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Open mike 19/04/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 19th, 2020 - 262 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

262 comments on “Open mike 19/04/2020 ”

  1. Rosemary McDonald 1

    Andrea Vance's opinion piece today is well worth a read.

    Has Uncle Ashley been less than honest and transparent about the availability of PPE for hands- on healthcare workers?

    Those 'experts' who have steadfastly held the line that only those caring for confirmed or suspected cases of Covid 19 need to wear masks or other PPE….were they aware that supplies of said gear was much less secure than Uncle Ashley and Co. have led us to believe?

    Of course the usual suspects here on TS will accuse Vance of being a Right Wing Troll for having the temerity to criticize the government 'in these difficult times when we should all be working together etc etc'.

    All governments lie.

    SSDD

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/121084264/coronavirus-why-arent-we-giving-health-workers-more-covid19-protection

    [link added – weka]

    • xanthe 1.1

      one day we will have a news service, but this is not that day Given the complexity of the task and the number of unknowns it is just too easy to score political points if thats what you (and andrea) are here to do. sad really

      • Rosemary McDonald 1.1.1

        Seriously…you think this is about politics?

        Sorry to burst your bubble sunshine, but it is not that simple.

        • Sanctuary 1.1.1.1

          You know Rosemary, I can understand how your lived experiences have given you a certain template through which you use to interpret your view of the world. And I can understand how difficult it is to escape from that world view once it has become your default setting.

          But I doubt a view coloured by a large helping of bitterness, cynicism and suspicion at the MOH is particularly relevant or helpful when interpreting a pandemic response.

          This is not a time for the reckons of knockers and rumour mongers and naysayers with axes to grind.

          • Anne 1.1.1.1.1

            Take note of what Sanctuary has said Rosemary. It's meant in a positive way.

            I, too, suffer regularly from bitterness, cynicism and frustration over a set of circumstance I found myself in years ago. It was, in part, caused by unwarranted and state sanctioned interference in my life and it will likely always affect me one way or another.

            But it serves no useful purpose to assume that everything and everyone associated with the agency responsible is acting dishonestly and against the very people they are there to serve. You are fooling only yourself and nobody else.

            • Rosemary McDonald 1.1.1.1.1.1

              So. What you and Sanctuary are saying is that there is not, and never had been, a problem with the supply of PPE for healthcare workers in NZ (and worldwide) and anyone who says that there is simply bears a grudge against the Ministry of Health?

              It must be nice in your world where everything is that simple.

              Did either of you read Vance's article, and did you do what any reasonably intelligent person could be expected to do and follow up with some wider research and commentary about this issues over the past six weeks?

              How about going back and watching and listening to the daily televised updates in which there have been repeated soothing announcements from Bloomfield that supplies of PPE are secure…when in reality they are anything but.

              Time has been wasted and healthcare workers and the people they care for have been put at risk.

              And while the world appears to be applauding how well our government had handled this crisis, there needs to be some serious questions asked about how they have managed this particular issue.

              And yes, it is because of my personal experience over two decades in dealing with the Ministry of Health over disability issues that I speak out on this.

              Unlike others I have nothing to lose….or did you miss the comment from the manager of the homecare provider who did not wish to be named in case her criticism jeopardized their supply of gear?

              The Ministry if Health and its agents are notorious for punishing those who speak out…remember that fact.

              • weka

                I suspect that some of the response to you here is an issue of tone. But I'm getting close to the point of a post titled "Where are the fucking masks, Ashley?", so I have some sympathy for the need to be very blunt at times, or salty.

                Needless to say, your original comment above is pretty normal by TS standards, and I wish people would engage with the actual issues.

                • Sacha

                  Please do write a frank post on the topic. I know you have been keeping up with it.

            • Brigid 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Rosemary is quite specific with her complaint.

              My comprehension of her comment is that the MOH has been somewhat dishonest with their claim that health care workers are well provided with PPE. She backs this up with a link to a stuff article.

              Yours and Santuary's sanctimonious reckons do not address the issue but serve to attempt to insult the messenger.

              • Anne

                That's your interpretation and a bullshit one it is too. An insult to me, Sanctuary and all the other respondents who have agreed.

                So we're all sanctimonious and… attempting to insult the messenger?

                Look in the mirror my dear.

                • Brigid

                  That you feel insulted Anne, is irrelevant.

                  The issue is that health care workers are not being provided with appropriate safety gear. Empathy with them, who do a job that's poorly paid, where employments rights are meager, is what is called for.

                  Resorting to 'what about you' is childish.

          • weka 1.1.1.1.2

            But I doubt a view coloured by a large helping of bitterness, cynicism and suspicion at the MOH is particularly relevant or helpful when interpreting a pandemic response.

            Why not? The MoH that is running the health side of the pandemic response is the same MoH that was badly handling disability issues before this year. I get that people want to have confidence in the MoH at this time, but Rosemary is just pointing to the holes in the system. As Sasha says below, it's possible that the MoH can be competent at their pandemic response and still get things wrong in some areas.

            It's pretty clear to people in the disability sector where the problems are at the moment with society's response to disability, both generally and in the pandemic.

            And, sorry, but I can't help but point out that when we've had discussions about the health system in the past, some lefties on TS have been actively resistant to listening to the important stuff about disability and how disabled people fare in that system. Now is not the time to perpetuate that.

            • AB 1.1.1.1.2.1

              When you have The National Party and a predominantly right-wing commercial media constantly looking for gotchas and crying wolf over trivia – then it starts to make legitimate criticism of the pandemic response more difficult. People are either reluctant to voice criticism, or get tarred with the same brush as the wolf criers.

              Legitimate criticism would stem from an acceptance that all systems are flawed, even when they mostly do well and are staffed by individually competent people with good intentions. By making this harder, dishonest, politically motivated operators are a danger to everyone.

          • ianmac 1.1.1.1.3

            Well said Sanctuary and Anne. Me too.

        • Incognito 1.1.1.2

          Of course, it is political.

          You may have missed the press release by Michael Woodhouse of the National Party yesterday.

          • Rosemary McDonald 1.1.1.2.1

            No. Try to avoid politicians of all hues.

            Largely shameless self promoters.

            What I generally do is listen to what I am personally being told by people on the frontline then go looking to see if the issues are being addressed by Those Ìn Charge and if not, are what passes for journalists making a noise about it.

            Over a month ago now a friend told me how her friends who were working at the local hospital were not only not supplied with facemasks when providing hands on care, they were being reprimanded by their managers for wearing masks they had bought themselves.

            Because of "creating anxiety."

            Then we had the repeated messaging that healthcare workers only needed the kit if the patient or care recipient was Covid 18 positive or suspected. That was before the threshold for testing was lowered the other day and arguably there are are many undiagnosed and asymptomatic people out there so the Precautionary principle should have applied from the outset.

            In retrospect the messaging should have followed Ardern's advice from weeks ago that said we should act as if we're all infectious.

            However.

            To clarify Incognito….are you saying that there are no valid concerns out here in health and disability land regarding the supply and use of PPE and anyone who dares comply thete ate issues is lying out of political motivation?

            • Incognito 1.1.1.2.1.1

              are you saying that there are no valid concerns out here in health and disability land regarding the supply and use of PPE

              Where did I say or imply this? Answer: nowhere.

              and anyone who dares comply thete ate issues is lying out of political motivation?

              You need (new) glasses and some fresh air because your thinking has been clouded and your distrust is on full display. For the record, I don’t work for/at MoH and I don’t know Uncle Ashley.

              I hope this clarified it for you.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                "…need new glasses…"

                Yep. All those weeks ago when I had one shot at grabbing stuff from the Bus before going into lockdown at one of the Offsprings' place I did pick up a spare pair of Warewhare reading glasses, but put them aside in favour of extra supplies and consumables to meet Peter's care needs for however long. Only so much a person can carry by themselves.

                And you are so right about he fresh air. We live in a Bus, as I am sure I have said before, and even when hurtling down the highway at 90ks we have both front windows wide open. The first thing I do when parked up for the night is open all the rest of the windows. Unless there is driving rain they stay open all night. The house we are staying in has minimal natural ventilation and we fear the HRV type system is doing us actual harm.

                Going for walks…tricky for a wheelchair user who effectively walks on their hands. Handwashing and all that. Our usual utilisation of Pak n Save as a wheelchair friendly exercise zone is out of the question too.

                But you are not concerned with how Lockdown has affected us

                Back to politics, or otherwise.

                My bad. I assumed when you used the term 'political' you were meaning party political…the clue being your reference to a Nationsl MPs musings.

                And I responded by saying my comments on this particular issue had nothing to do with politics…of the Party kind.

                And asking if you really do think, upon examining all the commentary from a range of sources (as I have tried to do) that criticism of the way this particular issue has be handled is driven solely by party politics…since you yourself inserted National MP into tje discussion.

                And where on earth did I imply that you worked for Bloomfield or the Misery of Health?

                My very first comment early this morning predicted just this type of response. You have no idea of how desperately disappointed I am to be proved right.

                Until we can address the embedded failings and inequities in New Zealand's health and disability system in a totally non partisan way we are doomed to the status quo.

                Goddess help us.

                • Cinny

                  The first and last days are always the hardest.

                  Three weeks ago I heard complaints from local caregivers about a lack of PPE. But I haven't heard anything since then.

                  The PM and Bloomfield have asked if people aren't getting the PPE they are entitled to, to get in touch.

                  I suggest if the people you know still don't have access to PPE and they need PPE, then to go straight to the Ministry instead of their local DHB.

                  • Sacha

                    Home-based support workers or their clients are in the least-powerful position to advocate to the MoH. However it is part of the job of all the managers above that. Let's make them do what they are paid for.

                    Or get out of the way – which is why Bloomfield threatened two weeks ago to take the PPE supply chain away from DHBs (but then backed off after they lobbied behind the scenes). He raised the possibility again this week.

                    This crisis is highlighting some fundamental problems with the health system, as you'd expect. The long-awaited full national review chaired by Heather Simpson was about to release its findings in March.

                • Incognito

                  But you are not concerned with how Lockdown has affected us

                  You don’t know me from a bar of soap so why don’t you keep the personal out of it? I do read your many comments here, FWIW, but I can’t remember having ever made it personal like you do …

                  Yes, I most definitely meant party politics. To think that Vance is only writing out of some quaint ‘academic’ interest in political power and somehow isolating this from parties is beyond my imagination. This is not some kind of technocratic malfunctioning by malfeasant mandarins who cannot be trusted. It is political through and through, as well.

                  If you don’t want to see the political aspect of Vance’s opinion piece, that’s your prerogative. If you want to lash out at everyone who does see a political angle in it – in addition to the PPE issue – that’s your choice too. Just don’t ask David Clark for his opinion on the issue of PPE.

                  Do you know what “for the record” means?

                  My very first comment early this morning predicted just this type of response. You have no idea of how desperately disappointed I am to be proved right.

                  I was not responding to Vance’s piece, I was responding to your patronising comment @ 1.1.1:

                  Seriously…you think this is about politics?

                  Sorry to burst your bubble sunshine, but it is not that simple.

                  Until we can address the embedded failings and inequities in New Zealand's health and disability system in a totally non partisan way we are doomed to the status quo.

                  I see being partisan as being politically biased. As long as political bias and personal prejudice dominate discourse, we’re doomed to stay in the hole we’re in and sink deeper and deeper.

        • xanthe 1.1.1.3

          yay we managed after running a shitstorm on PPE for weeks to get to a point where it can be made to appear we might have a gotcha. arnt we really really clever. congratulations rosemary

          • weka 1.1.1.3.1

            that's the second comment you've made today that I don't understand. Please make an effort to explain what you are meaning.

            • Rosemary McDonald 1.1.1.3.1.1

              Just as well I checked…I was just about to ask xanthe the same question.

              It's the lack of fresh air, see.

              Brain gone to mush.

              Time for the day's first coffee.

            • Sacha 1.1.1.3.1.2

              rambling snark is rambling.

            • xanthe 1.1.1.3.1.3

              The purpose of my comment was to illuminate the difference between "holding government to account" and playing "gotcha"

              the first is one of the important roles of news media,

              the second is what media does when it has lost its way.

    • bwaghorn 1.2

      I would say the government is keeping ppe for those that really need it ,not for the fearful who believe they need it.

      • gsays 1.2.1

        That is a rather dismissive reckon.

        I work in a 'senior lifestyle village'. Most of the residents are largely independent (drive, do their own shopping etc),

        About 8-10 residents have carers, cleaners etc visit them. The various people who do these jobs visit lots of other elderly and vulnerable people around the district.

        Before the lockdown, I was talking to a couple of them. They both indicated a lack of leadership and direction from the companies they work for. They also expressed a genuine concern for the well-being of their clients – our parents and grandparents.

        • RedBaronCV 1.2.1.1

          Are these caregivers working under privatised contract with a bunch of ticket clippers sitting above them and a hefty workload? In which case we should be able to legitimately ask these contract holders how they are providing for staff safety.

          Pre covid a vast part elder health care sector always seemed to me to be very interested in profit rather than service.

      • Rosemary McDonald 1.2.2

        "…not for the fearful few…"

        You know, bwaghorn, even if half of all the media reports on this issue are exaggerated for political reasons there is still a massive problem with access to basic gear for hands -on healthworkers.

        According to the actual healthworkers that is.

        And what would they know?

        Hoping that the day you too need care from one of these "fearful few" there are enough of them left to deal to your ignorant shit.

        I will say this again…

        …holding the current government and its agents to account is our duty.

        It does not make us tools of the opposition.

        Those who keep beating the tribal drum need to evolve.

        • weka 1.2.2.1

          …holding the current government and its agents to account is our duty.

          It does not make us tools of the opposition.

          This.

          • xanthe 1.2.2.1.1

            …holding the current government and its agents to account is our duty.

            It does not make us tools of the opposition.

            This.

            Well wouldnt it be great if they suddenly had an epiphany and started doing that !
            engineering a gotcha does not count!

        • Incognito 1.2.2.2

          …holding the current government and its agents to account is our duty.

          It does not make us tools of the opposition.

          Sounds to me as a definition, albeit crude, of political.

          • Sacha 1.2.2.2.1

            Political in the sense of power, yes. In more narrow terms of political parties, nope.

            • Incognito 1.2.2.2.1.1

              Agreed, which makes nonsense of those boringly stupid accusations of tribalism, etc., when they are misguided and don’t apply. I reckon much of it is projection; to a tribalist, everything is tribal.

        • Brigid 1.2.2.3

          "holding the current government and its agents to account is our duty."

          Indeed. If we don't hold the government that we support to account, we might as well vote for the opposition.

      • weka 1.2.3

        "I would say the government is keeping ppe for those that really need it ,not for the fearful who believe they need it."

        I think there are good reasons and bad reasons why we are not talking about this yet, but it seems clear to me that one area where the pandemic response has failed is in protecting elderly people in rest homes. This isn't about unfounded belief. It's about disabled people knowing more than most other people what the realities are for disabled people, including around their own safety and wellbeing.

        I agree that the govt is keeping a reserve, not for those that really need it, but in case we end up with large scale outbreaks here. But, that's not the only thing that is going on, and there are clearly vulnerable people not currently being adequately protected. Disabled people have a right to talk about that, doubly so given that society is so bad at treating them as equals.

        • Carolyn_Nth 1.2.3.1

          A rest home advocate said on RNZ Checkpoint recently, that they really had to push DHBs/MOH to get PPEs for staff.

          But even being supplied with PPEs, doesn't mean they have adequate protection.

          On April 14, Alison Mau reported on the inadequate PPEs given to some Burwood Hospital staff caring for Covid patients from a rest home. Ill fitting goggles, etc.

          The next day Mau reported that staff now have been supplied with better PPEs.

          But towards the bottom of the article, it says that the better protection possible from good PPEs, mean that there can also be incorrect use of them – e.g. not following correct procedures in taking them on and off.

          Also, on social media I have seen people overseas claiming PPE have been designed for male bodies, so don't always fit female bodies so well – don't know about the evidence for this.

          But it's not just about getting appropriate PPEs, it's ensuring they fit well, and are used appropriately – so it's about distribution, plus training and proper fitting and use of them.

          • Rosemary McDonald 1.2.3.1.1

            @Carolyn_nth.

            I was hoping someone would post links to the pieces by Mau on this issue. She makes a few salient points about some of the gender issues…but others will take that aspect up at some stage. I hope.

            I was going to ask some of the more senior commentators here about the idea of mobilizing a national sewing circle to make reusable kit…such as caps, gowns and perhaps masks. If the govt could source and supply suitably sterilisable fabric and a some simple patterns…there's a lot of us out here who still know how to operate a sewing machine and I reckon we could alleviate some of the supply issues.

            An old fashioned concept, I know…but if someone is already doing this I would be keen to pitch in.

            • Cinny 1.2.3.1.1.1

              If you want to make masks to donate to health care workers then absolutely do it. I've made masks for our lil family, Miss 12 says they are 'gangsta as' Lmao!

              Don't wait for someone else to start up a sewing circle, instead you could supply a link for the pattern with any masks you give away or sell. Along with how to use a mask (clean hands and all that).

              Some people are making money on homemade masks and they are charging like a wounded bull.

              Have tried a number of patterns and variations, there are heaps of them.

              I liked this shape the best, https://indivisibleventura.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/face-mask-sewing-pattern-craft-passion.pdf

              However I didn't top stitch it and would advise against doing so, topstitching = more needle holes for the virus to get in 🙂

              Most have elastic loops to go over the ears, I use long bits of stretchy fabric with a bead on the end to make the ear loops adjustable. Ours have a pocket for a filter (handy towel) that you throw away before washing the mask. As well I sew a stretched out paper clip around the nose to ensure a good fit.

              There's a MASSIVE wealth of home sewn masks/facecoverings online.

              Fabric choice is important, and one can use anything from old sheets to teatowels, natural breathable fibre is the one, cotton, cotton/hemp, linen, bamboo etc. If you aren't sure just do a burn test, depending on the ash, flame and smoke you can generally work out the fibre content.

              Hope that helps 🙂

              Edit.. forgot to add, the flash disposable masks actually have a hessian filter, yes just like a vacum cleaner. Found that interesting as. Made me wonder if one could buy it somewhere by the metre 🙂

              • Rosemary McDonald

                Hi Cinny. We have extended family in Wuhan…who gave us the heads up at the end of January about the impending shit storm and the need to stock up on masks. Of course here in NZ wearing facemasks other than for aerolised DIY stuff is not considered de rigeur and the disposable 'surgeons ' masks quickly became vastly overpriced.

                One of the Offspring and I set to and researched 'make your own' masks and decided a nifty 8 ply folded job with elastic ear removers was the best of a fairly dodgy lot. We made about sixty for family and friends as well as buying a couple of hundred ridiculously priced 'proper ' masks…some of which have been passed on to friends whose carers are poorly equipped.

                They reckon the Hepa filters from vacuum cleaner bags ate good….but I don't actually own a vacuum cleaner.

                I dallied with the idea of a variation of the T-shirt mask with a removable filter made from cotton quilting batting.

                Research indicates this might not be as effective as the 8 ply mask.

                However…we can provide for the whanau, but I was more thinking about the frontline healthcare workers.

                Any pattern or fabric would have to meet with their approval.

                If the sector can agree on patterns and fabric….I am certain they'll get the sewers.

                • Cinny

                  We made about sixty for family and friends

                  Rosemary, you are awesome, that's super thoughtful.

                  Of course here in NZ wearing facemasks other than for aerolised DIY stuff is not considered de rigeur

                  Too true, too true!!! But the funny thing is, the youth and those in their 20's love wearing trendy masks, some of it is to do with KPop, and last year masks were huge on the runways at fashion shows offshore.

                  Thanks for sharing your thoughts <3

              • Rosemary McDonald

                And look here

                manufacturingnz.org.nz

                Well over 200 companies offering to supply or manufacture PPE.

    • Treetop 1.3

      Regarding PPE it is better to over do it than under do it, when it comes to having a supply and using it.

      Who is ultimately responsible for ensuring that there is an adequate supply for the people needing it and using it?

      4 days ago on Reuters it was reported that in Osaka there was an urgent request for people to donate plastic raincoats for medical workers due to having a shortage of PPE.

      PPE is vital to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 and being complacent when it comes to not having enough supply is foolish.

      Studies need to be done to determine what outer protection is required (PPE) to prevent the transmission of Covid-19.

      The importance of PPE cannot be under estimated. The population need to be able to access masks and gloves for domestic/public use and other PPE items when required.

      • Rosemary McDonald 1.3.1

        Treetop.

        I see you too have been reading widely and seen that this is a worldwide problem.

        If I had access to my laptop I would irritate the moderators and post links to some of the hundreds of articles that have been published worldwide about the importance of healthcare workers having access to PPE.

        So far I have only seen reports from here in Godzone that health professionals have been told by their superiors NOT to wear even a mask because it might create anxiety.

        • Treetop 1.3.1.1

          I cannot do a reply on my iPad. I have problems with doing a link on my cell phone.

          As for creating anxiety wearing a face mask I would like to see the research on that. Some idiot who does not get it that they cannot prevent anxiety. I reckon that if a person feels anxious over a mask being worn that they are going to be anxious over a lot of other stuff.

          It is important to manage anxiety. I was agrophobic for several years in my early 20s and a Dr Weekes book "Peace from Nervous Suffering" rescued me. I still take the book out from time to time when needed.

          • Bazza64 1.3.1.1.1

            I also can't reply on my i-pad, I have to go to the desktop computer to do this. A very first world problem.

        • Janet 1.3.1.2

          Yes Rosemary your are right. PPE has been a problem worldwide right from the start, so was predictable that NZ will share the same problem.

          This was a Premium article in The Herald yesterday that explains how certain business people around NZ have been pulled together by Rob Fyfe to work with the NZ government with on this one and other issues arising.

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12325720

          I believe Ashley is walking a tight line here and it is a time to pull together as the business's mentioned in the article above have . Wonderful to read about.

    • I Feel Love 1.4

      Well Vance is a right wing troll which makes anything she says agenda based, even if she has something useful to say.

      The UK has a lot of scary issues regarding PPE, Drs, nurses, caregivers are all dropping like flies, I wander if our health service are just trying to hold off as long as possible just in case we go the way of UK?

      I don't get the "Uncle" thing, is that disparaging or endearing? Right now he has the hardest job in the country, not many of us could do it, or do it just as well, I doubt many could do better.

    • Stunned Mullet 1.5

      I'm prepared to give AB the benefit of the doubt on this one Rosemary and suggest he's been less than well informed by his minions of the actual situation.

      Clearly there's been a poor roll out of PPE to staff at rest homes in particular it's to be hoped that someone remediating the situation and increasing stocks (if necessary) should we suffer prolonged lockdowns and circulating virus.

      • weka 1.5.1

        "I'm prepared to give AB the benefit of the doubt on this one Rosemary and suggest he's been less than well informed by his minions of the actual situation."

        I am too. But, he's not listening, and we're nearly four weeks into lockdown. I have little doubt that the pre-existing state of the MoH is a big part of why this hasn't been addressed and why the MoH is still largely in denial of the problem.

        • Stunned Mullet 1.5.1.1

          Agreed – I'm also disappointed there hasn't been some work done on getting elective surgery and outpatients up and running post level 4 – the backlog is going to be significant and having empty theatres up and down the country when we could be clearing low risk patients from waiting lists seems to me to be a bit daft.

          • Janet 1.5.1.1.1

            Yes it would have been better if they had dedicated a few hospitals to be Covid 19 hospitals then the rest of the hospitals may have been able to operate more normally.

          • Incognito 1.5.1.1.2

            I'm also disappointed there hasn't been some work done on getting elective surgery and outpatients up and running post level 4 [my italics]

            How do you know this? Please provide a link unless you’re making it up and spreading disinformation here.

            • Stunned Mullet 1.5.1.1.2.1

              Elective surgery and outpatient appointments have been stopped during Level 4 and there's currently no plans to restart under Level 3 – hell the letters were sent out to patients weeks ago and there's been no letters sent to say when services/appointments are recommencing.

              • Incognito

                Your comment clearly implied that nothing was done in this area, which is blatantly untrue and would be utterly unbelievable. I asked for a link.

                Anyway, a quick search:

                He [Dr Bloomfield] said the Health Ministry was working with DHBs for plans about how to provide as much care as possible and how to catch up on deferred outpatient and elective surgery – plus other – procedures.

                However, "some may not happen as they might have in traditional circumstances", and more consultations could be done remotely, for example.

                "They will be changing the way these appointments will happen." [my italics]

                https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/414129/health-ministry-looking-at-rules-around-people-visiting-dying-family-members-director-general

                Sounds to me that some work is being done, don’t you agree? In other words, you were spreading misinformation.

                • Sacha

                  Some work, sure, but I am not surprised there is a vacuum.

                  When govt this last week announced criteria for shifting to L3, the footnote was that specifics for Health were to be released 48 hours later. Maybe someone else has found those, but I haven't yet.

                  • Incognito

                    Indeed, another one of those information vacuums that will fill up with useless baseless speculation.

                    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

                • Stunned Mullet

                  Perhaps less time critiquing anyone who's less than fawning of the government responsiveness and planning … I'm certainly not the only on raising questions.

                  https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12325346

                  https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120820546/coronavirus-urgent-surgeries-scans-cancelled-as-covid19-empties-hospitals?rm=a

                  https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/121020970/coronavirus-endometriosis-elective-surgery-delay-adds-to-pain

                  [Nobody is served with the spreading of misinformation. Critiquing is fine but get your facts right. When this is pointed out to you, however, you don’t acknowledge it. Nobody is denying that there is a huge backlog in this area, which is causing issues for many. However, you argued, and still seem to argue that nothing is happening, not even behind the scenes, as if MoH wants the problem to go away and/or denies it even exists, which is impossible, IMHO. I asked for evidence and you have not provided any. When are you going to come clean and tell us that it was merely your reckoning and belief, nothing based on actual factual information? – Incognito]

                  • Incognito

                    See my Moderation note @ 12:43 PM.

                    • Stunned Mullet

                      Hi Incognito

                      I can no longer be bothered responding to your selective complaints and nit picking, safer to depart from commenting here and no longer date your (and my) time.

                • Ed1

                  There were early comments about dedicating some private sector hospitals to do elective surgery, but the reality is that all hospitals have to be prepared to shut down a whole theatre or ward if a patient or staff member is fund to have corvid-19, and also establish and maintain dual lines of food preparation as the public hospitals have had to do. I suspect many private sector surgeons do some work in public hospitals as well, but have decided that the risks are not worth attending for that work which some believe is not ''essential;" they may also have difficulty in maintaining adequate staff levels. I have not heard any later mention of private hospitals; I suspect "cooperation" is easier in normal times . . .

          • weka 1.5.1.1.3

            "I'm also disappointed there hasn't been some work done on getting elective surgery and outpatients up and running post level 4 – the backlog is going to be significant and having empty theatres up and down the country when we could be clearing low risk patients from waiting lists seems to me to be a bit daft."

            I'm guessing that until we have better testing systems in NZ, it's not possible to do this safely. Will be interested if they change this for L3, at least in some regions. It should improve over time too, as they get a better sense of community transmission.

            • Stunned Mullet 1.5.1.1.3.1

              Let's hope so ……the backlog of 'non urgent' surgeries is piling up high and with such relatively tiny numbers of patients with COVID-19 in hospital across the country and the number of empty theatres both public and private where low risk surgeries could be undertaken it seems like we're missing an opportunity to get one part of the health system back and running at capacity in a timely manner.

              • Sacha

                The main risk would be taking out whole shifts of staff if they are exposed to a single infectious person. Those workers might be needed elsewhere in the system, particularly when there is a future surge in ICU admissions.

                • Stunned Mullet

                  We are currently sitting at very few COVID patients in hospital and what appears to be low/ to no community transmission. I can't see the barrier to community testing of list surgical patients from the very near future in the hospital outpatient setting and getting the backlog of lists down.

                  This serves two purposes it confirms the amount of community transmission and starts to remove the backlog of non-urgent surgeries so they don't migrate to urgent surgeries.

                  • One possible community transmission case: Whanganui person tests positive for Covid-19 with no clear link to its source

                    But it looks like very low community transmission and should be manageable.

                    • Incognito

                      How would it be manageable?

                    • There should be more than enough testing and contact tracing resources to manage a very small number of community transmission cases.

                      We had 4,146 tests done in the last 24 hours (to 9 am today), and the MoH target for contract tracing is 80% within 3 days.

                      So far only 4% of cases have been classified as community transmission (2% more under investigation) and we only had 9 confirmed or probable cases today.

                      That sounds manageable to me.

                    • Incognito []

                      Doesn’t sound good enough to me; not fast enough – 3 days, really?? I don’t share your optimism that contact tracing is where it should be. When people movement increases under L3, it will be a different ballgame than under L4.

                    • Ardern has just said that contract tracing is "an incredibly hard task".

                      It could be days, even a week, before someone gets symptoms.

                      If someone (or someone in someone's bubble) goes to the supermarket and a week later is confirmed with Covid, imagine how difficult contact tracing might be there.

                    • Incognito []

                      Indeed, this is the Achilles’ heel. But you still think it is manageable?

                    • They've done very well to bring new cases down to single digits.

                      They are obviously vary wary of dropping to level 3 which will increase risks, but they have to do that some time – and they have to be able to manage that. I'm confident that most likely they can.

                      No one wants to stay in permanent lockdown, and I think not for fear of not being able to manage moving slowly back to normal (whatever that will end up being).

                    • Incognito []

                      Ok, thanks.

                  • weka

                    "I can't see the barrier to community testing of list surgical patients from the very near future in the hospital outpatient setting and getting the backlog of lists down."

                    What's the deal with false negatives at the moment?

      • Rosemary McDonald 1.5.2

        Hmm…what weka says below SM.

        Has been a constant trial for Peter and myself (and untold anonymous others) over the years to find anyone within the Ministry of Health capable or able to think and act independently of the Policy as it is writ.

        We've had one or two who when presented with the facts have admitted that not all situations fit comfortably and conveniently into their silos,and there really needs a real world wand applied to these situations.

        Trouble with the Ministry of Health in New Zealand is, in my opinion, down to the fact that they are dealing with human health and disability care. And there's not enough humanity within the bureaucracy.

        • Stunned Mullet 1.5.2.1

          Has been a constant trial for Peter and myself (and untold anonymous others) over the years to find anyone within the Ministry of Health capable or able to think and act independently of the Policy as it is writ.

          For sure, I'm sure you'll recognise that people who 'rock the boat' don't rise to the top or last particularly long in any of the ministries.

          • McFlock 1.5.2.1.1

            I'd actually argue that ministry officials trying to bend policy to their will is a bad thing.

            cf: Treasury, 1984-???

    • McFlock 1.6

      So apparently there's a disconnect betweem Bloomfield's says and facts on the ground.

      If MoH is providing sufficient ppe to DHBs, DHBs are providing sufficient PPE to care orgs, and care orgs are providing sufficient PPE to workers, there is no disconnect.

      If the MoH is not providing PPE, your criticism of AB is warranted.

      Test it.

      Take a specific example to AB, and see if it gets resolved. I suspect inventory managers might be ticket-clipping/cost-cutting somewhere down the line, taking covid ppe and putting it in the main inventory. Or they're selling them to care organisations and the orgs are not buying.

      Vance's opinion piece is just that. If you know of specific issues, take them upstairs. Management inaction over a problem is always more damning than the mere existence of a problem.

      • Rosemary McDonald 1.6.1

        Whew!

        You certainly seem to gave this covered McFlock.

        Obviously no one up until now has thought of any of your scenarios, and as for taking a specific example to Bloomfield…what?!?

        As if.

        I guess you're of those folk with some academic understanding of How Things Are Done in this sector, it's a pity you seem so dismissive of those actually doing the work.

        I'd suggest you invest a little time and go back through the archives and read about all the approaches made by various persons and various representative groups to the Ministry and the Minister on this issue…not to mention repeated questioning from tje media pack at the daily front ups…but you won't bother.

        I said here on TS a couple if days ago about how those on the front line of health provision are often caught in the middle of the pissing contest between the Ministry, the DHBs and the contracted providers.

        Who is responsible for cutting through the crap and sorting this shit out?

        Because. Like. Pandemic.

        • McFlock 1.6.1.1

          I'm not talking about non-specific questions at a press briefing.

          If specifics have been taken to Bloomfield, when were they taken? What was his followup? Did he get someone to contact the people without ppe, or their bosses?

          What about the local DHB public health officers – anyone contact them with specific instances of caregivers working without ppe that the guidelines say they should have?

          • weka 1.6.1.1.1

            I'm curious how you think disabled people might get the ear of AB. Or the MoH.

            Last time I looked (about a week ago) the MoH was still saying that workers and clients at home didn't need masks if there were no symptoms or no close contact with people with covid. The Newsroom story last Sunday seemed to be saying that the sticking point were the DHBs were withholding PPEs on the basis of this.

            Meanwhile, I still don't know what the rate of transmission is from non-symptomatic people, but it makes sense to me that workers and disabled people who can't keep a 2m distance would be wanting to err on the side of caution, especially given what is happening with rest home infections.

            There also seem to be inconsistencies between advice for workers compared to clients and at the very least the MoH has had four weeks to clearly address these issues instead of the mess of the last few weeks. I don't know why they haven't. I'm hoping it's just overload, but unfortunately the MoH doesn't have a good history when it comes to disabled people.

            • McFlock 1.6.1.1.1.1

              I'm curious how you think disabled people might get the ear of AB. Or the MoH.

              Cinny previously said:

              The PM and Bloomfield have asked if people aren't getting the PPE they are entitled to, to get in touch.

              So I suggest this contact page. Or a union rep/advocacy group. Followed by a decent journo if no response.

              Last time I looked (about a week ago) the MoH was still saying that workers and clients at home didn't need masks if there were no symptoms or no close contact with people with covid.

              Which seems reasonable to me. Carolyn_nth gave an example of people with a clear need not getting the equipment they required, it was resolved quickly after reporting. That situation was clearly unacceptable. But I doubt that everyone who wants ppe is going to get it without an equally clear need for that equipment.

              • weka

                can you please stop abelsplaining here. The issues being raised are real, and it's patronising af to see this framed as unnecessary want. What might seem reasonable to you is kind of meaningless unless you are taking into account the expertise of disabled people and home care workers.

                It's already been explained quite a number of times that there are problems with the MoH directives and with their circular nature of saying there are plenty of masks but you don't need them.

                Tell me this, if a worker arrives at a client's home and the client is sneezing and has a fever, what should the worker do if the client needs personal cares but neither person has appropriate PPEs?

                • McFlock

                  Start by calling the helpline to report a suspected case of covid.

                  • weka

                    and the person in need of care, what happens to them? The person that needs someone to feed them or clean them or be lifted out of bed and into a chair or vice versa. Who would have easily been taken care of if the worker had access to PPEs. Sure, phone the helpline. Spend most or all of the 30 mins you have allocated for the client waiting on the phone to talk to people who cannot solve your immediate problem. Maybe it's 5.30pm and no-one with PPEs is even going to be available, assuming you're not in a small town and the PPEs are all in the city, being safeguarded by the DHB.

                    • weka

                      lol, I can't believe you actually said that the care worker should engage a bureaucratic process when someone is in need of immediate care.

              • weka

                As for emailing the PM, honestly McFlock, it's rare to see you say something outright stupid, but this is probably an example. Individuals trying to get the PMs attention on the basis of a TS commenter's uncited reckons is a phenomenal waste of everyone's time. It's a collective and systemic issue.

                I think it's a given that people will die because of theses issues. I'm guessing that some already have. For me this is part of the complexity of managing such a difficult situation and it's not an indictment of the MoH that they couldn't save everyone. But it's also not ok to be dismissive of the issues when we already know that people are being infected where no PPEs are in place.

                • McFlock

                  Individuals trying to get the PMs attention on the basis of a TS commenter's uncited reckons is a phenomenal waste of everyone's time.

                  FFS, what part of my comments gave you the impression that that was my suggestion?

                  It's pretty obvious there are two issues here:

                  1) people in Burwood not getting the gear they were supposed to get; and

                  2) people not getting the gear they think they should get but current guidelines don't say they should get.

                  If people know of a specific instance of 1 (not shit they read on the interwebz, actually know people who are not getting equipment according to guidelines), email anyone and everyone with formal complaints.

                  If people know of a specific instance of 2 and want the guidelines changed, call a reporter following the topic. Preferably with a good reason as to why the guidelines should be changed, because if someone screws up and we need the reserves, a lot more people are going to die because we gave the reserves out early to people who did not have a clinical reason to need the equipment.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    McFlock.

                    How long have you been a recipient of home based care?

                    How long have you been a home based carer?

                    If the answer to either question is 'longer than a week' then you just might have the right to an opinion on this issue.

                    If you can't provide that answer to either question then could you kindly butt the fuck out?

                    You don't know what you're talking about and are starting to sound like one of the 'they were going to die any way brigade', or worse…one of the 'they're nurses/carers/doctors and should expect to catch something' team.

                    So hey, just for shits and giggles I thought I might wander along this nice suburban street I'm incarcerated on at the moment and march inside a house and give some random resident a couple of light and friendly hugs. I will then leave with a cheery good bye and and do the same at the neighbours. And so on until some Karen type calls the cops. Who will probably do me for bubble breaking.

                    BUT I am not actually hurting anyone am I? I don't have The Virus and I can assume that they haven't…so what is the harm?

                    A homecare worker is expected to do exactly this every day.

                    Seems very much like the risk of transmitting the virus around the frail elderly and disabled community is acceptable. Somehow.

                    SSDD

                    • weka

                      I don't think McFlock believes that, but unfortunately the alternative isn't really appealing either, that yet again the lived experience and expertise of disabled is discounted out of ignorance.

                  • weka

                    The MoH isn't perfect, and it's perfectly acceptable on a political blog to be talking about the areas where they might be failing, especially in the context of a long history of that. If the starting point here isn't that the MoH have an institutional problem in how they deal with disability, then it's not possible to understand the current issues.

                    "Preferably with a good reason as to why the guidelines should be changed, because if someone screws up and we need the reserves, a lot more people are going to die because we gave the reserves out early to people who did not have a clinical reason to need the equipment."

                    If the issue is that there isn't enough gear to provide home care workers and clients with cautionary protection, then the MoH needs to be up front about that. I'm ok with them keeping reserves, I'm not ok with the concerns of vulnerable people being dismissed out of hand.

                    It's not fucking rocket science. If non-symptomatic transmission isn't an issue, then explain how. If you can't then support others wanting the MoH to explain how. This is the least that people who cannot maintain a 2m distance deserve. Likewise their carers.

                    I've spent more than my fair share of doing formal complaints to government departments over shit like this over many years. It's often soul destroying as well as impacting negatively on physical health. I've also done media work in the past. Many people are too disabled to manage these processes. I already pointed out that MSM have raised the issue and been ignored.

                    • McFlock

                      If non-symptomatic transmission isn't an issue, then explain how.

                      No. That's not how scarce resources get distributed in a time of crisis. People need to show how it is an issue.

      • pat 1.6.2

        …or there could be an argument between DHB's and contractor's over who is responsible for providing PPE..and who pays.

        • McFlock 1.6.2.1

          That would be my suspicion. But then many large organisations manage to make middle-managers act with the penny-pinching covetousness of small business operators. A while ago fecking Southern DHB was touting the genius of a new inventory system that let it use fewer towels. Because a lower towels cost will make the funding system work 🙄

          This is a classic problem of govt believing there is no problem when there actually is at the ground level. Generalised moaning doesn't solve it. It needs specifics.

          • pat 1.6.2.1.1

            if what I describe is the case neither party will wish to publicise it…nor will the MoH

          • Psycho Milt 1.6.2.1.2

            Classic KPIs problem. Does using fewer towels improve the health of people in the lower South Island? Does it fuck. On the other hand, does it improve the managers' KPIs? Seems very fucking likely under the circumstances. One of those two things is getting the priority, it ain't the health one, and in the bigger picture that isn't really the fault of the managers who've been saddled with fucked-up KPIs.

  2. All parties will find fundraising harder with the economic impact wrought by Covid, but the Greens were already saying in February they were struggling to raise funds – from an email from the Green Party Campaign Director in February:

    I won’t lie, the last two polls aren’t looking good for us. Last night’s poll marks the second in a row that indicate we are at risk of falling below the 5% threshold.

    Will you donate to show your support for keeping the Greens in parliament?

    We always knew this election would be a challenge. No minor party in the history of Aotearoa has ever entered government and then returned to parliament at the next election. That’s why we need your help.

    Your money will allow us to run the biggest campaign possible and make history by returning the Greens to government – allowing us to go further and faster on the issues that matter most.

    Thinks will be even tougher now, as an email from Marama Davidson yesterday indicates:

    However due to the impact of COVID-19, the Green Party is facing its own financial challenges. Right now our team is focused on working out how to continue to provide community support and continue party operations through these difficult times.

    Please help support this vision by ensuring our Green voice remains strong. A donation of $3 today will support creating a future where people and planet come first.

    To make things more challenging, the Green Party is not eligible for the government’s support package and we have not been able to raise the money we were counting on – not even close. And since we only rely on the support of individuals – not corporates – this is crucial.

    Greens have been struggling with their low media profile through this term, and with most of the attention on Covid and attempts at economy recovery , especially if they overreach with things like “”It presents Aotearoa with a chance to rewrite the rules”. Most of us are likely to want things to get back to normal as much as possible and not dive into even more disruption.

    [Pete, can you please clarify if the bold and italics in the quotes are in the original or if you added them? – weka]

    • RosieLee 2.1

      If the Greens want to ensure their survival they will have to do a bit more than just dawdle along in the Labour led, neo-liberal, business as usual bubble. In the same way that Labour needs to get back to genuine Labour roots, the Greens need to get back to some genuine green policies and actions.

      • KJT 2.1.1

        Don't need to get back.

        Read the Green policies. Which, in fact, have more in common with Labour roots than Labours current policies. I suspect that may change, given Grant Robertson's statements about responses not cementing in inequality.

        Getting cut through with hostile media has always been a problem.

        And, rightly in my view, Greens haven't indulged in cynical media stunts, like NZF, and National, such as pushing to "remove the parachute before it reaches the ground", because we haven't been squashed, yet, to stay visible during this time.

        Anyway. Expecting to “get back to normal” is academic. “Normal will not be an option, for a long time to come, if ever.”

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          "I suspect that may change, given Grant Robertson's statements about responses not cementing in inequality."

          What did he say?

        • mauī 2.1.1.2

          Gilt edged opportunity to fundamentally change our economic system and all I've heard from Green leadership so far is *crickets*…

          Frankly Gareth Morgan has a better chance of implementing economic reform at the moment. Would the Green Party of the 90's have just sat there…

          • weka 2.1.1.2.1

            Greens have had progressive economic reform in their platform for decades. NZ didn't want it, including many lefties, which is why we have the GP we currently do. Plenty in the party that would move on this if given the mandate via votes.

            Morgan is right wing. He would most definitely do economic reform, but in the absence of social justice. Nightmare stuff when allied with National.

    • Robert Guyton 2.2

      Pete George says: "Most of us are likely to want things to get back to normal as much as possible…" showing an entirely unsurprising conservatism and lack of vision. BAU, Pete?

      I take it YOU won't be donating to The Green Party – too risky!

    • KJT 2.3

      Speak for yourself.

      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/just-9-want-things-go-21877899

      Which coincides with the proportion of people who were doing well, under, "the way things were".

      I doubt if the figures would be much different if we polled New Zealanders.

      What is it with unimaginative right wingers thinking their "reckons" represent "real New Zealand" in any way?

    • The leaked Curia poll had the Greens on 8% PG.

      This morning, as on many mornings, I received a Green advert on fb promoting public transport….in this case faster medium and long distance trains.

      The Greens have a number of niche issues that will always get them votes-it's an incredibly strong brand.

      If they are hovering close to 5% (unlikely) Labour voters with green sympathies should vote tactically-the ideal coalition is Labour/Green ruling alone.

      • Pete George 2.4.1

        I don't much trust one off leaked polls without all the information or any track record.

        It's feasible Greens could have been on 8% recently. Even Donald Trump's approval improved quite a bit for a short time in the thick of Covid.

        But we have never had polling through a crisis like we are now experiencing now, so it's impossible to predict what might happen to party support over the next few months.

        The crunch for all parties here will be what the both the virus and economy are doing by August and September, and what policies the parties promote to try to deal with it.

        One thing has seemed obvious over the last few months – an air of desperation from the Greens on lack of funds. That will impact on their ability to campaign.

    • Ad 2.5

      The Green MPs arent built for crises like this. They're just timid.

      Better if Labour won the 2020 majority by themselves. Labour actually act and work the crisis through.

      • millsy 2.5.1

        From the looks of that, Labour are on course for governing alone anyway, if they dont fuck up this COVID response.

        • lprent 2.5.1.1

          They won’t govern on their own. Kind of pointless not to keep workable coalition partners working with you rather than against you.

          All it really does is to shift the negotiating positions for forming the coalition. And then you have to remember that you’ll really need them in the next election or the one following.

          I’d strongly prefer that Labour doesn’t follow the ideological stupidity that National did as it sucked up the coalition partners votes to the point that they didn’t have anything apart from a subservient sockpuppet party left.

    • weka 2.6

      Mod note for you Pete.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.7

      They aren't perfect, but I got that email and donated, they are a lot better than some of the alternatives.

    • The bold and italics were as per the email, I didn't change text attributes.

    • Incognito 2.10

      Why the selective quoting, Pete?

      How the country mobilises today will shape the world we live in tomorrow. It presents Aotearoa with a chance to rewrite the rules, so we can respond decisively to the gaps in our system that leave people behind, as well as protect our communities from climate change. The Green Party is committed to a future where we put the wellbeing of people and nature first, for a clean future. [the bit that you quoted in italic]

      How is this “overreach”, in your view? Do you think these issues have gone away or been put on the back-burner and should they?

      • Pete George 2.10.1

        "Why the selective quoting, Pete?"

        I thought you would know that it's common practice to quote parts of source material. For example the author of How Not to Engage in Public Debate appears to have selected relevant parts of sources in their post.

        Many media articles and blog posts use selective quoting. As an example this blog even recommends it:

        Similarly pasting long materials from other sites, especially copyrighted materials, is not permitted. Just link and selectively quote. Repeated offences is really dumb.

        [Part-quotes lifted out of context set off alarm bells. Without a link, we cannot verify or see the context for ourselves. Nobody is suggesting you copy & paste the whole e-mail message that only you received; you can do that on your own blog, if you wish.

        What are you accusing that Author of exactly, Pete? Making insinuations like these sets off alarm bells and comes across as an attack on an Author.

        Please explain yourself and show the equivalence with you selective quoting here. For example, that Author failed to quote the whole sentence and did not provide a link to the source – Incognito]

        • Incognito 2.10.1.1

          See my Moderation note @ 12:24 PM.

        • Pete George 2.10.1.2

          I'm not accusing the author of doing anything. They did what just about all journalists and authors and most commenters here do without being forced to explain quotes in minute detail in what looks yet another pedantic targeted diversion or deterrence from contributing.

          I really don’t know what you expected me to do regarding my initial comment.

          [Ok Pete, have it your way; I can’t be bothered playing your silly games.

          You brought up the quoting by an Author in a specific Post as if this was somehow equivalent to your highly selective quoting – it wasn’t even the whole sentence – from an e-mail from the Green Party, which you had received, apparently. You don’t have to explain necessarily quotes in “minute detail”, which is an obvious red herring – you must always provide a link – but it does raise questions when you quote in a highly selective manner when there is no obvious need for it and when we cannot check the full context. You could have given the full sentence, for a start, and acknowledged your oversight – you should know by now how things work here.

          Instead of coming clean, you have a go at a Moderator for daring to question you and accusing them of “yet another pedantic targeted diversion” and “deterrence from contributing”. This is ironic given that you were the culprit with the selective quoting, for no obvious reason, and did not want to explain yourself. So, who’s diverting and who’s not contributing in good faith?

          You can take three weeks rest from commenting here – Incognito]

          • Incognito 2.10.1.2.1

            See my Moderation note @ 4:46 PM.

          • Incognito 2.10.1.2.2

            Pete, how many readers of this site would have received that e-mail from the Green Party?

            How many would have realised that your quote was pulled out of its context and thus selective?

            How many would have realised that your quote wasn’t even the complete sentence and thus highly selective and therefore suspect? The trigger was you calling it “overreach”, suggesting that it was intentional. I queried this @ 2.10 but you ignored it and never answered it. Your mistake.

            That was your first offence, made worse because there was no link to the source for checking.

            You could have left it at that and acknowledged your ‘mistake’, we all make mistakes.

            However, you decided to dig in, as you do, and bring into your ‘litigation’ the quoting by an Author in a specific Post, without giving any detail or example.

            The only reason why you are banned is your own petulant behaviour when I challenged you. You know I’m pedantic, which doesn’t mean I’m wrong. I know you’re petulant, which doesn’t make you wrong either. However, when I moderate you, it often ends up like the way it did.

            When will you learn and change your way of responding to Moderation here, Pete? Don’t quote this site’s Policy to me, just follow the simple and lenient rules. FFS, you have been here long enough to know how it works and you still act as if you don’t.

            You think I’m making up reasons to moderate you and others? I don’t need any reasons because they come thick and fast at times. It is the same old reaction by people who are moderated, usually when it’s too late: it wasn’t me, it was that nasty Moderator, and I did nothing wrong, you’re trying to shut me down, blablablah. So immature, so tedious. Occasionally, another Moderator ‘disagrees’ with my Moderation but they respect my calls as I respect theirs. When in doubt, I ask the others first, as they sometimes do too.

            In summary, you’re way off the mark here. It went from a question in a comment @ 2.10 to Moderation to a ban. Don’t blame the Moderator for your ban, which was avoidable and self-inflicted, and justified.

            I’m getting tired of moderating here, it is thankless job that takes time & energy, and especially when dealing mostly with the usual suspects who seem keen on wasting Moderator time till they run out of patience.

            The ban stands unless you want me to double it.

          • Incognito 2.10.1.2.3

            You seem to have a persistent problem with quoting spanning years of commenting here on TS! Wow!!

            Here are a few fine examples:

            https://thestandard.org.nz/how-to-get-there-6-1-19/#comment-1568588

            https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-15-09-2019/#comment-1655074

            You complaining about being shut down is not new either:

            https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-15-09-2019/#comment-1655144

            And you feeling being targeted and singled out:

            https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-15-09-2019/#comment-1655179

            Note that these moderations of your comments came from a number of different Moderators. The reason is that we all live to nit-pick here, and harass, and love to abuse our power. Indeed, when we cannot find a reason to indulge in our fantasies of abuse, we make up reasons. You’ve got us sussed, Pete. Bravo and well done!

            Stop digging and learn to quote properly and you’ll be fine here. FFS, I can’t believe I’m still spending time on this!!

  3. Andre 3

    When we're allowed junk fast food again, the pizza delivery boy better just drop it and run. Imma gonna be onto that pepperoni bad boy like this little kitty's commitment to its dinner.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QAi0_Q6v1o

  4. Observer Tokoroa 4

    May I Nominate

    Rosemary and Andrea as the outstanding NZ knowledge society; basically known only to themselves.

    You see, everyone is useless in the Rosemary / Andrea realm. Bar, of course Rosemary and Andrea.

    Long may they reign with their ageing threads.

    [Please don’t do take downs of other commenters. TS is big enough that we can avoid the people we don’t like. If we disagree with them we can argue the politics, that’s what we are here for – weka]

    • Blazer 4.1

      'ageing threads'=ripped jeans from..Hallensteins.

    • Treetop 4.3

      Rosemary's partner is directly affected when it comes to PPE not being used. Rosemary is being an outstanding advocate for him and for other people in her situation.

      I find your comment to lack awareness of her situation and the situation of the home carers.

      We need people like Rosemary to speak out, otherwise nothing will change.

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.3.1

        Thanks Treetop…but my partner is not currently affected as his only carer at the moment is me. And the only person I am providing care for at the moment is him.

        Not a single day goes by when one or both of us does not give mention to the thousands of others requiring home based care who are not as fortunate as him.

        I get that not everyone has experience of requiring or needing care but the willingness of the obviously ignorant to demonstrate their loyalty to the Government by attacking those trying to get enough traction to sort this awful problem is truly frightening.

        • Sacha 4.3.1.1

          Thank you. Empathy for others is an asset in this situation.

          It is not hard to acknowledge all the great things this government and our public servants have done for us and still highlight the things that are not right yet.

          Provision of PPE for home-based support workers reflects society's attitudes about the value of both low-paid workers and the disabled people they support.

      • weka 4.3.2

        I also highly value Rosemary's comments here on TS and the knowledge base and experience she brings.

        I also value Andre (I assume that was who Andrea is) as a long term commenter who brings the goods to the debates.

        • weka 4.3.2.1

          Lol, just seen it was Andrea Vance.

          Use the Reply Button folks.

        • Andre 4.3.2.2

          Thank you for those kind words, weka. But since I have zero expertise or experience or any other insight into disability issues, I try to keep my yap shut on that topic.

          • weka 4.3.2.2.1

            I was thinking about your contribution to TS generally. One of the things I really appreciate about this place is the wide range of people bringing in perspectives I wouldn't normally be exposed to.

      • RedLogix 4.3.3

        I rarely do this but…

        + Lots

    • Observer Tokoroa 4.4

      Yes Weka

      Thank You.

    • Incognito 4.5

      Count yourself lucky that weka has already moderated your comment. Next time, you might not be so lucky.

  5. Cinny 5

    Hihi 🙂

    Agent orange is supposed to be starting his presser at 9am, here's the link.

    Meanwhile, One World is an awesome live concert, celebrating the efforts of health care workers. That's happening via youtube, here's the link for that.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzjMqd6KqXg

    I'm personally looking forward to Media Watch via RNZ, which is coming up right about now 🙂
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/audio/live/national

    • Carolyn_Nth 5.1

      A lot of USians lining up to help raise funds for WHO and Global Solidarity. That's telling dear leader!

    • Peter 5.2

      I didn't get to see it as it happened but am watching a replay now. It is a classic.

      There's something of a Louisiana drunk rambling in a bar about it. Quite a lot actually.

      • Cinny 5.2.1

        trump was real fuckwited today, it was more like a campaign rally than a presser.

        Mind you trump will be fired up with some of the ad's being screened over there on FOX no less….

      • McFlock 5.2.2

        Watching him read is like watching a child reading their first book. I don't think it's a literacy thing – he just looks so pleased with himself when he finishes a line or sees a good word. As if this is the first time he's reading his prepared speech to the world, and the writers just pepper it throughout with strong, active-sounding words to make him feel like he's actually done something other than sit on his fat arse dreaming about Ivanka.

        • Macro 5.2.2.1

          As if this is the first time he's reading his prepared speech to the world,

          Actually I read somewhere recently – don't ask me for a link as it is in one comment of many thousands – that that is literally what he does. He apparently takes the speech from the speech writers – about 10 mins before he is due to speak. So completely unprepared for what he is about to say. Of course he frequently moves off-course to add his own "flavour" and to tell everyone how marvellous he is, and to add his own interpretation of what it is he has before him, most of course completely untrue. He is now running at around 23 untruths per day.

    • Andre 5.3

      I'm genuinely curious, Cinny. How on earth are you able to watch Vulgarmort go on and on with either smashing the monitor or clawing out your eyes and ears?

      • AB 5.3.1

        I watched about 30 minutes or so of Trump. On one level it was a preposterous irrational monologue. On another it was a terrifyingly clever piece of contemporary demagoguery. No ranting, raving or shouting – just a slow drawl of dog-whistles seamlessly stitched together. China, WHO and Democratic governors all got hammered. Somehow the pandemic response in Virginia under a Democratic governor was conflated with an attack on 2nd-amendment rights. Nancy Pelosi was accused of sitting in her house "with a view of the sea" (i.e. she's part of the wealthy elite/swamp). A totally instinctive outflanking of the Democrats on both the left and right simultaneously. I'm not sure that the empty husk of Joe Biden is up to this challenge.

        • Andre 5.3.1.1

          … outflanking of the Democrats on both the left and right simultaneously …

          I don't get it how some people haven't yet learned to wait to see if Shartacus actually follows through on something he said that they found appealing. Especially those in the US that are living through the wreckage of what he's trashed.

          In terms of what he's actually delivered, it's mostly the bog-standard Repug priorities of tax cuts for the extremely well-off, more freedom for big corporations to screw ordinary people and trash the environment, and reactionary judges with a particular focus on trashing abortion rights. With a solid two scoops for white supremacists.

          None of the stuff that lefties thought they heard in 2016 that gave them fantasies that Marmalardo had some leftie tendencies actually got implemented.

      • Cinny 5.3.2

        Ummm ….. honestly…. I like to engage with the MAGA crowd on another stream because they have live chat there. I like to call it fact sharing and they like to call me a foreign troll 🙂

  6. Observer Tokoroa 6

    Treetop

    Will you advertise everybody who goes to work – or just the Rosemary

    Seems to me You are over reaching Treetop. You are on a high Perch. Dealing with one Hell of a Viral Problem.

    And it is very unfair of you to point a wrong finger at major tireless Medical Minister.

    • weka 6.1

      I don't know what is going on here, but please see my mod note for you above.

    • Treetop 6.2

      See above 1.3 it is inclusive of everyone. When it comes to my comment at 4.3 it was specific to your comment at 4. As for your comment at 6 I have not criticised the minister of health or the director general of health. If it turns out that they are responsible for not ordering sufficient PPE I will criticise them for this.

      I will not apologise for having a high standard when it comes to the safety of people who require the use of PPE and they are being denied it.

      • peterh 6.2.1

        All this crap started when the Govt put another $200m iinto PPE even though they still had several weeks of supply and were getting more NZ suppliers on board and had large overseas orders 100% political

        • Peter 6.2.1.1

          If they ordered stacks more that in the end weren't used in the present situation they'd be called misguided, overreacting, spendthrift idiots.

          If they didn't order enough because things went skew-whiff and crazy all around the world and they couldn't get what was needed through whatever means, they'd be called misguided, under-reacting, conservative idiots.

          The only people who know what should be done, should have been done and would have done it, are on Kiwiblog and here and similar places.

  7. Sacha 7

    Post-Covid investment that also addresses climate change – Green party proposes big upgrade of key regional rail networks https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/121108095/greens-want-nationwide-rail-connecting-cities-to-save-economy-from-coronacrash

  8. Sanctuary 8

    The government response is conditioned by realities that a bit far from the purity of the reckons from the knockers here.

    The government has to maintain order and keep the population calm and not panicking.

    The government has to keep the public believing in it's competence and authority to achieve a set of outcomes.

    That means it can't say there is shortages, or that it didn't do something because it lacked the capacity or whatever. This crisis has shown the NZ health system doing what it has got used to doing best – targeting very limited resources as efficiently as possible.

    It is obvious we didn't have mass community testing earlier because we didn't have the capacity or the equipment. The speed with which we've built that capacity is an astonishing achievement by our health bureaucrats, politicians and industry decision makers. But you can’t expect the government to admit that in the white hot atmosphere of crisis.

    It is clear we didn't close the border and move to level 4 earlier not because the government didn't want to, but because we lacked the capacity to quarantine everyone and in a democratic environment the government needed time to prepare public opinion to accept the need to do it. The carefully staged managed move to level 4 and shutting the border was a triumph of democratic politics and political leadership.

    It is obvious we had such a hard level 4 shutdown because we were 77th in the world in terms of pandemic preparedness and with less than 200 ICU beds a major pandemic would have turned our health care and aged care facilities into charnel houses. Again the government won’t say that now, and neither would it be appropriate for it to say that now.

    The private sector mainstream media has shown a complete dereliction of duty in explaining and interpreting the governments decisions through the lens of the harsh realities that years of underfunding of the health sector and the dire state of our aged care sector confronted Jacinda Ardern and her advisors and the impact that has had on her governments freedom to manoeuvre in the decisions it has made. Instead the knockers and wreckers and panic merchants in the corporate MSM have been allowed free reign over the past month and they have made sure of that level 4 can't be politically sustained much beyond ANZAC weekend.

    Instead of explaining the harsh realities of both our health and aged care sectors capacity to deal with a pandemic and the realities of supply of everything in a crisis (to paraphrase Churchill – "in the first month, nothing, the second, a trickle, and the third, all you want") our corporate media has given free reign to fake news (remember all those Aucklanders the Herald front page reckoned were sneaking out to their baches? A total fabrication, according to cellphone tracking data – https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/121022222/coronavirus-mobile-phone-tracking-shows-how-kiwis-complied-with-lockdown-at-easter ) and to the worthless reckons of no nothings like Mike Hosking and Barry Soper and Duncan Garner. And all the time with their hand out for a taxpayer bailout!!!

    There should and will be a royal commission into this once this is over. I would be surprised if our current system of 20 DHBs, some of whom still use fax machines to send information the the MOH, survives this pandemic, for example. I hope the speed, flexibility and organisational genius of our response is acknowledged – but I also hope we decide that, in the future, we are not going to rely on our organisational genius to make a little go a long, long way and on riding our luck so much.

    • dv 8.1

      AND don;t forget that full front page of PANDEMONIUM at the start.

    • Sacha 8.2

      The carefully staged managed move to level 4 and shutting the border was a triumph of democratic politics and political leadership.

      Sure was. It will be studied in university courses all around the world for decades.

      • McFlock 8.2.1

        I loved Ardern's statement to the nation on the Saturday before lockdown.

        I can't help thinking that another bit of luck we had was a PM who is currently parenting a toddler, so already had extensive experience explaining things to small minds. Using her fingers to show the number of each level as it was described was a nice touch.

    • Treetop 8.3

      Some sort of health levy may be required just for Covid-19 management. DHBs need to concentrate on delivering health care, looking after their staff and not being distracted by having to worry about the operational budget being enough.

    • JanM 8.4

      Very well said Sanctuary.

    • Anne 8.5

      I have to repeat this from Sanctuary for special mphasis because, imo, its the crux of the issue :

      The private sector mainstream media has shown a complete dereliction of duty in explaining and interpreting the governments decisions through the lens of the harsh realities that years of underfunding of the health sector and the dire state of our aged care sector confronted Jacinda Ardern and her advisors and the impact that has had on her governments freedom to manoeuvre in the decisions it has made. Instead the knockers and wreckers and panic merchants in the corporate MSM have been allowed free reign over the past month and they have made sure that level 4 can't be politically sustained much beyond ANZAC weekend.

      My bold.

      Perennial knockers please take note and start knocking the actual culprits and not those who came after and are trying to do something about it in the throes of a world-wide pandemic.

      All hail to Dr Ashley Bloomfield and his team.

    • I Feel Love 8.6

      Great comment.

    • Macro 8.7

      yes

      Hear! Hear! Totally agree.

    • patricia 8.8

      Sanctuary, @ 8. Thank you for a reasoned post. and Anne

      I too have at times suffered at the hands of the Health system. I have lasting effects from polio, and this shapes my attitude towards it

      Our health system has always been paternalistic and impersonal. Permission to practice in various ways was sought through having the patient or carers sign a waiver.

      Doctors for most of my life were men, women were nurses. In that climate the home care system was mainly wives sisters or unmarried aunts. They were not paid and their tools were basic indeed. This is most of my lifetime.

      In my Mother's later life, home help was paid but rationed, and totally undervalued, and mainly women. Materials were paid for by the patient unless approved through WINZ or the DHB.

      The entities who employed the home help/carers were independent businesses contracted to the DHB in the region.

      This allowed huge variation in resources to be exacerbated as the responsibility was farmed out. The lines of communication stretched and diluted. "Fax machines" yes quite.

      Apparently we renewed our supply of PPE in 2017, and DHBs have been slow to action the distribution of the materials, and often this relied on the managers who are there to limit costs rather than act decisively in a pandemic as it is beyond their usual experience. They were perhaps still looking at costs rather than containing the virus.

      20 DHBs with their Boards and managers… all to be convinced to give out their scarce resources and to overcome their usual practice of delay divert and make-do.

      It is to be hoped the review will fix the system rather than demonise the people in it.

    • RedLogix 8.9

      Great comment. Reasoned and realistic. One of your best Sanctuary.yes

    • left for dead 8.10

      Good points,San,, yes

  9. Bazza64 9

    Even though we are in a downturn, we can't stop the press from asking the hard questions & getting information direct from the coalface. Governments always like to put a positive spin on things, so can't blame them for that, but if front line workers are saying something different from the official position we need to know that.

    If it was a National government in power & the same thing happened, most of you would think Andrea Vance's article was good reporting of factual issues. Andrea's reporting is usually left wing so you can't say this is political, it is more about the facts of the situation.

  10. Observer Tokoroa 10

    Weka

    Am I allowed to say that Dr Ashley Bloomfield is very creditable, and has been so in each of the Levels. ?

    Do you think so ? Many writers on the Standard think so .

  11. Andre 11

    I s'pose if you're an internet scamster selling snake-oil coronavirus fake-meds, there's a sure-fire way to get yourself some more sales from your dupes. Yes, I am indeed referring to the Candycorn Skidmark's best buddy Alex Jones.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/austin-infowars-rally-reopen-businesses-coronavirus_n_5e9b473dc5b6ea335d5c6981

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/fda-to-alex-jones-stop-selling-fake-coronavirus-cures_n_5e91e4a8c5b69d65062a09da

    • dv 11.1

      This will be part of the reason that the USA has 117 deaths per million, and the flanking countries Canada has 39 deaths per million, an Mexico 4 deaths per million,.

      (There could be a problem of misreporting, but those are stunning stats)

      • Andre 11.1.1

        Drill down a bit further into New York City's stats and it becomes even more frightening. They are at around 13,000 confirmed and probable COVID deaths (and even that is probably an undercount) in a population of about 9 million, for a population death rate of roughly 1500 per million (and climbing), or 0.15% population fatality rate.

        To get some sort of handle on how bad an undercount might be, one statistic of some value is the test positivity rate. New York City has a test positivity rate of around 50%. They find one COVID case for every two tests they do, so there's almost certainly going to be a lot of COVID cases that don't end up receiving a test. Whereas in New Zealand, we only find on COVID case in around every 50 tests, even with the targeting we do where almost all tests are only administered when there's already reason to believe someone might be infected.

        https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/04/us-coronavirus-outbreak-out-control-test-positivity-rate/610132/

        • dv 11.1.1.1

          Scary Andre.

          US has a long way to go I fear.

          • Andre 11.1.1.1.1

            That 0.15% (and climbing) population fatality rate in NYC kinda shows up those that were blustering about how the case fatality rates were way overstating the true hazard and the infection fatality rate was going to end up a very small number similar to seasonal flu.

    • I Feel Love 11.2

      Jones was at the "Fire Fauci" protest, I guess more people infected, more fake medicine to sell. That country is fucked.

  12. Adrian 12

    We should seriously look at nationalising rest homes, I don't know what the proportion of local v international ownership is but I am pretty sure that the first impost on the government money is a "management fee "and that is somewhere between 30-40% often times repatriated straight out of the country to a tax haven. Winston was hot on this a few years ago but has been a bit quiet for a while.

    It should not be up to hospital boards to be the supplier of enough PPE gear for private operations.

    One of the reasons why spread is a problem in resthomes, as mentioned early in lockdown is that ambulatory dementia patients even in normal times are very difficult to physically control and they must be near impossible in these conditions.

    • Shanreagh 12.1

      Agree with this with regard to the function of Health Boards supplying PPE for private operations (my bolding) whether for resthome workers or community home help workers. If they are privately run then why is it at all logical for either the Ministry or DHBs to supply these goods or be blamed for lack of resources.

      I get that in a pandemic all bets are off and we need to get good supplies out quickly.

      For the times past and times to come meeting the health & safety risks of staff falls clearly into the private enterprise model. Where was the PPE coming from in times past? I sense perhaps these private enterprise places have not held adequate and updated stocks, or had no intact supply lines of their own and now are relying on the State to supply. That is fine, the state has been operating in areas that we would not have dreamed of since the pandemic began and all hail to that.

      I look with a great deal of scepticism at cries that the state has failed privately owned resthome or privately owned businesses operating with home care workers. The owners of these firms have failed, the model has failed.

      The state is bailing out but the initial problem has come with the lack of work/expenditure by these private sector operators.

      I don't know enough about DHB funded home care operations to make a comment here except that if PPE was needed and was supplied per DHB from MOH stores then something has happened in these supply lines. One of the most common inhibitors to effective supply lines is the human element.

      Andrea Vance has not set out the different ways that care is delivered relying on an attempted 'gotcha' at the MOH & DHBs. Her story may have been all the stronger had she teased out any differences there may have been with the operations of the different models we have. I despair with these once over lightly opinion pieces and place them in the same category as stuff by Hosking.

      • Adrian 12.1.1

        Exactly Shanreagh. Another point is that if Japan, UK and the US with all their buying power cannot get sufficent PPE what chance has NZ.

        We have a commercial email site ( non-medical ) and every day there are a least 3 outfits offering us PPE from China, god only knows what quality or whether it even exists and the news media has daily reference to shipments, like the Russian stuff to New York, and shipments to Italy etc which are not fit for purpose. So to critise MOH for being conservative is a bit underhand.

        BTW, whatever happened to the Millionaires Mercy Shipment of PPE, thats all gone suspiciously quiet, maybe that was all backyard shit as well.

    • millsy 12.2

      They used to be nationalised.

    • JanM 12.3

      Yes, Adrian – rest homes and early childhood centres – the responsible entities for the very young and the very old have increasingly become privately owned cash cows over the last 40 or so with the resulting huge variations in quality that I have seen both as a teacher/lecturer in ece and family experience of rest homes. The 'neoliberal' experiment has been responsible for a lot of this and I find it repulsive that as a society we have taken such advantage of the two groups in society who do not have strong voices, being. on an economic level, surplus to requirements, Definitely time for a rethink!

      • gsays 12.3.1

        Surely part of the rethink, would be to have the very old and very young in the family home.

        This would mean big changes to either the workplace or the tax system so that a household can get by one one income.

    • Cinny 12.4

      We should seriously look at nationalising rest homes

      Yes please and thank you. It's freaking scary hearing about all the dead bodies being hidden at private resthomes offshore.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52314860

      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/corpses-elderly-abandoned-spanish-care-homes-200324141255435.html

    • Treetop 12.5

      A pandemic response unit is required to ensure that the necessary provisions and staff are there for a pandemic. I am undecided whether or not 2 units are required, one for DHBs on site and another for off site all other.

      Rest home owners/operators cannot be trusted to ensure that they are prepared for a pandemic.

      Placing profit and the minimal staffing level ahead of the welfare of the residents has shown flaws when it comes to being prepared for a pandemic.

      I also would like to know how many rest home residents have had swabs taken to establish the level of Covid-19 in rest homes.

      I also would like to know what is causing the age over 70 group, to be the most vulnerable when it comes to Covid-19.

      • Adrian 12.5.1

        Your immune system is pretty dicked by the time you get to 70 Treetop, no matter how well you look after it.

        . That's my age now and I can't believe how much strength just ebbs away every year and I'm still doing manual farm/vineyard work every day and still throwing the shotput and discus.

        Luckily I have never been one but smoking really roots your lungs no matter how long ago one quit which is why males are so much more susceptible.

        • Treetop 12.5.1.1

          I am a decade younger than you. I get it that a person slows, but I do not get it that the older you are, how your immune system turns on you. There are age related health conditions which can be managed. When it comes to Covid -19, inattention to it could be dire.

          • lprent 12.5.1.1.1

            ..but I do not get it that the older you are, how your immune system turns on you

            Some people get that whatever age they are. There are a lot of auto immune diseases from asthma through.

            I get it that a person slows,

            That is more accurate. The older you get the slower the immune system is at picking up the is a problem and it should deal with it.

            • In Vino 12.5.1.1.1.1

              Interesting, and I wonder about my own case. I am 73, still do relief teaching; have spent my life teaching in a large Secondary School, and have therefore been inevitably exposed to every virus, etc going. Yet I am rarely ill, have not had the flu since I was 14 (1961), and for that reason have never taken an anti-flu jab. I have not had a noticeable cold for 3 years now. Never smoked, no asthma, etc etc- it seems to me that I could face Covid with confidence. Yet I gather that there is still a big risk it could kill me simply because of my age. I would rather work than stay at home under Level 3, but no possibility.

              In a way I would like to catch the virus, to find out one way or another and maybe be of some scientific use as a guinea pig. (Provided it is not as a dead one.)

              • Treetop

                It is the unknown of what it will do if you get it and not the getting it. And if it can reoccur.

                In time more will be known. Covid-19 is another condition which preventative measures are required to reduce getting it or passing it on. Even though I am immunocompromised I will not allow Covid-19 to disrupt my life more than it can.

  13. Reality 13

    Sanctuary – thank you for your excellent balanced post. It was so encouraging to read an in-depth and fair assessment. No health system will ever be perfect but New Zealanders should be proud of what has been achieved in a relatively short time. Whoever thought as we saw in 2020 that this would be upon us. Thank you to Dr Bloomfield and all the many many health workers. They all deserve our heartfelt appreciation. People are pretty astute at recognising genuine and sincere qualities and they have picked Dr Bloomfield as one with those attributes.

  14. joe90 14

    The herd culling itself.

  15. David Mac 15

    I fear the horrific worst of this is yet to come. When countries with sophisticated medical support systems drop to their knees… how are Nairobi, Tunisia and El Savador equipped?

    I wonder if those fires are only just getting the kindling tucked underneath.

  16. David Mac 16

    Given how this has spread around the world, it was always the names on a perfume bottle that were going to cop it first, the busy airports. Rome, Paris, London, New York.

    The last places that cop it will be the worst prepared to deal with it and suffer the most.

  17. David Mac 17

    I think it might be time if the 192 other countries in the world asked the beautiful and loving people of China if they'd like assistance in adjusting their leadership. I don't mean war, I mean inviting Winnie the Pooh et al to spend the rest of their lives at their holiday houses.

    If the UN member countries and an obvious majority in China want to put the CCP out to pasture, they'd be eating grass. 1.4 billion people get their way.

    Join the world China, you're going to love Twitter, Instagram and the Kardashians, it makes sense for us all to share our wisdom and knowledge to get over this hurdle…you might need to dump the CCP. Now is not the time for economy with the truth.

  18. pat 18

    "It’s not too late for the Fed and the treasury to take shares of stock in every corporation that gets bailed out."

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/18/coronavirus-stimulus-checks-unemployment-benefits

    "If you’re behind on your debts, your coronavirus stimulus check could be taken from you."

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/17/states-are-moving-to-stop-creditors-from-taking-your-stimulus-check.html

    Yes , its the "land of the free etc" but there are lessons to be learned and motives to be recognised

    • David Mac 18.1

      Yes Pat. The US's inability to leave politics at the kerb in heavy duty times has cost them 1000's of lives.

      Here, I think Simon has done a pretty good job of throwing Jacinda the keys, lifted my respect for the guy. The temptation to holler right now must be strong and Simon keeping his gob zipped, onya sport. Now is the time for 1 strong guiding voice.

    • Cinny 18.2

      According to the chat on the trump pressers I've been watching, lots of people are waiting on their 'cheques'

      I wonder if the USA will publish the list of companies/businesses that were bailed out?

      So happy to live in NZ, we are so freaking lucky.

  19. David Mac 19

    Oh no, all those vast cattle farms in Argentina and fish canning operations in Vanuatu are going to go broke.

    Oh phew, Chinese investment and ownership is going to save them.

    Beware the naked man that offers you a shirt.

    • observer 20.1

      Lest we forget – this is the guy who was on the news tonight, claiming his views had been censored (even though he's been prominent in the media):

      "We don't want to squash a flea with a sledgehammer and bring the house down. I believe that other countries, such as Sweden, are steering a more sensible course through this turbulent time."

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120666809/do-the-consequences-of-this-lockdown-really-match-the-threat

      Mike Hosking last week described Sweden's death toll as "hardly alarming".If 500+ people had died in NZ, I wonder what his reaction would have been. (No I don't).

      • I Feel Love 20.1.1

        Hosking gets a good slam for supporting the "lets do Sweden" guys, on RNZ Media Watch, also get to hear Garner out with his begging bowl, gotta give Richardson some credit as he argues why should they get bailed out, when there's actual workers out there a bit more deserving than the big mouths on the radio.

    • David Mac 20.2

      Yes, this approach of theirs flies in the face of what the Swedes are famous for.

      Volvo – Ugly but safe….I fear it's going to be a train wreck.

      To bank on herd immunity before knowing if having the disease provides ongoing immunity is a bet I wouldn't take.

      I find it amazing that Sweden would take such a gamble, I wish them well and hold my breath.

    • Treetop 20.3

      What struck me the most in the article was, that a person in a rest home was not being tested for Covid-19 if deceased. I would also like to know if a person is being tested and what is being done to isolate the person.

      As grim as this is, I feel that it is important for the family to know if their relative had Covid-19. I realise that testing is not 100% accurate. It is important to also gather the correct information for profiling.

      The Swedish government do not have a protection policy in place for the over 70 population which is safe for them. As for showing concern this is not genuine. Being regretful is yet to be determined.

      There is no reliable strategy for controlling Covid-19 without taking an economic hit. There is also, no having a second chance.

      • I Feel Love 20.3.1

        NZ seems one of the few places counting those that die at home, and in resthomes, with Cov19, in their numbers. Other countries like UK and USA are only counting hospital deaths (obviously they're quite overwhelmed over there). From what I've read.

  20. Poission 21

    Two articles that caught my eye, one from hong kong.

    On April 14, the country recorded 17 new cases and 82 recoveries, but four more deaths underscored that victory was not yet won.

    Even so, the positive trend continued over the next two days: 20 new cases and 100 recoveries on April 15, 15 new cases and 42 recoveries on April 16, and no additional deaths. While still cautioning the public against complacency, Ardern has begun preparing to ease some restrictions.

    Maybe it is possible to be the sort of country where government is invitation, not imposition, and to crush the Covid-19 curve at the same time. Maybe we will look back on this Easter as the time when New Zealand, like Christ, began to rise from the tomb

    https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/3080286/new-zealand-looks-be-winning-coronavirus-war-does-jacinda-ardern

    The other is Keith Woodford and his argument for another two weeks of lockdown.

    https://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/104604/forthcoming-decision-when-we-should-move-covid-level-3-high-risk-expectations-high

  21. pat 23

    "Now, unmistakably, there’s a feeling that “things will never be the same after it’s over” and “we can’t go back to all that”.

    Can’t we, just? Some of those who govern us can imagine only restoring “their” Britain, disfigured by inequalities. They will exploit the real and moving solidarity shown in these pandemic months, as they confront the colossal debts left by rescue spending. They will impose another “we’re all in this together” campaign of savage austerity at the expense of social services and the poor."

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/19/after-the-crisis-a-new-world-wont-emerge-as-if-by-magic-we-will-have-to-fight-for-it

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/18/history-fairer-society-coronavirus-workers-black-death-spanish-flu

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