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Open mike 25/10/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 25th, 2020 - 150 comments
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150 comments on “Open mike 25/10/2020 ”

  1. Drowsy M. Kram 1

    "But because they're out of sight and mind we pretend they don't matter."

    YES, sooooo many people feel their lives "don't matter" – really sad.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/21/chi-osse-black-lives-matter-protest-gen-z

    https://www.itv.com/news/2020-10-21/rashford-says-children-will-feel-like-they-dont-matter-after-mps-reject-free-school-meals-over-christmas

    https://e-tangata.co.nz/reflections/the-grind-of-racism/

    Black lives and minority lives and women’s lives don’t matter to a lot of people, and that’s why I wore it, to say: Our lives do matter, our voice matters, our choices matter,” Allen said.
    https://mlk50.com/2020/10/21/shouting-without-speaking-shelby-county-voters-make-a-statement-with-fashion-choices/

    Priorities matter. It's up to each and every one of us to speak up for individuals and groups we believe to be most in need of assistance. Objective measures of need should ideally help to identify the most pressing problems, so that resources can be (re)directed to greatest effect.

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

    • RedLogix 1.1

      If you had been paying attention DMK you would have noticed that of all the regular participants here I think I frame my arguments from a global, universalist perspective more than anyone else. Spare me the 'racism' lectures.

      Of course the reason why New Zealanders generally don't want to do these 'unwanted jobs' that often involve remote locations, long absences, long hours, high risk and arduous conditions is that we are a developed country where most jobs are a lot more attractive. It's people from developing nations who are willing to do them, not so much because 'racism', but because it's the best choice on offer to them.

      The solution is of course for these developing countries to … develop. To the point where people are no longer desperate enough to do these 'slave labour' jobs, where they have the option of saying 'no' to them.

      But it seems to me there is a fat streak of so called progressives who would sooner reverse all human development and prosperity in order to 'save the planet' and yell 'racist' instead.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1

        Spare me your "fat streak of so called progressives" pejoratives RL – your blanket "we pretend they don't matter" statement and self-congratulatory "more than anyone else" attitude says it all.

        Was it your superior "global, universalist perspective" that led you to repeatedly opine "it's over" in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic? Unsurprisingly, that particular 'perspective' has been shown to be divorced from reality, as the number of active COVID infections has increased steadily (~1% per day), from <7,800,000 (on 2nd Oct.) to >9,400,000.

        We all wish this pandemic was over, but it's immune to our wishes. Most NZers will understand that we’re all in this together, and continue to behave responsibly – hope that 'most' is enough.

        DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It’s ending. Normal life, that’s all we want. You know what we want? Normal life. Normal life will finally resume and next year will be the greatest economic year in the history of our country.

        TRUMP: We’re rounding the turn on the pandemic. Normal life, that’s all we want. You know what we want, normal life.
        http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/2010/21/cnr.07.html

        "Do you agree with President Trump that the pandemic is ending and normal life is returning?"

        • RedLogix 1.1.1.1

          "Do you agree with President Trump that the pandemic is ending and normal life is returning?"

          Yes I do. And this kneejerk response from the left that if Trump were to say the sky was blue, that every 'progressive' then has to insist it must be some shade of puce is beyond idiotic.

          Unsurprisingly, that particular 'perspective' has been shown to be divorced from reality, as the number of active COVID infections has increased steadily (~1% per day), from <7,800,000 (on 2nd Oct.) to >9,400,000.

          Yet oddly enough the number of daily deaths has remained static at around 5 – 6,000 per day, which can only mean the IFR continues to decline. Currently the median IFR rate is 0.23%. The vast majority of cases will remain mild, and under that age of 70 the chances of dying remain remarkably small.

          It's fundamentally dishonest to point to the number of infections rising while omitting to say anything about the number of deaths remaining stable. (And yes I understand that there is also a real fraction of cases where there illness is not mild and there are long term complications.)

          I still maintain that back in March we did the right thing given the apparent novelty and unknowns we were facing. But it's six months later and despite many missteps and a deplorable politicisation of the science, the medical world has learned a great deal about this virus. It's not going to be one of the Four Horseman scything through humanity like the 1918 Flu epidemic; and it's time we started planning on how we are going to live in a world where it's going to be endemic for at least the foreseeable future.

          • solkta 1.1.1.1.1

            cases where there illness is not mild and there are long term complications

            Yes you understand, but do you care?

            time we started planning on how we are going to live in a world where it's going to be endemic for at least the foreseeable future.

            I'm quite happy living in the world we have. That is a world where i am alive and my daughter has a father.

          • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2

            Must be wonderful to live in your world RL, a world where yesterday's record number of new COVID-19 cases (437,441), a (7-day moving average) daily death toll of 5,000+, and over 110,000 deaths since 2 October, means that "it's over". Be sure to pass that on to the relatives and friends of the 5,000+ people who will die tomorrow as a result of COVID-19 infections.

            This pandemic is far from over. As the death toll mounts, I'm hopeful that in a month or two you will be able to set ego aside and allow your compassion, empathy and logic to come to the fore – maintaining that you're right must be so tiring. I'm especially hopeful that you will find it in yourself to demonstrate some compassion for American minorities who are disproportionately 'affected' by the pandemic.

            The color of coronavirus:
            COVID-19 deaths by race and ethnicity in the U.S.
            "If they had died of COVID-19 at the same actual
            rate as White Americans, about 21,800 Black,
            11,400 Latino, 750 Indigenous and 65 Pacific Islander Americans would still be alive.
            "
            https://www.apmresearchlab.org/covid/deaths-by-race

            The false promise of herd immunity for COVID-19
            Why proposals to largely let the virus run its course — embraced by Donald Trump’s administration and others — could bring “untold death and suffering”.

            But it's not all bad news – China seems to have the virus under control, and their GDP has recovered nicely.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Be sure to pass that on to the relatives and friends of the 5,000+ people who will die tomorrow as a result of COVID-19 infections.

              Tomorrow some 150,000 people will die from all causes … it will be a sorrow and grief for each one of their families and friends. But are we going to all stay at home hoping death will never find us?

              The numbers tell the truth, with a median IFR of just 0.23%, while it is absolutely a serious public health issue, COVID no longer poses an out of control existential threat to hundreds of millions. COVID is rapidly becoming just another endemic disease like tuberculosis.

              And the idea that NZ can somehow quiver at the end of the world, hoping beyond all reason that our oceans will keep us forever free and clear is a false hope and delusion.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.2

              RL, if your whataboutism was valid, then not only is the COVID-19 pandemic over, it never really happened.

              Nevertheless, a very large number of people have died from COVID-19, and a very large number of people will die from COVID-19. The idea that this pandemic is over because many more people die from natural causes is idiotic.

              "The numbers tell the truth, with a median IFR of just 0.23%, while it is absolutely a serious public health issue, COVID no longer poses an out of control existential threat to hundreds of millions. COVID is rapidly becoming just another endemic disease like tuberculosis."

              At last, an admission that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. You were able to revise your repeated "it's over" assertion – excellent.

              What's informing your idea about NZ quivering at the end of the world? The national and international consensus appears to be that NZ is doing relatively well. We could always do better, of course, but I doubt you'd find much support in NZ for your 'solution'.

              • Foreign waka

                Drowsy, I have followed your comments going to and from with RL and don't take this the wrong way please, stop being so pessimistic and put the black paint brush out of your hand.

                Firstly, everybody and I mean everybody is affected by that pandemic. Yes people are dying but would you believe it, despite that pandemic circulating the globe there are still wars being fought with massive casualties and thousands of children die of hunger. (10 000 each day, 25 000 people estimated each day, over 800 000 are under nourished)

                We all hope by next year a vaccine will be available, if not than a bit later. But it will be. And herein lies the difference. We will mitigate the virus but our focus should be on mitigating the stupidity of war, hunger, disadvantages of minorities, getting every child an education and the list goes on. It is a waste of energy to just have Covid in focus. It can also be used as an excuse to remove freedoms we took for granted not just for now but under the banner of "the new normal".

                Have a great Sunday, good health to you and your family.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.3

              At last, an admission that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over.

              This is getting tedious. Nowhere did I claim that COVID was extinct and gone from the world. That would be an utterly idiotic strawman.

              The key word is pandemic. I suggest you read this and then decide exactly how you want to parse the word. In my book the falling IFR and Excess death rates clearly tells us we're in a 'post-peak' phase and no longer in an active pandemic stage.

              Over.

              • PaddyOT

                RL your site link for data states this "Excess mortality data is often incomplete in recent weeks – we currently exclude the most recent four weeks of data"

                You wrote this

                "COVID no longer poses an out of control existential threat to hundreds of millions. "

                Then next post this,

                "Because it's no longer a 'pandemic' in the sense that it's a out of control disease that could kill hundreds of millions. "

                Confused on the two statements-: is it or isn't it ( Covid19) an out of control disease?

                When has/was Covid19 declared not a 'pandemic' any more?

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.4

              @Paddy

              Clearly I left out the negation, the latter sentence should have read:

              "Because it's no longer a 'pandemic' in the sense that it's not an out of control disease that could kill hundreds of millions. "

              • mpledger

                Three points on why the IFR/Case Fatality is low but still an issue…

                1)

                Part of that is that the people most at risk are staying at home (for introverts that may be ok but for extroverts that's a blighted existence). So, the case fatality stats go down as the people least at risk of dying catch the disease.

                2)

                With case fatality statistics we really want…

                the number of people with the disease who caught it on day X or earlier *divided by* the number of people who caught it on day X or earlier and subsequently died

                But on day X+1 we may know all the infections but we don't know all the "subsequently died" because that may not happen for 2 weeks to 2 months or longer in the future. When the infection rates start soaring (as it is across Europe at the moment) then case fatality goes down because the corresponding deaths haven't happened yet.

                3) New daily infection rates are worse in Europe now then at the peak of the first wave. Treatment is better so fewer people die but that just means more people are in hospital needing high level care for longer. If infection rates continue to soar then hospitals could get overwhelmed even if case fatality is low.

                • solkta

                  New daily infection rates are worse in Europe now then at the peak of the first wave.

                  And the US:

                  Covid-19: US cases surge to record daily high

                  https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/429125/covid-19-us-cases-surge-to-record-daily-high

                • RedLogix

                  Good points MP. IFR has a number of moving parts that mean it is difficult to calculate precisely in real time. I've linked to these questions elsewhere.

                  But as I've shown we can put some reasoned bounds on it.

                  And I will concede that if new cases really do expand dramatically there is the possibility that deaths will climb even when the IFR remains low. At this point in time I'm still willing to bet on the medical system winning the race.

                  • solkta

                    It always comes down to number of deaths with you. Maths, all an engineer can understand.

                  • mpledger

                    New cases are expanding dramatically – new daily cases for Spain, France, UK, Sweden and Italy (the countries I keep track of) are now worse than the first wave peak. UK and France are very much worse. I would guess that the death rate in France and UK is going to match their first wave peak in a week or two.

                    • mpledger

                      Yea, I can never seem to do linked images right. :->

                    • Incognito []

                      I don’t blame you and don’t worry about, that’s what Moderators are for and if they cannot fix it, which happens often, they roll out the secret weapon with the code name SYSOP 😉

                    • Andre

                      To get images to display in a useful size, the way that works for me is to use the image tool and ignore the size box in the image tool, post the comment with the image, then immediately go back and edit the comment to add width="500" just before the />

                    • Incognito []

                      A trick I learned here recently: width=”100%”

                    • RedLogix

                      I would guess that the death rate in France and UK is going to match their first wave peak in a week or two.

                      Good graphs MP.

                      Two points to interpret them. One is that the vertical scale is logarithmic, ie small changes represent large absolute numbers.

                      The other is the pattern evident in virtually all countries; the gap between the red and blue curves during the first wave is relatively much smaller than the gap now. From this you can infer a quite substantially reduced IFR between the two waves. That's really good news. There are a number open explanations for this:

                      One is that the virus has mutated into a somewhat less lethal variant, although I've read nothing to indicate this.

                      Another is that we're now just testing way more and picking up far more infections in this wave than the first. Above I linked to Dr Mark Ryan (WHO) who has recently stated that their estimate is that 10% (aprox 750m) of the global population has been infected, yet the total number of confirmed cases is still only around 43m. That's one hell of a gap. Still if this is true then with 750m infections and around 1.144m deaths, this crudely infers an IFR of 0.15% . It could have been this low all along, and is very comparable to seasonal influenza.

                      The third open possibility is that because of mask wearing and public hygiene measures, people are no longer getting exposed to such large inocculums of the virus and aren't getting seriously ill so quickly.

                      Another possibility is simply that because this virus really only kills in a relatively narrow age band (65 plus) then it's fairly quickly running out of vulnerable people.

                      And finally we know for certain that recovery rates in ICU are now way better than they used to be.

                      All these are rational reasons for optimism; not gloom and isolationist scaremongering.

                      At the same time in the 1918 event, the second wave was widely considered to be much worse than the first, and in no sense am I discounting that possibility here. The really interesting question will be just how much a century of medical advancement can stay on top of this. If we do this will be certain evidence that we have this event under control.

                      Worst case now is that with a median IFR of 0.23% and assuming a worst case global herd immunity threshold of 70% (it could be much lower), then the total COVID death toll will be around 12m over several years. And most of them in the over 65 age group. That's going to be a substantially lesser impact than the 1918 pandemic which from a global population of 1.2b at the time, would have a projected death toll around 300m in today's population terms, and a large fraction of them young adults.

                      I realise that just crunching numbers offends some individuals who seem to think you can do medical science, public health and engineering on just empathy. All tools can be misused, for instance when car maker executives calculated it was cheaper for them to ship cars with fatal flaws than to fix them. This of course just shifted the cost onto the public domain, and we recognise this as an egregious form of cheating to say the least. But here the numbers speak to 'what is going to be the optimum risk management' strategy for the total net public good. There are always trade-offs and we need number based, rational tools to measure them.

                      Hell my father is 92 and is terribly vulnerable, and as I type each one of these comments my thoughts stray to him. He's survived at least five different reasonably serious attempts by NZ's cranky hospital system to kill him over the past decade and he's bounced back each time. But he knows, and we all know, something will get him sooner or later. And then we will celebrate a long life, well lived.

                      In the meantime:

                      Pending results of such trials, it would seem uncontroversial to enthusiastically promote efforts to achieve reference nutrient intakes of vitamin D, which range from 400 IU/day in the UK to 600–800 IU/day in the USA. These are predicated on benefits of vitamin D for bone and muscle health, but there is a chance that their implementation might also reduce the impact of COVID-19 in populations where vitamin D deficiency is prevalent; there is nothing to lose from their implementation, and potentially much to gain.

                    • mpledger

                      Cast fatality has gone down because people most at risk are more likely to be protecting themselves. A lowering of case fatality doesn't say much about how bad the disease is because it's not measuring apples with apples i.e. the general population versus the least risky population. For example Australia's case fatality was worse in their second wave then in their first – mainly because it got into the aged care facilities. The disease wasn't more fatal, people more at risk caught it.

                      While those at risk are recommended to limit exposure (i.e. stay at home) then the pandemic isn't over, no matter what case fatality says.

                    • RedLogix

                      Cast fatality has gone down because people most at risk are more likely to be protecting themselves.

                      No that misinterprets the number altogether. CFR (Case Fatality Rate) says nothing about how many people are infected, it tells us how many die once they do.

                      There are a number of ways to measure any epidemic.

                      There is a straightforward question that most people would like answered. If someone is infected with COVID-19, how likely is that person to die?

                      This question is simple, but surprisingly hard to answer.

                      Here we explain why that is. We’ll discuss the “case fatality rate”, the “crude mortality rate”, and the “infection fatality rate”, and why they’re all different.

                      The key point is that the “case fatality rate”, the most commonly discussed measure of the risk of dying, is not the answer to the question, for two reasons. One, it relies on the number of confirmed cases, and many cases are not confirmed; and two, it relies on the total number of deaths, and with COVID-19, some people who are sick and will die soon have not yet died. These two facts mean that it is extremely difficult to make accurate estimates of the true risk of death.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.5

              "This is getting tedious. Nowhere did I claim that COVID was extinct and gone from the world."
              RL @12:15 am

              Tedious indeed, RL, and disappointing. I'd hoped that you had too much integrity to resort to an outright lie.

              On 2 October, you wrote (in separate comments):

              I realise the NZ left has good political reasons to want this COVID pandemic to go on indefinitely, but it's over

              "But from an epidemiology perspective … it’s over. Well if we want it to be that is."

              I wondered at the time if you were implying that those critiquing your opinions might want COVID-19-related illness and death to continue, but that would have contradicted your "it's over" thesis.

              On October 12 you wrote:

              "It's over from a strategic perspective. Its no longer an unknown, uncontrolled threat."

              That strategic shift in your position doesn't wash away your earlier "it's over" assertions, which seem to be phrased maliciously – others can arrive at their own truth.

              Tedious or not, I won't be letting this one go because I genuinely believe that some of the strategies you are promoting for ‘managing‘ the on-going COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. herd ‘immunity’) that would endanger the health of NZers.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.6

              In each one of those quotes from Oct 2nd I made it clear that I was talking in terms of a pandemic.

              Keep in mind that back in March the NZ public, and elsewhere in the world, accepted these unprecedented lockdown measures and travel bans on the basis that this novel disease threatened to become another catastrophic pandemic similar to the 1918 Flu, or worse.

              Well COVID is proving to have an IFR of 0.23% that is maybe 2 – 3 times higher than seasonal influenza rate of 0.1%. (See the chart on the link above). And we are now far better placed to test, track, isolate and treat cases than we were six months ago. None of this implies that I believe COVID is 'over' in the idiotically literal sense of the word that you are clinging onto.

              If you can find somewhere where I said that it was extinct and gone from the world, as you insist I have claimed … then produce the direct quote.

              Or withdraw and apologise.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.7

              "If you can find somewhere where I said that it was extinct and gone from the world, as you insist I have claimed … then produce the direct quote." – RL @1:12 am

              Pathetic. You know I've never insisted that you claimed "it [COVID-19] was extinct and gone from the world" – such clumsy tautology.

              It is you, and only you RL, who attempted to substitute your earlier "it's over" assertions with "extinct and gone from the world", here @12:15 am. Your comments @12:15 am and @1:12 am were less than an hour apart. You are clearly compounding your dishonesty, and I'm embarrassed for you.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.8

              It's you who has created this foolish little strawman and then attempted to make a pathetic argument from it. You bitterly complain about my use of the word 'over', clearly used in the context of a pandemic, when at the same time you have nowhere openly defined what you think 'over' might mean.

              After all we do know that pandemics do get to 'over'. The Black Death is clearly 'over', but the disease is not gone from the world. Same with the 1918 Flu, it's 'over' too, but we still have many people dying from various strains of influenza. Same with Yellow Fever and many other dangerous diseases that are endemic, but we do not treat them as pandemics. We have the tools to manage them.

              Demanding that a disease is somehow extinct and there are zero deaths from it, before we can declare a pandemic to be 'over' is obviously stupid. Nor can you point to any official number that WHO might use to declare COVID to be 'over'.

              What instead they will do is look at the broad trends, as they do in the table I referenced above, and determine what kind of threat it represents. Is the death rate getting worse? Are we able to treat it effectively? Are public health systems and measures in place and proportionate?

              And on the basis of a falling IFR and obvious post-peak death rate data coming from virtually every nation with an efficient public health system, I am arguing we have moved past the pandemic phase. And that, even in the face of rising new infections, this is actually a remarkable achievement.

              The problem isn't that we do not have the knowledge and tools to manage this disease, but that in too many places they're not being used effectively. This is why for instance in the USA, which emphatically does not have an efficient public health system, that they're seeing a disturbing third wave of infections. (Even so their daily death rate remains remarkably stable.)

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.9

              RL, in Open Mike you wrote (of the COVID-19 pandemic) "it's over". You wrote this twice on 2 Oct., and once on 12 Oct.

              These assertions were and are both false and dangerous, IMHO, and I will continue to raise them and rebut them until such time as you are prepared to acknowledge that on 2 Oct. 2020, and on 12 Oct. 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was not over. That’s not a demand, it’s a promise.

              And it's still not over.

              Currently Infected COVID-19 Patients: 9,637,098
              Recorded no. of new COVID-19 cases on 21 Oct.: 438,610
              Recorded no. of deaths from COVID-18 on 21 Oct.: 6,848

              Stamp it out, keep it out smiley

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.10

              Again you avoid defining what you think 'over' would actually be. Clearly zero deaths is an unreasonable number, as would be placing any absolute threshold.

              Tuberculosis kills more people than any other infectious disease, according to information shared by the United Nations (UN) on Tuesday.

              Around 1.5 million people died from the bacterial infection in 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported, bringing attention to World Tuberculosis Day on March 24.

              Approximately 10 million people are infected with tuberculosis every year, the WHO said on its website. Only a small portion of global cases receive the necessary life-saving medicine.

              Over 4,000 people die of tuberculosis every day.

              https://www.dw.com/en/who-tuberculosis-is-the-worlds-deadliest-infectious-disease/a-52895167

              Highly comparable numbers, yet is this a pandemic? And if not, why not?

              My definition of 'over' aligns with WHO's term 'post-peak', and looks to both the magnitude of the threat posed, and the trajectory it is on. In March we were relatively defenseless against an unknown and novel virus. It's seven months later, and COVID is now highly researched and despite it remaining a severe public health emergency, it's not going to spiral out of control as the initial numbers suggested it could have.

              Hell back in March the IFR's looked to be as high as 5 – 9 % and the R0 rates well over 2. Setting aside herd immunity, that would have implied a total death toll of more than 300m people globally. Well that kind of pandemic isn't going to happen.

              All you are doing is objecting to my realistic definition of 'over' against some unstated, imaginary version of perfection that doesn't exist. Largely because I suspect lockdowns and travel restrictions don't affect you much personally, while the costs of them are landing elsewhere.

              The hard reality is that NZ will not be able to 'keep it out' indefinitely. Betting everything on a vaccine (one that is better than 80% effective) in a field where all the experts tell us this is not going to be easy, is a foolish wager. Sooner or later NZ is going to have to consider the option of migrating to managing this disease as we do all other endemics.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.11

              RL, you wrote (of the COVID-19 pandemic) "it's over".

              I believe that most readers would interpret 'over' in accordance with its widely accepted meaning in that context:

              ancient history, at an end, closed, completed, concluded, done (with), ended, finished, gone, past

              If you intended to convey something different, then of course I'm all eyes. But please try to keep it simple – what did you intend to convey when you chose to write (of the COVID-19 pandemic) "it's over"? Did you perhaps mean, for example, that the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’tover“?

              Stamp it out, keep it out.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.12

              what did you mean when you chose to write (of the COVID-19 pandemic) "it's over"?

              I think I've made that case already. Based on a falling IFR that is now just 2 -3 times worse than seasonal flu, stable daily death numbers (although of course each one is loss and grief for the people involved), an astonishingly better knowledge of this virus, improving treatment protocols, and a much developed capacity in our public health systems … this disease is no longer on an expanding trajectory that is going to overwhelm us as the great pandemics of old did so often. Pockets of crisis, and repeat waves will persist, but the overall picture is far from bleak.

              If you have some other alternate criteria for 'over', then now would be a good moment to make it.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.13

              So, in regard to the (on-going) COVID-19 pandemic, you are still asserting the dangerous nonsense that "it's over".

              Currently Infected Patients: 9,637,098 9,667,542
              Recorded no. of new COVID-19 cases 21 Oct.: 438,610
              Recorded no. of deaths from COVID-19 21 Oct.: 6,848

              Stamp it out, keep it out. smiley

              You've previously characterised this 'cute' strategy as "a completely idiotic and in the long term, impossible dream" that will fail. Such spirit!

              Unless this pandemic really is over, of course. I guess that if one had deluded oneself into believing that, then it really would be “impossible” to "Stamp it out" – after all, how can you stamp out a pandemic that's already "over"?

              OVER…

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.14

              Now you are just blithering.

              You object to my detailed and reasoned criteria for a pandemic to be considered 'over', yet despite any amount of opportunity to do so, you have not offered an alternative.

              Because if NZ is going to pretend that the pandemic is not over until the disease is 'stamped out' from the entire world, then you are betting the farm on a very bad odds. Like so many of the big problems we face, dealing with a global scale challenge like COVID on a parochial national basis is a weak strategy in the long run.

              (And by way of an observation; an informal convention I adhere to is that bolding type should be reserved for moderation. That way someone scanning a comment thread can quickly spot the intervention.)

            • Muttonbird 1.1.1.1.2.15

              Drowsy, Redlogix views the world only from his own narrow perspective. If the pandemic is over in sunny Brisbane, it is over everywhere, ok?

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.16

              "You object to my detailed and reasoned criteria for a pandemic to be considered 'over', yet despite any amount of opportunity to do so, you have not offered an alternative."

              I object to your use of the words "it's over" (on 2nd and 12th of Oct.) to describe the COVID-19 pandemic, because I believe such characterisation to be false and dangerous. Your belated heroic attempts to redefine what 'over' means (to you) are revealing, but do not alter the widely accepted meaning of 'over' that context:

              ancient history, at an end, closed, completed, concluded, done (with), ended, finished, gone, past

              More "blithering" coming your way RL.

              The US (67,492), India (56,482), France (41,622), Brazil (31,985), UK (21,242), Spain (20,986). According to https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus the numbers in parentheses represent new COVID-19 cases.

              Hallelujah – “it's over”.

              But hang on, if “it's over”, how come the graphs of daily COVID-19 case numbers over time for the UK, France and Spain are currently at their highest point ever, and rising sharply? Ah, must be because “it's over” for those countries. The US is looking pretty good too – their daily new COVID-19 case number are projected to top 70,000 in the next week, and if they reach this new high then presumbly “it's over” for them too.

              Is it just me, or do the “herd 'immunity'” shills come across as merchants of death to anyone else?

              Dr. Fauci Says a COVID-19 Herd Immunity Strategy Is ‘Total Nonsense’ – it would be disastrous.
              https://www.self.com/story/fauci-herd-immunity-covid-19

              Stamp it out, keep it out. smiley

              • PaddyOT

                DMK – " Is it just me, or do the “herd 'immunity'” shills come across as merchants of death to anyone else?"

                No you're not alone on that statement DMK. Here's the experts in The Lancet's latest release – peer reviewed.Specific links to scientific evidence in document.

                Scientific consensus on the COVID-19 pandemic

                " Once again, we face rapidly accelerating increase in COVID-19 cases across much of Europe, the USA, and many other countries across the world."

                " In the absence of adequate provisions to manage the pandemic and its societal impacts, these countries have faced continuing restrictions. This has understandably led to widespread demoralisation and diminishing trust. The arrival of a second wave and the realisation of the challenges ahead has led to renewed interest in a so-called herd immunity approach, which suggests allowing a large uncontrolled outbreak in the low-risk population while protecting the vulnerable. Proponents suggest this would lead to the development of infection-acquired population immunity in the low-risk population, which will eventually protect the vulnerable.

                This ( herd immunity approach) is a dangerous fallacy unsupported by scientific evidence. "

                " Any pandemic management strategy relying upon immunity from natural infections for COVID-19 is flawed. Uncontrolled transmission in younger people risks significant morbidity and mortality across the whole population. In addition to the human cost, this would impact the workforce as a whole and overwhelm the ability of health-care systems to provide acute and routine care. Furthermore, there is no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection, and the endemic transmission that would be the consequence of waning immunity would present a risk to vulnerable populations for the indefinite future.
                Such a strategy would not end the COVID19 pandemic but result in recurrent epidemics, as was the case with numerous infectious diseases before the advent of vaccination.

                It would also place an unacceptable burden on the economy and health-care workers, many of whom have died from COVID-19 or experienced trauma as a result of having to practise disaster medicine. Additionally, we still do not understand who might suffer from long COVID."

                Japan, Vietnam, and New Zealand responses named as correct approaches to Covid19.

                "The evidence is very clear: controlling community spread of COVID-19 is the best way to protect our societies and economies until safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics arrive within the coming months. We cannot afford distractions that undermine an effective response; it is essential that we act urgently based on the evidence. "

                https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32153-X/fulltext

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.17

              Right there on your own link, one graph showing rising infection numbers, and the other showing a remarkably stable number of deaths.

              You continually point to the number of infections, but given that the vast majority of these will be asymptomatic or very mild, this number is of secondary importance. What counts are the number of severe ICU cases and of course deaths. That you persist in quoting numbers that are not the primary consideration is of course a selective dishonesty on your part.

              As for the 'herd immunity' strawman you throw up . Nowhere have I suggested that abandoning all public health measures and just 'letting COVID rip' in order to achieve herd immunity.

              Because right now you are betting the farm on a lockdown/isolation strategy that will eventually fail, if only because the public tolerance for it is diminishing over time. And from what I'm reading, an effective vaccine is long shot too. That means we need to be thinking about how to shift the primary emphasis from crude lockdowns and isolation, to relying more on stronger public health protocols.

              There are a whole raft of these tools available to us, some very obvious like mask wearing, avoiding crowds in indoor spaces, using the tracking apps and so on. Others are still the subject of research and some controversy like the role low cost treatments like Vitamin D or zinc supplementation might play. Nor is it easy to disentangle the vested commercial interests and deplorable politicisation at work here. The one thing we can be certain of is that as each month goes by, we learn so much more.

              If however you want to characterise this as giving up and going for 'herd immunity' at the cost of an unknown number of deaths … go knock yourself out.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.18

              As for the 'herd immunity' strawman you throw up . Nowhere have I suggested that abandoning all public health measures and just 'letting COVID rip' in order to achieve herd immunity.

              RL, no doubt you, like Dr Fauci and other experts in epidemiology and infectious diseases, would be averse to the negative health consequences of choosing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with a 'herd 'immunity'' strategy – I would expect no less.

              You had thrown up 'herd immunity' earlier though, and in a fashion that seems pertinent to your thoughts on the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the meaning of "it's over" – I've picked up a few pattern recognition skills over the years.

              Here you seemed to be suggesting that acheiving ‘herd immunity‘ is the most realistic and in all likelihood inevitable ‘response‘ to the COVID-19 pandemic, even without a vaccine. I just think that NZ current and much admired strategy is still worthy of consideration.

              There are only two ways out of this, a vaccine or herd immunity.

              The article I linked to on herd immunity above is a reasonably well balanced read on this. It could be a number as high as 70% based on a simple analysis, or as low as 20% if you start introducing other considerations. Differing specialists are making various argument. But NZ has effectively taken this possibility off the table for the time being.

              So a vaccine it is … what if we never get one? How many more lockdowns can we do? – RL (13 Oct.) https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-12-10-2020/#comment-1758754

              Stamp it out. Keep it out.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.19

              So what did I say there about 'herd immunity'?

              "Off the table" … do I need to explain the meaning of this common idiom? Please tell me no.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.20

              "So what did I say there about 'herd immunity'?"

              Don’t know why you would need to ask me – after all, you wrote it, but at the risk of repeating yourself, you (RL) wrote:

              "There are only two ways out of this, a vaccine or herd immunity.

              But NZ has effectively taken this possibility [herd immunity] off the table for the time being."

              Most visitors to The Standard likely form opinions about topics and commentors based (in part) on what they read. “I know I do.You (RL) also wrote:

              Because right now you are betting the farm on a lockdown/isolation strategy that will eventually fail, if only because the public tolerance for it is diminishing over time.

              RL, clearly your tolerance for NZ's current COVID-19 health strategy has been failing since at least 2 Oct., when you asserted (of the pandemic) “it's over”.

              It would be reassuring to me if, despite your stated expectation that the strategy which led to NZ's much admired COVID-19 health outcomes to date ('Team of almost five million', etc.) will eventually fail, you could affirm your continued support for that strategy, at least for now? Are you with 'the team of almost five million', at least in spirit?

              Tbh, I don't understand why your so bothered about the best strategy to manage the COVID-19 pandemic – after all, according to you, “it's over”.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.21

              Tbh, I don't understand why your so bothered about the best strategy to manage the COVID-19 pandemic – after all, according to you, “it's over”.

              This binary assertion that either we are in a full blown pandemic OR there is no COVID is getting more stupid every time you repeat it.

              Here is WHO's description of the nuances involved:

              Phase 5. Designation of this phase will indicate that a global pandemic is under way.

              During the post-peak period, pandemic disease levels in most countries with adequate surveillance will have dropped below peak observed levels. The post-peak period signifies that pandemic activity appears to be decreasing; however, it is uncertain if additional waves will occur and countries will need to be prepared for a second wave.

              Previous pandemics have been characterized by waves of activity spread over months. Once the level of disease activity drops, a critical communications task will be to balance this information with the possibility of another wave. Pandemic waves can be separated by months and an immediate “at-ease” signal may be premature.

              In the post-pandemic period, influenza disease activity will have returned to levels normally seen for seasonal influenza. It is expected that the pandemic virus will behave as a seasonal influenza A virus. At this stage, it is important to maintain surveillance and update pandemic preparedness and response plans accordingly. An intensive phase of recovery and evaluation may be required.

              There are several ways to read this document, but my reading is that only Stage 5 can be properly called 'pandemic'. The stages before and after are part of the process, but are not the pandemic phase itself.

              On the data it's clear we are in the post-peak phase. What's more is the current median IFR value is 0.23%. This is around 2 -3 times seasonal influenza A virus. That isn’t a huge distance from the post-pandemic phase.

              Results:

              I included 61 studies (74 estimates) and eight preliminary national estimates. Seroprevalence estimates ranged from 0.02% to 53.40%. Infection fatality rates ranged from 0.00% to 1.63%, corrected values from 0.00% to 1.54%. Across 51 locations, the median COVID-19 infection fatality rate was 0.27% (corrected 0.23%): the rate was 0.09% in locations with COVID-19 population mortality rates less than the global average (< 118 deaths/million), 0.20% in locations with 118–500 COVID-19 deaths/million people and 0.57% in locations with > 500 COVID-19 deaths/million people. In people < 70 years, infection fatality rates ranged from 0.00% to 0.31% with crude and corrected medians of 0.05%.

              Conclusion:

              The infection fatality rate of COVID-19 can vary substantially across different locations and this may reflect differences in population age structure and casemix of infected and deceased patients and other factors. The inferred infection fatality rates tended to be much lower than estimates made earlier in the pandemic.

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.2.22

              I mean, now RL is outright lying. And here is why I say that:

              Trawling to an 11 year old document about a completely different outbreak might be as obsolete as the link is on the WHO webserver, but maybe that's just what google spat out.

              However, RL starts their cut and paste part way through a sentence about phase 6. The start of the paragraph is in green, RL's cut and paste is in blue:

              Phase 6, the pandemic phase, is characterized by community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region in addition to the criteria defined in Phase 5. Designation of this phase will indicate that a global pandemic is under way.

              During the post-peak period, pandemic disease levels in most countries with adequate surveillance will have dropped below peak observed levels. The post-peak period signifies that pandemic activity appears to be decreasing; however, it is uncertain if additional waves will occur and countries will need to be prepared for a second wave.

              Previous pandemics have been characterized by waves of activity spread over months. Once the level of disease activity drops, a critical communications task will be to balance this information with the possibility of another wave. Pandemic waves can be separated by months and an immediate “at-ease” signal may be premature.

              In the post-pandemic period, influenza disease activity will have returned to levels normally seen for seasonal influenza. It is expected that the pandemic virus will behave as a seasonal influenza A virus. At this stage, it is important to maintain surveillance and update pandemic preparedness and response plans accordingly. An intensive phase of recovery and evaluation may be required.

              RL often seems to be able to read a full sentence. I believe that this is either intentional, or recklessness to the point of bad faith discussion.

              And RL's link clearly states that a decade ago WHO regarded an influenza "pandemic" as a combination of "human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region" and "community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region".

              The world is most certainly facing community-level outbreaks in multiple countries within multiple global regions.

              But hey, about those boat people…

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.23

              "This binary assertion that either we are in a full blown pandemic OR there is no COVID is getting more stupid every time you repeat it."

              That's your assertion, and a weak one. Once again, you know that I have made no such assertion, let alone repeated it – that's all in your mind. To remind you, my position is that the pandemic is not over.

              On the other hand, that you repeatedly asserted (of the COVID-19 pandemic) "it's over" is undeniable – it's a fact. You have belatedly claimed that when you wrote "it's over", you meant something other than the widely accepted meaning. Readers can judge for themselves whether that is likely to be a truthful claim.

              over: ancient history, at an end, closed, completed, concluded, done (with), ended, finished, gone, past

              You (and I) want the pandemic to be over, but by promulgating the fiction that "it's over", you put at risk NZ's COVID-19 health outcomes that most countries would envy. That concern alone is enough to ensure that I'll keep reminding you of the facts, be they your comments, or stats relating to the on-going pandemic.

              Other COVID-19-related comments you proffered at that time and since (and there have been a few) provide clues about possible motives for trying to establish such a nonsensical position.

              If you can't get over it, it's no skin off my nose. We can keep on going until the COVID-19 pandemic is actually over, although the ability to leave comments on this post will expire well before then.

              Dissemble all you want – "it's over" x3 won't go away. It's like a very stubborn stain that only you can expunge.

              "There are several ways to read this document, but my reading is that only Stage 5 can be properly called 'pandemic'."

              If you're sighted, then the easiest way to read documents is with your eyes. Is there anything or anyone that might substantiate your unique 'reading'? Preferably a peer-reviewed document or expert opinion, if you please.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.24

              @McF

              I had just taken a second look at my last comment and realised I had unintentionally left a sentence out of my copy. Yes it's Phase 6 that is described as:

              "Designation of this phase will indicate that a global pandemic is under way."

              I'm not quite sure how you leap from that small mistake to 'outright lying', especially when the link was there for you to read for yourself. As for the age of the document; feel free to look through the WHO site and see if you can find something more recent. But somehow I can't see the basic principles changing all that much.

              @DMK

              I’ve made my case in considerable detail. Essentially the relationship between infection numbers and death rates has dramatically changed between April and October. There is any amount of evidence for this.

              If this trend continues, by the end of the year we’ll have the IFR down below 0.1% … and that will quite nicely align with WHO’s clear cut definition for a ‘post pandemic’ phase.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.25

              @Paddy

              DMK – " Is it just me, or do the “herd 'immunity'” shills come across as merchants of death to anyone else?"

              Again another idiotic strawman. Nowhere have I advocated for the 'herd immunity' approach and introducing it into this thread is nothing more than deliberate attempt at derailing.

              Read me carefully here; the disease will come to an end when either we reach herd immunity (which is what happened with the 1918 Influenza) or we get to an effective vaccine. Both options carry considerable risks, the first obviously is the very real prospect of a much increased total death toll. The latter that we will never actually get such a vaccine.

              As of a few months ago this looked like a bleak choice. And the default prospect of lockdowns/isolation for an indefinite future even more bleak. What has changed since then is flood of new data showing that COVID is becoming a less fatal disease than we initially thought, and it's current IFR is not a lot higher than ordinary seasonal influenza. Back in March we all thought it was about 10 – 15 times more lethal, now it looks like 2 -3 times. And for the large majority of people under the age of 70 it's actually a lot less lethal than seasonal influenza.

              Well if this trend continues this gives us a third option, to shift from relying on lockdowns/isolation as the primary tool, and place more emphasis on other less intrusive, damaging public health measures, commensurate with the trajectory of the actual hazard that COVID presents.

              And to be clear, at no point have I specified a timeline. A change like this will take time to consider, well before implementing it. Certainly I'm not seeing it before the end of this year, and maybe mid-2021. But if by then we still have no vaccine, and the IFR rate continues to decline … the case I am making will only have become stronger.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.26

              If if if "If this trend continues, by the end of the year we’ll have the IFR down below 0.1% … "

              So the COVID-19 pandemic is not over – but we already knew that. Still, begs the question, why write this?

              I realise the NZ left has good political reasons to want this COVID pandemic to go on indefinitely, but it's over

              "But from an epidemiology perspective … it’s over. Well if we want it to be that is."

              "It's over from a strategic perspective. Its no longer an unknown, uncontrolled threat."

              The number of new COVID-19 cases for 23 October is 478,132, a record and an increase of ~40,000 on the number of new cases for 22 October (also a record). Whoever's taken 'control' of this pandemic better rattle their dags or hand over the reins – the daily COVID-19 death tolls of the UK, France and Spain are edging up towards 200. All controlled, of course – nothing to worry about.

              Gotta love those controllers and their fanciful notions.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.27

              So the COVID-19 pandemic is not over – but we already knew that.

              If you cannot tell the difference between a disease that is endemic and a pandemic then I'm afraid we're all wasting our time here. It's idiotic statements like this where you repeatedly reduce the argument to a binary choice between 'pandemic' and 'no disease' which is nothing but a dishonest strawman.

              the daily COVID-19 death tolls of the UK, France and Spain are edging up towards 200.

              The raw numbers don't convey much information by themselves. Again lets go back and look at the two daily graphs for France.

              In the first wave during April daily infections peaked at around 7,500 while daily deaths were between 1,000 and 1,500. Now in the second wave the infections are closing on 40,000 while the deaths have yet to get over 300.

              However you choose to read the underlying causes of this data, the inferred IFR has clearly reduced dramatically. A similar pattern is occurring in almost every country with a strong public health system.

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.2.28

              I accuse you of outright lying because you didn't just "leave a sentence out", you left out half a paragraph – the half that clearly stated the criteria for when a pandemic is in place. And you clipped two words from the end of one sentence to make it look as if they were the start of another sentence.

              And it's not like the document you were linking to had lousy formatting – there are clear line breaks between the paragraphs.

              And you can put together a coherent sentence, which lowers the probability that your misleading editing was truly the result of unintentional stupidity.

              But your duplicity is a distraction.

              There are community cases in multiple nations in Europe, multiple nations in the americas, multiple nations in Africa, and multiple nations in Asia.

              But your own link, that means the covid pandemic is still happening. It is not over. Your claim that it is over is flat out wrong, by your own link's criteria. Again.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.29

              RL (@8:00 pm) – let's try again smiley

              First, I’m not trying to reduce the argument (what argument is that?) to a “binary choice between ‘pandemic’ and ‘no disease’. Believe it or not, I did follow your link to the WHO table describing the stages/phases of a pandemic, and I was already well aware that a global pandemic is not a simple on/off switch.

              You wrote repeatedly, of the COVID-19 pandemic, "it's over" – we agree on that. We might disagree about what you actually meant "it's over" to convey in your comments, and why you chose to use that same phrase in three separate comments, but anyone following this argy-bargy will have made up their own mind about that by now.

              You might be buoyed by the knowledge that you're not alone in using words that could convey (to the casual reader) the pandemic is over. Others have observed no less an individual than President Trump using similar words to similar effect.

              https://tucson.com/news/local/tim-stellers-opinion-in-tucson-trump-sends-erroneous-signal-the-pandemic-is-over/article_3e3abc9e-c04e-572f-93b9-77bac9fbef36.html

              Trump keeps campaigning like the Covid-19 pandemic is over
              https://www.msnbc.com/11th-hour/watch/trump-keeps-campaigning-like-the-covid-19-pandemic-is-gone-93797957513

              The article linked to below encapsulates my concern about the potential negative effects of those three particular COVID-19 comments, regardless of whether or not you intended to convey (on 2 Oct. and 12 Oct.) the idea that the pandemic was over. The article was written around the same time you wrote: "It's over from a strategic perspective. Its no longer an unknown, uncontrolled threat."

              Is the Pandemic Over?

              "The reason why the pandemic is reaching record numbers in the United States, (as well as my hometown and in rural areas just north of town) is because people are acting as if Covid-19 was a part of our past."

              "If I seem angry it is because I am angry. These deaths, these millions of infections, were preventable. We could be on the other side of the pandemic now, but we are, in fact, on the threshold of a major spike in infections, deaths, and the inevitable casualties of job losses, business bankruptcies, and the loss of neighborhood restaurants, churches, and music venues."

              "Sadly, it can be stopped but not until you are willing to love your neighbor enough to act responsibly."
              https://www.laprogressive.com/is-the-pandemic-over/

              Stamp it out. Keep it out.

            • solkta 1.1.1.1.2.30

              What's the odd half paragraph between friends eh. Yeh, nah. Desperate too much laugh

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.31

              [My bad: these links should work.]

              You (RL) might be buoyed by the knowledge that you're not alone in using words that could convey (to the casual reader) the pandemic is over. Others have observed no less an individual than President Trump using similar words to similar effect.

              President Trump sent the message Monday, directly and indirectly, that the pandemic is not that big a deal anymore.
              https://tucson.com/news/local/tim-stellers-opinion-in-tucson-trump-sends-erroneous-signal-the-pandemic-is-over/article_3e3abc9e-c04e-572f-93b9-77bac9fbef36.html

              Trump keeps campaigning like the Covid-19 pandemic is over
              Trump is looking at a growing pandemic and an unfriendly electoral map, but is still campaigning like the Covid-19 pandemic isn’t really happening.
              https://www.msnbc.com/11th-hour/watch/trump-keeps-campaigning-like-the-covid-19-pandemic-is-gone-93797957513

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.32

              @McF

              I accuse you of outright lying because you didn't just "leave a sentence out", you left out half a paragraph – the half that clearly stated the criteria for when a pandemic is in place.

              And it's bloody obvious when you look at the formatting that I skipped the first three lines, and accidentally started my copy at the second bold word instead of the first.

              Really if you think you're somehow being clever in running an attack line like this… and I measure my words carefully here … you are truly one of the most pathetic shitbags I have ever had the misfortune to encounter.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.33

              "… and I measure my words carefully here … you are truly one of the most pathetic shitbags I have ever had the misfortune to encounter."

              Careful RL – at least try to play the ball, not the man (and all that.) Ideally, 'pathetic' should be used to describe comments/ideas, not people – and as for "shitbags"; well Lordy Lordy!

              Buck-up and get back on your horse – it’s not over (yet.)

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.34

              @DMK

              It's McFuckface here who is attacking my integrity over a trivial and obvious copy and paste error. It's a dickhead move at best, but knowing him he's deliberately playing a low ball game here.

              In the meantime you may find this research paper interesting. I'll quote the results here:

              Results:

              Our analysis finds a exponential relationship between age and IFR for COVID-19. The estimated age-specific IFRs are very low for children and younger adults but increase progressively to 0.4% at age 55, 1.4% at age 65, 4.6% at age 75, and 15% at age 85. We find that differences in the age structure of the population and the age-specific prevalence of COVID-19 explain about 90% of the geographical variation in population IFR.

              To put some flesh on this compare the population pyramid for China and Italy. Look at the substantial difference in the fraction of their populations over the age of 65. Another place to see this is here.

              An illness that is exponentially more lethal with age is going to have a far greater impact in a country with more elderly people. It's this simple effect that may well explain most of the differences between countries.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.35

              Thanks RL, tbh I'm focusing mainly on the trends in new case numbers and the number of active cases to get an idea of how the pandemic is spreading globally and by country – most useful pandemic metrics derive from or incorporate the “new cases” number in some way or other. Probably a bit simplistic, but easy to understand – no calculations required!

              Meanwhile the number of active COVID-19 infections is set to push past 10,000,000 early next week.

              Daily coronavirus case numbers in the US are at levels not seen since the summer, and 14 states recently have set hospitalization records
              https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/20/health/us-coronavirus-tuesday/index.html

              On February 29, 2020, the first case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ireland was confirmed in Dublin in a school student who had recently returned from Italy. The number of cases in Ireland has since risen to 53,422 with 1,167 new cases reported on October 21, 2020.
              https://www.statista.com/statistics/1107064/coronavirus-cases-development-ireland/#statisticContainer

              In the most recent week of complete data, 11 October 2020 – 17 October 2020, 98,160 cases were identified in England as a whole, a rate of 174 cases per 100,000 population. This compares with 90,709 cases and a rate of 161 for the previous week.
              https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/coronavirus–covid-19–cases

              Germany’s daily case count soars past 11,000 to new record high
              Belgium’s foreign minister admitted to ICU for COVID-19
              Czech Republic sees another record surge in new cases as restrictions tighten
              COVID-19 patients fill up 60% of ICU beds in greater Paris region
              US reports highest daily death toll since mid-September https://www.connectradio.fm/2020/10/22/coronavirus-live-updates-belgiums-foreign-minister-admitted-to-icu-for-covid-19/

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.2.36

              Hey, I don't think you're a liar just that you fucked up the copy and paste.

              I mean, you might just be the luckiest moron in the internet, picking up decade-old web content and managing to miss out the bit of the paragraph that directly contradicts your claim about when a pandemic is "over" purely by chance.

              And sure, I can believe you are so fucking blinkered that you'd skim-read content and look only for the sections that you already agree with or at least deem to be relevant (I can imagine you often confuse one for the other).

              But seriously, not just half a paragraph but mid-sentence? You are genuinely claiming that you didn't just fuck up the cut&paste, you didn't even read the lines above the bit you thought you agreed with? Even after you read the bit you quoted a few times and decided "There are several ways to read this document", you didn't even bother to reread the full sentence you had bisected, just in case the context of the rest of the paragraph might clarify which way people were supposed to read the document?

              Okay then, have it your way. You're a fucking moron playing with words and concepts that are far too large for you to handle, and your stupidity is dangerous.

              • weka

                McFlock, can you please dial back the abusive bits so that the mods don't have to deal with a flame war. You've got plenty of good argument here without that.

                (I move the thread from under my post, as way off topic. It always goes to the latest PM, so unfortunately it may not die a natural death).

                • McFlock

                  I confess that I've never understood why it seems to be more acceptable to treat people like imbeciles than it is to call them such. And I have a visceral loathing for people whom I believe are attempting to endanger many people's lives just to serve their own self interest. So this thread hit the sweet spot.

                  But if it resurfaces, I'll try to tone it down.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.37

              RL, it would be (much) easier to believe that you intended something other than the commonly-understood meaning of "it's over" if you'd used the phrase once or twice, but you just kept at it.

              And you didn't help your case by presenting bad-faith arguments. I was critiquing your own words (verbatim), whereas you deliberately fabricated misinterpretations of my words/positions in an attempt to bolster your contention that while you did write "it's over", that's not what you meant. Again, if you'd done this only once I might have missed it, but it was at least twice, so not an accident – rather a clear pattern of bad faith behaviour, IMHO.

              "If you can find somewhere where I said that it was extinct and gone from the world, as you insist I have claimed … then produce the direct quote." – RL @1:12 am

              Pathetic. You know I've never insisted that you claimed "it [COVID-19] was extinct and gone from the world".

              It is you, and only you RL, who attempted to substitute your earlier "it's over" assertions with "extinct and gone from the world", here @12:15 am.

              And then again, so deliberate.

              "This binary assertion that either we are in a full blown pandemic OR there is no COVID is getting more stupid every time you repeat it."

              That's your assertion, and a weak one. Once again, you know that I have made no such assertion, let alone repeated it – that's all in your mind. To remind you, my position is that the pandemic is not over.

              IMHO, resorting to whataboutism (COVID-19 deaths represent only a small percentage of deaths from all causes) to minimise the significance of the pandemic is also a weak argument – I wouldn't suggest that yachties 'stranded' in FP are getting way more attention than they deserve given their small numbers and relatively low levels of risk and hardship, and if I did you'd be right to slap that argument down – for non-citizens/residents, risk and hardship should be assessed on a case-by-case basis in these COVID times.

              I'm under no illusions that the above comments will make the slightest bit of difference to how you choose to behave here, but our many comments on the meaning of "it's over" have helped to crystallise my thoughts as to your bad faith patterns of behaviour. And it's not like I'm the only one who has noticed.

              Such a pity, really it is, because you contribute so much, but your tendency to fabrication requires constant vigilance.

            • solkta 1.1.1.1.2.38

              To be a liar, or a moron, that is the question.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.39

              @DMK

              IMHO, resorting to whataboutism (COVID-19 deaths represent only a small percentage of deaths from all causes) to minimise the significance of the pandemic is also a weak argument

              Because it speaks directly to the question of risk/reward, or cost proportionality. There are many hazards in the world with comparable or even greater lethality than COVID, yet we don't impose draconian costs on the entire population because of them.

              At some point we may have to conclude that the escalating costs of relying on lockdowns/isolation as our primary tool are greater than the benefits.

              It's my view that we are getting closer to that point; where it will no longer be appropriate to treat COVID as an existential pandemic threat, and start to manage it as any other serious endemic disease.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.40

              "There are many hazards in the world with comparable or even greater lethality than COVID, yet we don't impose draconian costs on the entire population because of them."

              @RL – Your tendency to hyperbole is another bugbear.

              There are no doubt some, and possibly many who will perceive that the largely successful steps the NZ and Australian governments have taken to protect citizens from COVID-19 infection have "imposed dracronian costs" on themselves and others.

              However, some, and possibly many NZ citizens will feel that those costs are acceptible in the face of a lethal pandemic (death is also a cost) that is still in full-swing. Some may even feel that the costs imposed on them personally are relatively minor and not in any way “draconian” – "I know I do!"

              Btw, did you answer my question:
              "Are you with 'the team of almost five million', at least in spirit?"

              Not that you have to answer, of course, and I do understand the difficulties that a 'yes' answer could cause you in this forum.

              It’s my view that we are getting closer to that point; where it will no longer be appropriate to treat COVID as an existential pandemic threat, and start to manage it as any other serious endemic disease.

              I agree that we are getting closer to that point, but as a naturally risk averse person, I wouldn’t want my government to ‘jump the gun‘, eh?

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.41

              in the face of a lethal pandemic (death is also a cost) that is still in full-swing.

              And you accuse me of hyberole? As I've repeatedly demonstrated, this isn't the 1918 Flu over again. It's not the Black Death, smallpox or typhus. Those really were 'full swing' of the Grim Reaper's scythe.

              Some may even feel that the costs imposed on them personally are relatively minor and not in any way draconian – "I know I do!"

              I don't care to project too much about your personal situation, but there are many others who are likely far more affected than you are. And over time the costs imposed on them are escalating. How long before NZ gets to this point? Or this?

              You ask if I'm on the 'team of five million'? It's a meaningless question, nothing I could say would add to the conversation. It really boils down to whether you think I have NZ's best interests at heart, and only you can judge that for yourself.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.42

              "in the face of a lethal pandemic (death is also a cost) that is still in full-swing"

              Lethal – yes. [1,148,517 souls lost, so far]

              Still in full-swing – yes.

              Global daily new COVID-19 cases:
              22 Oct. 479,476
              21 Oct. 439,615
              20 Oct. 384,196
              19 Oct. 340,752
              18 Oct. 342,459
              17 Oct. 388,338
              16 Oct. 415,039
              15 Oct. 399,444
              14 Oct. 384,188
              13 Oct. 319,295
              12 Oct. 276,004

              I'm comfortable with you advocating for a relaxation of constraints, and acknowledge that such relaxation is inevitable – we only disagree about the timetable.

              "Normal life, that’s all we want. You know what we want, normal life."

              I'll continue to support Government initiatives designed to protect everyone's health, mine included. I believe that exercising caution is a prudent response to a novel (tick) lethal (tick) pandemic (tick) that is still in full-swing (tick).

              You ask if I’m on the ‘team of five million’? It’s a meaningless question, nothing I could say would add to the conversation.

              Not sure what you mean – a simple ‘yes‘ or ‘no‘ would be easier to understand, but I appreciate why that might be too difficult for you.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.43

              Again you selectively present just the new infection numbers. This number contains relatively little useful information. The question that matters is "what are my chances of dying from COVID?"

              The answer to the question is IFR, which is why I keep returning to it, and as the link above explores, it's an interesting parameter with a number of moving parts that makes it hard to definitively calculate.

              But we can place some bounds on it. WHO's own Dr Mark Ryan has recently stated that they think about 10% of the global population has already been exposed, or roughly 750m people. And at this point the global death toll stands at 1.144m, which gives an IFR of 0.15%. That's almost no higher than seasonal influenza.

              On the other hand I think that very crude calculation represents the lowest possible bound for IFR. Other papers that I've linked to already give median global values ranging from 0.23% up to 0.4%. That’s nothing like the values of 5% or more that were being inferred back in March.

              And of course I can readily counter your list of daily new infections with the parallel list of daily new deaths, but it's a lot smaller number between 4,500 – 7,000, and has been stable in this range for months. And I'd argue this list would be a lot more meaningful.

              I believe that exercising caution is a prudent response to a novel (tick) lethal (tick) pandemic (tick) that is still in full-swing (tick).

              Well it's no longer novel to the medical world, it must be the most researched virus ever. And from a disease perspective, well it may well be a novel virus, but it turns out the vast majority of people either completely or at least partially immune to it. They become infected, but then almost nothing happens, their body already knows how to fight it off.

              Yes it's lethal, but so are a lot of other things. What are you comparing this to?

              We can quibble the definition of pandemic all you like, but given that we now have effective tools to manage this event (if we choose to use them properly) and a declining IFR, it's my view we really have entered a post-peak phase.

              And as I said above … full swing maybe … but compared to what? Back in March we had every reason to think this could be another 1918 Flu event, now it looks quite different.

              • Tricledrown

                Red Logix you are making a lot of assumptions looks more like a press release from Donald Trump.

                If borders weren't closed this pandemic would be every bit as bad as the 1918 Spanish flu.

                I

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.44

              Normal life, that’s all we want. You know what we want, normal life.” – President Trump

              …………..Cases…..Deaths
              22 Oct. 479,476 – 6,477
              21 Oct. 439,615 – 6,845
              20 Oct. 384,196 – 6,170
              19 Oct. 340,752 – 4,397
              18 Oct. 342,459 – 4,095
              17 Oct. 388,338 – 5,667
              16 Oct. 415,039 – 6,183
              15 Oct. 399,444 – 6,112
              14 Oct. 384,188 – 6,085
              13 Oct. 319,295 – 4,998
              12 Oct. 276,004 – 3,772

              Anything else?

              Don’t doubt you believe that the changes you want would be for the greater good, but IMHO now is not the time to relax current measures designed to slow the (accelerating) spread of the virus.

              Maybe, when you comment on COVID, you could show a little sensitivity towards the families & friends of the COVID-deceased.

              • Tricledrown

                Red logix The 1,000's of Doctors and nurses who have died ,hospitals over run with seriously I'll patient's.

                You are spreading false information.

            • solkta 1.1.1.1.2.45

              Maybe, when you comment on COVID, you could show a little sensitivity towards the families & friends of the COVID-deceased.

              and to those who may never again know a normal life due to the long term and permanent damage this disease can cause.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.46

              Now you both play the 'you don't care' card on me.

              Every day 150,000 people die. None of us get out of this world alive.

              And countless more fall ill, have accidents or encounter suffering and misfortune of some kind.

              Each one is a tragedy, grief or loss for these people. But no single human is capable of enduring for one moment the sum total of all. At best we can care in the abstract; pretending otherwise is just virtue signalling.

              Incidentally of that 150,000 who died today, it's estimated 10,000 of them died from another single, totally preventable cause.

              Yet oddly enough when I've advocated in the past for a solution to this … almost everyone here pushed back on it. Why was that? Did you not care?

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.2.47

              RL, just refresh my memory – what did you mean when you wrote (on 2nd Oct.):

              I realise the NZ left has good political reasons to want this COVID pandemic to go on indefinitely, but it's over

              I don’t agree with the two ideas that your statement conveys, but recognise that they would find favour among certain segments of populations around the globe.

              Fact: The spread of COVID-19 around the globe is accelerating. …………..Cases…..Deaths
              23 Oct. 490,021 – 6,535
              22 Oct. 479,476 – 6,477
              21 Oct. 439,615 – 6,845
              20 Oct. 384,196 – 6,170
              19 Oct. 340,752 – 4,397
              18 Oct. 342,459 – 4,095
              02 Oct. 329,235 – 5,614

              Fact: NZ, and to a lesser extent Australia have some of the lowest COVID-19 case numbers per head of population in the world.

              USA: 26,393 cases per million (world ranking = 11)
              Australia: 1,035 cases per million (world ranking = 140)
              New Zealand: 367 cases per million (world ranking = 170)

              I would prefer that the NZ and Australian governments' continue their largely successful strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19, with some fine-tuning of course as researchers learn more about this novel and deadly pathogen.

              Could you outline any concerns that you might have about this? Are you perhaps worried that Australia and NZ are falling so far behind the infection rates of other countries that we may never catch up?

              What changes, if any, would like to see to the COVID-19 protection and containment strategies that currently operate in NZ?

              Stamp it out. Keep it out. Don't RISK it.

              https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/24/queensland-investigates-covid-19-strain-on-cargo-ship-after-new-zealand-alert

              Reports illustrating the importance of continued 'COVID caution'.

              Coronavirus: US cases reach record high amid new wave of infections
              https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-54670386

              Modeling COVID-19 scenarios for the United States
              "The zoonotic origin of the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) first reported in Wuhan, China, and the global spread of COVID-19 promises to be a defining global health event of the twenty-first century."
              https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-1132-9

              Grim forecast as France exceeds 1 million Covid cases
              "France's coronavirus cases have surged past a million as the country is warned the virus will linger until at least the middle of 2021.
              Yesterday France recorded more than 40,000 new cases and 298 deaths. Other nations including Russia, Poland, Italy and Switzerland also saw new highs.
              "
              https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/429089/grim-forecast-as-france-exceeds-1-million-covid-cases

              Restrictions and Requirements in Metropolitan France
              "From 17 October 2020 local curfews have been implemented in 54 departments, including the Paris area, and in French Polynesia, for at least 4 weeks from 9 PM to 6 AM. During these hours, you may only leave your residence in the following circumstances and with an exemption certificate…"
              https://www.gouvernement.fr/en/coronavirus-covid-19

              WHO: Countries on ‘dangerous track’ in COVID-19 pandemic
              "The northern hemisphere is facing a crucial moment in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said, with too many countries witnessing an exponential increase in coronavirus cases.
              The stark warning on Friday came as the number of coronavirus cases more than doubled in 10 days across Europe, with several southern European countries reporting their highest daily case numbers this week.
              "
              https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/23/who-countries-on-dangerous-track-in-covid-19-pandemic

              Countries with an epidemiological situation ‘of serious concern’
              "According to the latest data available to ECDC, the countries whose rates and/or trends cause them to be categorised as of serious concern include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, France, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom."
              https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/current-risk-assessment-novel-coronavirus-situation

              Wales Imposes 'Firebreak Lockdown' As Coronavirus Cases Spike
              https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/10/23/927137727/wales-imposes-firebreak-lockdown-as-coronavirus-cases-spike

          • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.3

            P.S.

            "Do you agree with President Trump that the pandemic is ending and normal life is returning?"

            Yes I do. And this kneejerk response from the left that if Trump were to say the sky was blue, that every 'progressive' then has to insist it must be some shade of puce is beyond idiotic.

            Didn't realise that the source of that quoted question, KMTV 3 News Now, was 'left', but I know a kneejerk response when I see it.

            Btw, is asserting a pandemic is over because the number of daily deaths is a stable 5,000+, fundamentally dishonest?

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.3.1

              Btw, is asserting a pandemic is over because the number of daily deaths is a stable 5,000+, fundamentally dishonest?

              Because it's no longer a 'pandemic' in the sense that it's a out of control disease that could kill hundreds of millions. That very real possibility absolutely justified extreme measures six months ago, now the ground has shifted.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.3.2

              Are you saying that a pandemic is only a pandemic while it's out of control and could kill hundreds of millions? Is that an accepted definition, or something you made up?

              You get that it's “fundamentally dishonest” to redefine words just to suit your points of view – looks a bit desperate tbh.

              "A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease", and if the record number of 437,411 new COVID-19 cases is anything to go by, then COVID-19 is still spreading.
              https://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/frequently_asked_questions/pandemic/en/

              Keep digging smiley

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.3.3

              Look at the WHO chart that defines the stages of a pandemic. I'd argue on the basis of plenty of the data that while it remains a serious public health emergency, we are clearly in the post-peak phase of this crisis. And the first row of the table reflects this.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.3.4

              Argue all you like, IMHO it's illogical to hold the view that we're in the "Post Peak" phase of this pandemic when Wednesday saw a clear new record for the number of COVID infections worldwide.

              It's certainly true that individual countries are at different phases of this pandemic. In the WHO's table of pandemic stages that you linked to, "Post Peak" is followed by "Possible new wave", which is more than just a possibility for the UK and several countries in Europe – yet another reason why it would be illogical to assert "it's over".

              It may have been unintentional, but your repeated "it's over" assertions fundamentally undermine the appropriately cautious responses of many countries (including NZ) to this novel and deadly virus.

              Stamp it out, keep it out. We don’t know how lucky we are…

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.3.5

              new record for the number of COVID infections worldwide.

              The number of infections is of minor interest, it’s how many people land up in ICU and/or go on to die that matters. And that’s the data I’m pointing to for my case.

              Are you saying that a pandemic is only a pandemic while it's out of control and could kill hundreds of millions?

              That's the basis on which governments around the world justified their actions. Information coming out of China, Wuhan in particular, looked very scary at the time and there was very good reason to take every precaution.

              There is any amount of data I could present, but seven months later nowhere do we see trends that are curving upward exponentially, out of control at enormously high R rates. On that basis, and WHO agrees with this, lockdowns are no longer the appropriate primary tool to deal with this disease. They come at an incredibly high cost, paid most dearly by the most vulnerable and generally less well off in our societies.

              As for your cute little bolded slogan, I'm afraid reality will keep making a fool of it.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.3.6

              Stamp it out, keep it out.

              Glad you like it – quite popular here in NZ. Must use it more often.

              Looking around the world, it seems to me that NZ would be a fair way down the list of countries that reality is "making a fool of". For example, the US, and the UK in particular are basket cases – I blame poor governance.

              China’s looking pretty good on both health and economic outcomes, but I’d definately rather be here than in the US, UK or even China.

              It's not just countries that reality can make a fool of wink

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.3.7

              RL's Wikipedia pandemic page:

              Current pandemics include COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and HIV/AIDS.

              WHO Director General a few days ago:

              On Friday, we discussed the worrying phase that the COVID-19 pandemic has entered.

              As the northern hemisphere enters winter, we’re seeing cases accelerate – particularly in Europe and North America.

              The pandemic isn't over.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.3.8

              Thanks McFlock (@1:53 pm).

              Have just watched that Good Morning Amercia interview with Dr Fauci from last week. Won't be news to you, and has probably already been posted on The Standard, but here's the link anyway.

              I get the sense that despite his awesome calm (and empathy), Dr Fauci is feeling some 'COVID frustration'. I wonder if Dr Bloomfield would/could do anything differently if he was in Fauci's shoes?

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.3.9

              And the inestimable Dr Fauci is using Vitamin D. (Elsewhere he's confirmed he's taking 6000 IU per day.)

              Does this suddenly make him a dangerously unhinged quack?

              Second or third waves, indeed yes. But again look at the daily case and death rates for France. Completely different experiences between April and October.

              Again selectively using just the infection numbers dishonestly erases the real story of how remarkably well the medical system has muddled it's way to getting on top of this virus in less than a year. I can see why you do this, the rising infection numbers support the narrative you want to protect, that COVID is an exploding event threatening to scythe through tens of millions.

              When of course the reality that neither of you can bring yourself to acknowledge is that globally COVID is currently responsible for just 3% of all deaths from all causes each day, and this number remains astonishingly stable.

              There could of course be a second or third wave that proves more lethal than the first, as was the case in 1918. But that was then, before we barely knew what virus' were, much less decode their genomes. Now I'm willing to bet that as each month passes we will continue to learn and adapt to this remarkably challenging little bug, and the odds are it will remain contained at or near current levels.

              • Tricledrown

                If Dr Fauci is taking 6,000 I of vitamin D a day he is putting his health as serious risk.

                Just because something occurs naturally it doesn't mean massive doses are good for you.

                A swedish study showed over dosing of vitamin D causes bones to become brittle. Doses of 6,000 iu a day equals 42,000iu a week when the maximum recommended safe dose is 3,000 iu per week including what's in your food.

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.3.10

              All very interesting, RL, but the fact is that the pandemic is still a pandemic and is by no means under control.

              That's the reality you are desperately trying to avoid. When something goes from zero to accounting for 3% of global mortality in less than a year, denialism is not just stupid, it's lethal.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.3.11

              @McFlock (3:39 pm) – maybe Redlogix just wants "Normal life, that’s all we want. You know what we want, normal life."

              And who could blame him. But I agree with you, RL seems to have closed his eyes and shoved his head in the COVID-19 ‘sand’ – how else to explain “it’s over“?

        • Treetop 1.1.1.2

          On RNZ this morning just after 7am a NZ Professor Mc Lean based in the UK who is a molecular immunologist thinks the answer is blocking a protein to avoid serious illness from Covid.

      • solkta 1.1.2

        a global, universalist perspective

        I hadn't noticed that. What i see is someone who can only see the issues that relate to them – ie black lives no matter but sailors special people.

        • RedLogix 1.1.2.1

          I hadn't noticed that.

          Maybe I should make it more obvious?

          black lives no matter but sailors special people.

          Of course I understand exactly how the game is played, you make an accusation of 'racism' and then when I deny it you immediately point to this as conclusive evidence of racism. A few years back it was sexism, then islamophobia, and it looks like transphobia is making a strong run. It's a juvenline version of 'pig fucking' … and you didn't invent it.

          I constantly find myself challenging people here on questions of human development, especially greenie eco-fascists who insist the global industrialised economy must be shut down in order to 'save the planet'. Of course such a move would immediately bring to a halt the astonishing progress of the post-WW2 era which has lifted most of humanity out of absolute poverty, impacting disproportionately of course 'people of colour'.

          There is an inherent racism built into the idea that we must reverse human progress, undo urbanisation, and revert back to forms of organic subsistence farming … and tells the developing world they must remain relatively poor compared to the 'golden 1 billion' of the developed world. I've strenuously argued this is a morally bankrupt plan, and that all human lives matter, regardless of skin colour, nationality, culture, sex, age or any other 'identity characteristic' you care to label individuals with.

          And human development, and in particular the relative prosperity that comes with urbanisation (in 2008 for the first time in history more people lived in cities than not), is the reason why the world's Population Pyramid looks like this.

          A typical developed country looks like this, Western Europe while Africa looks totally different. This is where humanity is heading

          Demographics are the underlying data that tell the story of how our world is changing, and why our political systems will need to evolve and adapt to world which is going to pivot from growth and consumption (characteristic of a 'young' population) to sustainability and stability (characteristic of an 'older' population). It will be a world in which quality will become more important than quantity, in which the idea of scarcity will be replaced by responsibility; in which the brute calculus of power starts to take second place to the notion of service to humanity and stewardship of our planet.

          This is the kind of universalist argument I've been explicitly presenting here for some time now. Just in case you hadn’t noticed.

          • solkta 1.1.2.1.1

            You are so short of self-awareness. Possibly even less than your awareness of Green policy.

          • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.1.2.1.2

            "I constantly find myself challenging people here on questions of human development, especially greenie eco-fascists"

            Oh really? Is that when you're not challenging the greenie eco-marxists? Too funny…..

          • WeTheBleeple 1.1.2.1.3

            What an embarrassment. Just shutting up would improve the situation for many.

          • RedLogix 1.1.2.1.4

            Oh look. Three ad hom attacks that contribute exactly what?

            Embarrassing alright.

  2. Sacha 2

    Andrea Vance's long article about Labour's election campaign offers many details (though the headline is not that relevant): https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300139041/election-2020-labour-connect-the-data-analysis-tool-that-boosted-jacinda-arderns-campaign

    • Sacha 2.1

      eg:

      Supporters were disappointed in the lack of a visionary tax policy.

      A Labour insider traces the roots of this back to the 2017 election campaign. “They learned from the ridiculous situation we got ourselves into over [the capital gains] tax… and over on the side on water tax. National went hard on that. We lost five per cent in the last two weeks at least.

      “People believed that we were going to increase income tax. They would argue with the moderator in focus groups.

      “All the soft voters were excited by Jacinda – [many of whom] were actually medium-hard National voters that became soft [because they] were unsure and worried about tax.”

    • Sacha 2.2

      another Vance snippet:

      At every stage, Ardern was followed by a camera crew from the Augusto creative agency. The Auckland company filmed her first ads, back in 2017, when she replaced Andrew Little a few weeks out from election day and their offices were used as a base for key Labour staff on polling day.

      At times, the crew was better resourced than the travelling media pack. A Facebook video “It’s not everyday you get the PM in your ute” was celebrated for folksy interactions between Ardern and Wairarapa MP Kieran McAnulty.

      But look closer: there are no fewer than five cameras trained on Ardern.

  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    As we watch Labour always sidle to the right….almost like it is the natural direction that their Liberal ideology is moving them.

    • Phillip ure 3.1

      That is some solid analysis..in that clip…one for the neolibs in labour to listen to/digest…

  4. Phillip ure 4

    Looking forward to duncan garner becoming an advocate for the vegan thing..

    • woodart 4.1

      looking forward to duncan garner becoming relevant. along with all of the other "experts" who media throw up(in both senses)

  5. Sacha 5

    @lprent – when a comment-thread from days ago is moved to this one, how does it end up appearing first rather than last?

  6. Foreign waka 6

    This site has become pre-occupied by an almost personal verbal match of a few players.

    We all know that Covid is a pandemic, that the infection rate is catastrophic, the dead rate mind blowing. We also know that medical science is looking for a vaccine. Meanwhile, keep the distance, wear a mask, get tested if you have a cold/flu or if it makes you feel safer test just in case. Use common sense and keep safe.

    But for goodness sake, stop getting everybody into a depressive stupor. Its the last thing we need right now.

    • Sacha 6.1

      I'm more annoyed than depressed. Get a room! 🙂

    • solkta 6.2

      We all know that Covid is a pandemic, that the infection rate is catastrophic, the dead rate mind blowing.

      Ummm, no. Haven't you heard the drone – "it's over" – ?

    • Drowsy M. Kram 6.3

      It's not personal, at least for my part. I was and am genuinely worried about the effect of claiming the COVID-19 pandemic is "over" might have on public behaviour at a time when only a carefully cautious approach has any chance of maintaining NZ's enviably low COVID-19 infection rate.

      I hope that the introduction of more effective therapies and preventatives, maybe even a COVID-19 vaccine, will allow NZ to relax its current border restrictions eventually, but now is not the time, IMHO.

      That being said, I'll shut up on the matter. But if Redlogix starts banging on again about how the COVID-19 pandemic is "over", and that NZ's border controls are unsustainable (two weirdly incompatible ideas), then "I'll be back!"

    • RedLogix 6.4

      There is a long tradition of this sort of extended conversation here at TS. This one is getting up there but it's by no means the longest we've seen.

      The good news is that no-one is compelled to read it all. Please don't if it depresses you. It's a conversation not a manifesto. 😎

      • Foreign waka 6.4.1

        This was a conversation between 2-3 people for almost its entire contribution. This wasn't so much the point but rather it revolved around a single issue. I found this a bit excessive. Never mind, you are right. No one needs to read this.

        • Sacha 6.4.1.1

          Yet it gets slapped at the top of an otherwise pristine post. Maybe there needs to be a separate place to put such intense lovefests? #getaroom

    • Grafton Gully 6.5

      Yes, and WASH HANDS.

  7. joe90 7

    England rivaling the US in boorish, irresponsible dumb-fuckery.

    Apparently all you have to do to have your COVID-19 superspreader event approved by Trump’s National Park Service is play the religion card.

    As reported by the Independent:

    The National Park Service has approved a permit for an evangelical “worship protest” gathering this weekend on the National Mall in Washington DC, which is expected to attract 15,000 attendees amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Sean Feucht, a singer and former Republican congressional candidate, will host the event as part of his “Let Us Worship” tour. He’s held the tour in cities across America amid the coronavirus pandemic to protest Covid-19 restrictions against religious gatherings.

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/10/23/1988908/-National-Park-service-approves-permit-for-superspreader-Christian-event-on-DC-Mall?

    • Muttonbird 7.1

      How do you pronounce, "Feucht"?

    • RedLogix 7.2

      That's one of my key points, that for good reasons or bad, there is not an unlimited public appetite for lockdowns.

      NZ hasn't reached that point yet, but what's Plan B for when we do? Is that too dangerous a question to ask? Because if your answer is to go full metal authoritarian and crush all resistance, then I'm not with your 'team of 5 million' on that.

      • Muttonbird 7.2.1

        Then I'm not with your 'team of 5 million' on that.

        You never have been.

        • solkta 7.2.1.1

          Team of 1, always.

          • Muttonbird 7.2.1.1.1

            I was just commenting on another forum about the right wing's marriage with individualism. Basic human empathy died somewhere along the way.

            • solkta 7.2.1.1.1.1

              There is a lot of smoke and deflection, but anyone who uses "virtue signalling"..

              • Muttonbird

                RL's logic is textbook Farrar, ACT, and all the others who worship at the altar of colonialism.

                Exploitation of resources and peoples the world over has resulted in everyone becoming rich, rich rich!

                Well, what about the environment? What about peoples' identity and traditions?

                The ACT/Farrar/RL/Ad crowd do not care. As long as someone made a buck.

      • McFlock 7.2.2

        To hell with all iterations of "plan B".

        If NZers decide to become as stupid as yanks or the english, we'll have the same repercussions. Thousands will die. There is no way to mitigate that against this level of infectiousness without highly restricted immigration and quarantine, and lockdowns whenever a cluster gets out of hand.

        The longer it goes on, we get better treatments. But hundreds of thousands of cases still means thousands of dead, and probably always will.

        The only ways to prevent hundreds of thousands of cases when it gets inside the border and out of trace capabilities are lockdowns or vaccines, and we don't don't yet have vaccines.

        On the plus side, many people overseas have been in lockdown for seven months because many of their neighbours are pro-plague, so it seems that folks can tolerate quite a bit more than NZ has even come close to so far.

  8. Tricledrown 8

    Reading Damien Grant's a dodgy deregistered debt collectors waffle running down Adrian Orr then saying Muldoon left NZ bankrupt .

    What utter BS he has no idea when Muldoon left office after 9 years govt debt was $1 billion after Damien Grant's mate ACT founder Roger Douglas left Govt debt at $16 billion after just 6 yrs.

    Where do Stuff drag up these poorly qualified dodgy socold financial experts who put no evidence behind their spurious claims.

    Grant is in an ACT political off shoot that claims to be independent.formally the Business roundtable.

  9. RosieLee 9

    As an oldie who is pretty tech savvy, I'm getting tired of the criticisms of those who don't use the Covid app. I would love to.I can surf the net on my phone, exchange emails and texts and messages and calls, take and edit and share high quality photos, plus a myriad of other things. But whoops! Hang on. My phone is 4 years old – too old to take the app. So, would someone like to buy me a new phone? Or would someone like to devise a Covid app which is more easily available and user friendly?

    • Macro 9.1

      My phone is 4 years old – too old to take the app. So, would someone like to buy me a new phone?

      This is a very valid point that I am sure, many are simply not even aware. The app will not load onto older phones. My wife's has the same problem. It's perfectly adequate for all the other things she wants to use it for, but it will not accept the NZ Covid Tracer App. Those of us who are on a fixed income are not in the habit of updating our phones every time there is a new model on the market. Could the developers instead of adding more fancy touches, please consider older users, and those on fixed incomes, and make their app compatible with phones that use operating systems older than last years?

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        …make their app compatible with phones that use operating systems older than last years?

        Android 6 is 5 years old and iOS 11 is three years old.

        IIRC, Android Studio defaults to Android 6 compatibility.

        • Macro 9.1.1.1

          Whatever

          Fact is that a phone that is only 4 years old will not run the NZ Tracer App. And the operating system is as up to date as it can be.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.1

            Fact is that a phone that is only 4 years old will not run the NZ Tracer App.

            Purchase date is not the same as release date and its the release date that's important.

            An Android phone released four years ago would have been running Android 7.0 and quite capable of running the app which requires Android 6. Probably be able to upgrade to Android 8 as well but I wouldn't expect it to upgrade beyond that without having to go to after-market sources.

            If a phone can't update to Android 6 then the chances are that it was released a year or two prior to 2014.

            • greywarshark 9.1.1.1.1.1

              DTB You seem to be in post-election picky mode. Can you take a breather and relax a bit, you don't have to dissect everybody's comments. It's not very encouraging for people who would just like to have a reasonable say on Open Mike which does encourage people to have a go.

              • Draco T Bastard

                People using the wrong data to whinge about things is just irritating and is most definitely not something reasonable.

            • Macro 9.1.1.1.1.2

              If a phone can't update to Android 6 then the chances are that it was released a year or two prior to 2014.

              Even if that was the case, the fact is that for every operation the user wants of the phone it does a perfectly adequate job apart from the inability to operate the covid app. And the fact still remains that it was possible to purchase such a phone new in 2017. Indeed there are many like them still being used by older people and those who have limited income. It is unreasonable to expect everyone in the country to upgrade to the latest phone just so they can use the tracer app. And why is it not possible for the developers to make an app that will work for those who in many cases fall into the category of the most vulnerable wrt covid? There are many apps available for scanning QR codes that work on the older phones, so that is not a problem.

              • Sacha

                I do not know but there might still be some fundamental security problems in older versions of Android especially? Can't be ignored in government apps that deal with personal data, much less health-related information.

                • Macro

                  Thing is the app simply is a diary device that records and stores on the phone ones movements. True you up load contact info to the Govt contact tracing website, but that sort of stuff is hardly sensitive. The fact that I visited the baker, the green grocer, and Pak n Save is not likely to be material for bribery.

              • Draco T Bastard

                And the fact still remains that it was possible to purchase such a phone new in 2017.

                Yep. Did the same thing myself when I bought my last phone. Was rather pissed when I realised that my brand new phone was four years old but that doesn't make any difference to the manufacturers who will continue to sell them as long as they make a profit despite the fact that they really shouldn't do so.

                Its another point where regulation needs to come in to fix the market but you'd hear the howls of complaints from left, right and centre. Imagine the government having the gall to require that brand new phones and other computing devices on the market actually be able to run the latest OS.

                Or even have it so that old phones get an updated OS.

                And have phones running excessively old OS to be cut off from the network for security reasons.

                It is unreasonable to expect everyone in the country to upgrade to the latest phone just so they can use the tracer app.

                Technically, you don't need to. Just need to get a phone that was released after 2015. Probably cheaper just to get a new phone running the latest OS though.

                And why is it not possible for the developers to make an app that will work for those who in many cases fall into the category of the most vulnerable wrt covid?

                You'd have to ask them but even if they made it to run on Android 4 there'd still be some who couldn't run it on their smart phones because they'd be running 2 or 3 and we'd still get the same bloody complaints.

                Catering to everyone's different devices is very expensive which is why we have standards.

  10. KJT 10

    For those whose phones cannot download the App. Take a photo?

    • WeTheBleeple 10.1

      I don't even have a phone. That is/was a conundrum as I want to be doing my bit, you know.

      So what I do is ensure I buy something at any venue or store I go to. That way I can access online banking and readily account for where I've been (and I don't have a life right now, so it's not much info).

      But… this is bank information. And banks, though they like to pretend they're all about the community, don't give a flying fig.

      So if a store had a visitor with covid – is the track and trace team allowed the eftpos data or is that a legal nightmare?

      Really not keen on getting a phone, darn things disrupt me for trivial nonsense.

      • Graeme 10.1.1

        If there is a close contact with a retail business the contact tracing will pull the eftpos data for the affected period and any security footage anyway, that's one of the secondary tracing lines.

        Prior to the app, during the initial Level 4 and Level 3 periods that's why essential businesses were limited to only those where everyone who entered made a transaction, with rules to pretty much ensure that. Once the app came on stream things opened out a lot.

  11. KJT 11

    We the Bleeple. @10.1. You can give your own bank info to tracers. Businesses can do the same. The advantage of the App, is you can download it to the tracers and they can computer match it to others that have visited the same place at the same time, who are using it.

    Obviously for the paper sign in they have to visit each business and match them all up.

    Always seems funny to me that people didn't say anything about the search and servaillance legislation, but are going nutso about Covid tracing which is far less invasive in time and scope.

  12. Muttonbird 12

    Back to the real world, the here and now, rather than the hypotheticals around how Labour is going to ruin NZ agriculture because National are sooooo much better at that stuff…

    Here's a good news economic story directly related to Jacinda Ardern and her government's response to Covid-19. I'm betting National couldn't pull this off.

    In an interview with The Talk on CBS, Gordon-Levitt praised Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s response to the pandemic, calling her “incredible”, and said this was one of the few countries in the world where he felt safe.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/celebrities/300141480/joseph-gordonlevitt-moves-new-tv-production-to-new-zealand-to-escape-covid19-pandemic-in-the-us

    Heads up, the NZ film industry is also an export industry and one which can operate while those in other countries can't.

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