Tagged: coronavirus

Christmas without lockdowns, despite contrary views - Lately, In Science

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Dec 24, 2020

Heading into Christmas in Aotearoa this year feels like living in a parallel universe. Tomorrow Kiwis will celebrate Christmas without thinking much about COVID-19, if at all. No tallying how many people are allowed to dinner, worrying about getting granny sick, or having immunocompromised loved ones stuck home alone. At last count, there are 49 cases of COVID-19 in … Read More

Staying Safe from COVID-19 over Summer and Beyond: The Need for More NZ Government Action - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Dec 21, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker Aotearoa/NZ has responded very successfully to the COVID-19 pandemic by achieving elimination and the lowest death rate in the OECD. But there are ongoing risks – which may even be increasing with larger numbers of infected returnees in border facilities. In this final blog of the year we detail the critical actions needed to … Read More

The virus that stole Christmas - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Dec 20, 2020

Mutant and virus are two words that rarely go well together. Reports from the UK that a  variant of SARS-CoV-2 has emerged (called lineage B.1.1.7), and may be more readily transmissible, aren’t what we want to hear just before Christmas, or any time. However, it isn’t necessarily a nightmare scenario. Coronaviruses have relatively low levels of mutation, … Read More

Covid-19 and the Science Media Centre - News

Katherine Hurst Dec 18, 2020

“Always expect the unexpected” could be the Science Media Centre’s motto, but 2020 has proven more unexpected than most years. The novel coronavirus spread through all aspects of the SMC’s work: queries from journalists, media briefings, expert reactions to breaking news, and distributing recent scientific research through the Scimex website. Even the SMC’s … Read More

Sweden vs. New Zealand, with Taiwan in the lead - COVID-19

Dave Heatley Dec 11, 2020

Is the Covid pandemic and our collective responses to it best framed as health vs. the economy? That is, are countries forced to make a horrible trade-off between: minimising Covid infection rates at high economic cost; and accepting higher Covid infection rates, this being the cost of maintaining economic activity? This framing underlies many of the popular narratives comparing the … Read More

Devastated by disease in the past, Samoa is on high alert after recent coronavirus scares - COVID-19

Guest Author Nov 27, 2020

Tootoooleaava Dr. Fanaafi Aiono-Le Tagaloa, University of Waikato Within minutes of news that crew members of the cargo ship Fesco Askold had tested positive for COVID-19, a social media storm broke across Samoa. COVID-free until then, the island nation’s anxiety was understandable. More so when you consider its history. Memories of the deadly 2019 measles outbreak were still … Read More

Why some people find it easier to stick to new habits they formed during lockdown - COVID-19

Guest Author Nov 24, 2020

Matthew Jenkins, University of Otago and Elaine Hargreaves, University of Otago Periods of lockdown represent a massive disruption to people’s daily routines, but they also offer an opportunity to establish new habits. Our research focus is on what motivates people to change their behaviour, particularly when it comes to physical activity routines. We compared the levels of physical … Read More

Aches on a plane – new findings on in-flight Covid transmission - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Nov 24, 2020

One of the good things about New Zealand pursuing an elimination strategy for Covid-19 (aside from the obvious) is that we are able to help answer some of the questions there are about how the SARS-CoV-2 virus transmits between people. Take air travel. As many people in the US start to head off around the country to spend Thanksgiving with … Read More

How to read results from COVID vaccine trials like a pro - COVID-19

Guest Author Nov 19, 2020

Adrian Esterman, University of South Australia It’s been a busy week or so for news about COVID vaccines. First we heard preliminary clinical trial results from the Pfizer vaccine, then the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. This week, we heard about the Moderna vaccine. All these results were shared with the media, ahead of being peer reviewed and … Read More