- Date published:
6:00 am, January 24th, 2021 - 80 comments
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Open mike is your post.
For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.
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Step up to the mike …
Convo on twitter about whether the UK could have closed its borders early on in an attempt to contain covid transmission. Leaving aside whether elimination was ever an option for them, and whether it was culturally or politically possible to close the borders, looking simply at the logistics of a border close, are there good reasons why it wasn't possible? Or was it?
Explanations please, not just assertions that it could or couldn't be done.
Reading the NZ Maritime Border orders now.
As a complete aside – not been following news – have we started to vaccinate our border and other at risk staff yet? And if not how soon will it be done?
No we haven't started yet. Ministry of Health sez second quarter 2021 to start. Medsafe hasn't yet approved any covid vaccines for use in NZ.
April that seems to be a long way away for the staff at the interface and cabin crew going overseas. For the rest of us it's not so urgent as they shield us. I would have thought in the next 2-3 weeks would be a better idea. Does medsafe have expertise not held overseas?
That document doesn’t exactly sound urgent in terms of protecting the virus from getting in. More interested in setting up a national spy system register that of course can only be accessed electronically and with no doubt significant capture of personal information. with a view to sharing it perhaps?
Meh. It seems reasonable to me for us to wait.
Overseas, people are dying and getting long term disabilities at huge rates. While we here in New Zealand are mostly containing it at the border with very few hiccups, using simple techniques and trained staff. The cost of containment really isn't that high, compared to the cost of dealing with disease that other countries are dealing with.
I doubt Medsafe think they have greater expertise than overseas. It's just that overseas they have medical emergencies going on, so they have approved the vaccines for emergency use with less information than would be required for full approval. That full approval will be coming in due course. We don't have the medical emergency, so we have the luxury of waiting for more complete information for full approval.
There's also questions around whether and how much the vaccine efficacy is reduced against the newer mutations. It may be that Pfizer/BioNTech (and Moderna) will adjust their mRNA recipe to improve efficacy against the newer strains. If that happens, there will be questions around how much new testing will be required for the adjusted recipe.
So all up, looks to me like the Ministry of Health has found a good balance between urgency, getting enough info for full approval, and not trying to muscle into the queue when there really are many others with much greater needs than ours.
+1 Andre. I am rather irritated by critics who scream that we should be greedily queue-jumping like Singapore.
Time will tell if this is yet another case where Righties are screaming that we should do what Sweden/Australia/whoever are doing, only to go all quiet when things turn to custard there, and we turn out to have chosen the better policy.
It seems to me that much of the demands for instant vaccine supply is politically motivated. And a couple of 'academics' are getting quoted a lot in this respect. In our supposedly impartial but privately-run news media…
I'm a little unclear if there is a shortage of vaccines, or if covid countries are struggling with the roll outs because of time and logistics.
At present, there seems to be production & supply issue with the Pfizer vaccine that’s affecting mainly the EU. The AstraZeneca vaccine has not yet been approved in the EU but this apparently will be happening soon. There’s more less-positive news on the vaccine front, unfortunately, but I’ll leave that for another time or commenter.
interested when you have the time
Just quickly a couple of links:
Covid-19: Reports from Israel suggest one dose of Pfizer vaccine could be less effective than expected
Sorry, very little time now 🙁
ta, will have a look.
My understanding is the countries with high rates of Covid are being prioritised which makes sense. Since NZ has one of the lowest rates of cases, I guess we're near the bottom of the list. They can't supply every country with the vaccine all at once so we have to be patient and wait out turn.
makes sense and as it should be. We have ways of managing covid that other countries don't have.
sent you an email.
No email has arrived. I wonder if it was meant for someone else. 🙂
Yup, it was 😀
Agree with all of that Andre.
It may be that Pfizer/BioNTech (and Moderna) will adjust their mRNA recipe to improve efficacy against the newer strains.
The latest news I'm hearing is that the rollout in the UK and EU of these mRNA vaccines has hit big problems with production. I don't know how seriously this will impact the timelines, but it does suggest that approval and access to more conventional alternatives like the Oxford AstraXenica (which can be easily made in dozens of existing plants globally) should be a priority.
In this AU/NZ can and should wait for the inevitable teething problems overseas to be sorted.
Red Barron the reason why countries are vaccinating now and not later is because c19 is rampant in these countries and it makes sense to build up herd immunity because so many are dying compared to the risk an not fully tested vaccine program.
NZ has the luxury of wait and see what vaccine is best.
No advantage to be gained by rushing an untried vaccine.
Especially as there is no evidence of the length the vaccine will protect us.
i can see the sense in waiting for the general rollout.
More specifically though – if these new strains are as contagious – dangerous as they are being made out to be – then surely it makes sense to protect the at risk people manning our border response, who are a fairly small group and even if it only lasts a few weeks surely that is better than leaving them without any protection at all. and given it's only a few thousand doses why not do it as fast as possible. It doesn't have to be tied to the general rollout surely? Bit like giving the border response better masks N95 than the standard bits of paper. The cost is tiny and the potential benefits are huge.
There was a link floating around the other day on a research piece that showed how the virus had transmitted in flight on an Airnz service. Sober reading.
the vaccines are new, and they're still gathering data on how well they work, what kind of immunity they grant, whether the vaccinated person can still transmit the virus, and what kind of side effects and at what rate they are happening. Given CV is a novel virus causing a new disease that we don't fully understand yet, it makes sense to wait until there is more research on all those things. As explained above, NZ's situation isn't urgent and it's better to let the wrinkles get ironed out before using the vaccines here.
is herd immunity a current goal? I'm sure it's the long term goal, but I suspect atm it's to just get as many people protected as possible. Once we have longer term data on the vaccines I think it will be easier to see if herd immunity is possible or if we are going for something like the limitation of influenza.
I doubt that complete or near complete herd immunity is possible. This looks like being another endemic population disease.
I suspect that we’re going to be looking at reducing the R0 to the point that outbreaks are small, contained, and infrequent. That requires vaccination in adults and possibly eventually down to kids. That depends on the effectiveness of the vaccines over time. But definitely always targeting vaccines for those at the highest mortality and damage risks from the covid-19 family.
But vaccinated people will always have a small probability of getting it. So will the people who have already had it. The important thing is that there is sufficient population immunities to stop it going epidemic.
how do you see that being achieved in NZ? Does that mean at some point after mass vaccination we open the borders and let CV in and contain any outbreaks? Or are you thinking border would open after other countries have achieved sufficient population immunities.
The best explanation of the rise of Trumpism I’ve read.
Not that I actually understand them.
Interestingly that article starts with a description of appallingly bad safety standards at a major petrochem site in the 1960's. Yet remarkably everything has changed in the 50 years since; the events he describes are pretty much unthinkable in a developed country today.
I worked for decades in that control room, always aware that I could kill or main with a bad or unlucky decision. Yet the technology advanced dramatically, giving us tools and platforms that properly implemented, making incidents like the above orders of magnitude less likely. Organisations soon realised that investing in safety tech actually saved them cash, and in the past decade virtually every major new install, and many smaller ones, now has a substantial safety tech component.
Men like the person in that article used to do all the dirty, dangerous work. He describes it well; but it's worth noting that industry has changed, and continues to change since those days.
Not that this takes much away from the primary narrative of the article; there is a strong sense of betrayal driving Trumpist populism in the USA. It's real and has legitimate causes and real consequences – homelessness and opiates stalk the lower rungs of the American dream.
Yet the bottom 20% of the US, if they were treated as a nation by itself, is still one of the wealthiest in the world in terms of consumption per capita, falling just between the Netherlands and Canada. (And considerably higher than NZ). This is the paradox of inequality – it's not primarily about GINI coefficients and numbers – but I believe has it's roots in our psychological welfare. How connected we are, how healthy communities are and whether we feel the society we live in will look out for our interests. And in this the US political consensus from Clinton onward has squandered an enormous reservoir of trust on largely corrupt ends.
While I'm on record here as defending the USA from it's more rabid detractors, the above is true at the same time. It’s not hard to understand them – they’re our brothers and sisters.
I didn't find any refutations but, considering where that story is repeated, it seems likely to be a fraud.
In pure gdp per capita terms the bottom 5% have about twice the income of the US bottom 5% with the US incomes only going higher about the 50th percentile. The study claims there is heaps of unrecorded material help in the US which compensates for this, but I don't think the conclusion is credible.
Bottom 5% and bottom 20% are different cohorts. Moreover you're using income not consumption, again different measures. Statistics do not interpret themselves, there are often multiple, competing explanations for the same result, and we are left to choose among them.
considering where that story is repeated
Shooting the messenger ain't an argument. Not everything the other guy's say is by definition 'fraud'. You might not like their conclusions, but you're much better off trying to create constructive dialog and find common ground regardless.
Yes, thats why I only said its likely to be fraud.
But who knows, maybe the Democrats are about to adopt a new narrative of even our poorest are doing better than the average European?
The only reason why I quoted it is that it provides a counterpoint to the usual inequality narrative that defines the problem solely in terms of 'poverty'. Because the USA is such a fundamentally prosperous nation, even with the extremes of wealth between the top 0.1% and the bottom 50% – virtually all Americans are still better off than the vast majority of humanity.
This does not mean that inequality is not a problem, quite the contrary I've consistently held here for years that it's one of the most outstanding moral challenges humanity faces.
Because when we start using numbers and statistics to anchor the argument alone – we soon come adrift if we cannot also find some common ground and understanding to reach a consensus on what they mean.
I struggle to see how one homeless person dying because of a lack of medical care is any better off than another homeless person dying because of a lack of medical care. So I suspect the lower-threshold incomes of your great nation intersect with everyone else's somewhere between 0% and your picked 50%.
Yup – the low threshold is an arbitrary choice. 20% was derived from the article I referenced. Then Nick wanted to go with 5%. The lowest 50% is another commonly used threshold point.
In essence yes you're correct, there will be some low number – 5% seems as good a guess as any – where the US population is definitely neck-deep in homelessness, opiates, minimal health care, poor education, precarious work etc. But still they're by and large still a long way from any global definition of absolute poverty.
But this doesn't negate the point I was making, inequality is important not just because of any arbitrary measures of income we might measure it with, but because it undermines trust in the social fabric.
Now here's an interesting point. In very poor countries there isn't much potential for inequality to be a problem, because with few exceptions the gap between the top 1% and the bottom 20% is not all that large in absolute terms. But when talking about the most prosperous nation on earth by a large margin, then suddenly the gap becomes very large indeed. And that matters a great deal.
Red logistics that's why Biden wants undocumented migrants and the poor to be immunised.
Also Biden wants everyone counted on the census to make sure that herd immunity can be achieved.
You’re talking a herd of shit. Provide some links.
But why do I bother replying to you, the one commenter here who never reads replies to their comments let alone responds to them?
How much better off can they be if they're dying of the same things?
This is the interesting thing about inequality, the mere fact of being stacked up at the very bottom of any society, regardless of absolute measures of income or consumption – tends to have a toxic effect across the board in outcomes.
That's what I'm trying to convey here, that while we measure inequality in terms of material parameters, the impact of it doesn't necessarily correlate with absolute wealth very well. So yes in this we're saying much the same thing.
It might help if you could find a coutry with high inequality where the conditions of the poorest people aren't repeated across the globe in absolute terms: malnourished, homeless, scarce (if any) healthcare, and preventable death.
Doesn't have to be an arbitray 40% or 50% of median. Just a place where the poorest people (documented or undocumented) live like kings compared to the poorest in another country.
I was in no way suggesting an alternate threshold but just describing how large an income disparity there is observed by conventional measures for the fraud to be actually fact.
While in income terms and often materially the poorest of the first world will be better off than most in the second and third world (as is well known). Your example however claimed in the US they would be better off than the average of other first world countries.
I’d ask you read the my comments in the whole and address that rather than selectively quibble and derail.
The point of using that reference is that data and statistics by themselves do not tell us what they mean. There are often competing meanings for the same information and I presented one that paints one different perspective. Reaching immediately for the 'fraud' card to make it go away is intellectually lazy.
But in the context of the whole comment it's perfectly clear I'm not in anyway diminishing inequality as a core moral issue – quite the contrary I personally believe the left has done a great disservice to the question by typically framing it in material terms only.
When in fact I believe it's a much more challenging and profound question than this.
Quite frankly I have no symphathy for people like Sherman. A guy who thinks that some queer college student in New England who has a sex life is a huge threat to western civilasation but is willing to let corporations kill and maim their workers for profit, for a shit wage that is spent mostly on rent.
These people have no place in the working class. Him and his shitty little Bible.
Looking back through history the billionaire class have always treated workers like this keep them poor and powerless.
Well my comment points out the exact opposite, that this kind of poor safety practice is no longer normal at all. Much of it was just ignorance, and that men like Lee were acculturated to high risk – than malice.
The good news is that, in most developed parts of the world, this has changed quite dramatically since the 1960's.
Did Sherman have a particular stance on gay issues?
A tribute to Terry Pratchett, shot in NZ.
Hundreds of videos like this coming out of Russia. Poots won't be pleased.
And a good report here.
This crowd almost compares to a Chump Inauguration!/ sarc
They're pissed off with Poots larceny.
Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation has released a bombshell investigation into a $1.35-billion residence built for Russian President Vladimir Putin near a resort town on the Black Sea. Navalny’s team published the report the day after the opposition figure was put in pre-trial detention at Moscow’s notorious Matrosskaya Tishina prison. In addition to sharing the building’s floor plan and visualizations of the interiors, the anti-corruption activists recount the history of the construction project and dig into how it was financed by companies connected to members of Putin’s inner circle. “Meduza” sums up the highlights from the investigation.
#putin is a thief
Yep! That and almost everything else.
Rather wonderful how "Poots" has instructed his architects to do an uncannily exact reconstruction of the Strahov library in Prague.
so willing to believe you useless idiots
Sort of like these ones really, don't you think?
Protests about police brutality are met with wave of police brutality across US
And 'what about' those ones over there?
This the same Nalvany who called Muslims "cockroaches"? Or who has made well known his disdain for those in Ukraine, Georgia etc?
Putin is bascially Don Colreone with missile codes, but the so-called liberal opposition figures are hardly angels themselves. The other liberal darling, Ksenia Saubchuk, is on record as wanting to sell Russian assets to Western multinationals and was absolutely fine with the extra judicial killing of George Floyd.
Probably why the Russian put up with Putin so much, the others are probably even worse.
In the context of Russian history over the past 200 years or more, Putin is by far and away the very best leader they've ever had.
Russia is beset by challenges geopolitical, demographic, historic and cultural – but despite this progress has been visible in the past 20 years. Even at a personal level when I look (using google earth) at parts of the Russian city I lived and worked in for some months back in 2001, I'm astonished at the changes that have happened since.
We forget that the 90's were an absolute disaster for Russia, and that Western betrayal played a large part in that debacle. When I was there the impacts of it were highly visible and quite visceral. That Putin has largely lifted Russia out of this explains a great deal of his enduring popularity.
But his regime rests on a narrow circle of competent people, and they're both aging and short on fresh ideas. It's entirely understandable that younger generations of Russians are keen to look elsewhere for new ideas. The problem for them, is that there are very few alternative figures outside of the Kremlin system who have any real track record at governance.
Clinton and Pelosi just won't give up on their fake news 'Russiagate' bat shit crazy conspiracy carry on….though I see there are still a few takers out there, one born every day I guess.
Clinton: I would love to see if Trump 'was talking to Putin the day that the insurgents invaded our Capitol'
So much economic anxiety..
A man who helped drag a police officer down the U.S. Capitol steps tried to flee to Switzerland after the day of the siege and then, in what authorities called a different type of flight effort, attempted suicide, prosecutors told a judge on Friday.
Describing the case as “very disturbing,” a federal magistrate denied bail to Jeffrey Patrick Sabol, a 51-year-old divorced geophysicist with three children. Patrick has not been charged with assault but rather under a civil disorder statute barring any effort to “obstruct, impede, or interfere” law enforcement.
Sabol’s federal defender Jason Ser argued that his client’s wealth, extensive family connections, and prominent, well-paid and celebrated geophysicist were sufficient to grant the bail request. The defense offered a $200,000 bail package, secured by several sureties, to ensure the defendant’s continued presence in the country and at future court appearances.
The judge, however, said those facts weighed against any form of leniency in Sabol’s case.
Remarking on the defendant’s highly-pedigreed, upper-crust background—and specifically citing his employment as a renowned geophysicist, his extensive family ties and his elite financial means—Krause said “this cuts against him” because “despite all that he did go and engage in that conduct on January 6.
One thing about a lot of these people who have been arrested, they seem to have a high proportion of highly-qualified professions if not wealth. Geophysicist, ffs? Lawyers, dentists, etc.
The vanguard of the 'white conservative working class'.
Thanks for the link Joe90, though I can't be too happy about even a traitor's suicide attempt. Nor is he likely to be the only one facing prosecution for the coup attempt who chooses that method of saving face. Wasn't there a second cop who killed themself after the events of January 6th? Yes:
So Trump made no sign of mourning the death of an officer (allegedly) beaten to death with a fire extinguisher by his own minions, until one linked to the GOP died by his own hand and both were suddenly worth his recognition.
Anyway, I clicked on this link from your link which is a little off topic, but likewise shows that delusionists may not be able to elude justice for ever:
Potential community case in Northland.
Ashley Bloomfield to make an announcement at 4 pm
Really have to wonder what “travelled around Northland” means exactly. I imagine quite a few people from all around Aotearoa have been travelling around Northland in that time period.
Those who don’t use the apps (I don’t do the bluetooth part myself, but maybe should start switching that on), should start taking pen and paper with them again.
That's around the 21minute mark in the RNZ link above. Also acknowledgement to [email protected] for first mentioning this community COVID case on OM, I should've have made my comment as a reply to theirs but was distracted.
The only good news is that she used her COVID App properly.
The government needs to listen to Michael Baker.
Listening to the news and he is saying the following.
Hotels are not the places to manage isolation.
We must stop entry of people from highly infectious countries.
Baker is not the only one to be calling for more extreme precautions. Though given the strains first detected in; Italy, the UK, South Africa, and Brazil have spread into other countries already, stopping entry from those particular countries is a bit of locking the barn door after the horse has bolted.
Though this was on RNZ website mere hours before today's community COVID alert was announced. And I have to assume that the Professor knows more than I do:
How do you wear a mask while smoking?
Wilson is proposing eliminating smoking areas entirely, and presumably barring entry to those who are unable to cope with this requirement. Though the sentence is a bit ambiguous, there should have been at least a comma there.
Also, I have had another glance at that tab, and when I say "mere hours" – that's actually more like 26 hours.
Further up thread i wondered why we were waiting so long to vaccinate the few thousand manning the border but I seem to be the only one that feels it might be a good idea?
RBCV, there is no vaccine in the country with which to vaccinate border staff. Hipkins; in today’s announcement, said maybe March for that – depending on supply logistics.
From the link that [email protected] posted in reply to your upthread query:
And we can't fly a small quantity of doses in?? One of them at least doesn't need the very low temperatures. I think I'd appreciate a much greater sense of urgency around a couple of thousand doses. Nail for horseshoe type scenario –
It was always planned for March / April at the earliest as far as I am aware. End of the first quarter.That was the earliest that I thought that we could start vaccinating assuming a near end of 2020 release of vaccines. I was saying that back in October. So was the government.
We had no urgent need to do a emergency validation and certification of the vaccines because we didn’t have a pandemic raging in NZ. Therefore it was best to let other countries to work out the vaccine bugs in terms of delivery, contra immunisation factors (what to watch for to prevent side-effects), large scale efficacy, and everything else involved in rolling out a vaccine program.
FFS: My long term expectation was I’d be surprised if we hit acceptable reasonable vaccination levels this year (ie < ~60%). I don’t expect opening the borders except to a handful of locations until the third quarter.
And that was some of these more virulent strains turned up. So far they mostly look like just needing to increase the required level of vaccination in the population so that they can’t outbreak easily.
Its all a stats & probability question. Listening to children wanting the satisfaction NOW.. Who does that?
Thats right – National.. The party for children.
Look I really get the scenario over the mass rollout – we don't have the pandemic so we can take a measured approach and I'm not suggesting otherwise. I've said this repeatedly.
Then this is this other very small group of people – a few thousand.
If we look at stats and probability the people manning the border, quarantine etc are the first ring of defence for the rest of us. Their chances of contracting it, along with the people actually doing the quarantine days must be higher than for the rest of the population.
My question remains why are we not showing a great deal more urgency about vaccinating this very limited group separately from the main rollout? We could import a few thousand doses surely ( and also vaccinate people as they enter quarantine) because the cost of doing this is surely very minor compared to locking down Auckland , running mass testing etc etc. And even in terms of scarce vaccine it means we can kick the can down the road further for the mass usage leaving it for others.
To me it's nuts not to be doing this small group for the good of us all. Even if the vaccine is not perfect.
The woman has been very diligent with her movements, but no matter how diligent you are there can be times that there are gaps. I am taken back with the list of places she has visited that there are no gas stations that I can see listed.
Well, two options come to mind: one is that she's not a driver, and the other is that she does drive but uses those robo-pumps that have popped up in the last couple of years. Not much chance for close contact with those.
Apart from touching the pump handles – hard surfaces like rubbish tins and lift buttons have been implicated in transmission. I always glove up and sanitise at the pump.
True, to a degree. But somewhat oily hard surfaces for an already low form of transmission…
What if Justin Bieber ran for President?
If his music does not disqualify Bieber from standing, this surely does: https://www.loc.gov/classroom-materials/elections/presidential-election-process/requirements-for-the-president-of-the-united-states/
Sorry, I have no time to watch the clip.