I am confused. I thought that, when we entered the new ‘traffic light’ system, we would be getting more freedom… well, some of us would be anyway. Instead, the whole country is at ‘orange’, except for the bits that are at ‘red’. There is no such thing as a ‘green’ light, even though large parts of the country have never had a single case of Delta. They should be at ‘green’, surely? Nope. They are at ‘orange’.

How can this be?

Jacinda said that ‘red’ is like being at Level 2. Is that right, Aucklanders? You have more freedoms now, right? Because down here on the West Coast, I can’t see how ‘orange’ is going to give us any more freedoms than we already have. We still have to wear masks every time we leave the house. We are still supposed to scan in everywhere with the COVID tracer app, and will have to produce vaccine passes to go anywhere. The official website says that ‘orange’ is when there are community transmissions of the virus, with ‘risks to vulnerable communities and pressure on the health system’… except that the West Coast has no cases and no community transmissions. Never has. So why are we at ‘orange’? In fact, why is the whole South Island, not to mention Wellington and the lower half of the North Island at ‘orange’? Shouldn’t we be at ‘green’?

Judging by the description of ‘orange’, Auckland should be there and the rest of us at ‘green’. That is the way it looks to me.

The whole pattern of this outbreak so far is that, apart from Auckland and its environs, no other cases have turned up anywhere in the country except where transported by an Aucklander, meaning it is obvious that the outbreak is fairly well contained and is of no real risk to anyone outside Auckland… probably only South Auckland.

So this is not really about health risk, is it?

The giveaway is Gisborne… oh sorry – Tairawhiti – where they have no current cases but are in the ‘red’ zone. Why would that be? Well, Andrew Little claimed, on Tuesday morning, that places like Gisborne are in the ‘red’ zone because a lot of holidaymakers go there, so they are looking to protect the local hospitals. Yes, I get that, but… well, no one ever goes to the West Coast for their holidays, now do they? No one ever goes to Queenstown, Wanaka, Haast, Franz Joseph, Hokitika or Punakaiki, do they? Of course not… except that we have a fair few campervans in Westport already. Not holidaymakers, obviously.

And why is the Waikato in ‘orange’ when they have more cases than any other region in the country, apart from Auckland?

None of it makes sense, does it? Nothing this government does ever makes sense though.

Clearly, it is not about actual cases, but all about vaccination rates. Northland, Gisborne and Whanganui have relatively low vaccination rates, so they are being punished. Mind you, ‘relatively low’ still means 75% or over, which I think is an amazing result. I never thought they would achieve such a number. Nevertheless, that is what it is. Punishment.

We will not make vaccines mandatory… except for health workers, border workers, police, hospitality workers and hairdressers, but if you are none of those, we still will not let you out because you are not vaccinated… even though you are no risk to the vaccinated, and almost certainly no risk to anyone, particularly in areas where there are no cases.

We have gone from protecting the vulnerable to protecting the vaccinated. This is an interesting concept. In the world in which I have lived thus far, being vaccinated for tetanus protects me from tetanus. No one else enters into the picture. What kind of a vaccination is it if those who have taken it need to be protected from those that have not? It should be the other way around, surely?

And somewhere in the back of my very befuddled mind, I seem to remember that the restrictions were to end in January. That’s it. No more. Everyone can do what they like. There was no mention of that this time around. Nor was there any mention of the fact that countries with far more cases than New Zealand are enjoying life as normal, having ditched all the restrictions. We now have the harshest restrictions in the world, bar none. Oops… sorry. That must be what Jacinda means by our system being world-leading. It certainly can’t be anything else.

I shake my head in confusion and disbelief. Mind you, disbelief has been hanging over me for quite some time now. Watching Jacinda announce that people are now allowed to go to the toilet in each other’s houses filled me with despair. She even called it “luxury”. This woman is insane. In what world do civilised human beings crap in each other’s back yards? Is that what we have been reduced to by this nutcase? Now she thinks she is giving us all a huge concession in allowing us to use the toilet? Could someone please save us from this madness?

I can guarantee that civilised Aucklanders have been using each other’s toilets in the normal manner throughout this charade, but the fact that she believes that they obeyed her edict is very sad indeed. She thinks she can reduce us all to behaving like dogs. There will be people who obeyed though, hanging on until they got home, terrified of the monster under the rim. I can’t believe the stupidity, but it is definitely out there.

Now she thinks she can throw us a bone and we will all be grateful. Good grief. How far we have fallen in this country.

We are never going to get out of this, are we?

Orange Is the New Black


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...