Invasion of the (Covid) Body Snatchers


AM I THE ONLY AUCKLANDER feeling let down today? Seventy-one new community cases detected – with that number set to double in the next fortnight. The prospect looms of New Zealand’s largest city being awash with the Delta Variant of Covid-19 by Christmas.

In a few months’ time we are being told to expect up to 5,000 new cases per week. When interviewed, those on the Covid frontline sound like the commanders of a beleaguered army, just waiting for the enemy’s vastly superior formations to come marching over the hill.

To be honest, it’s bloody frightening.

Like so many other Aucklanders, I’ve been waiting to hear the Government’s rescue plan. Unfortunately, they don’t appear to have one – other than sealing Auckland’s borders and letting 1.6 million New Zealanders stew in their own Covid juices until the virus burns itself out.

This is not the Labour Government that New Zealanders flocked to support exactly one year ago this Sunday. That government would never have dreamed of abandoning Auckland to its fate. That Jacinda Ardern told all of us to be kind to one another and gave us her promise to stamp the virus out. She kept her word, and Labour was rewarded with 50.1 percent of the Party Vote.

Where has that Prime Minister gone?

It’s as if we’re all living through a Covid version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. What has become of the Jacinda who built the Team of Five Million? Where have they taken her closest Cabinet colleagues? Grant Robertson, who kept the economy going? Chris Hipkins, who reassured us that New Zealand was at the front of the queue for the Pfizer vaccine? The people on the stage of the Beehive Theatrette look the same, but they no longer feel the same. As he rejects the advice of his scientific advisers, telling us that there will be no return to Level 4, Chippy’s boyish grin looks more and more like a contemptuous Wellington smirk.

The Body Snatchers have been busy here in Auckland, too. Many of the Aucklanders who had borne the earlier lockdowns stoically and with good humour also seem to have been replaced. They, too, look the same, but their behaviour during the Delta Lockdown has been very different.

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These Aucklanders are more reckless of the rules, and more contemptuous of those who follow them. Reference to Jacinda’s Team of Five Million provokes only scorn and derision. If they think they can get away with it, these Aucklanders will happily break all the Level 4 and Level 3 rules.

It’s enough to make you believe that the Anti-Vaxxers might be on to something: that the Pfizer vaccine just might contain a virulent social toxin capable of transforming hitherto kind and compassionate citizens into vicious, self-centred arseholes. Anti-social elements, whose meagre stocks of care and concern might just extend to their families and friends, show scant social solidarity for their fellow Aucklanders – especially those trapped in communities where the vaccination rates are low.

In the Asian and Pakeha communities, where vaccination rates are high, the scope for a racially-charged absence of empathy is considerable. Such indifference is made all the easier by the careless conceptual conflation of the unvaccinated, Maori and Pasifika, drug addicts and the criminal gangs who supply them. Eugenicist quips, laced with racism, such as “Let Darwin take care of the problem!”, show just how busy the Body Snatchers have been in Auckland’s leafy suburbs.

By the same token, the blank refusal of the woman who carried Covid into Northland to co-operate with the authorities, forcing the entire region into Level 3 Lockdown, strongly suggests that the viciously anti-social behaviour of the Snatchers’ substitutions crosses all boundaries of class, race and gender.

As the hero of the original 1956 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Dr Miles Bennell, observes:

“In my practice, I’ve seen how people have allowed their humanity to drain away. Only it happened slowly instead of all at once. They didn’t seem to mind… All of us – a little bit – we  harden our hearts, grow callous. Only when we have to fight to stay human do we realize how precious it is to us, how dear.”

Well, it’s not happening slowly here. In Auckland it is happening all at once. Far too many people in this city – and in Wellington! – are allowing their humanity to drain away. Exactly what it is, that has hardened the hearts of our political leaders – most especially our Queen of Hearts – and caused so many Aucklanders to become callous rule-breakers, is hard to determine.

If you can think of something alien and heartless; something determined to stamp out those precious qualities that make us human; something that’s been here for a while, never missing an opportunity to swell the ranks of its robotic army of unfeeling followers; then could you please drop me a line.

Before the rest of us are snatched away.



  1. As soon as the travel bubble madness started we were all fucked . . all we had to do what keep everyone out until we had the chance to get everyone vaccinated.
    We wheeled the wooden horse straight into downtown Auckland . .

    • I have to agree with you there JB, but I believe Jacinda honestly believed she could beat Delta in the same way as the original strain. I believe that because we were starting from zero cases she believed our systems were good enough to cope as they had before. It was a gamble that hasn’t paid off. We have big issues to consider now. Of most importance, we need to be thinking of our 5 to 12’s. We should be planning now. If Jacinda has sick children on her CV not even the UN would want her.

  2. The original plan to eliminate covid was a winner, seen as a winner by all covid ridden countries and nearly all our own people. Except for the “open up” brigade. That’s National, Act and their supporters in the main. On the fringes we have the anti vaxxers and covid deniers. This once small group have swelled in size and are very vocal. Between them a constant barrage of bleating and whinging about covid restrictions have taken it’s toll on the Labour Govt and the PM in particular. It looks like the Govt has given up the fight and will ‘let it rip’ to shutdown the criticism from these right wing groups. A lack of backbone? Yes it looks like it. The plan ‘B’ to live with Covid doesn’t exist. We are all in for the Natz/Act version of a covid response. This will turn from the best response to one of the worst. Hunker down people this is gonna turn to custard. I look forward to the response from right wing supporters on how we live with covid and run the economy.
    NZ is not prepared for this, at all.

    • You forgot to mentionthe ‘NOT THIS (not really a) vaccine’ faction.
      You’re hearing more and more of us as the propaganda can NO LONGER ignore us. Good on the Mayor of the Coromandel for speaking up.

    • Ex Labour has responded and as usual, has nothing, nilch, nada. Once they reach puberty that may well change. A few life skills gained and they may reflect on their brainwashed ways.

    • Green bus: You left out the most important piece of information – which is that we are dealing with a completely new version of the Covid virus; Delta. It requires a completely new strategy for it to be managed. The old lock down strategy is no longer going to cut the mustard.

      The new strategy has to be based on vaccinating people. Even as of today you can see the effectiveness of this strategy. Of those people currently hospitalized less that 5% are vaccinated.

      To reiterate, we are dealing with a different version of the virus. Old tactics will not work in combating it.

    • It is surprising that crazy far right voices and a completely compromised and ineffectual National in opposition have managed to topple the steadfast convictions, hard and fast early messaging, the team of 5mil behind all the way, and a majority ruling mandate of one of the most powerful governments and loved leaders we’ve seen. I was thinking of swapping my Savage for an Arden then this shit had to happen…
      I did pause to consider if the enemy was closer to the fold than those right wing nutters out there…

  3. I was where you are they days ago during Chippys nonchalant sermon from the safety of the beehive pulpit. Your observation of him was spot on.

    And I am still fuming that Auckland has become the sacrificial lamb to protect the rest of NZ.

    But it dawned on me ALL and I mean ALL of NZ will have to go through what we are about to go through, what we are going through. Auckland may as well get it over with because there is no turning back. 77 yesterday or whatever it was is probably 10 times that at least.

    The question I have is, does Wellington keep Auckland severed indefinitely? Are they delusional enough to think they can?

    It’s coming New Zealand so laugh at Auckland now but not for long. And soon!

      • Maybe instead of looking back at our success with the first wave and nostalgy for the atmosphere of being a team, we all should accept the fact that the virus is going to be here and prepare the best we can to live with it.
        Government’s responsibility is to boost our hospitals and medical staff. We all, except for vaccination, can take steps to boost our immune system that are accessible for all (look e. g. at MedCram videos on You Tube for some ideas) and to remember and apply the simple things that still work, fresh air, hygine etc. And there are treatments for early stages that can be applied and some new vaccines coming, the researchers are still working on Covid, there is hope for better weapons.
        We can step out off fear to responsibility, something like come of age and mature in our response. It will help us to resist the temptation to blame others and to divide us to various groups.
        And it is probably the highest time to have a look at statistics about Covid and compare them with other illnesses like common flu, TB, cancer, like deaths from accidents etc.
        Maybe we will not return to the atmosphere of being a team so early again, maybe never, but to live without Covid hysteria is pretty much like normal.

    • I for one do not laugh at Auckland. When I left 20 years ago there were well over a million Aucklanders. The fuckwit brigade rarely top 1000, even with a dodgy bishop and dipshit mayors (I might be channeling Coromandel dipshits here). I’m proud of Auckland.

  4. It’s called reality and has happened for years and years, across numerous causes of deaths and illness. Chris can whine and moan in illogic and self-righteous for months for all I care. Like a bitter old Captain pining for the days when his “truth” only mattered on the ship, i.e that neo-liberalism must be the cause of all and any evil (which sounds not far off the “Great reset” conspiracy to me) and after 19 months anyone seeking democracy, freedom, and a version of normality – like the rest of the world – is solely a death worshipper. The state of Covid-19 debate in NZ is utterly risible.

    And by the by, our Maori and Pacific Island friends are just as capable as anyone in going along to get vaccinated and understanding the Science behind it. Asians, particularly Chinese, have a not great history of hiw they were treated in NZ, but excel on vaccination. People have had more than enough of the soft racism of low expectations.

      • Quite right. Blaming the government all the time is the easy way out. It is PEOPLE who are the problem – the nasty types who refuse to wear masks, congregate when they shouldn’t, travel where they shouldn’t, are too dumb/religious/superstitious/under the thrall of “community leaders” to get vaccinated, and the motley crowd of vacc-deniers/conspiracy-theory believers, and generally entitled (“I’m a bit edgy, not one of the crowd, I can think for myself”) shits.

    • Some of the commentariat seem to be having a very difficult time coming to terms with the now very obvious notion: the working class has little regard for utopian ideological dogma or their self-appointed bourgie advocates. We are not a termite mound. Some of these farts into the gusting wind are striking an increasingly quixotic tone.

    • Spot on, the old excuses just don’t wash, especially ‘the soft racism of low expectations’ it’s the modern version of ‘paternalism’ though the woke saviours of the oppressed would never actually say that.
      ‘OH didn’t he/she/they/them etc etc do well for a – (fill in minority of your choice)’, is what it amounts to.

      It strikes me that as always it’s class inequality (and yes some groups are over-represented in the underclass for which there are historical factors) at the root it suits the middle class to dress it as racism, that can be ‘solved’ by putting more Maori words on departmental letterheads whilst even starting on class inequality costs actual money.

      To misquote some rightwing religious nutters –
      The best trick the neoliberals ever pulled is persuading us class isn’t a thing.

  5. Chris the government can’t keep people at level 4 forever. The psychological toll is too high, people stop complying, too many businesses will go under – that means massive job losses. Not to mention the missed diagnoses of other illnesses that are much more lethal than covid.

    Sooner or later we are all going to catch covid. Where the government failed was the tardiness of the vaccine rollout, and not taking advantage of our covid-free window to build up our hospital capacity that has been undermined by 35 years of neoliberalism.

  6. The division in our nation at this time is between the rational people who got vaccinated, and the irrational/superstitious/spiritual people who decided Facebook and Brian Tamariki were better sources of knowledge and advice, and so chose to turn their backs on science, expertise, and logical thought.

    Now the rational and vaccinated people are rapidly losing patience with those unvaccinated people whose ignorance and pigheadedness are keeping us in an existence that is a shadow of what we could have – if many more people had just gotten vaccinated.

    So it is very hard for the vaccinated to keep a high level of sweet generosity and warmth towards all fellow New Zealanders.

    There is some overflow anger at not getting the vaccines supply here sooner and vaccinations started, and the general level of incompetence coming out of the Ministry of Health.

  7. So you really expected this government to be competent in handling this virus when they’ve been mindlessly incompetent at everything else? Really?

    Faith gives way to fear and then fear gives way to anger. Expect a sea change in polling after Christmas…

  8. Jacinda could go full Hitler and the likes of Bert would still think she was a superb Labour leader. Its like watching the abused dog still trying to muzzle its nose under the elbow of the spychopathic owner. She does not care about you. She has brainwashed so many old Labour people and many more rich Nats. Sad to see but they have to learn the hard way.

  9. Ardern stood at the pulpit of truth and sold the country a fools paradise for 18 months.
    It was obvious we couldn’t seal ourselves off from the world forever, but anyone pointing this out was a baby killer and lynched online.

    No rational human being would have moved Auckland from 4 to level 3 without knowing they were now going to live with the virus.
    It was more dishonesty in not telling the country that, the government propaganda on “elimination or nothing” has thus left Ardern and company wearing no clothes. Because clearly they made that call and without “needing” to consult their advisors.

    This is the Labour government allowing slow spread of covid first through Auckland then the rest of NZ.
    No it’s not Keys fault, no it’s not ACTs fault, they were just honest about having a plan to open up, the Labour government made the call after taking the accolades for ruling it out for nearly 2 years.

    Lastly, with covid allowed to spread in NZ: I told you so.

    • Eliminate or nothing. What are you on about? It’s been a very simple plan from the start. Eliminate till vaccinated. Now the vaccine is available to all. A bit of mopping up and caseload management and we’ll be there. Another tory sop angry at having to sit in the back seat with I told you so’s. Get used to it sunshine.

      • Slowest vax rate in the OECD says what?
        Government did nothing for a year and a half.
        Yes we will all get used to it no doubt.

  10. Chris, you can write a paean to the days of level 4 all you want, but at some point you’ll have to accept it didn’t work this time. They tried eliminating the virus, for a good 4 weeks or more, but it wasn’t budging. Look at the graph of daily cases over the whole level 4 period. The last two weeks of it was pretty consistant numbers. It might statistically have been trending down still, but only at a glacial pace. It would have taken months more to reach 0 cases, if at all. You’ve got to accept that level 4 didn’t work with Delta because the small minority of people breaking the lockdown rules was all it took to keep the virus alive and spreading. Now the focus of the health response has shifted to vacinate everybody as quick as possible to minimise harm from the virus. That is not giving up, it is accepting the reality and adapting the strategy. It’s now everybody’s personal responsibility to get vaccinated and protect themselves from the virus. Anybody who hasn’t had their first jab by now cannot blame the government for that, there’s been booking spaces available for weeks.

    • Yep. That’s how I read it too Brad. Govt has had to pivot NOW because numbers have escalated. This scenario MAY have been able to have arguably been delayed for another week of level 4 in Auckland. But the delta genie wasn’t going to go back in the box. Not unless Auckland stayed in level 4 till Christmas. Anyone who thinks that was socially/economically possible is deluded.

      As compliance has dropped off…. this scenario we are in was always going to happen.

      There’s actually a really interesting exchange between Simon Dallow and an Australian immunologist about it

  11. One thing is clear now however, if Hipkins continues MIQ then we can all be certain that the whole enterprise was created not only to protect NZ from COVID but also to keep the rich hoteliers extremely rich. Having returning kiwis pay thousands to be trapped in a hotel room for no reason now but to protect them from the COVID riddled Auckland is corrupt. It must be stopped, let kiwis come and go as they please. Hopefully Oz opens up fully so the oppressed can finally achieve financial freedom from the parasites.

  12. To answer your question Chris, we simply lost the glue that held the team of 5 million together in 2020. That glue was a pride in the achievements and aims of the team; a faith in the leadership and ultimate success; a sense of fruitful participation in what we were doing; and a devotion and loyalty to the other members of the team. In 2021 our leadership failed when put under immense pressure. The team lost its glue and consequently split into bickering sectorial interests. It required a single-mindedness and strength of purpose that head prefects and their ilk were not designed (purposely) to have. They are not warriors. The lesson we should take from this is that the synergy of the team is always greater than the sum of its individual parts. And we should pick our leaders carefully.

    • The government’s identity politics agenda was never likely to promote social cohesion – the glue you allude to. We need a nation-building project, which this government is never going to provide.

      • Neo Liberalism is properly entrenched, as planned. It’s working perfectly. Individualists are everywhere fed by ACT and Natz media.

    • Well said IDC. Delta is devicive. Well actually it doesn’t care to be devicive, but our humanity makes it have that effect. Thanks for reminding me about synergy 🙂

    • No, we did not lose “the glue”. We never had it.

      A very contagious variant of the disease came along called Delta, that’s the only difference.

  13. A very well-written blog. Love the pop-culture analogy. Another is the famous Butch Cassidy line: ‘Who are ARE these people?’ The role of the rest of the country is now just to wait for one of Auckland’s disaffected to come and infect us all.
    What is most disappointing to me is how short a time it has taken for a lot of people to say “too long”. Our impatience and lack of resilience astounds. Thinking about the great 20th century disasters: WW1 four years, the depression six years, WW2 six years. We haven’t even lasted 2.And there is so much infighting, so much fake news, an enormous lack of fighting spirit to get together and overcome this bastard virus.
    The decision is poorly timed. We do not have the tools in place to do this. The government knows this. People are going to die. Yet people on this blog are just laughed at us as loony lockdown lefties. At least we have an ounce of humanity.

    • A second wastewater sample has shown a positive for covid in Te Awamutu. Potentially Liz it has already escaped Auckland. But us loony Lefties as you put it, must treat it like the common cold. Unless of course one of those raving righties is personally affected.

    • The Depression scarred some New Zealanders permanently, generationally. In WW2, children and some adults were evacuated out of London during the bombing – some to the countryside, some as far as Canada. In Auckland, however, children have been locked up for long periods often in crowded substandard accommodation, with their carers; that’s the difference, and it’s been a biggie, especially for the children of the poor. I salute their carers and everyone else who stuck to the rules.

    • The analogies don’t work. We were never in war. We are dealing with one of most contagious viruses know to man that was always going to cross the border and spread. That is the simple reality. It’s time to stop the doom and gloom and realise that it ai t going to be that bad. Get vaccinated and move on. The rest of the world is.

  14. What’s happening is just a small part of a bigger picture. People globally are losing their humanity and compassion thanks to the way social media works with its algorithms. People are currently the most divided and combative than I have ever seen in my life time about every issue under the sun, mainly driven by what they see and are influenced by on social media.

    Facebook truly is tearing the social fabric apart

    The “other” has been dehumanised to the point people mock and laugh at the thought of the “other” dying from their choices

    The best first step out of this is to delete your social media and embrace your humanity

  15. The big mistake was to push the falsehood of the “team of five million”. As it turns out we never were and we just happened to be lucky to get through the first wave. This delta covid is a different beast.
    The divisions in our society belies the team of 5 million theory and it’s looking like we’re heading into in deep, deep trouble.
    The fault is not in Jacindas attempts to protect the Country, it is more in the Thatcherism “There is no Society”.

    • Agreed Garabaldi. One only need look on this site for evidence of “team of 5 million” and what it looks like. A caring society and a fuck you society.

  16. Before I write my piece I hasten to add that I’ve had both my shots so I’m not that crazy.
    The loopiness you see in many people re c-19 here in AO/NZ is born of years of being sold the idea that competition must override cooperation. That’s a bloody neoliberal mantra. ( And what does ‘neoliberalism’ actually mean anyway? Greedy sociopaths exploiting other, more human, human beings is as old as the whiskers on judith collin’s arse. The term ‘neoliberalism’ is simply sociopathic greed repackaged. )
    The other unfortunate thing about dear Auckland is that it was built on swindles and now that those who did the swindling are dwindling into ageing oblivion after they’ve shot their loads they must keep plastering over the crooked cracks until time takes their crooked lives. They’ve made their millions and billions out of legally stealing from our primary industry while standing on the necks of us ordinary AO/NZ’ers and in so doing, built Auckland up as a facade to hide their dirty work behind. Aye boys?
    That’s why Auckland can’t be kept in permanent lock down. The realisation that Auckland would not be missed, from a purely financial point of view I hasten to add, would set wheels in motion and we wouldn’t want to let that happen? You naughty little boys with your dirty billions. Get that money from Auckland’s working poor did you? Or did you make your millions and billions from working hard for an hourly rate in a small agrarian economy country?
    Just imagine being Adern, or any politician with good intentions for that matter, who when elected as the government suddenly finds themselves standing on a mountain of dirty laundry?
    There’s only one course of action. And here it is. ( I’m an arrogant sort of mood today. I quite like it! )
    Adern must come clean. Pop on the washing machine. Because if she doesn’t we’re all terminally fucked.
    Firstly; A basic living wage for people who need it. A no questions asked payment then lets look at banking…?
    Who are they, and why do I read that the four foreign banks here make more out of AO/NZ’ers than they do anywhere else in the world?
    Making bank: Big four banks cashing in on New Zealanders
    New Zealand banks make more money than global peers
    Australian banks ‘sucking’ New Zealand’s wealth, expert claims
    Sure. The banking industry in AO/NZ strongly denies etc etc but the proof is in the looking. Just look?
    What do you see?
    Minimum wage earners, pensioners no longer qualify for legal aid
    I could be accused of cherry picking information that best suits my argument. I’ll accept that. But look around? What do your eyes, ears and common sense tell you?
    What are we really looking at? What are we really seeing and hearing from Auckland? From AO/NZ generally? We’re primarily agrarian. Significantly, primarily agrarian. Dunedin did a bit of gold back in the day along with wool and meat exports so doesn’t it beg the question; Why and how is Auckland?
    I have the answer.
    Auckland launders our exports-derived primary industry revenue. That’s all Auckland does.
    I read in the Napier Museum recently that when Maori first saw the Endeavour they described Cooks ship as a great bird with huge white wings that’d just landed on the ocean.
    The idea that Auckland is little more than a money laundering scam operating between our foreign markets and the farm gate is beyond the comprehension of far too many.
    Too much? Too long winded? Yes? Excellent. ( Raspberries! )

  17. By the government’s own admission, the so-called vaccine does not prevent the jabbed victim form getting Covid or from passing it on.

    And now that the longer term results are in, it turns of the efficacy of the jab being administered in NZ declines with time; hence all the talk about the need for ‘booster jabs’.

    The more people get jabbed, the bigger the profits for Blackrock, the owners of Pfizer.

    And if the jabs fail and people have to have more jabs, the bigger the profits of Blackrock.

    Meanwhile, the global economic system implodes.

    How does paying $3 a litre for petrol or $5 for a loaf of bread appeal?

    Coming soon, thanks to :LINO and their corporate friends.

    • Nobody with any sense has ever claimed that vaccinated gives 100% protection from catching the virus, or passing it on. No vaccine can do this.
      But it does substantially reduce the risk of serious complications if you do catch it and reduces the risk of transmission to very low.
      If you are worried about the profits going to the vaccine producers then I think you really need to sort out your priorities.

  18. We are now getting a glimpse of what life would have been like 18 months ago in the first COVID outbreak had National been in government.
    They would have demanded proof that the virus was really that bad before they would have taken any action.
    By the time they got their proof people would be dying by the dozen (or more) and the virus would be out of control.
    And then they would have responded with brute force instead of kindness.
    Do you think they would have paid a wage subsidy?
    I think they would simply have paid a subsidy to employers and in the true spirit of not telling people what they should do with their money, it would have been up to the latter to pay it to their employees, but only if they wanted to (and some wouldn’t have, I’m sure).
    When the virus got out of control they would have either written it off as inevitable, or blamed poor people for spreading it – using this excuse to seal off areas like Otara and Mangere.
    With this government, we still at least have a fighting chance.
    With National, the white flag would have been put up long ago.

  19. Here are some questions for anyone who hasn’t yet been fully vaccinated…

    Do you intend to get vaccinated?

    If so, what has prevented you from getting vaccinated so far?

    If not, how do you personally plan to protect yourself from COVID-19 over the coming months, assuming that it will become endemic in Auckland (and probably the rest of NZ) in the near future?

    Or are you not worried about COVID-19 at all?

    Interested to see the answers.

    • 1. maybe but probably not
      2. I have bad reactions to drugs and medicines generally and l don’t want to risk it
      3. I don’t really have a plan other than keep away from sick people 🙂
      4. If I get it I get it if I don’t I don’t?

      I don’t consider myself an anti vaxxer I have just had bad experiences in the past with drugs and that causes me more fear than the disease itself

    • I have been double vaccinated. Did not really want to. But have seen it as a greater duty to NZ Society as a whole.

      In the last few months I have been in Hawkes Bay Hospital recovering from a major fracture and have spent time in ICU (10+ Days) , Bone Ward & Recovery Ward. I was there 78 days in total. Met a lot of great people and asked lots of questions. Enough of my qualifications.

      1. It is inevitable that Delta Virus is going to spread thru NZ Society entirely. You are going to get it – whether it is sub-clinical (minor) or a major infection. It is just when. The alternative is to live temporarily in a locked up castle at the bottom of the world, never travelling overseas, never on a cruise ship … So face it – It is just a matter of when.

      2. A Public Hospital such as Hastings can not deal effectively with a major Infectious Virus such as Delta. It can look after some people (say a few hundred) but not thousands. Read your history books or talk to your Great Grandparents. Public Hospitals are not physically big enough to deal with thousands of sick people.

      3. Our Society has to learn and accept this. Some Documentaries on TV would help –
      a. Some History about what happened in NZ during the Spanish Flu Epidemic in the 1920’s. Talk to our very old people. Particularly old Maori.
      b. Some Detailed Current News items about the present Covid-19 Patients in Hospital. Show what they are going through in their beds and even in ICU.
      c. A detailed explanation of what being an ICU patient is like. Tubes up your Posterior and Anterior apertures (Your Arse and Penis) for a start. Drinking Heavy Water. Oxygen tubes up your mouth and nose. It is not pleasant. Lots of High Technology and some Highly Trained people – particularly impressed with my ICU Nurses from the Philippians.
      d. What the more serving members of our society have done in the past. What did these people do in the 1920’s ? What can we learn ?

      4. Back to Richard’s post.
      At Hastings Hospital they have 14 ICU beds in 11 rooms. They may have enough equipment / staff to treat double the number less other already very ill patients. Say 30 less 10 other patients = 20 ICU Beds for Covid-19.

      5. Effectively –
      a. Covid-19 is a Common Cold Coronavirus. A very infectious, very bad version of a cold. Where is the cure for a Common Cold?
      b. It you have a chronic health issue – particularly with your lungs – do you cough a lot, do you have a regular cough ?
      c. Especially if you have a poor sense of Smell & Taste.
      d. Especially if you are of weak genetic stock – Maori or Pacific Islander
      e. And are not Covid-19 Vaccinated.
      f. Let’s ignore under 12’s for the moment – even though they get the virus and need to go to Hospital.

      6. You are taking a Non Covid-19 Vaccination Lottery Ticket.
      a. There are 140,000 people 12 and over in Hawke’s Bay.
      b. Say 90% get vaccinated. That’s 10% or 14,000 who do not get vaccinated.
      c. These 14,000 are taking a Lottery Ticket for 1 of those 20 ICU bed’s especially if they are not in perfect health.
      d. A Dangerous Game. 20 chances in 14,000 ( 1 Chance in 700) . Are you Anti Vaccinators really that brave ?

      Do you want to take a Raffle Ticket in the ICU lottery ? It’s free – Do Nothing !

      • Good post Ross. Thanks for sharing. I hope it reaches some non vaxxed and saves their life. I’m still waiting out my three plus weeks between jabs. Super relieved I came to realise I was more scared of delta than vaccine. Before deciding, I just needed more info and direction where to find true info. Some on this blog helped me with that. Sharing personal situations and experiences does incrementally reach those who need to hear it. “Made a difference to that one”

    • Given the animosity projected at the unvaccinated, including on this site, I am not surprised that only 1 currently unvaxxed person has answered your questions. Are you asking in good faith and do you have no partner, family, neighbour, work colleague or sporting companion who would give an honest answer?

      • Given the animosity projected at the unvaccinated, including on this site,” Oh Anne, you think animosity is only leveled at the vaccinated on this site?

        • I think Ms. E(She/Her) above is missing the point.
          Statistically, who will clog up our hospitals, and by so doing deny/delay treatment to others?
          The “animosity projected” is pretty tame, given the real life consequences.

          • Statistically Jase it will be the elderly, with comorbidities, that will “clog” up our hospitals. Two of those comorbidities will be obesity and smoking-related damage, both also conditions that can be mitigated. Does your judgement and blame game extend also to them? Or to a govt that has had 18 months to prepare for the inevitable but has opted to throw money at futile projects such as a harbour bridge and Maori separatism instead of building capacity in the health system?

      • Anne, most of the people I work with will be vaccinated, if they aren’t already, most of my friends are vaccinated, most of my relatives will be vaccinated. We are not in high risk groups, we are generally protected & insulated from many of life’s storms by money & privilege.

        I am interested in hearing the answers to my questions from the few commentators here that are deathly afraid of the vaccine but don’t seem to fear the disease. I am interested in their answers, I certainly won’t harass them, their decisions & the consequences are their concern, not mine, I am however interested in the reasoning behind them.

        How about you, Anne of Green Gables, do you wish to enlighten me with your knowledge?

        • I have replied at length Richard. It would seem that it is entirely up to moderaters as to whether the reply appears on this page.

    • Ok I’ll try.

      I’ve ‘reluctantly’ had one shot. I say that because it was only from my wife’s insistence that I did. I wasn’t intending on getting vaccinated because, I’m very well, I expect to get Covid anyway, I’ve survived far more serious illnesses than Covid (malaria kills 5 million a year) and talking to a practicing GP in the US, that implored me not to get it.

      I will protect myself through good diet, exercise and healthy habits…how I’ve always done.

      I am not worried about Covid at all. Looking at the people who have died pretty much all were on borrowed time anyway (let’s be honest here). While the govt was trying to install fear in the population, I decided straight away, “I will not be afraid” living a life in fear is worse than getting Covid, in my opinion

      • What did the US GP say that convinced you against vaccination, when countless other health professionals & scientific researchers are spending a lot of effort to convince people to get vaccinated?

  20. We should keep in mind that we are at a crossroads of very serious crises. While at the same time that corona has to be eliminated for all practical economic purposes to continue, Xi Jinping wants to invade Taiwan and there’s a Chinese nuke with Mahia Peninsula on it, and of course climate change.

    Of all the crises currently besotted Auckland, covid19 is the least of them so steal your hearts lonely dogs.

    Covid19 is severe, hundreds will die needlessly as investment ideas dry up. But covid will end at high cost. The longer it takes to double the governments borrowing capacity but most importantly spend it on wise choices, the greater the fiscal stimulus required.

    It’s the threat of environmental collapse that’s got everyone shook. It’s inescapable and totally undeniable now. The destruction of New Zealand’s waterways is carrying on as we go from a net consumer of carbon to a net producer of carbon just to get over covid19 so there is a terrific cost to pay.

    Those are just a few things of many happening before our eyes.

  21. We had two options, chill at home for a few weeks here and there whenever the virus sneaks through or get back to it now and tolerate an endemic COVID hell for the rest of our lives.

    The fact we choose the later has caused me to loose any faith I had left in the human race.

    I blame the dumbing down faze that happened from early 2000s to mid 2010s. Mind-numbing rot such as reality TV, The Kardasians, Facebook, smartphones, atrocious pop music and films and the promotion of nothing but shallow dumb commercial culture, shopping, Botox and photo-shopping yourself. Mainstream media transitioning from real news to gutter-press/gossip/women’s magazine format.

    This left people more stupid and toxic in general and vulnerable to the divide and conquer faze we are now in with rampant extremism, conspiracies, wokes, cancel culture, identity politics, algorithms, anti vaxers.

    Reality so horrible people are escaping into fantasy. The rise of witches and magic. Perfect era for COVID to thrive, that’s for sure.

    They could at least least legalise weed to take the edge off it all.

    • Oh well, JJ, best to look at the big picture. Be glad you were not born into the Middle Ages, or got your limbs shot off going over the top in a war not your making, or starving in modern day Africa. To be sure the contemporary world is a crazy, fucked-up place – but methinks it always has been. Look for the light, brother.

      • Good reply Bozo. JJ – we’re a super diverse species, humanity. I can enjoy my fave superficial reality show or sci fi movie, for examples, AND hold strong to all the positive parts of my humanity. There is truth in your comments, but tbh it came across as old school “ok boomer” type mantra. Peace out bro 🙂

  22. Our policy settings and social cohesion were sufficient to eliminate earlier versions of the virus, even with substantial numbers of New Zealanders not obeying the rules and keeping the borders open. They aren’t enough to keep Delta at bay. There are some people who just have to visit their friends, or buy drugs, or hook up, and they are partly responsible for this outbreak.

    The government had one lever it could realistically use: close the border until NZ had sufficient vaccination levels. They wouldn’t do this because of whining rich people. So here we are.

    • That’s a fact. Funny how you said that. Just tell everyone we laying low. Now tell em the break is over. Get back to work scum lords, rich pricks – get the fuck back to work.

  23. This Jacinda that you speak of never existed. Plenty of us been pointing that out for a while now. Good words – and she has plenty of them, does not equal good results.
    And now the housing crisis comes to bite the well to do class in which you live.
    And the poverty crisis comes to bite the well to do class of which you are a part.
    And those that have to go outside to work and make hte country work, don’t really care a wee damn about your inconvenience.
    So stay indoors dear Chris. That is all the Labour Party and Jacinda have for you. Stay indoors, don’t leave your home and hopefully you get to not get Covid.

  24. “In Auckland it is happening all at once. Far too many people in this city – and in Wellington! – are allowing their humanity to drain away. Exactly what it is, that has hardened the hearts of our political leaders – most especially our Queen of Hearts – and caused so many Aucklanders to become callous rule-breakers, is hard to determine.”

    What should be happening, it almost seems to be happening with Chris Trotter, is that people are facing the reality of the type of society we have.

    There’s seems to be a notion that the New Zealand of ‘the good old days’ persists. Days that came from our service people from every nook and cranny in the land leaving these islands to go to war.

    Imagine that, twice in 25 years the country uniting, the remote islands sending its young away. ‘Our boys.’ Our boys came home, but a lot didn’t. What powerful, nationwide, shared, unifying extended events have happened since 1996 to equate? Shared common human experience.

    We want everyone to be on the same page with Covid. There is an expectation everyone will be on the same page. Hard to do when everyone’s got a different book. If they’ve got a book at all.

    What has caused so many Aucklanders to become callous rule-breakers? Maybe it’s not about covid, it’s about us. Jacinda Ardern most appropriately, most sensibly, identified what was needed – a “team of five million.” That harking back to a time when it was all of us involved in getting on the boats to fight in foreign fields and gathering to welcome the returnees. The simple idea became a target of scorn.

    Those scornful, welcoming border ‘failures’ and covid bad news so they can attack the government, attack Jacinda Ardern no doubt have been part of building a world of callous rule breakers, only in life for themselves. Building a society which is not inclusive, not valuing the shared human experience but lamenting the diversity.

    “Think of something alien and heartless; something determined to stamp out those precious qualities that make us human; something that’s been here for a while, never missing an opportunity to swell the ranks of its robotic army of unfeeling followers?”

    Recently an educationalist in Auckland seems to have suddenly realised that kids in lower decile schools are less likely to do well in academics and study in university. Children close geographically on the Auckland isthmus living in totally different worlds seems to have been a revelation, invoking shock and horror. The answer? Blame the schools, change the schools. Not change the way the lowest socio-economic circumstances develop. No doubt a lot humanity drained away in suburban ghettoes.

    The arrogant, the callous rule-breakers, are reflecting the values they have learned through living, either as perpetrators or victims. It won’t change by simply getting everyone on the same page even if they do have the same book. In a metaphorical sense they have to know that reading is important and have to know how to read.

    The shared common human experience isn’t going to come out of books though.

    • spot on. love the books analogy. a big finger to “middle” New Zealand and being on the “same” page – as if being “comfortable” or reading from a “bible” is the answer. I for one, can’t stand that sort of sophistry. it’s almost as bad as the “one nation” rhetoric.

  25. CNN medical expert ‘admitting’ CNN should NOT have said that Ivermectin is stupid for humans to take.
    The CNN medical expert accepting that Ivermectin won the 2015 Noble prize for people use and billions of dosage have been used with little-no side effects, and it’s is WAY WAY more than just an animal dewormer.
    The difference between the media LYING to you and the truth behind their obfuscation, ommission and just basic LIES.

  26. National Māori Pandemic Group co-lead Professor Papaarangi Reid gave a good interview on RNZ this morning – I suggest people have a listen to it for a look into the edges of the “team of 5 million”. Whilst I don’t agree about a circuit breaker being the answer I do acknowledge the reasons why we have to be patient and without blame. Lets not go all “One Nation” on this because we aren’t and we never will or should be. I believe the government is doing the best it can to provide a balanced approach which is a bloody hard call at this time. Get vaccinated.

    • Agree Billid. Hopefully vaxathon reaches heaps. Maybe it can help to reunite the team of 5 million? I do feel that Ardern is doing her best. Her covid messaging is fair. She’s not perfect, but the best we’ve got right now. She does care. jmho

  27. The other invasion is shown in the Spinoff article, “Who are the New Zealanders holding out on getting vaxxed?”

    When I was a kid in a rural NZ our village idiot was known to us and not the rest of the world. He didn’t know about what the village idiots all over the world were on about and he didn’t impact on others looking for a Village Idiot Guru.

    There was nothing alien and heartless about it, something to be stamped out. He was one of us.
    Now he would be part of a robotic, telecommunicated army.

    “They want to control everybody,” says Mandy, the North Shore resident in her 50s. “They control people with the [tracing app]. They control them with the masks. They control them with the social distancing. I personally see World War Three coming.”

    • Spot on Peter. Social media has given all the villages idiots a platform. And you’re right, no historical disadvantage in being a village idiot in a supportive community – accepted and protected by many but most likely terribly bullied by the unkind – but now these folk have all become radicalised and digitally mobilized.

      • Or perhaps they’ve just found their true community and are finally doing human where they best fit in? Humanity is a colorful species. We must evolve incrementally but herd styles. Delta is assisting with that. There’s always a positive to find, even when facing imminent death

  28. Spot on, the old excuses just don’t wash, especially ‘the soft racism of low expectations’ it’s the modern version of ‘paternalism’ though the woke saviours of the oppressed would never actually say that.
    ‘OH didn’t he/she/they/them etc etc do well for a – (fill in minority of your choice)’, is what it amounts to.

    It strikes me that as always it’s class inequality (and yes some groups are over-represented in the underclass for which there are historical factors) at the root it suits the middle class to dress it as racism, that can be ‘solved’ by putting more Maori words on departmental letterheads whilst even starting on class inequality costs actual money.

    To misquote some rightwing religious nutters –
    The best trick the neoliberals ever pulled is persuading us class isn’t a thing.

  29. 1 Timothy 6:10
    The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. By craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

    An invasion yes, but not of the body snatchers, but of the death cult capitalists. Who crave the return to Destruction As Usual.

    I asked here;

    “How many avoidable deaths, and avoidable hospitalisations and human suffering, do the government consider acceptable before they start listening to the health experts and scientists again, and reimpose the Level 4 Lockdown Alert they have asked for?”

    We now know that the hospitals are preparing themselves for, 6 deaths, and 33 hospitalisations a week, and that is with 90% of the population vaccinated. We are no where near that level of vaccination, and will not be for a very long time, in the meantime needless deaths and hospitalisations will be way higher than 6 deaths and 33 hospitalisations, probably as high as the point of health system collapse.

    This was all predicted and warned against by the health professionals and scientists.

    Chris Trotter asked;

    “If you can think of something alien and heartless; something determined to stamp out those precious qualities that make us human; something that’s been here for a while, never missing an opportunity to swell the ranks of its robotic army of unfeeling followers; then could you please drop me a line……”

    The ruthless need to make money, no matter what the cost in human misery and lives, is what pressured the government to prematurely, drop their elimination plan and replace it with a confusing stage or step plan to reopen the borders.

    On the road to Level Zero BAU.

    Under the Level 4 Alert, the virus was being crushed down into single figures. With a drop to Level 3, and the abandonment of the Alert Level system and the adoption of the Step system, infections started going up and haven’t stopped.

    This TVNZ graph shows it all. Including stage 1, of the first step of the program toward reopening the borders, even as infections continue rising and the government allowing it.

    Because of the confusing nature of the new government step strategy, I have decided to stick with the Alert Level system, but add one more level, Level Zero, Business As Usual.

    Alert Level 4: Uncontained spread of the virus. Non essential industry and schools are closed. Only shopping and medical visits outside the home are advised. Borders are closed.  MIQ centres set up for two week quarantine for all arrivals. To stop the spread of the virus among the indigent, the homeless given accomodation. Evictions and rent rises suspended. UBI instituted at 70% of income for non-essential employees to stay at home.
    To identify source of infection, testing and tracing program starts. Road deaths and air pollution approach zero.

    Alert Level 3:  Virus spread contained and traced. Non essential industry allowed to restart. Take aways allowed, restaurants closed to customers, click and and collect at retail outlets. Borders remain closed to free entry. Traffic congestion and road deaths return.

    Alert Level 2: Threat of Virus minimal. Schools re-open, restaurants and retail outlets allowed to open with limited seating and social distancing. Borders remain closed to free entry. RSE workers allowed entry to country to work in industry and agriculture. Waste water testing and tracing and testing of the population continues to catch any stray residual cases.

    Alert Level 1: Elimination of virus achieved. All normal economic activities and mass gatherings return. Borders remain closed to free entry. MIQ facilities remain in operation. New Zealand becomes envy of the world.

    Level Zero: Living with the virus. Testing and tracing ends. Uncontained spread of the virus allowed. Vaccines readily available. Vaccine take up high, but not universal. Level Zero allows for a certain level of preventable deaths and illness. All economic and social activities and mass gatherings allowed. MIQ facilities closed. Borders fully reopened. BAU returns. Or as I call it DAU*.

    Destruction As Usual. Road congestion, air pollution, road deaths, overloaded health system, homelessness, out of control green house gas emission, unaffordable housing, rising food prices, climate change, ecological destruction.

    1 Timothy 6:10
    The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. By craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

  30. The title of this post could just as easily be
    At least that way it’d let Alf and the DGrunter off the hook, and one or two others (in this space. going forward)
    It’s possible even their fundamentals might remain intact if and when there’d a hard landing

  31. Hey all and sundry….Bert, take note!!!! (he won’t).
    Just saying: “Key raised the idea in an interview with Mike Hosking in August, saying the Government should adopt a telethon-style approach to boost vaccination numbers and open up our borders by Christmas.”
    Tomorrow Jacinda will crow to all heavens about her successful vaxathon. Hopefully she will have the grace to admit it was NOT her idea. Personally, I am delighted, I want to go on long holidays soon.

    • It doesn’t matter who first thought of it, just that it had some success. The original creators of telethon as our nation’s charity fundraising machine before lotto came along, was way back in 1975. Good to see our PM actually lead and be well involved on the ground with the people, whatever her next strategy is. I didn’t see John Key anywhere. Did anyone else? He just pops up to shit stir like a whack-a-mole


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