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Aussies and NZers: Jabs, Jobs and (grounded) Jets


Paxter
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1 minute ago, Ran said:

What's the issue?

When I edited my original post (a bad habit), a new post was created quoting the previous one. Might have been my error as I was using my phone - maybe I clicked something by mistake. 

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Just now, Paxter said:

When I edited my original post (a bad habit), a new post was created quoting the previous one. Might have been my error as I was using my phone - maybe I clicked something by mistake. 

Okay. I'll try and test that on my phone to see what happens. If you see it again yourself, let me know.

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All of Auckland is now 90% single jabbed there are 3 separate health areas within Auckland, 2 have been over 90% for a couple of weeks I think, the just got over 90% yesterday. The double jabbed %s are 80, 84 and 87, representing ~92,000 people total left to get their second jab for Auckland to move to the traffic light system.

With people able to get second jabbed after 2 weeks, the last area can't really get over 90% for another 2 weeks, but the other two areas could theoretically get to 90% within a week if another big vax day was to happen this coming weekend. Not sure if that's being planned though. Even the third area could jump from 80% to 88-89% with a big vax day with just a few thousand people left from last week's vaccinations to get across the line.

I know the govt said each area has to hit 90% to bring in the traffic light system. But if the govt said that if 2 areas hit 90% and everyone able to get the second jab in the 3rd area does so this week then they would bring in the traffic light system on Monday 15th I think people would rush out and do it. The city is sick of being in a lockdown and the promise of opening at the beginning of next week would be a huge incentive to get the vaccination rate over the line.

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Not really a great look if McGowan is considering changing his border stance based on a test match. But perhaps this is a beat-up job from Hunt?

Anecdotally, I think most Western Australians are happy to wait for the 90% threshold before opening.

Edited by Paxter
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It's not that weird. In a lockdown situation ethnic, friend and family groups tend to only mix within themselves, and there is a degree of ethnic separation in the population distribution around Auckland. So Maori will spread the disease among Maori. Won't be long before it's spreading among most communities, and around the country. Though because Maori vax rates are lowest of all ethnic demographics (and anti-vax attitudes perhaps highest) the hospitalisation and death rates may tragically skew Maori. Also in the various health mrisk factors (obesity, heart disease, smoking, diabetes) Maori are also over-represented. Maori vax rates are going up, but they are still significantly lagging the gen pop.

Interestingly probably the most religious demographic in the country is Pacific Islanders, and their vax rate all across the country is basically on par with the white population.

One silver lining is that for both Maori and Pasifika the vulnerable age groups are all highly vaccinated, right throughout the country, being between 91 and 137% the vax rate of the rest of the population depending on the region.

We might have COVID in my town now. The next few days should reveal if people got infected from the couple of infected people who visited about a week ago. I will probably avoid taking the train into work the next few days, too many people slack about masking (it's not that many really, but it only takes one infected person being slack).

Lockdowns aren't preventing spread anymore, even outside the lockdown areas. Might as well move to the traffic light system sooner that trying to hit that 90% double jabbed in every region. That is going to take an age. The govt is reluctant to put any other areas into lockdown, and level 2 is simply less effective at managing the disease than putting a place into orange or red status.

 

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Lockdown flushed the virus out of the compliant community. It is currently succeeding at keeping the general community more-or-less separate from the non-compliants... and one really has to wonder how many unvaccinated Maori are left to burn through in Auckland. Because at no point in this wave has it looked like leaking into anyone else, even as the numbers have increased. 

(It also goes without saying that if everyone were actually complying with the rules, the virus would have been killed off long ago. The peculiar subset of the Maori community who are circulating this are clearly not obeying the rules. It also follows that a leakage back into everyone else could be stamped out via lockdown. Lockdown crushed this among Pacific Islanders).

It's a peculiar situation because no other outbreak in the world has resembled this lack of general community transmission (apart from possibly South Korea's, IIRC). The likes of Sydney were very geographically centred. 

Edited by The Marquis de Leech
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@The Marquis de Leech, I get the frustration, but at some point do we have to drop the analysis that focuses on “compliance”/“killing off the virus” and tackle this from a harm reduction perspective? 

Thinking of the HIV epidemic/pandemic in developed countries as an example, yeah sure it would be great if gays just stopped having unprotected sex, people didn’t share needles etc. But that’s not reality 100% of the time, so the more positive move is to think about constructive ways to reduce harm over the longer term.

Edited by Paxter
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I wouldn't even say the lockdown has flushed the virus out of the compliant community. It has kept it to a very manageable low level, but where the non-compliant community goes the compliant community follows to a degree. You can't keep the two communities segregated, the non-compliant community still goes to places where they interact with the rest of the community and a there will be transmission of the disease in those locations at a relatively predictable rate. it will be a low rate for sure, but it will still happen.

1 case announced today in my town. I believe it is the first case in this town ever. We had a case right at the start in a neighbouring town, but I don't think we ever got a case here. Rumours and speculation are that the person who brought it here last week was delivering drugs. That might be complete BS, but it would also not be surprising if it was true. Allegedly the virus came here a week ago, and the infected person left after just one day. That means this infected person was infected about a week ago, and has potentially been out and about in the community for maybe 3 or 4 days while infectious, unless they have been isolating. If the virus has come here via the drug trade then it is likely the infected person is part of that supply chain and has probably been interacting with customers in a non-COVID safe manner, certainly not been doing any scanning of QR codes. And that's another point of interaction between the compliant and non-compliant community. Some in the "compliant" community use drugs, esp weed, and those people won't be depriving themselves of their recreational substances. So that is another route of transmission into the compliant community.

@The Marquis de Leech Double vaxed Duncan Garner and his son (11) has announced they have COVID. Is he in the compliant community or the non-compliant community, do you think?

With the Waikato dropping to level 2 while cases are still popping in reasonable numbers up I expect spread throughout the country to happen pretty soon including the South Island. 

Update: curious (or not) that the main the North Island - South Island ferry operators is considering vaccine mandate for passengers, just the day after* the Waikato is announced as going from lockdown to not lockdown. *correction, the day of, I just noticed the article is dated yesterday. It does seem like the ferry operator is worried about being the route of travel for COVID to reach the South Island, so doesn't want to be the one to blame for it. Though also I assume the physical distancing thing on the ferries for unvaccinated passengers would be a bit of a pain to manage.  If airlines and both commercial ferry operators have a vaccine mandate then that will mean the only way to get between islands is on private vessels / planes.

Edited by The Anti-Targ
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Well that's a bit shit. The cases in my town are linked to a Killer Bees gang convention where at members of the gang gathered from all around the country, including the South Island. So, there is a chance that this gathering could be the epicentre of COVID spreading to most of the rest of the country. Nice one gangs. I am guessing they didn't use a COVID tracer app for their gathering, or use a visitors book as an alternative. Sorry @The Marquis de Leech. There's a case in the South Island announced today, I wonder if it is linked to this gang convention.

Bit of a moving feast on the gang connection to the cases here. Apparently the person who brought the disease into the community did not attend the gang convention, but did attend a smaller, unrelated event. So we seem to be off the hook for potentially spreading the disease further around the country. The other good news is my local area is now officially over 90% (12+) first dose with today reaching 90.2%. Two more regions should get to 90% first dose by early next week, at least, which will make half of the health regions in the country at 90% first dose.

Final bit of good news, though overall kinda bad in the net influence it will have on vax hesitant people, an Auckland University professor retracted a paper they published in a bit of a tin pot "journal" claiming that 80% of 1st and 2nd trimester pregnant females would miscarry if they get vaccinated while pregnant. This was demonstrably false from global data and the basis for the claim in the paper was a maths error. But it didn't stop the paper being published with a strong recommendation to withdraw approval for pregnant and child-bearing age people. The paper obviously spread like wildfire throughout the anti-vax community. The retraction will be ignored by everyone in the anti-vax community, and if it is pointed out to them they will claim the retraction was coerced. So the retraction will do very little to undo the harm that was done with the original publication.

No apology from the professor, just an admission that there was a maths error.

Edited by The Anti-Targ
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More shenanigans going on federally with the PM this week stating:

Quote

He had “no tolerance” for violent protests, he also appeared to sympathise with their anti-government message, saying it was time for “Australians to take their lives back”.

ScoMo clearly trying to defend his right flank ahead of next year’s election. It’s petty stuff as about half of the country is still living Covid free and happy to be that way until 90+ vaccination rates have been attained. 

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ScoMo seems to think that 80% vax (does he mean total pop or eligible pop?) is good enough to let people run wild and free (so to speak). I think that since 18-19% would still have completely naive immune systems, and vaxed people will still catch and pass on the infection, letting go of all measures could lead to disaster and a massive wave of infection, hospitalisation and death. Though you (we) basically have the summer to let COVID cycle through the unvaxed population at a rate that's a bit more manageable than what we'd face in winter.

In terms of vaccine mandates in states, what are the rules? Here there isn't a vaccine mandate for going to pubs, restaurants, movies etc, there are just different rules for businesses that will serve unvaxed (or unknown status) people, and depending on the traffic light colour in a region the restrictions on businesses and facilities that are open to unvaxed people make such business less or more viable. The effect of the restrictions on businesses providing for unvaxed people will be such that almost any business will require a vaccine passport. Though not all. My brother's 2 businesses won't require a vaccine passport because it is a business with few walk-in customers so that number and distancing restrictions applicable to businesses allowing entry for unvaxed people will be manageable. At one of his businesses 100% of his staff are vaxed, at another only 1 staff member is unvaxed. He will have to only use that staff member in a non-customer facing role most likely. Not sure if they are in a customer facing role currently.

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7 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

ScoMo seems to think that 80% vax (does he mean total pop or eligible pop?) is good enough to let people run wild and free (so to speak). I think that since 18-19% would still have completely naive immune systems, and vaxed people will still catch and pass on the infection, letting go of all measures could lead to disaster and a massive wave of infection, hospitalisation and death. Though you (we) basically have the summer to let COVID cycle through the unvaxed population at a rate that's a bit more manageable than what we'd face in winter.

 

Not sure exactly which comment you're talking about, but Scomo is undoubtedly talking 16+, though at this point as a country we're at about 90% 12+ on first doses (rapidly closing on 2nd) anyway. Getting towards 77% first dose total population. 

Starting to look like every state will hit 90% 16+, which is pretty good news. Hopefully should end up near 80% total population by Christmas even without the 5-11s (now that rollout has been pushed to next year), which I'd far better than I thought we'd do. Pretty good even by international standards at this point.

My own state of SA is opening borders to the fully vaccinated midnight tonight, we're at 77% 16+ (approx 75% 12+). Though we're still requiring testing for incoming travellers and will be over 80% 16+ in a few days (12+ a few days after that). There's a few nervous people hereabouts.

 

7 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

In terms of vaccine mandates in states, what are the rules? Here there isn't a vaccine mandate for going to pubs, restaurants, movies etc, there are just different rules for businesses that will serve unvaxed (or unknown status) people, and depending on the traffic light colour in a region the restrictions on businesses and facilities that are open to unvaxed people make such business less or more viable. The effect of the restrictions on businesses providing for unvaxed people will be such that almost any business will require a vaccine passport. Though not all. My brother's 2 businesses won't require a vaccine passport because it is a business with few walk-in customers so that number and distancing restrictions applicable to businesses allowing entry for unvaxed people will be manageable. At one of his businesses 100% of his staff are vaxed, at another only 1 staff member is unvaxed. He will have to only use that staff member in a non-customer facing role most likely. Not sure if they are in a customer facing role currently.

Depends on the state. Here in SA teachers and healthcare workers are currently mandated to have vaccines, but no others. Businesses are supposedly free to impose their own mandates, though I don't believe that has been tested in any of the several court cases ongoing yet. A few states and the NT have gone further and have mandated large portions of the working population (ie service roles) have to be vaccinated. Think Vic has gone the furthest - is mandating covid vaccination to enter most non-essential retail / services indefinitely.

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Cross posting from COVID thread.

Our border re-opening policy has just been announced.

Quote

16 January: Vaccinated NZ citizens / residents can fly home from Australia without going into MIQ
13 February: Vaccinated NZ citizens / residents from anywhere can come home without going into MIQ
30 April: Border opens to any fully vaccinated traveller, from anywhere

Obviously no plan as yet to allow unvaxed people in without having to go through quarantine. That can't last forever.

I don't know why:

  1. vaccinated Aus residents / citizens can't come here as well from 16 Jan
  2. it's 16 Jan for Aus, when there is unlikely to be any significantly greater risk in making the date 16/20 Dec. It would have been nice to make travel easier for the Christmas / New year period.
  3. 30 Apr for throwing the doors wide open (for vaxed people), though perhaps projections are suggesting the whole country might only get to 90% fully vaccinated some time in April.

Seems like I can come and visit you from 16 Jan without having to spend time in COVID prison, but you can't come and visit me. 

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On 11/14/2021 at 9:59 AM, Paxter said:

Not really a great look if McGowan is considering changing his border stance based on a test match. But perhaps this is a beat-up job from Hunt?

Anecdotally, I think most Western Australians are happy to wait for the 90% threshold before opening.

McGowan replied publicly to Hunt saying "stop making things up". So yeah, it was a beat up.

And it is pretty clear that WA folks are quite happy and that there is a ton of stuff to show that the protesters are just the usual RW & libertarian crowd.

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Religious Discrimination Bill introduced today by our PM.

I haven’t had a chance to look at it in detail but it seems to be in line with what I expect from Australia: prioritizing religious belief over other forms of diversity, including things you can’t control like sexuality. Having said that, I think some moderates managed to get it watered down a bit during the policy development process so I’ll take that. This includes some protections for gay students that don’t currently exist.

ETA: The Nationals turmoil continues in NZ with another leader deposed. Are they the new Australian Labor Party? :P

Edited by Paxter
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What concerns me over the National leadership spill is the issue that was the final straw. Judith Collins demoted one of their senior MPs, who was the previous leader, over an historic allegation (don't know the details) about some kind of misconduct towards a former female MP (she was a MP at the time of the alleged misconduct). If Collins had reasonable cause for the demotion, i.e. that the allegation is serious, credible and not previously addressed, then the reaction being to kick her out as leader is an attrocious response and a very bad pretext to dumping her. This could end up making National look like it is reverting to an oldboys club stuck in a misogynistic past (though...has it ever not been that?), so the pretext for the spill might end up backfiring on them badly.

But Collins is not above using pretexts to try to bring rivals low or to defend her position. So if she is cynically using a past issue that is either not nearly as bad as she is trying to make out, or was actually resolved to the satisfaction of the aggrieved person, then this is very bad for her and likely means the end of her political career. Whatever aspirations of Prime Ministership she had are gone forever. Even if she's ousted on a dodgy pretext she failed to revive the party's standing in the polls, so she will never get any kind of support to be leader again. The question is whether there is significant damage done to the party over the issue that is front and centre of this drama.

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