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Open mike 06/04/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 6th, 2020 - 239 comments
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239 comments on “Open mike 06/04/2020 ”

  1. halfcrown 1

    Did anybody see Garner on the AM show this morning? I couldn’t believe the crap I was hearing. Switched the TV on and Garner was waxing lyrically how this government has to seek out the best people to get the country up and running again, therefore should seek the best brain going John f**king Key.

    Doesn't that prick realise that Key has the same political Neo-Liberal philosophy that has caused this pandemic.? Then the dick went on to say the government has to stop being politically "tribal" by seeking out the likes of the f**king spiv.

    Talk about pot kettle and all that jazz.

    Then the camera swung to that Cheshire cat grinning pea-brained prat called Richardson, fortunately, I managed to change channels to Aljeezera before I heard any snippets of bile and shit dribble from his mouth.

    • ScottGN 1.1

      Get rid of the telly. You’ll feel so much better.

      • Morrissey 1.1.1

        No, they need to get rid of the likes of Garner. Radio Sport has gone, thank the Lord, but we're still afflicted with this dunce.

    • Cinny 1.2

      Yes and as a result I switched to Mayor Bill de Blasio's live presser from NY.

      garner is like….. but key knows world leaders and blah blah.

      I'm thinking world leaders will be like who the hell is john key?

      But mention Jacinda and those same world leaders know who she is.

      As for richardson and sport, I'm getting rather sick of hearing how we should all feel sorry for overpaid sports people having to take a pay cut and get a real job. Let's have a science or arts segment instead.

      Here's the link for Bill, personally I feel he is doing a stellar job for NY.

      • joe90 1.2.1

        Nah, he's not doing a stellar job.

        • bill

          Jake Tapper wouldn't be looking to shoot the messenger would he? Meanwhile, is it Coumo as Governor or Di Blasio as Mayor who's responsible for slashing health care? Well…

          While New York’s health system, already hobbled by years of neglect, buckled under the coronavirus outbreak, Cuomo wanted to cut $2.5 billion in state Medicaid funding, even though doing so would mean forfeiting $6.7 billion in federal aid. He wanted to slash state funding for education. As the pandemic eviscerates state revenue, he wanted to avoid any increase in taxes on the ultra-rich and instead balance the books by cutting muscle and bone from critical social services.

          The quote from Di Blasio –

          …only in the last really 48 hours or so do they [NYC Health Dept] feel they’ve seen evidence around the world, particularly a new study coming out of Singapore, that shows more evidence that this disease can be spread by asymptomatic people,” de Blasio responded.

          But there's Democratic Party politics and an idea to give Coumo a leg up to position of Democratic Party nominee, which I guess goes hand in hand with bagging anyone associated with Sander's ongoing campaign…

        • Cinny

          Click bait headline

          The article is about to wear or not to wear a face mask because they are now encouraging all people in NY to wear one.

          Previously it was front line workers only, made me wonder if there was a supply issue at the time.

          Currently there is still much debate over whether to wear one or not.

          I still believe the Mayor is doing a great job, considering what he is up against, a deadly virus and an incompetent president.

    • Cooper oil 1.3

      But Key never sacked English when he got caught double dipping (after telling us to tighten our belts).

      Duncan must be a idiot for putting forward such a weak leader!

    • Grantoc 1.4

      Oh Dear

      Sounds like you need a lie down and nice cup of tea.

      • Gabby 1.4.1

        Sirjongkyponyboy needed a nice cuppa after he tried to hammer a nail. He's over it now.

    • Carolyn_Nth 1.5

      So we should go to the guy who set NZ up to be over-reliant on tourism?

      Good call! /sarc

      • Tiger Mountain 1.5.1

        And…encouraging offshore trusts until IRD wanted more than an A4 sheet in the wake of the “Panama Papers”, and 10, 000 or so promptly disappeared, and with them the Trust “Industry” our glorious ex leader personally helped establish.

        Mr Key represented Finance Capital above all else during his time in politics. He is not required now, to put it politely.

    • AB 1.6

      "Did anybody see Garner on the AM show this morning?"

      Nope – but I heard the screams of hilarity from the living room when he suggested John Key ride to our rescue. With JA doing a solid job, Garner was just trying to insert someone from National back into the frame. Plus showing his weakling desire to be 'led' by someone at every turn. I suggested Yanis Varoufakis as an alternative. Although Yanis might not be to everyone's taste, he'd have the virtue of understanding something about economies, history and human cultures – talents Key conspicuously lacks.

    • Treetop 1.7

      Key had the EQC to support his government financially with the Christchurch earthquakes. For the last 3 years the current government has been trying to give claimants closure.

      Key has shown with his track record that he is not the person for the job to manage the huge impact Covid-19 is going to have on the NZ economy.

      • Gabby 1.7.1

        He's a bit too keen on leaving bodies buried to have near the levers in an emergency.

  2. mac1 2


    A letter by Fiona Farrell on the Spinoff, dated 5/4/2020. It’s about Ardern’s blend of pragmatism and kindness.

    I got a photo from a mate this morning of a US soldier in WW2 carrying a donkey on his back across a grassy field. It seems the story is the donkey was being carried because it was a mine field.


    The donkey was also being carried because a loose donkey wandering a minefield endangers the men about it.


    It goes on. "The moral of the story is that in difficult times the first people you have to keep under control are the jackasses who don't understand the danger and do as they please."

    • Sanctuary 2.1

      If it is the picture I think it is then alas, it is untrue. The picture is from 1958 and the Algerian war, and it shows a member of the French Foreign Legion carrying a starving and exhausted donkey he had found. He took it back to his base, the Legionnaires nursed it back to health, and made it the base mascot.

      Still a lovely story, but not quite the COVID parable as some would say.

      • mac1 2.1.1

        Well spotted, Sanctuary. It looks indeed like a French 'casque'. The mate who sent it to me is ex-Navy so we'll forgive him……

        • Sanctuary

          That donkey looks really cute in the picture.

        • Adrian

          Yeah, I wondered about that picture too Mac1 as the soldier in the background heading in a different direction is obviously a jackass. I think Murray was trying to illustrate with humour a valuable lesson for the times. Of course if this was an American comment, they would point out that no wonder the cheese-eating surrender monkeys never won a war they were too busy being kind and sympathetique . I know whom I prefer.

      • mac1 2.2.1

        That one. Didn’t check the link as there was no explanation as to what I was being directed to. Sometimes attempts at being succinct are self-defeating.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Question about Newshub given Tova O'Brien's utterly hopeless performance yesterday – why is your political reporter at the health briefings? Accoring to the interwebs, you have a health report called Lucy Warhurst.

    O'Brien seems incapable of escaping the gotcha obsessed, horse race analyst bullying cynicism that is apparently the normal culture of the press gallery. Surely you would get more intelligent questions from a properly informed health reporter?

    The question is relevant to all news outlets really. I mean, why is Audrey Young writing the main update pieces for the Herald? Don't they trust their younger reporters like Emaa Russell? Do they think clinging to fossils from the 1980s accurately reflects their audience or something?

    • ScottGN 3.1

      I don’t watch the commercial networks and I actively avoid anything to do with Tova O’Brien but aren’t all the press gallery journos at the daily Covid-19 updates?

      As for Audrey, the way the Herald is going she’ll be the only on left on the payroll soon writing everything.

    • Adrian 3.2

      I've stopped watching TV3 News simply because of her. She thinks the news is all about her. Fuck you. Tova, grow up.

      • Anne 3.2.1

        I've noticed that Jacinda Ardern gives O'Brien a subtle cold shoulder at her pressers. She will respond to her politely but briefly and move straight on to another journo before O'Brien gets a chance to respond.

        Tova has no-one to blame but herself with her immature approach… as if its all about one up-man-ship.

    • Incognito 3.3

      I have to say, I find the write-ups on Stuff quite good. In general, the quality of material has noticeably increased, IMHO.

      I now occasionally read an article on the NZH but they don’t do it for me. I guess, I’ve become a Stuffian.

    • Carolyn_Nth 3.4

      I noticed at the press conference Ardern responded to O'Brien's question including "Tova" in the response. I thought it maybe was a bit of a way of highlighting who was asking such questions.

    • Morrissey 3.5

      Tova O'Brien is worse than useless. It's hard to find any context where she is not the worst person in the room, but it happened almost a year ago…


  4. Sanctuary 4

    Goodness me Boris Johnson has been hospitalised in the UK with Coronavirus… Now, let's go find all those right wing British types who laughed like drains when that Iranian minister died.

    NO ONE deserves to die of this virus, not the old the the young not those with co-morbidity and even not a twat conservative toff PM or an Iranian health minister. NO ONE.

  5. ScottGN 5

    Looks like Sweden and The Netherlands are moving to ditch their (relatively) light-handed approach to social distancing and will move to more comprehensive lockdown measures. Both countries are seeing increasing mortality and exponential growth of infection.
    Meanwhile discord between northern and southern Europe continues to grow. The Italians have reacted with fury to what they see as Dutch indifference to the crisis that has developed in Italy, Spain and France and the Spanish PM has again called for the Eurozone to issue so-called “Corona bonds” as part of a new Marshall Plan to kick start growth across the bloc.




    • observer 5.1

      Sadly, not surprising.

      One of the more stupid takes on NZ's response is to say "Look over there, let's do that", picking some other nation, chosen after doing minimal inquiry.

      Popular picks: Want to go softer? Sweden. Want to go harder? Singapore.

      Both are getting worse. Sure, they might end up doing better than average in the end, who knows? But let's dispense with the comforting illusion that there's some easy option out there.

  6. xanthe 7

    OK I will just come out and say it Bill Gates is a predatory arsehole and the company through which he has made his vast fortune has done so thru the very worst sort of monopolistic dirty tricks that held back development of operating systems and foisted a basically broken expensive load of crap on almost all of our essential systems. Didnt watch the "Bill Gates recons on covid" posted by lprent. Not remotely interested.

    • joe90 7.1

      So you and yours will be declining any covid 19 vaccination funded and fast-tracked through development, testing and manufacturing by Gates' wealth?

      • Fran 7.1.1

        Given the problems with developing vaccines for any corona type virus, immune enhancement etc, where the fix has been more dangerous than the disease coupled with the pharmaceutical industries less than stirling safety record I won't be lining up for a vaccine for this thing in a year to 18 months. The time frame is too short for adequate safety testing.

        • joe90

          No doubt those who have no choice but to rely on the herds' immunity will appreciate your rather lengthy and ongoing quarantining from the community.

          • Fran

            Did you actually read what I wrote? If you are keen to be a Guinea pig for something rushed through and not safety tested properly be my guest. No need to be rude to people who want to be sure the fix is not worse than the problem.

          • Incognito

            Vaccines, like any other medical agent, have to undergo a rigorous and lengthy approval process to determine safety, tolerability, and effectiveness (does it work?). This is a step-wise process and trials with humans start with small groups. Depending on the urgency, some of these steps (trials) may be fast-tracked but this can lead to disappointing results down the track and even complete recall because of safety issues (e.g. severe adverse events, even deaths, in a minority of patients).


            • joe90

              If C19 is going to circle the globe, wave after wave, for several years there will be a clear choice, isolation or vaccination. And pro-plague numpties who presently get to ride on the backs of others will have a choice too; vaccination, or if they don't and they're a threat to those who for valid medical reasons can't be vaccinated, isolation.

              • Fran

                Are you for real. What if the answer kills more or creates more disease? Some world experts on vaccines are talking about this. Not anti vax or pro vax as is implied in your posts but about making sure we are doing the right thing. This is not simple and not binary.

              • Incognito

                I tried you point out that you can be a Guinea pig in different types of trials with different risk levels. I also tried to point out that these trials take time. No authority in its right mind will allow mass vaccination without at least some data to show safety, tolerability, and effectiveness. What I forgot to mention is that we might not see such a vaccine in the foreseeable future although there are lots of encouraging noises coming from experts. Until that time, we’ll have to rely on other strategies.

    • tony 7.2

      xanthe, I agree with your Gates comment and sentiment 100 percent, bravo! And absolutely wouldn’t go near anything gates is offering vaccine wise, the medicine is already available to cure but no big dollars for big pharma in it.

    • Rosemary McDonald 7.3

      "…is a predatory arsehole…"

      That accounts for the skin crawly feeling I had watching the two Gates clips on lptrents post.

      And what's with the gesticulating? There's another rich blokey type featuring in American media at the moment who does that hand wavey thing. I wonder if they are related?

      Along with the accolades presenting his organisation as the Saviours of the Third World, there are just as many sites critiquing and even damning it's Good Works.

    • Incognito 7.4

      You can be an arsehole and still do good. Not everything happens at the same point in time either, necessarily. There is no absolute Black & White, only shades of grey.

      • Alice Tectonite 7.4.1

        Yes, Bill appears to be trying to do some good after years of accumulating ill gotten gains by inflicting terrible operating systems on people.

    • Macro 7.5

      Yeah he is a rich prick and therefore by definition the lowest of the low – but unlike many of his kind he and his wife are in the process of giving away a large proportion of their wealth to those at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, and doing it in a sensitive and sustainable way to improve living conditions and healthy outcomes for many. You can find out more about what the Gates Foundation is doing in places like Africa here:


      • arkie 7.5.1

        giving away a large proportion of their wealth to those at the bottom

        Except he continues to get wealthier? Not doing so well with that. I think taxes would be a more effective way of redistributing his obscene wealth.


        • Macro

          That's true when that article was written. The "wealth" of all those 0.1%ers is actually paper wealth, based upon the value of the stocks they hold at the time. With the US stock market going through the roof at that stage it was very difficult not to continually increase your "worth". It will e a different story at the moment and a lot of Billionaires will suddenly be worth a whole lot less.

          Nevertheless, the Gates giving of $45B US to overseas development aid is not an insignificant amount, and they are still giving.

          • arkie

            Sure, $45 billion is not an insignificant amount, in fact it's an impossible amount of money for any one person to accumulate through 'hard work'. That some billionaires will be worth less due to stock market fluctuations does not effect their material holdings, for example a ostentatious $127 million dollar mansion (https://www.businessinsider.com/crazy-facts-about-bill-gates-house-2016-11?r=AU&IR=T). Billionaires should not exist period.

            • McFlock

              All true, but at least he's not doing a Koch Bros.

              • arkie

                Well yes, the ideology that motivates Gates' philanthropy is better than that of the Kochs but that's not a particularly high bar. He still gets to use his unseemly wealth, and consequent power, to push his own ideological barrows, this is unacceptable in a supposed democracy. An example:

                The Gates Foundation’s first significant foray into education reform, in 1999, revolved around Bill Gates’ conviction that the big problem with high schools was their size. Students would be better off in smaller schools of no more than 500, he believed. The foundation funded the creation of smaller schools, until its own study found that the size of the school didn’t make much difference in student performance. When the foundation moved on, school districts were left with costlier-to-run small schools.


                • McFlock

                  Sure, one might even call it an exceptionally low bar. But even the schools thing was about trying to improve education for people, not to do as much as possible to make the world burn after he's dead.

                  • arkie

                    Ah, Noblesse oblige then.

                    The one thing Gates and the Kochs have in common is opposition to any kind tax that prevents their continued wealth-hoarding.

                    ‘I’ve paid over $10 billion in taxes. … I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes, but I’m glad to — if I’d had to pay $20 billion, it’s fine. But when you say I should pay $100 billion, then I’m starting to do a little math about what I have left over. … I’m just kidding.’

                    — Bill Gates


                    He may be joking but he would still have roughly $6 billion after that. That's still too much for one person. An analogy of time to really fathom the figures; 1 milllion seconds ≈ 12 days, 1 billion seconds ≈ 32 years. No philanthropic largesse can justify the inequity.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, not really knobless obligay (as Nanny Ogg put it).

                      Yes, he's obscenely wealthy.

                      Yes, his company has been ripped on multiple times for a shoddy product and monopolistic practises.

                      But the man has spent a decade looking at infectious diseases and dealing with people in the full range of infectious disease management, from scientists to politicians to physicians to sufferers. I'd go with his reckons over pretty much anyone here when it comes to disease management and elimination.

                      Maybe eliminating disease is just a folly of the uber wealthy. But it's a more worthy folly than putting shiny balls in the sky or funding conservative astroturf campaigns.

                    • arkie

                      Nanny Ogg does have a way with words.

                      Yes his dedication to an admirable cause in disease eradication is objectively a good thing. He’s learning from experts in the field and his foundation celebrates their successes, which are not follies, and I do not dispute the content of his message, I just prefer our system, here, where the expert advice is dispensed through our MOH rather than say Alan Gibbs on Seven Sharp.

                      In any event, I will continue to insist that the existence of billionaires represents a broken system, and they are complicit in the inequity in their society. No one has earned a billion dollars.

                    • McFlock

                      true that. But I reckon Xanthe takes it too far.

                      BTW, I meant "folly" in the sense of rich people throwing money at things with more form than function in mind – that sort of foolishness of decorative buildings, rather than a doomed undertaking.

                    • arkie

                      Ah, i get you. I won't dispute that, and probably should have read upthread more thoroughly, I was mostly reacting to being directed to a Gates Foundation website.

  7. Anker 8


    so much for what Wayne was saying yesterday that National would be doing exactly what the coalition are doing re Covid19. I don’t think so……..and for all of those citing Sweden as the great way forward, their death toll is rising more rapidly than their neighbours in Finland and Norway who are in a much tighter lock down……and it appears they are about to pull the plug on their lockdown lite

    • I Feel Love 8.1

      I did laugh at Dr Waynes comment that the Nats would have shut our borders sooner, the same party that gutted the border controls and let in that moth.

      • bwaghorn 8.1.1

        The same party that knew about m bovis but did fuck all due to an upcoming election .

    • bwaghorn 8.2

      I note he equates forestry with agriculture, and while I feel for the poor buggers off work at the mo the glaring differences are live stock need constant care as opposed to pines . Most farm workers live on the job or travel to work singly as opposed to crew vans.

  8. joe90 9

    Meanwhile, in Britain…

  9. greywarshark 11

    Scott Morison on Australia and their friends in the South Pacific. He is insisting on it being recognised by all that they need to commit to help fight Covid-19. He has to argue the case because it is over-riding the established callousness of the establishment to others around it, including NZs. Gosh all of a sudden they have to help; it must have been pointed out that there is a worthwhile cost-benefit to Oz to force these words out of their pursed-lips.

    It is Australia’s duty – and in our national interest – to respond to the health and economic challenges caused by coronavirus in the Pacific

    …As naturally as we are focused on ensuring Australia weathers the crisis, we must not lose sight of the immense challenge facing our Pacific friends.

    A real friend is one that can be relied upon in a crisis. During Australia’s summer bushfire crisis, countries like Fiji and Papua New Guinea sent members of their defence forces to Australia to help with the emergency response. Governments and ordinary people in small countries like Vanuatu and Palau donated to Australian bushfire victims.

    This is the time we can demonstrate our friendship to the Pacific island nations.


    It is stated in this article that Australia is the region’s biggest aid donor. But that may be because for years China has been building relationships with Pacific Island countries and that makes Australia uneasy in a political points game.

    The Pacific islands have grown as a strategic priority for China and the United States and its allies, including Australia, who are keen to lock in relationships with countries that control strategic waterways between the Americas and Asia.

    Australia is the region’s biggest aid donor but Pacific islands have turned to China in recent years for budget assistance.

    A World Health Organization (WHO) spokeswoman said New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Fiji and Guam can test for COVID-19, but other countries need to send specimens to Australia, New Zealand or the United States for testing.

    • Carolyn_Nth 12.1

      Ardern said yesterday that the government would be implementing stricter border quarantines soon.

      • Koff 12.1.1

        Not sure what'shapening in Auckland. I'm in the third day of quarantine in a Brisbane hotel after flying back from NZ (home is a boat not far from here and I can't afford the alternative – a Paihia hotel where I was staying at the time of the lockdown.) All quiet and reasonable amongst the 20 odd people coccooned here, but there are anecdotal reports of parties on the corridors of quarantine hotels elsewhere as well as waiters sevng glasses of wine to younger quarantiners (Sydney). Australia seems to have flattened the curve quite well, with NZ's cases per 1 mill. population just overtaking it today, but there are still a lot of inconsistencies. If there is a move to quarantining everyoneflying in to NZ it will have to be properly policed, with kindness, too. We understand the reasons here, but still feel like criminals!

    • Stunned Mullet 12.2

      As the main vector for infection in NZ seems to be returning international travelers he makes a reasonable point.

      What do we do with those returning during lockdown – do we trust them to isolate but more importantly when we come out of lockdown and they continue to come in what do we do with them then ?

      • ScottGN 12.2.1

        Muttonbird’s point is valid though. With the country in full lockdown it doesn’t actually matter who comes across the border. If we’re all doing what we’ve been asked to do arrivals can’t infect anyone. And there are hardly any flights arriving anyway. This close-the-borders narrative is just posturing from the usual suspects.

        • Graeme

          Posturing from the usual suspects, or manufacturing consent for very strict border quarantine once we get back to level 3 or 2?

          Something it’s almost as if the Government is playing the opposition and media like a piano towards what’s going to happen 3 or 4 steps down the track.

          Or everyone’s playing their role in managing this thing.

      • weka 12.2.2

        "What do we do with those returning during lockdown – do we trust them to isolate but more importantly when we come out of lockdown and they continue to come in what do we do with them then?"

        People with symptoms are being quarantined (that's mandatory and monitored), not asked to self isolate. I'm guessing this will be true when we drop down a level or two. We're not going back to the old normal, we will need protocols that everyone understands for a long time.

        • Stunned Mullet

          Not sure I trust symptomless 20 somethings to obey protocols – I quite like the move by some of the countries overseas where they are tracking cellphones to provide some assurance of compliance.

          Most people in their 20s won’t be parted from their cellphone for more than 5 minutes so quite an effective tool for tracking them.

        • bwaghorn

          If we knock this on the head soon and can lower our level to 3 or 2 the price of coming to nz has to be time in quarantine, if it takes two weeks so be it .

          How long can it stay hidden from a test picking it up?

          • weka

            Last time I looked it was something like 4,000 people that would need to be quarantined. That's logistically a big move. They're probably in a better position to do that now than last week, and I assume the numbers are dropping.

            • In Vino

              I think I recall reading that the test can come out negative for 2 days or so after a person has been infected. That is actually a big problem, which means that huge amounts of testing will not achieve elimination. Only enforced isolation for the max time for symptoms to appear will achieve elimination.
              (Unless you test the same person at about 6 days into isolation – that would accurately show the person to be uninfected. Re-test everyone after a 4-day interval in order to make testing accurate?)

              • weka

                it looks like a numbers game to me. Many people are assuming that every case of covid has to be caught and stopped. I think it's more about containing outbreaks, by dropping the transmission rate, and doing that in an imperfect world where one also has to take into account lots of complex factors eg the police required to monitor 6,000 people and quarantine them, those police have to be taken off other duties.

                Everyone acting as if they have covid and not transmitting it seems a good baseline, no matter what other strategies are in place.

    • weka 12.3

      "We're all in quarantine right now, dip-shit."

      No, we're not. Most of us are staying at home, but plenty are still going to work. Many of of those are still going to supermarkets/chemist, and can have close contact with other people in their household

      The people in actual quarantine aren't allowed to go out at all, can't go to the supermarket, cannot have any close contact with anyone (unless their health/disability care requires it). They are also being checked on by the police.

      Here are the rules for people returning from overseas who have no symptoms. They have to self-isolate but aren't being quarantined.


      I can't find the guidelines for people being quarantined, but this article from 26/3/20 talks about it a bit. My reading is that anyone arriving who has symptoms is quarantined i.e. the govt escorts them to a hotel and makes sure they stay there.

      Bush also sought to clarify quarantine and triage measures for arriving passengers at Auckland airport.

      “If you have any symptoms, you will be taken by health people to a place of quarantine. We have a number of hotel locations proximate to Auckland airport,” he said.


  10. Muttonbird 13

    Todd McKlunk needs to re-read the definition of arbitrary.

    To date the decision making has been too arbitrary and there are too many inconsistencies.

    I'd say there are very few inconsistencies.

    Note also, "butchers" came up almost immediately. What the hell is the Nats' obsession with butchers?


    • Stunned Mullet 13.1

      'Note also, "butchers" came up almost immediately. What the hell is the Nats' obsession with butchers? '

      I think it's to do with the very significant dumping of stock and waste being experienced, I do admit to have a fair bit of sympathy I went to my local on the Wednesday before lockdown and they had been working under the assumption that the would be open through the whole period (with obvious restrictions on customers in the door) but only found out they were not considered essential at 11.30.

      I think it's reasonable to ask questions of what is and isn't able to be open (or online) to inform decisions if we find ourselves in lockdown for > 4 weeks or in a repeat of lockdown later in the year.

      • Forget now 13.1.1

        Q/ "What [is behind] the Nats obsession with butchers?"

        A/ Peter Leitch

      • Macro 13.1.2

        Same here. In our case she was going to take my order over the phone – prepare the meat and place it in the freezer for when I could call down and pick it up. I cant see how this would be any different to that of the supermarket, except I wouldn't have to search through a pile of meat packages to find the one with three loin chops (3 in our household "bubble") rather than 2 or 4 if I'm lucky.

      • Paddington 13.1.3

        I agree about the butchers. The other point is that butchers etc provide competition to the supermarkets, something that would surely be a plus.

        • In Vino

          Providing competition is normally a good idea, but during a quarantine-style lockdown????

          You have to be an economy-focused, blinkered right-winger.

          • McFlock

            I had a quiet chuckle that the supermarket chain (Countdown?) accused of price hikes got away with a bit of double talk saying three factors affected their pricing, one being market forces.

            Predatory price hikes and profiteering are the result of market forces lol

            • In Vino

              Nicely put!

            • Paddington

              No, they aren't. They are the result of market forces (the actions of buyers and sellers) being constrained. In this case, the number of suppliers is being artificially constrained for no good reason.

              • McFlock

                Panic buying a week before lockdown.

                Complaints about price hikes before the lockdown started (i.e. when the other stores were open). price = supply vs demand.

                There are literally only two variables on the capitalist chart, and you forgot half of them.

                • Paddington

                  Panic buying is a function of human behaviour, a behaviour that occurs in any type of economy. The difference is that in a market economy supply will match demand over time. Socialist economies just let people starve. (https://fee.org/articles/a-refresher-course-on-socialism-and-starvation/)

                  Your second link is unsubstantiated hyperbole from a survey of 2. Well done.

                  "There are literally only two variables on the capitalist chart…"

                  The equation price = supply v's demand is nuanced. There are other variables, such as who controls the supply. In the current situation, supply is controlled by fewer players than normal. That can't help either supply or prices, and it's a situation that should never have been allowed to exist.

                  • McFlock

                    Panic buying that increases demand is a market force that can increase short term prices.

                    So to say that there is no price gouging because prices are set, in part, by market forces is nonsense. Panic buying raises demand and that enables sellers to increase their prices. Simple market forces.

                    Wank all you want. Say there were only two complaints, all you want. The fact is people were perceiving price gouging before the drop in the number of suppliers, but well after panic buying set in. So take your defense of market forces and stick it where the hoarded toilet paper will eventually wipe it away.

                    • Paddington

                      "Panic buying that increases demand is a market force that can increase short term prices."

                      And in a market economy, supply then increases to meet demand.

                      "So to say that there is no price gouging because prices are set, in part, by market forces is nonsense."

                      It's just as well I didn't say that then.

                      "Panic buying raises demand and that enables sellers to increase their prices. Simple market forces."

                      Until supply chatches up and prices fall. Simple market forces. Unlike socilaist economies, where people starve.

                      "Say there were only two complaints, all you want. The fact is people were perceiving price gouging before the drop in the number of suppliers…"

                      Are a sample of 2, and purely anecdotal. I'm absolutely certain prices rose, becasue there was increased demand. Then supply caught up and the prices adjust. But no-ones starving.

                    • Incognito []

                      Are a sample of 2, and purely anecdotal. I’m absolutely certain prices rose, becasue [sic] there was increased demand.

                      Is a sample of 2,100 also “purely anecdotal”? The answer is irrelevant, to you, because you’re “absolutely certain” that you’re right. Maybe you should share your knowledge with MBIE.

                      The issue of price gouging lead the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to create an email address for people to send in their concerns.

                      Since its launch one week ago, there have been over 2100 emails to the Price Watch inbox, a spokeswoman for MBIE said.

                      “MBIE is working hard to contact firms and understand the reasons for price increases,” she said.


                    • KJT

                      "no one's starving".

                      You really don't live in the real world, do you.

                    • McFlock

                      "So to say that there is no price gouging because prices are set, in part, by market forces is nonsense."

                      It's just as well I didn't say that then.

                      No, the supermarket did. As usual, you are incapable of following a simple thread when it doesn't serve your purpose.

                      The idea that supply increases to meet demand omits the time lag that can mean literally terminal hardship in a fast-moving situation. Hence the empty shelves in supermarkets. Supply is not meeting demand for some items.

                      You refuse to match your market catechism with real-world observations.

                    • Paddington


                      "Is a sample of 2,100 also “purely anecdotal”?

                      When it's a complaints hot line, yep, it is.


                      "You really don't live in the real world, do you. "

                      Yes I do. No-one is starving in NZ as a result of food shortages.


                      No, the supermarket did."

                      So what?

                      "The idea that supply increases to meet demand omits the time lag that can mean literally terminal hardship in a fast-moving situation."

                      It's a fast moving situation. Any shortages lasted days, at most.

                      "Hence the empty shelves in supermarkets. Supply is not meeting demand for some items."

                      I shop regularly. There are very few items not in stock, and no essentials.

                      "You refuse to match your market catechism with real-world observations."

                      That's rich, coming from someone who displays a total lack of understanding of basic economics.

                    • Incognito []

                      Here’s some more ‘anecdotal’ evidence for you.


                      You seem to think that you and your situation are somehow representative or can be extrapolated. You are wilfully blind and deaf to what other people are telling you. You patronise others with BS about “basic economics”. You clearly live in a tiny small bubble.

                    • McFlock

                      It's a fast moving situation. Any shortages lasted days, at most.


                      I shop regularly. There are very few items not in stock, and no essentials.

                      You can't even get your bullshit consistent. Are shortages in the past tense, or are they still happening?

                      And given a colleague was talking about the difficulty in finding any flour today, your "no essentials" is a joke.

                      No, the supermarket did."

                      So what?

                      Apparently, in reality goldfish have quite good memories. You, on the other hand, can't even keep track of a thread.

                      To recap:

                      1. supermarkets said they increased prices in response to market forces.
                      2. I said that market forces include increasing demand, such as panic buying.
                      3. You said it was because the govt limited the number of suppliers
                      4. I provided some evidence that people perceived price increases prior to the limitation on supplier numbers.
                      5. you quibbled about the evidence, but then followed on with the idea that supply increases to match demand
                      6. I said the problem with that is the lag time between supply meeting demand, which can have extreme repercussions
                      7. you forgot how the thread started and it apparently did not occur to you to reread it, because you're a bullshitting prick who pretends to be stupid when people take the time to confront his bullshit.
                    • Paddington

                      “You can't even get your bullshit consistent. Are shortages in the past tense, or are they still happening?”

                      Are you really that stupid? No, I suspect you just know you’re out of your depth. Shortages can be both present and past. They can be toilet paper one day, coca cola the next. In a market economy they correct themselves. In a socialist one, people starve.

                      “And given a colleague was talking about the difficulty in finding any flour today, your "no essentials" is a joke.”

                      Plenty of flour at Countdown St Lukes. More anecdotal bs from you and your colleagues.

                      “To recap:”

                      “You said it was because the govt limited the number of suppliers”

                      No, I said that was possibly a factor in why prices rise. (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-06-04-2020/#comment-1698949) It is also a factor in many other things, such as lack of choice. If you think limiting competition in the supply of a product doesn't affect pricing, then I can understand why you're struggling.

                      “I provided some evidence that people perceived price increases prior to the limitation on supplier numbers.”

                      Perceived. Yes.

                      “I said the problem with that is the lag time between supply meeting demand, which can have extreme repercussions”

                      But provided zero evidence.

                      You’re out of your depth in this, McFlock. Economics is a relatively simple discipline, so it’s hard to understand why you find it so difficult. Hardly surprising Incognito is trying to help you out.

                    • McFlock

                      The only way you drag people out of their depth is to drown them in bullshit.

                      I've already acknowledged that supply is one part of the price equation. You agreed that demand can also be a factor, yet you refuse to admit that this might be the case when it comes to panic-buying in NZ.

                      But I'm sure we can agree that there was an increase in demand via panic-buying. So did people panic-buy and the market failed to adjust its prices, or did people panic-buy and there was price gouging?

                    • Paddington

                      "I've already acknowledged that supply is one part of the price equation. You agreed that demand can also be a factor, yet you refuse to admit that this might be the case when it comes to panic-buying in NZ."

                      No. Panic buying does increase demand, for a short term.

                      "But I'm sure we can agree that there was an increase in demand via panic-buying."

                      Yes, which then likely leads to less demand later. Unless people always want 100 rolls of toilet paper inn their bathrooms.

                      "So did people panic-buy and the market failed to adjust its prices, or did people panic-buy and there was price gouging?"

                      If panic buying increases demand…

                      …and increased demand leads to increased prices…

                      …then panic buying can be a component in increasing prices.

                      But then the market adjusts. By increasing supply, increasing pricing, or both.

                    • McFlock

                      No don't dodge the question, did the recent panic-buying increase prices in NZ?

                      In other words, did the simple economic theory play out in real life?

                    • Paddington

                      "…did the recent panic-buying increase prices in NZ?

                      That would have been answered by my comment " Panic buying does increase demand, for a short term." and then "If panic buying increases demand……and increased demand leads to increased prices……then panic buying can be a component in increasing prices." I thought that was fairly clear.

                      "In other words, did the simple economic theory play out in real life?"

                      Of course it does. In a truly free market. And then supply matches demand and prices reach equilibrium.

                      But when the government decides that Countdown can sell meat but not the local butcher, Countdown profits and the consumer loses.

                    • McFlock

                      I thought that was fairly clear.

                      The equivocations were exceptionally clear. Try addressing panic-buying, and only panic-buying, in a sentence without equivocation.

                      It's a simple theory. You should be able to report it's effects in a simple manner. Something like "The recent panic-buying in NZ did increase prices". Less than ten words. Go on, don't be a bullshitter all your life. You can do it.

                    • Paddington

                      " The equivocations were exceptionally clear. Try addressing panic-buying, and only panic-buying, in a sentence without equivocation."

                      Aready done. On numerous occasions.

                      Open mike 06/04/2020

                      "Panic buying that increases demand is a market force that can increase short term prices." <And in a market economy, supply then increases to meet demand>. (See how I agreed with you there?)

                      "Panic buying raises demand and that enables sellers to increase their prices. Simple market forces." <Until supply chatches up and prices fall. > (And there).

                      Open mike 06/04/2020

                      Panic buying does increase demand, for a short term.

                      "But I'm sure we can agree that there was an increase in demand via panic-buying." <Yes, which then likely leads to less demand later. Unless people always want 100 rolls of toilet paper inn their bathrooms.>

                      "So did people panic-buy and the market failed to adjust its prices, or did people panic-buy and there was price gouging?" <If panic buying increases demand……and increased demand leads to increased prices……then panic buying can be a component in increasing prices. But then the market adjusts. By increasing supply, increasing pricing, or both.> (Wow, not sure I could have clearer there!)

                      And remember I said this " The equation price = supply v's demand is nuanced. There are other variables, such as who controls the supply." Panic buying creates demand, but that is only one part of the equation. For example, let's say there was panic buying of toilet paper at a time of over supply. Would prices rise? I'll give you a lollipop for a correct answer. But I'll take it back again for the economics lesson.

                    • McFlock

                      " The equivocations were exceptionally clear. Try addressing panic-buying, and only panic-buying, in a sentence without equivocation."

                      Aready done. On numerous occasions.

                      [cuts and pastes theoretical generalisations and equivocations]

                      You really do like to paste hundreds of words when just ten would do.

                      Without equivocation, did the recent panic buying in NZ result in price increases?

                      No ifs, buts, cans, or mights. Just answer the simple question with an equally simple answer. Bypass the waffle and bullshit, just be honest for once.

                    • Incognito []

                      Don’t expect honesty from Paddington. For example, Paddington claimed they’d “never heard of Climaction” and pretended not to know that Climaction was a commenter here. Yet, Paddington replied to Climaction only a few weeks ago https://thestandard.org.nz/different-responses-to-the-covid-virus-pandemic/#comment-1691901 and late last year https://thestandard.org.nz/listening-to-left-wing-dissent/#comment-1673721. I know what’s coming next 😉

                    • Paddington

                      "Without equivocation, did the recent panic buying in NZ result in price increases? "

                      You didn't read the quotes, did you? Ok, I'll simplify.

                      Panic buying increases demand. Increased demand increases prices IF not met by a corresponding increase in supply.

                      And there's the point. Let's say people panic purchased meat. At the same time the government limits the supply of meat by closing off a significant share of the supply side of the market. So demand exceeds supply, at least in part because of a silly intervention in the market. Prices will rise.

                      Got it now? As a general rule, the less governments interfere in a market, the better it perfroms. There are exceptions, but they tend to be where these is sub-optimal levels of competition.

                    • McFlock

                      Dude, it's not difficult. Just write around ten words.

                      I'll even write a few helpful words for you:

                      "The recent panic-buying in NZ", "led to", and "price increases". Feel free to replace "led to" with "did not lead to".

                      You can do it. Just write a clear, no-bullshit sentence.

                    • Paddington

                      ""The recent panic-buying in NZ", "led to", and "price increases". Feel free to replace "led to" with "did not lead to". "

                      In what market? In which product? Over what time period?

                      I can well understand your desire to simplify things, but as I said an ealrier post, there are nuances.

                    • Paddington

                      "Although if you spend your time with your head up your arse, maybe you don't see other people and the only entertainment to be had is the sound of your own voice.."

                      Oh dear. I've demonstrated you total ignorance of basic economics and now your crying to mummy. How quaint.

                    • Incognito []

                      https://thestandard.org.nz/phasing-into-phase-4/#comment-1694361, which was 23 March 2020, which is exactly one week after you replied to Climaction, whom you had never heard of, or so you claimed. How quaint.

                      You are incapable of answering a simple basic question that has got nothing to do with “basic economics” but everything with your belligerence.

                    • McFlock

                      In what market?

                      lol wriggle on, moron. The NZ market.

                      In which product?

                      lol dance away, fool. Products in which there was panic-buying.

                      Over what time period?

                      lols that's just fucking stupid.

                      The essay approach failed, now you're trying to bog down by drawing out enough information to allow you to evade the question.

                      It doesn't matter either way.

                      Just answer the fucking question. Ten words, easy answer, it's not as nuanced as you think. Did the recent panic-buying in NZ result in price increases?

                      Fuck, it can be answered in one word. I say "yes". Do you say "no"?

                      edt: ““A normal person…”

                      …would not be running away from a discussion about economics to discus whether I rembered a single post from 2 weeks ago.
                      You’re not that challenging, dude. I can do both. You can’t even answer a simple question.

                    • Paddington

                      "A normal person…"

                      …would not be running away from a discussion about economics to discus whether I remembered a single post from 2 weeks ago!

                      [I’m having to draw a line in the sandpit before someone gets hurt and starts crying to his mummy. This thread is now closed as far as I’m concerned; it did not lead to anything or anywhere useful and it likely to spiral further downwards. No more comments from any of us, thanks – Incognito]

                    • Incognito []

                      See my Moderation note @ 7:00 PM.

                  • Paddington

                    "Here’s some more ‘anecdotal’ evidence for you."

                    What the hell does that have to do with supply from supermarkets? The people in your 'anecdote' don;t have a food shortage, they have a money shortage.

                    Geez, read the thread.

                  • Paddington

                    "and late last year "

                    A few weeks ago and late last year? Are your serious? Still running interference for McFlock I see.

                    • Incognito

                      McFlock doesn’t need anything from me but you don’t seem to realise this. I merely pointed out that you’re misleading and dishonest. Your reply on 16 March 2020 was only a few weeks ago. Has it refreshed your “selective” memory? Yes, I’m serious. Why do you ask? Did you miss a little wink such as this 😉 ? I’m so sorry.

                    • McFlock

                      Do you really sling so much bullshit that you don't remember who you throw it at multiple times, even a few weeks ago? Not a glint of a feeling of familiarity?

                      Although if you spend your time with your head up your arse, maybe you don't see other people and the only entertainment to be had is the sound of your own voice..

                    • Paddington

                      "Your reply on 16 March 2020 was only a few weeks ago. "

                      And you expect me to remember the name of a poster for a single comment made two weeks ago? Yeah, you're running interference.

                    • Incognito []

                      I was waiting for your lame excuse about selective amnesia. You have been commenting heaps here lately and yet you claim not to know the other commenters. Heard of McFlock, by any chance?

                      I’m pointing out how disingenuous you are, and it comes across in your commenting. The “interference” is coming from you; you have become an annoying little troll. How quaint.

                    • McFlock

                      And you expect me to remember the name of a poster for a single comment made two weeks ago?


                      A normal person would have a glint of recognition, yeah. Maybe not remember every detail, but it should at least ring a bell. It's two weeks dude, not two decades.

          • Paddington

            The 'quarantine style lockdown' is precisely the time for competition. It's not just about pricing, it's also about supply, quality, and choice.

            • Muttonbird

              Come on Paddingdumb, what is the purpose of the lockdown or have you forgotten already?

              • Paddington

                People buy meat. It's food. They either buy it at a supermarket or a butcher. The lockdown is not under threat from people visitng a butcher any more than visiting a supermarket.

                • Muttonbird

                  You are obviously unwilling to accept that the more people there are on the streets shopping at more outlets (where does it stop?) the more chance of community transmission.

                  • Paddington

                    If I go to the supermarket to buy meat, I am one person on the street. If I go to the butcher to buy meat, I am one perosn on the street.

                    • Gabby

                      You missed the 'at more outlets' bit. Probably just didn't see it.

                    • Paddington

                      Gabby, it doesn't change anything. If it really did, liquor shops wouldn't be open.

                    • Andre

                      Have they changed the rules for liquor stores recently?

                      Last I was aware, the only liquor stores that were open to walk-ins were in trust licensing areas where supermarkets can't sell alcohol. And those stores had such a problem with out-of-area people coming to buy spirits that they have restricted their sales to just wine and beer, like supermarkets.

                    • Muttonbird

                      They are classed as an essential service apparently in areas where alcohol is not available at the supermarket.

                      Meat and bread is available at the supermarket so no need for butchers or bakers for a few weeks.

                    • Paddington

                      "Last I was aware, the only liquor stores that were open to walk-ins were in trust licensing areas where supermarkets can't sell alcohol. "

                      And those liquor outlets are minutes away from supermarkets who DO sell alcohol.

                    • Paddington

                      "Meat and bread is available at the supermarket so no need for butchers or bakers for a few weeks. "

                      Which reduces choice, competition. Which is what this discussion is about.

    • KJT 13.2

      Given the time span and complexity, I think the Government has done well.

      Butchers being closed when dairies are open, is fair comment.

      However the need to limit opportunities for spread, immediately needed fast decisions, and to do the details later.

      I think the Government were discussing these issues without any prompting from National's bad faith.

      Online deliveries may be safer option, though. Giving more online delivery capability for at risk, people..

      • gsays 13.2.1

        While I don't disagree with what you have said, I feel there is a blind spot around supermarkets.

        I would argue almost all the fresh produce in them is handled more than smaller, local businesses and victim to last century's supply chains.

        I would love there to be a Pandemic Prepardeness section of the Food Control Plan for food producers/retailers to implement. When this happens again we are not at the behest of the duopoly, rather buying and supprting local primary producers.

        • KJT

          Much as I dislike the supermarket duopoly.

          And their screwing of suppliers, staff and customers.

          I understand the idea was to keep the number of retail outlets in use to a minimum, from the point of monitoring and controlling virus spread.

          Already wondering about Kaitia, where a supermarket worker has suspected CV19. All the shoppers, which may have been exposed, avoiding that shop and travelling elsewhere for their groceries.

        • weka

          I would love there to be a Pandemic Prepardeness section of the Food Control Plan for food producers/retailers to implement. When this happens again we are not at the behest of the duopoly, rather buying and supprting local primary producers.

          Good idea.

          Hoping they change a few others things too, like allowing natural health to be an essential service via online ordering instead of shutting it all down.

          • Macro

            If the Ministry for Primary Industries has anything to do with it you can be sure that their only concern is for the welfare of big business. Natural health products etc are not in that category, as far as they are concerned, and are therefore unhealthy.

            Some sarc in the above, but I have seen their heavy handed approach, in this area far too often to have any faith in them actually helping anything other than mainstream conventional products.

    • Alice Tectonite 13.3

      Note also, "butchers" came up almost immediately. What the hell is the Nats' obsession with butchers?

      Someone told Simon he needed to have a butcher's and he misunderstood

    • Incognito 13.4

      What the hell is the Nats' obsession with butchers?


  11. joe90 14

    Sometimes I think our species is way too stupid to survive this.


    • Graeme 15.1

      Why you had to tick the box that gave your consent to the information being made public before you could apply for the wage subsidy.
      The ex employer will be having a lovely conversation with someone from the MSD audit team. Joyous times.

  12. greywarshark 16

    Margaret Mahy thought up a story that has elements of what we are going through now. Have a listen to this great storyteller and wonderful woman.

    ProductionShed.TV: "Down the Back of the Chair" – TVNZ DVD Margaret Mahy's Rumbustifications


  13. joe90 17


    • Sabine 17.1

      well as Javanka said "it is OUR stockpile".

      • joe90 17.1.1

        No doubt they'll do their best to make a goodly part of the $500 billion bailout theirs, too.

        edit: shameless

      • Anne 17.1.2

        They were the ones purchased by Germany that were re-diverted to the US? Got them for nothing I s'pose cos the Germans had already paid for them.

        Nothing coming out of Trump's America surprises me anymore including the above proposition.

  14. joe90 19

    Oh joy.

    A tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, and six other big cats are exhibiting symptoms consistent with the illness, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Sunday afternoon.

    “It’s the first time, to our knowledge, that a [wild] animal has gotten sick from COVID-19 from a person,” says Paul Calle, chief veterinarian for the Bronx Zoo. The Malayan tiger, named Nadia, likely contracted the coronavirus from an infected—but unknown—asymptomatic zookeeper. “It’s the only thing that makes sense,” Calle says. The zoo has been closed to visitors since March 16.

    Several domestic animals had previously tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, including a Pomeranian and a German shepherd in Hong Kong, a domestic cat in Belgium.


  15. Carolyn_Nth 20

    Now is not the time to have a non-Covid health issue – especially for an old woman.

    I have no idea if my throat is anything to worry about or if it will clear on its own. I have had a mildly irritated throat for a few weeks now. I can see a couple of white spots on my slightly swollen right tonsil. A couple of weeks ago I was sent antibiotics after a phone consult with a GP, who said normally she'd do a throat swab to check if it's bacterial.

    So several days after completing the antibiotics, no change. Phoned the GPs receptionist saying maybe I need a face-to-face consultation. Generally the GPs are doing phone & video consults now. Problem is we get charged the normal consultation fee for phone/video consults, and if a throat swab is required, that would be an extra fee for a face-to-face consultation.

    The receptionist said it was a difficult one and really didn't know the solution. So I have a face-to-face consultation booked, and will phone reception when I get into the GP car park.

    I really don't want to be going to a medical facility at this time, but in my low moments I'm worried about what is wrong with my throat.

    • Stunned Mullet 20.1

      Stay strong Carolyn – if you're not in the most at risk group that is recently returned from overseas or close contact with someone in that group you have most likely just got a grotty sore throat.

      Remember the vast proportion of people with symptoms in NZ are actually coming back with a negative test for Covid 19. Perhaps get them to give you a flu jab while you're there to avaoid the rush once we're out of lock down.

      • Carolyn_Nth 20.1.1

        Thanks, SM. I think the possibility of me having THE virus is low if non-existent. My concern is, WTF else is wrong with my throat, and is it something to worry about?

        I have been physical distancing for at least a month now, and in last few weeks getting groceries home delivered.

        But I also don't want to be at a medical facility where the virus might be at large.

        Still, I just want to know what I am dealing with.

    • Anne 20.2

      Hey Caroline I've had a mildly raw throat for about 3 to 4 weeks now and went through a brief spell of sneezing but it never developed beyond that. Since it has happened to me a few times in the past couple of years I'm not worried. It eventually goes away.

      • Carolyn_Nth 20.2.1

        Thanks, Anne. Normally I wouldn't worry about a bit of a sore throat, but I can see white spots on my tonsils, which usually is (bacterial) strep throat requires antibiotics. It didn't get worse or better after a course of antibiotics.

        Anyway, I had the face-to-face consult at the GPs this arvo, which was interesting. He came to my car in the car park in full PPEs, gave me a face mask, and took me to an area outside the GPs' building, screened off with plastic sheeting.

        He also thinks it looks like strep throat. He did a physical exam of my vitals, etc, and took a throat swab. Said he'd get back to me with the results – maybe have a break after the last antibiotics of a week or so, then try a different antibiotic.

        Also, the nurse gave me a flu jab – my appointment for it a couple of weeks back was cancelled as they ran out of stock. I was waiting for them to send me a new appointment.

        So I don't need to go back for a separate flu jab appointment. 😊

        Can I wash the face mask and re-use it?

        Edit: I had strep tonsils in Aussie in my 20s when I was travelling overseas. The GP was getting worried because the antibiotics weren’t improving it, and was saying I may need to be hospitalised. Fortunately, it cleared by the end of the course of antibiotics. But memory of this has been worrying me. And also why I know what strep tonsils looks like.

        • Cinny

          Yay glad you ended seeing the Dr.

          Can I wash the face mask and re-use it?

          Depends on the fibre composition. Most are designed for single use, so may breakdown in water and lose effectiveness.

          Do you sew? You could make your own if you have the supplies, 100% cotton fabric and some elastic. I use a paperclip to insert in bridge of the nose for a snug fit. The mask is like a pocket and you can insert a throw away filler for extra protection, like a folded up tissue.

          Hope that helps 🙂

          • Carolyn_Nth

            Thanks, Cinny.

            I can sew, sort of. Thanks for the links. Will keep them for possible future use. Depends on getting the components.

    • mpledger 20.3

      I heard chatter before we went into lockdown that strep throat was going around. The more likely thing is that it is strep throat but it's always better to get things checked out.

      • Carolyn_Nth 20.3.1

        Thanks, mpleger. Useful to know.

        I was happy initially with the phone consultation and having antibiotics delivered to me. Was disappointed that the antibiotics did not eliminate it – and that was the cause of my concern.

        When I searched online, all the advice said antibiotics should be prescribed ASAP, partly because it stopped transmission to others. Some said that strep throat usually goes after after a week, with or without antibiotics.

        In the northern hemisphere, the pre-Covid flu included some throat infections in their just finishing winter.

        In retrospect, not sure what they will test for with my throat swab. We'll see.

        The GP at the phone consultation said it could be a virus or bacterial, and that's, I think why they do a swab to check. She went with it most likely being bacterial, so prescribed antibiotics to see if that worked.

  16. Morrissey 22

    Attention: "weka"

    Yesterday "weka" claimed there was "no evidence" that there was a purge of human rights activists from Britain's doomed, discredited Labour Party. "weka" needs to read this….


    [I’m not reading that. If you want to provide back up for your claim, then cut and paste the relevant bits. But I think we’ve already established that you were being fanciful. I fully accept that you personally believe it’s true, but thus far there isn’t any evidence to support that – weka]

    • Wayne 22.1


      How does that extract prove there will be a purge of human right activists? No where does it say that people can't campaign for Palestinian rights in a pretty forthright way. It simply says that Labour party members can't be anti-semetic.

      • Stunned Mullet 22.1.1

        Wayne as you may not have come across Morrissey previously a word of warning, he is a notoriously self involved equal opportunity troll, it's best not to try and engage with him.

      • The Al1en 22.1.2

        It doesn't, of course.

        The letter from Starmer, to the Board of deputies of British jews, says about anti-Semitism – He will tear out the poison by it's roots.

        Of course, if one thinks anti semitism isn't a poison, then that stance is going to conflict and cause some people a lot of issues.

      • Barfly 22.1.3

        To the "Friends of Israel"contingent supporting Palestinian rights is "anti-semitic"

    • Incognito 22.2

      Attention: "Morrissey"

      You fool!

      Weka never claimed such a thing but asked you to provide the evidence that you had omitted from your comments.

      I’ll leave the moderation to weka.

      • In Vino 22.2.1

        Sorry, Morrissey, but I followed your debate with Weka and Incognito is right. All you were asked to do was to give the gist of the argument/evidence that was in the links you provided. You didn't.

    • bill 22.3

      Starmer offering to meet right wing Zionists in order to discuss how he might stamp out antisemitism is too many orders of weird for me to wrap my head around.

      There's also quite a push against feminists in UK Labour btw.

      Just as advocates of basic human rights for Palestinians within UK Labour get smeared as anti-semites, so feminists within UK Labour advocating for women's rights are being smeared as TERFs.

      Different protagonists, same playbook. Fucking horrible on so many levels.

      • Morrissey 22.3.1

        Starmer offering to meet right wing Zionists in order to discuss how he might stamp out antisemitism is too many orders of weird for me to wrap my head around.

        Thanks bill. Of course, supporters of the Israeli regime are not interested in "stamping out antisemitism", they're concerned only with stamping out protest against Israel. Their never-ending attempt to conflate Israel with Judaism is a desperate and cynical strategy.

      • Barfly 22.3.2

        I agree Bill

  17. observer 23

    I couldn't really care less about Simon Bridges driving hundreds of km between Wellington and Tauranga. I'm sure he pees in his car and can change his own tyre.

    But I do think it's hilarious that driving two km was an unforgivable outrage only 3 days ago.

    Let's face it, the real question is: does Simon drive a car with his smiling face plastered on the side? Because that was Clark's real crime.

    • indiana 23.1

      Well Scotland's Chief Medical officer may disagree with you regard flouting of lockdown rules.


      • observer 23.1.1

        But nobody can sack Bridges except the National caucus, and they've had countless reasons to do that over the past two years. One more won't make any difference.

      • McFlock 23.1.2

        lol it's funny when you and Bill agree.

        So, to repeat myself:

        Clark was given a police warning for clearly violating explicit terms of the lockdown? No, none of the above, he was just photographed pushing the limits of a couple of gray areas in the NZ lockdown (how far to go for exercise and what exercise types should be undertaken).

    • ScottGN 23.2

      Ha! I’m sure Tova and HDPA will be all over this.

      • observer 23.2.1

        To be fair, Tova did just ask the PM about it at the press conference.

        Ardern's response was (translated from poli-speak) …. "definitely not commenting but feel free to read between the lines of this non-comment".

    • Treetop 23.3

      Bridges was certainly in his own bubble.

    • Fireblade 23.4

      Simons Bridges behaviour is irresponsible and unnecessary. He certainly is an arrogant little man with self-entitlement issues.


      • Fireblade 23.4.1

        Simon Bridges should be in quarantine to protect New Zealanders. Standing this close is dangerous and irresponsible.

        • Anne

          Simon can't stand 2 metres away from them because he's in yet another of his arranged photo ops. Supermarket workers are the flavour of the month (and rightly so), so Simon's got to be seem associating with them. I bet he's never bothered before.

          • Forget now

            Flavour of last month? The photo dates from before the level 4 restrictions (24th March?). It may have been "dangerous and irresponsible", but not at the time actively illegal.

            I am more concerned that he has no intention of stopping his unnecessary travel. Who could ever have predicted that a National leader would be so self-entitled and lacking empathy?

            • McFlock

              Not quite. Comes under "alternative ways of working required" in level 3. Although to be fair the message might not have been communicated in small enough words at that stage.

    • Paddington 23.5

      The issue with what Clark did was as much the activity he undertook as the driving. That's why in his apoligy he said "Even though I deliberately opted for an easy, local track, on reflection I realise I should have chosen a better option such as walking, running or cycling on the flat,"

      • In Vino 23.5.1

        Exactly – pleased to agree with you for once. That Scottish woman twice did an hour's drive (60km or so?) and had been warned by police. Clark drove only 2.5 km once, when there is actually no 2km rule, and Tova O'Brien hides all that in tonight's TV3 news, and tries to equate the two offences as being of equal hypocrisy.

        Anyone who knows the details will see Tova for what she is. But why should she be permitted to spread such tendentious rubbish, presenting it as 'news'?

  18. Anybody know if amidst the Covid 19 emergency the usual flu is being tracked globally?

    Because it looks like a bad one in the States and was tracking steeply up in early January


    "The 2017-2018 flu season was the deadliest in more than four decades with 80,000 deaths caused by the flu, including 180 children. And it looks like the virus is back with a vengeance for winter 2019-2020, which is on track to be just as bad, as seen on this CDC graph."

    This article was originally published in February 2018, and has been updated with the most recent CDC data for winter 2019-2020.

  19. Chris 25

    If this is the sort of moronic analysis Collins believes then there shouldn’t be too much to worry about if Bridges is rolled and she takes over:


  20. Well it seems its not an exact science as flu is not a notifiable disease in most parts of the US

    Estimates of flu deaths for the 2019-20 season are between 24 to 63,000 up until March 28

    and in that same period 400,000-730,000 hospitalisations

    You would have to hope this tapers off before Covid19 peaks, because that is quite an additional burden


    • mpledger 26.1

      The flu vaccinations have been bought forward for vulnerable people – in my area older poeple were given it away from the medical centre and with social distancing.

      But flu rates go down when people are in lock-down because it spreads in the same way as covid-19. Trying to stop covid-19 spreading helps stop the flu spreading.

  21. A 28

    [US] Ol' Snippy tip….Melania Trump to address nation to rally people. ask them to pray etc. Healing theme, approx time period next couple of weeks.

  22. Forget now 29

    Does anyone know how to get the data on this? Other than emailing the polling company, which I feel is unlikely to get a timely reply. There's not much point in knowing the margin of error for a given population sample when thereare no numbers stated!

    It's interesting that Ardern seems to be better trusted by Australians than Aotearoans. Maybe something to do with the right-wing mouths in NZ being even more irrelevant over there than they are in this country.


  23. Forget now 30

    Thanks Pat, that's exactly what I was looking for. Embarrassed to be so out of practice navigating that site, it's been a while since I have followed polling. Hopefully it was at least slightly difficult to locate and not a big blue link I missed.

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