Otago Daily Times

Too soon to be par­ty­ing as if Covid is all gone

- Weather · Southland Region · Invercargill · Iceland · Rio Tinto Group · New Zealand · Australia · Reading · Ian Smith · Otago Region · Meteorological Service of New Zealand · Oamaru

DOES any­one else find the re­sponse — both glob­ally and lo­cally — to the lift­ing or eas­ing of Covid­19 re­stric­tions as dis­con­cert­ing as it seems il­log­i­cal?

I re­fer to the seem­ing or­gies of par­ty­ing, ‘‘club­bing’’, and I would sup­pose its log­i­cal out­come in many cases, ‘‘hook­ing up’’, to verge upon mad­ness; as if some­how, like Cin­derella’s coach and party garb, the world had flipped back to its pre­Covid­19 state on some ar­bi­trary stroke of mid­night.

Can these peo­ple not see as they wait, likely in vain, for a so­lu­tion to this prob­lem that a mea­sure of cau­tion should be a first pri­or­ity de­spite changed rules gov­ern­ing their con­duct?

Other coun­tries have re­acted in the way our pop­u­la­tion is very likely headed, and their mass at­ti­tudes have led to what are pop­u­larly known as sec­ond waves of the virus run­ning ram­pant.

Who is to say if a sec­ond wave will fi­nally see the end of Covid 19, or will there be sub­se­quent waves poised to break out, as with many other dis­eases, into an in­def­i­nite fu­ture?

I think it would be much more pru­dent to take an at­ti­tude of ‘‘new era — new set of rules’’, to act ac­cord­ingly, and with due re­gard for the pos­si­ble con­se­quences; or is that ask­ing too much? Reck­less ‘‘it won’t hap­pen to me’’ at­ti­tudes en­dan­ger not only them­selves, but put at risk the wider pop­u­la­tion as a whole.

Ian Smith


Weather fore­cast­ing

IN an editorial last week, the Otago Daily Times ex­tolled the ac­cu­racy of MetSer­vice re­port­ing on the im­pend­ing weather bomb two weeks ago.

It cer­tainly could not be missed. To­day (ODT, 6.10.20), South­land farm­ers com­plained that there was lit­tle in­di­ca­tion of heavy rain­fall that flooded parts of the prov­ince.

Yes­ter­day, the fore­cast was for gale­force winds hit­ting Oamaru and ex­posed ar­eas. It was dead calm first thing and through the day ex­cept for a ris­ing northerly breeze later. It seems ob­vi­ous that fore­cast­ers are tar­get­ing pop­u­lated ar­eas such as large cities.

I say that the old ground­based district weather spot­ters gen­er­ally had it right for the ru­ral ar­eas.

As a MetSer­vice vol­un­teer spot­ter for the Lakes District in the early 1990s, I had a 6am sched­ule to re­port lo­cal con­di­tions, such as cloud cover per­cent­age, lay­ers, wind di­rec­tion, barom­e­ter read­ings and tem­per­a­ture, to the Invercargi­ll Air­port of­fice.

In re­turn, I was given sight­ings from Puy­se­gur Point light­house and fish­ing ves­sels, able to spot a front on its way up from south of Ste­wart Is­land. I would then get a sight­ing from Route­burn Sta­tion at the head of Lake Wakatipu and re­port to the lo­cal ra­dio sta­tion, which would is­sue a warn­ing for climbers and tram­pers if nec­es­sary.

It could pay to bring back ground­based weather spot­ters, oc­ca­sion­ally. Jim Childer­stone



RIO Tinto has again sucked in Labour/ Green to in­crease the of­fer of sub­sidised elec­tric­ity sup­ply for five years.

Rio Tinto is the big­gest sin­gle man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­ducer of pol­lu­tion in New Zealand: car­bon diox­ide from the an­ode­mak­ing unit (us­ing im­ported coal), toxic dross stored all over South­land, and cyanide and flu­o­ride dis­charges from the smelter chim­ney.

Apart from dis­re­spect­ing our en­vi­ron­ment, it has no re­spect for cul­tural history, as shown by the de­struc­tion of 50,000­year­old caves in Aus­tralia for a few bars of iron ore.

Rio Tinto should re­mem­ber that Labour is de­vel­op­ing a slo­gan of ‘‘we prom­ise a lot but de­liver lit­tle’’.

M. Barra

Cromwell ...................................

BI­BLE READ­ING: Be rich in good works, ready to give, will­ing to share. — 1 Ti­mothy 6.18.

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