 infections, not vaccines, are the main driver of new coronavirus variants [10 Sept 2021]
    The world has already witnessed the relationship between the number of infections and the rise of mutants. The coronavirus remained essentially unchanged for months until the pandemic got out of control. With relatively few infections, the genetic code had limited opportunities to mutate. But as infection clusters exploded, the virus rolled the dice millions of times and some mutations produced fitter mutants.

    Beyond Omicron: what’s next for COVID’s viral evolution [7 Dec 2021]
    There’s this assumption that something more transmissible becomes less virulent. I don’t think that’s the position we should take,” says Balloux. Variants including Alpha, Beta and Delta have been linked to heightened rates of hospitalization and death — potentially because they grow to such high levels in people’s airways. The assertion that viruses evolve to become milder “is a bit of a myth”, says Rambaut. “The reality is far more complex.

    It may be that the future of SARS-CoV-2 is still in human hands. Vaccinating as many people as possible, while the jabs are still highly effective, could stop the virus from unlocking changes that drive a new wave. “There may be multiple directions that the virus can go in,” Rambaut says, “and the virus hasn’t committed.

    WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the press conference – 29 December 2021

    • Early on we worked out that beating this new health threat would require three things: Science. Solutions. Solidarity. [The Team]
    • While there were 1.8 million recorded deaths in 2020, there were 3.5 million in 2021 and we know the actual number is much higher.
    • Delta and Omicron are twin threats that are driving up cases to record numbers, which again is leading to spikes in hospitalisations and deaths.
    • Bottom-up microplanning with strong community engagement and mobile vaccination teams, which have been highly effective in ridding most of the world of polio, are another way to get vaccines to the hard-to-reach.
    • 92 Member States, out of 194, missed the 40% target.
    • I want governments, industry and civil society to work with us on a campaign that targets 70% vaccine coverage in every country by the start of July.
    • In 2022, WHO will work with our Member States to build well-financed health systems, strengthen preparedness and ensure the equitable distribution of health tools.

    Influenza viruses and coronaviruses: Knowns, unknowns, and common research challenges [PDF; Review; 30 December 2021]
    In contrast to influenza, no vaccine has ever been approved for the prevention of seasonal human CoV infection. However, vaccines are widely used to prevent CoV infections in domestic animal species such as cats, swine, cattle, and poultry, although their effectiveness is limited by a short duration of vaccine-induced immunity and by genetic drifting of the circulating viral strains. Knowledge gained from CoV veterinary vaccines and the initial development of vaccines for SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, combined with tremendous research efforts, led to the development, trial, and approval of several safe and effective vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 within 12 months. Along with more traditional vaccine platforms, the mRNA vaccine platforms from BioNtech/Pfizer and Moderna, previously developed for cancer treatment and viral vaccines (e.g., Zika vaccine), were among the first to reach Phase I clinical trial and to be approved. mRNA vaccines now appear as a technology of choice in the context of pandemic response, owing to its simple and flexible manufacturing process and its safety profile. Multiplexed chimeric spike mRNA vaccines could possibly offer broad-range protection against SARS-like CoV infection. Several companies have started to develop an mRNA-based influenza vaccine. However, a number of challenges remain to be addressed. The determinants of mRNA vaccine efficacy and tolerability need to be better understood, while the cost-effectiveness of the manufacturing process and long-term storage stability still need to be improved.

    For the ongoing development of universal influenza vaccines and improved COVID-19 vaccines, a key research area is the identification of good immune correlates of protection (CoP), which might then be used as a proxy of vaccine efficacy. The serum hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) antibody titer has been largely used as a CoP for influenza vaccines. However, its relevance and robustness to predict vaccine performance, especially for new universal vaccines, are subject to debate. Other potential immune CoP, such as CD8+ and CD4+ T-cell counts, interferon gamma-secreting cells counts, neuraminidase inhibition titers, nasal IgA or hemagglutinin-stalk antibodies titers, are currently under investigation. In the case of SARS-CoV-2, epidemiological studies and studies of vaccine-induced immunity in nonhuman primates identified neutralizing antibodies as a CoP. The ongoing large-scale vaccination campaigns should allow the monitoring of multiple immune readouts and their analysis for CoP, which hopefully will facilitate the optimization of vaccine dose and schedule in the future. As with influenza viruses, a global monitoring of genetic and antigenic changes that occur in circulating SARS-CoV-2 viruses will be required to inform whether updating of the vaccine is required. Finally, a number of important social issues, including vaccine hesitancy, vaccine equity, and access to vaccination in low-to-middle income countries, still remain to be tackled.

    COVID-19: Vaccines to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection

  21. infused 21

    If you think we are eliminating covid, you are delusional.

    I suspect after new years we're going to see a sharp rise in cases.

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