Open mike 21/12/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 21st, 2020 - 63 comments
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63 comments on “Open mike 21/12/2020 ”

  1. Treetop 1

    I have been thinking about the new variant of Covid 19.

    1. Should NZ stop flights from Britain until more is known about the variant?

    2. Does the new variant of Covid-19 require a longer isolation period?

    3. Would the new variant of Covid-19 be more lethal in the NZ population due to having less infections of the previous variant?

    About a month ago I raised the government being prepared over the Christmas/holiday period to make decisions about Covid if required.

    • Forget now 1.1

      Treetop

      Wiles has a good piece on the new UK variant, which isn't too technical. Main takeaway is that while this strain is concerning, it is the Johnson government's response to the pandemic that is really worrying.

      https://thespinoff.co.nz/science/21-12-2020/siouxsie-wiles-just-how-worrying-is-the-new-covid-19-strain-for-britain-and-the-rest-of-us/

      The more a virus infects, and thus the more it replicates, the more mutations will occur. Have to wonder what is happening in the USA, where there are more cases and less testing.

      • Treetop 1.1.1

        Thanks for the link, I will read it.

        Johnson has a lot going on with Brexit having a no deal exit as of today.

      • Treetop 1.1.2

        I did wonder if the PCR test being used would detect the new variant B.1.1.7

        • Incognito 1.1.2.1

          Wonder no longer.

          • Treetop 1.1.2.1.1

            And the next big jump of mutations with a new variant?

            • Incognito 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Are you a doomscroller?

              It is theoretically possible that current PCR tests will fail to pick up new variants but it is unlikely because PCR tests test for multiple regions of the virus genome. In any case, it is relatively easily rectified by changing the target regions of the PCR test. Different PCR test-kits target different regions, anyway, which is an argument not to rely on one test only and put all your eggs in one basket.

              BTW, those 14 mutations may not have occurred in one month.

    • Ed 1.2

      Iran has suspended flights to the U.K. for 2 weeks.

      We must follow their example.

    • According to BBC Radio 5 last night this mutation has been around since September and is one of many Covid mutations-all virus's mutate. This mutation will have spread around the world by now-the Guardian just reported that someone in Italy has the mutant virus.

      In reality the "mutant virus" story is a diversion tactic for yet another massive Boris cock-up/u-turn in relation to the abandoning of the stupid 5-day period of relaxation of the Covid rules at Christmas.

      • McFlock 1.3.1

        Yup. Maybe it's more infectious in practise, maybe not. Either way, super-covid is a great excuse for incompetent governments to start doing what they should have done nine months ago.

        • Bearded Git 1.3.1.1

          Scientists seemed to be saying yesterday that "super-covid" was no more virulent than standard covid and vaccines will protect against it. (No links sorry-just random media statements I heard)

  2. Ed 2

    Europe has banned flights. We should too.

    • Muttonbird 2.1

      Europe doesn't have MIQ. That said, there are too many people returning to this country. Needs to be managed.

      • Ed 2.1.1

        Michael Baker has expressed concerns that we are entering a most dangerous phase.

        He thinks we need more controls.

        I agree with him.

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/that-could-be-us-tomorrow-top-epidemiologist-warns-what-sydneys-covid-19-outbreak-means-for-aotearoa/AG3HG7DBDV22UTH5XHIJRXDZWM/

        • Muttonbird 2.1.1.1

          He's been talking about the traffic light system for a while but I can't see how if MIQ is done properly here it would make a difference.

          He's asking for a three day supervised isolation and negative test in high risk countries of origin. Great on paper but how is that going to work?

          • McFlock 2.1.1.1.1

            Weren't the Russian fishing crews tested beforehand? Don't lots of airlines already demand preflight tests?

            I’m all for defense-in-depth, but the preflight isolation and testing system doesn’t seem to have much effect.

            • Muttonbird 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, the problem with testing at source is that there is no warrant against corruption and poor procedure.

              We know the rest of the world’s standards are woefully inadequate compared to our own.

              • McFlock

                It might not even be that, so much as there's limited utility in isolating and testing someone before they go through some of the most high-traffic buildings in the world.

                A person with a false-negative result can unknowingly infect so many people at the gate, in the airbridge, in the plane, at the stopover, at the baggage claim…

        • Forget now 2.1.1.2

          Another slice of gruyere wouldn't be excessive.

          Thanks for this link Ed. I had read the truncated ODT version earlier, but that stops just after the "Ideally…" paragraph. NZH ads are pretty annoying though.

        • Treetop 2.1.1.3

          Just when you think that Covid is being managed it throws something at you. Usually 2 mutations per month, there have been 14 with B.1.1.7 the new variant.

          Link at 1.1

    • weka 2.2

      why? We have no community transmission, and if anyone coming into the country brings covid in it gets dealt with by border control.

      Europe still has community transmission and an inadequate covid response.

      I mean, I'm all for lessening flights further due to climate change, also happy for NZ to be forced by covid into a more regenerative way of living, but those are different rationales.

      • Cricklewood 2.2.1

        Ive been thinking about international air travel, I like the idea of a progressive taxation system as you dont want to make it impossible for people to visit family etc so for example you get one 'free' flight per year then for every subsequent flight you are taxed at an ever increasing percentage of the ticket value say 10 20 40 80 160….

        • weka 2.2.1.1

          Interesting idea. One of my concerns atm is that with the covid response we're creating a class division for flying. Wealthier people can afford to come and go and pay the MIQ costs (fees, time off work). Lower income people can't. Taxation would make that even more so.

          Otoh, lots of people already can't afford to fly, and beneficiaries get 'taxed' if they stay out of the country too long (lose their income in fact).

          I suspect that at this point, a big push on educating people around flying and the ecological impacts is needed before we can do much else. Then strategies on how to adapt lifestyles without feeling unduly deprived.

  3. francesca 3

    Nothing much has changed

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/20/russian-hack-suspected-role-biden-mulls-punishment

    Propaganda that isn't defrocked until decades after it's done its corrosive work .And generation after generation falls for it

    https://fort-russ.com/2020/12/todays-china-espionage-scandals-revive-the-gouzenko-hoax-that-unleashed-the-cold-war/

    Wikipedia still not addressing the 1985 declassification of the Gouzenko documents , which came up with nothing

    It's a great little gag though, your own intelligence agencies provide intelligence that can't be publicly verified for security reasons, and give cover for waging war on a perceived adversary.

  4. Anne 4

    He's starting the right way. Fingers crossed it will continue:

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/us-president-elect-joe-biden-introduces-team-to-tackle-climate-change/CMMG3LE3DNJVHKGSDZQIJX22WE/

    If the US turns it around and takes the lead on climate change… that will be a big incentive for other countries to follow suit.

    • Ad 4.1

      Biden announced it in nice clear terms:

      "We're in a crisis. Just like we need to be a unified nation in response to Covid19, we need a unified national response to climate change."

      Almost stating the obvious, except so few elected leaders are stating it.

  5. vto 5

    Repeating at risk of tedium;…

    Push wealth down and society strengthens and prospers (e.g. the US 1950-1980)

    Push wealth up and society weakens and fails (e.g. the US 1980-2020)

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/dec/20/joe-biden-trickle-down-economics-build-up

    • RedBaronCV 5.1

      Not that I see any chance of counter measures around this government.

      And there are still 192,000 work visa holders in the country or having their visa extended again – supposedly while we "train" people – but in reality undermining our local labour market. There has been quite few months now to train people and unless we start dropping these visa numbers steadily by 20K or so a month the labour market will never start to adjust to provide proper jobs and conditions for locals.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/123772445/covid19-desperate-hospitality-industry-welcomes-visa-changes

      • Adrian 5.1.1

        If we sent the 192,000 home just exactly how much work do you think would get done? There are very few NZers who are available to do the work offered even with the quite generous incentives. It is dreaming to think that even a few thousand inner city unemployed are able or willing to move to do all the work that is out there.

        Most importantly, the billions of dollars lost if agricultural work is not done is billions that will not be available to pay for the vaccines and other essential medicines and all manner of other stuff that we now deem essential.

    • Incognito 5.2

      Another shill piece by a shill for neo-liberalism in a shill tabloid. \sarc

  6. Muttonbird 6

    A $6000 fine for two years of deliberate neglect is just $8/day. Pathetic disincentive.

    Crockers should be held accountable too. Property management companies should be regulated into ensuring their clients abide by the rules, or face penalties.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/12/south-auckland-landlord-ordered-to-pay-tenants-6000-after-failing-to-repair-mouldy-water-damaged-home-for-two-years.html

  7. Phillip ure 7

    everyone pretty relaxed about labour sitting on that damning report (commissioned by them) into how the border closedown was mis-managed..?

    that they sat on it since september..then released it on the very last day possible in 2020..thus avoiding parliamentary questioning..?

    any labour loyalists at all uncomfortable about any of that..?

    and of course..seeing as they were re-elected on their handling of that issue..?

    and all bullshitting on their part also..to add insult to injury..

    how about all that..?

    • Graeme 7.1

      It all depends on how comprehensively the findings of the report have been acted on and the deficiencies around the border corrected. My impression is that they have been.

      Government commissioned the report to find out what wasn't working. We'd never done this before so there's a very high chance some things wouldn't be working as well as they should, so find them and fix them. That's government / management.

      Sitting on the report until the end is also government / management. It reduces the time that the opposition and media can attack the things that happened in the past and distract and divert the Government from governing and keeping us safe. National were very adept at this as well, but usually it was around feathering their mates' nests.

    • lprent 7.2

      The report recommendations were reported on some time ago. In the lead up to the election. It was a report commissioned to look at lessons learnt rather than to fulfilling your critic’s blame game tactics. That is why you can see a pile of recommendations about how to make the system better and look at the limits on the approach rather tha trying to crucify people..

      Don’t you think that it is better to report on how actually fix problems? Rather than being a ineffectual simpleton critic who drools at the thought of political blood sports and eating red meat of victims?

      If you think that last was offensive to you – then think on how offensive I view your lazy arse comment as being. Pigfucker comments deserve the same in response.

      • Phillip ure 7.2.1

        'pigfucker comments'..for questioning this..?

        really..?

        would you say the same thing to Kathryn ryan..?

        'cos she just lost it in her politics with bridget morton/mills segment on rnz..(available on rnz site later..)

        I have never heard her more angry..

        my comment is most polite..in comparison..

        and so…if national did something like this…

        you would be totally relaxed about that..?

        to me it reeks of both hubris..and deeply cynical cover-up..

        and light years away from the new way of doing politics..promised by j.ardern..

        • lprent 7.2.1.2

          Pigfucker. Just one part of that…

          any labour loyalists at all uncomfortable about any of that..?

          That walked right over the edge into making you appear to have the ethics of Cameron Slater.

          That is a pigfucker question of the style of “when did you last fuck your favourite sow?” It works on the principle that explaining is losing. Has nothing to do with debate.

          eg; “Aren’t you discouraged that you don't appear to have ever managed to do anything effectual politically in your lifetime?”

          It is often directed at a group so that the coward using it can say “but I wasn’t meaning you” when people take it personally. If you don’t like getting called on doing it, then don’t come here.

          I’m perfectly comfortable with treating you the same as I did with Cameron.

          • Phillip ure 7.2.1.2.1

            so…back to Kathryn ryan..

            have you listened to her anger…?

            and my echoing her words..

            ..deserves me being called a pigfucker..?..and the rest of it..?

            and now I am cameron slater…?

            a tad over-reacting from you..?

            and I was under the impression using such personal abuse is not allowed on this site..?

            and am I meant to be cowed by that abuse…?

            I ain't..

            • Drowsy M. Kram 7.2.1.2.1.1

              Heard Ryan's splenetic positioning (link @7.2.1.1) – not unreasonable on a semi-political blog, but OTT for a RNZ interviewer don't you think? Maybe our Government understands the importance of sustaining the hugely successful health outcomes of NZ's COVID response into 2021 – here's hoping.

              The expensive and ineffective border system we’ve had in place to date is not good enough. National is ready to work constructively with the Government on ways to improve this.

              I lay NZ’s comparatively excellent COVID health outcomes at least partly at the feet of our Government, our public health service professionals and boarder control workers et al. Always room for improvement, and yet there's no place I'd rather be right now.

              We don't know how fortunate we are to have that place
              We don't know how propitious are the circumstances Frederick

              So if things are looking really bad
              you're thinking of givin' it away
              Remember New Zealand's a cracker
              and I reckon come what may
              If things get appallingly bad
              and we all get atrociously poor
              If we stand in the queue with our hats on
              we can borrow a few million more.

              We don't know how lucky we are, mate
              We don't know how lucky we are.

              • Phillip ure

                that's why it stood out to me..

                the high degree of splenetic in her rant…

                (she had to pause to catch her breath a couple of times)

                and no matter how it is trying to be spun after the event…I think some trust has been bonfired..

                and I'm picking that the new year will see the end of that long honeymoon between j.ardern..and the media…

                a harsher eye will be cast upon j.ardern/this gummint..

                especially if they fail to move on the issues screaming out for urgent solutions..

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Ryan has certainly 'bonfired' some of my trust in her impartiality. She has a guest 'from the left' and a guest 'from the right' in that weekly timeslot – maybe she thought her guest 'from the right' wasn't splenetic enough.

                  NZ has been lucky, but our comparatively excellent COVID-19 health outcomes aren't all down to luck – there's been some good management too. NZ is well on the way to breaking its previous record of 102 days without a case of COVID-19 from an unknown source, and we've had more NZers repatriated during the current run of nearly 3 months.

                  New Zealand’s approach to the pandemic has been widely praised internationally for its quick and tough action over the virus, having completed 1,030,115 tests as of 18 October 2020.
                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_New_Zealand

                  Here's hoping the team of nearly five million can get through to the New Year without another case of community transmission to establish a new (year's) record smiley

            • lprent 7.2.1.2.1.2

              Your behaviour. Your problem. You've been warned.

    • Muttonbird 7.3

      The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    • Louis 7.4

      Mismanaged? Nah, not so. NZ has no community transmission and has one of the best Covid19 responses in the world. Look at what is happening around the world, NZ is the best place to be right now. Dont know why youre bitching about it, there was no rule book for this pandemic, the govt have learnt along the way, like everyone else, and have corrected what ever needed to be adjusted to shore up NZ's response and its working. The facts prove it.

  8. Muttonbird 8

    Only white people welcome?

    Luxury resort attracts former PM John Key and cricket coach Brendon McCullum

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/property/123769946/luxury-resort-attracts-former-pm-john-key-and-cricket-coach-brendon-mccullum

    Not one mention in that article about the Real Estate agent's very recent past.

    • Graeme 8.1

      Well this would be the 3rd or 4th go at launching this project. It's on the windiest, driest and most rabbit infested bit of land in the basin. The same sort of development has been proposed, and attempted by at least four other developers on other sites down the Valley of Debt, sorry, Gibbston Valley, without success, they usually get a very windswept vineyard that cost money to run, a few building platforms and the 'resort' bit never seems to eventuate.

      The valley is also renown for it's water wars, which hop off into another dimension without equal.

      For some light relief here's compost's marketing video. Warning : swallow your coffee first

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/750m-golfhousing-resort-planned-for-quiet-gibbston-valley/U3K2ZYAPRDXO3F4HMWUN5DC66I/

      As for Key and McCullum's involvement, probably got a section / shares for the use of their 'brands' in the marketing.

      I'd be surprised if this really goes where they are planning, the site isn't even close to what Millbrook can offer and not where you'd want to have your 5 million mansion.

  9. Nic181 10

    I’ve just read that so called “A listers,” are lining up for a gated community in the Gibbston Valley. Houses cost $4 million upwards. Apparently John Key is one of them. What Fuckers!! When we have families living in cars that is beyond obscene! Fuck off to the USA where money is worshipped, you won’t get that from this Kiwi.

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