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So it is full-speed ahead with the traffic lights. Or is it? Actually, there’s no "go" in the "ready, set, go" just yet. Somewhat ironically it is just the red and orange phases which are in use, which in traffic-light terms means they are telling us to stop, or prepare to stop, all around the country.
What a huge relief, however, it will be for Aucklanders to move into the new system, after struggling through a couple of weeks shy of four months in lockdown.
Of course it is only the fully vaccinated in Auckland who will be able to issue sighs of relief; for those who aren’t vaccinated, they will still be living in lockdown.
It is very sad to see this happen in New Zealand, our people split into two camps over the vaccine — a largely silent and overwhelming majority versus a vocal, confused and chaotic small minority.
Not all those who haven’t had their jabs are rabid anti-vaxxers going down rabbit holes chasing increasingly mad conspiracy theories. Some are concerned about the contents of the vaccine and what it might do to their bodies, and about the rights and wrongs of mandates and pressure from the Government.
They have complained about bullying behaviour and there is certainly an element of that — both in the coercion to get jabbed and in the exclusion which many will now experience.
But there is no getting around the fact that this is a time for people to look after others around them, their families and communities, first and then put themselves second. That is clearly a hard thing for some to do in these days of looking after number one.
Ludicrous sentiments comparing the vaccine passport system and mandates to the abhorrence of apartheid and Nazi Germany are repugnant, hugely insensitive and totally misguided. Those who aren’t vaccinated can do something about it, but the victims of apartheid and the Nazis could not.
Spare a thought for the children of anti-vaxxers, who have had no say in their parents’ stands. That means they will not be able to go swimming, or to the museum or the library, unless they are with other, fully vaccinated, family members.
Given the different colours of the traffic-light system are largely predicated on the pressure on our health facilities, it is worth asking why the South Island and southern parts of the North Island didn’t go to green.
The new National Party leader Christopher Luxon was asking much the same yesterday, only he was concerned about why Auckland wasn’t put into orange, given its hospitals are coping with the current number of Covid patients.
The Government will say the reason they didn’t do that was out of an abundance of caution. And with the sudden appearance this week of a growing cluster of cases in the Nelson-Tasman region, it is easy to see how quickly things can change.
At the moment there are inconsistencies around the country as to what you need a vaccine passport for and what you don’t. These must be ironed out quickly to minimise confusion among the fully vaccinated.
And another thing. . .
Bravo Sir Peter Jackson and his talented colleagues for setting the history of The Beatles straight with his Get Back documentaries.
It’s hard to believe this was filmed almost 53 years ago, with John, Paul, George and Ringo looking so young and fresh and modern. Only when you see the studio technology does it give away it comes from a different era half a century in the past.
Sir Peter has rewritten the fable that said The Beatles were breaking apart and constantly rowing when the footage for the Let It Be film was taken. Instead, this shows these incredibly talented artists were having a whale of a time.
Who could fail to be left with a big smile on their face?