Monday’s sermon from the Podium of Truth was more of the same. It started with announcements of announcements… something that this government excels at. Come to think of it, this is something unique to this government. Imagine if John Key had announced, on 22 February 2011, that he would let us know what he was going to do for the people of Christchurch ‘on Friday’. Nobody would have tolerated such lacklustre behaviour, but then John Key was a leader. He understood that people need reassurance now, right after a catastrophe, not at some (often undetermined) point in the future. How far we have fallen in a mere 10 years.

I switched off after that. The waffle coming from the prime minister drives me nuts anyway. We have to have all the self-congratulatory stuff first, followed by announcements of announcements, followed by Jessica then Tova. It tells us practically nothing. It’s pathetic.

But in there somewhere was the self-congratulatory stuff about the number of people vaccinated on Super Saturday, followed later (much later) by the announcement that Auckland will remain at Level 3 for 2 more weeks, along with the Waikato, for the moment at least. And then I started to wonder… I’m double vaccinated, along with approximately 70% of other kiwis. Why are we still in lockdown?

Aren’t vaccinated people supposed to be no threat to anyone? Why do we still have to wear masks? Why do we still have to queue to go into the supermarket? We are not the pox-ridden unwashed. We are the cool dudes who are double-jabbed.

And it makes absolutely not one iota of difference to our lives at all.

Why can’t vaccinated Auckland hairdressers, physiotherapists and beauty therapists go back to work? They are no threat to their clients, whether they are vaccinated or not. Why can’t vaccinated cafe and restaurant owners open up? The unvaccinated customers may be taking a risk, but the owners will be fine. They are vaccinated after all.

And why is the South Island, with a comparable rate of vaccinations, still in Level 2? They have had no cases whatsoever, many are vaccinated, and yet they still have to queue to go into the supermarket and wear masks everywhere. Why is this?

Then there was the vaxathon. Okay, I admit I was surprised at how many people got the jab on Saturday. I am shocked to admit that I thought people could think for themselves, and many of those who were not yet vaccinated would be hesitant about the vaccine, but it seems not. Throw a party, turn up the music and people will queue up for anything. Add a few dance moves by Ashley Bloomfield and Paddy Gower (good grief) and the day is almost complete. Are people really that stupid?

Superspreader Saturday. Photoshopped image credit Wibble. The BFD.

After all, unvaccinated people are not allowed to do anything, but vaccinated people can dance together, sit close to each other and do what they want… so long as it is a government-sanctioned event.

Otherwise, all the usual rules apply, whether you are vaccinated or not.

We must be close to 80% vaccinated by now. Other countries have opened up and ended restrictions at much lower rates, but not here. The prime minister keeps dangling a carrot… she wanted 80% vaccinated, then 90%… now she’s talking 95%. I think I can say with absolute certainty that we will not get 95% vaccinated. Does that mean that these restrictions will never end?

Even if we do get to 95%… what then? We are all praying to be allowed to return to Level 1, where life is mostly normal, but we have forgotten what ‘normal’ should really be. Do you see how we have come to accept restrictions as normal now? We want Level Zero, where we can go about our daily lives, fly to anywhere in the world without being treated like lepers when we come home (if we can get home) and generally behave like the free individuals that we once were… before the pandemic hit. But will we ever get back to those days? Honestly, I am beginning to wonder.

All I know is, as I listened to the prime minister giving her usual, long-winded diatribe that tells you almost nothing but takes at least 15 minutes to do it, that there doesn’t seem to be any reason to get vaccinated. If I am vaccinated, I am (apparently) no risk to anyone.

So why am I still in lockdown? Can someone please explain?

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I’m Double Vaccinated


Ex-pat from the north of England, living in NZ since the 1980s, I consider myself a Kiwi through and through, but sometimes, particularly at the moment with Brexit, I hear the call from home. I believe...