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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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CV19, is the worst far from over?

14 July 2021

July 19 is to be "freedom day" in the UK.

Next Monday, Brits will find themselves able to do much more than has been the case since the outbreak of Covid-19, as restrictions on socialising and public activities are relaxed.

The powers that be have decided that after a massive vaccination campaign that has seen over 34 million receive both jabs and 45 million getting the first, it's time to rely on herd immunity to protect the wider population.

Is this a practical strategy?

Well there are plenty of informed and educated scientists and medical professionals who urge caution and suggest that bad things are about to happen as a result of this "foolishness".

Right now the UK is in the grip of a third-wave of infection that has seen the number of CV19 cases grow day on day since around mid May 2021.

New infections are now higher, at 33,000 per day, than they have been since January 2021 and the numbers keep growing, despite the level of vaccination in the community.

Those supporting the "freedom day" plan claim that unlike the first and second wave, new infections are not producing a proportionate increase in hospital admissions or deaths. This means, they claim, that CV19 is now little worse than the common flu in terms of its danger to the public.

Some scientists and medical experts have issued a warning however, that allowing the virus to spread widely within a partially vaccinated population could result in more rapid mutation and the appearance of new variations that evade the protections of existing vaccines. This, they claim, could see a massive hike in deaths before year's end.

I guess this leaves us wondering -- what does the future hold for a planet still well and truly in the grip of this rather nasty virus?

Will it gradually weaken and become just another seasonal affliction that requires an annual vaccination, as is the case with the many strains of influenza we live with?

Or will it become far more adapted to a world in which even the slightest dropping of our guard can give it a new lease on life and see it quickly mutate into a strain that dodges and weaves around our attempts to contain and suppress it?

As one of the very few countries in the world without any cases of community transmission right now we are privileged. So long as we don't weaken our resolve and engage in such follies as opening a travel bubble with those countries which do have community transmission of the virus we have the luxury of waiting and watching.

Oh... what's that? We have opened a travel bubble with Australia and they have a problem with rapidly growing community transmission of the delta-variant?

WTF are they smoking in Wellington?

Let us see how our political overlords handle this situation.

When it comes to matters of taxation, regulation and removing our freedoms in the name of safety and security we're often told that they sometimes have to make unpopular decisions for the good of the nation. Let's see if this same resolve applies to protecting our population from a Tourism Industry that would have us open the floodgates to near certain death for those who might be unfortunate to catch CV19 whilst in a high-risk category.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that we simply do not know who to believe when it comes to the future of CV19 and the UK's "great experiment". The media will publish whatever is likely to get the most eyes on ads so they can't be trusted to provide an objective and balanced view of things -- so what do we do?

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