COVID-19

Why Jacinda Ardern’s ‘clumsy’ leadership response to Delta could still be the right approach

Guest Author Oct 15, 2021

Suze Wilson, Massey University   Leading people through the pandemic is clearly no easy task. But does the criticism currently directed at New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reveal a major misstep on her part, or something deeper about the nature of leadership itself? Ardern has previously won widespread praise for her COVID-19 response and crisis communication, topping … Read More

How a random sampling regime could help detect COVID and highlight infection hotspots

Guest Author Oct 15, 2021

Stephen John Haslett, Massey University and Richard Arnold, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   For the detection of community transmission of COVID-19, New Zealand currently relies on contact tracing, testing of self-selected people with symptoms and those with permission to travel between different alert levels, and surveillance testing of staff at businesses permitted to … Read More

No, COVID-19 vaccines don’t affect women’s fertility

Guest Author Oct 13, 2021

Michelle Wise, University of Auckland   Some women are holding off on being vaccinated against COVID-19 because of concerns the jab could affect their fertility, at times taking to social media to voice their concerns. Anti-vaccination campaigners appear to be fuelling these fears and misleading women into thinking the vaccine may affect their chance of getting pregnant now or in … Read More

Hit hard by the pandemic, researchers expect its impacts to linger for years

Guest Author Oct 12, 2021

Sora Park, University of Canberra; Jennie Scarvell, University of Canberra, and Linda Botterill, University of Canberra   The impacts of COVID-19 on Australian university researchers are likely to have consequences for research productivity and quality for many years to come. According to an online survey of academics at the University of Canberra between November 2020 and February 2021, they have … Read More

To be truly ethical, vaccine mandates must be about more than just lifting jab rates

Guest Author Oct 12, 2021

Matheson Russell, University of Auckland   As New Zealand’s race to lift vaccination rates continues, and with pressure to lift social and economic restrictions too, the role of vaccine mandates is coming into sharper focus. Yesterday the government signalled stricter rules will apply in health and education. But while public sentiment appears to be on the side of … Read More

Why we must not allow COVID to become endemic in New Zealand

Guest Author Oct 12, 2021

John Donne Potter, Massey University; Graham Le Gros, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington, and Rod Jackson, University of Auckland   As New Zealand switches from elimination to suppression, those who argue that COVID-19 will become endemic and part of our lives either do not understand or ignore what this would actually mean. Elimination has always been a … Read More

Schools have moved outdoors in past disease outbreaks. Here are 7 reasons to do it again

Guest Author Oct 11, 2021

Karen Malone, Swinburne University of Technology   Leaders across the country – particularly in the states with the largest outbreaks, New South Wales and Victoria – have designed road maps towards reopening the states after long lockdowns. Safety in childcare, schools and universities is a core component of reopening plans. Year 12 students in Melbourne go back to school … Read More

In a lockdown, where does work end and parenting begin? Welcome to the brave new world of ‘zigzag working’

Guest Author Oct 07, 2021

Candice Harris, Auckland University of Technology and Jarrod Haar, Auckland University of Technology   All parents work. The difference lies in the breakdown between their paid and unpaid workloads. That equation is influenced by many things, including education, qualifications, age, ethnicity, financial status, number and age of dependants, gendered and societal expectations, and personal choice. But during COVID-19 lockdowns, many … Read More

The COVID-zero strategy may be past its use-by date, but New Zealand still has a vaccination advantage

Guest Author Oct 06, 2021

Michael Plank, University of Canterbury   The announcement today that New Zealand will introduce a vaccination certificate by November is welcome news. Whether by “carrot” or “stick”, vaccination rates must keep climbing, as it is now likely case numbers will climb under alert level 3 conditions in Auckland. We’ve seen a growing number of mystery cases over the … Read More

‘Are you double dosed?’ How to ask friends and family if they’re vaccinated, and how to handle it if they say no

Guest Author Oct 05, 2021

Jessica Kaufman, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Julie Leask, University of Sydney   The weekend is approaching, your fridge is stocked with cheese and you’re eager to organise a COVID-compliant picnic with other fully vaccinated adults which your local rules stipulate. But choose your guests wisely — only fully vaccinated people can attend, and fines apply if the rules are … Read More