The Covid pandemic is entering into an interesting stage.
In America and in England new infection rates are plummeting after hitting post Christmas highs.
The American reduction is understandable. They now have a President who accepts the science and is willing to listen to the scientific advice.
The United Kingdom still has the same buffoon in control however.
America and the UK are rolling out the vaccination program. In the UK just over a quarter of the population have received the vaccine and in the US the figure is just under one in five.
This may suggest that the vaccine is having the desired effect although Israel, which has vaccinated over four fifths of its population and the United Arab Emirates where over half the population have been vaccinated, still show worrying levels of infection. Israel’s treatment of Palestinians shows how interlinked the countries of the world are and how to beat this we will have to solve it in all countries. The UAE’s reason are more complex but no doubt Dubai’s status as a tourism hot spot is contributing to the infection rate.
In Australia Scott from marketing has been one of the first to receive the vaccine along with an elderly rest home resident. But his attempt at a photo op went disastrously wrong.
From James Law at news.com.au:
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was among the first Australians to receive the Covid-19 vaccination in Sydney today, but the historic moment dissolved into giggles when Morrison’s attempt at a photo op went wrong.
Jane Milysiak of Marayong was selected to be the first to receive the jab and she did so alongside Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Castle Hill Medical Centre in Sydney’s northwest on Sunday morning.
She was all smiles as she received the injection, seated next to Morrison in a face mask emblazoned with the Australian flag.
Like any good politician, Morrison is not one to miss a photo opportunity, so after she received the jab he encouraged her to flash the peace sign for the cameras, saying it meant “V for vaccine”.
After a confused few moments, Jane obliged, but turned her hand the other way and inadvertently flipped the nation the bird.
The room erupted into laughter, and the PM quickly pushed Jane’s hand down, saying “always front, always front”.
The truth be told it may as well have been Scomo himself flipping the bird at the nation, something he has been doing ever since he became Prime Minister.
I am not sure about the optics of the Prime Minister being the first to get the jab. I am pretty sure Jacinda Ardern would wait her turn. In New Zealand the vaccinators themselves and border workers are at the front of the queue getting the vaccination first and this is how it should be.
And in New Zealand we also had an attempt at gaining media relevance by a right wing politician. Fresh from his success in wrongly predicting Auckland would remain in level 3 for at least several more days Bishop went high and proposed the construction of purpose designed quarantine and managed isolation facilities away from Auckland Central.
He is claiming that the facility could be built on vacant land near Auckland Airport. The biggest block of vacant land that is not directly under the flight path to the airport is Ihumātao. Surely Chris is not recommending we use this land?
The village would take time to design, consent and build. I suspect that by that stage the vaccine would render the facility surplus to requirements. But it still makes a good headline.
The next 12 months will be interesting. And while the last 12 months were filled with dread dare I say that the appropriate emotion now may be hope.