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Open mike 31/01/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 31st, 2022 - 160 comments
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160 comments on “Open mike 31/01/2022 ”

  1. My post-weekend, early morning rant!

    After wading through innumerable posts (and skim reading a fair number of them) I would like to say that I think a vocal minority on The Standard and out in society do not have the collective good of their community as their main priority.

    This minority have drunk at the ‘me, me, me’ tit of neoliberalism for the last 30 or 40 years and now cannot seem to distinguish between their own ‘individualism’ and the overall needs of the society that nurtures them.

    For instance, I was told over the weekend that there was a rally of 7000 anti-mandaters (and other weirdos) at Rangiora on Saturday, (which didn’t even make the local or national news). I was further told that it wouldn’t because the government had bought the media, that there were hundreds if not thousands of deaths from the Pfizer vaccine but the government-owned media was covering them up. When people start disappearing down conspiracy rabbit holes it’s time to step back from them a pace or two.

    I’ve been told that a woman’s auntie’s collar bone became magnetic (that crap seems to have disappeared) and that I wouldn’t buy a drink in a bar without knowing what was in it, so why . . . etc, that Bill Gates is behind the virus to depopulate the world, and so on.

    So it is refreshing to read so many posts on The Standard supporting the general direction of government policy.

    There are times when one has to have faith and trust in one’s government to do what is collectively right for all the people of the country. I have a great deal more trust in this Labour government to do what is best for all of its citizen than I ever would (or have had) in a Natz or Act government. God knows, I can be critical enough of the government at times, but there is no set of rules on how to handle a pandemic (except the precautionary one), so they are bound to make mistakes.

    I know and all thinking people also know, that Jacinda, Chris, Grant and Ashley have done a marvellous job of keeping us safe for so long, and that is a bonus I’ll not forget. Only people with an empty space above their shoulders and no feeling in their toes could possibly think otherwise. The Natz would have made a monumental botch up of the covid response from the very beginning.

    So well done the 95%+ NZers who are acting in the collective good to protect society and the commenters on here who support them. The Brian Tamakis and a number of posters on The Standard just piss me off no end. There’s a word for such behaviour, but it escapes me at the moment.

    We have a far bigger challenge to face than a virus, one in which our government will need to take quite drastic, unilateral and compelling action if we are to survive. There will be no room, and no tolerance, for a self-centred focus on individualism in this frightening future. A divided, ‘give me liberty or give me death’ sort of society will end up dying!

    Rant over. Sinks exhausted into a comfortable chair and goes to sleep.

    • Peter 1.1

      A rally of 7000 at Rangiora on Saturday?

      Testing shows our kids aren't very good at maths. Any adult who says there were 7000 in a rally in Rangiora in the weekend has no idea of maths and/or is a one-eyed bloody idiot.

      The best banner in the silly protest said "Jesus wasn't vaxxed." Although hats off to those who needed to carry signs advertising that the had 'FREEDOM' and could demonstrate that by walking up the middle of the street.

      I wonder how my banner will go at the next effort: "Jesus wasn't vaxxed but his mother his mother was a f—— virgin." That'll get some of them going.

      • roy cartland 1.1.1

        "Jesus wasn't vaxxed."

        Ha! I love that. You might just as easily reply, "and look what happened to him". Is that illogical enough?

      • Yes, I didn't believe them, though I was assured it was so.

        Imagine 7000 people converging on Rangiora? The logistics alone would have made headlines.

        Like you, Peter, I will one day front up with a banner at one of these idiotic protests.

        Mine will read: Support Anti-vaxxers’ right to die of covid!

    • weka 1.2

      I also have a high degree of trust in the current government in managing the pandemic. This doesn't make me a Labourite, and I don't think they have to be perfect to still be trustworthy.

      I don't however trust them on housing or welfare.

      On climate, I think there is room for them to improve rather than them just being stuck like with housing and welfare. They seem better equipped on acute emergencies than long ones, and if covid isn't over this year I suspect my trust will drop somewhat. I hope they have a back up plan if the borders can't open in the autumn. I wish that they would see how covid and climate are dovetailing and take advantage of that.

      • tsmithfield 1.2.1

        I have a high degree of trust that they have the best of intentions so far as managing the pandemic is concerned.

        But, as per my posts below, I think they have already lost control of it. If it takes a week to identify close contacts as the links in my posts suggest, then we really are in big trouble given the speed that Omicron spreads.

      • roy cartland 1.2.2

        Thant's an excellent point, one I was thinking about in the weekend.

        One of my biggest gripes with the anti-vaxx lot at the moment is that there is plenty to criticise the gov about (wasteful defense spending, housing, inequality, climate)

        …and they're sucking up all the attention moaning about one of the good things the gov is doing.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.2.3

        "I don't however trust them on housing or welfare."

        Or on inequality generally, in my case.

        But handling the mosque murders and pandemic – I think they've done extremely well – with the exception of the economic management (which massively boosted inequality, as Bernard Hickey pointed out).

    • ianmac 1.3

      Totally agree Tony. Thankyou.

    • Mike Roberts 1.4

      Although I'm not a conspiracy theorist and I see the benefit of vaccines, having been boostered myself, I think that we have had a very large dollop of luck in this pandemic. I remember the chaotic scenes at the airport when the border closures were first announced. Many breaches of MIQ in the early days did not spawn big clusters. The DJ who did everything wrong in December didn't spawn any more cases. The loosening of restrictions after level 4 in August did bring predictable rises (after the usual passage of days) but didn't bring an exponential rise (and soon fell away), nor did letting Aucklanders out in December, though the cases did spread out more across the country. Perhaps good decisions bring their own luck and this country has definitely fared better (so far) than most other countries.

      However, it's crazy that people who've recovered from the disease (within the last 6 months) but haven't been vaccinated still have to get jabbed to get the vaccine pass. But the whole vaccine pass issue may become moot soon since the data of the past few days show that the proportion of cases that are fully vaccinated is now about the same as the proportion of people, in the whole population, which has been fully vaccinated. It seems that unvaccinated and vaccinated are now equally likely to get the disease, probably because of omicron, though the unvaccinated still dominate the hospitalisations (though there is a delay as case numbers work through to hospitalisations). The government needs to consider a new approach to the traffic light system. If the data continue to show no apparent benefit, in terms of cases, a return to something similar to the alert level system seems better, restricting gatherings and being hard on mask wearing.

      What is the "far bigger challenge" that we face? Certainly, climate change is a biggy, though environmental destruction of all kinds seems to go unabated and no government is addressing that challenge at anything like the scale that's needed. Resource depletion is also a related challenge but economic growth remains all governments' apparent priority.

      • I think that we have had a very large dollop of luck in this pandemic.

        As Sanctuary said a while ago, with luck, the better your leadership, the luckier you are.

      • Macro 1.4.2

        But the whole vaccine pass issue may become moot soon since the data of the past few days show that the proportion of cases that are fully vaccinated is now about the same as the proportion of people, in the whole population, which has been fully vaccinated. It seems that unvaccinated and vaccinated are now equally likely to get the disease, probably because of omicron, though the unvaccinated still dominate the hospitalisations (though there is a delay as case numbers work through to hospitalisations).

        Your analysis here falls foul of the Statistical phenomenon called Simpson's Paradox It is an error unfortunately perpetuated on a regular basis not only by non-mathemeticians but also regrettably in the media. Here is an example wrt a similar observation in Israel to help you see the error.

        There was a flurry of reports and social media posts recently commenting on an Israeli study showing that nearly 60% of all patients hospitalized for COVID-19 (as of August 15, 2021) were fully vaccinated.

        A common take, by both journalists and commentators, was to conclude that the power of the vaccine must have waned dramatically since the early days. (Israel was way ahead of most nations in getting the vaccine out, and almost 80% of all Israelis over 12 years of age are now fully vaccinated. So western nations have been viewing their experience as a good indicator of what’s to come for them.)


        Just imagine for a moment that everyone had been vaccinated. (I would likely add that in the case of Israel, that’s not a huge stretch, since their figure is 80% vaccinated.) That means, in particular, that everyone who has to go into hospital has been vaccinated. So in that case the proportion of vaccinated people in the hospital would be 100%.

        The point is, the more people that are vaccinated, the more likely it becomes that vaccinated people end up in hospital. That’s where that 60% comes from. It reflects the fact that a lot of Israelis are vaccinated. (Around 4 out of 5, to be accurate, but this is a story about a concept, not numbers, so I don’t say that.) There are a lot of vaccinated people everywhere, in hospital or out of hospital.

        • McFlock

          Not quite the same situation, though.

          David Hood is an IT guy from UOtago who's been working on visualisations for reporting the data and dropping them on Twitter. I quite like the tested vs untested open contacts chart – that'll go in my hip pocket.

          Basically, the rate of positive tests per 100k seems (if the labels are clear) to be the rate of +ve tests for each population (i.e. rate +ve tests per 100k vaccinated people, and rate of +ve tests per 100k unvaccinated ), and both are pretty similar, even though the proportion of total +ve tests might be different.

          Although transmission is still in spread mode – so it might be a factor of which communities it's expanding through at the moment. And then there's the entire "would unvaccinated people bother getting tests or participating in public health in any way?" question – we might just have a sample bias so far.

          But that's tests, not hospitalisations. I suspect hospitalisations will need pretty big case numbers to distinguish between vaccinated/nonvaccinated hospitalisation rates, though – so I hope we don't get sufficient data. 🙂

          • Macro

            No of course it isn't the same. It is just an example of how statistical data can mislead if you don’t handle the figures correctly. That is what Simpson's Paradox is about, ie a trend appears in several groups of data, but disappears or reverses when the groups are combined.

            • McFlock

              SP describes a precise set of circumstances, it's not just about handling the figures "correctly".

              As a basic indication, the similar case rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated it something to look at – although as Nic suggests, any "that's odd" results might just disappear when adjusting for various population characteristics.

              • Nic the NZer

                The most simple problem with just comparing the raw numbers is that your comparing a vaccinated and unvaccinated population of different sizes (most likely). This is not a Simpsons Paradox, but it is miss leading. You can compare something like rate per 100,000 in either group to adjust for the relative population size however.

                The Simpsons Paradox is when the regression/statistic picks up on the strongest trend in the data first. This may be a confounding factor. In this case you have two conflicting statistics/fits at the same time, either the overall fit or the fit when controlling for one or more confounding factors is correct, but not both. You can determine this based on understanding causes relating to the problem, but not from the statistics themselves. In the case of most covid data there is a conflict between a trend of aging making covid more problematic and vaccination making it less problematic. The aging trend is the stronger here, so in the overall fit the efficacy is understated, but in the age controlled fit the efficacy is correct.

                The Simpsons Paradox can occur after adjusting correctly to rates, but you need to adjust for both before your efficacy statistics will be correct.

                • McFlock

                  Yeah. It's the sort of thing I'd poke around with at work just for interest's sake, to be frank. And leave the terminology up to the statisticians rather than me at my pay grade 🙂

                  I had a funny one a few years back (if you'll excuse the vagueness), looking at national rates for some different subgroups – everyone was going up (bad), except one subgroup that I expected to go up was going down (good).

                  Turned out that half of that particular subgroup was located in a region that had run a pilot study, and the study happened to deliver some good results. Wasn't even particularly targeted at that subgroup, beyond the region looking to serve the needs of its community. It's just the way the numbers jiggled out.

                  Any followup on the study got terminated in a funding crunch, of course. 🙄

        • Nic the NZer

          Actually thats a bit simplistic as well regarding simpsons paradox. It also happens in most covid data where age is not controlled for, especially efficacy analysis. Of course absolute numbers are missleading but even rates of efficacy against hospitalisation can be radically deflated when age is not controlled for.

          Just comparing the numbers of hospitalisations (rather than rates of hospitalisation) is wrong for a more basic reason. As infered the populations being compared are different sizes.

          • pat

            The important thing to remember is it is all modelling….and modelling is only as good as its design and the data input….and the analysis of the results.

            • McFlock

              Every model is an approximation of reality. Some much more approximate than others 🙂

              • pat

                Some are not even approximations…..consider, to create a model you first have to identify the relevant variables, then you need to determine how they may interact, then you have to develop equations that accurately reflect those variables and interactions and finally you need accurate data to input….thats a lot of scope for slip between the cup and the lip.

                And then theres the analysis.

                • McFlock

                  So you try to feel out the margins for error in your models, and give policymakers the full range of estimates.

                  Basically what Hendy did in 2020 (and the media and tories clutched onto the worst case scenario, regardless of likelihood ). Don't have the link on hand, though.

                  • pat

                    A badly designed model is not saved by scenarios….a well designed model is never without them.

                    • McFlock

                      WCS is one output in the range of outputs produced according to the range of assumptions.

                      The work by Te Pūnaha Matatini really is a fine example of it: a simulation, with a range of clearly-defined assumptions, and NZ closely corresponds to both a particular set of measures and the 400-day outcome.

                    • pat

                      Assume WCS stands for 'worst case scenario'. correct me if Im wrong….and then, if it does kindly re-express the following."is one output in the range of outputs produced according to the range of assumptions"

                    • Nic the NZer

                      @McFlock, another problem with modeling is asking the wrong question.

                      @pat, so where did the model touched you?

                      Did it touch you here?

                      Open mike 29/01/2022

                    • pat

                      @ Nic

                      "@pat, so where did the model touched you?"

                      Not sure about "touched" but reading Unliving's linked model methodology certainly reminded me of the limitations of modelling.

        • Mike Roberts

          As others have pointed out, this is not a statistical error. I'm perfectly aware of correcting for proportions of vaccinated and unvaccinated in the population and have used exactly that to argue against others who have not taken this into account. I did, as my comment showed: "the proportion of cases that is fully vaccinated is not about the same as the proportion of people, in the whole population, that has been fully vaccinated." In fact, this now seems to have cemented itself, as the 7-day proportion of fully vaccinated cases has hovered around the 80% mark for the last 7 days (i.e. for each of the last 7 day, the accumulated proportion over the previous 7 days has been around 80%). This is exactly what we should expect if the vaccines have no efficacy in preventing infection. There seems to be efficacy in preventing serious illness but it's still early days (I've noticed that the global deaths figure has recently started to spike upwards, a very long time after the last peak of global cases).

          The only mitigating factor I can think of (I'm generally supportive of vaccines) is that the traffic light system allows the fully vaccinated to mix with many others in settings where masks are not worn (cafes, restaurants, bars, gyms, swimming pools) and so are much more at risk than the unvaccinated. This could mean that the vaccines do have some efficacy against infection as the risk of infection seems to be only about the same as the unvaccinated who are, presumably, going about their business masked in areas where others are present (outside the home). On the other hand, those who aren't vaccinated may also be prone to ignoring other restrictions and masking, where they can get away with it. So I'm not sure that this is a true mitigating factor. The government should invest some resources in trying to understand why the vaccines are not having the expected effect on infections. Vaccine passes may not be helping anything with omicron.

          • Mike Roberts

            Oops, the quote from my earlier comment had "not" instead of "now". This RSS feed app doesn't seem to like copy and paste, and I had to re-type.

          • McFlock

            Also age distribution of vax/unvax vs infection and population might be worth a look at before making any pronouncements on efficacy. And everything else mentioned above.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Next thing is, Tony, they'll be organising a mighty convoy of trucks, like the Canadian convoy, to drive home the message that they'll not be told what to do!!


    • joe90 2.1

      Freedumb to consume scarce resources reserved for those without the wherewithal to embark on a trans-continental parade.

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        Charming. Hopefully, our home-grown freedumb truckers will take a packed lunch


  3. tsmithfield 3

    Here is a very interesting interview with Thomas Coughlan from the Herald that suggests to me that we are in big trouble. This interview suggests to me why we might get "let it rip" despite our best intentions.


    In the interview, Coughlan points out that it took a whole week for the PM to be notified as a close contact after she was potentially exposed to Omicron. Coughlan explains how the testing system is already under strain this early in the outbreak.

    Since people develop can Omicron symptoms as short as 33 hours, and can become contagious one or two days prior to becoming symptomatic, https://www.prevention.com/health/a38868608/omicron-incubation-period/

    then if close contacts are taking that long to be notified, then potentially there could be thousands of people in the community right now spreading Omicron simply because our testing system has been too slow.

    While PCR nasal tests are the most accurate testing method, they are potentially of little value if they are not able to return results quickly enough.

    That is why right now we need alternative rapid methods of testing that are simply not available enough in the community.

    • And according to this article, the PM had a packed schedule in the week after she had been potentially exposed to Omicron.


      From the article:

      "But because the exposure event was last Saturday, and Ardern was alerted one week later, she was unknowingly out and about. During that week, she attended a vaccination centre, visited a marae, and held two press conferences – all while potentially infectious.''

      If nothing else, this article demonstrates how delays in identifying close contacts could result in super-spreader events, which could well have been the case here, if the PM had contracted Omicron soon after.

    • GreenBus 3.2

      tsmithfield @3 – yes I agree this is a "let it rip" response now. No more lockdowns.

      Us Kiwi are in for a big shock, many will see real sickness for the first time, especially the AV mob.

      I can see a minimum 2 RAT test being useful to help keep business running.

      World wide demand for RAT's is extremely high, we are small fish. Not sure the Govt is to blame our relatively low stocks at present.

      • weka 3.2.1

        Let it rip would involve opening the borders, no masking, no limits on numbers at events, not bothering with contact tracing. There's a big difference between that and what we are doing currently.

        • tsmithfield

          That is true.

          However, someone may correct me, but I don't think the likes of Australia were having the issues with their testing systems so early on in their Omicron experience as we seem to be having here from the links I posted earlier.

          That is where I think we have a huge weakness at the moment, that is close contacts being identified far too late and being left to spread Omicron within the community.

          So, the net effect of all this may still be “let it rip”.

          • UncookedSelachimorpha

            Maybe not. But NSW and Victoria at least allowed massive "seeding" at the start of Omicron before imposing controls, which we have not (they created a huge number of "starting points" for their Omicron outbreak).

    • McFlock 3.3

      He also points out that we don't know when the original person got tested – so it could have been a week delay in notifying she was a close contact, or it could have been a day or two.

      • tsmithfield 3.3.1

        Of greater concern in that link to the interview was discussion around why our system is struggling even at this point.

        So, I don't feel particularly reassured by ambiguity around the PM's specific case.

        • McFlock

          Not much "discussion" on it – two dudes with no idea briefly wondering in passing.

          As for you not feeling reassured… well. No surprises there.

      • tsmithfield 3.3.2

        Anyway, we do know the date of the exposure event itself, so it doesn't really make any difference to the point that someone could potentially be spreading Omicron for a several days while waiting for the testing process to do its thing, which ever way it is considered.

        It probably highlights, as much as anything, that we don't yet have ready access to a screening test such as the RATs, that would have enabled people to be screened before even being allowed on the plane, putting the ambulance at the top of the cliff not the bottom.

        • McFlock

          waiting for the testing process to do its thing

          Maybe an unknown contact needs to be symptomatic or discover they're a contact before being tested.

          As for RATs – aren't they already used to filter people coming into NZ? How's that working out? At this stage, the complacency they would bring is worse than the false negatives they'd produce.

      • Shanreagh 3.3.3

        Yes the biggest weakness in the argument put forward by Coughlan and repeated by T Smithfield. The Covid people don't just come into contact and instantly get Covid…there are incubation periods.

  4. Ad 4

    Much as it is amusing to hear the head of NATO scold the whole of Europe for being so reliant on fossil fuels, my particular laugh is for Boris Johnson having to deal with the massive run on City of London investment institutions as all those Russian oligarch families race out back to their homeland following the US Senate sanction package they are about to pass.

    Given the close ties between Russian money and the UK Conservative Party, London's real estate industry and the financial industry which props up the entire City, Boris is going to feel a late and harsh winter.

    • Macro 4.1


      Not forgetting the past Potus whose "vast fortune" appears to be mostly tied to the same group of people.

    • Gabby 4.2

      I guess they'll just have to funnel it through the Caymans or set up some other dodgy af mechanism.

  5. joe90 5

    Why we should be giving more prominence to rapid antigen testing.

    Everything about testing for covid-19 appears overly complicated. It is no wonder Americans are confused — and getting angry. So here’s a way to simplify our testing game plan: Let’s sideline polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests in favor of rapid antigen tests.


    Meanwhile, rapid antigen tests have four advantages. First, if you have covid-19 symptoms such as fatigue, fever, cough, or loss of smell and taste, an antigen test can quickly confirm the diagnosis. For those at high risk of hospitalization or other serious outcomes, including the immunocompromised, elderly and unvaccinated, that means they can immediately seek medical advice about treatment options such as the monoclonal antibody sotrovimab, the intravenous antiviral remdesivir or the newly authorized oral antiviral treatments, Paxlovid or molnupiravir.

    https://archive.li/AuZI5 (wapo)

  6. Robert Guyton 6


    "those at high risk of hospitalization or other serious outcomes, including the immunocompromised, elderly and unvaccinated",

    contact their GP as soon as they experience,

    "fatigue, fever, cough, or loss of smell and taste",

    even without access to a RAT?

    • joe90 6.1

      Indeed they should, Robert. But we all know someone who'll experience symptoms, shrug and say it's probably just so and so or it's probably nothing and besides, I don't want waste the doctors time.

      A rapid test in the house would be the very thing that convinces these folk that it's probably not just so and so and that they should seek assistance quick smart.

  7. mpledger 8

    Charlotte Bellis is really making a meal of it. She's complaining about the rules again because they don't suit the category she wants to be in. The thing about rules is that they are there to try and make it a level playing field for everyone not just those who have the ear of the media.

    • weka 8.1

      link please so we know what you are referring to and can be on the same page.

      • Anne 8.1.1


        Not satisfied with just 15 minutes of fame she's doubling down, complete with a photo of her bare pregnant belly and looking self satisfied.

        As a media correspondent she will get what she wants. She knows exactly how to tug the heart-strings of the undiscerning among the populace. Once she's back we won't hear another word about her proposed crusade on behalf of pregnant women overseas.

        • Blazer

          Herald front page today…with pics of the bf.

          2 countries have now offered her refuge…she's not saying which countries they are….maybe Ukraine?indecision

          • Patricia 2

            I heard on the the radio news that Ms Bellis' fiance is living and working in the USA. Ideally shouldn't she should be with him so he can support her with all the usual necessities of marital life and parenthood ?

            • Sabine

              She is a Kiwi. IF she wants to get home it is her right as a Citizen to come home.

              Irrespective of what the father does or does not do, or are we really going back to the times where pregnant women need to get married to support the husband with the marital life – twice a week some sexy time or she is remiss in her duties and a meal three times a day, maybe some vaccum cleaining in a nice petticoat with an apron and high heals?

              She is an independent women with her own job, her own career, it is the year 2021 not 1765 and she is a citizen.

              I suggest next that what lefties should argue for is that she is stripped of her status as a citizen, cause – insert some other dumb arsed reason – and finally that would be the best for her ditto for anyone else overseas who can not get home for lack of an MIQ voucher.

              She is a Citizen. And she is not the only women who has been refused entry to come back home to have her child in NZ.

              • Blazer

                She has said she wanted to get married but there was a 6 month wait.

                Her application for M.I.Q did not comply with regulations.

                Everyone is subject to those…regulations.

            • RosieLee

              Having a baby in NZ is a whole lot cheaper than in the USA.

      • mpledger 8.1.2

        Yea, sorry. Forgot to paste.

        Weka, you asked me a question the other day and I answered it the next day but if you didn't see it, it is here – https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-29-01-2022/#comment-1856326.

    • Anne 8.2

      The thing about rules is that they are there to try and make it a level playing field for everyone not just those who have the ear of the media.

      Spot on. Pity so many people don't understand what a level playing field is and why it is important to maintain.

    • McFlock 8.3

      I dunno – seems to me she's mostly pointing out a gap in classification. "Emergency" is <14 days. To qualify for the next suggested classification, she'd have to claim danger from the Taliban, which she reckons would be disingenuous.

      The pregnancy is under a definite timeframe, but not "emergency". Urgent, if you will. But it's a reason in its own right, and shouldn't need a gilded excuse.

      Like, maybe the miq rooms could go to urgent cases before assigning spaces to the lottery?

      Sure, she has a self interest, and there is a strong tradition that if a journalist has breakfast then they think it's news. But there does seem to be a wee gap between "emergency" and the lottery, where urgent cases could possibly have a bit higher priority.

    • rod 8.4

      it's the right wing media making a meal of it .

  8. Adrian 9

    Bellis is being manipulative, using her profile to get special favours and free natal care, which of course she is quite rightly entitled too as a NZ citizen, that would probably cost at least 20 to 30k in the US or the EU as an alien.
    Any woman who lauds the fucking Taliban over Jacinda Ardern on the rights of women is beyond believable and must be right up there with the worst example ofDonchaknowwhoIamitis and completely reprehensible.

    • Pataua4life 9.1

      The left are such lovely people?

      If MS calls Kiwiblog – Sewer Blog

      I guess we can call The "Standard" the Septic Tank blog cause all the shit has sunk to the bottom.

      You are a credit to humanity Adrian

  9. The other day I raised a hypothetical scenario where a family group could end up isolating for potentially several months if members progressively tested positive.

    I was questioned about whether such a scenario had ever actually happened.

    Well, now this from MIQ. I am not sure if the exactly the same rules apply compared to isolation in the community, but it does demonstrate the effect I was hypothesising about:


    From the article:

    "Ten days in managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) has turned into 40 days and 40 nights of quarantine for a Dunedin family after members of the group tested positive for Covid-19.''

    So not quite two months, but a heck of a lot longer than they were expecting.

    A number of people I have talked to plan not to get tested to avoid this type of scenario. So, mass civil disobedience could become a major issue going forward I think.

    • weka 10.1

      not as much of an issue as people supporting ignoring safety precautions.

      • Belladonna 10.1.1

        Yes, the community isolation rules are the same. ATM it's 10 days for any un-infected family members (i.e. close contacts). The 10 days starts from the end of the 14 day isolation period of the last family member to come down with Covid.
        So 24 days is the minimum…. for a 2-person household. And, the maximum can be much, much longer – with a large family, and sequential infection.

        At phase 2 (when NZ hits 1,000 cases per day) – the isolations provisions drop down. But by that stage, the cat is well and truly out of the bag.

        Based on what we saw in Sydney/Melbourne – many, many people with mild symptoms, or who were asymptomatic (and a close contact), simply didn't go and get tested. They may or may not have gone into self or household isolation; it depends on their individual circumstances, and the pressure to work outside the home (essential worker, or need the income). That's why so many cases were diagnosed at hospital.


        I don't think that it's "supporting people ignoring safety precautions", to comment that for a range of reasons (and particularly for the young and fit, for whom Omicron is statistically not as serious), people will evade testing and isolation requirements where this is possible.

    • weka 10.2

      a family that went to Australia for Christmas. Now would be a good time to take the pandemic seriously.

      • weka 10.2.1

        Mrs Williamson said the situation had families in quarantine trying desperately to infect each other with Covid-19 so they could be released sooner.

        "That's what we tried to do, we're sharing toothbrushes, drinking out of water bottles, not cleaning our hands."

        jfc. And they want the MoH to trust them to go home?

        • tsmithfield

          But perhaps this is an indication of the sort of warped thinking that could become common-place and simply increase the spread of Omicron, especially if people perceive that they risk being effectively imprisoned in their own homes for weeks unless they all catch it together.

        • joe90

          Smug, entitled, white folk are different.


        • Belladonna

          I read this, as they were trying to speed up the infection of family members – since they were convinced that they were all going to get it anyway (and, in MIQ isolation rooms, and especially with Omicron, that's probably correct).
          Not that they were trying to spread it between families.
          Doing this in isolation at home, wouldn't be any more risky than doing it in isolation in MIQ.

          We have a family story of the 'measles summer'. When all 3 of us kids came down with measles – one after the other – over the long summer holidays. Unfortunately (for my mother – who did the nursing) it was 14 days between each child catching the infection. So she spent 6 weeks dealing with sick, convalescent and well-but-grumpy children (who weren't allowed to go anywhere or play with anyone else). In retrospect, I'm sure she'd have preferred to have all 3 of us sick at the same time….

          • weka

            Doing this in isolation at home, wouldn't be any more risky than doing it in isolation in MIQ.

            It's still an ignorant and stupid thing to do.

          • Sabine

            oh yeah, Measles Parties were a thing.

      • alwyn 10.2.2

        Yes, they should have arranged a trip to Holland instead and jacked up places in the MIQ before they went. How silly of them not to do that.

        Marja Lubeck could give them lessons in the proper technique.

        • weka

          you know I'll just eventually ban you for making shit up right?

          • alwyn

            You may, at some stage before the next election, ban me.

            It may even be for something like that comment but that cannot be described as "making shit up" which implies that that comment is not true,

            It is true and what it says happened.

            • Blazer

              'making shit up' is a divine decree..alwyn…requires no objective assessment…laugh

              • weka

                Actually, it's very easy to get an objective assessment. If someone makes a claim of fact, all they have to do is provide evidence for it.

                For instance if alwyn was actually implying that Lubeck jimmied the system, then they can find something in the public domain that supports that eg MSM coverage or credible account.

                • weka

                  or if someone says that I wrote in my post that women are good and men are bad, they'd be able to quote where I said that.

                  See how that works?

                  • Blazer

                    No I don't see how that works at all.

                    Bearing in mind what 'opinion' actually is ,no forum could operate under your criteria.

                    If you don't know how 'opinion' is defined,just say so..and I will help you.

                    Btw I'm not trying to be a patronising prat,not at…all.

                    • weka

                      I wrote a post. I know what I wrote and what I meant in that post.

                      You said that I was saying that women are good and men are bad. I wasn't saying that, you misinterpreted it.

                      How do I know this? Because I don't believe that women are good and men are bad, I never have, I've never written such a thing, and I didn't write it in this post either. I know what I believe.

                      If you want you can point to the bit in my post (an actual quote) that you believe* is where I say women are good and men are bad. And then we can talk about what I actually meant.

                      But if you want to misinterpret my words and beliefs (aka make shit up), then expect pushback.

                    • weka

                      If on the other hand you think that you know better than I do about my own beliefs and what I mean when I write something, then expect to get banned from my posts and eventually the site if you keep making shit up about what I say and think.

                      We protect authors here for a reason, and I'm not going to waste my time on someone who is trolling me because they won't argue their own pov.

            • weka

              You've definitely got better at that fine line between implying something but not quite stepping over it. I will get sick of it.

    • McFlock 10.3

      Your scenario was consecutive day 14 tests, not a five day test followed by another five days later. And this one was rare enough to make the paper.

      As for "mass civil disobedience", you've been concerned about the tolerance of people for anti-covid restrictions since April 2020.

      • tsmithfield 10.3.1

        The fact this situation was not anything like as bad as my hypothetical scenario, and still resulted in a MIQ extension from 10 days to 40 days sort of makes my point don't you think?

        Thanks for trawling back through my comments btw. Must be a quiet day for you. But you are right. I didn't factor in how compliant everyone would be back then.

        But do you think people are getting a bit over all the restrictions now?


        ''"With rising rates of pandemic-induced burnout, and an alarmingly high rate of mental health issues in the workplace, the festive season will be a much-needed circuit breaker for over-worked New Zealanders to enjoy more freedom than they have had for months," she said."

        And see the comment from Belladona above around this point.

        • McFlock

          I think your point is classic obssessing over rare extremes in an attempt to undermine a sensible policy.

          "People", by and large, will do what is necessary to save lives – excepting the nutbars who think it's all a conspiracy about government control, and the tories who know that if NZ gets screwed by the pandemic then NACt might actually have a chances of forming a government in the next election or two.

          As for trawling through your comments, I simply did "@author:" and then went back to when the pandemic first started. Your white-anting at that period wasn't too hard to find.

          • tsmithfield

            Do you think it is really that unusual for a virus to pass through a family in the way described in that article? If so, you clearly haven't had kids!!

            If it isn't particularly unusual for viruses to spread through a family group in this way, then why is it unusual to expect that many people will have extended isolation stays?

            The situation might actually be a lot more likely than the hypothetical scenario I gave the other day. In my scenario, the first person never gets Omicron but is delayed in isolation as others in the group progressively get it.

            But, correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is that if the first person gets Omicron and recovers, but in the meantime someone else in the group contracts Omicron, then the first person will need to extend their isolation period as a close contact, even though they have already had Omicron.

            If that understanding is correct, then I think the system is in danger of becoming unworkable fairly quickly.

            • weka

              your points might have been better received if you had a history of pointing out the problems of families self isolating or doing MiQ in the past. I'm thinking about those families in overcrowded housing during delta last year.

              • I don't think I was that active at all in commenting last year.

                But I take your point. It is going to be really hard for a lot of families. I am quite concerned actually. Some of us are lucky to have a freezer full of food to keep us going. But a lot live week to week and are going to struggle if they are in isolation for extended periods, or if supermarket shelves are bare.

                I am actually on the board of a trust here in Christchurch that is involved with food distribution to the needy as part of what we do. We are currently planning to make ourselves available to collect goods from the supermarket for those in our area who may need that service due to being in isolation.

                Despite banging on about this, I actually would be happy and pleasantly surprised if we all get through this relatively unscathed.

                I am not that political that I want wide spread suffering in order to see my side of the political spectrum prosper.

            • McFlock

              Illnesses being spread through family units / quarantine cohorts is one thing. Your initial hypothetical had consecutive spread identified in the last day of quarantine in consecutive instances.

              Your hypothetical was closer to 60 days than the apparently notable 40 days in this example, with new cases being detected on the last possible day of isolation in each cycle. I doubt that any group of 4 people has come anywhere close to that.

              What is your alternative? Let folks out of isolation even though they're possibly contagious? Then why bother with any MIQ or local isolation at all? Basically just let 'er rip?

              • I think it will come to that soon enough. Once public services start to collapse, delivery chains are broken, and hospitals are compromised due to lack of staff there will be no alternative but to bring people back early I think.

                If what I understand to be true, that someone who has recovered from Omicron has to keep isolating as a close contact as family members get sick, then I think it is a no brainer that this will need to change. Don't you?

                Afterall, someone who has recovered from Omicron is probably of little risk to the community and probably better engaged in keeping the system running don't you think?

                • McFlock

                  Read the article again. 2/3 of your concerns will be resolved.

                  Maybe this time the prophets of doom are correct. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, assuming it's analogue.

                • I think my understanding is correct:


                  ''Isolation and quarantine


                  • Isolate for 14 days


                  • Isolate for 10 days"

                  It doesn't say anything about the contact just having recovered from Omicron. So in a situation where someone recovers from Omicron, and a family member catches it that person would have to isolate as a contact despite just having isolated as a case.

                  • McFlock

                    While Luca would be free to leave the facility 14 days after her positive test, the rest of the family would need to complete a further 10 days of isolation after this date.

                    Seriously, reread your own damned links.

                    The family now face a scenario where Luca will be eligible for release on February 5, followed by Sam on February 14.

                    So, no – once you’ve had covid in that session, you don’t start the contact counter from zero.

                    • That seems to differ from community isolation then. The definition of a close contact is that all family members are close contacts. Nothing specified about whether they have had Covid before or not:

                      "You are considered a Close Contact if you have:

                      • been close (within 1.5 metres) to a positive case of COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes and the Case was not wearing a mask or wasn’t wearing it properly
                      • had direct contact with respiratory secretions or saliva from a Case (eg, kissing, shared a cigarette, vape or drink bottle, or if the person coughed or sneezed directly on you)
                      • spent time in an indoor space for more than 1 hour with a case and at least one of the following:
                        • the Case was singing, shouting, smoking, vaping, exercising, or dancing
                        • the Case was not wearing a mask or wasn’t wearing it properly
                        • the indoor space was poorly ventilated (ie, there were no windows or doors open)
                        • the indoor space was smaller than 100m2 (about three double garages).

                      All household members of a case are Close Contacts.'' (bold in the last section is mine).


                      So, a family member must be a close contact even if they have just recovered from Covid, and therefore must be liable for further isolation, as there is no qualification to this statement.

                      I would definitely be interested if you can find anything from the official website that contradicts what I am saying.

                    • McFlock

                      Dude, maybe if you're ever in that situation you can call healthline, or any of the other numbers listed on that page.

                      Not sure TS is the correct platform for edge-case contingency planning.

                    • If it is possible to get through… with all the other thousands of ''ëdge-cases'' ringing up with the same question.

                      I don't see why you would see this as an unusual or unlikely situation. That someone could get sick, recover, and someone else in their household get sick making the first person a close contact. Surely that sort of thing could happen very often.

                      If anything the rules need to be clarified to avoid confusion that could lead to people just ignoring the rules.

                      A lot of people I know are reading it that way, and are saying they will just ignore the rules rather than be in perpetual isolation.

                    • McFlock

                      Seems the folks in MIQ could sort it out ok.

                      I guess folks on an eternal quest for confusion will threaten to ignore the rules, just for brand consistency. But then my preferred solution to that would be as draconian as their threat is stupid.

                    • It could become a moot point anyway. Given how unprepared we seem to be so far as testing goes.

                      By the time this gets to be an issue, I expect it will be nigh impossible to get a test anyway due to the system being overwhelmed and endless queues of cars waiting for tests. So, it may well be that people never get to know whether they have Omicron or just a bad cold.

                    • McFlock

                      Now say it like we haven't had two years of near-identical doom-mongering from a variety of folks.

                      Sure, when stats folks and other people who know what they're talking about say these things, I become more cautious. When folks like you say it, it's just a variation on your usual leitmotif.

                      … blah blah blah … I'm confused … blah blah blah … resistance is futile …

                      That record's so worn out it's playing side B even though the label says side A.

                    • Looks like we are talking around each other now.

                      How about we check back on on this in a month or two and see how things play out in reality. smiley

                      As I said to Weka above, I would really be happy and pleasantly surprised if we can get through this relatively unscathed.

                      I am not so political that I want to see lots of needless suffering for the sake of the right picking up a few points.

                    • McFlock

                      You do seem to be consistently terminally glum about outcomes and people's "tolerance" for public health measures, though.

                      I don't see why we need to "check back in". This isn't a horse race. There are no winnings to collect.

                      It just irks me when people keep doom-mongering regardless of where the evidence lies.

                      I can understand worry, and I can get people looking for reassurance. I can even get genuine requests for assistance in understanding the rules.

                      But predicting futility and revolt from the start, with no adaptation based on the failure of previous predictions? Confusion based on random hypotheticals, almost as some sort of academic exercise to find fault where none has actually occurred? Yeah, nah.

                    • tsmithfield

                      My wife has a sister in Melbourne, and we were getting first hand reports on what was going on there.

                      I just don't think any of us realise how disruptive this could be.

                      For example, HDPA was talking about a primary school in Auckland tonight that is starting a week later because all the teachers are isolating due to being contacts of a case.

                      So, assuming that is the case, not only are the children not going to school for that week, but also the parents are going to have to find a way to care for their children that week. That may mean some of them can't go to work.

                      Now multiply that situation across large numbers of schools, there may be large scale disruption to businesses and services just on the basis of that factor alone.

                    • McFlock


                      Now try imagining that dusruption progressing across "a large number of schools" at a slower rate rather than all at once.

                      Many of us have relatives in Aus.

                      It's curious how people would be aware of the disruption (and, yes, death) this thing causes, yet still prefer to talk about how people won't tolerate effective public health measures instead of actively supporting those measures.

    • Patricia Bremner 10.4

      tsmithfield, They do not have to pay for it….. we do. They are fortunate to be looked after and have their health monitored… at no cost to them. In the old days people were in sanatoriums for months.. years till they died or got well.

  10. millsy 11

    I see George Osborne is addressing the National Party caucus meeting.

    The fact that the man who ripped the guts out of the UK's social safety net (pretty much what Richardson did here) and did his best to shrink the UK government down to where it was when Walpole was PM, doesn't bode well for the country

    • Macro 11.1

      The fact that the man who ripped the guts out of the UK's social safety net (pretty much what Richardson did here) and did his best to shrink the UK government down to where it was when Walpole was PM, doesn't bode well for the country


    • Chris 11.2

      Luxon could say that trashing the benefit system is evidence he's not letting his Christian values get in the way of his job as a politician.

      • Chris 11.2.1

        And he could probably also say that trashing the benefit system is wholly consistent with his Christian values. Lucky guy, gets to have it both ways.

  11. Belladonna 12

    Yes, the community isolation rules are the same. ATM it's 10 days for any un-infected family members (i.e. close contacts). The 10 days starts from the end of the 14 day isolation period of the last family member to come down with Covid.
    So 24 days is the minimum…. for a 2-person household. And, the maximum can be much, much longer – with a large family, and sequential infection.

    At phase 2 (when NZ hits 1,000 cases per day) – the isolations provisions drop down. But by that stage, the cat is well and truly out of the bag.

    Based on what we saw in Sydney/Melbourne – many, many people with mild symptoms, or who were asymptomatic (and a close contact), simply didn't go and get tested. They may or may not have gone into self or household isolation; it depends on their individual circumstances, and the pressure to work outside the home (essential worker, or need the income). That's why so many cases were diagnosed at hospital.


    I don't think that it's "supporting people ignoring safety precautions", to comment that for a range of reasons (and particularly for the young and fit, for whom Omicron is statistically not as serious), people will evade testing and isolation requirements where this is possible.

  12. Puckish Rogue 14

    So things are happening quickly in Hollywoke, not quickly enough though, but this was interesting (I'll refrain from telling little people jokes)


    “You’re progressive in one way,” he continued, “but you’re still making that [expletive] backward story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together.”

    “Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soapbox?” he asked. “I guess I’m not loud enough.”

    Disney shouldn't be remaking movies, I'd prefer them to make new ones but they've been losing money big time lately so on it goes


    “To avoid reinforcing stereotypes from the original animated film, we are taking a different approach with these seven characters and have been consulting with members of the dwarfism community,” a spokesperson for Disney said in a statement to Variety.

  13. Blazer 15

    'Firstly, women do the heavy lifting of keeping the human species going. We provide all the workers for the economy and society in general. We do so at risk to our bodies and health, and the rest of our lives. We also do most of the childrearing and associated activities. Nearly all of that is unpaid.'

    Nature designed women for procreation,and a man is generally…needed,as they are in most aspects of society.

    No time for ludicrous woman=good,man-no good.

    Jorden Peterson provides some balance -puts the oppressive male construct to bed .

    [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.]

    [“No time for ludicrous woman=good,man-no good” That’s not what I said. If you can’t or won’t take the time to understand what I am writing about, then stay out of my posts. I ban people for making up shit about my posts, my views and beliefs. You are now banned from that post for the rest of the day. – weka]

    • weka 15.1

      mod note.

    • Puckish Rogue 15.2

      Hes a good man and thats a good clip.

      The issue seems to be most people don't actually listen to him, they hear excerpts (without the context) or they listen to what other people say about him but they don't take the time to listen to the, hundreds, of hours of clips he puts up

      &quot;It's not such a bad idea to have a job for a while&quot;

      • weka 15.2.1

        I just watched Blazer's clip. I don't know if Peterson is stupid and doesn't understand what the feminist analysis of patriarchy is or if he's being disingenous, but what I see is a one of the privilged men he names doing a diatribe against women's politics.

        He basically says that plumbers are mostly men because they're more competent. I know he would deny that is what he is saying and he'd have some out about how women chose to have babies instead, but he's in complete denial of the force that was used for a very long period of time to prevent women from doing certain jobs.

        Then he has the gall to criticise feminism's take on history.

        Women were prevented from education, owning property, and training in trades. By the patriarchal system that he says doesn't exist. In his analysis there is no apparent explanation for excluding women.

        • weka

          also, can't resist and I expect this will go over some people's heads, but isn't he a bit strident in that video?

          • Puckish Rogue

            Watch the whole interview Weka, I posted it below

            • weka

              life's too short. I could write another post in that time, and what I said about Peterson above is consistent with everything I've seen him say.

              If you want to point to something specific that demonstrates he does understand feminist analysis, a time stamp would probably work.

              • weka

                Imo, he's trying to point to something important about and for men, but his basic position of feminist denial just puts him the same bracket as MRAs and incels. Why should women take him seriously given he's writing off a significant political movement of the past 200 years? He think he gets to tell the world what feminism is while demonstrating that he doesn't actually understand it.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Its worth watching the interview not just for what he says but also for what she says as well.

      • millsy 15.2.2

        The guy is a prude who wants abortion, homosexuality, sex outside of marriage, birth control, gender transitions criminalized, and wants a return to a time when women had their lives controlled by men. He has also suggested that men be allowed to beat their wives.

        The guy is an enemy of all that is good and decent in this world, and by extension, that makes you such a thing Puck. It is clearly obvious that you are a homophobic prude who wants abortion criminalized.

        As such, you are my enemy.

      • Shanreagh 15.2.3

        I have watched many, many many hours of Jordan Paterson. That is the reason he is number one on my list of TWITS.

        Quite apart from his unnatural contrived delivery, vocal fry? or something his grasp of the subject matter is archaic.

        I am astounded that people are linking to him with apparent admiration on TS.

    • weka 15.3

      honestly, this is such a stupid take. That women do the heavy lifting of procreation doesn't say anything about men at all. That they don't get paid for the huge amount of labour they do does, but it's still not saying women good/men bad. Get a grip and learn some actual class analysis.

    • Janice 15.4

      And he, as a man, dominated that whole discussion. The feminist wasn't able to get a word in edgeways. Proves her point?

      • Puckish Rogue 15.4.1

        No it doesn't but you prove my point about people not watching the clips and getting the full context.

        That was a clip of 3 minutes 20 seconds and from that you've decided he 'dominated' the discussion.

        He was asked a question and he answered it with examples or do you just want him to say yes no or I don't know to the questions?

        Why not watch the full interview (1hr 42minutes) instead and then make up your mind

  14. Anker 16


    good outcome, although still curious to know how “unbalanced “ Rogen was.

  15. Puckish Rogue 17

    To Blazer

    I didn't want to derail the thread so I'm putting my reply tour post here:

    Hes a good man and thats a good clip.

    The issue seems to be most people don't actually listen to him, they hear excerpts (without the context) or they listen to what other people say about him but they don't take the time to listen to the, hundreds, of hours of clips he puts up

    "It's not such a bad idea to have a job for a while"

  16. Anker 18

    Best to leave the call re young people and the vaccine to the bulk of the scienctists I think,

    But these things get overgeneralized, i.e Joe Rogan is anti vax and that was what I was wondering about.

    I have watched a bit of Jordan Peterson. Some of the things he says I really disagree with. But I have also seen things that I think make sense.

    • Tricledrown 18.1

      Jordan Peterson loves himself way to much his opinions are rarely backed by science.

      Redneck mansplaining and instant fixes for serious deep-seated psychological problems.

      • Blazer 18.1.1

        He definately 'loves' himself.

        That seems to be a feature of high profile people in many spheres.

        I agree with some things he says and disagree with others.

        Always surprised how some people regard 'opinion'…

        Here's some definitions-'An opinion is a judgement, viewpoint, or statement that is not conclusive, rather than facts, which are true statements'-wiki

        'opinion: [noun] a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter.'-M/Webster

        'A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof: "-free dictionary

  17. Poission 19

    beware of falling lizards.

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