COVID comparing

Legend
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Hey- thought I’d post here rather than the season thread. 
Legend
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Marto
coochiee
Having to do 2 weeks MIQ will definitely be starting to look unattractive now, for most visa players with families, given yes Europe has a lot more freedom that same time last year.
Have to say that with life almost back to normal here in the UK and Europeans being able to travel across Europe, a locked down Australasia looks very unattractive. Europe is looking ahead, not back while NZ and Aus are where we were this time last year in Europe. Tortoise (Europe) and hare (NZ) analogies come to mind here.

It's been great being able to go to packed football games here again.

Dude, the crowing of the British at getting down to only killing a hundred or so people every day from COVID is not a speed thing, it’s a choice. 
Anyway I’ll put this in off topic so as to not go all in here. But that fewer people have died in over a year than are dying on a daily basis, just in Britain, shows the different priorities of the countries. 
Legend
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yeah I think comparing us to the UK/US and Australia and suggesting that they are doing it better is odd. It depends, of course, on the measure of success you are using. If you are looking at openness and non-lockdowns and current economic spend then sure those countries are "better" (I actually think the numbers for economic growth during covid favour us but I dont have the figures). If you are looking at it from a health perspective and COVID deaths/infection by population then we win hands down.
Marquee
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Doloras
Boris Johnson's government have successfully sold the line that it doesn't matter if hundreds of people continue to die every week if they can keep going to packed football games. We know what happens to a country where "it doesn't matter if those people die as long as my life is normal" becomes accepted.
1 hour ago Doloras

UK has done many things wrong re Covid, but current deaths mid summer seem around 100 per day or below. Most of them unvaccinated folk. Anti vaxxers or in many cases people who want to die, eg dementia sufferers and the like whose families make the hard decision not to get them vaccinated as their quality of life is so poor, it’s for the best they pass on. Talk to anyone who works in aged/palitative care, and this later scenario is more common than you think. The number of double vaccinated people dying is tiny. 

You can debate this til the cows come home but I feel elimination with the Delta strain is now a pipe dream. Last week Ashley said he hoped Oz would return to an elimination strategy, but such talk is now laughable over here in Aussie. It's all about getting vaccinated, and learning to live with the virus, hopefully at low levels in the community. NZ can hang in there and try for elimination as long as possible, which do understand in a way, but you risk then keeping your borders mostly shut for a long long time.

The good Covid vaccines (AV, Pfizer, Moderna) are proving very very effective in stopping people from dying. They are are however for the moment nowhere near as effective in stopping the disease from still transmitting. That's unlike the Measles vaccine which not only protects folk, but leads to basically nil transmission. Hence why a Covid elimination strategy is unlikely to succeed, in the short/medium term. In the longer term maybe vaccines will prove to be almost 100% effective, in stopping transmission.

Legend
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I have difficulty taking anything Scomo or BoJo say regarding COVID (regarding anything to be honest) given their lax responses to the virus and the loose attitude to people dying. When our health advisors start saying "sure we can live with this now" then I'll be more inclined to feel lockdowns are unnecessary. Our hard and fast approach has worked thus far, once we have 80-90% vaccinated then we can expect less lockdowns and actually live with the virus. I dont expect it beforehand.
Legend
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coochiee
Doloras
Boris Johnson's government have successfully sold the line that it doesn't matter if hundreds of people continue to die every week if they can keep going to packed football games. We know what happens to a country where "it doesn't matter if those people die as long as my life is normal" becomes accepted.
1 hour ago Doloras

UK has done many things wrong re Covid, but current deaths mid summer seem around 100 per day or below. Most of them unvaccinated folk. Anti vaxxers or in many cases people who want to die, eg dementia sufferers and the like whose families make the hard decision not to get them vaccinated as their quality of life is so poor, it’s for the best they pass on. Talk to anyone who works in aged/palitative care, and this later scenario is more common than you think. The number of double vaccinated people dying is tiny. 

You can debate this til the cows come home but I feel elimination with the Delta strain is now a pipe dream. Last week Ashley said he hoped Oz would return to an elimination strategy, but such talk is now laughable over here in Aussie. It's all about getting vaccinated, and learning to live with the virus, hopefully at low levels in the community. NZ can hang in there and try for elimination as long as possible, which do understand in a way, but you risk then keeping your borders mostly shut for a long long time.

The good Covid vaccines (AV, Pfizer, Moderna) are proving very very effective in stopping people from dying. They are are however for the moment nowhere near as effective in stopping the disease from still transmitting. That's unlike the Measles vaccine which not only protects folk, but leads to basically nil transmission. Hence why a Covid elimination strategy is unlikely to succeed, in the short/medium term. In the longer term maybe vaccines will prove to be almost 100% effective, in stopping transmission.


You are confusing what an elimination strategy is, helped by the fact that ScoMo and Gladys are too.

Here’s Gordon Campbell reporting on what the Doherty research actually said:
Footnote Two : Want a really good example of how politicians twist the Covid research to serve their own ends? In Australia, modelling by the Doherty Institute showed that the number of Covid cases had to be reduced before a vaccination -based strategy could be effective. As the Australian Broadcasting Corporation noted, New South Wales governor Gladys Berejiklian chose to use the Doherty data to open up, and promote a “ learn to live with Covid” message. Using the same data, Victoria’s premier Dan Andrews said it confirmed the necessity to get the case numbers down and vaccination levels higher, before thinking of opening up any further.

https://werewolf.co.nz/2021/08/gordon-campbell-on-how-delta-has-changed-the-endgame-for-the-pandemic-2/

In other words, you can’t just mess up, have a thousand cases and then decide that it’s going to be a vaccination only strategy. The 70% number for effective vaccination only works if you don’t have an outbreak. 

Elimination is different to eradication. It’s given NZ two good summers and hopefully it’s going to put NZ in the best place to transition without undue loss of life. Doing what NSW has done which is screw up and then go, there’s no alternative now reminds me of the Nix playing Toto!
Legend
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But yeh it’s making a mess of the A league. Good on you for bringing the argy-bargy over here and hopefully we can get back to figuring our transfers and football chat over there. 
Legend
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Didn’t even read my own sources properly: here’s the rest of that paragraph. 80% vaccination the presumed threshold. Anyway the 5 people picnic in a month isn’t exactly a free and normal life! And I don’t think this would lead to open borders. Not even the UK has those completely. A higher vaccination rate than 80% will be required for freer movement, IMO. Rest of quote below:

Berejiklian : ” As the Doherty report says, once you get to 80 per cent double dose and you have to open up, everyone will have to learn to live with Delta. In New South Wales, we are learning that earlier than others.”

Andrews : In Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews said the only way to ease restrictions would be to have “cases down, and vaccination up” [Andrews] said…the modelling from the Doherty Institute that underpins the plan required “very few cases” to be circulating.

For what its worth, the Doherty Institute said that Andrews was correct, but that the Covid cases didn’t need to be brought right back down to zero.’


Marquee
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By pursuing our strategy NZ has spent less per GDP on stimulus than Australia, the UK, or Canada, about 3x less than the US, and several times less than Japan yet has outgrown all the above (in fact top four growth in the world). 

We've had the lowest rating on the covid restriction stringency index for most of the year (i.e. most freedoms in the world).

By keeping covid out we saved our economy, we borrowed less, we saved our liberties and freedoms, we saved lives, and we bought ourselves time and gave ourselves options. I think we've outperformed all expectations on all levels.

There's no debating we have to "learn to live with it" there was even an online panel with the government and epidemiologists on how we'll do it a few weeks ago (in Q1 next year once everyone has had the opportunity to be vaccinated the border starts re-opening) but we can do it in a way that we control.

Sucks for the Nix, sucks for the airlines and kiwis stuck overseas, but better for NZ as a whole.
Marquee
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Ryan
By pursuing our strategy NZ has spent less per GDP on stimulus than Australia, the UK, or Canada, about 3x less than the US, and several times less than Japan yet has outgrown all the above (in fact top four growth in the world). 

We've had the lowest rating on the covid restriction stringency index for most of the year (i.e. most freedoms in the world).

By keeping covid out we saved our economy, we borrowed less, we saved our liberties and freedoms, we saved lives, and we bought ourselves time and gave ourselves options. I think we've outperformed all expectations on all levels.

There's no debating we have to "learn to live with it" there was even an online panel with the government and epidemiologists on how we'll do it a few weeks ago (in Q1 next year once everyone has had the opportunity to be vaccinated the border starts re-opening) but we can do it in a way that we control.

Sucks for the Nix, sucks for the airlines and kiwis stuck overseas, but better for NZ as a whole.

What you say makes a lot of sense. I just detest the thought of the unvaccinated (once everyone has had the opportunity to be double jabbed), effectively slowing down things 'opening up'.

With Pine & Voerman commenting on different threads above, if Ashley B jumps in here with his two cents worth I wouldn't be shocked.
tradition and history
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The problem is that there are too many people that want the lockdowns to continue plus the anti vaxers. They seem to thing that there is an endless amount of money that the government  will keep throwing at it. They are happy to live in their rabbit hole.
I have met such people and there is no common sense at all.
I certainly don't want to live the rest of my life like that.
Legend
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Leggy
The problem is that there are too many people that want the lockdowns to continue plus the anti vaxers. They seem to thing that there is an endless amount of money that the government  will keep throwing at it. They are happy to live in their rabbit hole.
I have met such people and there is no common sense at all.
I certainly don't want to live the rest of my life like that.

While I'm not vaccinated (yet) and until we reach the 80-90% level of vaccinated across the country then I'd expect lockdowns to continue, as this is the most effective way of stopping transmission. Virus cant reproduce it dies out!
Hopefully with enough people vaccinated if and when COVID comes back it will only require those who get sick to isolate for a short time and the rest of the country keeps moving. That's how I see the "live with it" working. We are not there yet and will probably only get there by the end of the year. The Aussies/US/UK trying live with it with lower than 80% vaxxed is just plain arrogance and recklessness for mine.
tradition and history
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Denmark only has a 71% vac rate yet they are lifting all restrictions so the country can get back to 'normal 'life' This is the only way to go.
What happens if NZ only gets to 70% as the other 30% refuse to get the vac. Do you make it mandatory or do you still keep going into lockdown. Countries cannot survive continuous lockdowns as they will cripple the economy.  
theprof
Leggy
The problem is that there are too many people that want the lockdowns to continue plus the anti vaxers. They seem to thing that there is an endless amount of money that the government  will keep throwing at it. They are happy to live in their rabbit hole.
I have met such people and there is no common sense at all.
I certainly don't want to live the rest of my life like that.

While I'm not vaccinated (yet) and until we reach the 80-90% level of vaccinated across the country then I'd expect lockdowns to continue, as this is the most effective way of stopping transmission. Virus cant reproduce it dies out!
Hopefully with enough people vaccinated if and when COVID comes back it will only require those who get sick to isolate for a short time and the rest of the country keeps moving. That's how I see the "live with it" working. We are not there yet and will probably only get there by the end of the year. The Aussies/US/UK trying live with it with lower than 80% vaxxed is just plain arrogance and recklessness for mine.
Legend
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whatever the percentage that the science says is ok I'm happy with. Obviously a 30% vax rate aint gonna cut it. If 70% is the goal then sweet. If the science says we can open carefully when we are at this target then lets get it done. either way, our current lock down approach has been more effective economically and health wise than UK, US and Aus - i.e. the three we tend to compare ourselves to.

According to the Hipkins today 79% of eligible adults have either had or are booked to receive vaccine. So in theory we should reach that mark or better by the end of the year which means moving to a more to "normality". 
Appiah without the pace
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It amazes me how many people love death.
Marquee
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Leggy
Denmark only has a 71% vac rate yet they are lifting all restrictions so the country can get back to 'normal 'life' This is the only way to go.
What happens if NZ only gets to 70% as the other 30% refuse to get the vac. Do you make it mandatory or do you still keep going into lockdown. Countries cannot survive continuous lockdowns as they will cripple the economy.  
theprof
Leggy
The problem is that there are too many people that want the lockdowns to continue plus the anti vaxers. They seem to thing that there is an endless amount of money that the government  will keep throwing at it. They are happy to live in their rabbit hole.
I have met such people and there is no common sense at all.
I certainly don't want to live the rest of my life like that.

While I'm not vaccinated (yet) and until we reach the 80-90% level of vaccinated across the country then I'd expect lockdowns to continue, as this is the most effective way of stopping transmission. Virus cant reproduce it dies out!
Hopefully with enough people vaccinated if and when COVID comes back it will only require those who get sick to isolate for a short time and the rest of the country keeps moving. That's how I see the "live with it" working. We are not there yet and will probably only get there by the end of the year. The Aussies/US/UK trying live with it with lower than 80% vaxxed is just plain arrogance and recklessness for mine.
We cross that bridge when we come to it, but modeling that I've seen shows that delta needs 90% vaccination rate.

Based on registrations it looks like we'll hit 80% pretty easily (I think it was 76% of people over the age of 30 had registered for a vaccine), above that is where it gets tougher. Australia seems to think that 70% is enough to re-open, no doubt our modelers and scientists are watching what happens in these countries.
Marquee
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2ndBest
It amazes me how many people love death.

True, but your view can also be very different if you own a business that's had it's income decimated in the pandemic, and your mental health is under incredible strain. Or maybe you have been separated from your partner/kids for over 12 months.

You will have a different view of it all, than someone who has a very safe public servant job, and who's biggest inconvenience may have been missing out on your free weekly govt funded shoulder massage.

Folks have had to deal with Covid in all different sorts of ways, and alot of good people have had their lives completely fudgeed over. Still all anti vaxxers should be made to try out a ventilator for fun.
Marquee
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coochiee
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It amazes me how many people love death.

True, but your view can also be very different if you own a business that's had it's income decimated in the pandemic, and your mental health is under incredible strain.

You may have a different view of it all, than someone who has a very save public servant job, and who's biggest inconvenience may have been missing out on your free weekly govt funded shoulder massage.

Folks have had to deal with Covid in all different sorts of ways. Still all anti vaxxers should be made to try out a ventilator for fun.
While covid hit some sectors pretty hard the economy as a whole grew. Most people I know were absolutely flat out coming into lockdown. 
Marquee
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What will be interesting in NZ, is if the Auckland lockdown drags on & on, and people start to exhibit a bit of anger. Both with the lockdown & slowness of the vaccine rollout. 

You think some of those folks won't be pissed off if the NZ Govt, says we will still go into lockdowns even at 70% vaccination rate? It would be very naive not to expect push back from some parts of the popn, and rules just being blatantly broken. Kiwis are a pretty obedient lot, but you will be coming into summer and for sure a number of folks just won't behave.

Then the utopia of Covid elimination just disappears as per Sydney, as the horse is bolted. Fancy the next few weeks in Auckland, are absolutely critical to how it pans out overall in NZ. 
tradition and history
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All the people that think they things are rosy in business and jobs
Forecasting a loss of 250000 jobs.
 https://www.infometrics.co.nz/examining-the-nz-industries-hit-hardest-by-the-covid-19-pandemic/
Legend
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Again, elimination is not a utopia, it’s keeping the virus out to give us time to get vaccinated and keep our medical system afloat m.
New Zealand is doing this because, along with what should be a scandal in MIQ, it is hugely popular.
So far there has been a year or more of basically normal life, economic growth and a couple of summer holidays.
As someone offshore who has spent the last 4-5 public holidays at home with the possibility of the medical system getting overloaded, I’m amazed at my social media. Here there is no guarantee that an ambulance will get accepted by a hospital. 
This isn’t exactly most kiwis or Aussies idea of freedom. 

Appiah without the pace
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Leggy
All the people that think they things are rosy in business and jobs
Forecasting a loss of 250000 jobs.
 https://www.infometrics.co.nz/examining-the-nz-industries-hit-hardest-by-the-covid-19-pandemic/

That's a forecast from April 2020 which has proven to be completely wrong.
Employed_people_in_New_Zealand.png 36.6 KB
Appiah without the pace
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I'd also like to know where to get this government funded weekly shoulder massage.
Marquee
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It amazes me how many people love death.
 But what if I gave you death AND an even worse economy than elimination?
Legend
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Leggy
All the people that think they things are rosy in business and jobs
Forecasting a loss of 250000 jobs.
 https://www.infometrics.co.nz/examining-the-nz-industries-hit-hardest-by-the-covid-19-pandemic/

given we are currently ay 4% or lower unemployment and employers are struggling to find workers I'd say anyone who wants to work should have no trouble finding work.
Legend
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aitkenmike
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It amazes me how many people love death.
 But what if I gave you death AND an even worse economy than elimination?

like the UK, Aus and the US? All 3 have had massive deaths and their economies have faltered, we on the other hand have had minimal loss of life and our economy is doing ok.
Marquee
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theprof
aitkenmike
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It amazes me how many people love death.
 But what if I gave you death AND an even worse economy than elimination?

like the UK, Aus and the US? All 3 have had massive deaths and their economies have faltered, we on the other hand have had minimal loss of life and our economy is doing ok.
Are still having massive deaths, economy sill struggling. Parts are going back into lockdown, even conservative states like Texas face with reality every now and then, like they had to suspend school because teachers were dying of covid.
tradition and history
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Something newer.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/300243922/covid-reality-bites-business-closures-spike-130pc
Marquee
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Ryan
theprof
aitkenmike
2ndBest
It amazes me how many people love death.
 But what if I gave you death AND an even worse economy than elimination?

like the UK, Aus and the US? All 3 have had massive deaths and their economies have faltered, we on the other hand have had minimal loss of life and our economy is doing ok.
Are still having massive deaths, economy sill struggling. Parts are going back into lockdown, even conservative states like Texas face with reality every now and then, like they had to suspend school because teachers were dying of covid.

Pointless comparing NZ in any shape or form to the US of A, thank god. Apart from throwing millions at vaccine research and a fast rollout, is nothing we can learn from that Covid basket case. When not wearing a mask which could save your life, becomes your way of making a political statement............


Legend
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Leggy
Something newer.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/300243922/covid-reality-bites-business-closures-spike-130pc

that headline picks one stat out of the article.
The number of new businesses opening last September to November was up 8 per cent to 19,906.

“There have been more liquidations compared with any other time in the last five years, but we’re not yet close to the peaks reached between 2008 and 2011 during the aftermath of the GFC.”

Lester said it took a while before people got to the point of closing a business or liquidating.

“What we are seeing is people in Queenstown, Wanaka, the West Coast of the South Island, Te Anau, these areas are heavily affected … the longer this goes on, the worse it will get and compound. We’re far from being out of the woods, it will take time.”

He said the impact was so far not as severe as in the global financial crisis, nor as bad as had been expected.
So whilst it is obviously not great for the business people that have to close, on a big picture scale its not as bad as the GFC.

As you'd expect, tourism businesses are hurting, particularly the ones that relied on internationals coming here. It's not helpful to harp on about it but the old adage of "diversify or die" seems apt. Relying on one source of income is really narrow minded and not a long term survivable option.

Marquee
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Nothing West Coasters like more, than to be told by folks in Wellington or Auckland that they are narrow minded. 

Had a bit to do with Kit Richards many years ago, a passionate educated West Coaster heavily involved in Timberlands which aimed to harvest beech forest on the West Coast. 

Type of small sustainable forestry helicopter low impact harvesting targeting certain specific beech species, where if you flew over the forest slowly in a copter you'd struggle to see anything different. Some of the profits to be used in possum/pest control management to protect native bird life etc. A project that was going to add hundreds of long term well paid jobs to the Coast - something the region badly needed. With much of the workforce passionate about and hugely experienced in the NZ bush. A project that would have less impact on the environment than bringing in thousands of free camping international tourists to the Coast each year. Bearing in mind many tourist workers are on pitifully low wages.

Timberlands sadly destroyed by Helen Clark kotowing to the urban Green element of NZ, who really had no idea of what it was about. So yes Coasters love to be lectured by urban NZ, on what they should do.

What a other markets a small tourism operator in Hokitika can diversify into I'm sure they are gagging to know.
Marquee
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There's a few things about tourism.
1. Even if the borders were open and we had the same sort of covid restrictions that they have overseas tourist numbers would be well down on normal and they'll struggle.

2. About as many kiwis go overseas as foreigners come here so closed borders means more domestic money goes into tourism (a lot of tourism businesses are doing well and the great walks sold out in a record time). It would be interesting to know how a reduction in income from open borders (with reduced international travel demand and added domestic covid restrictions) compares to the reduction in income from closing borders but having local tourists and more freedoms. I'd imagine it's not as cut and dry as you think.

3. Tourism, as it has been run, is unsustainable, unless airlines find some sort of scalable green technology, tourism companies were going to have to change the way they operate anyway. This is a good opportunity to use government funding to re-structure the industry.
First Team Squad
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coochiee
Nothing West Coasters like more, than to be told by folks in Wellington or Auckland that they are narrow minded. 

Had a bit to do with Kit Richards many years ago, a passionate educated West Coaster heavily involved in Timberlands which aimed to harvest beech forest on the West Coast. 

Type of small sustainable forestry helicopter low impact harvesting targeting certain specific beech species, where if you flew over the forest slowly in a copter you'd struggle to see anything different. Some of the profits to be used in possum/pest control management to protect native bird life etc. A project that was going to add hundreds of long term well paid jobs to the Coast - something the region badly needed. With much of the workforce passionate about and hugely experienced in the NZ bush. A project that would have less impact on the environment than bringing in thousands of free camping international tourists to the Coast each year. Bearing in mind many tourist workers are on pitifully low wages.

Timberlands sadly destroyed by Helen Clark kotowing to the urban Green element of NZ, who really had no idea of what it was about. So yes Coasters love to be lectured by urban NZ, on what they should do.

What a other markets a small tourism operator in Hokitika can diversify into I'm sure they are gagging to know.
I agree, tourism as it was run is unsustainable. I live in a tourist town that not so long ago, 10-15 years ago relied on domestic tourism to survive. We need to reset our expectations to that level again. As to West Coast. Cycle touring is becoming hugely popular, especially now with e-bikes. Hokikika is in a prime location with some fantastic new tracks being established in that region.
Marquee
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Ryan
There's a few things about tourism.
1. Even if the borders were open and we had the same sort of covid restrictions that they have overseas tourist numbers would be well down on normal and they'll struggle.

2. About as many kiwis go overseas as foreigners come here so closed borders means more domestic money goes into tourism (a lot of tourism businesses are doing well and the great walks sold out in a record time). It would be interesting to know how a reduction in income from open borders (with reduced international travel demand and added domestic covid restrictions) compares to the reduction in income from closing borders but having local tourists and more freedoms. I'd imagine it's not as cut and dry as you think.

3. Tourism, as it has been run, is unsustainable, unless airlines fine some sort of scalable green technology, they were going to have to change the way they opperate anyway. This is a good opportunity to use government funding to re-structure the industry.

As long as flights are not overly more expensive than pre Covid, the flight journey itself is not too difficult (ie normal routes via LA, Singers, Dubai etc are open) and overseas tourists can arrive in NZ without 2 weeks MIQ - they will come. NZ's low Covid cases will make it feel even safer and more attractive than ever.

And whilst closed borders have forced many Kiwis to look to home rather than overseas for their holidays, that will wane quickly for many. The person who gets their exciting travel kick out of 3 weeks in Paris or Tuscancy or Thailand - may rather spend that $20K on a home reno/spa, finding anything NZ has to offer is not really for them - or they have really done it all before in small Aotearoa.
Marquee
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If we had open borders we wouldn't have few cases and we'd have in place covid restrictions.  The normal routes have only been opened recently, for the bulk of last year it's been pretty challenging to travel and transit. 
Legend
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Please do not listen to Joe Rogan.
Starting XI
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theprof

Yup, and the absolute idiot took Ivermectin to try cure it - because he doesn't trust the vaccine.

Listening to Joe Rogan actively makes you dumber. Don't listen to Joe Rogan.
Marquee
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Nelfoos
theprof

Yup, and the absolute idiot took Ivermectin to try cure it - because he doesn't trust the vaccine.

Listening to Joe Rogan actively makes you dumber. Don't listen to Joe Rogan.
Saw a meme the other day that went something like 'putting the microchip in horse dewormer in the end was a stroke of genius!" or something to that effect. Almost choked on a drink as I read it! 
Such a sad world we're living in when people think two hours on Facebook and Google can provide more effective research than people with phDs who have based their entire careers in the field of microbiology or infectious diseases.
I've been listening to/reading a lot of commentary on conspiracy theories (I recommend the professional debubker SciManDan and the Armchair Expert podcast episode with David Farrier), and it is so alarming to witness how easily misinformation is spread (and gobbled up by non skeptical people) these days. 

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over 6 years
Legend
when you say a messy next few months do you mean thousands of new cases and more deaths = messy? In any language that is a shambles.
NZ will reach 70% vaxxed at the same time and have successfully eliminated Covid from the community.
2 hours ago

First a disclaimer. I'm both fully vaccinated (AZ), plus I've had Covid. Also my mum is a retired nurse who spent the last 10 years of her 50 year nursing career, as the flu vaccination specialist at her old Sunshine Coast, QLD clinic. So had a few interesting yarns to her last few months, since I've been over here in QLD. We got our vaccines here on the same day.

I was in Peru, until October last year. I witnessed Covid up close at it's worse. It killed the grandfather of my twin girls, September last year. Bloody awful time. Typical stoic older guy, who didn't complain much. Just said he was a bit unwell, by the time we acted by taking him to the hospital, was too late. We had to rent an expensive ventilator from a private business and bring it to the hospital on the other side of Lima, to give him a chance. The medical system there was overwhelmed.

Took 3 weeks to die. He never came home. There was no funeral - which for strong Catholics is especially tough. He never saw his wife of 49 years again. There were no goodbyes. Just one of their sons (twin's uncle), visiting hospital daily, to view him through a glass window thrashing around unconscious on his bed. A sharkhouse situation repeated all over the world.

He was a mild diabetic, but otherwise in good health. Still playing 5 aside football with his mates until 2 years ago. I'd guess he could have lived another 10 years, which seems a common comment about Covid in countries where has been a lot of deaths.

For me I had that weird lose of taste sensation. So yipe worried, got tested in Lima (blood test), which somehow came back negative. I actually tested positive later in MIQ in ChCh, and by then my viral load was low - ie 'historical' positive result.

So yes I'm more relaxed about Covid being fully vaccinated, plus some natural antibodies. And yes understand that anyone who is unvaccinated and/or has underlying medical issues, could be very scared of this disease. It ain't a normal flu, and it ain't a hoax. There is also someone on this forum (in Japan??) who has/has had 'long covid', which sounds awful.

But has now got to the situation in NSW & VIC, where they have to look to 'open up'.  Lockdowns are killing people's mental health. Over 70% of the adult popn now in NSW have had min one dose of the vaccine. By mid-end October that will be over 70% fully vaccinated. Over 70% of adults (likely to reach 80%) will have made a choice to protect themselves against this deadly disease.

The vaccines are proving highly effective in stopping people from dying. Not as effective at 100% stopping people from getting the disease (so not as effective as the Measles vaccine), but highly highly effective in saving lives. My strong view is you are an idiot for not getting vaccinated. That's apart from that small number of people, who's health could be at risk from the actual vaccine.

Have a friend in Melbourne, who's been through breast cancer (double mastectomy) and a some other serious health issues (breast implants leaking etc). She had moved to a very natural/non synthetic lifestyle which improved her health. So she's understandably reluctant in many ways to take Covid vaccine. But finally this week she has decided to do it. She and her hubby are just mentally drained from long lockdowns (Melbs is in it's 6th!!).

However is no way NSW & VIC should be fully opened up until every adult over 16, has had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated. But once that has happened, you have to move to opening up. The disease is now endemic in these states, the elimination window is well gone.

Thousands of cases shouldn't be scary, as by far most people who test positive won't need hospital treatment. To be brutally cruelly honest I personally won't have a lot of sympathy for anti vaxxers who end up dying of Covid. You have made a personal choice, you need to live with that personal choice. I will sympathise with medical staff if hospitals do start to get crowded with Covid patients. Maybe there needs to be a brutal law that if you choose to be unvaccinated, and get Covid you can't then go to hospital, ie get treated at home with all the Ivermectin you want.

But hospitals should be fully resourced (medical budgets increased), staff salaries increased etc - if seems that hospital cases are stretching the system. Halting lockdowns will help the economy, some of that needs to flow through to improving the medical systems. I know this is tricky, and hospital systems can't be improved overnight, but this is basically crux of the whole situation now, that VIC and NSW especially will initially face.

In 2017 the flu killed 1,255 people in Australia. Maybe that was called messy, I can't remember. But a few thousand Covid deaths a year for the next few years may just have to be accepted. As I've posted elsewhere some families who hold POA over a loved one suffering from dementia etc, will just not allow them to get vaccinated. So amongst those Covid death stats, will be some people, who's families have made the tough choice that death is a blessing. That's always been the case, with flu annual vaccinations, and is more common than you think. Ask anyone working in aged/pallative care.

Otherwise most people over here, come March/April next year will get the flu jab in one arm, and the Covid booster jab in the other. Plus will continue to do the now standard stuff of masks on public transport/planes, regular hand washing, and social distancing where possible. That will become the way of life.

QLD, WA & NZ should totally do what is best for them. If that means staying as little 'Hermit Kingdoms' as long as they want, fair enough.

But don't get too smug in Aotearoa. What has happened in Sydney & Melbs, could happen in Auckland. As long as there are mystery cases the lockdown will drag on & on. Kiwis are generally obedient (a good thing with Covid), but the longer any lockdown(s) drag on, some will start to misbehave. All those vaccinated Boomers won't be happy if they can't put their dingy in the Hauraki Gulf, come summer. Secret church gatherings could pop up in Sth Auckland. Maybe a young Jewish couple will throw an illegal engagement party. But the longer mystery cases keep popping up, the greater the chance the elimination dream will end. Delta is highly highly transmissable, and NZ may just find that it too ends up eventually in an endemic situation.

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