Infectious Thoughts

When will we know the lockdown is working?

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 27, 2020

Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from Covid-19 that so many other countries are experiencing. Over … Read More

How testing for Covid-19 works

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 18, 2020

With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, testing for Covid-19 isn’t like a pregnancy test. You don’t … Read More

After ‘Flatten the Curve’, we must now ‘Stop the Spread’. Here’s what that means

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 14, 2020

Spinoff cartoonist Toby Morris and I recently introduced you to the concept of #FlattenTheCurve. Now we want to get you thinking about a more ambitious idea: #StopTheSpread. But first, a quick recap. During an outbreak, if we can’t control the spread of the disease, then the number of sick people quickly rises. For Covid-19 we know this: about two out … Read More

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The three phases of Covid-19 – and how we can make it manageable

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 09, 2020

In a post last week, I showed you a picture of how the Covid-19 outbreak has played out in China. It was a graph of the number of cases reported each day, something we call an epidemic curve. It looked a bit like this. We can use the epidemic curve as a visual way to think about how Covid-19 … Read More

How to get rid of Covid-19 from surfaces the right way

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 07, 2020

This week several more people in New Zealand have been confirmed to have contracted Covid-19, and the number of confirmed cases globally is approaching 100,000. We’ve been talking a lot about how this coronavirus is droplet spread so here’s the answers to a few questions people have been asking about that. But before I get on to that, I just … Read More