COVID-19

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

NZ needs a more urgent vaccination plan — with nearly 80% now single-dosed, the majority will support it

Guest Author Oct 05, 2021

Rod Jackson, University of Auckland   With vaccination rates still too low in Auckland and around Aotearoa New Zealand, and with unexpected cases still showing up, there are few options ahead of today’s government decision on alert levels. Until there are high levels of immunity, any relaxation of restrictions within Aotearoa when Delta is in the community will dramatically … Read More

Vax and vacation? Why that Pacific island holiday will still mean ‘traveller beware’

Guest Author Sep 29, 2021

Apisalome Movono, Massey University and Regina Scheyvens, Massey University   Pacific Island countries are betting big on vaccination as a strategy for resuming tourism by Christmas and bringing much needed relief for their struggling economies. For much of the Pacific, tourism has long been the goose that laid the golden egg. But the pandemic has underlined how fragile and … Read More

Social media, activism, trucker caps: the fascinating story behind long COVID

Guest Author Sep 28, 2021

Deborah Lupton, UNSW   Today, we use the term “long COVID” to describe the lingering symptoms some people have many weeks or months after infection. But how long COVID came to be recognised by doctors and the wider community shows us the power of patient activism, networking, research skills and persistence. Using social media, patients collected … Read More

Emotional vaccine: 3 ways we can move from ‘languishing’ to ‘flourishing’ in these testing times

Guest Author Sep 28, 2021

Dougal Sutherland, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   If you’re feeling uninspired, stagnant and joyless, you’re not alone. A sense of languishing is one of the dominant emotions of 2021 as we navigate life in an ongoing pandemic and process other terrible world events alongside. But although many people are struggling and these struggles are … Read More

How Cuban medical training has helped Pacific nations face the pandemic challenge

Guest Author Sep 23, 2021

Sharon McLennan, Massey University   With the COVID-19 pandemic stretching health systems worldwide, Pacific countries have capitalised on their relative isolation to avoid the worst. Border closures and other measures have slowed and stopped the spread of the virus to the point some nations have recorded no cases at all. Even where the virus has not spread, however, establishing … Read More

New Zealand cannot abandon its COVID elimination strategy while Māori and Pasifika vaccination rates are too low

Guest Author Sep 21, 2021

Collin Tukuitonga, University of Auckland   Auckland’s move to alert level 3 has also triggered speculation about whether the national COVID-19 elimination strategy has failed or is even being abandoned. While the government denies it, others clearly believe it is at least a possibility. The uncertainty is troubling. If elimination fails or is abandoned, it would suggest … Read More