No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘Covid-19 Lockdown

The Euros get restless

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There was the famous Year of Revolution in 1848, when protests and riots, sparking to full-blown revolutions, exploded across most of Western Europe.

I don’t think that’s what we’re seeing here since 21st century people live with a degree of ease and comfort that the people of 1848 would regard as possible only for Royalty.

Still, you have to wonder what electoral earthquakes might come from all this in upcoming elections.

Also, as you watch this, note that PM Ardern recently said – in response to a point-blank question about whether we would see a 100% mandatory vaccination programme here like that of Austria – that she would never do that, and remember this…

Know that Europe is now having a fourth wave and that the US Dow futures plunged more than 800 points last night with news from South Africa of a new Covid-19 variant called B.1.1.529 variant that appears to have a high number of mutation (about 30 in its spike protein, which will likely render it immune to current vaccines. It’s been given a name, Omicron. What happened to Epsilon? I liked that one.

All of which is 100% predictable for coronaviruses. If you think that 2022 will see us past the world of lockdowns, masks and the vaccination treadmill of booster shots then you are an optimist. I normally am too, but not about this, after almost two years of watching government responses around the world.

Austria

Austria decided to return to a full lockdown due to more cases. It’s the fourth one since 2020 and they’ve used those cases to justify closing non-essential stores and allowing people to leave their houses for a valid reason. The government is also enforcing a vaccine mandate in February 2022.

So 40,000 people came out to protest.

Belgium

I’m surprised since the Belgians hardly do anything and Brussels is possibly the worlds most boring city.

Holland

Italy

This one is a lot more peaceful, but a very large protest.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 27, 2021 at 7:45 am

Yellow is not the appropriate colour

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A few weeks ago I posted on a story out of Germany where a bunch of idiot politicians decided it would be a great idea for vaccinated people to wear a yellow badge, They teach history, don’t they?

But it’s not Germans “leaders” forgetting their history. Out of Britain comes this news:

But back to Germany – well, Austria actually – showing that they can forget history just as well as everybody else, Austria orders new lockdown, says COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory:

Austria will again impose a national COVID-19 lockdown next week in a bid to control another wave of infections — and in three months will begin requiring that all adults in the country are vaccinated, officials said Friday.

Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced the measures and said the lockdown will begin on Monday. The vaccine requirement will start in February.

As the Babylon Bee put it, To Defeat Delta Variant, Experts Recommend Doing All The Things That Didn’t Work The First Time.

In the world’s second bio-fascist state (after China) I feel that they’re getting closer to what I had merely written as satire a few months ago, especially given the glorious language that Austrians speak and the demonstrated lack of historical knowledge I really would not be surprised if they put up signs reading, Impfung Macht Frei.

Coming to New Zealand next Autumn perhaps, with another surge of cases?

In other posts I’ve used a picture of Aldous Huxley with a quote from him about people coming to love their oppression, but it turns out there was an American TV interview with him in 1958 where he got to expand on the subject in more detail: twelve minutes long but worth your time.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 21, 2021 at 7:49 am

Lockdowns? What Lockdowns?

with 7 comments

Here, in the pleasant seaside city of Bunbury, lockdowns (or I should say THE lockdown) are but a distant memory.

Since the vastly overhyped and grossly mismanaged pandemic started nearly two years ago, we have endured lockdown for just one week.

Adolf has long been in the habit of having a beer with his retired mining engineer neighbour and continued so to do during the week in question. You see, we each placed a chair near the invisible boundary line with a card table for nibbles on the boundary itself. Thus were we confined to barracks. Fortunately, Dan Murphy’s is less than five km away so Adolf could send The Cook along there for groceries every few days.

Not so fortunate, the people of Perth and its hinterland. New South Wales and Victoria have been a shambles, with Victoria’s insane premier attempting to take for himself draconian powers of which Stalin would have been envious. He was stymied by his own enemies within Labor. However, the poor buggers in Victoria can’t get rid of him until the next State election in 2022.

Western Australia’s Labor premier, Mark McGowan, has more brains. He adopted an aggressive closed borders policy right from the start and, along with other measures, has kept the adverse effects of Covid to a minimum. And the voters love him for it.

West Australians are a parochial lot and McGowan has played them well. BUT he is rapidly running out of goodwill as voters see him first planning to gallop off to China to save the iron ore trade while they are not allowed to travel and second, waiving quarantine rules for a bunch of second rate Pommy cricketers so that he can stage the fifth Ashes cricket test in Perth, while those voters have to pay for two weeks in a crummy hotel when they come home, if they can get home

Written by adolffinkensen

November 18, 2021 at 8:52 pm

Posted in Australia, New Zealand

Tagged with

Berlin’s Methods of Escape

In the wake of announcements from the Labour government yesterday I put forward some ideas from history that may be useful.

Courtesy of the Berlin Wall Museum, which I visited in the 1990’s, just a few years after it all came tumbling down.

Over 5,000 people successfully escaped past the Wall between 1961 and 1989. In order to be able to overcome the constantly perfected GDR border security system, the means of escape always had to be refined. Many of them found their way to the Mauermuseum – Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie. These include multiple repurposed cars, a mini submarine that a refugee used to cross via the Baltic Sea, hot-air balloons, and self-made motorised hang-gliders.

This one would take too long and Auckland lacks even unemployed miners.

The following may be the most appropriate in my case.

Readers are encouraged to put forward other ideas.

This also seems appropriate, since my allocated time slot for leaving Auckland will likely be managed in the same way.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 4, 2021 at 8:39 am

The Fear

I saw these graphs earlier today, the first one courtesy of Kiwiblog:

DPF of course is doing what any good, cynical political operator does; take something that the government once crowed about as a symbol of their success, and hang it around their neck as it turns bad.

In this case, cases of Covid-19 detected in the community courtesy of who turns up to be tested because they feel a bit crook, and that fantastic PCR test that could find strands of viral RNA in a glass of drinking water.

Fear porn be damned when there is electoral advantage to be gained. Right Jacinda’s advisors?

The second courtesy of the MOH – and a trace and track system that we found out weeks ago, cannot cope.

Health officials have revealed they’re no longer spending time trying to find out how mystery cases became infected, and the focus is instead turning to isolating contacts of mystery cases.

From the Old Left, Chris Trotter has decided to become even more florid and hysterical than usual, with Turning Up Angry, in which he imagines a gigantic shit-storm fight between the vaxxed and the unclean.

Of course, if we’d talked from the start about Covid-19 in the same way we talk about the flu – “cases” being people who turn up with actual symptoms and who need health care, and counts of actual, Covid-19 induced deaths – we would not have started down this road in early 2020. As per the MOH document of 2017 on how to deal with flu pandemics, we might not be in this place.

Fun game: search that MOH PDF for the word “Lockdown”.

Anyway, it also brought this to mind. It’s even got a teddy bear and fuck loads of diamonds. Enjoy.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 1, 2021 at 5:31 pm

The Clive Palmer press conference

It’s all interesting, but it gets very interesting from 11:00 onwards. A week after this press conference, Gladys Berejiklian resigned amidst a corruption scandal.

Written by Nick K

October 26, 2021 at 9:29 pm

NORTHLAND’S SCREWED

Two, perhaps three, Covid cases in Northland. Does anyone not think we’ll be back in Level 3 by midnight tonight?

Jacinda playing YoYo with Northlanders (but only out of an abundance of caution). Something’s gonna give.

Updated … so no level 3 lock-down … yet. Bang goes the ‘abundance of caution’ bit Ardern has been rabbiting on about since whenever. So, whats left … a government, prisoner to its own rhetoric and now acting like a possum caught in the headlights.

Written by The Veteran

October 22, 2021 at 2:48 pm

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with ,

I was informed that these were OTT comparisons to NZ

Vaccine certificate will be central to the new ‘traffic-light’ system – RNZ

It is that sort of comparison that causes the opponents of the current Lockdowns to be ridiculed. And no, you won’t be able to convince me that basically I am (and just about everyone I know) is just the same as the Nazi SS.

It’s certainly time to re-visit this goodie, even if she has resigned, because luckily you’ll still be able to laugh without a vaccine certificate.

Faces are nice and numbers are boring.

In my previous post, Fear Pornography, I said that with the great vaxathon behind them, Level 4 Lockdowns dead and buried – despite, you know, the “science” and scientists still demanding them – the government would start declaring victory and moving on.

They’re not quite there yet, with their silly 90% vaccination target still out there, but they’re talking it down as well, and doing things like this.

There are 51 new community cases today, including four in Waikato, the Ministry of Health says.

There was no media conference today.

Well of course there wasn’t. There are various simple little tricks any government can pull when it wants people to stop talking about things, or not start in the first place. Friday afternoon document dumps of bad news and embarrassing admissions have long been a favourite.

But simply not having a media conference is another. They know that without a human face, especially Jacinda’s smiling one, TV is not going to cover it; there’s literally nothing to look at. They’ll cover some news that does have a human face. Even radio will give way without a human voice.

So you can just make a press release announcing the dry, boring numbers and TV/Radio will report that but quickly move on. We’ve already noticed that, as the bad news of rising cases began to turn up, Jacinda and her team were quick to pull her from the daily Podium Of Truth, leaving it to her minions to deliver the news.

Normally I’d say that they’d also be left to take the heat, but this is the NZ MSM we’re talking about here. They’re simply not smart enough to ask good questions, especially ones that might start counter-arguments to the narrative that they and the Labour/Green party supports.

Now, even those faces have been removed as the whole thing begins the process of being downgraded to the same level as roadbuilding budget announcements.

At some point soon I suspect that Adern and company will not even bother talking about the vaccination rate, and if questions about either it or case numbers are mentioned, they’ll just waffle around them.

No, even though they can’t quite bring themselves to do it yet, they’re probably soon going to start talking about a different number; the number of the day and month on which New Zealand will open up, both internally and to the world. A “Freedom Date” as the British called it.

To do otherwise would be to take numbers that have been useful to the government so far – case numbers and vax rates – and watch them be steadily turned against the government, as they already are.

In any case there are new battles to fight, even on this disease, and on better ground, as we see in the USA.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 17, 2021 at 2:54 pm

Fear Pornography

Over at Kiwiblog, David Farrar has been maintaining his own chart of the number of cases in the latest Covid-19 outbreak here in New Zealand.

His latest update was yesterday and he titled it with the most obvious headline one can get in this situation, Growing Cases.

I have some problems with this. Clearly, as a National Party man, DPF wants to damage the government, and what better way to do that than turning its own data against it. Since they have boasted so much about case numbers being “crushed” in 2020, let them hang by the same measure now.

But if we continue to scream about this measurement we might actually talk ourselves back into an L4 lockdown. I presume DPF does not want this.

From the opposite POV, Chris Trotter was horrified at the end of the Level 4 Lockdown (Will Jacinda Stand? Or, Has She Already Fallen?) and remains so because he thinks that we could have achieved Covid-Zero as we did in early 2020 with the Alpha variant. I have not had the heart to comment on that post or successive ones where he has spun himself up to the point of demanding total vaccinations, combined with “The Big Stick” to achieve it, even moaning about how his beloved CTU has not got fully onboard. The words “war”, “crisis” and “frightening” have been used, by both him and his largely elderly Leftist commentariat.

Were I to comment over there, I would point out that Labour is actually the victim of their own success in 2020. In the face of zero cases and an incredibly low death toll, all arguments against lockdowns were dismissed, despite solid points such as lockdowns never having been recommended by epidemiologists in the past or by public health bodies around the world, for the basic reason that they just don’t work, let alone all their unseen negatives.

Nobody apparently thought to ask whether we might have some special factors also operating for us, such as:

  • High UV levels that kill the virus in the open much faster than in much of the rest of the world.
  • A far less dense population, even in our largest cities, where single, detached homes still predominate over flats or “row-houses”.
  • Houses that “breath” more than the solid brick and mortar structures of many other countries, something we usually curse (or should) for lousy insulation.
  • A vastly lower use of public transport.
  • An outdoors lifestyle.

But no. As is often the case, we smug, arrogant Kiwis simply decided that we were the smartest and most communal positive people on the planet, (“Team of Five Million” and all that) and that while lockdowns may have failed in other places, even other island states like Hawaii, we had made them work because we’re just so fucking awesome.

There was also no apparent desire to investigate the Waikato University study in early 2020 showing that Covid-19 antibodies were appearing in twice as many samples of donated blood as expected – a strong indicator that the Alpha variant had been spreading in the population well before lockdown, but going unnoticed because for 99% of people it wouldn’t show as symptoms at all or merely as “the sniffles”.

Every year in the USA, the CDC must estimate the number of people infected by the flu virus of the season, in order to calculate the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR), which is always naturally much lower than the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) based on the numbers known to be infected via tests. The IFR is an estimate because for almost any disease there will always be many more people who catch the disease but don’t even know it. In the US the flu has a CFR of 2-3% and an IFR of 0.1% or lower.

To my knowledge we never made much of an effort to calculate the IFR of the Alpha variant here in NZ, which may be down to our public health uselessness (that article uses foreign IFR estimates and then bangs on about racism) or (the more cynical take) because a flu-level IFR number would have popped the fear bubble.

Aside from all this, one original point made was that if the L4 Lockdown had truly worked in 2020, we should have seen a pattern of rising hospitalisations and deaths, before the effects of the lockdowns kicked in after two to four weeks and those numbers began to fall. But we didn’t see that; we saw random deaths during the whole period. The same timing issue was observed overseas.

Even this puts aside the initial argument for an L4 lockdown, “Two weeks to flatten the curve”. Remember that? It meant we were always going to get a certain number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths under each curve, but that the flatter it was the more spread out over time all those numbers would be and the healthcare system would survive.

Only as cases went to zero did the objective change to elimination of the virus, together with the arguments over how such is defined.

Or measured. There’s a terrific article here, Why Is the COVID Case Count So High?, that explores the science behind the numbers. What it comes down to is the now infamous PCR test, a valuable science lab tool that even its inventor has said should not be used in real-world situations:

The inventor of the test stated that RT-PCR was never intended to be a diagnostic test and using it as one was scientifically illegitimate. “[It’s] like trying to say whether somebody has bad breath by looking at his fingerprint.”

The lab starts the RT-PCR by doubling genetic material multiple times to make it easier to identify. In research, if it’s not positive by thirty-five “amplification cycles,”, it’s not positive. FDA guidance indicates that anything found up to 40 cycles is considered “positive.” At forty cycles a glass of water may test positive. Stopping at thirty-five would show that COVID-19 wasn’t any worse than flu, if it was that bad.

The PCR test has produced ridiculous numbers of false positive and false negative tests. Is it any surprise that most people so tested find they have the virus when otherwise they didn’t have a clue.

Where are the saliva tests and the antibody tests, of which the latter would rapidly show the degree of seroprevalence in the population, meaning the degree of natural immunity in existence

Mind you, that figure, were it known, would also destroy the narrative of lockdown-vax as the only path forward.

And this is before asking about therapeutic treatments like monoclonal antibodies, which would also mean less worry about crashing the hospital system and “mass death” should this thing “get out of control”.

That would also destroy the narrative.

In any case, having won the war in 2020 and dismissed the lockdown opponents, when the first Delta case appeared in Auckland, and with a still largely unvaccinated population, the Labour government thought a lockdown war would work a second trick. This despite several months of evidence from around the world that Delta was both more infectious and far less deadly even for unvaccinated people, let alone those vaccinated.

As the graph shows, even Adern had to give up by late September as it became obvious that cases would continue to dribble along in double digits under L4, meaning the disease was spreading anyway and that the costs of lockdown could no longer be justified, with the “science” and the scientists now ignored. Another simple, brutal fact was that people are just tired of all this. Many Adern supporters still can’t accept this, like Trotter:

This is not the Labour Government that New Zealanders flocked to support exactly one year ago this Sunday. That government would never have dreamed of abandoning Auckland to its fate. That Jacinda Ardern told all of us to be kind to one another and gave us her promise to stamp the virus out. She kept her word, and Labour was rewarded with 50.1 percent of the Party Vote.

Where has that Prime Minister gone?

Oh dear. She was always that Prime Minister; Trotter was just too smitten to know it.

But here’s the thing. There is good news in the Covid-19 numbers for the Labour government if they chose to focus on different ones like hospitalisations and deaths. Out of 1855 cases (as of Oct 16) there have been two deaths and a handful of ICU cases: a CFR of 0.11%. In other words 1853 people have walked out, and with natural immunity to boot, even for those who were vaccinated.

The even better news for the government (and hence bad news for DPF), is that while the case numbers have served the purposes of the Fear Pornography Narrative to date – driving the demand for lockdowns and vaccinations, which helped the government – they’re now on the verge of hurting it on both factors. Look at yesterday’s “Vaxxathon” (ugh). I heard that they’d beaten the previous daily record for injections and everybody was patting themselves on the back. A total of 127,342 doses, of which 38,133 were first doses.

Hang on! That means about 70% of them were already booked for a second dose. According to the MOH there are 4,231,778 people who are eligible to be vaccinated. That means that yesterday’s stupendous effort pushed the needle from from 83.0% to …. 83.9%.

If this much vaxxing effort, lockdown fatigue/anger and fear pornography has only got us to that level, I can’t imagine what else can be done to push it higher.

As a result it may well be that even the MSM will stop focusing on case numbers, much as the Covid-19 death toll counters vanished from the screens of CNN and Fox News once Biden became President in the US.

That’s if the government doesn’t stop focusing on case numbers before the MSM. They’ve clearly and repeatedly told everybody, including all the poor souls they and the MSM have scared to death over the last eighteen months, that L4 Lockdowns are not going to return.

Moreover, they’re likely to declare victory on the vaccination front for the same reason: all that can be done, has been done, although we may see screams for booster shots at some point, depending on media hysteria.

Their supporters will take longer to catch up on these bitter truths but as a former Prime Minister was known to say in her deep, dulcet tones: “It is time to move on”.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 17, 2021 at 11:03 am