Improving the odds of avoiding hospital
As stated by Dr Ashley Bloomfield, only three out of 158 patients hospitalised with Delta Covid had been fully vaccinated.
A way of looking at that number, that may appeal to some who are wavering about vaccinations, is that the odds of finding a fully vaccinated person amongst those admitted to hospital with Covid is a staggering 1/52, which would be a very long odds bet.
I know where you should put your money - and your life.
And, those odds should probably be slightly widened, given that there are currently 61 per cent of Aucklanders fully vaccinated.
Dr Richard Stirling, New Windsor.
Aucklanders seem to be more interested in saving water than in saving their lives.
With similar targets of 90 per cent, water storage in Auckland has reached 89.9 per cent - no doubt helped by a wet early spring.
Meanwhile, double vaccinations are barely 60 per cent, no doubt hindered by disinformation, sheer laziness and people wanting incentives and bribes.
If Aucklanders don't get a move on and get double-vaccinated, they will hold back the city from returning to near normality, their choice of places they can travel to or visit in the near future will be severely limited. If they get Covid, every week will seem like a wet week if they don't make a full recovery.
The vaccination campaign rally should be: get your A into G, pronto.
Graham Fleetwood, Botany Downs.
It's time for the Government to select some new players off its bench. The game has now changed and so too must the tactics and players.
I therefore congratulate the appointment of Sir Ian Taylor as the new player who has the opportunity to show off the skills he brings to the game. He has shown some excellent form of late and has an amazing set of credentials which make him a real game-changer.
He has developed a variety of technological skills which he plans to use to establish a completely different MIQ system.
The Government in turn has shown its trust in his ability to make a significant difference and the team of 5 million should be very excited to see the results from his work.
Go Sir Ian.
Rob Denton, Snells Beach.
The opinion piece by Cecilia Robinson (NZ Herald, October 12) on maternity hospitals and public access highlights some pertinent points.
Surely, it is common sense that if you want to visit someone in hospital, any hospital,
that you should show that you have had your vaccinations for Covid-19.
Our rights as a patient should take priority over someone popping in to visit. We expect the hospital to keep us safe.
At one time hospitals were there for the patient to rest and recover. Visiting hours were restricted to one hour in the afternoon or the evening after 7pm. Children under 5 were not allowed to visit maternity wards in case they gave measles or similar to the newborn. No one with a cold or cough either.
If it's necessary to show you are vaccinated to enter a bar or a pop concert, then it is even more necessary to show the same for entry to a hospital facility.
Limit the spread of this disease into the hospitals and stop patients and staff catching it.
Gillian Dance, Mt Albert.
As any sports team or business coach knows when it comes to team performance, your result will only be as good as your support of those in the team who aren't the star performers.
The more mobile vaccination units that can get to where people are; at workplaces, rural communities and maybe even at rest areas on busy state highways, the better.
Maybe we can be a team of "Invincibles" again?
Claire Tierney, Stanmore Bay.
Appeasement never works against tyranny. It started in Tibet in 1959. Last year China suppressed freedom in Hong Kong, closing the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, and detaining its founder, Jimmy Lai. Thousands are disappearing for criticism of the Communist Party: journalists such as Zhang Zhan for questioning the handling of the pandemic, and Alibaba founder Jack Ma, for expressing frustration with financial regulations. China shows aggressive intent in the South China Sea and seeks reincorporation of Taiwan.
New Zealand has passed a resolution condemning the treatment of Uighurs, a small step in the right direction. Diplomatic pressure must increase.
China also emits a quarter of global emissions and plans to build 43 coal power stations. This will seriously jeopardise any chance of holding global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. David Stevenson's suggestion of threatening China with full sanctions if China attacks Taiwan, makes sense. Xi Jinping must be reined in now.
Of course, we need to work and pray for peace too.
Steven Lincoln, Botany Downs.
I have some simple observations leading to simple questions, so why are the answers so hard?
Auckland's water storage is now just over 1 per cent below the historical average. So why are there still water restrictions?
Bats are being included in the Bird of the Year competition, when they are patently not birds, but they can fly. So can elephants take part in the Fish of the Year competition, because they can swim?
I can make endless click-and-collect orders for alcohol under Level 3. So why can't Auckland Libraries get off their butts and organise the same for books?
NZ Post keeps telling us mail volumes continue to decrease. So why does it take longer and longer for a letter to be delivered?
Parliament is operating with fewer MPs because of Covid. So why can't that be permanent?
Give me strength. Is there any common sense out there?
Fred Wilson, Devonport.
The Government's order that vaccination will be compulsory, particularly for those interacting with vulnerable members of the community, should also include one group that has not yet been mentioned: leaders of religious organisations and their staff.
Eric Millar, Ōrākei.
Thank you for Simon Wilson's balanced, common sense and encouraging article (NZ Herald, October 12).
Yes, there have been mistakes made and there will probably be more but we are in uncharted waters. The Government is basing decisions on the common good.
I think many forget that this is a worldwide epidemic. The economy of the world is and will continue to suffer and vaccination rates will not be as high elsewhere as we can achieve.
We're in this together, forget your party alliances and let's pull through this plague. Get vaccinated so that we can party inside or out.
Rosalie Widger, Stanmore Bay.
Excellent writing from Simon Wilson (NZ Herald, October 12), it's high time these comments were aired.
The pressure on the Government is relentless at present. Who would want their jobs?
I, too hope that our PM has a very large soundproofed room to let off steam. She deserves it.
Susan Scroggins, Taupō.
I have read and researched all the Auckland roads and proposed speed reductions, and I have been driving in Auckland for 60 years. Most accidents are caused by bad driving.
The traffic congestion in Auckland is getting worse for a number of reasons: mainly more cars on the road, but also narrowing roads, more traffic lights and median strips, more humps bumps and pedestrian crossings etc.
Reducing speed limits will add considerably to the congestion. If it takes longer to get from A to B there will be more traffic, longer delays, more frustration and more carelessness, resulting in more accidents.
Better defensive driving and increased speed limits, especially on motorways, will get drivers to their destination quicker. New cars have amazing safety features helping to avoid accidents. Please don't grind Auckland to a stop.
Stephen Hofmann, Ōtāhuhu.
In response to Russell Bond (NZ Herald, October 12), re: the closure of the Cornwall Park gates.
I am grateful to the trust board for closing its gates to vehicular traffic.
This protects the thousands of us - walkers, cyclists, runners and children on bikes and scooters, who use the park daily for exercise and recreation - from the added danger of motorists. And it allows us to maintain a 2m distance on the paved areas.
The trust board's action shows forethought and consideration of us all, which I applaud.
Jan Leman Christiansen, Royal Oak.
Short & sweet
If we knew how daily cases were split between vaccinated and unvaccinated we would have an indication of the likely impact on our health services - surely a critical factor in the debate. David Hopkins, Remuera.
Thank you to Bradley Mihaljevich (NZ Herald, October 12) for almost pointing out that, since there is no minimum age limit to pay tax, we might equally advocate for the minimum voting age to be brought down to newborn infant. Stewart Hawkins, St Heliers.
I would prefer to shop in stores that have a sign indicating that all their staff are vaccinated. Nick Hamilton, Remuera.
The efficacy of the Covid vaccine reportedly begins to wane after four to six months. Has the Government any plans for rolling out a booster programme? Pamela Russell, Ōrākei.
Thank you for Simon Wilson (NZ Herald, October 12). The voice of reason. Janet von Randow, Grey Lynn.
I can't help wondering whether the anti-vaxxers are of the same mind as those who still think Trump won. V. Hall, Whangaparāoa.
The Premium Debate
These "shouty Covid blowhards" ignore the fact that we have the lowest death and hospitalisation rates of any developed country. Ignoring also that our overall economy and debt position is one of the best too. These facts don't suit the blowhards' narrative who are by and large politically motivated. Rick F.
The reason we have "angry Covid blowhards" is that the Government spent 18 months self-congratulating itself for the first elimination and did nothing to prepare for the next round of Covid. Meanwhile, people are losing their businesses and missing their health checkups. And then having to listen to the spin that the Government peddles, it's no wonder people are angry. John M.
Bipartisanship is the key to getting out of this. This is a health issue so let's follow Ireland's lead and stop politicising it. There will be ample ammunition in two years for the opposition to latch on to. Penelope S.
Those that criticise every move, demanding detailed plans and dates are missing the nature of what we are facing. For the hard of hearing, shouty people, the plan is clear. We are vaccinating as many as possible, especially amongst our most vulnerable. Then, based on what we see (infection numbers, hospitalisations, and, sadly, deaths) we incrementally try to open while implementing measures to protect the vulnerable and our healthcare system. Steve D.
Labour and its supporters had nine long years of moaning and being negative. But now the tables have turned. Now when those who choose to vote in the centre hold the government to account for their failures, they are told to be quiet. The fact is this Government is making NZers from all walks of life increasingly angry and they have every right to vent that anger. Craig W.
I'm so fed up with the Covid blowhards. I can't figure out why so many people think they should be allowed to say and just do what they like when a war is on - especially when the enemy is invisible. I'm sick and tired of all the old generals that keep coming out to tell everyone how it should be managed. Jan O.
Maybe the real problem is people feel they are not being heard by Wellington and don't understand the plan? Wayne M.
No, the Government has not got everything right, but it has nevertheless ensured that we are in a strong position. We can still, if we work together, look forward to better days. When she went out into hard-to-reach areas last week, the PM showed positive leadership. And thank you Ms Ardern for the picnics. I loved catching up with family. Alfred T.
"Where did this epidemic of cocky confidence come from?" Perhaps from being repeatedly told NZ is the envy of the world, gold standard, best vaccine, robust MIQ etc and then to have extended snap lockdowns with no apparent light at the end of the tunnel. Matt B.
Critiquing government is important. But where is the balance in the commentary? This government enjoys a lot of support in the polls and for its Covid response. Why is the opinion of the majority ignored? Ross W.
I really wonder if the "where's the plan" and "open up now" opinion columns are as based in political bias as they seem to be, and not in the reality of the unpredictable situation in which we find ourselves. Philip H.