ZB

Kate Hawkesby: We're in Phase 3, it's now time to let it go

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Fri, 25 Feb 2022, 8:28am
Photo / NZ Herald
Photo / NZ Herald

Kate Hawkesby: We're in Phase 3, it's now time to let it go

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Fri, 25 Feb 2022, 8:28am

So we’re into Phase 3 as of today – and not before time. 

Problem is, nobody knows what any of it means. I was out all day yesterday driving around Auckland and what I can tell you is that there are still snaking queues everywhere for PCR tests. Why? 

Why is no one getting the memo on that? Why are all these people still queuing for tests? Possibly because RATs, which we’re supposed to be doing, are so hard to find.  

One of my trips yesterday involved a covert side of the road operation like a drug mule, picking up RATs I’d managed to source – at no small expense I might add – from an anonymous source who was transferring them to me from their car boot wrapped in a rubbish bag. 

I kid you not. It’s like prohibition days – only the prohibited substance is something that should be readily available to everybody, like it is all over the rest of the world.  

Why RATs aren’t in every Pharmacy up and down the country by now is beyond me.  

But here at Hermit Central, we’re still waiting to be told when we can have stuff, where, and how. God forbid we try to adult. 

I was tracking down RATs because I have a family member who was a contact, and their work required a negative test before they’d let them return. Unable to get a PCR, they managed to source a single RAT kit, did the test, sent the negative result to the employer, so far so good. Except for the fact the employer said they wanted a second test result done “just to be sure”.  

Now here’s where it gets iffy. Employers who are unilaterally making up the rules as they go for employees make things tricky. Where were they supposed to get another RAT from? They’re like hens' teeth, still no access to PCRs, and let’s not forget that under the new rules, being a contact doesn’t even mean you have to isolate anymore anyway unless you’re in the same household as the positive case. Was the employer going to supply the RAT? No, they weren’t.  

Many businesses are struggling to source them too, they’re having to jump through hoops and if they’re not critical, they’re usually falling flat on their faces. So long story short, I went into mafia mode and sourced some RATs which even if you waterboard me I’m not going to tell you where from, and I was able to supply this family member with one so they could do another test. Desperate times call for desperate measures.  

The infuriating thing is why is it all so desperate when we’ve had all this time to get ready for this? 

The problem’s not just the RAT access and limited availability, but also the employers who’re freestyling the rules, the people who’re still confused about the new contact rules, those freaked out despite the Government relaxing the rules and still wanting to ’play it safe’ - and all the people just making it up as they go along. 

Shambles? Yes, it is.  

The Government’s clearly given up on this, but we're so acclimatised to rules and fear, we seemingly can’t let go. 

If I can just say one thing to you today it’s this - it’s time to let it go.