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New Zealand’s lockdown fairytale is over After its Zero Covid failure, a storm is brewing

(Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)


February 21, 2022   6 mins

New Zealand is finally facing its moment of truth. Long committed to Zero Covid, the nation has been held up as a pandemic success story: proof that the virus could be held at bay by “empathetic” leadership and prudent government intervention. Of course, the truth was more complex: New Zealand’s success in keeping case numbers and deaths down came at the cost of stranding tens of thousands of its own citizens abroad, and isolating the country from the rest of the world. The narrative of success also came into question during the prolonged lockdowns of late 2021, which failed to eliminate its Delta outbreak.

And now that Omicron has arrived at its shores, the bastion of Zero Covid is recording daily cases in the thousands. Even New Zealand’s government admits it is time for a new strategy. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ruled out further lockdowns. And earlier this month, Chris Hipkins, the minister responsible for the pandemic response, admitted that “everybody would agree [they are] not feasible”. Indeed, the large case numbers in recent days have not brought the sort of anxiety and panic that previous, much smaller, outbreaks did.

Undoubtedly, this shift has been a long time coming, presaged by many false starts. The international border remains closed, for instance, despite an initial plan to allow the gradual return of citizens from 17 January. The government promised that his reopening was “locked in”, but it was suspended in late December, sparking dismay and anguish from stranded citizens unable to get one of the very few places in the country’s quarantine hotels.

The government was unrepentant, however, proceeding to suspend the allocation of new quarantine places for a month, claiming the system was struggling with Omicron. Its cruel and arbitrary nature was highlighted by the story of a pregnant Al Jazeera journalist, Charlotte Bellis, who was denied an emergency place to return home to give birth, forcing her to turn to the Taliban for protection. After international outcry, a place did mysteriously materialise, but the government continues to defend the system as having “served us well”.

The original re-opening plan will now begin at the end of the month: citizens living in Australia will be able to return from 27 February, if they quarantine at home. There will then be a slow and gradual reopening to citizens from elsewhere, as well as international students and visa holders. Even then, it’s a case of two steps forward, one step back, with “Fortress New Zealand” not due to fully open to the rest of the world until October 2022.

Nevertheless, the government and its supporters defend such caution, arguing that over the past two years it has enabled the New Zealand to buy time to prepare for the pandemic, and learn from countries’ experiences. But is New Zealand making the most of its late mover advantage?

On the one hand, there are positive signs. Observing the benefit of boosters against Omicron, the government acted swiftly, slashing the waiting period between doses, and ramping up its roll out. As a result, 2 million people — out of a total population of 5 million — are now boosted. New Zealand also took notice of the “pingdemic” in the UK in 2021 — and the food shortages, closed businesses and supply chain chaos in Australia, when Omicron forced the isolation of essential workers — and planned accordingly. Under “phase 2” of its Omicron Response Strategy, the isolation period for positive cases has been shortened and the definition of a close contact relaxed. Essential workers with a positive case in their household will be allowed to continue working if they return a negative test.

This certainly contrasts positively with the bungled policymaking in Australia over the summer, where federal and state governments made up new rules and requirements on the hoof; Prime Minister Scott Morrison actually suggested enlisting minors to drive forklifts to ease the supply chain shortages. Instead, the New Zealand government confidently predicts “we’re ready”.

And yet, two years into the pandemic, the health system remains perpetually “stretched to its limits”, with warnings that Omicron will tip it over the edge. New Zealand remains near the bottom of global rankings when it comes to ICU beds per capita, more than 50% below the OECD average, and below countries like India. In December, funding was finally allocated to increase that number, but the new beds won’t be ready until June. Experts predict the country is about 90 beds short of what is required. There is also a shortage of critical care nurses to serve them, and dire warnings of the dangers of delayed care for cardiac and surgery patients. Ironically, this situation is made worse by closed borders, and the lack of priority given to nurses waiting in the immigration queue.

Meanwhile, for all the forward planning, the government has dropped the ball on the most important element: testing. Rapid antigen tests (RATs) remain scarce in New Zealand; the government failed to secure enough ahead of the Omicron wave. Like Australia, it only seems to have caught on to the importance of RATs once Omicron was raging around the world, by which time the global market for them was tight. Most of its rushed orders since are not due to arrive for weeks, and there are currently only 7 million RATs in the country, with more arriving by the end of the month. This has led to rationing, with RATs restricted to essential workers through a convoluted bureaucratic system. There are examples of the government confiscating tests ordered by private businesses, sparking ugly public recriminations.

Lacking RATs, New Zealand continues relying on the PCR testing system, which is struggling to deal with exploding cases, leading to long wait times for results. Consequently, businesses in Queenstown are already closing and reducing trading hours due to staff shortages.

In short, despite talk of lessons learned and readiness, it looks like New Zealand may end up repeating many of the mistakes made by other countries. And there will be consequences for the Ardern government, which has a lot riding on the next few months. For the past two years, the Labour government has remained wildly popular due to its pandemic response, even if that popularity took a hit during the Delta lockdowns last year. But this year, the nation having finally reached the Covid crossroads, the government’s handling of the pandemic has increasingly come into question.

Polling shows 44.3% of the population believe the government hasn’t prepared well enough for the Omicron outbreak, and the net number of those who feel the country is heading in the right direction has decreased from 15% in January to 1% this month. And the opposition National Party — under a new leader, former businessman Christopher Luxton — has been zeroing in on the government’s shortcomings, and is being rewarded for it in the polls.

Meanwhile, a “Freedom Convoy” made its way across the country, arriving in the capital last week and blockading the streets outside Parliament. One of many demonstrations inspired by the Ottawa truckers, it demands an end to vaccine mandates and Covid restrictions. New Zealand requires workers in a wide array of industries to be vaccinated, including in health, education and police and emergency services, as well as — crucially — workers in ‘close-proximity’ businesses that require a vaccination pass for customers to attend, such as hospitality, events and gyms. Estimates suggest that this could include up to 70% of the total workforce, with bosses having the power to sack workers if they refuse to get vaccinated.

In this context, the protesters insist they will continue their occupation until the mandate is removed, and restrictions eased. They include a very diverse range of people, often with wildly contrasting politics. What unites them is their growing marginalisation from everyday life as vaccine mandates create a two-tier society.

Unsurprisingly, the response from the government — and the wider political class — has been one of disdain. Politicians from the main parties refuse to meet with the protesters, labelling them violent and anti-social, and dismissing any discussion of their demands. (While there have been instances of abusive and violent behaviour, for the most part the protests have been peaceful.)

The parliamentary authorities have resorted to underhand tactics to disperse them, turning on sprinklers, and blasting loud music — strategically, the greatest hits of Barry Manilow — to wear them down. With ridicule failing to do the trick, the government is turning to repression: police have attempted to clear the camp and arrested more than 120 people. Even the army was called in to remove the protesters’ vehicles. Yet the protestors remain.

While local residents have little time for the protests, a recent poll found that 30% of the population support them — which creates another dilemma for the government. Having already dismissed them as beyond the pale, it is unlikely to backtrack. But a violent crackdown to remove them will further marginalise a large portion of the electorate.

In short, New Zealand’s once oh-so-cohesive Covid policy is falling apart. And as disenchantment grows, its government could soon find itself overwhelmed by a crisis of a very different order.


Tom Chodor is a Senior Lecture in Politics and International Relations at Monash University.

TomChodor

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Derek Bryce
Derek Bryce
2 years ago

Tribunals for Trudeau and the Toothy Tyrant!

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Derek Bryce

This writer wants to award them prizes.

“Nevertheless, the government and its supporters defend such caution, arguing that”
“On the one hand, there are positive signs. Observing the benefit of boosters against Omicron, the government acted swiftly, slashing the waiting period between doses, and ramping up its roll out. As a result,”

As the booster does not work, but does compound health problems caused by the highly toxic spike protein, I do not see how you talk of benefit.

Here is an Australian Blogger on youtube, an ex-Policewoman, talking to the world’s foremost Covid-19 expert, Dr McCullough. He begins with ‘Drop All Mandates Immediately”… and then gives an hour telling how bad vax is, how much harm, and all to NO purpose as perfectly good at home health would have saved 95% of all covid deaths – but that was completely repressed as it would cause vax-hesitancy (and the WEF says All Must Be Vaxed) (and the mass formation has taken all over the sheep, which as we know is pretty much all NZ)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQy1MbbwibY

Just out today – all you lockdown sheep in NZ and Aus should spend some time and watch it.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

We’ll see. We almost now have as close to an experiment as we can get, with NZ having had no previous antibodies from previous infection and a very high rate of vaccination we”lol be able to observe how effective the vaccines are (or otherwise) by comparing the number of deaths after the current spike to that seen in other countries

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Good point NZ will be the control group showing long term harms that may exist from the vaccine.

But an interesting study shows the more vax a place has, the more covid cases, and covid deaths and hospitalizations. Israel that had 4 times the cases per million pop, and more deaths than Palestine, despite being the most vaccinated place on earth.

And Gibraltar – I think it was Dr Campbell who interviewed the Gibraltar Doctor/epidemiologist who locked down the rock, and got 100% vaxed, triple even before the covid hit! He was so proud of the job he did.

per million pop:

Gibraltar, 441663 cases, 2999 deaths per million – UK, 271738 cases, 2345 deaths.

This is true almost everywhere, the more vax the more death and cases – check out Worldometers, just click on the Nations by Name column to get them in order by letter – https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

You don’t think that Palestine’s lack of testing capability compared to its much more wealthy neighbour may have something to do with lower confirmed case numbers? Or the fact that Gibraltar is 12x as densely populated as the UK may have something to do with a slight increase in the virus there?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

OK then, how about China?

75 cases per million, and 3 deaths.

France, 340,000 cases, 2085 deaths. China did not use Pfizer……

So tell us what ‘The Science’ means.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

You believe the figures coming out of China do you? If so it makes me question your judgement about the information you post from other sources I must say

Michael K
Michael K
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

There is logic behind the idea. If you put mRNA into your cells, there is no reason to assume that a cell has to die as soon as it produces the spike protein. If there are cells left that present spikes on their surface, the body must necessarily develop tolerance to the spike. The drop in antibody levels might be explained by such a mechanism. Vaccines that genetically engineer cells are bound to fail due to the body’s very stringent self-non-self recognition. Don’t mess with the cell – it’s the integral part of the entire system.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael K

I’m sure there is a theory behind it, but I’m not going to pretend I know enough about microbiology to understand minor details and theories about what can happen to cells when exposed to various substances. I’m simply going on the fact that hundreds of millions have been jabbed, and there has been little in the way of adverse reactions and they appeared to bring hospital numbers down significantly, therefore I had the jabs.
With the amount of rubbish I’ve shoved up my hooter over the years I’m not going to be scared of a jab that has the backing of almost the entire medical community

Michael K
Michael K
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

How can you so blatantly repeat the lies of the mass media? Germany is discussing forced vaccination; yet their health ministry website states that there is a 1 in 5000 chance of myocarditis from vaccination. Do you realize how terrible of a number that is? It would still be bad if it was 1 in 50.000, but 1 in 5000 is absolutely catastrophic. You can do the math in your head. Say the vaccine lasts for a year, and even with the vax there is a 10% chance to get infected. Once infected, there is a 0,02% chance to die for a young person, say, 30-year-old male. So the chance for infection + death is 0,002%, that’s 1 in 50.000. This means you would have to vaccinate 50.000 people to avoid one death. But at the same time, you have given 10 people a myocarditis, which has a 20% death rate. So you save one person, but kill two. How does that make any sense?
Did you even read the original Pfizer study? It never discussed severe disease to any significant degree; it was vastly set up to prove that the vax reduces light to moderate symptoms, which no one should even care about.
Their very own six-month follow up clearly proved that there is no mortality benefit by the vaccine. In fact, more people died in the vaccinated group than in the placebo group (though the difference was small).
“Almost the entire medical community” that is so incredibly wrong. The stuff you see on the news is filtered and censored. There is a huge amount of doctors and scientists who strongly disagree with the assessments of politicians and MSM; they just don’t get a voice.

Last edited 2 years ago by Michael K
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael K

Those figures bear no resemblance to reality I’m afraid

Michael K
Michael K
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yes, I can see that you’re afraid. If you won’t even believe the numbers of the vax-worshipping German government, then you must indeed be afraid out of your mind.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael K

I’m not afraid in the slightest, merely pointing out the flaws in your numbers. A 1 in 5000 chance of myocarditis based on German vaccination rates would result in over 5000 cases, when in reality there has been little over a 1000 which is closer to 1 in 25,000 none of which were fatal.
It’s well known that some people have adverse reactions to the jabs, nobody is pretending otherwise. However for me personally I thought the risk from the jab was less than the risk from the virus therefore I got myself vaccinated

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I’m afraid Billy Bob those numbers are spot on. In the case of myocarditis, you have published studies from Israel and Honk Kong which indicate a risk anywhere between 1 in 1000 to 1 in 5000 of young men (15-25) developing myocarditis post-vaccination with the mRNA vaccines. Then if you look at the VAERS database, the UK Yellow book equivalent, and the European Medical Agency equivalent, you will see that the reported adverse effects following covid vaccination dwarf those from all other vaccines combined for the last 10+ years. That is the reality.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The lower average age (20) in the Palestinian territories is likely a big factor in explaining the gap.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

As I understand it, the Pfizer vaccines were specifically developed for the ‘wild’ (lab?!) version, so I don’t see how they can prevent Omicron.
Aren’t Pfizer beavering away making a new one? Lovely lolly!

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

Why shouldn’t they create a new one? Flu jabs are created or altered each year to fight the prevalent strain at the time, why would we not do the same with the coronavirus seeing as it has become endemic?

Philip L
Philip L
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I’ve already invented a new vaccine for covid going forward. I’ve called it ‘Box of Tissues’.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  Philip L

Well said, and may I add have a mug of Ovaltine, and an iota of moral fibre?

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
2 years ago

Plus a tot of your usual poison.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Thanks, I’d almost forgotten that.

Last edited 2 years ago by SULPICIA LEPIDINA
Kerie Receveur
Kerie Receveur
2 years ago

Hot honey, fresh lemon juice and with a measure of something comforting in it. Retreat to bed with book or other entertainment. Keep warm. Keep “Box of Tissues” close at hand. Survive

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  Kerie Receveur

Thank you, that is in fact my Chief of Staff’s immediate action.

However I think Doug Pingel Esq may have meant something different.

Kathleen Stern
Kathleen Stern
2 years ago
Reply to  Kerie Receveur

I swear by hot milk with honey and brandy. Gives an excellent night’s sleep as well! My Irish mother used to swear by whisky but being dosed with small amounts of that when younger put me off!

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  Philip L

I prefer my Hot Toddy.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Philip L

For most people you’re correct, however would it not be prudent to offer it to the elderly or vulnerable if they wanted it, seeing as they’re a much higher risk than the young?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Because the vax is mRNA which causes the human cells to produce highly toxic antigens in its own body, and that is insane.

Billy Bob – watch a Dr McCullough video – here is one today https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQy1MbbwibY

Try to get the picture from the other side. You argue the official agenda all the time – have you bothered to listen to the opposite side? This man is the scientific level of any on the pro vax/mask side.

You know mRNA has never been done – AND the spike proteins are super toxic, and do not degrade, so the more the worse it is – Each booster is a spin of the revolver cylinder and pulling the trigger again – and it will finally go off….

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

It always amazes me how people who two years ago could barely spell vaccine are suddenly experts in the field after watching a few YouTube videos. You constantly push the narrative of a single scientist, ignoring the hundreds of others who disagree with him. I have listened to McCullough, and while he’s clearly much more knowledgeable than myself he hasn’t convinced me that all those opposing him are wrong

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“Great minds think alike, though fools seldom differ.” *
Fortunately the NZ ‘laboratory’ may yield some answers.
However, as of now, it is patently obvious that Jacinda ‘the Hun’ is the worse type of authoritarian Gorgon imaginable.

(* Unknown, possibly those all too clever Ancient Greeks.)

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 years ago

Now you are just being plain silly !

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  chris sullivan

Really, why so?
Perhaps a little bit of exaggeration but is Jacinda an authoritarian nutter or what?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

No she clearly isn’t. If she was the protestors would have been beaten and tear gassed a week ago. What has she done that’s any different from any other world leader? Almost every one of them has enforced lockdowns, many for longer and much more heavy handedly than NZ

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I stand corrected.
When you put it like that, and one considers the recent reactions of the ‘Trudeau Beast’ you are absolutely correct.

Even so I thought the breast feeding in Parliament was rather a provocative start, didn’t you?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

I think Trudeau using emergency powers to freeze bank accounts of protestors, and give a little diverting funds away from the demonstration is deplorable actually, but there has been nothing if that nature in NZ. Tell me, what has she done that deserves a crimes against humanity label? Every first world country has had lockdowns, many for longer and much more heavily enforced than NZ, so why is that country being singled out?

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Trish Castle below, has said it far better than I.

However if I may speak frankly, we, very aged ‘boomers’ in Arcadia, had always regarded the Dominions as a source of true moral fibre. Diggers, Breaker Morant, Mounties,
Spion Kop etc etc. Now, horror of horrors they have all gone irretrievably ‘Woke’* God help us indeed.

(* Or completely spastic as we say here.)

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 years ago

Nz has not gone completely woke – we are in a phase where many folk are highly critical of it but have to await some kind of a correction. 90 % of the people I know are,in fact, strongly anti-woke. It is the bureaucracy that has been captured – NOT THE REST OF US – so again best to talk to people who actually LIVE IN NZ before jumping to conclusions……

Bruce Haycock
Bruce Haycock
2 years ago
Reply to  chris sullivan

Correct, as an NZer here, the govt system, CBD beltway type, and political ‘science’ graduates masquerading as journalists, are certainly mostly woke but as for the rest, there is general yawning, scepticism or outright rejection

However Dear Leaders gift for political management and maintaining a fear/government knows best based narrative via a media who share with her a similar progressivist narrative of government role and purpose, continues to largely work for her, Covid response-wise

Nevertheless her political capital is clearly eroding, if the two centre-right political parties, National and ACT, can peel off Jacinda’s remaining buffer of female voters in polling support, the end will become nigh.

At that point, NZ media, the earlier above comments notwithstanding, will typically recalibrate to begin reflecting the change in support

Jim Davis
Jim Davis
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Lockdowns for all were never a logical or scientific response. Protect the elderly and those with significant chronic health conditions and let everyone else alone would have been both a logical and scientific response. Sweden stopped lockdowns in 2020. While they have higher deaths/million than other Scandinavian countries, they are in the low 40s on the worldwide list. They had much lower death rates than Spain, England, France, and Italy while their citizens went about ordinary life and their children went to school. The Great Barrington Declaration, signed by thousands of reputable scientists was right. Every day more studies and evidence are revealed that most of what was done was not helpful but in reality was harmful. Deaths “from Covid” as compared to deaths “with Covid” are now estimated to be 50 percent or more less than reported.

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
2 years ago

Jacinda is like all those unsympathetic characters in the books of Austen, Dickens, Trollope etc. She is full resentment. That is a sin.

Trish Castle
Trish Castle
2 years ago

The former.

Trish Castle
Trish Castle
2 years ago

Setting aside the ghastly fact that NZers were not informed (officially) that they were taking part in an experiment and given no option to opt out (losing your job, career and livelihood is a cynical “choice”) it’s questionable that the NZ “laboratory” will yield answers. There is no control group, really, and the reporting system is voluntary. By normal traditional scientific standards the study design fails on many levels.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

So, by your same argument, would you criticize Dr Robert Malone? Dr Geert van den Bossche?

Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
2 years ago

A recent Unherd article by Dr Prasad discussed Malone’s claims on J Rogan show; some were true, and others demonstrably wildly false. Malone has too many false claims among his valid ones to be credible. Prasad, who does not simply follow the official covid narrative, is very credible in contrast.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

According to Dr Prasad – who has a fraction of other expert’s experience and indeed any number of of times less published and times cited – iro Dr McCullough. I remember taking issue with some of the wildest of Prasad’s claims. He is definitely not your one stop shop for all things Covid.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

Prasad is an Entertainer on social media, not a scientist.

Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

He has an MD, is a professor at UCSF, and has over 300 scientific pubs. It is always appropriate to question the claims of “experts” but I’ve read multiple Prasad articles and detected no falsehoods so until I discover new contradicting evidence he’s a lot more credible than most/all posters here (and Unherd posters are a lot more credible than other sites)

Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
2 years ago

Please give me an example. Did you read the Unherd article? I saw 0 falsehoods there, the worst thing in it was when he said he didn’t find the Ivermectin evidence persuasive (I do https://purescience.substack.com/p/how-many-covid-deaths-would-ivermectin?utm_source=url) however given multiple cases of fraudulent IVM trials and the fact that only some IVM protocols work (others don’t) I his hesitancy to endorse. Again specific false claims would be appreciated

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

Dr Prasad is a total Agenda man. Watch his latest videos! He is backpedaling so fast he is going backwards at 50 MPH, trying to pretend he was really not for the Cra*p he was spouting on the Pro Vax/mask/lockdowns.

The man is charming, but exceedingly shallow and gullible.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

I’m not criticising them, I’m merely saying that the few I’ve seen opposing the vaccines don’t present a strong enough argument in my mind to ignore the hundreds who are in favour of the vaccination against the virus.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

where would you have stood at a Witch Burning? The crowd was very convincing…..

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

What on earth does witch burnings have to do with anything?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I rarely talk of my self and weird past – but at one point I did several stints at university studying arcane parts of biology, even tutoring Chemistry at university level for money. (I also tutored religion and Trigonometry).

I know a very great deal indeed of cell biology and chemistry.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

You rarely talk of yourself or your past? Now you’ve truly lost the plot. I know more of your life story than my own!
Your background just always happens to be conveniently connected to whatever article has been published making you an expert and anybody who disagrees with you a sheep.
So when did this stint teaching chemistry occur, especially for a builder without a degree in the subject? Was it during your drifter years, or did you do it in between working the multiple trades you claim to be qualified in?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Well – I did high school as an adult in USA, having been a drop out back in London – then for the next number of years I just kept going, ultimately accumulating 2.5 years of University /College level over 7 years – bit here, bit there – I lived a whole year of University living homeless once. I attended 5 different colleges/universities in all. I have mentioned I lived out of camps 15 years in my life.

I was one of 2 students who were homeless for one year, – the other was a bit schizophrenic and lived under a bridge – I lived in a tent in some local woods and used the athletic shower room for bathing… It wore me down eventually, and I finally dropped out totally….

As far as trades – I am a professional carpenter, a electrician, good plumber, and so the rest – I am just starting to build my next house, just cleared the land…..Then there are my many years living in the remote Bush – I did some odd things those years, making my living remote…., I also lived in several countries, been to a great many, have a couple citizenships…..

Life’s been a weird trip, although I am about sick of it finally – I have seen too much, and find life just to be too cruel (not to me I have been very fortunate) The suffering I have seen and know of just weighs on me…..

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

If you say so. You’ve worn me down quite frankly and I simply can’t be bothered. In your head you’re an expert in every field, and maybe you are, but I just can’t see it myself so we’ll leave it there

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Golly gosh and I thought you may have been an Etonian!
Bad luck indeed old chap!

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

we all cannot have your advantages Sulp. I just posted above as Billy does tend to say I lie, but not everyone has had the same life as everyone, and so I explain where I come from, as it is a different place than the usual, and so my thinking is different.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

As you fished in the Slough Cut we weren’t too far away and nearly at the same time! What a coincidence indeed!

Dan Croitoru
Dan Croitoru
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

So why are you influencing for China?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Billy Bob believes that the experts must keep ‘em dumb.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

So you do realize that there has just been a paper published in a prestigious journal showing that the mRNA can be reverse transcribed in cells and then integrated into chromosomal DNA. This was a know theoretical risk but has now been demonstrated conclusively. It’s something to be aware of.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The Unherd censor is alive and well, so here is a link to the study: https://trialsitenews.com/new-study-mrna-vaccines-alter-human-liver-dna-in-vitro/

Michael K
Michael K
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Question: What happens if you force your own cells to present a toxic antigen on their membrane surface? How does the body regulate self-non-self-recognition? How long does the mRNA/DNA stay in these cells? What if a cell only produces very few spikes – will they be tolerated?
Don’t ask those questions — none can give you the answers!

C Yonge
C Yonge
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

video removed by youtube. Unbelievable

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  C Yonge

Typical spastic reaction from the moronic loons who seek to influence us!

More tea Vicar?

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

We listen without option and at great length to ‘the other side’ here on UnHerd every time Covid is mentioned. Plus a dose of the Frankfurt School and George Soros as soon as you have your laptop sharpened and your quill pen plugged in, Galeti.

Nic Cowper
Nic Cowper
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Sadly that vid has been taken down for violating pfizer’s I MEAN YOUTUBE’S community guidelines

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

We don’t need any more leaky vaccines.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Why? Because their Covid vaccine is not very effective (seen these words spoken out loud by Gates). It does not have proven safety records, does not prevent spread and indeed they have sought to conceal their records. Also the flu vaccines are not mandated. You cannot simply conflate the two.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

The Pfizer vaccine were developed to create a one world government, not anything to do with health. At least that makes a LOT more sense than thinking it was anything to do with health.

Dan Croitoru
Dan Croitoru
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

So the Chinese vax is better isn’t it?

RJ Kent
RJ Kent
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Of course…. This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines

Keith Callaghan
Keith Callaghan
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Unsurprisingly, that video has already been removed by the YouTube Censors.

C Yonge
C Yonge
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Youtube removed this video. I can’t believe this world we are in.

Marcus Corbett
Marcus Corbett
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

The video has been censored already.

Dugan E
Dugan E
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Video removed for “violating YT’s guidelines”!!

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Not there any more violation of YouTube standards
.

Chris Milburn
Chris Milburn
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Great points. The vaccine seems to have negative efficacy in terms of reducing infection rate, even if one wants to argue that it does prevent severe illness. But it seems more likely to me that Omicron is just, well, mild – period. In vaxxed and unvaxxed. Here in Canada I know now many dozens of friends and relatives who have had COVID, only one was seriously ill (died, actually!) but she was in a nursing home from a very early age for complications of lifelong morbid obesity.
I also take issue with the author’s assumption that more testing would be better. Trump, who wasn’t always right by any means, was on to something when he suggested that part of the reason we had so many cases was that we are doing so much testing. My feeling is that, now that Omicron is demonstrably as mild or milder than the flu, we have to shake our heads and turn our logic circuits back on. Did we obsessively test everyone for flu? No? Then for god’s sake would everyone stop suggesting that we do it for COVID!!!

Kathryn Payne
Kathryn Payne
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Thanks for the link Galeti, but YouTube appear to have removed it. Interesting.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Derek Bryce

I agree completely agree with the view that Trudeau and Ahern have grotesquely overstepped the mark. Authoritarian, police enforced, top down mandates have no place in a democracy.

However I wouldn’t have much problem with the U.K. government using flame throwers* to clear Extinction Rebellion protesters.

However rational we like to think ourselves, we are all tribal.

(* conscious hyperbole for the literal minded)

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Why just those two though? What has Ardern done that hasn’t been done in almost every other European nation? In fact most have spent longer in lockdown in NZ, and some are pushing for compulsory vaccination, a proposition not even discussed in NZ, so why is that country the bogeyman of the pandemic?

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

No real intention to single them out other than following the head comment. You’re right many are as bad, Austria comes straight to mind.

The point was really a self observation. Authoritarian is only authoritarian when it’s clamping down on people I agree with. The authorities are too weak when dealing with people I don’t like.

It seems to be part of the human condition and is visible throughout these threads.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I’ll agree with that, though the police response in NZ has been pathetically soft. In most countries if you started throwing human waste at police officers the batons and tear gas would be out almost instantly, in NZ they weren’t even arrested. Not exactly authoritarian in my book

Michael Johnston
Michael Johnston
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

No one threw human waste – or at least there’s no evidence they did. The mainstream media has constantly made up blatant lies to demonise this protest, so nothing they say should be taken seriously. It might be true and it might not.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

It makes the protesters look bad therefore it can’t be true! You’re no better than those who were excusing the BLM mob. You’ll no doubt be claiming that all the bad behaviour caught on camera is actually carried out by actors to give the protest a bad name?

Last edited 2 years ago by Billy Bob
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Billy Bob, you are so patently defensive of NZ and Ardern that you come across as almost a fanboy
 not quite, but getting there. Unfortunately what happens is that people then don’t believe that these protestors (who are protesting for liberty – understandable after witnessing Ardern’s authoritarian behaviour) are all violent, aggressive, subversive, poo throwing, nazi flag waving zealots.
We’ve already seen hundreds of hours of calm, sometimes jubilant protest behaviour in Canada described as as a riotous crowd preparing to overthrow the government. Descriptions came from MSM and Jacinda’s WEF blood brother, Justine.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

I’m only defensive due to the amount of absolute nonsense that’s posted on this comment board by people who have no idea about NZ and couldn’t have pointed it out on a map 2 years ago. I’ve no great love for Ardern, she’s just another politician but the way some paint her as some authoritarian ogre is simply a load of rubbish. I’ve spent less time living under restrictions than almost any European nation including Sweden since the beginning of the pandemic. She hasn’t done anything that hadn’t already been done in almost every other first world country, with many countries enforcing their lockdowns in a much more heavy handed fashion than NZ has.
There’s many things she’s got wrong over the course of the pandemic and indeed her time as leader, but if you believe this is because she’s doing so to be evil rather than just bad policy then you’re a fool.
As for the protest, if you ask 20 people there what their goals are you’ll get 20 different answers and unfortunately for the few sensible people asking legitimate questions about whether the remaining low level controls are still needed, they’re being drowned out by the idiots comparing the vaccine to the genetic experiments carried out in the concentration camps, scrawling anti semitic graffiti throughout the site, egging schoolchildren, abusing members of the public and throwing human waste at the police. The behaviour at the “mostly peaceful” protest has been appalling whichever way you try and dress it up and as such those there enjoy almost no support from the general population

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The damage is much worse than whether the vaccines prevented the spread of Covid or not. The government response was to remove free choice from free-thinking adults and to coerce them into undergoing a novel medical procedure, while simultaneously censoring all debate on the issue. They allowed gatherings they approved of while harshly dealing with those they didn’t. Those officials who were most adamant about following regulations were the ones most often spotted flouting their own rules.
The fact that governments may have responded with the best of intentions is irrelevant. Their actions have, whether for good or for ill, eroded much of the public’s trust in them, probably for good. Because of this if a real killer disease ever does break out, people will be slow to follow precautions. Many world governments, egged on by a supposedly educated elite, responded with nothing but sneering cynicism and pride to the concerns of their citizenry.
We need a new kind of politics: one that values the public good, yet is able to balance it accurately with individual liberties. Lately, the ‘public good’ has too often been used as an excuse to push forward unpopular policy.

Last edited 2 years ago by Julian Farrows
mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago
Reply to  Derek Bryce

Not unless they are military tribunals. The current collapse of western enlightenment has many causes but the replacement of the judiciary with political commissars is perhaps the most pernicious. If this collapse is to be reversed we need to put the demos back in democracy. The antics of ardern, trudeau, johnson etc show that can only be done by the rule of law employing greater force than these petty crooks have managed to muster.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

I used to have very positive feelings toward NZ and Canada, but now I despise them. It’s not really about the vaccines, the efficiency of the spread of the virus, it’s about elected leaders attempting to and succeeding in seizing dictatorial powers because of a perceived crisis.
Their embracing a strategy that was completely stupid and doomed to fail was criminal and evil. Sometimes common sense is better than SAGE guidance.
Did anyone really think in a world-wide pandemic Zero Covid was sustainable?
If not, it was just a massive power grab, and it is up to the people to seize it back from these tyrants. JA is particularly vile and evil, but the boy king of Canada is also up there.
Bravo, Canada!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Add Australia


James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

Exactly right. Inexcusable omission, especially since I watched Freddie talk to the Australian girl–Haley, was it–about her experience in Corona prison.
With deepest regret, JJ

Last edited 2 years ago by James Joyce
jim peden
jim peden
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

I’d like to nominate Scotland for your list, too. I am now ashamed to call myself a Scot.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Same. Governments I used to view in a positive light have completely lost my trust. Of particular concern is the situation in Canada where prime minister Trudeau has threatened truck drivers with freezes on their bank accounts and possible removal of their children into government custody.
Even Ottawa’s Chief-of-Police, Peter Sloly, has been made to resign from his position for not being actively opposed enough to the protests.
It seems that these caring and compassionate leaders aren’t so caring and compassionate against those who disagree with them.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

You couldn’t have pointed out NZ on a map until Ardern became the bogeyman of the pandemic.
Tell me, what has NZ done that’s so evil? Many other nations have spent much longer under lockdowns than NZ, have spent more money than NZ and some have even talked of compulsory vaccination for certain age groups. Why is your vitriol not aimed at them?
Zero Covid was never the long term policy in NZ, we’ve been told constantly that we’d have to learn to live with the virus once large numbers were vaccinated which is now happening

Last edited 2 years ago by Billy Bob
Roger Inkpen
Roger Inkpen
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Easy target?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

So NZ is actually the Magic Scottish town of Brigadoon? Apperaing once every year, and then dissappearing into magical isolation again for 365 more days…

I had never even noticed that…

Trish Castle
Trish Castle
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The list of evil is too long for here. It would require a long sit down and a cup of tea (or something stronger) to put it to you. However – a couple of points. Just because others may have done worse than NZ doesn’t make the evil any less so. It’s not a competition. Zero covid HAS been the long term policy of New Zealand, despite the gaslighting of our PM telling us periodically that we are going to have to live with it. She has dangled this in front of us many times, only to backtrack and go back down the road of policies which attempt to “keep the virus out”. It has proved incredibly damaging in real terms, despite the appearance of normality. We have borrowed some $62billion to save covid life years – far in excess of what is spent on saving life years from other afflictions. This can mean only one thing – loss of overall well-being. This point of view is explained in this presentation by Waikato University economist Prof John Gibson https://www.waikato.ac.nz/news-opinion/media/2021/opinion-safety-at-all-costs-costs-lives?fbclid=IwAR3TJ7YFgC33IX9PIWsb6oJeFLPdsTVUh0JEwllYAMbShQoplAngMS4wE40
Not only that, in The Beginning there was no vaccine (in my opinion and that of many others there still isn’t … but I digress) so we were left dangling here Down Under with all the eggs put in the vaccine basket with absolutely no other options seriously looked into. At that point – March 2020 – there had never been a successful vaccine for a coronavirus for a good many reasons as explained in this article https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2020-04-17/coronavirus-vaccine-ian-frazer/12146616. We shut up shop, cruelly cutting off family and friends from each other, completely wrecking our tourism industry and the lives of those who relied on that industry, etc etc etc all in the hope that one day a vaccine would arrive. It’s clear that when a pharmaceutical product appeared claiming to be a vaccine that there was no way this was not going to “work” so the narrative from our “single source of truth” is one of “safe and effective”, dismissing all concerns or evidence which questions this. Our PM reassured us prior to the 2020 election that there would be no mandatory vaccination and no penalties, and yet here we are with people unable to work and move around in society unless jabbed. At the very worst extreme 12 year olds need to be double jabbed to play in sports events, go to the local swimming pool and library etc etc. Mandatory vaccination by the back door, and derision and segregation for those who have taken the perfectly lawful decision to refuse this medical treatment because they wish to pursue another way of looking after their health than a subscription service to Pfizer. Life is fine on the surface for those who are prepared to do what is necessary to have “papers” to show, but the damage being done will impact them also as our society becomes more and more divided and the eventual economic impact affects them also.
I could go on and on. Yes, other countries have behaved similarly but as I said, that doesn’t make the NZ situation any less evil and damaging. I’ll end here so that I can deal with the knot of anxiety just talking about this gives me.

Last edited 2 years ago by Trish Castle
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Trish Castle

So you’ll admit the PM has said we’re going to have to live with it, which surely disproves your point about zero Covid being the official policy?
Your links are also an economist discussing the financial cost of the pandemic (which NZ has weathered better than most) and an Aussie article explaining the difficulty involved in creating vaccines. They’re not really relevant to your point about Ardern being evil are they?

Trish Castle
Trish Castle
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

She has said that many times, but then actions do not match the “live with it” mantra. And re the economist’s perspective I can’t really be bothered with explaining to you how financial costs lead to loss of well-being and life years, but I will make a brief attempt. You do realise that all health care spending involves a cost/benefit analysis so that scarce resources are allocated proportionately? In the first “lockdown” it is estimated that we spent 12 – 15 times saving a covid life year than we normally do for saving life years from other afflictions. This can only mean loss of overall well-being; it’s just that it occurs in lives we don’t see so readily as the lives lost from Covid.

Trish Castle
Trish Castle
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The article about creating vaccines was posted to point out that In the Beginning the government was flying blind with respect to measures taken. It was not guaranteed that a vaccine was going to be able to be developed, so there should have been serious effort put into finding a way out of this rather than some serious “kicking the can down the road” measures. For a start, they could have followed the established, science and experience-backed pandemic plan, empowered by existing and adequate legislation, rather than opting for totally experimental “lockdown” measures and now the even less scientific “traffic light system”. Yes, it states in the title that it’s an influenza pandemic plan, but in the body states that it is suitable for a Sars type respiratory virus. The government has never explained why it deviated from this plan. https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/new-zealand-influenza-pandemic-plan-framework-action

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Trish Castle

You’re correct if the vaccines hadn’t been developed then NZ would have had to come up with a different exit strategy, although the same applies to almost every other nation on earth. Nearly all of them locked down before NZ did after all

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Ok, I’ve changed my mind, you are not almost a fanboy, but a fully fledged one 🙂

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Really? You have such knowledge of my geography skills or lack thereof? Wow! Well done, you!
NZ’s filthy, vile, disgusting, fax#$t PM has take away freedom.
That’s evil.
I understand that NZ has many, many sheep. Are you one of them, mate?

Art C
Art C
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

One little statistic of interest here: in NZ 54 people have died of covid; 149 have died from the covid “vaccination”.
For this it was necessary to bankrupt tens of thousands of businesses, destroy the lives of an entire generation of youth and deliberately cause great division in society because of an obsessive zeal for a medical procedure which we all know now is utterly useless. That maniacal zeal caused the greatest damage of all, which is the broken trust in national institutions which may never heal.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Art C

Where did you get that figure from out of interest?

Art C
Art C
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

At dailysceptic.org I recall

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Art C

If that figure is true, and I can’t find any information to prove it actually is, then it must be weighed up against how many people won’t die due to being vaccinated surely?

Art C
Art C
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Did an unsuccessful quick scan to find the source (I was responding fast late last night, and certainly saw it somewhere). Actually, in several of these quick searches I saw that the total number of dead in NZ was apparently 53 (not 54) so there you go. But the number of dead as a result of covid vaccinations is not immediately available: this alone ought to raise suspicion! Even if this number was 1 (or zero!) it ought to have been reported & be available; in the latter case with pride you would think. I shall dig further after work if time.
My salient point, though, as stated by many people at the start of this covid drama (let’s not call it a “pandemic”), is that the damage (including deaths) to the fabric of our society will be greater by many degrees as a result of the measures taken than any actual impact of the virus itself. I find it disturbing, though, that you appear to still be convinced by the whole “Virus pandemic! Global emergency!” narrative as demonstrated by your assertion “how many people won’t die due to being vaccinated surely”. Perhaps you haven’t noticed how increasingly rapidly the whole covid narrative has been crumbling these past few months, as all those contradictions, absurdities & lies continue to pile up and cannot be swept under the carpet anymore. So much of what official data has been presented to us over the past 2 years has been shown to be false so many times it’s beyond a joke. And that’s without even mentioning what has NOT been reported; i.e. effectively censored. What has turned out to be a joke, though, is “the vaccine”, although it’s proving to be a very expensive one for us (and our children) and an extremely profitable one for companies like Merck, Johnson & Pfizer. You surely know by now, that vaccinated people can contract & transmit this virus; they always could. And unvaccinated people pose zero threat to someone vaccinated. And the unvaccinated never did die in large numbers (or small numbers). No-one did!
Smearing “the unvaccinated” and publicly stating that they would die in large numbers was clearly a strategy to coerce every last man, woman & child to take “the vaccine” – which isn’t even a real vaccine – and is virtually useless as we now know. The real question is why did the drive to push mass vaccination continue to be ramped up with such maniacal zeal all through 2021, in spite of all the failings described above? Why the obsession? The only plausible answer is that hooking up the entire (meaning 100%) population to a vaccination program (for whatever ulterior motive) was the real reason for the whole covid drama.

Art C
Art C
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

I agree. Of course there are a lot of very decent Canucks and Kiwis out there: the sturdy decency of the Canadian truckers & NZ parliament protesters in recent weeks stands out. But one has to question the integrity, judgement and moral fiber of a population which allows infantile, overgrown adolescents like Ardern and Trudeau anywhere near the levers of power in a state, let alone to rise to its pinnacle. If Canadians and New Zealanders value their liberty they will dump these petty little tyrants directly. If they don’t they will have only themselves to blame. Petty little tyrants become brutal big ones.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

After the initial panic, there was no justification in any country for lockdowns. These people saw an opportunity for power and they took it. Simple as that. No need to look any deeper.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

The initial lockdown in NZ was successful, in that it eradicated the virus from the country. Whether it’s morally the right course of action will be the subject of debates for a very long time with many competing views however. That lockdown undoubtedly saved lives from the virus, however whether the number saved was worth the financial cost and temporary loss of civil liberties will be argued about until the end of time

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  J Hop

I said the initial lockdown, the short one two years ago. That eradicated the virus and for a long time NZ was the only country to face no restrictions on its daily life.
The virus was always going to get in eventually, the government in NZ has said this fact constantly throughout the pandemic. The plan has always been to try and hold it off until large numbers have been vaccinated which has now happened so now the virus is being allowed to circulate.
Restrictions will be removed once the numbers of cases has spiked as we’ve seen in other nations.
You may not agree with the course of action, but zero Covid has never been the long term policy in NZ

Last edited 2 years ago by Billy Bob
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Exactly. It’s not that lockdowns were a bad idea, it’s just that as public opinion toward them grew worse the ‘science’ changed.

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Succinctly put. You should mention that lockdowns also cost lives in various ways

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

Of course they do, but so would the virus unfortunately. Large case numbers would lead to hospitals being overrun, especially in NZ with the underfunded health service, and people who would otherwise survive will die due to the hospital being over capacity. It’s a governments job to weigh up all this information and essentially choose the least damaging path. You may disagree with the actions they choose, but I don’t see it as being done for evil reasons

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I agree, and we may never know what the best course of action should have been. It may vary between countries. I lean towards the Swedish approach, but it might not have worked as well in England

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

I believe the Swedish approach was probably the correct one for Europe, seeing as the virus was already endemic before they started locking down.
But in NZ it wasn’t due to its geographical isolation, and the original short lockdown did manage to eradicate it from the country. This meant that for the first year of the pandemic we had no restrictions, no masks, crowds at sporting events, gigs, pubs open etc while the rest of the world was bouncing in and out of lockdowns. Of course this could never be a permanent strategy, and the second local lockdown in Auckland was largely pointless, and the country couldn’t remain isolated so it’s now opening up again and the omicron wave is now starting up, a few months after other nations have been through theirs. Once it’s done the remaining restrictions are to be lifted if the government is to be believed.
Some on here are much more ideological than myself, I simply don’t believe a one size fits all approach would have been very sensible

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“I simply don’t believe a one size fits all approach would have been very sensible”

For example, people say that Great Britain could not have locked down its borders as well as New Zealand, which I don’t doubt

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

Britain is 20 miles off the coast of mainland Europe, very densely populated and has one of the worlds major transport hubs in Heathrow. The virus would have been far too entrenched for locking down to have had the same effect as it had on NZ, which is sparsely populated, out of the way and a 3 hour flight from its nearest neighbour.

D Ward
D Ward
2 years ago

As required by their WEF masters.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
2 years ago

So, that’s two unherd articles today on ’empathetic’ leaders..
One about St. Jacinda, the other about kindly old uncle Joe Stalin.

Last edited 2 years ago by Paddy Taylor
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Seconded!

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago

Ummmm… boosters? Don’t work mate. Even Bill Gates admits (albeit ‘sadly’) that Omicron is more effective at creating immunity than the current vaccines, which were of course developed for one of its predecessors anyway. So what will be the point of a fourth, fifth or sixth shot? Besides Omicron is a mild version of a virus which was dangerous to the co-morbid, not to the healthy; so why not just stop all this nonsense and get on with life, unsupervised by experts and graduates of the WEF’s Young Global Leader programme?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

For what’s it’s worth I agree with you, the omicron variant does appear to be much more mild and should be allowed to become endemic, which in fact is what’s happening in most countries. Just roll out annual boosters for the elderly and vulnerable as we currently do with the flu and get on with it

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I wonder, if/when it becomes endemic, would it help suppress other, perhaps more virulent, variants

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

I’m sure we’ll find out as time goes on. The vaccines will more than likely become more effective as the years go by as well

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago

Arden is pretty much the miller who told the King his daughter could weave straw into gold. Sure she committed crimes against humanity and IMO such people should face capital punishment, but the salient point is she did it because like the miller she is a stupid coward who lied. Like the miller she found herself in a situation way over her pay grade and instead of saying “hold on, you got the wrong woman” tried to bluff through – much like BJ. That’s where the trouble comes from – she is not thoughtful enough to know she is not thoughtful enough and look at the suffering that has caused in NZ. The first and second wave of Kiwis – the Maori and the Brit colonisers after them would’ve stopped her in her tracks, the only decision being whether they use jade or lead.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Crimes against humanity? What were these then? As far as I can see NZ hasn’t done anything that hadn’t already been done in numerous other countries

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

To even use the words ‘crimes against humanity’ reveals a real lack of historical knowledge and perspective – the Unherd common view re NZ etc has become ridiculous and frankly losing of respect………….

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  chris sullivan

The fact they’re supportive of those at Wellington scrawling anti semitic trope on the buildings, waving placards about JewCinda and sharing pictures of mass hangings in Kiev (mistaking it for the executions after Nuremberg) show that all their opposition to the anti semitism of Corbyns mob of the UK Labour Party wasn’t down to protection of Jews, it was merely a stick to beat the opposition with

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Just because some anti semitic morons rail against the covid crimes doesn’t stop them being crimes.

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago
Reply to  chris sullivan

Any crime against an entire populace using disease or withdrawal of existing healthcare is a crime against humanity, just not on the scale of Mao or Hitler etc. Pro covid actors only hide behind moral relativism (whataboutery) because they have no genuine case to make. SARS CoV2 remains a flu with a CFR of 0.5 to 1%. This does not justify vaccine mandates, withdrawing cancer or heart disease care or mass house arrests unless you happen to be a war criminal, or like you, a supporter of war criminals.

Trish Castle
Trish Castle
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Correct. This indicates they have all committed crimes against humanity.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Trish Castle

Crimes against humanity is a very high bar, one I don’t believe has been met in any country personally

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

All covid based crimes against populations are crimes against humanity. The dead from withdrawing cancer and heart disease services and those left to die alone in “care” are victims of crimes against humanity because heatlhcare and disease were weaponised to commit the crimes. This is the same as Nazi’s starving east europe’s peasantry and Stalin starving the Kulaks. The difference being excreta like trudea, arderm bj, did it in full public view, for personal gain and against multiple independant medical opinion.

Last edited 2 years ago by mike otter
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

This is where I stop taking your opinions seriously. Comparing a sometimes bungled response to a once in a century pandemic is nothing like the systematic slaughter of innocent people by tyrants such as Stalin or the Third Reich.
Also NZ has had to postpone very few healthcare operations such as cancer care due to Covid, for the simple reason we haven’t yet had it in the country in great numbers to put strain on the healthcare system. Perhaps your anger would be better directed at Trump, Biden and Boris as those countries have massive backlogs caused by the pandemic

Last edited 2 years ago by Billy Bob
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Since when is Covid a once in a century pandemic? I presume you are talking about the ludicrous responses to Covid and not the IFR of the disease?

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago

The ‘virus knows no borders’ mantra must not have been taken up by NZ in 2020. I imagine that that self-serving phrase, that was parroted now and then by the globalists, in part as an admission that there can be no turning back to a slower, more parochial way of living, made no sense to that isolated country. As far as NZ was concerned, the virus DID know borders. To shut up shop like an old Hollywood recluse or one-time hip writer was its prerogative. NZ is sovereign and free. Do other countries in Europe get to exercise their prerogative?
Now what if NZ shared a land border with Australia? What kind of ructions would flow from that? Might make a good wee movie about the comic effect of two such (formerly?) hip places at loggerheads or coming to blows in such an imagined scenario.

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
2 years ago

Mousey woman should booster her knowledge with Uncle Klaus on a refresher course at the Eagle’s Nest in Davos and learn some further tricks from the Canadian pervert with the limp wrists. This whole WEF circus starts to look like a bad Harry Potter movie. Please, JK sue the wicked Klaus for copyright infringement.

Geoff Cox
Geoff Cox
2 years ago

“While local residents have little time for the protests, a recent poll found that 30% of the population support them
I think this highlights the biggest takeaway from the covid years – a democracy can only function when there is a free press and open discussion. Had we had both of these things, government-sceptics (like me) would have been prepared to go along with the lockdown b-s knowing that in the fullness of time, the over-reaction would have been corrected and replaced with pragmaticism. No permanent social divide or loss of civil liberties would have taken place.
But now the new world order is in charge and all bets are off for the future.

Malcolm James McKillop
Malcolm James McKillop
2 years ago

High school science.
Here is your petri dish. Here is your bacteria. Place the bacteria in the petri dish. Cover to prevent escape and watch it grow.

Dave Patterson
Dave Patterson
2 years ago

hmmmm, forgot to mention something quite odd – for well over 18 months now there have been safe, inexpensive readily available treatments that can reduce serious infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths by up to 70-80%, making hysterical over-reactions completely unnecessary and unjustified. I guess some people prefer panic and pretending everyone is in grave danger from the common cold.

jules Ritchie
jules Ritchie
2 years ago

The majority of the sheeple will not vote these govts out. There’s no point as the opposition will continue along the same path anyway. The vax only reduces your chance of serious illness if you have co-morbities or immune deficiencies. For all the rest of us there are many studies now showing that the vaxed and unvaxed are about equal in regard to how omicron will affect us. That is, hardly at all. The pup they sold us has grown into a huge Great Dane.

Sean Meister
Sean Meister
2 years ago

Never forget the media love-in for countries like New Zealand whilst other countries were sensibly trying to move forward. The media was hamstringing us at every turn with puff pieces about The Toothy Tyrant’s utopia and why sceptics were granny-killers. Of course, now that the narrative has changed that same media conveniently ignores New Zealand and their previous misleading coverage.

There had better be a public inquiry in the UK over all this. Far too many people were allowed to get away with far too much.

Last edited 2 years ago by Sean Meister
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Sean Meister

New Zealand is moving forward, in exactly the same manner as the UK did. We’re at the beginning of our omicron spike, whereas the UK is now at the end of theirs. Once our numbers fall again the the remaining restrictions will be eased same as they have been in the UK

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
2 years ago

“Meanwhile, for all the forward planning, the government has dropped the ball on the most important element: testing. Rapid antigen tests (RATs) remain scarce in New Zealand; the government failed to secure enough ahead of the Omicron wave.” 
The implied fairytale here seems to be that “Zero COVID” has and remains a feasible (if not economical) objective and that, somehow, testing informs the effort.
That is a big proposition, and it requires serious motivation. A motivation inspired by interesting empirical results (rather than just an appeal to faith) would make for a very, very important essay.
I myself have done an analysis of performance by state (in the United States). I’d suggest that “excess mortality” would be a good measure of performance, and — guess what? — across American states excess mortality is converging to similar values. That suggests that public interventions have had little to no effect on the diffusion of the pathogen.
If you’re interested, please feel free to check out the analysis. I posted it in on substack in an essay titled “The Orpheus Fallacy: Confusing Correlation with Causality in COVID Interventions.” https://dvwilliamson.substack.com/p/the-orpheus-fallacy

Last edited 2 years ago by Chauncey Gardiner
James Watson
James Watson
2 years ago

As throughout most of the world, all the signs are there that we’ve entered very stormy territory. However, I can’t see any reason why New Zealand should be particularly badly off in that regard. Indeed, the fact that we’re now onto the much less dangerous Omicron variant will mean massively fewer deaths than in most other countries.
Having said that, I understand that we have an extremely low level of ICU facilities, thanks no doubt to the priority given to tax cuts here for so long. It will therefore be interesting to see how our ultimate age-adjusted death-rate from Omicron compares with other developed countries that are better supplied with ICU beds. Perhaps it will make no difference in the end.
There’s some speculation that the vaccine and mask mandates may be lifted fairly soon rather than wait until the scheduled revisiting of the vaccine mandate in June. Apparently there has already been a substantial reduction in the use of those telephone codes when entering buildings.

Last edited 2 years ago by James Watson
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

There’s a lot to unpack in this article, not all of it correct.
The NZ journalist was a non story. She applied for an emergency spot, but too far in advance and was told to phone again closer to her departure date and she would be allocated a room. Instead she went running to the Taliban as Belgium wouldn’t let her stay there with her partner. That’s not me trying to defend the MIQ system, as I think much more should have been done to find extra spaces so kiwis didn’t have to rely on a lottery as to when they could return home, but to imply the journalist was sent packing to Afghanistan is simply not true.
The protesters also enjoy very little support amongst the population. The 30% figure is people who disagree with the mandates for front line workers, of which I’m one. However the protesters have behaved utterly disgracefully, abusing members of the public and even schoolchildren for wearing masks as they walk past. All their cries of freedom don’t seem to apply to others to have the freedom to wear masks if they see fit. The only pressure on Ardern is the fact that the police haven’t moved them on, with the softly softly approach seeing them cede ground and prevent local businesses from earning a living.
The criticism of the healthcare service is entirely justified, it’s on its knees thanks to 30 years of underfunding from successive governments, and the lack RAT’s is looking like it could be an upcoming problem if they’re going to continue a testing and isolating strategy. The government didn’t however take tests from private companies, the manufacturers confirmed the government simply ordered theirs first.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

So really you agree with everything, but would have preferred the story of the journalist to be excluded and you don’t like the protestors.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

The story of the journalist is a very misleading one as I’ve said, so yes it’s a poor example. Also labelling the police response to the “mostly peaceful” protestors as repressive is simply wrong. Despite being attacked with faeces, members of the public and school children being abused and local businesses being forced to shut their doors the police response has been ridiculously hands off, so much so they’re now attracting widespread criticism from the public. Also the protestors themselves enjoy almost no support from the wider public. And despite a very negative couple of months for the government, they still enjoy a healthy lead over the opposition, who rather than taking votes from Ardern has merely attracted some back from the minor party to their right.
As I say, parts of the article are correct such as the dire state of the healthcare system and a lack of RATs, however there are also large parts that are slightly misleading

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Any protests described as “mostly peaceful” should be a red flag for propaganda.

I thought it disgraceful that BLM protests were described as “mostly peaceful” and from your description these fit a similar slot.

Is this first hand knowledge?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Whilst not at the same level of violence as BLM, though that may be because the protest averages less than 1000 people, the current roll call of honour includes throwing faecal matter at the police, egging and spitting on members of the public including school children who wear masks, physically assaulting the media covering the protest (while simultaneously complaining that the media aren’t giving the protest the coverage it deserves despite being the lead story on the 6 o clock news for a week) and anti semitic graffiti scrawled throughout the camp site.
Any points of discussion they once had have long since disappeared.

Edit: Apologies I missed your question. This isn’t first hand knowledge as I’m in Christchurch rather than Wellington, but I have friends in Wellington so this is second hand knowledge as it were

Last edited 2 years ago by Billy Bob
Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Thanks. It’s good to get some local perspective, the media being what it is.

Trish Castle
Trish Castle
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“I’m in Christchurch rather than Wellington”. Says it all. You do realise that the incidents you quote might actually have never taken place, or that they might be the actions of a small element who are taking the opportunity just to be disruptive for the hell of it? Or, getting conspiratorial here, there to do things to discredit the whole protest? I have friends in Wellington too (and I have attended the protest) – and they paint a completely different overall picture than do the couple of anecdotes you have shared, as do my personal experiences.

Last edited 2 years ago by Trish Castle
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Trish Castle

The footage was faked was it? There’s plenty of it out there showing the actions I’ve described

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You have real stamina Billy Bob – I am way past caring about correcting foolishness on Unherd re NZ – but great that someone is perservering !!

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  chris sullivan

Living here I just feel that my perspective and experiences on the pandemic over the last two years in NZ would give others some local insight into the situation, especially as many only know what they’ve seen on social media and echo chamber message boards. It doesn’t look as if it’s been appreciated by many

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

“The NZ journalist was a non story.”

Good point, having a pregnant, unwed, woman stranded in Afghanistan as her native land refused her the permission to go home is a non-story. The good thing about the Taliban is under their code of Pashtunwali no one may be refused ‘Hospitality (protection) if they have been granted stay – pity the NZ are not so inclined.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Did you read anything I wrote, or are you simply ignoring it because it doesn’t suit your narrative?
The NZ journalist was in Belgium with her partner, and the Belgians wouldn’t let her stay. She booked a flight back to NZ and applied for an emergency spot in quarantine. Immigration said they couldn’t book it at the time as it was too far away, so ring back closer to the date and the journalist would have an emergency spot given to her.
Instead of simply waiting a couple of weeks and phoning immigration again, she instead made a big song and dance and instead travelled to Afghanistan and the Taliban.
There’s a world of difference between that and being “stranded in Afghanistan”, the only thing she achieved was a PR coup for the Taliban

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

OK, Lets add Belgium to the list with NZ in forcing the pregnant woman to ask the Taliban for protection. Thanks for correcting me.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

You’re just going to completely ignore the part about her being guaranteed a spot in managed isolation to be able re enter the country are you? The fact is there was absolutely no need for her to travel to Afghanistan or anywhere else for that matter, she did so entirely of her own choice

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Sometimes yopu have to draw a line in trying to get through.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

The downvotes I’ve received for reporting on the facts of the story (rather than offering an opinion) are quite telling of the mindset of many on this board

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

BB–We all owe you a debt–you’re not a commentator but a journalist, “reporting on the facts of the story (rather than offering an opinion)….
I suppose The New York Times does the same.
Thank you for your service!

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

What I’ve written regarding the journalist isn’t an opinion, it’s simply retelling what happened.

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I don’t understand that story still. I remember the BBC reported it pretty much as described here (which means nothing).
She was in Belgium and the Belgians told her she had to get out, but to go where exactly if she was stranded there? And why Afghanistan of all places?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Currently to enter NZ you have to pass through a managed isolation facility which are booked in advance.
The journalist was in Belgium with her partner but her visa was expiring. She had a flight booked back to NZ and applied for an emergency isolation spot, but as she wasn’t leaving for a number of weeks was told it was (pedantically) too far away to be classed as an emergency and to phone again a bit closer to the time. She was guaranteed an emergency spot due to her condition, she just had to contact immigration again closer to her departure date to arrange it.
Rather than do this she instead went to Afghanistan where she had been working previously to make a story out of it, handing the Taliban a PR victory.
The government in NZ was absolutely slated in the press over here when the story first emerged, however as more details emerged in the following days the journalist suddenly didn’t want to be interviewed again strangely enough

Last edited 2 years ago by Billy Bob
James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Because she had a valid visa for Afghanistan, as explained below.

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

“below” where?
So, the journalist was made leave Belgium and had only a visa for Afghanistan?
Still not terribly clear.
Could she have stayed in Belgium?

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

I referred to Billy Bob, which was below when I posted.
I heard her on BBC–or the BBC reporter–explaining that her visa for Belgium was about to expire, and thus she could not have stayed legally in BE.
That’s my source.

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

In which case it was true that she had to go to Afghanistan? But what would have happened had her Afghan visa expired?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

No it was not true. She was able to get back to NZ quite easily, all she had to do was phone immigration a few weeks before her flight departed to book a spot in the isolation facility. Instead she thought she could make herself the story by going back to Afghanistan instead.
As I say she suddenly became less keen on the limelight and stopped doing “poor me” interviews once the facts of her story came into the public realm and the sympathy disappeared

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

She could have tried the UK under the Kith & Kin “Rule” – which even allows for USA and Canadian bods in trouble.

Last edited 2 years ago by Doug Pingel
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

She might have succeeded, and it’s not nearly as dramatic or news worthy.

Trish Castle
Trish Castle
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Have you actually been there to witness this behaviour? Does it represent the majority of the protesters? Have you been down there and spoken to the people who are there and why they are there? Or are you just regurgitating media reports which delight in painting the worst picture possible, in order to sell advertising and copy. This opinion piece sums up pretty well the narrative which the media love to spin when it comes to protests. https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2022/02/20/guest-blog-suzie-dawson-remembering-the-left/
I’m not sure what contact you have with the general population to be able to definitively say that there is “very little support” for the protesters, but so what if that is the case? Perhaps some better reporting of the grievances might increase support. These people are hurting and after two years of trying other ways of getting this message across protesting appears to be the only option. As much as I hate getting into the area of generalisation, Wellingtonians are to a large extent on the government payroll, directly or indirectly, and have continued to be paid throughout this whole period (from borrowed funds), work from home quite comfortably and watch the value of those homes skyrocket while they do so. The city is running quite freely, except for the area around Parliament where for sure some inconvenience is being experienced. My experience of this is that protesters are working with police to keep these areas free for residents and emergency vehicles, but are also frustrated when, humans being humans, others come along and once again clog up the area. Reports from residences and businesses in the area are mixed, but do include support for the protesters grievances. I am full of admiration for those who are willing to stick their necks out and front up in public on issues which are important to them. Despite the inconvenience to some, we should be celebrating the fact that we are still able to do this. Maybe some day, Billy Bob, there will be an issue which is important enough for you, despite there being little support from the general population, which gives you no other option than to get out and protest.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Trish Castle

So you condone egging school children, throwing human waste at the police, spitting and abusing members of the public, attacking the local media and driving a car at police? The videos of all this behaviour has been widely circulated and is easily available to view. Trying to downplay it is no different to the BLM crowd excusing the rioting earlier in the year

Trish Castle
Trish Castle
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“Straw man
A straw man is a form of argument and an informal fallacy of having the impression of refuting an argument, whereas the real subject of the argument was not addressed or refuted, but instead replaced with a false one. One who engages in this fallacy is said to be “attacking a straw man”.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Trish Castle

It’s not a straw man argument, as you’re defending the behaviour of the protestors therefore I’ve merely pointed out a few examples of behaviour I believe are indefensible such as egging children or throwing faeces at coppers.
As for what the protesters actually want, I’m still not sure what their aims are. The Canadians had a clear goal of wanting the mandates to end for lorry drivers, everybody knew the point of the protest. The same can’t be said in Wellington, it’s an incoherent mess with no real demands

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
2 years ago
Reply to  Trish Castle

Go for it, girl!

Trish Castle
Trish Castle
2 years ago

I’m done 🙂