COVID-19

COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is a crucial tool

Guest Author Sep 15, 2020

Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a global cattle disease New Zealand also hopes to … Read More

Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong

Guest Author Sep 14, 2020

Jacques Raubenheimer, University of Sydney If we don’t analyse statistics for a living, it’s easy to be taken in by misinformation about COVID-19 statistics on social media, especially if we don’t have the right context. For instance, we may cherry pick statistics supporting our viewpoint and ignore statistics showing we are wrong. We also still need to correctly interpret these … Read More

Survey shows 1 in 4 New Zealanders remain hesitant about a coronavirus vaccine

Guest Author Sep 04, 2020

Jagadish Thaker, Massey University Three in four New Zealanders (74%) say they intend to get vaccinated against COVID-19 when a vaccine becomes available, but just over half (56%) would put their names on a list to be vaccinated, according to a new national survey. Fewer still (52%) would get vaccinated if they had to pay for it themselves. One … Read More

Research shows Māori are more likely to die from COVID-19 than other New Zealanders

Guest Author Sep 04, 2020

Michael Plank, University of Canterbury; Andrew Sporle; Kate Hannah; Melissa McLeod, University of Otago, and Nicholas Steyn The risk of dying from COVID-19 is at least 50% higher for Māori than New Zealanders from European backgrounds, according to our study published today. Māori and Pacific populations are historically at greater risk of hospitalisation and death from pandemics. During the … Read More

What do students need in the age of lockdown learning? Early lessons from New Zealand’s online frontline

Guest Author Aug 31, 2020

Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury Walking into my building just prior to New Zealand’s most recent heightened alert levels, I found students and staff alike were cramming in a last bit of social contact before the one metre rule came into effect. I passed post-grad students on the stairs popping onto campus to collect their laptop or headphones, anxiously asking … Read More

Auckland’s rapid lockdown has given New Zealand a better chance of eliminating coronavirus – again

Guest Author Aug 31, 2020

Michael Plank, University of Canterbury; Alex James, University of Canterbury; Nicholas Steyn, and Shaun Hendy As Auckland relaxes restrictions today, contact-tracing data show the rapid decision to place New Zealand’s largest city under alert level 3 lockdown has undoubtedly prevented an explosive outbreak of COVID-19. Our model of COVID-19 spread in New Zealand shows the extension by an extra … Read More

Six months after New Zealand’s first COVID-19 case, it’s time for a more strategic approach

Guest Author Aug 26, 2020

Michael Baker, University of Otago; Amanda Kvalsvig, University of Otago, and Nick Wilson, University of Otago Today marks six months since New Zealand’s first COVID-19 case was identified on February 26. So far New Zealand has been largely in reactive mode, initially during the first elimination stage which finished in early June and now in response to the … Read More

Mask or no mask? This simple ethical approach can help with your pandemic etiquette

Guest Author Aug 19, 2020

Elspeth Tilley, Massey University Feeling torn about wearing a mask? Me too. I don’t want to look like I’m virtue signalling or get funny looks. But I also want to be responsible about public health. I’ve ended up conflicted, wearing a mask one day but not the next. The statistics suggest this isn’t my dilemma alone. While mask sales … Read More

How setting aside some ‘worry time’ can help reduce anxiety over COVID-19 lockdowns

Guest Author Aug 19, 2020

Dougal Sutherland, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Many New Zealanders will be feeling anxious, disappointed and even angry about the return of COVID-19 in the community. Many of us prefer to suppress these emotions because they are unpleasant or we may feel under-equipped to manage them. But if left unrecognised and unchecked, they will drive our … Read More