Otago Daily Times

NZ fast when it comes to Covid jabs? Sounds more like last


DEAR Uncle Norm,

Covidfree NZ is a fool’s paradise. Despite the quickening threat of imported infections, our internal antiCovid measures amble leisurely backwards.

Daily Covid testing has fallen to such derisory levels that an outbreak could gather serious momentum before it’s discovered. Despite this, the Department of Health hasn’t yet introduced the quicker, easier saliva tests recommende­d months ago.

The same “experts” blather on about needing proof of safe vaccines. The department seems too arrogant to coattail on the expertise of larger countries’ research. For all the early boasts of our being ahead of the game, about 100 million people worldwide have been vaccinated, while we haven’t yet imported a single jab. Fast? Sounds more like Last.

Which leaves us counting on contact tracing being successful — with a phone app that’s now used by only one in 20 Kiwis.

This is pitiful. And we cop it cheerfully.

Deeply Concerned, Wanaka.

The SimpsonRoc­he report, which the Government buried until the silly season, was deeply critical of the department’s dogged refusal to heed external expertise — be it private sector, or other department­s.

It should by now be achingly clear their huge advertisin­g spend on urging people to use their phone app simply isn’t working.

The best “left field” answer I’ve heard to this problem came from exLabour minister Richard Prebble. Run special Lottos, he suggested. Each time you click your phone you’re into the draw for multimilli­ondollar prizes. The prize bills would total far less than the price of another lockdown.

Great idea surely? No, it’s too simple and it’s declasse. There’ll already be stuffed shirts finding scores of reasons it shouldn’t be done.

Dear Uncle Norm,

In a true democracy an individual, and not the state, should be in charge of what goes into his/her body. Myself, and other rightminde­d people, have campaigned against putting fluoride in public water. It is a poison, and if you check the internet sites, you’ll see authoritie­s hide the fact it is causing bone deformitie­s in Uzbekistan!!!

For similar reasons, people should refuse the Covid vaccines promised by the powers that control us. These unsafe jabs are being rushed to market by the profitcraz­ed Big Pharma companies. It is safer if a few more people get the flu, rather than millions risking the injection.

There’s also proof the jab causes immediate lacrimatio­n with children.

Henry H. (address not provided) Somewhere, a village has lost its idiot. I urge you to hurry home.

Dear Uncle Norm,

Part of the Donald Trump problem was that criticism of him was often as unhinged as the man himself. Last week Jennifer Senior, an establishe­d opinion columnist for the “respectabl­e” New York Times, had this to say about the departing President:

“A subliterat­e mob boss with a fondness of white supremacis­ts and a penchant for conspiracy theories and a sociopathi­c disregard for truth.” Also: “a knownothin­g vulgarian who promised to blow the place up”, and the leader of “the insurrecti­onist hordes”.

When I looked, there were about 900 online comments posted beneath a pofaced NYT warning that “comments are moderated for civility”. Whether or not you agree with Jennifer Senior’s opinions, shouldn’t a newspaper also demand civility from its columnists?

Harriet Hundert, Roslyn.

Yes. No. Possibly. Sort of. Maybe.

It would be a dull newspaper that insisted all opinion be expressed in the grey colour that is “civil”. So rightly, most newspapers don’t. But yes, there’s a point at which incivility becomes too much, even when its target is The Donald.

A better question would be whether The NYT provides a fair political balance to the Jennifer Seniors it runs. Unfortunat­ely, it doesn’t. In the US, the cable channels Fox, then CNN, discovered there were better ratings in delivering partisan politics to audiences that clamour their agreement.

The NYT and too many others now choose a similar road.

John Lapsley lives in Arrowtown.


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