Gang members have somehow become even less popular with a public struggling in the stress of a pandemic.
This week there was criticism of the Government for co-operating with the members of the Waikato Mongrel Mob Kingdom. Leader Sonny Fatupaito was given an essential worker exemption to travel in and out of Auckland last weekend.
Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins backed the exemption, saying, "I back any method that will help us to reach those who are hard to reach and back the Ministry of Health and police to make the right decisions about how we do that."
Fatupaito was asked to travel to Auckland by South Seas Healthcare, the co-ordinator of much of the response to the South Auckland clusters. If Ōtara's largest Pacific health provider could see the need, then surely that should be enough.
However, the criticism ramped up a notch when Hipkins, answering a direct question about gangs and positive cases of Covid, replied: "Certainly there would be some evidence to suggest that there has been spread among gang networks."
Covid was always going to be hard to stifle once it got inside any fraternity that doesn't comply with the precautions we know can work - be that a gang, a church or a music festival.
Whatever one's view of gangs, they are not going away simply because we wish it. In this respect, they are like Covid; only by working together can we reduce harm. If we left the virus to "have at" the gangs, it would spread to their whānau, their communities - and your community.
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Covid doesn't care whether the next host has a patch on its back. Everyone needs to be corralled into the campaign.