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Kate Hawkesby: I'm not sure Kiwis are really willing to potentially mask up for another Christmas

Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Mon, 13 Nov 2023, 8:37am
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Kate Hawkesby: I'm not sure Kiwis are really willing to potentially mask up for another Christmas

Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Mon, 13 Nov 2023, 8:37am

I thought I was in a bad dream at the weekend when I saw the headline ‘Health experts recommend people wear masks and celebrate Christmas outdoors amid another Covid-19 wave.’ 

So, my first thought is – what ‘experts’ said this, and what wave? And how big is the wave? And when will we stop reporting waves?  

Turns out it was Australia’s New South Wales Health Ministry who were saying there’d been a ‘moderate’ rise in Covid cases, and they’d asked people to consider wearing a mask inside crowded indoor spaces.  

It didn’t take much scrolling further down the story to find the name Michael Baker though. He was recommending for Kiwis, booster jabs, masks, and staying home if you were sick.  

Now here’s the thing about these guys, had we not been bashed everyday nonstop for two years by them in the media telling us what to do and how to do it, we may take it more seriously.  

But the hysteria drummed up over a two-year period of lockdowns and social distancing has left us all with a bit of collective PTSD.  

We don’t want to hear from them anymore, we associate them with misery and bad times, it was overkill at the time, and now we are turned off whenever their heads pop up above the parapet again.  

It’s the same for many people with Jacinda, it’s an instant reaction – I mean she got so toxic she had to step away from the Labour Party, she was that triggering for people.  

So, I’m just not sure after all this time, and after all we’ve gone through, that we want to go into yet another Christmas with being told to mask up and keep our distance.  

I mean the obvious one about if you’re sick stay home, we probably could work that out for ourselves, couldn’t we?  

So how big is this new wave? Well, the key word was ‘moderate’ rise. That was for Australia, what about here? Baker says we’re in our 5th wave. I missed the last few, so I’m paying attention now for the 5th.  

Apparently, our immunity is waning, hence his call for boosters. I’m not sure how many are adhering to these calls, that would be a more interesting story I reckon, what are the booster numbers? I’d hazard a guess very little.  

As for the size of our wave, the last update on Covid numbers was 5 people in ICU, 212 in hospital with Covid. Remember the ‘with’ is important, they may well be in hospital with other things, and they happen to have Covid as well.  

I personally know of two people recently who went to hospital with other things and picked up Covid while in there. Getting Covid in hospital makes you a statistic of someone in hospital - with Covid. So bear that in mind.  

I don’t know who's in charge of marking the waves, I’m not sure how helpful it is to keep reminding us of them, or who wants to still hear about them, I mean will we still be reporting 6th, 7th, 8th, 25th waves? Or will we at some point accept that Covid is around now just like the flu and colds are around?  

I’m just not sure about the merits of making people fearful about how they spend their Christmas Day and telling them they may need to spend it with a mask on.  

I mean I’m prepared to be wrong, but how many people, who aren’t immune deficient or vulnerable in any way, do you reckon are spending Christmas Day with a mask on? 

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