On Sat, 28 Aug 2021 19:27:07 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers Post by Gordon
From the Stuff 1pm live page
Release more data, National says
National's Covid-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop has called on the
Government to be more "upfront" with its release of Covid-19 data.
"National, like commentators and public health experts, is calling
on the Government and Ministry of Health to be more transparent.
Journalists shouldn't have to negotiate and request with the
Ministry of Health daily for basic information that helps the
public understand the current outbreak.
"Raw numbers each day are no longer adequate."
Bishop said the ministry needs to release more "sophisticated"
information as other countries do. This could include a further
breakdown of the raw number of contacts, more detail about the
daily cases, including where they contracted the virus, how many
essential workers have tested positive and were infectious in
the community, if there's been community transmission during
lockdown, and what the estimated reproductive value (R0) is.
"New Zealanders are entitled to know what is going on."
He said people were becoming anxious that numbers are
continuing to rise this far into lockdown. "These rising case
numbers may not be cause for concern if the public can see that
the bulk of our cases are in fact household or other close contacts."
There we are the opposition is starting to wake up. Be interesting to see
I do think that there needs to be more effort put into providing all the
data in a full, and transparent way. Which is the scientific way.
Any public concerns that the data is being filtered without good reason will
only lead to rumour and enduendo , while allowing mis-information to spread.
Well observed, Gordon.
When adding to the common Covid-response commentary, Ive previously mentioned the inevitable, increased admin workload and available skills/talent/manpower numbers versus population numbers.
If these are now at their natural/inevitable limits or anywhere near them, then the concise shorter-form delivery - i.e. what you most need to know **now** - may well be all that can in all good faith be managed and achieved via the readily assimilated across-the-board laymans media.
Yes, Nationals Covid-response spokesman Bishop may well have a valid point if only that, on the other side of the coin, there is the endless half-cock trotting out of the misinformation and unwitting or downright deliberate disinformation so beloved of New Zealands numberless parish-pump gossips and alarmists. Such organised fomenting of fears and neuroses, occasional public disorder, even, serves no purpose whatever other than to further heighten already existing tensions and concerns amongst the population at large.
A two-way scenario not so easily solved or resolved, then.
I don't think the situation is that dire. A lot of information is
clearly avaialble to the experts that develop the recommendations to
government, but given the relatively low numbers that are invovled
they naturally need to respect privacy for individuals. The daily
briefings have to also balance the volume of information to be given
in the daily briefings with the tolerance of the sudience to listen to
details that do not directly affect most of the public, against a
concern by critics that the length of the briefings needs tobe
shortened to limit exposure to a politician, but also from many of the
same people that the briefings should include sufficient details for
each area of interest so New Zealanders can make up their own minds .
. the result of which is that the briefing is merely a fairly quick
summary, given the complexity of the subject, and more data is given
in the official websites. Over time, the data available has been
increased , but subject to protecting the privacy of individuals.
Meantime, there are changes in concepts that we are slowly coming to
understand. There was a perception that vaccination gave total
immunity - that is now seen to be wrong; a vaccinated person can catch
Covid, and also that the infection. Second there was the concept of
'herd immunity' - initially assessed as needing to be about 60% to 65%
to be effective, now seen to not be totally effective even with 100%
vaccination. We are also seeing that while catching covid is fairly
mild for many, that is not always the case; "long Covid" can be
horribly life-changing; and we also know that the newer varian of
Covid will attack younger people, and that people can catch the
infection more than once.
See for example: