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Some good news about Covid

Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, December 6th, 2021 - 230 comments
Categories: covid-19, health, labour, national, same old national - Tags:

Things appear to be on the improve.  In Auckland the five day rolling average of new infections has dropped from 178 on November 16 to 105 yesterday, a number not seen since late October.  97% of Auckland Health Board residents have now had at least one dose.  90% of our Pacific brothers and sisters have now had at least one shot.  The work of Labour MPs and elected representatives and activists throughout Auckland is clearly working.  Every weekend on social media I see the likes of Efeso Collins and Jo Bartley and all of Labour’s Maungakiekie and South Auckland local board representatives doing the hard mahi organising and promoting and turning up and helping.  All strength to them.

Maori vaccination rates are still of concern.  In Auckland DHB 90% have had a first dose but of concern in Manukau it is only 84%.  Elsewhere throughout the country it is not so good, with Northland and Whanganui having the lowest rates at 80%.  The twin problems of poverty and isolation clearly hurt.

The hospital system is holding up.  Farmgeek’s expert data presentation suggests that the hospitalisation rates and the rate of those in ICU are stable if not declining.

The risk will be that Auckland’s reopening will cause the infection rate to spike.  I am sure that the powers that be will be looking at the results from the end of this week with trepidation.

National’s claim that Auckland should be in a green setting is totally irresponsible.  Imagine being this irrespondible just for political advantage.

From the Herald:

Speaking at Auckland bar The Fox, the new Opposition leader welcomed Auckland’s freedoms – but questioned why the city was in the red setting, as vaccination rates were so high.

“Why is Auckland in red light? That is designed for when the country has an overwhelmed healthcare system and the Prime Minister says it is fine. And we have some of the highest vaccination rates of any city on planet Earth.”

Luxon said the sector was “ready for Auckland to go straight to green”.

All year National has been describing the vaccine roll out as a shambles.  Luxon should tell Bishop that Auckland has some of the highest vaccination rates of any city in the world.

It may be that Auckland will drop to Orange in a week or so which requires there to be transmission of Covid with pressure on the health system.  But right now, with the effects of the loosening up not being fully understood, it would be completely irresponsible for the Government to change.

If it does change National will claim they pressured the Government into opening up.  If it does not then National will portray Labour as being some sort of Christmas Grinch, intending on spoiling everyone’s fun.  An overwhelmed health system and lots and lots of deaths are not of concern to them.

And with the emergence of the Omicron variant there is added need to be careful.  Its spreading super ability and its potential ability to avoid the effects of existing vaccines is of concern.  Its potentially lesser health threats are cause for possible optimism, especially if it beomes the dominant strain.  But now is not the time to take risks with our health system on a new variant whose qualities are not understood.

There is a sense of grumpiness in the community at large.  Hopefully as things loosen up and presuming infection rates continue to decline people will again relax.  But time will tell.  And for me I am happy for the Government to continue to be very careful with a virus that in every western country except New Zealand has caused scores of deaths and severe disruption to their health systems.

230 comments on “Some good news about Covid ”

  1. Ad 1

    Leper bells and credit cards held high, over the hills we head to you.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    National, corporates, many SMES and the NZ petit bourgeoisie have been relentless in their whinging and apparent willingness to see COVID deaths as collateral damage in keeping profits up (although they have not baldly–geddit–stated the latter yet).

    Last week when Traffic Lights replaced Alert Levels and the service sector was able to begin opening up, what was senior NZ Business reps’s response–waaaaahh! we need more time to implement, not fair, waaaaaah!–so a selfish, entitled bunch indeed they appear to many.

    There seems an awful dichotomy with NZ Labour’s squandering its once in a generation MMP majority in Roger’n’Ruth’s memory, while also quite likely saving thousands of New Zealanders from a gruesome, lonely death. I reserve the right to criticise the Labour Caucus for not doing a State House mega build, while also being very supportive of their anti virus campaign. Check the numbers per head of COVID fatalities compared to other comparable and non comparable countries.

    Jacinda and Chris and Ashley have done so well, and it surely has taken a personal toll on them to be called Nazis! and much worse. While some have comfortably sat at home with full pantrys, others have worked throughout piecing a life together, or been in confined spaces for weeks on end. Those working class voices were the ones consistently missing from the daily media bleat sessions, if Michael Barnett is ever heard from again it will be too soon.

    So yes Micky there is apparent good news, but be careful out there folks! And please be friendly to Tai Tokerau Border Control if you are heading North.

    • Gosman 2.1

      There is no way the government could use it's majority amid the Covid pandemic to radically reshape the country beyond what it is doing now. This would pretty much guarantee it lost the 2023 election and any policy that had time to pass would be easily reversed.

    • lprent 2.2

      And please be friendly to Tai Tokerau Border Control if you are heading North.

      I wish that I could. However thus far it has proved difficult to convince my partner that there is anything worth going north for. She is a south-lander immigrant to Auckland and appears to have been traumatised by a northland road trip while young.

      So all going well and the Auckland border opens, the Southlanders will come north to Auckland for xmas and grandkids, and we'll only be going south to Rotorua to irritate spend a few days with my Dad.

      However I anticipate that Auckland will be pleasant with its usual deserted holiday state. Even the cafes and restaurants might be open this year to catch us stay-at-homes.

      • Tiger Mountain 2.2.1

        Yes a lightly populated Auckland has its attractions, lived there 27 odd years till mid 90s.

        At Tokerau Beach now, on Karikari Peninsula which is the Northern sweep of Doubtless Bay. The land that time forgot in many ways, great scenery and so many beaches you can often have one to yourself outside of Dec/mid Jan. Great as in pressing, local issues too.

  3. AB 3

    National looking as reckless and stupid as they were in early 2020 – ideologically incapable of dealing with such a crisis because they'll always prioritise the immediate financial interests of their donors and supporters above all else. Contrary to the emerging myth, the government has actually done better this year than last, not the other way round, because 2021 has been much more challenging. Fingers crossed that case numbers do not climb steeply over summer – and hope that although Omicron is a lot more infectious, it will also be less lethal and with limited vaccine escape. I'd like to think that 2022 means refocusing on all the besetting and chronic problems overshadowed by the pandemic – and that the government finds the courage needed.

  4. Tricledrown 4

    Good news is most of the country is at 90%.

    Health Mandates are widely accepted as overseas countries who have opened up are now reinstating restrictions.

    Good news because of our cautious approach we can learn what works and what doesn't

    Bad News is Luxon wants us to follow a failed policy.No country is opening up fully how dumb is Luxon ,Collins gone,Bridges gone for pushing a dangerous dumb let it rip.

    • Gosman 4.1

      Luxon has never suggested the country opens up fully (whatever that means). He has suggested we relax our current restrictions at a faster rate and look at managing our borders in a more flexible manner. In that he is following the lead of the ACT party who have been arguing this since last year. This seems to be the approach that most nations are starting to come around to.

      • Stephen D 4.1.1

        But not The Netherlands, Denmark, Austria??

      • KJT 4.1.2

        Yeah. "Most nations" that have irretrievably fucked up their Covid response.

      • Johnr 4.1.3

        We would be daft to open up with the speed Luxon/Act want. We have no idea of the affect each traffic light has on the spread of infection.

        Going at this rate will indicate the safety of removing orks border on Dec 15

      • Tricledrown 4.1.4

        Gosman give it up mate which countries are opening up.

        You never tell the truth gosman you get caught out every time.

        Just about every country are tightening restrictions.Name some of the countries opening up.

        Luxon Quote."the whole country should be on green"

      • mickysavage 4.1.5

        He has said that Auckland should go to green now. Green means everything is open and there are no restrictions on gathering numbers unless premises do not follow My Vaccine Pass requirements when there will be limits on the number of people who can be in a venue at one time.

        That is pretty well opening up fully.

        Most nations may follow this approach but their death rates are magnitudes ahead of ours.

        • Kiwijoker 4.1.5.1

          It’s the power of prayer that will protect us Mickey delivered from on high by our ageing apostles.

    • Julian Richards 4.2

      Correction required – approx 90% of ELIGIBLE population is vaccinated!

      The truth is getting lost in the propaganda.

  5. Gosman 5

    The decisions around how areas move between traffic light levels is so vague as to be essentially left to the whims of the government to decide. That is appalling policy especially when it comes to restrictions on civil liberties. If we simply look at the criteria as defined there is no way Auckland should be at Red beyond it is the location where the current outbreak originated from.

    • Tricledrown 5.1

      Gosman channelling Brian Tamaki .

      The opposition has a flip flop policy combined with trying to undermine health mandates that have worked better than 99% of all other countries.

      People get their news via world wide news services. National and ACT are doing what they did in the alpha outbreak saying we shouldn't have any restrictions open the borders,then according to Nact/hosking we aren't keeping our borders tight enough ,then back to not opening fast enough .

      Looking stupid is Nationals best atempt at looking competant 6 leaders in 5years.

      It may be time to stop looking desperately stupid and not go barking mad at every car that passes.

    • Ed1 5.2

      The decisions are balancing a number of factors, which have been set out clearly for everyone. Regrettably, opposition supporters deliberately misrepresent those complicated factors – commonly pretending that the vaccination level is the only factor that matters. There have been significant changes in both our knowledge of Covid-19, as well as in the virus itself. Early on we thought it was spread by contact and resisted imposing the wearing of masks – we now know that a more significant factor is spreading through the air – so masks are now an important tool in fighting the pandemic. Delta was a major change and required fast movement in settings to fight a rise incases – and now we have another variant. Of course in a public health situation there is a need for government to move quickly – that is in the relevant legislation and largely supported by all parties. Restrictions on civil liberties are important, but a balance is required. The most important liberty or human rights is to health and life. On all the measurements we have, New Zealand has consistently done exceptionally well.

      So look at what should concern us most – from experience in other countries we see outbreaks that are causing governments to re-introduce lockdowns and increase restrictions. We are still seeing cases in Auckland, and not all of those cases are being quickly linked to existing cases. That is currently improving, but we have also seen low numbers of people travelling from Auckland. There has been a lot of talk about Auckland being in lockdown for the benefit of the rest of the country – another way of looking at that is that the need has arisen first because of outbreaks that were almost inevitable given Auckland's place as our major gateway to the world, but one Covid arrived it was primarily in the interests of Auckland that the outbreaks needed to be contained. The pressure on our medical system is another major impact on us – many non-covid operations are still being delayed around the country, and despite bring staff in from outside Auckland, hospitals in Auckland are still under high pressure. The reality is that Aucklanders did not always respond well to the need to restrict contagion – they got tired of restrictions and rebelled – with unfortunately some encouraging dissatisfaction through just the sort of minimisation of real risks that you have just used. Aucklanders are seen as carriers of infection by many outside Auckland, and even high vaccination levels are now seen as not stopping some infections. We would all like a clear Christmas and to be able to gather with family and friends and enjoy our summer, but we do not want to risk that for minor issues like not wanting to wear a mask, and getting tested, and keeping travel from areas of contagion for a little longer.

      It is possible that all you were doing is trying to provoke a reasoned response, but you must also realise Gosman that you come across as a potential troll, spouting opinions you do not hold yourself but wishing to engender distrust in reasonable precautions about a matter that affects directly our most important civil liberties – life and health.

    • McFlock 5.3

      You have a problem understanding when traffic lights change?

      • felix 5.3.1

        Clearly Gosman is talking about the decision making process behind the traffic light system.

        • McFlock 5.3.1.1

          Ah. He's the guy at the five-point intersection who wants to start taking his foot off the brake when the middle-left street goes to orange, because he knows his street is next for the green light.

          Even if gossy understood the criteria, he wouldn't know when the conditions were met until the announcement is made. No single person does, until everything gets collated at the MoH. And then they make the recommendation based on an assessment of whether the criteria are met are appropriate. And Cabinet incorporate additional information (like the contagiousness of Tamaki's stupidity, and whether folk like poor little Leo Malloy will lose money) to make the decision.

  6. Nic the NZer 6

    Is there a good reason Aucklands 90% is acceptable but Wanganui and Northlands 90% is not so good?

    [It is a typo sorry. The correct figure is 80%. Have fixed – MS]

    • roblogic 6.1

      Probably a typo. Northland and Tairawhiti less than 80% double-vaxxed according to the RNZ graphs.

    • Ad 6.2

      They're a statistical blip.

      • left_forward 6.2.1

        They are not a statistical blip! – they represent a disadvantaged and deprived part of the NZ community as a whole – a place where private, public, and political investment lags well behind the rest of the country. What I find curious is the focus on Northland's double dose rate in contrast to the fantastic achievement of the near 87% single dose – we need to correct the narrative and make sure we do not de-humanise these stats.

  7. "the spread of Covid is declining and the Health system is holding up." ..well go figure!

    Maybe if the Health system was holding up under an increased spread it would be worth mentioning…though this version of "holding up"…my sympathies to all those on wait lists and all those not able to see the specialists they urgently require for a reasonable quality of life.

    • tc 7.1

      The health systems been 'holding up' since the 90's market/ideology transformation bolger/shipley had Bill English carry out.

      Mental health never recovered.

      • Tricledrown 7.1.1

        Helen Clark closed most of the mental health facilities which needed closing but the community care facilities were never funded or staffed properly.

        Mental Health in those days was brushed under the carpet and seen as weakness by our rugby macho culture.

        • tc 7.1.1.1

          Against rising population numbers which should see funding increase that's how you get to where we are now.

        • psych nurse 7.1.1.2

          Psychiatric Hospitals were depopulated well before Helen Clark, the process started in the Seventies and was completed in the Eighties. Contrary to common belief community services are adequate, the numbers working in community settings well outnumbering inpatient services. People confuse serious mental illness with the worried well who clamor for services and shout loudest.

          • KJT 7.1.1.2.1

            I don't know where you live, but after varied experience trying to get timely help for young people with acute mental health issues, the community services are certainly NOT adequate.

            Being told to "call the police" because a youngster is suicidal during a depressive episode and the mental health team is "too busy" is Not "adequate".

            At least our police, on the whole, in my experience, do their best with people with mental health issues, they are not an adequate substitute for trained staff.

    • Patricia Bremner 7.2

      In a Pandemic, the first casualty is elective diagnostic processes and treatments. This has happened everywhere. We nearly accepted an operation for Norman which could have led to us in lockdown in the Waikato. We looked at that possibility and delayed and stayed in Rotorua. Four days later Waikato was in lock down.

      We are incredibly sorry for anyone badly impacted by the delays.

      Omicron is showing some differences of concern, the young seem more affected according to South African friends. Our vaccines for under 12s begin in January, but not for under 5s.

      We do have a cautious Government and Health response, thankfully, or it could be church bells ringing to farewell the hundreds of victims, not forty four, each one of whom was a family member and caused great grief as farewells were none or via video and funerals truncated affairs lacking solace.

      We are entering finer weather and a chance for outings and a change of scene. Keep safe everyone. Keep up the hand washing masks and 2m spacing. Use the outdoors where possible .

      Give if you can to those providing assistance to our battlers. Many have had a hard road.

      • Tricledrown 7.2.1

        Good on you Patricia We being the operative word,To many are saying I am not getting my way.

        We need a combined effort to beat this bug.The opposition pointing out mistakes is good but undermining the restrictions that have kept us the safest little country in the world is selfish cheap nasty politicking.

        It's also very

        short sighted if Covid goes rampant we would need tougher restrictions doing more longterm damage to our economy especially small businesses.

        Nationals luxon desperate to make difference is painting himself into a corner it's Plane to see.But once people see the daily tolls from countries who don't have tightened restrictions it will be a rough landing for Luxon who continues to cry wolf as did his previous 3 failures , Bridges cried wolf and barked at cars gone,Mueller didn't even get his feet under the Table,Collins heated and repeated Bridges crying wolf gone by lunchtime,now luxon is reheating the reheated open her up let it rip.

        Less is more just repeating the same over and over thinking putting lipstick on the same pig is going to get traction shows how shallow the talent pool in National is.

  8. Ad 8

    Mickey is there a working list of all elected members who are not fully vaccinated?

    All Members of Parliament are now fully vaccinated.

    I understand that currently only Queenstown Lakes and its Wanaka Community Board are claiming to be the only ones with a fully vaccinated membership.

    Full vaccination should be a fact that voters can take into account in the 2022 local government elections.

    • mickysavage 8.1

      Agreed Ad. The Mayor of Thames is still not vaccinated.

    • julian richards 8.2

      "Your vaccination status will not change how much I love you"

      • McFlock 8.2.1

        It will change whether and how I might spend time with you, though.

        • julian richards 8.2.1.1

          -Wear a mask

          -Wash hands

          -Social distance

          -Get tested.

          You are not bullet proof even when surrounded by the vaccinated and vice versa.

          The safest you can be (if you want to live life like this-NZ mortality rate 0.04%), is to only be around those who have contracted the virus as they are immune for much longer. The vaccinated are temporarily immune only…. Hence boosters coming.

          Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story.

          Again…

          -Wear a mask (Put it back on even now you're vaxxed).

          -Wash hands

          -Social distance

          -Get tested.

          • McFlock 8.2.1.1.1

            And get vaccinated.

            I might only have a 40% chance of spreading it if I am vaccinated, but you will have a significantly reduced chance of resisting that infection if you are vaccinated, and a lower chance of infecting a third person.

            If you are unvaccinated and I am infectious, washing hands might reduce your odds of getting it (and passing it on), but will be significantly greater than if you washed your hands and got vaccinated.

            • julian richards 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Still no justification to fire people from employment, ban from economical opportunity and therefore exclude from modern society. That's a sickness worse than the virus itself, a clear reflection of contemporary NZ society in general.

              -Wear your mask (put it back on vaxxed)

              -Wash hands

              -Social distance

              Get tested (both vaxxed and non-vaxxed)

              Simple stuff right?

              • McFlock

                So, to be completely clear, you're stating that not being able to work hospo or dine in (rather than takeaway) is a sickness worse than actually having covid?

                • Julian Richards

                  To be clear… There's a very large percentage of available jobs that are now segregated, not just hospo etc as you give a simple example of. It's now up too 70% of jobs are now not available to those who choose a different way for their health and life. And that is sick to base this on health status, yes.

                  • McFlock

                    You said that it was a sickness worse than the virus itself.

                    And it's not "based on health status", it's based on employees taking reasonable steps to preserve the safety of themselves and others.

                    • julian richards

                      Safety from what? Health status!

                      And when the safety measures reduce but do not stop, then yes there is a problem. Especially when it comes to 'opportunity' to participate in society based on health status (six months).

                    • McFlock

                      Even if all that were not bullshit, requiring a vax pass is still not worse than actually having covid.

                    • Julian Richards []

                      Continue with your generalisations… The risk of contracting covid and suffering from the secondary effects depends on many factors I. E co-morbitities and age (predominantly) etc. 0.04% mortality rate in NZ!

                      Again, I'm not antivax but am definitely not pro the new system of segregation and exclusion which is based on a generalised technological solution for all. The vax pass that you feel will keep you safe and protected from the nastiness of life is a sick illusion!

                    • McFlock

                      Safety from what? Health status!

                      Well, the status of being more potentially infectious with covid than is reasonably preventable

                      And when the safety measures reduce but do not stop, then yes there is a problem.

                      Not by itself, there isn't. If a safety measure is significantly better than absence of that safety measure, it is still demonstrably effective. Seatbelts reduce traffic injuries and deaths, but do not stop them. Requiring drivers to pass basic competency tests does the same. Chemo reduces cancer deaths, but does not stop all of them.

                      Especially when it comes to 'opportunity' to participate in society based on health status (six months).

                      Based on whether one is many times more likely to have a highly infections disease and pass it to customers and colleagues than someone who took a minimal step to not do that..

                    • McFlock

                      Again, I'm not antivax but am definitely not pro the new system of segregation and exclusion which is based on a generalised technological solution for all. The vax pass that you feel will keep you safe and protected from the nastiness of life is a sick illusion!

                      It's part of a process that started when London built its sewers and inadvertantly stopped cholera killing so many of its people.

                      You might think longer life expectancy is pointless. Fair enough. That doesn't give you the right to endanger other people.

              • mickysavage

                The problem is that if 20% of the population exercised their right to not be vaccinated even though they were really, really, really well intentioned we would have a pandemic.

                Solidarity forever.

                Get vaccinated.

                • Julian Richards

                  Approx 15% of the population can't yet be vaccinated, under 16yrs. Oh won't somebody think of the children! Yip they're thinking of the children, 99.9% of whom don't need it are going to be injected. And then approx 7-9% won't get injected, so yes there's a problem with this injectable solution

        • Rosemary McDonald 8.2.1.2

          It will change whether and how I might spend time with you, though.

          Why? Why do we need "to keep vaccinated safe from those who have not been."?

          We're told that "Vaccinations are our armour. They help keep us safe. "

          From what?

          And ….

          And if you are vaccinated you can be assured that in the new framework, you will get to enjoy the things you love, secure in the knowledge that the people around you, and the environment you are in, is as safe as possible in a COVID world.

          If you have done the right thing to keep yourself and others safe, to look after one another, you should feel safe. You should be protected from those who haven’t made that choice.

          Again…why do the vaccinated need to be kept safe from the unvaccinated?

          Does the vaccine not work? Come on…produce the science that justifies demanding that the vaccinated need to be kept safe from the unvaccinated.

          (Many thanks to NZ Doctor for providing the Prime Minister's speech notes for that day…22nd October 2021…(the day our world changed forever). Some of us were hoping that this speech, and the follow up interview with Derek Cheng, were unfortunate Ardern brainfarts, that she didn't really intend to create division and exclusion.)

          • weka 8.2.1.2.1

            Again…why do the vaccinated need to be kept safe from the unvaccinated?

            FFS Rosemary, this has been explained ad nauseum. Can you please clarify if you are being sardonic, or you really don't get it, or you believe that the vaccine doesn't work at all, because this is tedious.

            People who are vaccinated are much less likely to get covid, and if they do get much less likely to end up in hospital, and if they do end up in hospital, much less likely to die. The vaccine is not a silver bullet, it’s all about the odds. Part of the reason I chose to get vaccinated is so I can spend precious time with double vaxed elderly relatives. They are still at risk, but more so if I was unvaccinated.

            Public health messaging is about public health messaging, not reporting exact science. So of course they're still talking in ways that support people to have confidence about the vax programme, that's part of public health.

            I get you don't like the vax. I'm more pragmatic and accept that this is how NZ is having to handle covid, for all sorts of reasons. But we know what the point of the vax is, we know the gaps in efficacy of the vax and the vax programme, and we know that the MoH has all sorts of flaws. But they're not actually that inconsistent in what they are doing re public health.

            • weka 8.2.1.2.1.1

              I also consider myself at risk if I got covid. I haven't decided yet how I will manage that risk, I'm waiting to see how covid plays out in my area when it arrives. But I am thinking about things like would I be ok being in a car on a road trip with someone who is unvaxed and is likely to be exposed to the virus. I'm ok with people choosing to not vax and most people I know (not all) I trust will be ok with the things I need to do to take care of myself.

            • julian richards 8.2.1.2.1.2

              The propoganda is that we'll go back to normal and can feel rest assured we're in a safe environment, 'unlocking access to the things we love' (consumption) safely away from the non-vaccinated right?

              But, 40% less risk is not safe, it's not back to normal, and it's definately no reason to fire people from their jobs etc and exclude from economical opportunity and remove societal privileges! And that 40% reduction is only temporary, hence only six months on the passport.

              Go into most hospitality venues (Canterbury) now and nearly all staff are not wearing masks etc (40% reduction of risk).

              Why do the vaxxed not have to be tested before flying domestically when the latest science is clear that the vaxxed can contract and will transmit this virus?

              I'm not #antivaxx (angry slogan) either, I'm rational and listening to try understand the logic in this mess we've slept walked in too.

              • weka

                I have problems with all that too. I take it as Labour needing to sort the neolib economy out, and Labour believing that people need some sense of normalcy. I can probably put darker interpretations on it too.

                Myself, I think there's a reasonable chance next year is going to be worse than this one for many. But I also think we are still in one of the best places in the world, so am counting my blessings.

            • Rosemary McDonald 8.2.1.2.1.3

              No. Not being sardonic, sarcastic,…being absolutely straight up.

              Please…if the vaccine is effective why do the vaccinated need to be kept safe from the unvaccinated.

              And show me the science. Because if you are going to institute medical apartheid and take away people's employment then you have to fucking back it up with real fucking science.

              If you are going to coerce young people into taking a product to protect them from a disease that will leave the vast majority of them unscathed AND (needs the shouty words) has a very real safety signal for significant heart damage then you'd better back that up with actual science.

              And as for forcing this product onto to 5-12 year olds…lets be doubly damn sure that it is scientifically justified.

              • weka

                Please…if the vaccine is effective why do the vaccinated need to be kept safe from the unvaccinated.

                I just explained it in detail. What did you not understand?

                • higherstandard

                  The old saying 'patience of a saint' springs to mind. smiley

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  Yes. Just see me as the slow learner down the back of the class.

                  So what you're saying is that the vulnerable 5% of fully vaccinated that do not enjoy full protection from infection from the vaccine are at risk from catching the virus only from the unvaccinated? Because the vaccinated do not transmit the virus. Hence why the vaccine passports are needed and people lost their jobs and we now live in a two tier society?

                  Because, science…https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)02243-1/fulltext

                  https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanepe/article/PIIS2666-7762(21)00258-1/fulltext

                  The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies four of the top five counties with the highest percentage of fully vaccinated population (99.9–84.3%) as “high” transmission counties [

                  [5]

                  ]. Many decisionmakers assume that the vaccinated can be excluded as a source of transmission. It appears to be grossly negligent to ignore the vaccinated population as a possible and relevant source of transmission when deciding about public health control measures.

                  I don't know how many times this needs to be pointed out…and a surprising number of Kiwis get that being doubly vaccinated does not warrant the special 'privilege' of being able to earn a living. So much for it being justified on the grounds of 'public health messaging'…just who are the intended recipients of the message?

                  • weka

                    So what you're saying is that the vulnerable 5% of fully vaccinated that do not enjoy full protection from infection from the vaccine are at risk from catching the virus only from the unvaccinated?

                    I doubt that I am saying that, but I don't actually understand what you mean.

                    Afaik, no-one has 100% protection from covid via the mRNA vaccine.

                    What's the 5% thing?

                    And no, it's not only from the unvaccinated, it's from anyone with covid (vaxed or unvaxed).

              • Sacha

                show me the science

                Puhleese. You are conflating reports of adverse treatment effects with verified harms. No amount of evidence can overcome that sort of 'reasoning'.

          • McFlock 8.2.1.2.2

            Upon reflection I reckon it's appropo to transition away from referring to the "unvaccinated" and move towards "without a vaccine pass".

            By now, most should have a vaccination or an exemption, and therefore a pass. If they haven't sorted it by now, chances are they're the sort of cheerful type I wouldn't expose myself to a(n even reduced) risk of catching covid for, anyway.

            • weka 8.2.1.2.2.1

              Good grief. There's a whole cohort of people out there who are still in the process, but good on the lefties now using lazy/selfish memes from the right's playbook 🙄

              • weka

                Second vax mandate date for health workers is 31/12/21

              • McFlock

                That cohort is pretty damned small now.

                But referring to the pass seems better than "unvaccinated", which includes the smaller cohort with actual contraindications who qualify for the pass.

                What do you think is a better way to distinguish between those whose vaccination status is up to date vs those who still haven't gotten around to it, especially those who have actively avoided it?

                • weka

                  "still haven't gotten around to it"

                  Lazy fuckers 🙄

                  What to call people with various reasons for not being vaccinated? Unvaccinated. People without a pass is an overlapping but different group than anti-vaxxers. I guess context would determine which term when?

                  • McFlock

                    Sure, there are structural reasons for some not even having their first vaccination by now.

                    But for the number of unvaccinated who are only bothering to get vaccinated when they actually have to, the term "lazy" does indeed come to mind, along with "freeloader" (for those who thought they could get the protection of population immunity without getting vaccinated themselves), and (of course) "idiots".

                    • weka

                      how do you tell the difference between the lazy freeloaders and the ones with legitimate reasons?

                    • Julian Richards []

                      @McFlock advocates for nasty angry labels. As well as technological identity passes that restrict or promote opportunities based on medical/health status.

                    • McFlock

                      Hear the one about how to tell if someone's a [insert group of jerks here]?

                      Just give it a couple of minutes, they'll tell you.

                    • weka

                      So is my disability support worker lazy?

                    • McFlock

                      No idea. I haven't spoken to them for two minutes.

                    • weka

                      right. So how do you tell the difference between the lazy selfish ones and the legit ones. Upthread you said,

                      By now, most should have a vaccination or an exemption, and therefore a pass. If they haven't sorted it by now, chances are they're the sort of cheerful type I wouldn't expose myself to a(n even reduced) risk of catching covid for, anyway.

                      We're basically in Painter on the roof territory now. Too many lefties feel entitled to make the judgements about people they don't know, so did Shearer.

                    • McFlock

                      "Chances are".

                      That's the difference.

                      One is looking at a specific person doing something and making an assumption about their long term physical capabilities.

                      The other is an assessment of what proportion of late-adopters I'd want to bother spending face to face time with regardless of their pass status, in no small part based on discussions here. So more of a population perspective than an individual case assumption.

                    • weka

                      I can tell you as someone with a very long experience of prejudice directed at me because of disability and benefit status, and being in the culture where that is routine, is that there's bugger all difference between what you are doing and what the right do to me and those in similar situation.

                      You are just flat out wrong that chances are anyone not vaccinated by now is lazy/selfish. Within one comment you already qualified it one the basis of access. There are other reasons, that you apparently don't know about, but it's the same degree of ignorance and politicisation that Shearer used.

                      Not that it's just you, but you seem more reasonable than most to point it out to. It's incredibly dispiriting because it tells me that many on the left don't object to prejudice per se they just object to the stuff they personally have feelings or values about.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, and then there are folk like Julian who follow through on their rhetoric – until their job is on the line.

                    • weka

                      not following you there McFlock (haven't read all of Julian's comments).

                    • McFlock

                      The ones with no good reason, yet are still in the last 10% of uptake. And who whinge about it.

                    • weka

                      Hasn't he said he's vaccinated?

                    • McFlock

                      Has definitely said he's not "antivax", not that I asked. Again, how you can tell is just wait for them to tell you.

                      Not sure he's said whether he's got the pass, though.

                    • julian richards

                      @McFlock

                      To clarify for your special understanding….

                      I'm not #antivax (angry slogan)

                      I'm vaccinated.

                      I'm pro health (Physical, mental and spiritual)

                      I will not take up the digital passport system, it's revolting and does little for health prevention. In fact I'd say taking your vitamins would do more for health than this digital simms version of yourself.

                    • McFlock

                      Most of that was already a pretty good bet.

                      Especially the bit about vitamins. Good luck with that. And keep out of my venue.

            • julian richards 8.2.1.2.2.2

              In the world of the Simms many are so eager for (back to normal and safe), these passports are a disgusting and disgraceful reflection of societies delusional self.

              And do tell how these exemptions (81 to date) are obtained, you may be unaware! First you must take one shot of the pfizer, then if you have a bad reaction you must then take two jabs of an international COVID vaccine drug trial (non mRNA). To get an exemption from vaccination, you must get vaccinated (non mRNA).

              https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2021/11/covid-19-kiwis-with-vaccine-exemptions-struggling-to-get-vaccine-pass-days-out-from-new-traffic-light-system.html

              No one is exempt under the 'new system'…..'Oh, won't somebody think of the children'. We've slept walked into this. And if you ask real rational questions, you're shut down, cancelled, ignored or labelled (easily) as an #antivaxxer Such an immature response.

              This is no longer about health care… If it was, we would recognize that NZ currently has a mortality risk due to a covid infection of 0.04% and acknowledge the much greater harm done in other areas of life.

              Stick your passport where the sun doesn't shine!

              p.s. I'm vaccinated, but I'm not sick.

              • McFlock

                It's the Y2K bug all over again: the big bad problem didn't harm all of us because we worked hard to fix it when we found it, rather than hoping it would solve itself. USA is due to reach 800k dead around christmas. That's 0.2% dead. They failed to act.

                NZ acted and therefore have a low number of covid deaths, so you use our low number of deaths as a reason why we shouldn't have acted to fix the problem before it exploded in our face.

                Greater harm? What's greater harm than death? And before you say they were old (as if that matters), a quarter of our dead weren't old enough to retire.

                • julian richards

                  0.04% mortality is no justification to exclude people from society. If it was McDonalds would be gone too.

                  • McFlock

                    How many dead should it take? If 40-odd isn't anywhere near the threshold?

                    • julian richards

                      With that kind of rationality none of us could participate in society… Causes of cardiovascular disease? Protect from disease and death?

                    • McFlock

                      No, seriously, how many people are you happy to have die for this "participation"?

                      At what point will you consider it reasonable to require even the most basic infection control measures?

                      Is cardiovascular disease contagious? With passive smoking it is. Oh look, we're also trying to eradicate smoking. It kills thousands a year. Are you okay with tobacco control such as banning people from smoking in cars?

                    • julian richards

                      "How many people are you happy to have die for this participation"?

                      We're all going to die, that's life. How many are you willing to exclude and deny participation in society whilst alive to protect the illusion? How many are you willing to exclude (in NZ) to participate in the new system?

                      Again 0.04% mortality in NZ.

                      And again, I'm not #antivax

                    • McFlock

                      We're all going to die, that's life.

                      And delaying that inevitability is the bulk of the medical profession – with the exception of palliative care.

                      But if say all the 40ōdd dead were babied, would that make you want to impose some mandatory infection controls? Maybe make handwashing compulsory for LMCs, rather than leaving it up to personal responsibility? And saying the ones who couldn't wash their hands due to soap allergies, well sorry but you can't deliver babies safely?

                      How many are you willing to exclude and deny participation in society whilst alive to protect the illusion?

                      What illusion? Life is an illusion? Or are you transitioning into some sort of "Quality-Adjusted Life Year" model for when you would impose infection controls? How many QALYs lost would make you consider a lockdown or a vaccine requirement for customer-facing staff?

                      Would you prefer we just go back to lockdowns? Because we can do one or the other if you want to keep the annual covid death rate in the double digits. Or would you prefer we go to the level of USA or UK deaths because "freedumb"?

                      But to answer your question, I’d have been happy for anyone charged with violating L4 to be denied bail (overturnable by a court writ based on the face of probability of the charge being contestable). Not to save 40 people, to save hundreds or even thousands of people by keeping the deaths in double digits. And I would have accepted a national lockdown so… 5,000,000 or so to delay the inevitable for hundreds or thousands of my fellows.

                    • Julian Richards []

                      The illusion that only technology will save you from life. Pretty dull life if that's the only solution.

                      How many other preventable premature illnesses would you like to load on to your new technological pass system? Because there's many that kill hundreds of thousands if not millions every year.

                      The new system will save you. The virtual you will be immortal.

                    • McFlock

                      The illusion that only technology will save you from life. Pretty dull life if that's the only solution.

                      I am under no such illusion. I'd just prefer to tell you to piss off away from my box office rather than die from a respiratory tract infection because you wanted your "freedom".

                      How many other preventable premature illnesses would you like to load on to your new technological pass system? Because there's many that kill hundreds of thousands if not millions every year.

                      What candidates do you have? Most are under control without such measures.

                      Although I do think mass tourism should go the way of the dodo. Brings in too many germs too quickly.

                    • julian richards

                      And there you are….

                      " I'd just prefer to tell you to piss off away from my box…."

                      Enough said.

                      Try this one out…

                      "Your vaccination status won't change how much I love you" (on repeat).

                    • McFlock

                      Box office. For events, e.g. theatre. No pass, no admission, no refunds, no discussion.

                      As I said, it won't change how much I love someone, but it will definitely affect whether they will be participating in anything with me.

                      Fortunately, none of my loved ones believe the covid pass is the beginning of the end of freedom as we know it. I know other people who aren't so fortunate – forget gatherings, it's ruined their family chats on FB.

                    • roblogic

                      I am going to drive down the wrong side of the motorway with no seatbelt. We have to take chances now and then. /sarc

                      Who gets to define the balance between public safety and personal freedom?! Maybe it's a democratically elected government.

                    • McFlock

                      Shit, I'll drive drunk. Personal choices, and all /sarc

                • mauī

                  2.3% of our covid toll were shot and killed too…

                  • McFlock

                    And it's thanks to our pandemic response that our covid toll is so low it can be slightly skewed by individual incidents.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  What's greater harm

                  https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/COVID-19/safety-report-36.asp

                  Discounting the 103 deaths…because that's what Medsafe is doing…we should be very concerned about the 5831 reports of "chest discomfort" which we all know of course is a completely normal reaction to any vaccine. (Sarcasm..if it wasn't bleeding obvious.)

                  You'd think, wouldn't you, in the interest of Public Health and all that, that at the slightest hint that there could be a problem with the way the vaccines are being delivered a directive would be issued that the added step of aspiration to ensure the needle had not entered a blood vessel would be mandated for all Covid vaccinations. Just to add a layer of protection. It takes an extra 5 seconds. And costs nothing unless blood appears. Then the small cost of a wasted dose and syringe and needle will be more than offset by the very real possibility of permanent heart damage.

                  So simple. So why impossible?

                  • weka

                    do you believe that 103 people in NZ have died as a result of the Pfizer vaccine?

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      I don't discount the number. I am looking at the stats regarding who is making the reports…over half are vaccinators, nurses and doctors.

                      Why would these people make shit up?

                      There have been 87 reports of anaphylaxis…the reaction you'd expect immediately and the one most likely to be reported by the vaccinator.

                      Then there's the 3500 reports of syncope…another vaccinator likely report as fainting is most likely to occur immediately after the injection.

                      So what makes up the other 5000 or so vaccinator reported adverse effects?

                      I speak with a lot of people and do not shy away from asking about their vaccine experiences. The overwhelming majority of people are happy to talk. A very large number felt absolutely ratshit following the first or usually the second dose. Many of these had 'weird heart shit' going on and felt totally wasted for days. One guy I spoke with on Friday only had the vaccine to keep his job and went home after and literally lost about 5 hours to a 'coma'. He will not allow anyone near his kids with the Pfizer. Most of these people do not report to CARM.

                      This is where the vaccine resistance is coming from worldwide…the more people vaccinated the more folks know folks who have been badly affected or died shortly after the jab.

                      The authorities denying and downplaying these adverse reactions just ramps up the mistrust. Those politicians and bureaucrats cannot be that bright to not realize this.

                    • KJT

                      The "vaccine resistance worldwide" is coming from anti-vaccers, "making shit up".

                      Or thinking that only they know the truth that is being hidden by mere mortals, and there is some big conspiracy to hide it.

                      "The authorities denying and downplaying these adverse reactions just ramps up the mistrust."
                      No they are not.
                      I just showed you yesterday in black and white, where the "Authorities" informed those getting vaccinations of possible adverse reactions. We have the medsafe reporting system to help flag if there was an unusually high rate of adverse reactions. But it is not the only tool. We have the rate of hospital admissions and Doctors visits amount others. If they were increasing due to “vaccine reactions” it would be further overloading our normerly overloaded medical system.

                      But, lets just unpick one of them. Heart palpitations are pretty common. And are often unnoticed. If we asked everyone who is unvacced in NZ to record their heart palpitations over the next week there would be thousands. After vaccination, of course, people are more aware of them, and are more likely to report them..

                      About 33000 people die in NZ, annually. Of course some of those will die after vaccination. Not because of vaccination. After 7 million doses I think we would notice if it was causing the death rate to go up. In fact "excess deaths" in NZ have dropped. There is a tool on the Stats NZ site to confirm this.

                    • RedLogix

                      @KJT

                      Discounting evidence because it doesn't suit your belief system is very common. Normal even.

                      In WA I spent most of this year working in a team of about 40 people. 6 of them absolutely had to take time off work as a direct and immediate result of vaccination. In one case for 3 days – described as 'the sickest I've ever been'. And these are just the one I know about, it's very likely others felt poorly but never said anything.

                      I was fortunate to have had pretty much zero reaction to both of my AZ doses, but that does not mean I believe no-one else will. And these are not your usual 'sore arm, maybe a headache for a day or two' reactions to all the other vaccines I've had – and listed in my Yellow booklet.

                      Whether or not these reactions are dangerous, or the fraction of them that go on to have serious consequences is mostly unknowable – for the simple reason is that officially 'the vaccines are perfectly safe' and the data 'doesn't exist'.

                      As a result of this what Rosemary is speaking to is what can be called 'private knowledge' – many people know something is amiss, but it's not yet 'public knowledge' that can be openly talked about and made sense of.

                    • KJT

                      RL.

                      “Whether or not these reactions are dangerous, or the fraction of them that go on to have serious consequences is mostly unknowable – for the simple reason is that officially ‘the vaccines are perfectly safe’ and the data ‘doesn’t exist’.”

                      By the way feeling seedy etc after a vaccination is common to most of them. It is called “the bodies immune system doing it’s thing”. Just because it has been in the news more after covid vaccinations doesn’t mean that it isn’t common after other vaccinations.
                      As we are going into personal aneqdotes, I still remember how ill I felt after the TB vaccination.

                      Rubbish RL.
                      Rosemary has already referred to the “data that doesn’t exist”.
                      That is available from medsafe reports and hospital admissions data. “Doesn’t exist” my arse. In fact no medicine in history has undergone greater scrutiny.

                    • RedLogix

                      As I said – the inability to accept evidence outside of belief systems is very common.

                      The contradiction between what people are personally observing, and the official narrative of ‘perfect safety’ leads people to suspect they’re being lied to.

                      After all we’re talking the same medical establishment that has a miserable track record of getting things wrong and taking far too long to correct it’s mistakes. For example puberty blockers being ‘perfectly safe’.

                    • KJT

                      “official narrative of perfect safety”.

                      Bloody hell. I referenced the “official” information on likely side effects yesterday.
                      Hardly being hidden when it is available to everyone being vaccinated.

                      “As I said – the inability to accept evidence outside of belief systems is very common.” Obviously. Anti-vaccers being an excellent example. Even when their “beliefs” are disproven by the very studies they put up as “proof”.

                    • KJT

                      You could say that puberty blockers are an excellent example of idealogical beliefs being prioritised, over actual researched evidence.

                    • Julian Richards []

                      Same old boring immature dismissive angry narrative #antivaxers. Engage in the discussion, think, expand your mind, don't shut down and give angry labels to defend your beliefs and perspective. This is one of the biggest problems at present.

                    • RedLogix

                      Again from our very own sidebar:

                      Pharma executives, salesmen, consultancy firms and retailers made huge profits on the suffering of working class people. The pushing of dangerous drugs was facilitated by state and federal authorities who endorsed disinformation broadcasts by millionaire drug pushers.

                      This isn’t to give credibility to particular narratives espoused by those among the movement described (often with only passing accuracy) as ‘antivaxxers’. They are a diverse group with differing ideas, explanations and justifications – all with varying degrees of credibility – for their own positions.

                      But generally they share something in common: they have always lived in a world characterised by an abuse of trust between themselves, corporate power and state authority. Where their pain has been a source of corporate profit, state protection has been applied too little, too late. And the wealthiest profiteers continue to thrive.

                      Under these circumstances why should we not expect resistance?

                      (Yes the author frames this as a 'marxist analysis' but I'm not so blinkered to discount a solid narrative even when I don't like the source.)

                  • francesca

                    I've been arguing for at least the choice.Choice has been singularly lacking in the vaccine rollout.

                    How easy would it be to train one vaccinator in 10 to aspirate?

                    Or bring back the nurses trained in it

                    There would probably be a small uptake, but make a difference for those who are aware that myocarditis and pericarditis, although rare, may be associated with the vaccine entering the blood stream(also rare) inadvertently at point of delivery.

                    What's 5-10 seconds in a lifetime?

                    Recently the Astrazeneca scientists did a study that may explain how clots form after the jab

                    It involved the vaccine inadvertently entering the bloodstream at point of injection.Check out the diagram

                    https://www.bbc.com/news/health-59418123

                    Forget the KFC, that well known benefactor of the nation's health, I'd rather have aspiration, to make doubly sure the vaccine doesn't get into the bloodstream at the point of injection

                  • francesca

                    replied to you Rosemary but somehow got shunted way down the thread .Took too long to type!!

                  • francesca

                    Rosemary

                    Regarding aspiration

                    We are aware that occasionally consumers are requesting that the vaccinators aspirate the needle [pull back slightly to check for any minor blood vessels] prior to administration of the COVID vaccine. While this is currently not best practice and may be more uncomfortable for the patient, there is no danger associated with accommodating the consumer's requests. In the unlikely event that you did see any blood in the syringe after doing this, we would recommend revaccinating with a new syringe and needle.

                    https://covid.immune.org.nz/faq

                    So far when requesting aspiration I've been faced with absolute ignorance "whaaa?"

                    heres hoping for the booster.I might be a total ignoramus..but humour me, it only takes 5-10 seconds, way less time and cheaper than a KFC chicken

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      Good to see they have updated their guidelines…be interesting to see how many actually accommodate requests. With so many of the vaccination workforce not properly medically trained its a big ask.

              • weka

                This is no longer about health care…

                You had me up until there. If it's not about health care, what is it about?

                • Julian Richards

                  Try have a go at thinking outside the box to what else has come with this healthcare rollout. There's much more than medication that's being forced upon us as individuals, communication, nations etc… What else is come with the new system/new normal???

                  • weka

                    Dude, I've been talking about the other issues for a long time. I'm asking you what *you mean, specifically. Spell it out, don't be shy.

                    • julian richards

                      Join the new system, get your opportunity passport (valid for six months only) out, scan in, verify your identity/data. You're one of us, you can now participate in the 'new system'. Data is the new gold standard for the new system/A.i.

                      Or maybe the fear of having individual ideas that deviate from the herd, that must be shut down and silenced, not debated and teased out. Instead are cancelled and silenced. As @stuff news calls it, "the hellscape" of differing thoughts.

                      Great things are not accomplished by following trends, fads and popular opinion. Imagine if Albert Einstein bowed down to the then accepted knowledge.

                      The doors that are being opened to try coerce, silence, cancel free speech, individual and collective thought are very troubling. Again, get your passport out if you're one of us.

                      This is not the way out of this madness. Thank goodness for this website/forum. @stuff would cancel, hide, misinform (and they do) to continue the narrative they are pushing to get all into the new system of augmented reality and virtual technological versions of ourselves.

                    • weka

                      thanks. So when you say this is no longer about health care, are you saying that there is an unintentional outcome to the pandemic response, or are you saying that the pandemic response is being used to do these other aspects of social control?

                      I agree the whole thing is hugely problematic (include the left rolling over and letting it happen largely uncritically), but I was unclear if you think the government is setting this up intentionally with other than healthcare in mind.

                    • Julian Richards []

                      I can not say if these very concerning outcomes are intentional or not, I don't think we'll every really know thanks to the cancel culture that's been allowed to be cultivated by the majority being naive and apathetic (just let me consume, fill the void mentality)… But we can be certain the powers at be have recognised and will expand the centralised benefits of these predominantly unchallenged outcomes.

                    • weka

                      I take a somewhat different view. Successive governments have been expanding their own powers esp since 9/11. This is a further step and part of a pattern.

                      National were intentionally gearing up for their Big Data plans that would have radically transformed privacy in NZ. That's important context. Because they were focused on beneficiaries and poor people, the left has largely ignored their plan and won't look at how what Labour are doing will be treated once Nat are government again.

                      Labour don't appear to be intentionally doing this, it's more a sliding into it out of necessity, and a somewhat cavalier attitude towards rights and privacy.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Great things are not accomplished by following trends, fads and popular opinion.

                    Yep, and NZ's COVID-19 health outcomes to date, while not perfect, have been a spectacular accomplishment by the team, don't you think?

                    It's only natural that these excellent outcomes would give some pause for thought about the need for COVID vaccines and vaccine passports, but I for one am committed to making these temporary public health interventions work for everyone. Widespread resistance to prudent precautions during a pandemic carries risks and consequences – the word 'irresponsible' comes to mind.

                    Socially irresponsible freedom’ commandeers Capital
                    [11 November 2021]
                    Speaking with a Wellingtonian after the event, a woman said she’s re-thinking what pro-choice means.

                    I’m pro-choice on everything.

                    Choice is good, but these people really annoy me”, she volunteered.

                    They’re making me think about what being pro-choice actually means.

                    Do they have any sense of social responsibility?” she posed.

                    This protest was just socially irresponsible”, she said through her mask.

                    Other reactions also condemned the protest, calling it “shocking” and those involved as having a “toxic underbelly”.

                    COVID doesn't 'care'. Keep your distance, wear a mask, wash your hands, scan in – how hard is that? We don't know how lucky we are!

                    Unite against
                    COVID-19
                    https://covid19.govt.nz

              • KJT

                Why does this remind me so much of the anti lockdown rhetoric last year.

                Basically along the lines of. "The parachute worked, so let's throw it away before we reach the ground".

  9. RedLogix 9

    I've consistently argued that Ardern's govt has done all the right things going into this pandemic, but that navigating their way out of it was going to be a lot trickier for many reasons.

    While there was a giddy sense of unity in the initial phases, it was inevitable that some fraction of the population would eventually push back against indefinite lockdowns. And that some people would prioritise bodily autonomy. (While it's fashionable here to sneer at these values, people who have lived in totalitarian regimes where these things were lost will speak a different story.) Essentially as time went on the costs of lockdowns would accumulate, while the benefits of them would diminish.

    To be frank the vaccines have only been a partial success. They are not going to end the pandemic. Useful in reducing death rates, but not to end the disruption.

    And the wider public health responses have been disappointing. While it was obvious from the start that COVID was largely a disease of civilisation, we failed to acknowledge this or address the obvious questions that arose.

    At this point in time it looks like Omicron may offer the path out. More infectious than Delta it's going to be impossible to contain. MIQ and isolations are nothing more than delaying tactics. With an R0 probably close to 12 the reality is that everyone is going to be infected within the next year. The good news is that all the initial information suggests it's has a much lower morbidity.

    If these conditions hold true then Omicron may well achieve what vaccinations cannot and get most of humanity to 'herd immunity' within a short timeframe. In that case NZ will have to decide whether it's going to isolate itself physically from the rest of the world forever, or accept that the disease is endemic globally and whatever flows from this.

    • SPC 9.1

      The same herd immunity we have from colds and flu … (and not everyone gets infected every year). Yet people take new vaccines the next year anyway.

      I presume your disease of civilisation comment refers to the survival of old people with weak immune systems because of anti-biotics and flu vaccines (and knee and hip ops).

      • RedLogix 9.1.1

        The same herd immunity we have from colds and flu … (and not everyone gets infected every year). Yet people take new vaccines the next year anyway.

        True – but they were never mandatory.

        Otherwise I agree it's too soon to know what a 'herd immunity' with Omicron might look like, but it may turn out to be the best we can hope for.

        • SPC 9.1.1.1

          For mine, I want a home testing kit in every home and Pfizer anti-virals in every home by next winter (to ease pressure on the PHO and hospitals of the coronavirus and flu tandem).

          And that to also be here before the omicron variant spreads through our community (that way we can cope with something that spreads fast and might overwhelm health care systems otherwise).

          PS It’s looking like it will take till March/April to develop a new rna vaccine for omicron, not sure about trials and production scaling from there – by then many OE will have been infected by the time its available. So someone else will have to use it …

          • RedLogix 9.1.1.1.1

            The problem with vaccines is that they're nowhere near as ‘transmissible’ as Omicron. In other words it's odds on that it will be the dominant variant globally within months and by March next year almost everyone will have been exposed to it. And have gained an immunity as a result.

            Whether COVID then dies out like the 1918 Influenza epidemic, or putters on like the common cold/seasonal flu is way too soon to tell. But either outcome should mean the end of the crisis unless this virus still has some nastiness up it's sleeve we've yet to uncover.

            • SPC 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Not everyone vaccinated will be infected with omicron, even if it is spreading in their community.

              And some nations will keep it out for months yet.

              And those nations that think quick herd immunity is not something to worry about might well find out that people can die at a faster rate.

              I would not want to have a lot of young people with symptomatic distress needing health care at the same time without anti-virals on hand.

            • francesca 9.1.1.1.1.2

              So far it's looking hopeful

              https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/omicron-cause-for-hope-

              The Spanish flu pandemic lasted between 1 and 2 years then petered out, without entirely disappearing

              • RedLogix

                Yes hopeful is the correct word. It's the oldest antidote to fear.

                And also I'd hope that if and when this crisis passes, we might collectively take pause to contemplate what happened, and what lessons we might learn.

      • RedLogix 9.1.2

        I presume your disease of civilisation comment refers to the survival of old people with weak immune systems because of anti-biotics and flu vaccines

        Sort of. The fact of COVID 19 hitting the elderly more severely is an established fact, and those already ill with a variety of conditions. C19 almost always spreads indoors and is low Vitamin D levels are strongly correlated with poor outcomes.

        One rather cold way of putting this is that modernity has enabled many more people to survive who would not otherwise be alive. And COVID seems to have thrived in this setting, that really should have us asking why we were so vulnerable to it.

        The counterpoint example is Africa:

        Research has also shown that proper ventilation can reduce the spread of the disease. Air conditioning and heating are completely absent in rural Africa, where most people live. Most Africans have an outdoor way of life, and they spend a majority of their time in fields, where the open-air significantly reduces the chances of viral transmission.

    • Patricia Bremner 9.2

      Reinfections are happening so that may mean "herd immunity" is no closer.

    • Gordon B 9.3

      Good luck there RedLogix.

      Many in this country are Labouring (pun intended) under the delusion that just another booster or extra % vaxxed will "fix" it..and therefore anything to achieve this is justified. They're still living Zero Covid fantasies and acting as if death is an equation we've never had to face.

      We have seen short and sharp become long and hard. No mandates become some, become more. Each time they go further, and we accept it. It's not that Jacinda is a dictator – it's power corrupts and pursues more and liberal democracy is actually incredibly fragile.

      The steady lowering of our democratic and human rights thresholds – for some indefinite end and increasingly declining value (if Omnicron becomes endemic and evades vaccines – why did you destroy unity and human rights in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Vaccine?). This is a long term cost most pretend is some conspiracy hallucination.

      They hold fantasies that things will return. The Government has learnt techno-solutions, bodily coercion, and mass surveillance can easily happen, if enough fear and guilt is used. How can a democracy and liberty survive when the population is calling it "Freedumb"? China is cackling with glee. A technocracy is simply another form of tyranny.

      The worst thing it's no conspiracy, no socialist secret masterplan, its open. A smiling, eager Jacinda bubbling over creating a two class society on prime time TV.

      • Anne 9.3.1

        …it's no conspiracy, no socialist secret masterplan, its open. A smiling, eager Jacinda bubbling over creating a two class society on prime time TV.

        Can't say I've seen any bubbling over from Jacinda Ardern in recent months. She has come across as grave and concerned for a long time now. Sure, she still smiles (she's allowed to smile sometimes) but not so much. I think the huge responsibility of the pandemic must be very wearying – especially given the Opposition has done everything to try and put a spoke in the wheels and turn it into a political bun-fight.

        We should be thanking our lucky stars we have a tolerant and measured prime minister who doesn't panic, and a competent Covid sidekick in Chris Hipkins. As others have pointed out time and again:

        imagine what state this country would have been in if National had been in power. They are so lacking in cognitive abilities they can't see the wood for the trees. A good example was their CC denial that went on for decades before they finally admitted it was real. It's been pretty much the same with Covid. They have spent the past two years see-sawing from one stance to the complete opposite stance before finally conceding it is a very serious pandemic requiring unprecedented measures to be taken.

        And now they've got some smooth talking dickhead running their show who pretty much wants the country to go back to what it was before the pandemic started. Cognitive problems again!

        • Rosemary McDonald 9.3.1.1

          We should be thanking our lucky stars we have a tolerant and measured prime minister who doesn't panic,

          No, Anne, Ardern is neither tolerant nor measured and her efforts on the 22nd October have the stench of hand-wringing panic about them. Her demeanor was one of feigned confidence whilst trying to channel the 'iron fist in the velvet glove'.

          The next few days were about trying to wind back the aggression towards the non compliant, but she dug in even deeper…oh that she had taken that opportunity to engage with those not completely on board. No firm standing confidence there…it was almost pathetic how she scuttled away taking the "accredited media" with her.

          If you're keeping up, its around about then that Labour began to slide in the polls.

          • Anne 9.3.1.1.1

            Rosemary your views of everything pertaining to the Govt. and Jacinda Ardern in particular are so full of obsessive hatred that your comments re- the subject are largely redundant.

      • KJT 9.3.2

        Thanks for so aptly showing why some people are called, "freedumb" advocates.

        Where were you when I was writing about National's search and survaillance bill?

        Which is much more scary and totalitarian, than temporary and necessary measures during a pandemic.

  10. Julian Richards 10

    And the bad news… Many feel because they've taken two shots they're now absolved of any social responsibility in regards to wearing masks and getting tested!

    You are not bullet proof after taking the medication, it does not stop, it simply reduces, for a short time (hmmmm) the whole truth.

    -Put masks back on!

    -Wash hands

    -Social distance

    -Get tested

    Pretty basic stuff right?! The naivety and hypocrisy of living in the future is ignoring the present!

    To ignore the well accepted science that you will still likely contract and transmit this virus even when vaccinated is truly ignorant and dangerous.

    • McFlock 10.1

      Well… "likely" is still up for grabs, last I read. But the point is very true.

    • KJT 10.2

      In my experience those responsible enough to be vaccinated, are also the ones observing signing in, masking, distancing etc.

      The anti's are the ones objecting to all precautions, and refusing to follow them.

      And you forgot to mention that vaccination makes you many times less likely to spread covid.

      • julian richards 10.2.1

        Vaccination reduces but DOES NOT STOP the chance of contracting and transmitting the virus. Why are people refusing to recognize and accept this fact?

        How many bars/restaurants have you been into since the passport came into effect where all the staff are wearing masks? Every single bar visited last weekend, NO STAFF WORE MASKS!?

        I work in a bar/restaurant (part-time) and I’m the only one still wearing a mask! The rest (22 other staff) feel they’ve done their bit, they took the meds, now they don’t feel obliged to continue their social responsibility .

      • julian richards 10.2.2

        Gibralter, Israel, Denmark, Ireland, UAE etc etc…..

        You can only point and blame the non-vaccinated for so long.

        -Wear a mask

        -Wash hands

        -Social distance

        -Get tested (vaxxed or not) AirNZ perfect example

      • Anne 10.2.3

        In my experience those responsible enough to be vaccinated, are also the ones observing signing in, masking, distancing etc.

        Bang on!

      • Pete 10.2.4

        Maybe the antis are those not wearing seatbelts and on their mobile phones as they drive.

        • KJT 10.2.4.1

          There seems to be a large overlap.

          Along with the variety of cockies, who are screaming about laws against filling rivers with cowshit.

  11. pat 11

    There may be much open to debate about the Govs vaccination strategy but there is no denying the success of uptake ….it was only a couple of months ago that there was considerable opinion expressed here that a vaccination rate of 90% of eligible was nigh on impossible.

    • julian richards 11.1

      Economical coercion was an effective strategy in a ridiculously overly expensive nation. Was it the health of ourselves and others we've shown ourselves to value and care about, or the love of money and consumption ??? Lets be honest.

  12. peter sim 12

    The unvaccinated are war time colaboraters with an invading airborne enemy intent on destroying al of us.

    If you do not wish to resist th e invasion go and live elsewhere.

    • julian richards 12.1

      Nope, not all of us…. approx 2.0% globally and 0.04% (mortality) in NZ. A very long, long, long way off destroying all of us.

    • francesca 12.2

      So would you have endorsed the crucifixion of the likes of Archie Baxter, conscientious objector during WW1?

  13. Rosemary McDonald 13

    Some of us rise early. Some of us have responsibilities and provide high level care to a partner or other family member. Some of used to get paid for doing this work but because we (and often the person we provide care to) have made the careful decision not to risk the Pfizer Product, we are no longer 'employed'.

    No matter. Life and our work goes on. Hence the early start.

    On Saturday 4th December in the 5am news bulletin Natrad told listeners about a recent Massey University survey of nearly 2000 people that found that less than 50% of respondents supported the 'no jab no job' policy.

    Maori and Pakeha respondents had similar percentages of naysayers (about 57%) but 3/4 of Pacifica respondents held that view.

    70% of National voters and just over 60% of green voters did not support the no jab no job policy and 53% of Labour voters broke ranks and did not support the axing of unvaccinated staff.

    There was another item about this survey on the 6 am news on Saturday then nothing since. No written record that I can find. The embedded link is to a recording of that 5am bulletin someone unknown to me (but who has my eternal gratitude because I thought I had imagined it) posted to odysee because Natrad does not archive their bulletins.

    So it seems there is not widespread support for these mandates…and interesting that the especially hard- hit -by -Covid Pacifica community is most solidly against enforcing vaccines on workers.

    I thought it was interesting anyway.smiley

    • weka 13.1

      the thing that worries me about it is the shunning aspect and the lack of helping people into new jobs. It's not just about protecting people in workplaces, it's also about using overt and intentional social punishment to pressure people into medicine they have refused.

      We've never been further from a Labour government.

      • RedLogix 13.1.1

        Wholeheartedly agree with you on this weka.

        COVID has been an incredibly complex, moving and difficult story with many moving parts that are hard to get any certainty on. But on this yesyesyes

      • KJT 13.1.2

        I have people with leukaemia, asthma and heart problems in the immediate vicinity. Plus elderly parents.

        Damn right I am "shunning" people who are fine with putting their safety at risk, because they have " philosophical" objections to a very safe means of safeguarding vulnerable peoples health.

        • Julian Richards 13.1.2.1

          Are you not aware that the vaccinated will most likely contract and transmit, just reduced chance but still very common (Gibraltar etc). Your scared close minded reaction to artificially protect is ignoring the reality of life, you and no one (yet, that's the scary part) is immortal. And this is the sickness that's being revealed in our society

          • KJT 13.1.2.1.1

            Between 10 and 27 times less chance. A big difference.

            As usual people like you don't tell the whole story. Like the real percentage vaccinated in Gibraltar.

            • Poission 13.1.2.1.1.1

              No viral load is similar in both vaccinated and unvaccinated as evidenced in breakthrough cases.

              https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(21)00648-4/fulltext

            • julian richards 13.1.2.1.1.2

              And the 'real' percentage is? promoted as 140% in worldwide media as international workers (Spanish) are included.

              And has there been significant infection and transmission still? Yes

              https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/countries-and-territories/gibraltar/

              It is trending down again after new restriction re-imposed i.e. putting masks back on (vaccinated), re-enforcing the message to wash your hands, social distancing and limits on gatherings and testing for all (both vaxxed and non-vaxxed) Simple solutions.

              The fast futuristic ride the herd 'believe' in with all their individual minds as the only solution (artificially synthesized vacc) is not the only measure required. Vaxxed, put your masks back on etc!

              • KJT

                We won't mention the actual facts, eh?

                https://www.polygraph.info/a/fact-check-gibraltar-vaccination-covid-surge/31589031.html

                "The most recent data indicate that new infections are disproportionately hitting Gibraltar’s unvaccinated, many of whom are children".

                • julian richards

                  Yes, approx 50% are unvaccinated children, who are at extremely low risk of harm or death due to covid19 infection complications. And to be honest, it would seem benificial to some degree for them to build a natural immunity therefore (see below). Far less need for artificially synthesized medication (for who knows how long for adults, again the jury is out).

                  And the approx 50% are vaccinated. Yes, indicating the very real risk of the vaccinated still contracting and transmitting covid19. And don't forget, this is a far higher risk for the artificially induced immune vs naturally induced immune.

                  Why are we giving more opportunity, freedoms and privelage to artificially induced immune who are also at risk (yes reduced but not risk free)? It doesn't matter if it's reduced or not, they're still at risk of contracting and transmitting. And yet, they're not having to be tested etc, they're not losing their employment, their not being pushed out of society. Vaccinated or not we should all be getting tested!

                  Community immunity to control the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic may be reached with the acquired immunity due to either previous infection or vaccination , yes. And of course acquired immunity from vaccination is certainly much less damaging economically, safer for the individual the jury is still out on that (adverse events recognized and included, not just dismissed and cancelled). We know there are problems with breakthrough infections, particularly in the artificially induced immune (vaccinated) and a elevated risk of death with breakthrough infection in the vaccinated. There are problems, it's not new tech either, but it still has problems that should not be ignored.

                  The science is clear, a natural infection and recovery is the best possible outcome for an individual (oh won't somebody think of the children). Artificial induced immunity is best (short term) for a community/economy. Short term because there are clear problems such as waning immunity, still contracting and transmitting etc, adverse reactions etc, and unknown long-term effects… And dare I say the transformation into 'artificially intelligent' technological digital versions of ourselves. And this is not good for 'living organic' individuals or communities to live in a future that is artificial.

                  Don't dismiss the problems of the pathways that are being chosen both individually and collectively, don’t dismiss without acknowledging the benefits also, obviously. It's not a plain simple technological fix we should all inject with and assimilate with… Because my god where does that end for humans….? Cold, hard and unfeeling.

                  • KJT

                    So much incoherent nonsense in one post.

                    I've some tin foil hats for sale.

                    One for ten bucks. 10 for $120?

                    • julian richards

                      You're welcome to keep your tin hat. No need here.

                      Sorry if the English language used is not acceptable.

                    • julian richards

                      @KJT

                      140% of eligible population vaxxed. yes.

                      the remaining do not need it as they're not at risk and will actually benefit. Why do you struggle with this fact? Because it doesn't suit your need?

                      Again, I'm not #antivax.

                      @KJT if you are so sure the non-vaxxed adults are the cause of Gibraltars spike in cases, please provide the relevant link to your information.
                      And don’t forget to mention the recent drop is due to the re-imposition of the basic measures, masks back on, social distance/reduced gathering numbers, washing hands and testing !

                  • weka

                    you appear to have just said that 50% are unvaccinated children, and 50% are vaccinated people. Which implies none of the unvaccinated adults are getting covid. Is that what you meant to say?

                    … And don't forget, this is a far higher risk for the artificially induced immune vs naturally induced immune.

                    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(21)00676-9/fulltext

                    From your link,

                    The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is now better controlled in settings with access to fast and reliable testing and highly effective vaccination rollouts. Several studies have found that people who recovered from COVID-19 and tested seropositive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies have low rates of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection. There are still looming questions surrounding the strength and duration of such protection compared with that from vaccination.

                    Although those studies show that protection from reinfection is strong and persists for more than 10 months of follow-up, it is unknown how long protective immunity will truly last. Many systemic viral infections, such as measles, confer long-term, if not lifelong, immunity, whereas others, such as influenza, do not (due to changes in viral genetics).

                    I'm not reading the whole piece because I think you are misrepresenting what is being said, so I'm going to ask you to quote the bits that you believe support this assertion: "this is a far higher risk for the artificially induced immune vs naturally induced immune"

                    I think natural immunity has a part to play and will be important given the vaccines aren’t producing permanent immunity, but I don’t think the science supports what you are saying (not yet at least)

                    • julian richards

                      "Which implies none of the unvaccinated adults are getting covid".

                      Correct, there are essentially no non-vaccinated citizens in Gibraltar. 140%+ DBL vaccination rate.

                      I'll get back to you re the risks…

                    • KJT

                      "Essentially no unvaccinated adults in Gibralter".

                      You need to brush up on your comprehension.

                      That enough vaccinations were given in Gibraltar to vaccinate 140% of Gibralters population, it does not follow that 140% of Gibralter's population are Vaccinated.

                      Bit tired of people who quote statistics who either have no comprehension of how to logically interpret them. Or who are deliberately mis-representing their meaning. Which one are you?

                      Don't expect me to take you seriously when you obviously slept through science and maths, if not English as well

                    • julian richards

                      https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(21)00648-4/fulltext

                      fully vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have peak viral load similar to unvaccinated cases and can efficiently transmit infection in household settings, including to fully vaccinated individuals.

                      https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)02243-1/fulltext

                      Stigmatising the unvaccinated is not justified! There is increasing evidence that vaccinated individuals continue to have a relevant role in transmission….

                      In the USA, a total of 10 262 COVID-19 cases were reported in vaccinated people by April 30, 2021, of whom 2725 (26·6%) were asymptomatic, 995 (9·7%) were hospitalised, and 160 (1·6%) died.

                      People who are vaccinated have a lower risk of severe disease but are still a relevant part of the pandemic. It is therefore wrong and dangerous to speak of a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

                      https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(21)00676-9/fulltext

                      Some people who have recovered from COVID-19 might not benefit from COVID-19 vaccination. In fact, one study found that previous COVID-19 was associated with increased adverse events following vaccination with the Comirnaty BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine (Pfizer–BioNTech)

                      https://www.reuters.com/markets/asia/breakthrough-infections-raise-health-death-risk-vaccine-passports-without-2021-11-19/

                      compared to people who never had COVID-19, those who had breakthrough infections had a 53% higher risk of death and a 59% higher risk of having at least one new medical condition, particularly problems affecting the lungs and other organs. Even when breakthrough infections did not require hospitalization, the increased risks of death and lasting effects were "not trivial," the research team reported on Monday on Research Square ahead of peer review. "The overall burden of death and disease following breakthrough COVID-19 will likely be substantial," the researchers conclude.

                      Vaccine passports would allow infections to be missed

        • Rosemary McDonald 13.1.2.2

          I have a partner with a high spinal injury, in remission from leukaemia and is 71 years old who has chosen not to partake of the Pfizer Product. After very careful consideration I might add. It would have been great to be able to have a conversation with a doctor about this decision, but alas, not possible what with lockdowns and the distance and most doctors simply not doing face to face anymore.

          As I have said elsewhere.. were it possible to have a discussion about potential side effects without the anti-vaxxer slur being cast on either the doctor or the inquiring patient…but it isn't.

          And we are not reckless, nor irresponsible, and we do not take unnecessary risks. We eat well and drink lots of water and supplement when needed. Friends, vaccinated and unvaccinated, are respectful of Peter's 'vulnerability' and will stay away if they are not well.

          The most difficult thing for us to accept is that neither of us can expect fair and non judgemental treatment should we need the medical attention for anything.

          I have been divorced from the medical system for years, but Peter still needs a doctor to at least authorise a repeat prescription. A bit difficult when the medical centre he is enrolled in has gone public with the whole 'We have to see the unvaccinated but we're worried about the safety of our vulnerable patients..' hand wringy thing… as if they have not yet read the memo from the MOH that the vaccinated can be just as risky infectionwise as the unvaxxed.

          They should take precautions with all patients, regardless of vaccine status.

          In a sane and scientifically sensible world that is.

          • higherstandard 13.1.2.2.1

            Hi Rosemary

            Your medical centre will no doubt be OK with emailing posting repeat scripts to Peter's preferred pharmacy ?

            It is your personal choice not to vaccinate I'm not sure what you'd like to discuss in person with an HCP that isn't available in the public domain and I'm sure you are aware that the risks of an adverse reaction to the vaccination are orders of magnitude lower for you and Peter in comparison to the possible consequences of adverse outcome from catching an iteration of COVID.

            's

            • Rosemary McDonald 13.1.2.2.1.1

              We have the script thing well in hand. Living in a Bus prepared us for remote management of such things. wink The twice yearly routine chest thumping has gone by the board though…

              Risk of Covid? Risk of adverse reactions? One has been covered to the point of fear porn by MSM for nearly two years and the other is not allowed to be spoken about. Hmmm…which do we see as being riskier?

              • higherstandard

                The reported adverse events are updated regularly on the Medsafe website are available from vaccination centres and upon the manufacturers datasheet.

                As I said the decision to vaccinate is yours and Peter’s alone.

                • weka

                  I have a chronic illness, and I classify myself as at significant risk if I were to get covid. MoH doesn't. My GP's opinion is that I am at risk and should be vaccinated.

                  I really wish people would stop with the MoH is the be all and end all of knowledge. I know some people like to have faith in them, it's reassuring, but they're a conservative organisation whose job is to protect public health and there are a lot of people badly served by their approach. There are a lot of gaps in what they do, and many people who sit outside the mainstream health system, or half in half out, who the MoH either don't know about or are clueless about.

                  I have a friend who had a serious adverse reaction to the flu vaccine some years ago. She didn't report it to the MoH, she dealt with it on her own.

                  Tell me this, apart from the side effects from the covid vaccine that hospitalise people, what support is there for people with other side effects?

                  • higherstandard

                    "..what support is there for people with other side effects?.."

                    The same as for any other ailment or side effect from medication, you can either try and muddle through yourself or approach your GP or pharmacist for advice and treatment if required.

                    This might not be what you want to hear but them's the facts.

              • lprent

                I usually do the chest thumping thing every 3 months due to having a lump of plastic in an artery.

                In the last two years I have missed it three times in 3 different lockdowns. Did those consults with the doctor over the phone or zoom. Had discussions about covid-19 vaccines several times (admitably mostly about eligibility to get one).

                Paid via direct debit. Picked up the prescription at the chemist of my choice after the doctor forwarded it to them. Got blood tests several times after picking up with the prescription.

                About the only thing that I didn't get was the personalised stethoscope and blood pressure. I have a tool for the latter. And I could have a tool for the former if I felt like it.

                • higherstandard

                  Watch what you buy if you buy one of the ambulatory home BP monitors the quality is to be polite 'variable'.

                  • lprent

                    Grin… I did a bit of research beforehand and borrowed a stethoscope and pump and checked it the old fashioned way after I got it. Turns out that my ancient army medic skills held out ok even after 40 years.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  About the only thing that I didn't get was the personalised stethoscope and blood pressure. I have a tool for the latter.

                  Peter did the phone thing, paid on line and the pharmacy in Kaitaia are happy to bung the goodies in with the RD delivery to send them up here.

                  Then the clinic called back. He really should come in for the chest thimp. Not so keen for Peter to come in for the chest thumping after being told of our unvaccinated status but were keen for me to use our bit of kit to check his blood pressure…"as it was a little high last time…"

                  We purchased said sphygmomanometer early last year on the advice of the hospital after he was admitted with vaso vagal syncope fainting blackout thingies. They found no obvious cause other than he's an aging crip.

                  Tetraplegics enjoy very variable blood pressure at the best of times and Peter has barely hit double digits for both dis and sys on more than one occasion. Hilarious when the nurse has left him hooked up to the machine and wandered off to obs another patient and Peter's machine starts screaming and they all run in with the crash cart to find him happily eating breakfast. He has hit 247/170 on one occasion which created quite a stir in the A&E that morning. The problem that caused the autonomic dysreflexia was resolved and the BP plummeted. Also created a bit of a stir.

                  This would be the story of our lives if we actually used the sphyg. We know if its low…Peter has physical signs if its high.

                  Knowing what his BP is is not actually that much help…as a more experienced doctor (and neurologist) pointed out… if the at the root of your BP problem is a munted autonomic nervous system. We are aware of triggers and work hard to mitigate them.

                  We walk/wheel a very finely balanced line every single day. That's why we are not willing to risk the Pfizer Product. Once its in there it can't be sucked out…and those having adverse effects are struggling to get treatment.

                  But. We have to wear the slurs and opprobrium because that is the environment that has been intentionally created by government and happily promulgated through forums like this.

                  • lprent

                    I know about the getting old thing. It is pretty annoying.

                    This far I have had a stent after a myocardial infraction and doing a bit of dying, a TIA that didn't quite make it to a stroke, and I have a big toe joint that run out of collagen and makes it difficult to walk even short distances (which is why I use a e-bike).

                    I get worried about my fingers (obviously trying for arthritis), back (gets pretty stiff after doing a programmers day in the chair), and vision (changing glasses is becoming a biannual event) – all of which impact on my ability to pay to pay dealing with these issues with better gear and treatments.

                    Not a tetraplegic, but I have a few years yet to become immobile, unable to work, and blind and iy often feels like it is heading that way. That could really crimp my style as a ancient geek.

                    The trick for me with all treatments and is all about relative risk. In the case of covid-19 it is between the risk of getting covid-19 and having a fatal or for me – the effectively fatal outcome of long covid . Against the risks of getting the vaccine and having a bad outcome with it.

                    The mortality risk for me from covid-19 is probably pretty low. The long covid risk is much higher. However at my age and medical condition both are probably 10x that of myself from 15 years ago. In 15 years time they are likely to be that much higher again. Getting older is a risk in itself.

                    Professionally the consequential risks of long covid are so high for me that almost everything else is preferable. I'm not exactly used to lying around having problems getting out of bed or only being able concentrating for minutes at a time. For that I have the example of a UK colleague who I was meant to work this this year. She got long covid in Feburary and hasn't been able to work up to September when I moved jobs. She was a top software engineer and her descriptions of her long covid were harrowing.

                    You may have noticed that I spent time looking into covid-19 over the last couple of years. The basic lesson that I took from that last year was that you, me and everyone else will be getting some variant of covid-19 within the next decade and probably within the next few years.

                    It is a socially endemic disease. We will all probably get it multiple times with multiple variants. Because this is a disease that has a lot of capacity for having multiple stable variants.

                    Being vaccinated reduces the risk of mortality from covid-19 by a massive level in all known variants. Same for unknown variants. It does the same for the risk of long covid.

                    The probability of getting a sterilisation vaccine or treatment for covid-19 looks to me to be effectively zero. Any future developments for treatments or vaccines is likely to be as incremental as it was for HIV, and will probably also take decades.

                    The risk from any of the vaccines is very low based on the testing and the known wide-scale distribution of each. Using any of the widely distributed vaccines is so low a risk, that dying from choking of the food you eat is way higher.

                    The risk from the mRNA versions is even lower – it is better engineered than previous forms of vaccines. It will inherently cause fewer problems than with other forms of vaccine production. The real risk was someone using lousy production techniques – but that hasn't happened.

                    For me it was a no-brainer. I waited (despite my own risk levels – nearly dying from heart disease has a big correlation risk with respiratory viruses) until I was sure that the vaccine risk was for sure low and had my jabs in September and October at 4 weeks separation.

                    //———-

                    So now having made and acted on that decision, I am now mostly concentrating on minimising the probability of accidentally killing people who aren't vaccinated, and continuing to reduce my contacts with anyone who isn't vaccinated or previously infected because they are far higher risk of infecting me through high viral loads (and thereby infecting others I come in contact with).

                    Why – because regardless of vaccination status, the main correlation for covid-19 infection is enclosed spaces with people with high active viral loads or enclosed spaces with lots of people with low levels of active viral load.

                    Since people don't walk around with a sign hanging over their heads saying what their vaccination state or viral load is, I can't just avoid the risky people. So without vaccination mandates, I'd just start avoiding other people entirely – completely driven by the choices of others.

                    … the environment that has been intentionally created by government and happily promulgated through forums like this.

                    So you are completely incorrect. It isn't driven by the government. They are being driven by people like me who aren't fond of killing other people without a damn good reason*

                    People like your partner have a much higher risk of damage from the vaccine – that is true. However they have a far larger risk of damage or death if they get covid-19 – and they will get it. The risk of contacting covid-19 is effectively 100% within the next few years, and the probability of that happening earlier rather than later goes up exponentially the more people that they come in contact with.

                    Frankly the vaccinated and young and society in general can't protect you if we want to carry on living with the level of risk that we have already assumed.

                    But we ideally also don't want to carry the risk of killing those who have preferred to carry a higher risk of a bad outcome from from being infected by covid-19 compared to a way way smaller risk of a vaccination.

                    So there is a push to get measures in place that reduce the risks to both sides of that decision point. You may not like it. I don't particularly either. But it is your choice and getting wound up with others pointing that out isn't going to change that. I don't want to damage you or to be damaged by you. Some separation is called for.

                    This isn't dissimilar to the way I view alcoholics and recreational drug users. The most regular form of death that I have seen in the last few years has been alcoholics killing themselves. They get pulled out of our 60 single bed apartment apartment block regularly every three years.

                    You and other unvaccinated cannot force me or any one else to assume your risks. That is exactly like assuming the risks of non-alcoholics wearing the risks of an alcoholic. I have no interest in taking the risks of becoming a alcoholic just to make alcoholics feel comfortable. I have the same limited interest in damaging people or being being damaged by them just to make the vaccine hesitant feel comfortable.

                    So we have laws that prevent drunks being drunk in public places. Both to prevent them from damaging themselves and to prevent them from damaging others. Police pick them up and put them in the cells to sober up. It has even happened to me once. A load of whiskey and going out into cold air on a beach is a bad idea.

                    I am willing to help and to provide the opportunities to avoid a damaging outcome with things like rehab units and vaccines. But in the end, everyone has to assume their risks from their own assessments of risk that govern their behaviour. I can't force them to change their behaviour or ideas. I can just separate myself from their destructive assessments of risk.

                    And to encourage my government to help with producing the means by which I can separate myself for the assumed risks of others. Exactly like we do with alcoholics and drunks.

                    * (after all I was volunteer soldier – I don't mind killing people with what I think is a good reason).

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      Oh. Cool. The unvaccinated can be compared to alcoholics and recreational drug users.

                      I can't force them to change their behaviour or ideas. I can just separate myself from their destructive assessments of risk.

                      And to encourage my government to help with producing the means by which I can separate myself for the assumed risks of others. Exactly like we do with alcoholics and drunks.

                      Enjoy your sojourn on the right side of history…

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Describing MSM coverage of the risk of Covid as "fear porn" may be fair in a few cases, but on the face of it this pandemic is newsworthy as it’s actually quite serious, and not going away anytime soon.

                That's down to human behaviour (the 'not going away anytime soon' bit), and COVID doesn't ‘care’. It's continually re-inventing itself to enhance its spread (illness, and the death of some millions, are just tragic side-effects), but if it did care then it would absolutely love human freedums.

          • KJT 13.1.2.2.2

            "not yet read the memo from the MOH that the vaccinated can be just as risky infectionwise as the unvaxxed". I doubt if anyone credible said that. I suspect it is secondhand like much of the mis-information you are agreeing to.

            No they are not.

            For the umpteenth time The vaccinated are 10 to 27 times less likely to spread covid than the unvaccinated. A significant difference. Depending on the study. Not one has concluded they are equally likely.

            Of course if they also mask and distance the likelihood is even less.

            People around me and my staff who are like Peter, is the reason why I got vaccinated. And why we need mandates, for the socially irresponsible.

            By the way, I’m perfectly comfortable with you making the choice not to be vaccinated. So long as you accept societies choice to protect other people from, your choice!

            • weka 13.1.2.2.2.1

              I suspect it might be this (passed to me via the hesitant networks). I think there's general misunderstanding about what it means.

              In addition, in this situation [low community transmission rates] the difference in the risk of transmission between vaccinated and unvaccinated people will be negligible. When the prevalence of disease in the community is high, the risk of transmission from any individual is not negligible and is likely to warrant application of mitigations for all consultations.

              When there is high COVID-19 vaccine coverage (i.e., above 80 percent of eligible people are fully
              vaccinated), transmission is more likely to occur from a vaccinated than an unvaccinated individual.1

              Developing a separate pathway for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals will not prevent the risk of inadvertently seeing an infectious person (regardless of vaccination status) without the health care worker being aware, using appropriate personal protective equipment and/or being in an appropriate physical
              environment.

              1 As our vaccination numbers increase, we will see fewer cases but more of those cases will be in fully vaccinated people, meaning it is more likely transmission will occur from a vaccinated individual than an unvaccinated individual.

              https://www.nzccp.co.nz/assets/Untitled-attachment-01200.pdf

              As far as I can tell this is a document aimed at healthcare providers, reminding them that the risk of covid varies and is unpredictable.

              My own opinion is that once there is community transmission where I live, and/or open travel between high transmission areas and where I live, I will be treating everyone, irrespective of vax status, in the medical centre as potentially having covid and I hope the medical centre does too (and still with respect to relative risk).

              • weka

                Both you and Rosemary are right, you are just talking about different things. I think the ways you both communicate are causing problems, probably because of the entrenched positions. More listening and clarifying would go a long way. I know that's a big ask, given everything, but I hope you can see clearly now, from the MoH doc, why some people see the situation differently from you and that it's valid to do so. As someone at risk from covid, who has chosen vaccination, I'm keeping an eye on how seriously vaxxed and unvaxxed people take their other social obligations (distancing, avoiding travel where possible, hygiene, masks etc).

              • Rosemary McDonald

                Whoops weka…we both had the same idea. I’m going back to my day’s appointed task of pulling out the kikuyu from my garden beds.

              • KJT

                Yes. A long way from the oversimplified version being peddled.

                If 100% are vaccinated, because vaccines are not 100% effective, 100% of all transmission and cases will be amoung the vaccinated. If there is still a source of infection from overseas and or from the unvaccinated. Though the raw numbers and deaths will be much lower.

                The problem with using only percentages and not numbers.

                Cases per million is a good indication.

                Like the success of NZ's Covid measures. 9 deaths per million from covid since the pandemic started. Evidence of the Government's effectiveness with our Covid response.

                Personally, especially around Auckland, I just treat everyone as if they have Covid.

            • Rosemary McDonald 13.1.2.2.2.2

              From the horse's mouth...

              This emphasises the need to focus on strong public health measures and vigilance for asymptomatic spread in the community based on thorough basic public health measures rather than on patient vaccination status alone (noting that vaccinated health care staff further reduces any risk).

              Testing can be carried out for all individuals as a screening programme, or on groups or specific individuals considered to be at higher risk. As symptomatic individuals or those who are a contact of a positive case are considered high risk, whether vaccinated or not, testing as a screening tool will only apply to asymptomatic low risk individuals. As indicated above, current evidence does not support classifying unvaccinated individuals as being in a group of that should be routinely tested prior to a consultation to the exclusion of others.

              The prior version of this advisory stated…

              When the rate of community spread is zero or very low, the risk of transmission from any consultation
              will be very low, unless a person is known to be at higher risk because they are symptomatic or a close
              contact of a confirmed case.

              In addition, in this situation the difference in the risk of transmission between vaccinated and unvaccinated
              people will be negligible.

              When the prevalence of disease in the community is high, the risk of transmission
              from any individual is not negligible and is likely to warrant application of mitigations for all consultations.
              When there is high COVID-19 vaccine coverage (i.e., above 80 percent of eligible people are fully
              vaccinated), transmission is more likely to occur from a vaccinated than an unvaccinated individual.

              Yes, it's all very confusing this fast moving feast.

              Can be hard to keep up.

              • weka

                Can you please slow down and get your linking right. I'm really sick of having to pull people up on this. Stop hiding the link behind a word, put it in the clear, it will be easier for you to check if it's the right link and fix it if it's not.

                Please fix the link now, or put it in a reply and I will.

                • weka

                  that's two links in fact. Next time I have to ask, I'm just going to delete your post. I appreciate the time/effort you put into commenting here, but I just don't have the spoons to keep reminding people about this. You *have to provide the *exact link *everytime when you cut and paste.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  Sorry weka…what link did I get wrong? The first one is to the page where there is a link to the document which I understand is the revised version of the one we both quoted from that has now been deleted from the Ministry's website.

                  Delete the post if you will…I'm getting to the stage of not giving a shit any more. Folks can make all manner of claims about infection and transmission rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated with nary a link to a verifying piece of research. I almost invariably provide links…and I have no idea what I did wrong in this case…and get jumped all over. I feel a flounce coming on.

                  • weka

                    stop and think this through. You link to a page with links in it. How is anyone supposed to know which link is the right one to click on?

                    Instead cut and past the URL of the document you just cut and pasted the quote from. This is for everyone: whatever you are copying from has a URL, use that.

                    Re the previous advisory, presumably you are copying from your desktop. If you still have the URL (it may not be obvious), please post it, because often old web pages can be found in one of the online archives. If you don't have the URL, then post the title and date of the document (and anything else that can help identify it). If none of that is possible, use your own words. If it's a copy from somewhere else, it has to have a reference. Has to.

                    Not sure if this helps, but it's not just you. I am routinely asking regulars to do things that they already know.

                    All this matters, because it improves the debate. Substantially. See how KJT basically called you an anti-vaxxing peddler of misinformation and then went on to prove you wrong while misunderstanding what you said? If you put the reference in at the start, it cuts that stuff off and the debate becomes about the actual issue instead of the meta issues. There's less heat and more engagement.

                    This is why I suggested slowing down. Less comments, more content.

              • KJT

                See above.

                “transmission is more likely to occur from a vaccinated than an unvaccinated individual”. Because there are 4 times more vaccinated people.

                The point is overall case numbers with 80% vaccinated are much lower.
                Seeing the signs already, with 90% vaccinated in Auckland, without the exponential rise in cases we have seen in mostly unvaccinated populations. Same as NSW, now they have got their vax rates up.

          • weka 13.1.2.2.3

            The most difficult thing for us to accept is that neither of us can expect fair and non judgemental treatment should we need the medical attention for anything.

            This sucks big time. It's been bloody interesting in the past week seeing which people have an attitude and which people are being kind/thoughtful/inclusive while still enforcing the mandate. The judgemental shit I guess is at least out in the open now 🙁

    • observer 13.2

      This is probably the survey you're referring to.

      https://theconversation.com/are-employers-and-workers-at-odds-over-nzs-workplace-vaccine-mandates-our-research-suggests-they-might-be-170431

      It is not a weighted opinion poll. It is a web-based survey, not conducted according to standard polling methodology.

      So the percentages are not representative. Qualitative research is useful, but it is not a measure of overall public opinion.

      • Rosemary McDonald 13.2.1

        Thanks for that observer. It is really frustrating when a news outlet quotes research/ surveys/studies and don't provide a proper link to the source. And don't archive all their news bulletins.

  14. Sacha 14

    We've never been further from a Labour government.

    Think of it as a wartime administration. That might help.

    • weka 14.1

      I already do. It doesn't help. One reason it doesn't help is because the normal that people want to return to, that is the rationale for giving up stuff that matters, was already killing the planet and harming a lot of people. Now we're into new territory and the left are abandoning principles for safety without having much of a conversation about whether we can have both.

      • RedLogix 14.1.1

        I do understand your underlying sentiment. We are in for a turbulent period, maybe even catastrophic re-shaping of the modern world, but I'm optimistic something better will emerge.

  15. Hunter Thompson II 15

    In his first speech, Chris Luxon said NZ needed a shake-up. He seems not to have noticed that Covid-19 has already done that.

    What NZ really needs for good government (apart from people willing to tackle the many current problems) is an effective opposition. Still waiting …

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