Wear your #$%^& mask properly

Written By: - Date published: 10:38 am, July 16th, 2022 - 90 comments
Categories: chris bishop, Christopher Luxon, covid-19, health, national, same old national - Tags:

Aotearoa is in the midst of its second major Covid wave.

Numbers are regularly topping 10,000 new daily infections and pressure on the health system is mounting.  Clearly a circuit breaker is needed.

Earlier this week Luxon was interviewed By Susie Ferguson on Morning Report about all things Covid.

He said that the world is moving on from Covid and that New Zealand needs to be much more ambitious and outward looking.

About mask wearing he was asked why he was not wearing a mask in Singapore.

He said that there were mask rules in Singapore, effectively some in the UK and none in Ireland.

He then said that in Singapore the rule was that you did not have to wear a mask if you were in a meeting where there was food and water.  Susie Ferguson demurred and it appears that she is right.  The rules say that mask wearing will continue to be required indoors and that workers are allowed to remove their masks at the workplace if they are not interacting physically with others and if they are not in customer-facing areas.  Masks can be removed to eat but the rules clearly say that “you must immediately put your mask back on after eating, drinking or taking medication.”

Then on Friday Chris Bishop was interviewed by Radio New Zealand.  He was asked:

Would you support tougher measures on masking, making it mandatory pretty much everywhere indoors?

And his response?

The mask rules are already pretty extensive. I was just checking the rules this morning. You have to wear them in supermarkets, in retail outlets, and a lot of indoor settings, and when I go out in Wellington you do see them wearing them into restaurants, cafes, bars, taking them off as they sit down to have a meal which I think is pragmatic as well.

But the rules are pretty extensive at the moment …

What I think Michael Baker is saying is that everyone has to wear them everywhere all the time and I think that is unrealistic.

There is a social license issue here in relation to mask wearing.  I do encourage people to wear masks.  I do wear one when I go out.

He then advocated for removal of the mandate that stops anti vax nurses from returning to work.

His comments basically back up Luxon’s comments although veering away from the suggestion that the mask rules are confusing.

The language adopted by Luxon and Bishop is typical opposition stuff.  Attack the Government for something that it is doing and say it should be done differently.  And it feeds into the great culture war the world has experienced about the state’s response to Covid.  There are people out there who have been confused and sucked in by the anti science counter messages that have pervaded the Internet for far too long.

But here is the thing.  Occasionally there are issues where opposition parties should put to one side their impulse to oppose and when something of major importance to the country requires a united front they should stand alongside the Government and support them, even if it costs political capital.

Jacinda Ardern spent significant political capital getting the population vaccinated.  Christopher Luxon if he was a true leader should be championing the wearing of masks.

And you want to know why?  The answer is in the body count.

New Zealand has still performed exceptionally well.  Our death rate is about a tenth of the US rate and Australia’s death rate is 20% ahead of ours.  Our rate is very similar to that of Taiwan who previously was regarded as the best performing western nation in terms of Covid.

But there are two western nations which are performing significantly better than us.  Second is Singapore whose death rate is 80% of ours and who clearly has not moved on from Covid.  And as can be seen they continue to abide by stringent mask wearing rules.  And topping the list is Japan whose population’s long term commitment to the health of each other has made mask wearing an accepted cultural norm and who despite official requests to ease up still wear masks in situations where New Zealanders would not even think of doing so.

I am not going to give the Government a free ride on this.  I think that the mask wearing rules should be strengthened.  Particularly in secondary schools there should be a national mandate requiring masks to be worn inside.

Having the opposition bark continuously about all aspects of the Government’s Covid response clearly has caused Labour to continuously recalibrate.  But this is one issue where the science is increasingly clear.  Effective mask wearing will save lives and ease pressure on our health system.

If Luxon really was a leader he would for once put politics aside and support the strengthening of mask mandates.  But he is not.  So we will continue to have this extraordinarily weird debate at a time when people are dying because they and others were not masked properly.

90 comments on “Wear your #$%^& mask properly ”

  1. Ad 1

    Arrowtown, Wanaka and Queenstown last week the mask wearing even in shops was less than 50%. But east Asian tourists were totally mask complaint.

    Lorne Street in Auckland last night it was up to 90%. Notably Lorne Street, High Street and the upper end of Queen Street have strong east Asian dominated retail and residents.

    It was great going to the 25th anniversary showing of Princess Mononoke at the Academy last night. 100% mask compliance.

    NZTA have gone through more sick leave in the last month than they have in the last 2 years. Also in my company the major project subbies are just falling over and we are losing major weeks of programme as a result.

    • Bearded Git 1.1

      I have been in South Australia the last 16 days …mask wearing two thirds of bugger all.

      This could explain the rapid rise of covid hospitalisations inOz….a couple of days ago it was 4400.

  2. aj 2

    More and more Kiwi's getting it. In the deep south a noticeable increase, even with people walking in the streets.


  3. Occasionally there are issues where opposition parties should put to one side their impulse to oppose and when something of major importance to the country requires a united front they should stand alongside the Government and support them, even if it costs political capital.

    Has been so from day 1 of the covid pandemic, and from day 1 the Natz and Act have opposed nearly every government measure.

    They are simply playing politics, with no concern for the welfare of NZers.

  4. weka 4

    Reasons to wear masks (and properly):

    • reduce deaths
    • take pressure off health system
    • reduce incidence of long covid

    that NZ still isn't talking about the latter is mind blowing.

    • Anne 4.1

      Long covid is starting to attract more media attention, and the experts are doing their best to emphasise the issue. The problem is: people have tuned out. They don't care. As I said to a young-ish relative who expressed this sentiment: Well don't care will be made to care soon. Didn't go down too well. frown

      • weka 4.1.1

        there's been very little from the government or MoH about long covid. They are basically ignoring it at this point.

        Focussing on death as the main personal negative motivator isn’t working, because most people will be ok (how they report hasn’t helped either). But saying there’s a 1 in 5 chance that if you have covid you will end up with long term or even permanent symptoms and a 1 in 10 chance that those will require significant lifestyle change might make people pay more attention.

          • weka

            how many times have you seen that linked or highlighted to raise public awareness?

            • Incognito


            • Incognito

              I found 11 COVID-19 media conferences that mentioned “long covid” at least once. I have not analysed these in detail and I’m not going to wink

              Suffice to say it has been on the government’s radar for quite some time, but I guess they were hampered by lack of clear conclusive data, as per usual. You cannot fault them for that!

              BTW, I don’t think I’m representative of NZ when it comes to following the news, et cetera.

              • Incognito

                Media: Dr Bloomfield, can you give us an update on the Ministry of Health’s research around long COVID. Is there any support for sufferers of this now?

                Dr Ashley Bloomfield: So, two separate things there. I’ll have to come back to you on where we’re at with the—we were doing an expression of interest process around research around long COVID. I’ll have to also come back with you about support for people who are experiencing longer-term symptoms from COVID-19. But we’ll come back to you on that.


              • weka

                Sure, they needed time for the research. But, we moved faster than normal on vaccination re research, and we should have done this with LC too.

                One significant reason we didn't is because we're just not very good with chronic illnesses that don't fit into neat medical model boxes. Diabetes we can manage because there are clear biomarkers, diagnosis, and treatments. Chronic illnesses like LC don't usually have that, and tend to be highly individualised. Mainstream medicine is just bad at knowing what to do.

                MoH are bad on this too, historically. People are in for a shock at how bad. We might see some improvement on this because of covid, but I'm not holding my breath.

                Think about all the stuff that's been written on TS about covid, posts and comments. Very little about LC. We are ignoring it, and that's nothing to do with waiting for research.

                Suffice to say it has been on the government’s radar for quite some time

                Of course, but they're still ignoring it. Which is why it hasn't been part of the national discussion about the pandemic response. If they weren't ignoring it, it would have been part of public health messaging as well as the broader response comms.

                • Sacha

                  Whole medical sector are woeful on chronic conditions..


                • RedLogix

                  One significant reason we didn't is because we're just not very good with chronic illnesses that don't fit into neat medical model boxes.

                  Well this is precisely one of the key messages I was hearing 40 years ago when I did a three year naturopathy course. (I never practiced or maintained my qualification so I make no claim to be a naturopath.)

                  The reason for this is that the conventional medical model is locked into a highly analytic and materialistic model of the human being. It is very good at dealing with acute problems – like physical trauma – but flounders when the the problem has it's roots deeper than surface symptoms with clear and measurable biomarkers.

                  Essentially this is why there was a minority of people who from the beginning of the COVID crisis were never going to uncritically accept everything the public health authorities pronounced. Personally I have always tried to keep a foot in both the conventional and alternative worlds, accepting that both had important things to say and not to get too overwrought when they appeared to contradict each other.

                  The good news is that in those four decades since I have started to see some medical people in both camps broaden their view to a degree. Nowadays it is not too hard to find practitioners whose experience overlaps both the conventional and alternative views – often with considerable success.

                • Incognito

                  I don’t quite get what you mean by “ignoring it” and what you think they could and should have done. I’m sorry, but it’s a bit too vague for me.

                  I’d say that the main message has been all along that prevention is the best option. Weaponising long Covid without having the data would not have been evidence-based (policy) decisions and way too transparent (aka fear mongering). It would have eroded trust in expert advice and the authorities much faster than anti-vaxxers could have ever accomplished.

                  This was the status in March:

                  Media: With such a high number of people having had COVID, what’s the latest advice that you’ve received around long COVID* support, advertising—do people need to know what sort of exercise they should be doing after? Where is Government at on long COVID?

                  Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall: Yeah, I mean long COVID is a real condition that is one of many syndromes that people can get after viral illnesses. And I know that many people with long COVID feel that they’re not listened to, so it’s very important that we and the ministry recognises that it is a condition and you would’ve seen the Chief Science Adviser* for the ministry, Ian Towne*, make that very clear a couple of weeks ago. I think there is a role for both greater support at the community level and advice for people about those sorts of things. Currently, I don’t believe we have guidelines for those sorts of things.


                  And this is what Dr Ian Town said a couple of weeks ago [in March]:

                  The term ‘long Covid’ is used to describe symptoms that linger or develop beyond an acute infection of Covid-19.

                  “Our plan is to provide evidence based guidelines for our health practitioners – both in NGOs, primary care and secondary care to help guide the recovery in patients with these ongoing problems,” Dr Ian Town, the Ministry of Health’s chief science adviser said on Tuesday.


                  I think long Covid is best described as a syndrome.

                  https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/470873/doctors-aim-to-understand-long-covid-s-similarities-to-chronic-fatigue-syndrome [13 July 2022]

                  • weka

                    I don’t quite get what you mean by “ignoring it” and what you think they could and should have done. I’m sorry, but it’s a bit too vague for me.

                    Ignoring it is knowing it is real but doing bugger public messaging on it. We have enough data and research to know it exists and that it’s not an insignificant % of people. Alongside the messaging about death and hospital overload, we should have been having a public conversation about LC.

                    I can’t confirm this, but I have talked with people on twitter in the NZ LC community who say that some people with LC and unable to work because of that can’t get a benefit. But even the fact that we don’t know what the situation is with WINZ, tells me that the government has dropped the ball. It should be common knowledge – eligibility, how to apply, what support is available and so on. We’re going to see an increase in disability in NZ, and the government doesn’t know what to do (I say this because they’re like this with other chronic illnesses).

                    The other way to look at this is the practical home support people get who have a chronic illness. If the disability is caused by accident, MoH funded disability support is matched to need. If it’s caused by chronic illness, someone might get a few hours a week of home support irrespective of what their actual need is. The problem for the government here is that they treat so many people badly in this respect, so I guess LC is just another one /shrug.

                    None of that needs extensive medical research and data to change.

                  • weka

                    I agree that's it's most likely a syndrome, although the organ damage appears more specific to the virus. Syndrome makes it harder to address medically, but more likely to respond well to lifestyle changes and supportive therapies. Unfortunately MoH is just not good at that either.

                    • Incognito

                      Syndromes are tough nuts, medically speaking. At this stage I think it is difficult for MoH or anybody to give good specific advice for sufferers with long Covid.

                    • weka

                      If you get covid, there is a chance that you will get long covid. This is another reason for us all to take precautions and avoid infection and transmission as much as possible.

                      This is absolutely something they could be saying, for quite some time now.

                      We were having the conversation in the summer about the Omicron LC rate. 6 months is long enough to establish the rate.

          • rightofcentre

            Wear your #$%^& mask properly……

            Well didnt this age well….

  5. Anne 5

    Thank-you ms. Not a moment too soon.

    I, too am disappointed the Govt. is becoming too risk averse over Covid regulations. It is a no-brainer the laws on mask wearing and distancing now need to be tightened.

    It cannot be stressed often enough… vaccination, mask-wearing and distancing save lives and will save the economy too. That is surely in every-ones' best interest.

    We also have some in the media locked into the NAct playbook and that is irresponsible. Nor should the rabbit tunnellers be getting serious attention, and the hard questions asked of those who claim they no better than the health experts.

    latest update:


    • Patricia Bremner 5.1

      For any aspect of covid, the ten minutes activity followed by two hours rest is the rule that should be impressed on people. Even mild covid can be followed by this syndrome.

  6. Patricia Bremner 6

    Mickey, I have thought about what this shows about the man…. as the saying goes "actions speak louder than words".

    Christopher Luxon lives rules, though he does not appear to pay even lip service to rules unless they are his rules. Then when asked he uses the "It's confusing" excuse.

    Further he doubles down and says "In Singapore covid was not in the conversation". I bet after that meeting of 3 masked people in Singapore, where he is unmasked there was conversation by the hosts afterwards, but they are too mannerly to point out how thoughtless he was being, and he seemed unaware of his lack of sense.

    His party continues the "Open up mantra" and "The world is over it".

    Business have found that spacing and masks and outdoor or controlled airflow helps, those features get people confident enough to return, and helps protect their staff. Many firms have found "Working from home" keeps some compromised staff safe and has now become an accepted way to earn a living. Also small business has found "getting established" without having overheads pressure has helped with costs. The new ultra fast cable is the key to a truly digital future. Masks are still needed in face to face settings.

    Those businesses and individuals behaving as if it is "Over" are being hit with absences, delays and the need to "Bubble" staff again and employ part timers to fill gaps, with the resultant problems. Christopher Luxon's attitudes seem very at odds with the 2nd wave of covid happening right now.

    This man has a narrow view of the world, and his "We don't want bottom feeders" was a shocking insight into his view of "acceptable and unacceptable ordinary members of society".

    The behaviour in his first few hours in the house of parliament was dreadful. Full of anger spite and bitterness. His body language was deplorable, yet he wants people to believe he could "Represent us all" with dignity and care.

    The attitude to masks shows contempt and impatience of the science, and a total lack of a sense of decorum and diplomacy, all qualities a leader needs. His behaviour overseas was an eye opener and some of the things he said were reprehensible, and showed his general contempt for us.

    His visit to a charter military type school, his views on women's rights, his comments about business becoming Government dependent show how narrow he is.

    Masks are symbolic of his attitude to rules, and this was borne out by his comment "Government has made business difficult" when we are renowned for "Ease of business" in OECD reports, but apparently that doesn't count because masks and covid rules get in the way.

    That cartoon of him with his foot in his mouth… if he had worn his mask that wouldn't have been possible. imo.

  7. weka 7

    if Luxon is still wearing his mask like that, I'd consider it a dog whistle to the anti-mandate/mask/Ardern voters.

    • Robert Guyton 7.1

      Or perhaps he's been advised that his nose is a turn-on.

    • Nordy 7.2

      It's also hard for Luxon to 'brown-nose' with his mask over his nose……

    • alwyn 7.3

      I thought he was trying to appeal to those who think masks should be worn.

      As opposed, that is, to those who follow the PMs lead at the Pacific Leader's Conference. How often did you see a photo of Ms Ardern wearing a mask there?

      • Incognito 7.3.1

        How often did you see Ardern being in company of others and the only one without a mask?

        • alwyn

          You really have it the wrong way around.

          A truly caring person, as Ms Ardern is declared to be, would surely put her mask on if she was in the presence of vulnerable people without masks. That would surely be the best way to save those poor people from catching Covid 19.

          You surely aren't suggesting that she doesn't care about those other people?

          • Incognito

            Your whataboutery is as weak and pathetic as always, which is why I tend to ban you from time to time. I guess you’re overdue for one.

            Ardern tested positive for Covid in May and it’s likely she’s received all her shots. This makes it less likely that she’d infect others or be infected by others. I’ve seen plenty of photos of Ardern at the meeting wearing a mask; perhaps you just have to look harder.

            In any case, she’s not the typical negative outlier that Luxon clearly is.

            Anything else that you’re suggesting is all in your own head, as usual.

            • Ra Henare

              Interesting that MS and many commenters are fixated on masks while many 1st world countries have moved on.

              Of course there was Sweden. Now lower case rate than NZ (NZ is currently 82nd from the top of the list of infections/Million) Hardly a measure of doing well if you consider that metric important.

              Then Denmark who took the grownups approach while still getting 10,000 new cases a day and dropped all restrictions.

              But you dear reader will have your beliefs. Wear a mask if you think its the right thing to do, or not, your choice.

              I of course would point out that surgical masks were designed to be used by medical staff to reduce the expelling of spit etc from their mouths/noses in an attempt to minimise infections of patients wounds and cuts.

              Using them to stop inhaling of miniscule (ie Viral size) particles is an exercise in futility.

              But as the head of UK AIrport security said about the waste of time doing body scanning.. It makes the passengers feel safe.

              So wearing a mask is all about feeling safe.

              • Incognito

                You seem to be struggling making a coherent let alone compelling argument.

                Some but not all ‘1st world countries’ have moved on.


                What exactly is your argument here, if you have any?

                What’s your point about Sweden? And about Denmark?

                We have choices, we have opinions, and we have facts that we can choose to ignore.

                Filtration is only one aspect of masks, they also lower the airflow rate. Exhaled air is a mixture and contains numerous droplets of a wide range of sizes.

                You’ve spent too much time under the Body Scanner, obviously. Read the Manual; it says not to use more than 2 hours every day and to shield your head with tin foil.

      • Nordy 7.3.2

        It's your 'thinking' that is the problem. Also, a poor attempt at deflection simply shows your attempts to defend Luxon are becoming more and more desperate.

      • Red Blooded One 7.3.3

        How many of your whataboutism photos were taken in the fresh open air? But thanks for the reminder about your petty desperation to taint our PM.

  8. woodart 8

    the majority of luxons intended voters(conservatives concerned about themselves) are keen to keep masks on(go to a senior cits meeting, for them covid is still very much happening)a question that should be asked of these risk takers, would you go to a dentist that played in yr mouth without a mask?

  9. newsense 9

    Wonder how he went down in Singapore telling them that mask wearing was confusing for him…that’s the problem with people who try and balance fervent zealous religion and the reality of increasingly secular modern life. Or across societies with pluralistic religious circumstances.

    They lie to themselves and live more and more ridiculously contorted positions as the move between different settings until they’re not really sure themselves what they believe as a bedrock.

    Does he believe masks are confusing? Does he believe that mask wearing is not the way to go as best as you can, as much as you can? Has he been in a hospital and shaken hands? He doesn’t drink like Boris I guess, luckily for him?

    Also ventilation and pressure on AT? Should be a general strike at forcing bus drivers to work in such dangerous situations. Let alone the news that AT will not be required to help with climate change mitigation in the slightest.

    • theotherpat 9.1

      can we then take from that because he finds mask wearing confusing that running a country is far beyond his peanut brain or stone cold heart ?

  10. Pataua4life 10

    Hi MS

    Get f%^ked, make me.

    And there is your problem.

    • Muttonbird 10.1

      This is a good illustration of the core difference between left and right.

      The left work with each other for the common good. The right say, "get f%^ked, make me".

      • Sacha 10.1.1

        Yet face-to-face they are whinging snowflakes..

      • Pataua4life 10.1.2

        No. It just means no one is still listening to the death cult princess since the predictions of 80k dead etc.

        Covid has lost the room. . Hence they won't go to red it is politically suicide.

        • weka

          Coronavirus could infect 89 per cent of the New Zealand population if left unchecked and up to 80,000 people could die, modelling from researchers at the University of Auckland suggests.

          The same modelling shows the lockdown measures now in place could buy the country more than a year for a vaccine or treatment to be developed.

          However, the research shows that without a vaccine or cure, cases of Covid-19 will still peak well beyond hospital capacity as soon as any lockdown ends.


          my emphasis.

          What I'd like to know is if you are too stupid to understand that we didn't have mass deaths because of the action we took, or if you are just being a disingenuous troll politicising an emergency?

          • Belladonna

            Snap, Weka. Responding at the same time.

          • rightofcentre

            If you go onto the MOH website and look under demographics then you will see that the highest death rate not just by number but also adjusted by percentage puts the boosted as the highest death rate. The non vaccinated sit at equilibrium of 17 % of pop and 17% of death so for you to say the vaccine has saved us does not really weigh up.

            The modelling was and always been laughable if it wasnt criminal in the way it was used to drive fear into the masses. Was any of the modelling correct? I cant recall any even being close and most was off by magnitudes.

            If you think lockdowns have "saved" us then why is the road about to get so bumpy? Because all it did was took from Peter to pay Paul and I can hear the piper coming over the hill wanting his pound of flesh.

            The risk/reward ratio for vaccination of children in my mind does not weigh up at all but I never got the vaccine personally either. I did my own research , looked at the data available and made my decision. TBH I have had hangovers that were worse than my covid experience.

            When the vaccine was first released it promised to eradicate infection ,transmission, hospitalization and death from covid. When it failed to meet these areas people still took it which is somewhat understandable as at the time it was thought to highly alleviate above mentioned but given waning and the fact that selective pressure has forced mutations that are now evading the vaccine I think getting a 4th shot really is an iq test . I would personally not go as far as to say the vaccine does not work but it has certainly not resolved the covid problem nor is it fit for purpose. Sometimes you have a job to do but the only tool you have is a hammer , A hammer can be a tool or a weapon depending upon its application

            • weka

              I didn't say the vaccine saved us I said the pandemic response lowered the death rate compared to letting covid run free. And in 2020, the vaccine wasn't an option, we used other tools.

              If you go onto the MOH website and look under demographics then you will see that the highest death rate not just by number but also adjusted by percentage puts the boosted as the highest death rate. The non vaccinated sit at equilibrium of 17 % of pop and 17% of death so for you to say the vaccine has saved us does not really weigh up.

              You'd have to link if you want that to be taken seriously, but off the top of my head, one theoretical reason for boosted people to have a higher death rate is because they're the group that is more vulnerable to covid death. Instead you want to compared 80 year olds who were boostered compared to 80 years olds who were unvaxxed.

              This is why we need people who understand modelling, data, and the relationship of variables to interpret what is going on. Like I said, link and it will mean something.

              The modelling was and always been laughable if it wasnt criminal in the way it was used to drive fear into the masses. Was any of the modelling correct? I cant recall any even being close and most was off by magnitudes.

              Again, link or it didn't happen. At the moment you are just throwing out politicised reckons.

              If you think lockdowns have "saved" us then why is the road about to get so bumpy? Because all it did was took from Peter to pay Paul and I can hear the piper coming over the hill wanting his pound of flesh.

              Because the virus mutated. In NZ we eliminated covid. The reason we couldn't maintain that for longer was because Delta arrived and was harder to contain. Thanks to countries that let covid run free, we now have an Omicron variant that is even more transmissible and is very good at evading human immunity.

              If on the other hand, we hadn't locked down and hadn't used the vaccine programme, we would have had many, many more deaths, disproportionately among older people, Māori and PI, and disabled people. We would have more long covid. And we would probably have a variant that is worse than anything we've seen thus far.

              TBH I have had hangovers that were worse than my covid experience.

              Fortunately we don't base public health responses on the single anecdotes.

              What do you think is going to happen next? What happens when covid infects people half a dozen times a year? Even if you don't care about the people who die, what about the impact on the work force? What's the long covid rate going to be in a 5 years time? How long will it take for humans to develop some kind of immunity to covid?

              That we cannot answer these questions yet is exactly the reason why we should be taking the precautionary approach.

              • rightofcentre

                Fairplay Im happy to provide links

                COVID-19: Case demographics | Ministry of Health NZ

                And just in case you struggle with basic mathematics a kind soul on reddit donates their time everyday to provide data with percentages

                [15 July] 10,470 community cases; 773 hospitalisations; 14 in ICU; 16 deaths : newzealand (reddit.com)

                The moment I provide evidence that the vaccine isnt meeting its requirements you initiate mental gymnastics to justify the boosted having the highest death rate , which you have the liberty to do but the FACT of the matter is the boosted have the highest death rate. If this were any other vaccine that has been on the market previous you would not have to take that approach as they met their promises and offered effective protection regardless of age. It is a fact that statistically a higher percentage of deaths is among the boosted

                In regards to your second request for link ill just conceded, its not worth debating. You either see it or you dont

                "Fortunately we don't base public health responses on the single anecdotes."

                We seem to selectively ignore science and ethics as well, Should we discuss who is responsible for denying informed consent. Was it our government or Pfizer that didnt notify the recipients of the 9 pages of side effects that were recognized during the trials? Shame it took a court order for the plebs to find out , at least some still have morals

                "Because the virus mutated. In NZ we eliminated covid. The reason we couldn't maintain that for longer was because Delta arrived and was harder to contain. Thanks to countries that let covid run free, we now have an Omicron variant that is even more transmissible and is very good at evading human immunity."

                If we didnt have a leaky vaccine that wasnt fit for purpose do you think this would be a problem? Its not because countries let it run free , its the nature of corona viruses to mutate rapidly and this is a contributing reason that EVERY attempt at a corona vaccine has failed. Its not a problem you can just throw resources at and fix. Id bet my left nut the next one wont offer long term protection as well. If the vaccine was effective there would be no covid issues. The current vaccine is just not fit for purpose. A leaky vaccine can easily do more harm than good (selective pressure)

                Im not sure whats going to happen next but I know its gonna get messy as there is no reprieve in sight and the vaccine is not offering adequate protection in a reliable or predictable way.

                " Even if you don't care about the people who die, what about the impact on the work force?"

                Dont be silly , of course I care about others , Im not a cunt I just have a different point of view than you and share your concerns equally , just differently .

                In regards to immunity , fck knows youre guess is as good as mine but id rather die on my feet than hide from the boogieman for the rest of my days .

                • roblogic

                  That "kind soul on reddit" is bullshitting. Read the reply underneath that post. Your mate “handofthesly” doesn’t appear to understand how to normalise data by population segment.

                  Only 5% of the population is unvaccinated, that is why they "only" had 298 deaths. If 50% of Kiwis were unvaccinated that would translate to 5960 deaths, or 81% of the mortality stats.

                  Luckily most are vaccinated. And (sadly) the high death rates are attributable more to age than vaccine status. The older age groups are highly vaccinated but vaccines have reduced effectiveness in the elderly.

                  You post started off wrong and got worse from there. Please link a reputable medical study that demonstrates that the vaccine is ineffective as you claim.

                  It's a pandemic of arrogance and misinformation as much as anything.

            • Incognito

              Was any of the modelling correct?

              Yes! For example, https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/lately/audio/2018761669/modelling-s-role-in-improving-covid19-contact-tracing

              Because all it did was took from Peter to pay Paul and I can hear the piper coming over the hill wanting his pound of flesh.

              You’re correct that recently the level of excess mortality (deaths) has been higher than baseline. However, in terms of cumulative excess mortality we appear to be still well below baseline levels, i.e., fewer total deaths due to all causes (not just due to COVID-19) here in NZ since the beginning of the pandemic. Unfortunately, this may indeed come to an end.

              I did my own research , looked at the data available and made my decision.

              Spoken like a true RW-er!

              TBH I have had hangovers that were worse than my covid experience.

              That’s not a hangover, it is real-world data trying to get through your thick skull.

              … I think getting a 4th shot really is an iq test . I would personally not go as far as to say the vaccine does not work but it has certainly not resolved the covid problem nor is it fit for purpose.

              Your IQ is not up to it, so just accept that and move on.

              • rightofcentre

                "Spoken like a true RW-er!"

                No spoken like a man who did his due diligence , played his hand and paid his dues. I was absolutely correct , I was fine and it wasnt a big deal

                My IQ is adequate to have a happy life full of wonderful people, thats all I ask for. The rest is fleeting

                Congratulations on doing your own research and finding a model that was accurate, you have shocked me with your intellect

                You may think im thick and my wife would probably agree but im grounded in reality enough to have an honest discussion without having to attack people because they dislike my viewpoint

                • Incognito

                  No spoken like a man who did his due diligence , played his hand and paid his dues. I was absolutely correct , I was fine and it wasnt a big deal

                  Yawn. You really sound like a cocksure RW-er.

                  My IQ is adequate to have a happy life full of wonderful people, thats all I ask for. The rest is fleeting

                  Absolutely agree with you on this!

                  I like your praise of my intellect. Encore!


                  I don’t know you at all and I have no idea whether you’re truly thick or not. I responded in the same language & style as your comment came across, i.e., I disliked your comment.

                  • rightofcentre

                    Intellect is like reality , Its is subjective and bound to the perception of the observer

                    I dont know why you would say yawn , Tis a fact , dont get upset because it differs from your world view. Its a factually accurate statement.

                    EDIT im not actually left or right, Politics is like going to the super market with inflation prices. Im fucked no matter where I look

            • mpledger

              Here is the death data and vaccination status from the MOH:

              303 deaths, not fully vaccinated

              358 deaths, fully vaccinated (but not boosted)

              1123 deaths, fully vaccinated and boosted


              Here is the data on vaccine uptake for the 12+ population

              Not fully vaccinated : 202,800

              Fully Vaccinated but not boosted: 1,335,771

              Fully Vaccinated and not boosted: 2,670,486


              That makes the death rate per 100,000 people for people 12+ as:

              NFV: 303/202800*100000=149 people per 100,000

              FVNB: 358/1,335,771*100000 = 27 people per 100,000

              FV+B: 1123/2,670,486*100,000=45 people per 100,000

              (It's not quite correct because the deaths are 0+ and the pop is 12+ but there are so few 0-12 deaths that it probably isn't too far out).

              And that's given that the people most at risk are likely to be the ones vaccinated + boosted i.e. the elderly and the immuno-compromised.

              Not being vaccinated makes your risk of dying at least 3 time greater then being vaccinated or vaccinated/boosted.

        • Belladonna

          Shaun Hendy (and other University of Auckland modellers) – in 2020.

          Modelling showed that, left unchecked, the virus would infect 89 percent of the population and up to 80,000 people would die.


          Caveat. This was before vaccinations were available – so pre-supposed an entirely unvaccinated population, and no lockdown or other mitigation strategies.

          NZ never had that scenario – so it's all speculation.

          Though I understand that subsequent studies – using real overseas data – challenged these estimated figures.


        • Incognito

          Weka has already responded to this, but just in case you feel ignored here: sometimes, trolls such as you can be useful idiots (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Useful_idiot).

          Let’s go back then to another Covid model, this one from March 2020. It suggested that 80,000 deaths were possible in New Zealand.

          There was no way 80,000 were going to die. But modellers didn’t say that was going to happen. No, they said – based on a range of assumptions – that tens of thousands of people could die if New Zealand did nothing, based on what they knew at the time. (They also said there was great uncertainty around all this).

          Of course, we were always going to do something. Even if the government inexplicably did zilch, people are hardly going to live their normal lives while hundreds of people died of a brand-new virus daily.


        • Poission

          The models were constrained by firstly non pharmaceutical intervention(NPI) such as border control,and lockdown,then masking with emergent strains,and then vaccination (especially with high risk such as the elderly)

          NPI was also used widely in Australia,Asia,as well as NZ along with vaccination.The controls still limit high death rates where all methods are used,when one is not fully used ,say the vaccination parameter the results tend to spike.

          Hong Kong is a good example with vaccination resistance in the elderly (absence of trust in the CCP).


          Comparative variability with NZ/AUS shows the significance of the problem.


          • Belladonna

            Elderly vaccination rate is one factor in HK, but another is the highly crowded living conditions. It does seem as though Covid (like most respiratory viruses) spreads much more efficiently in dense living conditions. Which means that people catch it more quickly, and then overwhelm the hospital system.
            HK 7.5 million in just over 1000 km2.


            • Poission

              The argument does not hold,as Japan with the largest elderly population,high density population centres,fewer lockdowns (then hong kong) by a high rate of vaccination,and simple NPI such as avoiding crowded spaces with poor ventilation,close contact and high masking at any time.

              The result a low death rate,this will also be sustained as tourism whilst open is still constrained by testing requirements.Here we have a jumbo jet a day arriving of covid positive passengers ( 7 day average of around 270 per day)

            • Tricledrown

              The Sinovax maybe also the problem.

        • Patricia Bremner

          Have you looked at the deaths lately?

          "Death cult Princess"

          sadYou are being absolutely silly saying things like that. The people who gave out those number predictions were the modellers, but you know that!!

        • Patricia Bremner

          We could have been Hongkong!! Get real.

          • Belladonna

            Not really. HK is a very different living environment to NZ (highly densely crowded population).

            Better to compare apples with apples. Look to Ireland as an equivalent size population and similar living conditions.

    • newsense 10.2

      Na, just avoid ya. As I have been doing.

    • mickysavage 10.3

      Hi MS

      Get f%^ked, make me.

      And there is your problem.

      I disagree. That comment is a classic example of our problem.

  11. Stuart Munro 11

    I think the best mask advice I saw compared them to underwear.

    • Don't adjust them in public
    • Change them if they become dirty

    And for the Luxon types that need to be told:

    • bits sticking out are not cool
  12. Mike the Lefty 12

    "The world is moving on….."

    From politicians that is usually another way of saying "I don't care (about some particular issue) anymore.

    In this case it is daily deaths from COVID.

    What Luxon (and many others on the political right) are actually saying is that a couple of dozen deaths per day from COVID no longer worry their consciences.

    It has become just another statistic, along with suicide, heart disease and motor vehicle accident deaths.

    When politicians are no longer prepared to fight against an unseen viral enemy and accept it as a fact of life we should be very wary of voting for such people.

    I'm all right Jack!

    • JO 12.1

      "The world is moving on….."

      From politicians that is usually another way of saying "I don't care (about some particular issue) anymore.

      More than that, I think that can also be a way of saying 'This issue isn't producing enough political mileage now, people are starting to see through our complexing of it. We need to happen to tomorrow by yesterday so let's pivot to something more optically promising.'

      Then there's often the person found out in an indiscretion who believes they have a reputation to uphold – or whatever 'team' they act for believes that. Lots of money can be involved.

  13. Graeme 13

    It'll be interesting to compare National's attitude to COVID with their predictable response to the arrival of Foot and Mouth in the country, courtesy of PKE imports, or a rural person's winter holiday, from Malaysia or Indonesia.

    Very real risk at present that's going to throw up some unfortunate contradictory responses from Mr Luxon.

  14. Tricledrown 14

    The Rugby tests against Ireland recently will cause a massive super spread hardly anyone wearing masks shouting and jeering in a confined space .I was harassed for wearing my mask. lucky if 1 in 500 were wearing masks. In wellington i did not see anyone wearing a mask.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 14.1

      I was harassed for wearing my mask. lucky if 1 in 500 were wearing masks.

      Mate…you were the 1 in 500 with a Brain. Good on you. And respect for being (sadly, “brave” as well : (!

  15. Drowsy M. Kram 15

    Since a spike of 35 tragic deaths on 29 March 2022, the Kiwi COVID death rate has averaged ~2.8 per million per day, compared to Aussie's 1.5 deaths / million / day.

    Maybe it's a difference of definitions/demographics/disadvantage, and Aussie's health system is better resourced, but, whatever the reason(s), if current daily death rates hold then NZ's 'Deaths/1M pop' (352) will overtake Aussie's (410) towards the end of August.

    When we fall short in the uptake of simple public health measures like masking, what hope that any commonsense behavioural changes will enjoy optimal buy-in?

    The Other Side: Why I will still be masking [21 June 2022]
    Exhibit One, February 2020. It was clear even in the early days of COVID, that we were facing a respiratory virus that spread quickly by coughing, sneezing, even during quiet breathing from infected to non-infected people. Rather than own up to the deadly consequences of not having enough masks, or admitting that every American should protect themselves by masking and stopping the spread, even the new Surgeon General played politics: "Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS!"

    Mask lesson hard learned [15 July 2022]
    "We’ve just got some data from looking at some of the schools in New Zealand that kept their mask mandates and they’ve had far fewer illnesses and staff illnesses than those schools that said it was OK to only wear them if you wanted to wear them so we know they work but there are a lot of people pushing back against that.” Dr Wiles says.

  16. RedLogix 16

    I have been fit tested several times for respirator use, and I am very familiar with the Hierarchy of Controls for hazard management. Last year I was working on a site that had an especially dangerous hazard in one area and we were all trained intensively on this topic.

    I have mostly kept out of the mask debate until now. As far as I am concerned however this person – who is a bona-fide expert in the field of Industrial Hygiene is correct. They do not work.


  17. Drowsy M. Kram 17

    These days I never leave home without a fresh KN95 mask but sometime forget to put it on, so seeing others wearing masks is really helpful – reminds me to put mine on, and that we've (still) got a pandemic on our hands.

    Will be interesting to see where consensus expert opinion fetches up re masking during this pandemic, but ‘mask resistance’ is nothing new. I suspect there's also more than a few who loudly and proudly proclaim their distain for physical distancing and the simple washing of hands – oh that we could wash our hands of them!

    The case for masking up while dining out – yes, still [18 July 2022]
    During her press conference, Verrall underscored the importance of masks. “Wearing masks can reduce new cases of the virus by as much as 53%. We are asking New Zealanders to keep up good mask wearing, especially over the remaining winter months where the virus is more likely to pass in indoor settings,” she said.

    Covid-19 expert urges public to mask up, save lives [16 July 2022]
    "It doesn't reflect reality. If we are apathetic and complacent then yes, we certainly increase our chances of getting Covid. But it's not a certainty. People do not have to get Covid."

    Covid 19 coronavirus: Govt putting politics ahead of science on mask mandate, says Michael Baker [14 July 2022]
    "It's almost like we're denying transmission happens at schools which is bizarre."
    "I think people will look back in horror at our laissez-faire approach to this."

    COVID-19: Ashley Bloomfield's message to those who don't like wearing masks [14 July 2022]
    Dr Bloomfield said correctly wearing an appropriate mask such as a surgical or N95 mask can reduce your chance of infection by at least 50 percent.

    Mask Resistance During a Pandemic Isn’t New – in 1918 Many Americans Were ‘Slackers’ [29 October 2020]


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