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Open mike 25/08/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 25th, 2021 - 88 comments
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88 comments on “Open mike 25/08/2021 ”

  1. Opinion

    The trouble with the Wuhan virus is that it’s neither one thing nor the other!

    If, on the one hand, it was as mild a disease as the flu (though the flu kills 500 people a year in this country, which figure surprised me) then fws like Alan Jones on Sky News Australia (I’m not going to link!) would be right in saying we need to learn to live with it. The flu has detrimental effects on the old and compromised, but, by and large, we all recover with few lasting after effects.

    Not so Covid-19. It was shocking to learn a child under 1 has the virus in NZ, and there have been plenty of cases world-wide of young and seemingly healthy people being killed by the disease. Then there’s the phenomenon called long-covid, which seems to have debilitating effects for months. Few people suffer, but for those who do, it’s not nice!

    On the other hand, if the virus had a death rate approaching that of the Black Death of the 1340s in Europe, or the Great Plague of 1665 in London – around 30% mortality, then our government’s commendable actions would seem mild and inviting disaster. (Not that I wish the virus to be more virulent!)

    Because the death rate of Covid-19 is so relatively low it allows right whingers to rabbit on about the economy. It also allows the anti-vax nutbars a platform to voice their cranky views.

    As an old time leftie (I would probably nationalise anything that moved and harness it to the service of the people) I have been, I admit, a little disappointed by the lack of ‘socialist fervour’ displayed by our government, but cannot fault their overall performance in containing this virus.

    I posted this quote yesterday (a screen-shot, I think, of a FB page on a Twitter post – no idea how to copy and past that into Open Mike) but I think it’s worth repeating:

    Ciaran Irvine said:

    "The right wing media here (and also in the rest of the world) NEED Jacinda to fail at this – because how she has handled Covid indicts them all as not just clueless spoofers but in many countries actual mass murderers,

    "The Right has been utterly, catastrophically, psychotically Wrong all over the world at every single step of this pandemic, so Aotearoa's success thus far infuriates them and they NEED us to fail."

    We may not be so lucky when the next pandemic shakes the world up.

    • gsays 1.1

      Not a lot to take issue with there.

      I can acknowledge the attempts at change made by the government: increases in minimum wage, the improvement in pensions.

      However, the problems seem to arise amongst those who are charged with implementing any reform. They appear to be stuck in this neo-liberal mindset. Hospitals and DHBs having CEOs and sub contracting important parts of the work force.

      As an example, our local DHB resisted issuing scrubs to front line staff for a long time in the first lockdown. Shortage of stock was cited as an excuse. This time round the policy is to wait until Covid is identified in the district before scrubs are available.

      This arrogance is akin to folk who don't scan or wear masks, because they know better.

      This is all about a balance sheet. The DHB bears the cost of laundering. Whereas public health should be the lens through which these decisions are made. Less of ‘The machine that goes bing’ ala Monty Python.

      Back to your wider point, we are needing to have a korero about the short and medium term future and what life in Aotearoa looks like in 2025.

    • I Feel Love 1.2

      It is depressing that people want us to fail (deaths, life long illness, overflowing hospitals) for political reasons.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 1.2.1

        Yep, Scomo and others seem to believe this Delta outbreak in NZ is (somehow) a validation of their beliefs, and so are hoping NZ doesn't get on top of the outbreak. They would prefer NZ to be a NSW, not a SA or WA – depressing and revealing.

        How’s your ‘keep it out, stamp it out’ mantra going now? Delta has really upped the cost of that hasn’t it?

        I believe the tragic Covid-19 death toll is a validation of the Govt's virus elimination strategy, and the Team of (nearly) Five Million's has (again) responded magnificently.

        Keep it out, Stamp it out
        Unite against COVID-19
        https://covid19.govt.nz/

      • McFlock 1.2.2

        And for personal coping reasons, I suspect.

        I don't mean the full nutbar brigade. But if your dad died of it last year while you were convincing yourself that masks were an overreaction and it was fine to go to that football match and take shortcuts with isolation, then a country eliminating delta means that dad might have died of a preventable disease rather than an irresistable act of god.

    • Jenny how to get there 1.3

      Tony Veitch (not etc.)

      25 August 2021

      Opinion

      ……Because the death rate of Covid-19 is so relatively low it allows right whingers to rabbit on about the economy. It also allows the anti-vax nutbars a platform to voice their cranky views.

      "……Aotearoa's success thus far infuriates them and they NEED us to fail."

      Our local Fifth Columnists, enemy within, want us to fail more than most.

      Fifth column

      World War II poster from the United States denouncing fifth columnists

      A fifth column is any group of people who undermine a larger group from within……

      ……Clandestine fifth column activities can involve acts of sabotage, disinformation, or espionage executed within defense lines by secret sympathizers with an external force….

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

      We've had sabotage, we certainly have had disinformation. I don't think, we have had any espionage, executed by sympathisers of an external force embarrassed by our success, and wanting us to fail. (Unless you count the people parading with QAnon signs at a Billy TK anti-lockdown rally, as "sympathisers of an external force").

  2. vto 2

    I think Jacinda needs to stop with the hand-wringing, over-earnest, exaggerated caring manner. It has become cringe-worthy. And is putting people off, as they can't bear to watch or listen.

    Maybe peel that style back to a more open, clear, fresh straight-eyed manner, through which Jacinda's genuine caring kindness will still shine through.

    2c for the start of the day

    • Treetop 2.1

      It does come through that the PM has kindness as a personal core value.

      The core values of the government managing Covid is what the population in NZ trust. The government have a good track record and a hell of a job to do.

      • gsays 2.1.1

        I agree, the PM seems to be less 'stage managed' than a lot of her ilk- Collins and Bridges for example.

        The lack of involvement by Labour MPs in 'National's many issues' last election was refreshing.

    • bwaghorn 2.2

      Of course , unless maybe she genuinely cares and not being a fake means that fact shows on her face.?

  3. RosieLee 3

    Right on. Same with the constant harping from so many sources on the emotional angle. It's intellectually dishonest.

    Just give us the news, information and analysis.

    I'll decide how i feel about it – it doesn't need to be orchestrated.

    • Morrissey 3.1

      But how are we to know what to think if Jenny May Coffin doesn't show us she's sad every morning?

    • tc 3.2

      Like goldsmiths piece in granny on the education system they spent 3 terms screwing over.

      The hypocrisy is palpable and the attack angles multiple

  4. I put up a post just after 6am but appear to have run into a moderation problem?

    • Incognito 5.1

      Southward

      • pat 5.1.1

        NW here

        • alwyn 5.1.1.1

          Well incognito at least is claiming to be sane.

          You are, I fear, admitting to insanity. A wind from the NW indeed. Did you never see Hamlet when you were at school? As he put it

          "I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw."

          • pat 5.1.1.1.1

            Lol…I may well be….and Shakespeare I can happily live without

            • alwyn 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I afraid I couldn't resist it. It was the combination of the two wind directions that you and icognito had chosen that set me off. One I could have ignored but not the combination. It isn't meant to be a comment on any views that you might have expressed of course.

              Except you opinion of Shakespeare though. I felt the same way when I was at school but I changed when I saw them acted rather than as something to study. The best was a performance of Macbeth held outside in the evening in the You Yangs, a National Park near Melbourne. No props, just the granite outcrops as a background to the performance. Magnificent.

              • pat

                I guess you had to be there

                • McFlock

                  True, that.

                  One of the things I love about theatre and other performing arts is that it's a medium that only exists in the moment, and that moment is unpredictable in duration. Any part done well is over in an instant, but a short performance done badly takes an eternity…

                  • In Vino

                    Sorry, alwyn, but you have erred most grievously on quoting Northern hemisphere winds here in NZ. As a yachtsman, I learned long ago that as regards high pressure, low pressure, cyclones and anti-cyclones, everything in the Southern hemisphere is the opposite of the Northern hemisphere.

                    So here in Godzone, a wind from the NW will do the opposite of what it does in Europe.

                    Nice try, though.

                    (It’s a bit like the Coriolis effect causing bathtub water to spin the opposite way in each hemisphere when exiting via the plughole with no outside interference, like one of us deliberately spinning it the other way..
                    Now who would spin things a certain way??)

                  • pat

                    Apparently its a 19th century idiom, so a little after Shakespeares time

    • roblogic 5.2

      Nah screw that. Elimination and tight border control has been hard but it's saved us from an absolute disaster. We are on the right track. Kia kaha Fortress NZ

    • Treetop 5.3

      What is going to end elimination in NZ?

      High vaccination, a more highly trasmissable strain than Delta, a breakdown of contact tracing, people not isolating, no money left in the Covid fund, essential, services breaking down due to not having the staff. The most affected essential service will be health as there is already a shortage.

    • Incognito 5.4

      We can only have a sensible debate if we all know and agree on definitions and terms. I sincerely doubt this is the case, so we’re guaranteed talking past each other.

      https://gh.bmj.com/content/6/8/e006810

      • roblogic 5.4.1

        Good link Incognito. Eradication is the best solution to aim at. To hell with the right wing cult of death

      • pat 5.4.2
        • Elimination of disease: Reduction to zero of the incidence of a specified disease in a defined geographical area as a result of deliberate efforts; continued intervention measures are required. Example: neonatal tetanus.
        • Elimination of infections: Reduction to zero of the incidence of infection caused by a specific agent in a defined geographical area as a result of deliberate efforts; continued measures to prevent re-establishment of transmission are required. Example: measles, poliomyelitis.

        • Indeed….and I think B.H. is correct in his use of terminology (although I disagree with his assessment of the Gov positioning pre current outbreak), we will at some point, probably early,mid next year accept 'control' as our strategy….or at least the Gov will accept it, there will be opposition but I expect that will be insufficient to change the Govs direction.
    • vto 5.5

      it is only the right wing redneck country leaders who failed with elimination who claim elimination can't work … funnily enough… doh

      … and as always they drag the rest of the populace down with them

      … enough with right wing redneck leaders

      • pat 5.5.1

        Elimination has worked for us to date…..that dosnt mean that it will to continue to do so or even continue to be acceptable to the majority.

        • Herodotus 5.5.1.1

          Yet with elimination also requires our leaders to do more than "manage" what covid throws us. We need to have the confidence that those in charge are also reviewing the strategies. Modifying them from reviews see what works, what requires modification and what has failed . Such review processes appears not to have occurred until we have had this current outbreak, and then changed some processors. I accept some issues will not arise until the "system" is tested, others should have been seen in the planning stages that they would not succeed.

          I have heard our PM comment that the delta variation is a game changer. Yet The first case of the Delta variant worldwide was detected in India in October last year. Daily cases surged from around 10,000 in February to more than 414,000 in May 7. And we in NZ have maintained the same game plan e.g. we only tested "several sites in Auckland" when there are 18.

          And that is where many here IMO fail to see and become so defensive. That planning needs to be so much better than what it was, and that requires people to question what has been put into place and for those in power to accept that somethings need to change.

          https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-health-advice-public/covid-19-wastewater-testing

          • pat 5.5.1.1.1

            I would be reluctant to be too critical…by your own example delta only changed the game at the end of May and we have successfully maintained our border until a week or so ago…it is difficult to plan for all eventualities especially when the potential events are almost infinite.

            I'd suggest that given our very limited resources we have done particularly well but we have absolutely no guarantee that we will continue to do so, and that is no reflection on the Gov, they have performed well, if not perfectly….and there is no such thing as perfection,

            There is no need for the Gov to be defensive, though that wont stop various interests calling them out

            • Anne 5.5.1.1.1.1

              Don't worry about Herodotius' analysis. If it is to do with the current government it is always negative… disguised as an opinion from someone who endeavours to present as an intellectual expert. In short, he/she is a troll.

              • pat

                What!…me worry?

              • Herodotus

                That you for confirming that there are some here are closed to anything that resembles questioning the government or seeking to improve. Perhaps you could open an eye and look at what is happening in the real world. Or do you think that this government is mistake free and there is no need for any improvement ?

                • McFlock

                  I think there's an implicit assumption in some of the current "questioning" that little to no planning and preparation has occurred in regards to delta. I'm not sure that's the case.

                  There's also the point that we have a world-leading government in regards to this pandemic. Argue about vax schedules all you want, whether we should have fast-tracked medsafe approval or gone for a collect-the-set approach to purchases of the different vaccines, or thrown more money to try and outbid plaguelands. A total death toll after 18 months of a couple of dozen? That's amazeballs.

                  So sure, question stuff. If the points are genuinely worthwhile and unlikely to have been considered by the people responsible.

                  Even better, if you think there's someone in NZ better to be PM or DGHealth or whatever, please name them for consideration. They'd have big shoes to fill, though.

                  • Herodotus

                    I am on record here of stating that the current government is the best we have as an option, but that it does not mean that it is the best, and that there is not room for improvement. Also I believe that we the public deserve the best that they can provide, and imo that is not the case, not just COVID but housing, health, the environment etc I still think our waste water testing in Auckland was totally inadequate as this was suppose to be an early warning system of COVID being present, we were told that there were measures in place. Devonport is not somewhere on the margins of Auckland- and from my understanding ww from this area was not going to a station that was being tested.
                    and to have someone like Anne make attacks when she has on this site supported the governments stance on NOT meeting the pay demands of the nurses, from memory commenting that she is ok with the nurses fair pay to take 10 years.

  5. dv 6

    US, Australia, NZ and UK

    Ausie

    1739 cases 38 death per million

    NZ

    611 cases 5 death per million

    UK

    95,986 cases , 1,931 deaths

    US

    116,704 cases, 1944 deaths

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

  6. gsays 7

    I trust Greywarshark is keeping ok, I haven't seen anything from them for a while.

    • Incognito 7.1

      I think they found a new home over at TDB.

      • gsays 7.1.1

        Ahh, ta.

      • In Vino 7.1.2

        For heaven's sake – 'they' is plural. Give up on that bloody nonsense. It will not last.

        • Incognito 7.1.2.1

          When in Rome …

        • arkie 7.1.2.2

          Singular they

          It typically occurs with an unspecified antecedent, in sentences such as:

          • "Somebody left their umbrella in the office. Could you please let them know where they can get it?"
          • "The patient should be told at the outset how much they will be required to pay."
          • "But a journalist should not be forced to reveal their sources."

          The singular they emerged by the 14th century, about a century after the plural they. It has been commonly employed in everyday English ever since then and has gained currency in official contexts. Singular they was criticised since the mid-18th century by prescriptive commentators who considered it an error.

          So it's lasted 600 odd years so far, I'd be betting on it sticking around myself.

          • In Vino 7.1.2.2.1

            That is not the same thing at all, arkie. It avoids the inconvenience of having to say 'he or she' or 'his or her' after words like 'everybody'…. and, as you say, has been accepted usage for a long time.

            I cannot see the same acceptance being given to referring to one specific person as 'they'.

            • arkie 7.1.2.2.1.1

              Well there are three examples of referring to one specific person as they in the quote I provided. The article is on the singular they and can provide you with further examples of singular they being used through 600 years of history.

              That's more than enough time for acceptance I would have thought.

              • In Vino

                With respect, (as Winston used to love to say) all three examples you used were non-specific in gender and identity, just like my example 'everybody'.

                If the patient were specifically named 'John Smith' nobody would say 'they' instead of 'he'.

                • arkie

                  Correct, they were all uses of singular they 'with an unspecified antecedent', though that is different from your example of a plural they 'with an unspecified antecedent'.

                  As to your second example; what if the patient is named Jay Smith, or Robin Smith or any other number of non-gendered names?

                  Here on this pseudonymous forum many commenters names are not gender specific, I think that presents a pretty fair case for use of the singular they.

                  I have presented the facts about the 600 year history of the singular they, so with respect, it's not a 'bloody nonsense' and it has lasted and will outlast us both.

                  • In Vino

                    Cool – no argument with the examples you gave, but I still think it will not be generally accepted when the antecedent is specified in number and gender.

                    It won't take much to outlast me – I am getting old!

  7. Forget now 8

    The ratings of the second season seem to be holding up, though some purists would have preferred to have stopped with the first. Suggestions that the lead role would be better played by Ardern feigning unconcerned detachment, and aping a conventional male presentation style seem misplaced. Especially with Bloomfield already excelling in that role.

    Detractors seem mostly concerned that spoilers are not readily available pre-screening. However, given that episodes are; generally live tweeted, and synopses are widely distributed after airing, these criticisms seem rather churlish.

    <blockquote>
    Set in a dystopian world where autocratic and populist leaders are in charge of the USA, China, UK, Brazil and many other nations. 1pm Daily Update takes place in the imaginary island nation of New Zealand, a utopian society where science, facts, strong leadership and a genuine care for its people and environment take precedence over money and big business.

    https://m.imdb.com/title/tt12511606/

  8. KSaysHi 9

    First thought was that if health professionals who care for those with Covid have decided not to get vaccinated, then surely they have their own reasons? They are after all qualified in the area of healthcare.

    Making vaccination madatory seems to me like it risks those clinicians walking away from front line care. It's not like we have an abundance of doctors as nurses in NZ.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/exclusive-mandatory-vaccination-considered-for-health-workers-treating-covid-19-patients/2WYUESH326UI3COGKANOQEHTTY/

    Edit: forgot it was paywalled, adding quote

    “Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed he has asked health officials for advice on making the Pfizer vaccine mandatory for health workers in contact with confirmed Covid-19 cases, including in hospitals.

    Such policy wasn’t on the table before the highly infectious Delta strain forced a rethink of how to protect the country. It would be a “last resort”, Hipkins told the Herald.

    “We currently encourage all frontline healthcare workers to be vaccinated. This is a group that has been eligible to be vaccinated since the beginning of the rollout to Group 2 [in March].”

    [Despite several attempts by several Moderators to get your attention to the Moderation of your comment, you have refused to acknowledge and engage with it. You are wasting Moderator time. I have no time to keep monitoring you and trying to get your attention.

    Banned for three weeks – Incognito]

  9. Anker 10
    • For those of you with time on your hands in lockdown, I highly recommend Helen Kelly, her Life by Rebecca Mackie. Not sure if its possible to purchase and download, but if you can, do.
    • it’s an outstanding book and includes the background stories of Pat and Cath Kelly, Helens parents. It also details the impact of Rogernomics and the despicable employment contracts on working people of NZ and the resulting demise of Trade Unions.
    • The book captures the extraordinary leader and woman Helen was. Driven, determined, deeply compassionate and committed to working people.
    • highly recommended
  10. joe90 11

    Rather Ardern's Mormon kindness than Mortlock's toxic, white bread evangelicalism.

    https://www.webworm.co/p/worshipping-at-the-church-of-anti

  11. Stephen D 12

    If you haven’t already discovered Jonathan Pie…

  12. Treetop 13

    On my box of disposable marks, (the ones with a blue side and a white side) I could not see which side needs to be worn closest to the nose and mouth.

    Does anyone know if it makes a difference which side is closest to your face?

  13. weston 14

    I was given a cardigan a few months ago what a marvelous garment ive scarcely taken it off since frequently wearing it to bed then waking up feeling half cooked !Its made by a company called mcdonalds and contains mulberry silk ,possum and marino wool.Dont kill possums for nothing people theyre far too valuable imo

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