Covid Vs Humanity – it’s a slam dunk!


So we have another covid variant – Omicron – now circulating and we wait for news of its power to further disrupt and endanger our lives. Within a week of its being reported we already have two cases in Sydney. It will be with us here in Aotearoa New Zealand shortly, if it hasn’t already arrived.

Omicron developed in South Africa – a country with just 41% of the population vaccinated. Across Africa as a whole the vaccination rate is just 16%! 

It’s in this environment that Covid is spreading fast and mutating quickly – the vaccination rates are far too low – and new variants will continue to spread in wave after wave around the globe.

We should not be surprised.

The World Health Organisation and other international agencies have pointed out again and again that no-one is safe until everyone is safe. We cannot be safe until the “global South” (less developed countries) are vaccinated.

Instead of giving booster shots to people in Aotearoa New Zealand we should send our booster jabs to countries where vaccination rates are low – that’s what a rational, scientific policy based on human decency demands of us.   

“Give a life jacket to someone who doesn’t have one before giving one to someone who already has two” Mike Ryan WHO 

The World Health Organisation has the goal of getting every country up to 40% vaccinated before the end of this year. They are struggling to meet the target. We can help – let’s do it! 

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But we won’t. Our political leaders will find a thousand weasily excuses to avoid doing the right thing.   

We will keep acting as though somehow we will be able to stay safe by ignoring the vaccination needs of the poorest, most marginalised members of humanity.

We won’t and covid will keep winning.


  1. So a day after the Roche report blasts the govt that they weren’t remotely ready for Delta, the Prime Minister says that they’re ready for Omicron???

    “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”

    • He has never said that, but he has said stop bullying and respect other people who have opted not to be vaccinated, they are not all conspiracy theorists at all. Doctors, nurses, midwives, lawyers, intelligent well educated people!

        • There is a term for people educated beyond their capacities.. They are called “over educated mediocrities”.. They are everywhere I’ve been in the world, but this country vies with Australia for the highest proportion of these muttonheads having power over peoples lives.. The potato head with a mouth who has been groomed to take Keys spot as gofer to the Chinese, and American interests that are largely responsible for the basketcase the NZ economy is, will get all the help NZ’s “neutral” fourth estate can possibly give… Sovereignty? since when did NZ have that? We simply went from being tied to mother England, to being beholden to the USA, and then the Chinese were given a blank slate by the Key supplicant to destroy our last remaining industries.. NZ now has no use apart from providing milk powder on a temporary basis, and providing opportunities to land bank for the day when it’s time to take over officially.. Oh yes, we mustn’t forget how useful we became to the NSA as an information gathering station…

  2. Good perspective there John.

    Neo liberal hegemony and resulting subservience to the pharmaceutical corporates means that assisting vaccination in Africa and other poorer places have not even flitted across the consciousness of our glorious leaders in OECD countries. It is time they got a wake up call via an International solidarity campaign.

    How about forcing the pharmaceutical companies to drop patents on COVID drugs, and produce at cost, or assist Cuba to up production…or nationalising and socialising COVID drug production, similar to when consumer factories were converted to war effort production in the anti fascist WWII period.

    • Drop the Patents

      “The institution whose rules enforce vaccine apartheid is, unbelievably, attempting to have a meeting under conditions of vaccine apartheid, without having first resolved that apartheid by agreeing to the TRIPS waiver.”

      A group of over 130 national and international civil society organizations is demanding the World Trade Organization postpone its upcoming ministerial meeting unless it first agrees to adopt a patent waiver for Covid-19 vaccines seen by social justice campaigners as crucial to ending “vaccine apartheid.”

      The groups laid out their demand in an open letter to WTO members just ahead of the in-person 12th ministerial conference set to begin Nov. 30 in Geneva, the latest sign of growing pressure on rich nations—including the U.S.—to move more urgently to end the pandemic.

      Endorsers of the new letter include international groups such as Focus on the Global South and Friends of the Earth International as well as national groups like the Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition and Colombia’s Environment and Society Association.

      The WTO, according to the letter, is “in crisis” and “has utterly failed to resolve the vaccine apartheid that is a direct result of the monopolies that its Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) confers on multinational pharmaceutical companies that have benefitted from massive public subsidies.”

      A widely-backed proposed TRIPS waiver, opposed by a handful of nations including Germany and the U.K. and which needs consensus to pass, has languished without adoption for more than a year as vaccine inequity has deepened, the groups lament.

      The letter pins opposition to that waiver on “the shameful refusal of a handful of powerful governments” and says it “confirms the WTO’s systemic priority of profits over people.” [More at the link]

  3. Without boosters we will soon be vunerable again so that would not help anyone. I am no expert but with many viruses if you weaken the protection and the bug gets bruised but not taken out it will come back and be stronger and less likely to be beaten by the vaccine. It am happy to fund vaccines for these poor countries but it should not be either or . Another problem with these African countries is that due to corruption and greed the help does not get to the poor and finishes being high jacked and sold .

    • if you need a booster every other month, maybe the medication ain’t that grand? And yeah, have your booster, again and again and keep in mind that the reason you need another booster will be the new variant that comes from a low income low vaccination country. But have another booster here. Cause you are in such danger. lol

        • that is not the point.
          the point the WHO is making is that you can eat shit all day long, but so as long as the poor in Africa don’t get to eat you will not be safe from the hunger that is creeping across the world. so have your booster eats – every other month, and hope that you are being kept ‘safe’, cause the others fuck em right?
          What shall we call the variant after this current won? the idiocy of the wellfed?

    • You show a typical lack of knowledge of virology. The virus doesn’t increase in lethallgy or transmissibility but deceases. It does this because the destruction of its host means the extinction of its particular RNA chain. Maddingly, the virus adapts by adapting its RNA chain and morphing/ changing its RNA nucleotide bases . The Spanish flu did exactly the same thing. But it does so in as much as it reduces transmissibility and in its lethality. Just like the Spanish flu which morphed in to todays modern flu variants, albeit less transmissible and far less lethal. This is the trend seen in most viral pandemics from the 18th-29th century’s pandemics.

      • Yes the expected trend toward less lethality doesn’t seem to be talked about much.
        I thought the trend for a respiratory viruses is towards less-lethal but MORE transmissible? For example a competitive advantage if the host is not too sick to socialise and doesn’t look so sick that they are avoided.

    • …’I am no expert but with many viruses if you weaken the protection and the bug gets bruised but not taken out it will come back and be stronger and less likely to be beaten by the vaccine’…

      No. Maybe true with ‘superbugs’ which are bacterial but not with viruses. They are a whole different kettle of fish, chalk and cheese. Viruses track downwards, not upwards. Bacteria have any number of natural defenses which viruses do not have. A classic case is anthrax, a bacterium that is rod shaped, and can be ingested as ‘spores’, other bacterium contain a mucous layer which confounds the immune system,…. viruses on the other hand tend to rely on RNA to adapt in order to cease killing its host in order to replicate. Thus the tendency to become less lethal, less transmissible after several years. A case in point is the Spanish flu.

      • Thank you for the information.Good to know there are some smart people who contribute. That is what makes the blog worth looking at . There are solutions and questions offered from left and right perspective and the demented have a voice as well which is good for democracy. Covid has brought the best and worst in people.

          • that means that there is not one publication on the planet. Heck, don’t ever read Stuff, or Herald. you might as well read tea leaves, that should suit your purity level.

            • how about reading many different sources, from many sides and coming to your own conclusion – novel I know but try it you might like it.
              …staying away from info silos is the way…

              may I suggest beauofthefifthcolumn on ytube as a starting point.

  4. I think you are onto something here John?

    I think Labour has got all punch-drunk on Pfizer the ‘Cure-all’. Considering the government is still in its experimental phase now that they’ve had enough of the elimination program and have adopted the, ‘have a crack at dodge the bullet’ Covid Games!

    Taihoa is worthy of calling for now especially with the newest variant to hit the shores soon.

    They should focus on the current covid plan for now and try to achieve that outcome. It’ll be the first thing in all the Crisis they have that they have kinda dealt with, kinda.

    A worthy cause to donate to a less fortunate country.

  5. John M, A few problems I see with your ‘give to the poor’ approach. 1/ any supplies we can give to Africa will not lift their vacination rate any significant amount, and it is all about ‘significant amounts’ to be effective, we can make significant impact in the Pacific Islands; 2/ leaving our population vulnerable will not assist in reducing mutations; 3/ the first rule of providing assistance is protect yourself first, you are no good to anyone sick or dead. Do you think we should send all our PPE as well?

  6. From what I have read the first 3 cases of omicron were in Botswana not South Africa, and they were all fully vaccinated. No one here seems to have picked this up. Also the health officials in SA say it is extremely mild . So by the time it gets here it could provide better protection and less risk than the vaccination. Roll on Omicron.
    D J S

    • Yes it almost certainly did not originate in SA, they just have a very good testing program. Botswana had the first recorded but I’m not sure that is the origin either. Given the spread of countries of origin among travellers who arrived with Omicron in Europe it appears to have been in circulation for a while.

  7. 2.5 Million Nurses demand UN probe into criminals blocking patent waver

    The European Union, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, and Singapore “must be investigated for blocking a faster global vaccine rollout leading to the loss of countless lives.”

    More than two million nurses from 28 countries across the globe filed a complaint Monday calling on the United Nations to investigate the rich countries that are blocking a proposed patent waiver for coronavirus vaccines, an appeal that came as public health experts raced to understand the newly detected Omicron variant. [Full article at the link]

  8. Cuba’s homegrown vaccines ready to protect millions

    Despite the added challenges created by a six decade-long U.S. blockade, Cuba’s public biotech sector has developed two highly effective vaccines and its universal healthcare system has inoculated four-fifths of its population.

    Additionally, the island has begun exporting its homegrown doses and is on the verge of sharing its recipes with impoverished nations abandoned by Big Pharma and wealthy countries.

    “Cuba is now one of the few lower-income countries to have not only vaccinated a majority of its population,” Jacobin’s Branko Marcetic wrote Tuesday, “but the only one to have done so with a vaccine it developed on its own.”

    According to Our World in Data, Cuba has fully vaccinated 80% of its population against Covid-19, putting it in the top 10 globally, and well ahead of several wealthy nations. Nearly 90% of Cubans have received at least one dose, again outpacing most of the world—even as the Biden administration has intensified Washington’s embargo on the island, stifling its economy and depriving its residents of food and medical supplies, including syringes.

    “Cuba,” wrote Marcetic, “has been able to do the unthinkable, developing its own vaccine and outdoing much of the developed world in overcoming the pandemic, despite its size and level of wealth, and despite a policy of concerted economic strangulation from a hostile government off its shores.”

    He added that “international solidarity efforts have been vital, too. When the U.S. blockade meant a shortage of syringes on the island, jeopardizing its vaccination campaign, solidarity groups from the United States alone sent 6 million syringes to Cuba, with the Mexican government sending 800,000 more, and more than 100,000 on top of that coming from Cubans in China.”

    Since a late-August peak of nearly 10,000 cases and almost 100 deaths per day, Cuba’s successful vaccination effort has coincided with a major decline in coronavirus infections and mortality. While Covid-19 has claimed the lives of 8,295 Cubans since the pandemic began, the country recorded zero deaths from the disease on Tuesday.

    Moreover, “the country reopened its borders on November 15 to tourism, roughly a tenth of its economy, and has reopened schools,” Marcetic noted. “This makes Cuba an outlier among low-income countries, which have vaccinated only 2.8% of their combined populations.”

    The glaring gap in vaccination rates between rich and poor countries is the result of vaccine hoarding by wealthy governments—which have gobbled up most of the world’s doses, occasionally wasting excess supplies even as they tout their insufficient donations—and pharmaceutical corporations’ refusal to share vaccine formulas, even though the underlying technology is publicly funded.

    While health justice advocates continue to push for a temporary suspension of deadly intellectual property barriers at the World Trade Organization—a widely supported move that would enable qualified manufacturers to produce generic Covid-19 vaccines, treatments, and tests—Big Pharma has lobbied to maintain its extremely profitable monopoly control over lifesaving knowledge, and the industry continues to be backed by the United Kingdom, Germany, and a few other opponents of the patent waiver. [Full article at the link]

  9. It was discovered and sequenced in South Africa but nobody knows where it originated and really it doesn’t matter because viruses generally don’t recognize borders.

    Initial indications in Cape Town suggest that this latest version is milder in effect than its predecessors. If that’s true, it’s possible we shouldn’t be vaccinating anyone to prevent it so as to allow it to out-replicate earlier variants.

    Meanwhile Sweden refused to be panicked into mandatory lockdowns and border closures, prioritizing the freedom of its citizens instead. A year later and they’re doing just fine but media won’t talk about it because it doesn’t fit their narrative.

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