Home > Global, Social Issues > Open letter to Michael Barnett, Julie White, et al

Open letter to Michael Barnett, Julie White, et al



Congratulations,  Mr Barnett, Ms White, and your business colleagues. It appears that we will end up having to “live” (ie, get sick, end up in hospital, perhaps in ICU, intubated on ventilators, and possibly dying as our lungs fail) with covid19.

But at least businesses will open up. Business will finally have *CERTAINTY*.

The Delta Strain on covid19 will run rampant. It is so highly infectious that it appears nigh on impossible to eradicate,  contain, or avoid. Especially as so many people refuse to take simple precautions; wearing masks, staying home if unwell, or getting vaccinated.

Our hospitals will quickly fill up with covid cases. It has happened overseas, I see no reason why we should be exempt in Aotearoa New Zealand.

So if you present at your local hospital with a broken limb, some other infection, heart attack, stroke, etc, well, be prepared to stand – or rather lie down – in line. Don’t expect treatment any time soon. Our fabulous nurses and doctors, the ones not yet worked to exhaustion and burned out, will get to you. Eventually. Maybe five or six hours? Or next morning?



You know what else you can have 100% certainty about? The mainstream  media will report story after story after story of hospitals near collapse and grieving families. The click-bating headlines, radio and TV interviews, will be an hourly, daily, weekly event. Wait till the first toddler dies from covid – can you see the headlines? I can. That’s a certainty you can take to the bank.

If you thought media milked ‘heart string’ stories of New Zealanders trapped overseas – desperate for limited MIQ slots – you ain’t see nothing yet. You can be very, very certain of how media will feast – gorge themselves – on tragedies to come.

In turn, those relentless stories will feed public fear.

The media – your “unwitting allies” to push your agenda – will turn on you.

But at least restaurants, cafes, bars, theatres, conventions, etc, etc, etc, etc, can all open up.

Yes, you have certainty in that.

But you know what else you can be certain of?

A whole bunch of workers who will get sick. Expect your businesses to lose staff to many more sick days off. After last year’s lockdown, influenza and other viral diseases fell so low we’ve probably never been healthier.

That will change. And it will cost your businesses dearly.

As sure as evolution made li’l green apples, you can have certainty of that.

Oh, and you know what else will probably happen? A terrified population. Even vaccinated people like me will be even more constantly hyper-vigilant; more wary of crowded spaces, less willing to take risks.

So once covid reaches Wellington, no more restaurants, cafes, bars, theatres, conventions, etc, etc, etc, etc, for me or my partner. Though we’re both double vaccinated, we both still have underlying  conditions.

And I work in the wider health sector with vulnerable clients. Two of whom would not survive covid. It would be their death sentence. So no going out for me, even if I wanted to. (Which I won’t.)

But I digress.

So once covid reaches Wellington, it’ll be more quiet nights in. Perhaps a few contactless takeaways. Thank the gods for online entertainment; streaming means no more going out to movies.

And thank goodness for online shopping. Christmas prezzy shopping will be done from the safety of my computer screen. Hello, Amazon!

There may be many, many more people like us. The aging, propertied, cashed-up, baby-boomer generation  – the demographic your businesses rely on so much – may well share our reluctance to sally forth out on the town.

You can have certainty there.

So your businesses will be open. But maybe a little  – or lot! – less crowded.

So enjoy your open businesses.  Enjoy your certainty. You got what you wanted.

How does it feel?





Reuters: Some U.S. hospitals forced to ration care amid staffing shortages, COVID-19 surge

NPR: A COVID Surge Is Overwhelming U.S. Hospitals, Raising Fears Of Rationed Care

Vox: Americans are dying because no hospital will take them

New York Times: Idaho allows overwhelmed hospitals across the state to ration care if necessary.

Forbes: In Idaho And Other States, The Delta Covid-19 Surge Is Forcing Hospitals To Ration ICU Beds

CNN: As Covid-19 hospitalizations spike, some overwhelmed hospitals are rationing care

Previous related blogposts

One thousand dead New Zealanders per year?




Acknowledment: Anthony Ellison





  1. Priss
    11 October 2021 at 2:55 pm

    If covid reaches Wairarapa, we’re staying in. Nights out will be out. It’ll be click & collect to supermarket and Pharmacies, otherwise no retail shops or weekends away to our friends in the Hutt Valley.

    Home schooling may also be an option. My grandmother is a retired teacher so thats a strong possibility.

    If even half the country retreats to the safety of their homes, Barnett and White will rue the day they opened their flappy gums to demand opening up.

    Businesses may open their doors, but we won’t be going.

    (We are both vaccinated. Kids are too young sadly.)

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