It is time we all had a little talk. Please, please, don't listen to Covid-19 nutcases. I'll give you a couple of examples of crazies to ignore.
Walking down the beach outside our house on my twice-daily dog walk during the current lockdown, I encountered a woman striding in the opposite direction. Pulling the earphone buds out of her ears, she lurched into my personal 2m protection zone and demanded to know, "Do you believe in this Covid thing?"
"Er, yes," I said, stepping back as she moved still closer. She explained she was listening to a podcast by a lawyer who, apparently, was very persuasive in convincing her that Covid-19 was a fraud, and part of an international conspiracy to deprive us of our freedom.
"Thanks for that," I babbled as I fled after the dog.
A few days earlier, before the lockdown, I was sitting with a group of friends, all of whom had had at least one vaccine shot. Except for one guy. "I'm not getting it. I don't need to," he declared.
"Why on earth not?" "Because all of you here are shedding Covid antibodies, which I'm breathing, so I don't need to." He, too, tended to believe it was all part of some sinister conspiracy to do something dreadful to us.
There are just three words of advice if you encounter people like this: believe the science.
If 75 per cent or more of us are vaccinated, we will be much safer, eliminate the need for lockdowns, start to fully reopen our borders and kickstart the economy.
The Government's biggest failure was not getting us vaccinated many months earlier. Despite negotiating agreements with several vaccine suppliers, it placed all its options in one basket – Pfizer – and time ticked by as the vaccine trickled slowly in. That was the Government's worst mistake. It is why we are all at home, effectively under house arrest, staring at the walls. The failure to ensure prompt supply was a shocker.
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Its second error is Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's insistence we can eliminate Covid-19. The overseas evidence is that it cannot be eliminated entirely. Vaccination will mitigate its health effects, but you cannot get rid of the virus itself. Well, we could, if we permanently shut the borders: no one in, no one out. No ships, no planes, bringing or taking goods. We would have to become the Hermit Kingdom.
The Government is saying this may not be our last lockdown but, surely, once enough of us are vaccinated, there should be no need for further lockdowns. Those who choose to believe Covid-19 is a fraud, or that you can simply breathe in other folks' antibodies and not need a shot, can take their chances. It's their choice, weird as it is.
Not only has the Government let us down by ensuring we have had an incredibly lethargic rollout of vaccines until now, it failed to gear up to ensure we had enough testing stations and personnel on standby for the inevitable Delta outbreak. People waiting for hours in their cars for a nasal test is not good and an active deterrent to getting one. Persisting in shoving a stick up people's noses when a much less invasive saliva test could be done also deters people from being tested. Those are the failures to date.
Looking forward, there is hope. Vaccinate and you will reduce your chances of getting Delta and the adverse effect on your health if you do get it. You reduce the risk of infecting other people.
It is not rocket science; it is simply science.