Captain's Log: Day 32 and morale is low among the crew. I have tried to boost flagging spirits by reminding them that we must reach level 2 eventually but I'm afraid that many of them have lost hope.
Some have even denied the existence of level 2. They believe it to be a mythical place, a Utopia based on the stories of crewmen from the South. But it must be there. I'm older than the crew and I remember it. I'm sure I do. We just need to keep going … I pray I have the strength to do so. Yup. Welcome to Auckland.
Hilary Barry's formal Friday photo summed up the feelings of most of us in the city when she appeared, not perfectly made up in a glittering ballgown, but with mascara caked under her eyes, smeared lipstick and unkempt hair, surrounded by chip packets and peanut butter.
When the Cheerer-Upper in Chief lets you know it's okay to be over living in level 4, you know you're normal. If I hear one more bloody thank you from that bloody Covid voiceover woman, I think I'll scream. And any gratitude from anyone outside of Auckland won't count for a tin of beans unless they've been vaccinated. Because that's the only way we're getting out of this mess any time soon.
In this latest outbreak, we have had just under 90 people hospitalised with about 10 per cent of those needing ICU care – and that almost brought the hospitals to their knees. Extra ICU staff had to be brought in from around the country because intensive care means just that – each patient requires constant round the clock monitoring and that requires shifts of nurses for each single patient. And of those who were hospitalised, not one was fully vaccinated.
Sure, some had had the jab, but not one had had both injections and the two-week period in which immunity builds up against the virus. The fact that vaccines work is in the hospital numbers. The science of the efficacy of the vaccine is all there too. The answers to the questions from the vaccine hesitant are all there. This really is a protective shield against the virus that will protect us and our public health system.
But I know of people who are still resistant. And I just don't know how to get the message through to them that if they are able to be jabbed, they should be. For their own good and for everyone else's. Because the only way we can get back to any kind of normal is when we reach the 90 per cent target. I get that people haven't seen the carnage Covid can wreak, the sort of body count other countries endured.
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Bodies haven't been piled in the streets and families haven't been devastated by the virus. So that makes it more a theoretical danger. But the damage being done to so many men and women around the country, whose mental wellbeing is being eroded by the day and whose livelihoods are evaporating, is very real.
Which makes listening to people say 'Yeah, not for me. I might just wait and see' really hard. Especially when some of them are not quite so scrupulous about what they put in their bodies come party time and festivals.
There's not much you can do about the batshit crazy conspiracy theorists. They've gone so far down the rabbit hole that they are impossible to save. And if the worst happens and they're struck down with the galloping Covids, well, their choice and after all, god's little pruning fork will do its work.
But for those who are just faffing around, taking a wait and see approach – please. For the sake of your fellow Kiwis, particularly those of us in Auckland, for the sake of all those families doing it so very tough, for the sake of the doctors and nurses in our public health system, for the future of this country, do your bit and get jabbed.