OMICRON

If there’s a stand-out lesson from the last two years in trying to avoid first Covid and then the Delta variety, it’s surely that creating a hermit kingdom was a price too big to pay. We found the hard way that elimination and then minimisation simply were overly optimistic goals.

So observing the rest of the world, obviously Omicron will hit us big, given its phenomenal contagious character. But the good news is its relatively mild effect. In its home country South Africa, it’s resulted in a tenth of the number of hospitalisations of Delta, while for the vast majority of people catching it, the effect has been relatively mild and done with after a few days.

As expected the northern hemisphere has borne the brunt, solely due to winter. It will hit here in our summer which may temper its initial impact. But, when in four or so months in Europe it will be done and dusted, with the onset of winter in New Zealand, we could possibly cop a huge surge.

If so, let’s hope there’s no resurrection of nanny-statism with pointless daily TV babble sessions by the PM and the scout master looking bloke Ashley. Instead we should adopt the Swedish approach and instead of constant futile lockdowns, accept it and get it over with in a short spate of time.

Indicative of its relatively mild effect is an Economist chart showing people 70 and over have the best tolerance of it. That if nothing else should show it’s a short-term nuisance, not to be feared.

 

9 Comments

elimination and minimisation have served us very well, analysis of covid in the OECD shows we are leading the world. In fact our economy s booming, the value of our primary products are up 25% in the last year, growth in our economy forecast at 4%, unemployment lowest ever at 3.4%. glad we did not follow Sweden, I mean 15,259 deaths, 1.24 million cases (expensive) and 4,688 new cases detected yesterday and headed for the sky! The problem here is that if/when we get a really infectious new strain a lot of people are going to die.

Prior to Covid-19 in 2019 there were 500 deaths per year of the flu, taken over a 3month period (June-August) that equates to 125 deaths per month, or about 4 deaths per day over the winter period. It generally affected the elderly and those with other health issues. There was no panic, no lockdowns, no traffic light restrictions.

I never understood why the Swedish approach wasn’t latched onto as soon as it became apparent that it was the sensible(ie. no excess deaths compared with other countries) way to go. Not watching NZ news makes me wonder if it got much coverage here?

We can only hope.
However since 2017 the number of staff on the government ministries payrolls has doubled. (From their own stats)
When this happens the inevitable “talking to each other inside the echo chamber” arises.

This usually means a rehashed version of the same grossly over the top micro managing policies.
Tiresome group think is one of the hallmarks of this government.
So we can hope for the best, but, prepare for more childish interference in virtually everything.

frederickwilliscroft December 24, 2021 at 8:13 pm

Small chance of that. The government know that the only way to win the next election is to perpetuate the myth that without them we would have died in our thousands and that they kept us safe. If it wasn’t for the fact that it’s Christmas the announcement that quarantine free travel from Australia had been put back to end of February would have been announced by Ardern/Bloomfield with suitable doom laden prognostications.

I think Omicron will be for the better. The virus has mutated to a weaker less lethal strain. In the UK the number of cases has tripled, yet the number of deaths over a 7 day average has slightly decreased, Mind you, you won’t get the NZ media telling you that – they keep rabbiting on about the grim number of new cases. As for Sweden. How the media used to mock their response. For months now their 7 day death average runs between 1 and 3. Amongst the very best in Europe. Media – strangely very silent.

I am really hanging out for your next rounds of comment Sir Bob…

Unfortunately, government policy has long term effects. I imagine that Labour views the pandemic as its best chance of reelection, given everything else it touches turns to dust, so I would look to the ‘crisis’ being spun out well into 2023. That is likely to back-fire, but policy gambles and podium power are both addictive.

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Quotes of the month | HomepaddockDecember 31, 2021 at 9:02 am

[…] If there’s a stand-out lesson from the last two years in trying to avoid first Covid and then the Delta variety, it’s surely that creating a hermit kingdom was a price too big to pay. We found the hard way that elimination and then minimisation simply were overly optimistic goals. – Bob Jones […]

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