Auckland’s unmanned Southern Motorway has been the first day of the first national Covid-19 blockade two years ago.Photo / New Zealand Herald
As the outbreak of Omicron slowly loosens its grip, it is calm to think that New Zealand is probably most hurt by varieties near the end of the pandemic.
The tail of the coronavirus, then it’s the tail of the hard-spike dragon we’ve been overwhelmed by.
The overall data is improving and is on a downtrend. On Thursday, the 7-day moving average of community cases, hospitalizations, ICU numbers, and Auckland cases all declined the day before.
But in such a small country, the real victims are still enormous. An additional 11 people died from Covid-19 on Thursday, with 221 overall pandemic deaths by that day.
It’s still very few compared to other countries, but it’s high compared to the disasters New Zealand experienced in its living memories. This is not something that cohorts below Generation X are accustomed to.
New Zealand’s pandemic deaths were very low until the Delta broke out last August 26. When the country turned red under a traffic light system for Omicron in late January, the number of casualties was 52. Increased. It was eradicated in February and another died.
The remaining deaths (168) by Thursday were added during the 32-day Omicron wave, but statistics are complicated by the Ministry of Health’s changes to Covid-related death reports and classifications.
Still, the most deadly period of a pandemic in New Zealand was one in 24 months (the last month). And it has been driven primarily by the BA.2 Omicron subvariant.
This affects that even though the new variants are mostly medically benign, they may still be around the corner.
Omicrons generally cause milder infections than Delta, but their infectivity is important, and BA.2 has evolved to spread more easily than BA.1. Currently, some of the population has gained some immunity through infection-an unknown period-a difficult way.
Unvaccinated people and the elderly with other health vulnerabilities are at particular risk. Most of the infected were young, but they can spread it to those who have the least room to get it.
As the comparison with Hong Kong shows, the high vaccination rate of the elderly in New Zealand prevents the situation from getting worse. However, the 70+ age group here still has the highest number of hospitalizations from Covid since August last year.
Dr. Tom Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tweeted this week: A life-threatening challenge. “
In some European countries, the number of BA.2 cases has increased this month, but the number of Our World in Data shows that the situation is starting to improve.
However, cases are increasing again in New South Wales, France and Australia. And what if Omicron produces another faster and more appropriate subvariant that arrives here? It’s deadly to some people in the community.
Then there is also the Deltacron variant. Dr. Jema Geogegan, a virologist at the University of Otago, says that “recombination” helps the virus produce genetic variation.
Thanks to Omicron, New Zealand is now experiencing as many Covids as it has ever dealt with abroad. That means people get used to the new normal, even though they have a unique attitude towards the virus and a desire for risk.
With extensive vaccination, the ability to boost immunity, high-quality masks, and knowledge gained about Covid, this current coronavirus rarely returns to strict control. Over several variants, the vaccine’s defense against the worst consequences remains strong. And obviously, the pandemic has come to the point where public fatigue, collaboration with other countries, and economic stress are becoming increasingly important considerations.
However, each person on the street still needs to be vigilant. This dragon may still sweep its tail again.