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

John Lapsley
John Lapsley
Dear Uncle Norm,

Covid-free NZ is a fool’s paradise. Despite the quickening threat of imported infections, our internal anti-Covid 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 coat-tail 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 Simpson-Roche 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 ex-Labour minister Richard Prebble. Run special Lottos, he suggested. Each time you click your phone you’re into the draw for multimillion-dollar 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 right-minded 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 profit-crazed 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 know-nothing 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 po-faced 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.



Mr Lapsley is critical of the Govt in its handling of the Covid 19 response. This even though the procedures and controls have made us the most successful country in the world in holding the virus at bay with the least impact on the freedom of our citizens. If the controls are failing, e.g. citizens becoming neglectful of their responsibility to scan the tracing bar code thingys on their phones then this is on them, not the Govt. Would he have the Govt come down heavily on them? This would open them to greater criticism. No the truth is we are a paradise of fools. Preebles solution is ludicrous. It would have people scanning every bar code they pass on the street, even if they did not enter the premises. That would not help tracing. I can imagine it, the health official comes to Uncle Norm, "hello Unlce Norm, I see you visited 2000 shops yesterday, one of those had a positive covid 19 case. That means you have to quarantine for 14 days". And Uncle Norm would say "No No, I just scanned that to enter the draw for a prize, I didn't actually go into that shop". And he'd end up on here moaning about the draconian govt measures.
The Govt can't win in Mr Lapsley's world.






Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter