Tagged: Pandemic

SARS-CoV-2 – a natural event or a lab escape? - Ariadne

Robert Hickson May 16, 2021

In books and movies it is often a good plot point for a disease (or monster) to escape, accidentally or with assistance, from a government lab. There are also real cases of pathogens getting out of labs (but quickly being controlled). That’s also a discussion going on now about Covid-19. Natural evolution or human agency? Spillover or … Read More

COVID-19 cost more in 2020 than the world’s combined natural disasters in any of the past 20 years - COVID-19

Guest Author Apr 20, 2021

Ilan Noy, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington and Nguyen Doan, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington What have we lost because of the pandemic? According to our calculations, a lot — and many of the worst hit countries and regions are far from world media attention. Typically, damage from any disaster is measured in separate … Read More

The best hope for fairly distributing COVID-19 vaccines globally is at risk of failing. Here’s how to save it - COVID-19

Guest Author Apr 14, 2021

Deborah Gleeson, La Trobe University COVAX, the global initiative to coordinate the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in an equitable way, is crucial for bringing the pandemic under control. But COVAX’s aim of delivering 2 billion doses to participating countries by the end of 2021 — including 92 low-income countries that can’t afford to buy vaccines directly from manufacturers — … Read More

Charting our way back to normal - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Apr 08, 2021

By Professor Tony Blakely, Dr Tim Wilson, Luke Thorburn and Professor Nathan Grills, University of Melbourne A new web tool, COVID-19 Pandemic Trade-offs, allows people to weigh the costs and benefits of different policy responses as Australia rolls out vaccines and considers opening borders. See here for an associated explanatory video. Article reproduced with permission from Pursuit  The … Read More

A quarantine-free trans-Tasman bubble opens on April 19, but ‘flyer beware’ remains the reality of pandemic travel - COVID-19

Guest Author Apr 07, 2021

Michael Plank, University of Canterbury and Shaun Hendy, University of Auckland   New Zealand’s government today announced a long-awaited quarantine-free travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia, beginning on April 19. Provided there is no significant community outbreak in Australia, the risk of New Zealand importing cases of COVID-19 is very low. But should there be a community outbreak … Read More

To ensure success of the trans-Tasman travel “green zone”, we need to reduce system failures at the NZ border - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Mar 30, 2021

Dr Leah Grout, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson While succeeding very well with its elimination strategy, NZ still does not have optimal border control. We find since July 2020 there have been 13 identified border failures and at least 6 internal MIQ facility failures. The forthcoming quarantine-free “green zone” between NZ and Australia … Read More

New Zealand’s COVID-19 stimulus is a ‘lost opportunity’ to move towards a low-emissions economy - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Feb 26, 2021

David Hall, Auckland University of Technology and Nina Ives, Auckland University of Technology In every crisis there is opportunity. Even during New Zealand’s strictest COVID-19 lockdown last year, many people felt the pandemic offered a chance to tackle other global crises, especially climate change. The government responded to the pandemic with an extraordinary package of monetary and fiscal … Read More

Trends and developments – February - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Feb 23, 2021

This post is a mix of a few recent reports on trends, recent discoveries or developments. Topics covered are the future of work, the geopolitical shift from oil to semiconductors, transition to low carbon futures, disappearing Artic sea ice, and AI in health care.   Yesterday’s Gone A Canadian report from the Brookfield Institute identifies eight megatrends … Read More

NZ needs an evolving pandemic strategy if it’s to keep the public’s trust - COVID-19

Guest Author Feb 01, 2021

Bernard Walker, University of Canterbury Kiwis know what it’s like when life throws curveballs. We’ve had major quakes, floods, fires, an eruption, a terrorist attack and now a pandemic. In those situations, it’s the ability to collectively “get the smarts”, to devise clever, adaptable responses, that really makes a difference. But the challenge now is to keep doing the smart … 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