Open mike 18/04/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 18th, 2020 - 171 comments
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171 comments on “Open mike 18/04/2020 ”

  1. A Playbook for New Zealand post coronavirus. Random musings of a ‘Stay-in-Place’ prisoner.

    Based on the premise of big government. More government regulations result in better outcomes for ordinary people.

    Small government is nothing more than a neoliberal’s wet dream.

    * ALL institutions which contribute to the well-being of citizens are government owned.

    This includes –

    all medical facilities – hospitals, general practices, dentists etc.

    [no private hospitals – all citizens treated equally regardless of wealth] [dental treatment free and fully funded by the state].

    all educational institutions, from ECEs to tertiary institutions.

    [no private schools, all school enrolments screened to exemplify the demographic of this country]

    * If we wish for an egalitarian society we have to begin by instilling notions of equality in children. Provision of free school breakfasts and lunches for ALL students – ECE to Secondary. ALL education to be free and compulsory 5 to 18. Tertiary education also free.

    * ALL transport free and frequent. Movement of heavy/bulk goods by railway, with private transport firms only providing connecting links from railway hubs. Expansion of the railway network.

    * Resurrection of the Ministry of Works. All government infrastructure projects managed by the MOW.

    * More government regulation in the construction industry, to ensure that ALL citizens are adequately housed. No place for McMansions and more emphasis on warm healthy houses for ALL people. Good warm healthy housing is a right, not a speculator’s investment. Ownership of more than 2 houses per person banned. Solar panels on all houses.

    * Imports of ICE cars banned from a set date in the near future and licence fees for private cars increased greatly – to discourage use of petrol burning vehicles. Free parking hubs along major arterial routes of free public transport to get people out of cars and into buses, trains, trams. Congestion charges in all built-up areas.

    * Government encouragement (!) for farmers move away from bulk agricultural produce into value added products. In a world awash with surplus people, this country is in the box seat but MUST take control of its exports. We will never lack markets, but we need to determine how we sell our produce, to return maximum benefit to all people in this country. Dismantling of Fonterra.

    * Revitalising of unions – compulsory union membership. Workplace committees in businesses above a certain number of employees and union members on boards of directors. CEOs salaries no more than 12 times that of the lowest paid worker.

    * Tourism, at least the international side, is dead for the next few years. Our borders must remain closed while a vaccine is developed and manufactured widely enough to provide cover for all the world (and this may not even be possible).

    So a rethink and re-emphasis on domestic tourism while we try to get the balance right – no more ‘wild west’ as we’ve been doing.

    * International sport, for the same reasons, is also dead in the next few years. So a rethink about domestic competitions in all sports (not a bad thing) and a refocus on grass roots participation rather than elite sports.

    * Anyone, ANYONE entering this country must be quarantined for at least 14 days until a vaccine is available. Which may be a long time!

    * A return to some sort of import licencing!! We don’t need three quarters of the cheap crap we import. Unless a social need can be established, then it doesn’t get imported. In this way, with the sure demand for our value-added food products, we can run a balance of payments surplus.

    * Nationalise the 4 Aussie banks and making them serve the interests of New Zealanders rather than overseas shareholders. Stop all banks from ‘creating’ money too.

    * Future proofing the economy. Encourage industries essential to the well-being of New Zealand – like pharmaceutical industries. Not on a vast scale but sufficiently large to satisfy the needs of this country without undue reliance on India or China.

    * It goes without saying, never allowing the sale of ANY NZ land to non-citizens. Also strict limits on foreign ownership of industries, never a majority stake, more like 20% upper limit.

    * How to pay for all this? Tax anything that doesn’t contribute to the welfare of the country – ie. financial transaction tax and a wealth tax. Remove GST on fresh fruit and vegetables!

    Just ideas in no particular order (or merit!) to engender some discussion.

    • Two further points I would like to add to the above rant:

      The world has seen three major economic melt-downs this century – the dot.com bubble in 2000, the GFC in 2008 and now this one – admittedly caused by a pandemic, but still exposing the weeping underbelly of a malfunctioning economic system.

      The idea that we can somehow apply a band-aide and continue on as normal is absurd.

      Secondly, climate change hasn’t gone away during this pandemic. Sure, the skies are clearer and all that, but the CO2 emissions are locked in for decades to some. Any changes we make must factor in mitigating climate change.

      • Molly 1.1.1

        " Secondly, climate change hasn’t gone away during this pandemic. Sure, the skies are clearer and all that, but the CO2 emissions are locked in for decades to some. Any changes we make must factor in mitigating climate change. "

        Once you get an idea of the impact of climate change, it is hard to take any other perspective on policy and investment. The effect on people and communities is much more than is often considered. I will also be hoping that the call for BAU is tempered by stronger voices calling for a redirect.

        (I’m heading out to get some work done outside before the rain sets in, but look forward to reading the comments to your first thoughts)

      • KJT 1.1.2

        The effects of "man made global warming", I don't like the now generally used, euphemism, "climate change", will make the current economic meltdown, seem like a picnic.

        Carrying on with something that isn't working, given that fact, seems grossly irresponsible, to me.

    • Molly 1.2

      Uplifting start to the comments section today, Tony. If only some of these would be enacted.

      A couple of wishful thoughts of my own:

      Anticipate a drop in equity for homes, and preempt the consequences for NZers who are already battling to keep in their own homes, and those who are renting.

      Put up a form of Housing NZ home loans for owner-occupiers that allows them to transfer over their current mortgages from current interest rates to low or zero rates. For those with a considerable amount of time to go, the reduction in interest paid will offset the loss of capital value. For those with less time, they will have the advantage of paying off their mortgage faster, and be mortgage free. The Reserve Bank can create this money, and then return the payments to the ether, to remove it from circulation. The market can then drop a considerable amount while still allowing people to remain in their houses.

      Commercial banks – who have loaned to flippers and investors can retain those customers, and do what businesses do, reap the benefits or other of judgements and practices they have employed.

      Solar panels on each home, may not be as efficient or effective as localised power hubs, where power is renewably generated for a community.

      Tax businesses according to their cost or worth to the community and country. If they are profitable businesses with costly externalities, then they should pay higher rates of tax so those externalities can be mitigated.

      Haul the benefits and health systems into functioning institutions that can be included in an egalitarian and compassionate society.

      • weka 1.2.1

        These are really good ideas Molly. Like the housing loan one, a really big opportunity here to solve the housing crisis in ways that don't just perpetuate the problem by propping up the market/investor classes.

        Solar on all new homes, assistance to retrofit, alongside localised power hubs. We also need to address what's going to happen to people reliant on heat pumps if the grid goes down (eg quake, or climate weather events). I'd like to see forestry rejigged around sustainability and resiliency.

    • Beverly 1.3

      Tony – Love it! How do we make it happen?

    • Carolyn_Nth 1.4

      Nice. I'm on board.

    • bwaghorn 1.5

      Oh ffs would you far lefties give up on your nationalize the banks bull .

      It ain't going to happen .

      Fat better you aim for the possible like getting government to expand kiwibank into the commercial and rural sectors, (that's were the real money is) .

    • Stunned Mullet 1.6

      Thanks for the post Tony – good way to start discussion for the day.

      As you've started the list with some comments on education I thought I'd push back on a couple of your ideas in that area only.

      [no private schools, all school enrolments screened to exemplify the demographic of this country]

      Why do away with private schools ? Most (all ?) teach to NZ curriculum but have a variety of different pathways. I believe all are less of a burden on vote education purse and their is no compulsion or need for students to attend these private schools if they don't want to.

      How would school enrolments be screened to exemplify the demographic of this country ? Would this mean single sex schools would be banned ? Would it involve having ethnic/class quotas at each school and shipping students in/out of areas ?

      • I'm an ex-teacher and I taught in a couple of pricey private schools in this country. Their classes were almost entirely mono-ethnic, except for a few high fee-paying overseas students, mostly from Asia.

        As such, they in no way represent the ethnic composition of this country.

        I also taught in a low decile high school, with nearly 40 different ethnicities represented among the school population. And may I say it, a much more interesting school to teach at.

        Ex-private schools would be subject to zoning like any other school.

        • Stunned Mullet 1.6.1.1

          Thanks Tony – those are a couple of interesting anecdotes.

          However the don't really address the questions I asked

          Why do away with private schools ? What is the purpose in doing so ?

          How would school enrolments be screened to exemplify the demographic of this country ? Would this mean single sex schools would be banned ? Would it involve having ethnic/class quotas at each school and shipping students in/out of areas ?

      • KJT 1.6.2

        The problem with having a private school option, is the rich then opt out of state schools, and no longer have anything invested in the quality, or equality of opportunity in a State education system.

        They, then pursue a minimalist state school system, that educates children just enough to be useful workers, at minimum cost.

        While they try and ensure their own kids get a broader education in private schools. And, as we have seen, still largely at tax payers expense.

        • Stunned Mullet 1.6.2.1

          The problem with having a private school option, is the rich then opt out of state schools, and no longer have anything invested in the quality, or equality of opportunity in a State education system.

          What's the proportion of public vs private school in NZ ? I'm guessing private schools make up around 5% of less of the total role ?

          I'm also going to suggest that most of those families attending public schools don't have much invested in the quality or equality of the state education system over and above the taxes they pay, which are also paid by the 'rich' whose children atone private schools.

          Also not sure about your comments in relation to people who send children to private schools pursuing a minimalist state school system, that educates children just enough to be useful workers, at minimum cost. I doubt there is any data to support such a comment.

        • weka 1.6.2.2

          I'm also curious if this is a big enough issue in NZ to warrant banning them. Afaik, Steiner, Montessori and other alt schools are 'private' schools too. They provide an important place for kids that don't fit into the state system.

          • KJT 1.6.2.2.1

            All for alternative approaches. But have you looked at the skin tones of those in, alternative schools. The children which would probably benefit most, are put in the too hard basket and thrown back into State schools.

            • weka 1.6.2.2.1.1

              true. I don't think banning private schools will help those kids either. Are kura kaupapa all state schools? Maybe there's a model there for other than mainstream schooling to be state funded, although I suspect that would be a hard row to hoe given the conservative nature of our government departments.

              • KJT

                That is a whole nother discussion.

                But, briefly.

                The previous Labour Government led development of a NZ curriculum which gave a lot of flexibility for more "child centred" approaches within the State system.

                National dumped it because of an obsession with, testing, and standards.

                As if children are, "products" and schools, factories.

                Big class sizes and lack of resources, restrict the things Teachers can achieve.

                Funding going to privatised schools meant National could say they were spending more on education, while starving State schools of resources..

                • weka

                  Were the kura kaupapa enabled from those Clark govt changes?

                  Are Labour going there again?

                • Stunned mullet

                  Funding going to privatised schools meant National could say they were spending more on education, while starving State schools of resources..

                  I think you're wrong about that KJT spending on private schools under that Nats as under Lanbour is a tinypercentage of the total spend which in terms of toal vote education has been increasing over tie,

                  • In Vino

                    Wrong, Stunted Mullet. Education spending went way up also because shonky tertiary stuff was instituted (all private, note) to get unemployed youth off embarrassing unemployment stats and into 'study'. much of which was futile.. I know several kids who were tricked into silly tertiary courses of various types, promising them jobs afterwards. In fact, there were no jobs, and those kids were tricked into wasting their time doing useless courses.

                    NZ does stand out for high spending on Education, but it also stands out for wasting much of that spending on shonky private tertiary stuff, as well as excessive state support for private schools.

                    Our Primary and Secondary schools remain poorly funded by international standards. You can find this info not in NZ Govt rosy stats, but in OECD stats – 'Education at a Glance.'

                    • KJT

                      The many kids who were suckered into getting student loans, for tertiary courses where there was no prospect of employment, afterwards, plus the many dodgy private courses WINZ forced youngsters to do. .

        • McFlock 1.6.2.3

          The other issue with private schools is that it creates the foundations for networks that the privileged use to maintain their privilege. And then it goes on to "elite" institutions.

          For example, in one area in NZ the local rag wrote multiple articles about a history of abuse and cover-ups at a local school. When the reporter did a similar story on another local school, the article got spiked by newspaper management.

          Gotta love those "old school ties".

    • mauī 1.7

      Wonderful, you are a true socialist. Thank you Tony.

    • Grafton Gully 1.8

      "all citizens treated equally regardless of wealth." We're already treated equally just a lot quicker in private.

      Specialists do the same procedures in both so there is something else in public that slows everything down. The wealthy are healthier in general is part of the reason and also probably the training that goes on in public, the massive bureaucracy and collective employment agreements that pay primarily according to years on the job.

      • KJT 1.8.1

        The public system would be faster, if the specialists employed, and trained, in the public system, were not spending so much time doing "private" work.

        A catch 22.

    • Janet 1.9

      Yes you get my tick but for :

      1/ Government encouragement (!) for farmers move away from bulk agricultural produce into value added products.

      The value added to a primary product is the work of others, not farmers. Farmers are just producing the basic ingredient!

      2/ CEOs salaries no more than 12 times that of the lowest paid worker.

      I say only 5 times more. Having a good brain or talent means you can take a job most others can,’t so you have more opportunity to do what you like.You are lucky.

      3/ UBI equals the “foot in the door” for proactive, challenged, creative, productive people.You haven,t listed it !

    • weka 1.10

      " So a rethink and re-emphasis on domestic tourism while we try to get the balance right – no more ‘wild west’ as we’ve been doing."

      Creating visitor accommodation and activities based businesses for Kiwis, that is designed for climate and ecological wellbeing, seems a good thing that would bring multiple benefits. Creating a domestic 'tourism' to try and fix the tourism industry is a mistake imo, because it prioritises making money over more important values like resilient jobs and the ability of NZers to enjoy the country we live in. Covid won't be the last pandemic, nor the last shock that might limit our ability to travel at will whenever we want. We should learn from this and look at what resilient jobs are, and then set about how to create them at the community level. This is a big opportunity for NZ.

  2. gsays 2

    Edit: meant as a reply to Tony @ 1.
    Cheers Tony, I agree with the gist of your list and would add at least one teacher aid in every class room.

    If we move to a decent UBI, funded by a FTT, that can free up some people to move from wage slavery to support the volunteer sector.

  3. Wayne 3

    Tony,

    With that wish list, you should also say how it is going to be paid for. Though that is quite easy to imagine.

    • dv 3.1

      Wayne

      How to pay for all this? Tax anything that doesn’t contribute to the welfare of the country – ie. financial transaction tax and a wealth tax. Remove GST on fresh fruit and vegetables!

      From Tonys list.

      • Wayne 3.1.1

        Neither will generate enough revenue. Basically Tony's ideas will mean the govt spending (outside of any Covid support) adds another $20 to $30 billion to the size of govt, lifting it from 30% of GDP to north of 40% of GDP.

        That also means an additional $20 to $30 billion in extra taxes, right at the time that the economy is shrinking. And in that calculation, I have ignored all the nonsensical nationalisation ideas.

        Of course some political party will need to campaign on these ideas, or at least a subset of them. Most likely that is the Green Party. I can't see Labour taking up much of it, or indeed any of it. The PM would seem to prefer to get things to back the way there were, though I think the infrastructure spend will be future focussed to the maximum extent possible.

        One point I would note, public transport is going to way less popular in the future. This crisis has certainly reminded people of the importance of having their own independent form of transport.

        • KJT 3.1.1.1

          Straight from the idea that Government spending, from taxes, is just a charge on the "real economy".

          Instead of a large part of it.

          Recent events have starkly shown how false, that premise, is.

        • pat 3.1.1.2

          "The PM would seem to prefer to get things to back the way there were, …"

          Really?

          "Back to Robertson – he said that while taking account of the “massive disruption to some sectors”, his longer-term plan is to also “address some of the long-standing challenges we face”.

          He specifically mentioned climate change, inequality, New Zealand’s low productivity, and trade diversification.

          Robertson reiterated the sentiment of a comment Ardern made on Tuesday, saying, “we must also not allow inequality to take hold in our recovery. In fact we need to take this opportunity to improve the prospects of all New Zealanders and tackle those long-standing divisions.”

          https://www.interest.co.nz/news/104552/grant-robertson-says-we-must-also-not-allow-inequality-take-hold-our-recovery-he

          • Wayne 3.1.1.2.1

            Grant Robertson’s list of things to do are essentially in the zone of what I would expect from Labour. Reform within bounds, but not remotely a revolution. For instance 5 years ago National increased basic benefits by $25, and Labour has done the same now.

            When not so involved in politics it is much easier to see that Labour and National are actually quite close in their overall policy prescriptions. Obviously there are some differences, but they are not huge.

            • pat 3.1.1.2.1.1

              are all lawyers so loose with their language Wayne?….those statements from Robertson and the PM hardly equate to "preferring things to get things back the way they were"

              …quite the contrary

            • Cinder 3.1.1.2.1.2

              Please stop repeating this LIE Wayne.

              They only increased benefits for parents by a $25 per week. It was not universal.

              You have consistently LIED with regard to this fact.

              Just stop it.

              • Barfly

                +100 saves me from having to type it –

                As someone who is pretty much "Donald Ducked" I am a long term beneficiary all I got from Key's National Government was demonisation and promises of crackdowns – not the most helpful for people with mental health problems. Oh and when the mentally ill chap tried to hurl himself from the parliamentary gallery into the debating chamber I thought John Key's throat slitting gesture was all class…/sarc.

                • Kay

                  +1000. Just keep telling yourself that Wayne. Wishful thinking, party propaganda, tell yourself something often enough and you'll believe it? Or perhaps a fixed delusion that just can't be altered despite all evidence to the contrary. There are medications for that.

                • patricia

                  Key had no emotional intelligence Barfly.

            • KJT 3.1.1.2.1.3

              That has been correct. Unfortunately.

    • KJT 3.2

      Quick. Stamp out any dangerous ideas before they take root.

      We may get a repeat of this.

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

      There was a chorus of, "how are we going to pay for it" then, as well.

      From those who lost a bit, from more equitable distribution of resources, initially.

      Most of the moaners ended up richer, and the Government surplus greater, with the economic activity that resulted.

      • KJT 3.2.1

        "National had announced that it would not repeal any of Labour's welfare state policies, which endeared it to many who had supported and benefitted from these policies but were tired of the government".

    • ianmac 3.4

      Wayne do you know anyone whose mantra is "Tax Cuts for Everyone (The Rich)"

    • Peter 4.1

      You reckon someone named something like Dou Lobbs might speculate 'Donald Trump could be a weapon used by the Russians', adding "if we don't go to war over the America being taken over by a fuckwit, what do we go to war over?"

      And he'd be on Fox?

      • Wayne 4.1.1

        There are quite a few on the American far right (Bill O'Reilly for instance) who are saying it is a Chinese bioweapon deliberately targeted at the US. The release in Wuhan being a false flag operation to conceal their true intent. No evidence actually required, jut the assertion. It is up to others to disprove it, if you live in that rather strange world.

        Obviously Trump will be well aware of this idea, and probably buys into it to some extent. Perhaps others in the administration are not buying into it. Probably because Trump would not be able to convince anyone that going to war (in the real sense of that term) would be remotely rational.

        • mac1 4.1.1.1

          “Just war theory provides the basis for exercising ‘ethical restraint’ in war. Without restraint, philosopher Michael Ignatieff, argues there is no way to tell the difference between a ‘warrior’ and a ‘barbarian”’.

          https://ethics.org.au/ethics-explainer-just-war/

          Proportionality, just cause, just means, civilian protection, last resort, and a fair chance of winning- some of the aspects of an ethical consideration for making war.

          Dou Lobbs is reportedly 'speculating' which hardly makes for a just cause.

          But mostly I want to state my extreme condemnation for an hypocrisy where the US faked a casus belli in the Tonkin Bay 'incident' to justify a war against North Vietnam that caused hundreds of thousands of deaths directly and in the following generations.

          • Barfly 4.1.1.1.1

            The USA has very long form for this sort of thing

            "The Spanish–American War (Spanish: Guerra Hispano-Americana; Filipino: Digmaang Espanyol-Amerikano) was an armed conflict between Spain and the United States in 1898. Hostilities began in the aftermath of the internal explosion of USS Maine in Havana Harbor in Cuba,"

            • mac1 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Even the Nazis had to justify their invasion of Poland with a faked border incursion.

              That only cost 50 million dead.

              But as some cheery soul pointed out recently, twenty five million people have been born into the world since Covid-19 lockdowns began.

          • Gabby 4.1.1.1.2

            The yankers are really truly madly in love with that 'warrior' crap. Couch Potato Ranger 2nd Class.

        • RedLogix 4.1.1.2

          I doubt very much the USA would initiate a war with China over this. All they have to do to demolish the CCP is go home, which is pretty much what they are doing already.

          The CCP has of course left itself deeply exposed on this; my reading of all the evidence is the Wuhan lab (located just a short stroll from the wet market initially implicated) was almost certainly the initial source.

          This does not imply the virus itself was in any fashion 'engineered'. We know that researchers at this lab had long been collecting novel bat coronavirus' from the wild … all it took was for one of these to be accidentally leaked, which a very reasonable assumption. (Personally we have encountered two independent cases of people becoming infected while working at NZ's own equivalent biolab in Porirua.) But it does leave open the question of exactly what was the purpose of this research.

          Then came the CCP obfuscation, mishandling, censorship and lack of independent verification which have run counter to transparency, fueled suspicions and means the origins of SARS-COV-2 remain murky.

          Until we get to an authoratative account of this virus’ history … the vacuum will necessarily be filled by speculation.

        • bill 4.1.1.3

          Well, they've obviously tried this ploy 18 times before if some prominent persons of NZ's political class are to believed. 🙂

          I guess the fella with the vial was meant to wait until Chinese New Year was in full swing before getting all butter fingered on it?

          Oh, hang on! A flight to some US city. A major airport hub just before Thanksgiving would be just the ticket!

          Though, maybe they tried that one 18 times before and it didn't worked for some reason or another, and so it was felt the time had come to try something different.

          It's a crazy angle I know, but my money's split 50/50 between bats and pangolins. Evil and cunning little beggers they be.

        • patricia 4.1.1.4

          Really Wayne? Trump and friends have a lot of oil to use up!!

        • Anne 4.1.1.5

          So, come out and say it Wayne. Trump is mad. Trump is dangerous. Trump goes along with lunatic conspiracies. Trump's supporters have the IQ of a mentally retarded sheep – as opposed to the rest of the herd.

          • RedLogix 4.1.1.5.1

            Obama put a great deal of consideration into his policies, he just didn't care enough to implement them.

            Trump puts no thought into his decisions, but has the mongrel to implement them anyway.

            Sometimes it's not clear which is worse.

            • Anne 4.1.1.5.1.1

              … he just didn't care enough to implement them.

              I suspect it was more case of the then Republican dominated Congress and Senate denying him the opportunity to implement them.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.1.2

        Since when has anyone ever started a war based on lies and bullshit? Oh wait.

  4. Cinny 5

    Morena Whanau 🙂

    Agent orange is streaming his propaganda at 10am, here's the link for the stream.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr6pqCj1fW8

    • ianmac 5.1

      Trump doesn't know very much about anything does he, except fluffy bluster and self praise over things he previously ignored but now claims as his success. Leader of the Free World? Never!

      • Anne 5.1.1

        Oh I dunno. He's finally learned that the actual disease is called Covid 19. That's a step in the right direction – albeit a small one. 🙄

        • ianmac 5.1.1.1

          I don't think Trump would make it as a second hand car salesman because he would not convince that he knew anything about cars other than he is the best salesman ever in the USA. And that USA engineers are the best in the World and have invented a car that runs on sort of gasoline things and have put wheels on them. Very clever. The best engineers in the World under my Leadership. Yes. So True.

          • Anne 5.1.1.1.1

            He's got a couple of plants in the presser this morning who are crawling all over him with patsy questions. He's also getting stuck in to Obama again which is interesting.

            • Stunned Mullet 5.1.1.1.1.1

              He's also getting stuck in to Obama again which is interesting.

              Not really he's never got over Obama taking the piss out of him at a function and combined with Obama publicly endorsing Biden and no doubt campaigning for him from now through the election Trump will seek every opportunity possible to denigrate Obama.

              Trump is an utterly binary personality you're either an enemy or a friend.

      • Cinny 5.1.2

        He spent most of the time defending and talking up their lack of testing.

        Interestingly those in the MAGA chat are dead against testing, they seem to think the government is trying to harvest their DNA.

        God help 'murica!

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.2

      I think you meant "Steaming", not "Streaming"

  5. Forget now 6

    [You just earned yourself a ban bucko. Moderators do not have time to instantly parse comments especially those made at 9:23 pm on a Friday night. My first comment to you was a gentle one to try and improve your game. My second was to stop you flaming someone who has commented positively here for years. Banned for one month for unnecessarily flaming and wasting a moderator’s time – MS]

    Is Greg Presland a Transphobic Bigot?

    I found it hard to believe myself at first, but given that he has been unwilling to reply to my requests for clarification (nor any other moderator), there are few other conclusions I can reach. I get that moderators are as stressed as anyone else at the moment, and their work is voluntary, but there are limits to what I will just let slide. I am using his (publicly known already) name rather than the Micky Savage pseodonym, because maybe someone here from Waitakere knows him and can say whether that's how he acts IRL.

    The circumstances are these; on yesterday's (17/4) OM there was the usual mix of; productive discussions, information, jokes and heated argument. I had made a comment early in the day:

    “…If they were to interview a former labour finance minister, you know it would be Roger Douglas. Former labour PM would probably be Palmer or Moore (actually are they still alive? I have been away from the NZ politics scene for a while).”

    Later, this was followed up by other commenters downthread (not wanting to drag anyone else into this mess, so using letters for their handles):

    [B]

    ““Would have been more convincing, and less obviously partisan, if you had also reported the above comment about Moore, which states almost exactly the same thing.

    “Palmer or Moore (actually are they still alive?”

    “Is Cullen still alive? Last I saw about him was that he had cancer but I’m not sure what happened to him.””

    [C]

    “I've never read a comment by forget now until now. It looks like his was stupid, while [G]'s was deliberate and stupid.”

    To which I replied:

    “More ignorant than stupid surely, [B]? Lazy too, as I chose to ask the community rather than look it up myself (though I honestly couldn't be bothered what with the janky commenting system for mobile contributors).

    BTW; "theirs", not; "his".”

    Which got me this mod note:

    [How about you learn to argue your point rather than insult people. First warning – MS]

    But it was [C] who had called me stupid! I didn't call them anything. The point of the comment was to correct their pronoun usage, I just chose to start off with a self-decrecating intro rather than getting straight up in their grille with something like; “don't misgender me!”, which doesn't help anything. My reply to MS:

    “I am not allowed to call myself ignorant and lazy MS? Wow, things have changed a bit around here!

    That reminds me of a bloke in prison ,who was in for armed robbery because; he'd gone into a dairy and threatened to cut himself up unless they gave him some smokes. Unpleasant sure, but you have to look at the rules from a really strange angle to get to that interpretation.”

    Cut to a heated argument downthread, where I am admittedly pushing my luck and maybe stepping over the line on one comment (though I still think it was appropriate in context, I am taking up enough space as it is). MS deletes that comment; which fair enough – moderators gonna moderate, though he only really needed to take out one word not the whole thing. The problem is what he replaced it with:

    [Just catching up with your commenting style. Chill it. This is not a testosterone competition – MS]

    So knowing full well that I use Nonbinary pronouns, Presland has decided to hiff a; nail-files at dawn, level insult at me. Perhaps out of ignorance, stress and tiredness? However, his failure to engage in any conversation since with me has severly reduced my inclination to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    By comparison, imagine if I had told [C]; BTW; “hers”, not; “his.” and had Presland reply; “…Chill it. We're not all on the rag.”

    Or; BTW; Maori, not; Pakeha. To get “… Chill it. I'm keeping an eye on you nigger.”

    [reformatted to make clear what is moderation and what is reporting – weka.]

    [lprent: weka: you’re probably being unnecessarily generous. But you’re the person on the spot. ]

    • Is Greg Presland a Transphobic Bigot?

      That one's easy: "No."

      Given that writing lengthy posts berating moderators for their moderating is one of the worst things you can do on this site, maybe a bit of self-reflection about why your commenting style drew a moderator's attention might be in order?

      • weka 6.1.1

        First rule of TS commenting is don't make work for moderators. The other first rule of TS commenting is don't attack authors. Everything else gets easier after that.

    • RedLogix 6.2

      After watching Life of Brian again last night I'm impressed at how prescient it was and how easily we all fall into these same absurd inter-personal traps.

      Clearly you have a worthwhile contribution to make here, but the hard lesson is understanding the optimum manner and time in which to say it.

      Here's a hint. Over the 13 years I've been here, I may well have typed and then deleted more than I've published.

    • Barfly 6.3

      Somewhat paranoid, unable to accept criticism and with a commenting death wish…oh and do you often find yourself in the role of "victim" in interpersonal situations? Honest self appraisal can be difficult (personal experience).

  6. Bruce 7

    https://www.facebook.com/1684474681589898/videos/2559668444299933/

    I posted this the other day but you need to go past the pretty pictures to get an understanding of why our borders will have to remain securely closed for quite some time yet, this pandemic I feel has still a long way to go.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • weka 7.1

      Yes, you did post it the other day and I still have no idea what you are trying to communicate. The video is of young people partying. So? There's an expectation on TS that people explain why they are posting offsite content if it isn't immediately apparent.

      • Ad 7.1.1

        Thankyou

      • Bruce 7.1.2

        Sorry but that was taken the 15 th of April last week, young people partying during a pandemic they will carry on partying and spreading, in contrast to here were we have shown that by behaving responsibly we can contain the virus, my point is that this type of activity is going to keep the pandemic spreading.

        • Bruce 7.1.2.1

          Even more apologies i'm totally wrong its probably last year I should have checked .

          If you can delete it I'd be very pleased.

    • ianmac 8.1

      But I just heard D Trump say USA has the best testing system in the World and has had it operating since Day 1 of the attack of the invisible threat. S Dakota or rheuminate must be making it up. Or not.

      • joe90 8.1.1

        Looks like the liar in chief is lying, again.

        The number of coronavirus diagnostic tests being completed every day has plateaued over the last week — at a number that falls far short of what experts say is needed.

        Between the lines: Some states are testing more than others, but we’ve got a long way to go before we’re ready to safely resume normal life. Otherwise, the virus will easily be able to spread undetected.

        • Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said he thinks we need to be doing 500,000 tests a day for the foreseeable future.

        Nationwide testing capacity steadily increased for weeks, but has appeared to hit a wall around 145,000 tests a day. Several factors are holding it back:

        https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-testing-plateauing-7f21c058-3649-46f4-a23a-89898c904645.html?

        • mauī 8.1.1.1

          The US is now at the same level of testing as that basketcase… South Korea.

          • joe90 8.1.1.1.1

            They have infection and death rates close to 30 times that of the ROK and they're falling well short of testing levels deemed necessary by epidemiologists and promised by dear leader.

            But do carry on with your half witted whataboutism.

            //

      • dv 8.1.2

        The USA are about 40th in no of test per million at 10,700

        Nz is above them with 15,500 test per million

        Iceland has 116,000 test per million!!

        What the USA are top in is the no of deaths (37,000) and no of cases (709,000!!

        New cases ae levelling out at abt 30k per day.

        • Bearded Git 8.1.2.1

          The UK is a complete shambles at 6,467 tests per million (Worldometers.com today).

          When I can't sleep I listen to the Raab/Hancock (often called "Handjob" now) Covid 19 broadcasts on BBC radio. The misinformation and blather pedalled is incredible.

          Huge contrast with the Jacinda and co. bulletins.

      • Cinny 8.1.3

        And they are beautiful tests, those tests, so very beautiful. 🙂

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 8.1.4

        Trump is talking bullshit.

        The ratio of positive tests to total tests is also very important. Looking at data from 1st April onward:

        Australia, NZ and South Korea are getting around 1-2% positive results – and falling (with NZ falling the fastest of these actually).

        USA is around 20% – and rising.

        This suggests the USA is likely missing heaps of cases (good luck contact tracing cases you don't even know about) and their testing is falling further behind the development of the epidemic.

    • joe90 8.2

      Let them eat fillet.

      The coronavirus has sickened workers and forced slowdowns and closures of some of the country’s biggest meat processing plants, reducing production by as much as 25 percent, industry officials say, and sparking fears of a further round of hoarding.

      […]

      “The first problem is we don’t have enough people to process the animals, and number two is they can’t do carcass balance because restaurants are down,” he said. “What’s selling? Freaking hamburger.”

      Restaurants typically use the expensive stuff — strips, ribs, tenderloins and sirloin, Bormann said, while retail takes the chucks and rounds and trims. With restaurants mostly shuttered, “all of a sudden 23 percent of the animal isn’t being bought because food service is gone,” he said.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/16/meat-processing-plants-are-closing-due-covid-19-outbreaks-beef-shortfalls-may-follow/

    • Gabby 8.3

      I suspect if those workers paid the Governor a wee visit, the police would take a more active interest than they seemed to in the Michigan teaparty tanty.

  7. RedBaronCV 10

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/121076912/tensions-boil-over-as-wellington-mayor-accuses-councillors-of-putting-personal-ambitions-before-city

    I should know better but I despair of Stuff.

    Wellington has a mayor who sees councillors who disagree with him as having problem behaviours. Well hint to mayor and Stuff – Wellington may have a fairly left wing council but this is what the ratepayers voted in. These councillors can vote you down and that is democracy. It is what the ratepayers voted for so you don't get to call them names or insinuate that they are the problem not you. This may come as a complete shock but a mayor and three or four right wing councillors don't get to run the show over the majority. Shame on stuff for such an unbalanced article. Andy looks like the one with the problem behaviours ( wasn’t there a $30000 spend by him to cure that?)

    "However, my biggest challenge has been a divided council.

    "That is widely seen by our community. I am working with councillors to resolve those issues and address problem behaviours."

    • Peter 10.1

      "However, my biggest challenge has been a divided council"?

      The biggest challenge for the mayor is handling the reality check. A reality check might show him that the mayor is a leader and a leaders get their teams to work effectively.

      If the challenge is beyond him he should resign as he's not equiped to do the job.

  8. observer 11

    Multiply this one case by a thousand, and you have level 2:

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/121102617/man-with-covid19-arrested-after-shopping-at-timaru-supermarket

    Success depends on 99.9% being sensible when we are given back our freedoms. 90% won't be enough.

  9. Macro 12

    This one is for Robert G. and all our fellow Green commentators here

    There is always a green pathway out of this 🙂

    image

    Too small can’t read?
    “Lettuce come together. Romaine calm. This may just be the tip of the Iceberg.”

  10. RedLogix 13

    Reports from all over the world the past few weeks show how quickly the natural world can rebound when we leave it alone. This is a big fat clue.

    There are two broad options to achieve a better balance between nature and human development here. The classic Malthusian de-population strategy that assumes too many humans is a bad thing, and either allows or encourages die-off. At best the underlying assumption is that if we got down to an elite 1b or so humans, we could live in some kind of eco-nirvana iso-static stable state with nature.

    This is of course a crude and morally Faustian bargain that Chris Trotter writes to recently. It's an easy plan to get into, it's much less clear to me how to get out of it.

    The alternative is much less obvious, and for good reason. It takes faith in our ability as a species to adapt to changing circumstances. It means that we have to stop paying so much attention to all the things we do wrong as a species, and look at what we get right. And then do more of this. Crucially one of the things we are doing right, and so well in fact that it's become invisible to us, is that as we progress up layers of technology, we have become increasingly less dependent on the natural world.

    This runs counter-intuitive to how most people are thinking about the evironmental crisis. Most people link technology with more exploitation of the natural world, but since the start of the industrial age our population has increased about 8 fold to a level that would have been utterly unsustainable using 1700's agricultural and industrial tech.

    As technology has enabled us to exploit unsuspected resources more efficiently our per capita impact on the planet has been gradually decreasing. And this is the path out of the Malthusian trap.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • Gosman 13.1

      Yep. Large scale urban farming in purpose built multi-storied buildings (this saving on transport and land costs) and lab grown meat is a technological advance that would benefit us both economically and environmentally.

      • Tricledrown 13.1.1

        Remember when Roger Douglas tried building a multi story pig farm it went belly up.Richard Prebble started a prawn farm it failed similar issues.Don Brash Bankrupted the kiwifruit growers association.

    • bill 13.2

      Jesus RL. Did you even read the post? You missed the three simple questions that were seeking (mbe) some thoughtful, enlightening or uplifting responses? And you also missed the request for comments to be couched at the level of the personal? Does that explain why you submitted that big arm waving and basically irrelevant piece of pseudo shite, aye?

      ffs 👿

    • Drowsy M. Kram 13.3

      It's not so much a "Malthusian trap" as it is a warning, and it's not just Malthusian alarm bells that are ringing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthusianism

      "The classic Malthusian de-population strategy that assumes too many humans is a bad thing, and either allows or encourages die-off." As a devout Christian, the Reverend Thomas Malthus certainly did not advocate for "de-population" or encourage "die-off" (a natural consequence of Malthusian catastrophe), but he did believe in self-control and natural limits. RL, are you suggesting that it’s impossible to have “too many humans“; that “too many humans” is a nonsense, or possibly even a good thing?

      The idea that technology can free us from all natural limits is a multi-layered delusion – technology can distance humanity from some limits, but only for a time. Disbelief in limits is magical thinking.

      https://garryrogers.com/tag/limits-to-growth/
      https://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/moving-away-progrowth/
      The current economic system being utilized and internalized relies on perpetual growth. It has long operated counter to the reality that we are confined to a finite planet with finite resources. Yet, this system continues to be practiced and promoted globally. As the environmental and social repercussions of disbelief in limits become increasingly clear, so does our need for a new economic system —one that is not wedded to growth. Neither growth in the number of consumers nor growth in the amount consumed.” – Erika Gavenus

      • RedLogix 13.3.1

        While the Rev Malthus may not have intended mass die off, his ideas have certainly been stretched in that direction by those who read him. The wiki page is worth a read in this regard.

        But the theory falls over at one fatal point, it consistently fails to distinguish between the quantity of growth and the quality of that growth. If growth was always unidimensional, if it only ever expanded in one direction, measured with units that never vary, then yes logically infinite growth in a limited environment is impossible. Indeed this was known to the Victorians who had already derived the logistics function which essentially states that all real world exponential processes encounter limits.

        But all real growth is multidimensional in nature. Expansion in one dimension, eg the use of the steam engine to pump out mines, led to trains, to powered machines, to more efficient ships and eventually to grid scale power generation. And each of these steps pivots off to developments in other directions. Eventually almost 200 years later we were able to build grid scale solar PV and wind and nuclear energy sources that can replace coal if we choose. Well before we run out of coal, and hopefully before we damage the atmosphere beyond repair. Yes coal had limits, but that did not spell the end of the growth it enabled. Quite the opposite if anything.

        The ideal can be expressed concisely; "it demands that humans use their growing social, economic, and technological powers to make life better for people, stabilize the climate, and protect the natural world.

        Intensifying many human activities — particularly farming, energy extraction, forestry, and settlement — so that they use less land and interfere less with the natural world is the key to decoupling human development from environmental impacts. These socioeconomic and technological processes are central to economic modernization and environmental protection. Together they allow people to mitigate climate change, to spare nature, and to alleviate global poverty."

        The other crucial misunderstanding arises from demographics. For the first time in human history most of the developed nations now have populations where older people (over 40) are outnumbering younger ones. The rapid human development of the past 200 years means that people are already exercising the restraint that Dr Malthus wanted (although not quite as piously as he had in mind no doubt). Population is not going to grow without limit, and as people age they typically consume less and less, as they already have most of what they need and want.

        Combine these three factors, human population that will peak and decline, demand per capita that is declining and technology that enables more efficient production per capita … then inexorably our impact on the planet will also decline. All without necessarily encountering hard limits.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 13.3.1.1

          Hope you're right about humankind not encountering any hard limits, although Covid-19 appears to be imposing 'hard limits' on a fair few.

          I find your on-going disbelief in limits simply remarkable, but that’s just me.

          • RedLogix 13.3.1.1.1

            I find your continued disbelief in limits simply remarkable.

            So do I. Especially where I explicitly mention them several times above. I made a clear reference to the logistics function, which mathematically describes what happens when an exponential process meets a real world limit.

            But a limit in one dimension does not define a limit in another. For instance the limit on fossil fuels does not apply to solar PV which has it's own quite different limits. Or nuclear power.

            The climate and geographic limits imposed on pre-industrial agriculture around soil fertility, pests and yields meant that with a population of less than 1b famine was a regular misfortune throughout history. Now we support a population 8 times greater and mass starvation has been practically eradicated for several generations. What changed?

            I'm emphatically not denying that limits exist, but that human development has consistently found unsuspected ways to side step them.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 13.3.1.1.1.1

              Humanity's technological ‘sidesteps‘ are impressive, but are they sustainable?

              • RedLogix

                There is one thing we will never run out of … perfections are without limit.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  "Most people consider having high standards a good thing. Constantly striving for excellence is a sign that you're committed to your job and support others by setting the bar high for their performance as well. You can easily spot a perfectionist, because he's the one who takes extreme care in finishing work, always wants to do more, and is insistent on driving up quality standards.

                  If that sounds positive, then here's the reality check: perfection is an illusion. It exists, of course, but not typically in a way that you can do something with it when the usual time and resource constraints get in the way." wink
                  https://www.typefinder.com/blog/6-strategies-dealing-perfectionists-your-team

                  I hope Covid-19 is a one-off, rather than just the first of many challenges that will highlight the reality of natural world limits.

                  • RedLogix

                    Project perfection is hitting the sweet spot in the Iron Triangle. And then on the next project you'll be expected to do better …

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      We're running out of time to do better – those deadlines are ‘killers‘.

                      For the past 10 years I've bemoaned the loss of direct flights between Palmerston North and Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane. Now it looks like even an indirect flight will be problematic for the (admittedly rather brief) foreseeable future.

                      Always look on the bright side of life…

            • Incognito 13.3.1.1.1.2

              But a limit in one dimension does not define a limit in another.

              If dimensions are strictly orthogonal, as in mathematics, this would be correct. In reality, scarcity of resources is not confined to one dimension and this can effectively put limits or constraints on/in other dimensions.

              @ 13.3.1 you wrote:

              But all real growth is multidimensional in nature.

              I don’t know what you mean by this. In biology, growth is described in terms of multiplication and increase in (cell) number and biomass, for example. It sounds like your dimension ‘hopping’ is closer to differentiation.

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

              • RedLogix

                You almost have it. Yes cellular growth in a petrie dish is uni-dimensional. All that a single cell creature can do is increase it's numbers; it has only one trick … consume food and split.

                But humans are far more abstracted and complex than this; we develop in multiple dimensions physically, socially, technically, politically. We have multiple layers of social structures from the individual to the nation state. Our energy sources are derived from burning wood to splitting atoms. Instead of reacting to the natural world, we are now it's guardians.

                Yes we encounter limits all the time, but human creativity and adaptability means that we usually (although granted not always) find a way around them by changing the nature of what we are doing.

                Specialisation is indeed a good example of how we transcend the limits of the single individual. If for example I was to give you all the plans to make a computer, you as one undifferentiated individual could work your way laboriously through all the processes, from refining the silicon to writing the application software. It would take several lifetimes of effort and at the end of it you'd have one not very good and horribly out of date computer.

                Instead we differentiate and specialise in just one small part of the computer making process, and each of us gets very, very good at our small contribution. But as an end result together we all make millions of superb computers every day … a truly massive productivity gain that completely sidesteps the limits of each individual involved.

                This kind of limit breaking is so commonplace it's become invisible to us, we almost forget how good we are at it.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Yes, you've almost got it – there are simply too many people for 'our' planet to sustain at our current average level of consumption, let alone 'first-world' levels consumption. Covid-19 will put a temporary dent in some consumption, and we will find new ways to consume ‘our‘ home.

                  I wonder what will remain of the Amazon rainforest by the end of this century; maybe those that are interested will be able to view historic footage of the forest on their ever-more-wonderful computers (aren't they just amazing!), available from Amazon, of course wink

                  For a "complex and multi-faceted view" of an imagined future world, John Brunner's award-winning 'Stand on Zanzibar' (1968) is impressive, IMHO.

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

                  • RedLogix

                    there are simply too many people for 'our' planet to sustain at our current average level of consumption, let alone 'first-world' levels consumption.

                    And right there is the anti-human Malthusian justification for mass die-off on full display. The worst aspect is not just that it provides cover for genocide, it is that in the long term it condemns a decaying remnant of humanity to live within a constrained 'box' of resources, destined to compete forever over what remains. It conceptually places a hard upper limit on what can ever be consumed, and implies we must asymmtopically approach zero as the centuries proceed, reverting grimly back down from industrialisation, through stages of increasing disorder. You can be assured the weak and disadvantaged will be the first to go.

                    It's a dystopian vision that logically drives us slowly to extinction. And at some level I believe it's proponents know this and silently embrace it. (I could have a little respect for Robert Atack's VHEM agenda, at least he was honest and upfront about what he really wanted.)

                    As for 'Standing on Zanzibar' … by this decade some 4b of the world population now live in cities, which occupy roughly 3% of the total land area. These people are having a far smaller per capita impact on the natural world than if they lived Pol Pot approved agrarian lives as 'noble peasants' on the land.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      RL, I can't take you seriously when you begin a reply by leveling accusations of "anti-human" justifications for a "mass die-off" or "genocide" of people. I'm not anti-human, and I'm not advocating for a mass die-off or genocide of humans. I am simply saying that, IMHO, the earth is full of humans, overly-full actually, and that this carries associated 'costs that are triggering increasingly frequent global crises'. I'm not the only one that has been pointing this out for some time – but maybe they're all genocidal anti-humans.

                      https://www.ted.com/talks/paul_gilding_the_earth_is_full

                      I'll continue to point out the growing stresses that humans are imposing on our ‘home‘, and you can continue to accuse such people of "anti-human" motives, and advocating "genocide", but those accusations are a one-trick pony, whereas examples of the deleterious effects of human activities on the environment that we all depend on just keep ramping up.

                      There have been several mass die-offs/extinction periods in the history of 'our' planet, and the one we're in at the moment is of our own making. Yes, humanity has much to be proud of, but the load our collective current directions/urges are placing on the planet do not fill me with pride.

                      To infinity and beyond…

  11. Incognito 14

    @ Carolyn_Nth:

    Virologist Sacha Stelzer-Braid from the University of New South Wales Sydney, agrees that the risk of picking up coronavirus from unpacking your groceries is very low.

    Many good explanations and practical tips from experts 🙂

    Which surfaces in your home are most likely to harbour coronavirus?

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2020-04-18/which-surfaces-harbour-coronavirus/12157080

    • Carolyn_Nth 14.1

      Thanks. yes, I have been coming to the conclusion that there is not much, if any, transmission via surfaces in the home from groeries, etc.

      With groceries, I mainly just leave them sitting untouched for as long as possible – cans and packets I leave for a week or 2, and maybe wipe them down with soapy hot water. Means ordering some things well in advance of when I need them.

      I put stuff in the fridge in plastic bags, different from the ones they arrived in.

      I have been wondering why some people have mild C-19 symptoms, while others of all ages get a heavy dose that really batters their bodies.

      Maybe the strength of the virus they come in contact with, or something to do with their biology or immune systems?

      I still frequently wash my hands for 20 seconds+ – mainly to train myself with the new protocol.

      • Incognito 14.1.1

        Hard to say why some are more affected than others are. Everybody is different. I don’t believe there’s much difference (in virulence) between various sub-strains at present. People can do things do keep their immune system and general health in good conditions without having to resort to ‘heroic efforts’. Chronic stress is generally immune depressant.

      • Andre 14.1.2

        Here's a piece that looks at some reasons why it might hit some people really hard.

        https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-coronavirus-patients-sicker-others_l_5e8f8333c5b6d641a6bbf629

        • Carolyn_Nth 14.1.2.1

          Thanks. It still doesn't explain why some seemingly healthy younger people take a brutal battering from C-19.

          • Andre 14.1.2.1.1

            When your dealing with systems as complex and varied as hoomans and the things that ail them, there's a lot of opportunity for just random happenstance to make big differences.

            Random stuff like how large the initial infection of the virus happened to be. Maybe where and how widely the initial infection was dispersed is a big factor. It's quite conceivable that the outcome ends up quite different between getting one infected droplet deposited inside your nose, compared to several droplets deposited on your throat and in several different locations deep in your lungs.

            Or maybe just general immune system robustness plays a significant role. Or genetics. Or maybe prior exposure to some other disease has an influence.

            It's a new disease so there's hasn't been time to tease out the nuances. Especially since the people that might otherwise be inclined to work to understand the nuances are flat out trying to find treatments and preventatives.

      • bill 14.1.3

        I have been wondering why some people have mild C-19 symptoms, while others of all ages get a heavy dose that really batters their bodies.

        Maybe the strength of the virus they come in contact with, or something to do with their biology or immune systems?

        Stats from different countries are apparently showing that people with darker skins get hammered more then people with lighter skins. (The Guardian and The Independent have had 'front page' articles on it)

        John Campbell does a nice wee series on youtube that's worth dropping in on. He's also pointed to the disparity that tracks with skin colour. His suggestion/theory is that it comes down to Vit D levels. There may be something to it insofar as Vit D is known to protect people from respiratory infection and while many people have low Vit D levels (remember codliver oil?) darker skin produces Vit D much slower than lighter skin.

        Anyway. Here's a link to a pretty good vid he did breaking down a meta study on Vit D. He's a bit Wallace and Gromit on it, but he's good at breaking down data and imparting info – worth checking out 🙂

        • Carolyn_Nth 14.1.3.1

          Yes, I've seen some of the material on Vitamin D, dark skinned people, Covid-19 and strong immune systems.

          However, I've also seen African Americans say it is institutional racism that is resulting in a higher rate on Covid-19 and deaths among black people.

          Critics note that those risks are significantly exacerbated by racial inequities in healthcare, including facility closures and caps on public health insurance plans like Medicaid and Medicare. African Americans are twice as likely to lack health insurance compared with their white counterparts, and more likely to live in medically underserved areas, where primary care is sparse or expensive.

          Plus other inequities mentioned in the Guardian article.

          Actually, if I recall correctly, the descriptions I've seen by Covid survivors of their ordeals, are largely those of white males – and statistically males have a higher death rate internationally, which has been put down to the increased immuno-protection of having 2 x chromosomes, which carry immune response genes.

          So there are a few social, economic and biological factors in play.

  12. Corey Humm 15

    Just curious. Do the majority of the NZ left support Mette Fredrickson and Labours Danish sister party? Am in the minority of the kiwi left who would vote against any coalition she led?

    Because she is probably the worst western leader when it comes to Islamaphobia and her treatment of Muslim refugees has been compared to the treatment of Jews in occupied Europe in WW2, but I've only ever seen NZ Lefty's celebrating her.

    • Ad 15.1

      After 2020, only the most desperate of states will be pro-immigration now.

      Also, in 2019 it was Denmark and Spain that elected the last remaining left parties in the whole of continental Europe.

      What the citizens of Denmark, New Zealand, Iceland, and Norway are reaping are the fruits of what I would describe as female caution and clarity in decision-making. Those countries happen to all be run by women.

      So respect to Mette Frederickson of Denmark, Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, Katrín Jakobsdóttir of Iceland and Angela Merkel of Germany.

      • ianmac 15.1.1

        Wonder how those 100s of thousand people who immigrated into Europe are managing with C19? They would be in desperate strife being without good housing wouldn't they

    • Gabby 15.2

      I must have missed the revelations of Danish concentration camps. Are they in Greenland?

  13. Despite a barrage of media pressure and business backed recommendation to end the lock down next week, I find it quite surprising to find the result to an online tv3 poll to be a resounding no. 64% – 36%

    Surely not, the people of NZ are beginning to think for themselves.

    TV3 poll

    • joe90 17.1

      Low levels of antibodies declining quickly = reinfection?

      The World Health Organization issued a warning Friday about coronavirus testing, saying there’s no evidence serological tests can show whether a person has immunity or is no longer at risk of becoming reinfected.

      “These antibody tests will be able to measure that level of serology presence, that level of antibodies, but that does not mean that somebody with antibodies” is immune, said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit.

      So-called serological, or antibody, tests can indicate whether a person has had Covid-19 in the past and was either asymptomatic or recovered.

      https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/17/who-issues-warning-on-coronavirus-testing-theres-no-evidence-antibody-tests-show-immunity.html

      • RedLogix 17.1.1

        In my darker moments I run the simple numbers; assuming 70% of the worlds 7.5b people become infected, 20% become seriously ill, and the latest 6.8% CFR … this comes to over a billion seriously ill people and 357m deaths globally.

        Probably in a series of waves over the next few years if it becomes endemic. We may have only seen the start of this.

    • joe90 17.2

      Looks like it's stage of infection and where the test sample was taken from.

      https://twitter.com/AlistairHaimes/status/1251106298504110080

  14. RedLogix 18

    Interesting news in Australia; Virgin Australia needs a bailout and it looks like three CCP linked Chinese Airlines are planning to swoop in and snap up the distressed asset. The plan seems to be to grab the fleet cheap and run.

    The Queensland govt has put up a $200m package (the airline is headquartered in Brisbane) in the hope of prompting the Federal govt to take action.

    Which is going to be an interesting test of Frydenburg's commitment a few weeks back to prevent this kind of CCP carpetbagging.

  15. Eco Maori 20

    Kia Ora The Am Show.

    Everyone needs to cooperate to get our country back during and after the virus.

    In one breath you want the lock down lifted and the next you knock schools opening.

    Maybe someone could have redirected the resources wasted on trying to intimadate me to tracing the virus.

    True the captilsit state's were not prepared for the virus.

    Ka kite Ano

  16. Eco Maori 21

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    I think that Aotearoa will be in better shape than most other countries after the virus isolation.

    Ka kite Ano.

    • Eco Maori 21.1

      Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

      Pukana.

      There you go if you're brown you go down with the police that man was just trying to protect his daughter who has low immunity.????.

      Good to see see mobile virus testing in Te Tairawhiti Ngāti Porou.

      Ka kite Ano..

  17. Eco Maori 22

    Kia Ora The Am Show.

    It is good that we don't have a huge population for us and our environment.

    A few more days at level 4 will help keep the virus at bay.

    It is our teachers mahi to make teaching tamariki work in level 3 lock down for 2 weeks is a fraction of time.

    It is a shift some people will be able to go back to mahi.

    Ka kite Ano

  18. Eco Maori 23

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    It will be good for first home buyers its a buyers market now.

    Ka kite Ano

  19. Eco Maori 24

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    QQ

    Our government is making good choices on the virus isolation we just have to work with them.

    We it is Awsome that Te reo Maori and Kapa Haka is becoming world famous.

    The $585 wage subsidies has helped the people keep their house running.

    Ka kite Ano

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