Sunday, October 03, 2021

Back up to Level 3

At 11:59 tonight, parts of the Waikato will move to Covid Alert Level 3. The affected areas are Hamilton City, Raglan, Te Kauwhata, Huntly, and Ngāruawāhia. This is scheduled to last for at least five days.

The Government made this announcement this afternoon [WATCH/LISTEN] after it was discovered that two people in the Waikato tested positive after feeling unwell (one was in Raglan and the other in Hamilton East). One of them is now in hospital for treatment of their Covid, and their household members are all isolating and helping officials with their enquiries. The two Waikato community cases are associates of one another, but at this point it’s not clear how they became infected because there’s no clear link to Auckland cases. Genome sequencing is under way in order to help answer some of the questions. Neither of these cases were vaccinated.

Alert Level 3 will help ensure that the virus doesn’t spread even farther into the Waikato by severely restricting the virus’ ability to find unvaccinated people to infect. It also gives health authorities time to do contact tracing. Another part of the control efforts, and to try to determine the extent of spread in the community, they’re asking anyone in the region who is feeling unwell to get tested immediately.

The Prime Minister said that if New Zealand was able to reach 90% vaccination, the possibility of Level 3 or 4 Lockdowns will be greatly reduced because it would be extremely difficult for the virus to find an unvaccinated person to infect. She urged folks, especially those in the affected areas of the Waikato, to get vaccinated immediately.

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate posted on Facebook about the change to Level 3: “No-one wanted this,” she said, and then issued a strong plea to Hamiltonians: “PLEASE Hamilton, let’s do what right. We MUST get our vaccination rates up to avoid further lockdowns and I am imploring people who have not yet been vaccinated, to do so.” Exactly.

The Emergency Alert once again
scared the crap out of me
when the alarm signal went off.  
I often call Level 3 “Lockdown Lite” because we can do some things that people under Level 4 Lockdown can’t, such as, we can do click and collect (order online and drive to the store for contactless pickup) for anything, whereas only essential goods can be bought under Level 4 and it must be delivered to a person’s home contactlessly. What the two Lockdown levels have in common is that we’re still supposed to stay at home and within our household bubbles, so they share some of the same harsher lockdown restrictions.

I think the Government absolutely made the right call. Much as I completely hate going back under Level 3 Lockdown, we simply cannot risk the virus taking off while our vaccination rates are still so low—we absolutely can’t become like the USA’s Southern states (among others). On the other hand, there’s no evidence that we have anywhere near the same rate of batshit craziness against vaccines that the USA has—though we do have a small number of moronic arseholes spreading lies and disinformation, of course, as all other countries seem to have.

I’m quite lucky, I think. I have plenty of things I can do around the house to keep me busy, and that’s good. I also have plenty of food (and toilet paper…), so I won’t have to venture out to the shops this week, and that’s also good until we know whether there’s widespread community transmission. Put another way, I’ll be able to stay safe and avoid getting bored. Some people are definitely not in a similarly good space (literal or figurative) for another Lockdown.

The sooner people hurry up and get vaccinated, the better. We ALL want Lockdowns to end, and none of us wants to watch people get sick and possibly die from what’s now a largely preventable disease, but absolutely NONE of us want to be the cause of people getting sick or dying. It’s quite simply our duty to get vaccinated to protect everyone, including ourselves. I’ve done that. Now it’s time for the rest to catch up.

For the photo up top, I’m once again continuing the imagery from the photos I made for the previous Alert Level changes in this outbreak. This photo draws on when New Zealand (Apart from Auckland) went to Alert Level 2: This time, the two locked padlocks with the keys in them represents Auckland and parts of the Waikato under Level 3. Those two locks can be unlocked for certain things, unlike Level 4, but are otherwise kept locked. They are two separate locks because Level 3 for the Waikato is likely to end before it does for Auckland. Maybe? The opened lock still represents the rest of New Zealand Alert under Level 2, but it's still hooked to the closed Auckland and Waikato locks. The key is still in it because, as before, it could be locked again if things go wrong—which is what happened to parts of the Waikato. This is the only set of three matching locks that I have, so I hope we don’t have further splits in Alert Levels.


Roger Owen Green said...

Literally, there would be white people rioting if that happened here.

Arthur Schenck said...

That happened in Australia. "Protests" here have been vanity projects led by crazy people, but they've been peaceful, so far, and not exclusively white.