The Covid Virus has mutated and is now 6 times more infectious…
The worst fears of epidemiologists have been realised: Covid-19 has mutated, and the strain now dominating the world is up to six times more infectious.
New research published in the science journal Cell cites laboratory research as identifying small changes in the proteins that protrude from the surface of the Covid-19 virus. These changes, which have evolved during the past six months, enhance its abilities to jump between humans – but have not increased or reduced its symptoms.
…moving forward we need to appreciate there can be no new ‘normal’. The virus can re-emerge at any time and a heavy handed trace-track-quarantine infrastructure must be in place until a vaccine is available, and I say that acknowledging that there is no certainty of a vaccine nor how we would even manage to roll out what would be the largest mass medication program the planet has ever seen.
For New Zealand that means the borders must remain shut amputating migrant workers, international students and the tourism industry.
The economic depression this pandemic causes is the second wave of this tsunami after the loss of lives. the Government has protected us from the first, it now must focus on the latter and that will demand a Labour Party brave enough to challenge the sleeping dogs of the neoliberal debate that almost destroyed the Party in the 1980s.
The foundations of the 35 year neoliberal experiment in NZ have been exposed an found to be cracked to their core, with the climate crisis demanding a radical change, this pandemic is the perfect time to challenge the religious orthodoxy of free market dogma.
Our moat has saved us and our tyranny of distance is our protection. Why the hell would we put at risk our Covid free status so the exploitation of international students, migrant workers and unsustainable hyper tourism can occur again? Why would any of us give up the sudden easing of the gridlock we’ve all suffered under because of hyper tourism? Why allow the Landlords to put their foot back on our throats by allowing International Students and Migrant workers to desperately queue for our rental homes?
Here are some thoughts I have had as to how we keep the country afloat until a vaccine is found (3 years-5 years away).
The new Artistic State – 200 000 Artists:
We used to have an artists benefit, time to bring it back until there’s a vaccine. $490 a week for making art. You would have to bring Art to apply for it and monthly you would need to show what art you’ve made, be it poetry, short stories, painting, music, dancing let’s bring a tsunami of artists into our culture. We know the never ending growth model isn’t sustainable, wouldn’t 200 000 artists be the kind of counter to that zero sum game?
The Artisan economy – tax penalties and tax amnesty:
Allow for domestic manufacturing and design. Allow people to become artisans in the product they are selling. Lower tax penalties and provide a tax amnesty as entrepreneurs get out of their current business model and take the risks to build something new. Glass blowing, Flax weaving, Jewellery, farmers markets – things that will need to get manufactured here because plastic junk in a 2$ shop isn’t sustainable.
We urgently need to consider a boutique tourism model rather than hyper tourism. Wealthy tourists who can afford 14 days in mandatory quarantine will pay any price to holiday somewhere there is no plague. We urgently need Government to invest in quarantine venues now.
Free Public Transport:
this would be the single largest reduction we could give poor people while incentivising more Aucklanders to get out of their cars.
200 000 new State Services Jobs:
We currently have 300 000 State service workers, one of the problems of the 35 year neoliberal experiment is no one stopped to reflect on it. Maybe, as has been highlighted by Covid, we need another 200 000 state servants. That’s more teachers, nurses, general staff, seeing as the State will be one of the few employers, we need them to step up.
Amnesty for migrant workers and international students CURRENTLY HERE!
We can’t invite people here under the illusion of citizenship and exploit them and then tell them to bugger off, everyone should have amnesty.
No immigration outside returning citizens and permeant residents:
We should give amnesty to those migrant workers and international students already here, but for everyone else the border remains locked and only brings in Citizens, permanent residents and boutique tourists.
Boutique High Tech Migrant Workers:
We need to see the opportunity of large data companies wanting to move here and actively pursue that.
4 day week & Living Wage:
We have to make all state sector jobs a living wage as well as 4 day working weeks.
Universal Union Membership:
Unions have shown to be the only protection essential workers have, they have proven themselves time and time again as the only protection workers have. It is time to demand universal union membership, no ifs, not buts.
Debt Cancellation from the state:
The beneficiaries locked into debt or the working poor getting fines then can’t pay, or getting loans from State agencies you can’t pay back – that all needs to stop right now.
Enormous increase in prisoner housing for prisoners leaving prison with wrap around services:
The biggest problem for prisoners is that there is usually no housing for them on release and there isn’t anywhere near enough support when they are first released. We need better housing and better wrap around support services.
GST off fruit and vegetables:
Just do it already and give poor people some space to breathe.
Free condoms and contraception:
In every Family Planning clinic, high school, local Doctors and Universities.
Free sanitary pads and tampons:
These should be free in every school, uni, doctors or Family Planning Clinic. They should also be free at every workplace.
Lower the voting age to 16:
For God’s sake, they are the ones facing the worst parts of climate change! Alongside a civics course – allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote and watch how quickly Politicians start listening.
Have to pay for all of this somehow and a 30% inheritance tax is the way to go.
Financial Transaction Tax:
Need to punish the fast money traders and tax .01 cent on every financial transaction.
Build em, let communities grow roots and allow these people to buy the house themselves from the Government via their welfare payment.
30 000 new State Houses built by a new Ministry of Works Department that can build State Houses.
We allow State Houses for Life so those people can grow deep roots into their community and enjoy stability.
The desperation Landlords use is created by the homeless and the over crowded state housing, if we remove that demand from the bottom the market will have to treat tenants respectfully rather than exploit them.
This election could produce the most progressive Government NZ has ever seen, the time for ideas and how we can reimagine ourselves is crucial work and we have a short period of time to influence.
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