Today we wake up to the new COVID Protection Framework, which replaces the Alert Levels that have governed our lives these last 20 months.
In the new system, there’s traffic light levels. We start out in Red. Nearly all businesses can reopen (with masks and other restrictions), but staff and patrons all have to be vaccinated and show proof. When we move to Yellow, some of the limits are removed, and if we ever get to Green, life will be essentially like it was.
Vaccinations in Aotearoa New Zealand started a couple months late and were rolled out slowly compared to other OECD countries, but we’re now hitting 90% or more for adults and can expect the same thing for kids when they become eligible in January. Bam! Score one (more) for the Government.
We’re seeing 100+ new COVID cases per day in Auckland, although hospitalizations and deaths are really low. Apparently the vaccine works! We still can’t leave the metro area for another couple of weeks, while the recently vaccinated build antibodies and the outlying areas continue their vax drives. But it looks like the Christmas break… NZ pretty much shuts down and goes to the beach for a few weeks… will proceed. Big events like music festivals are still being postponed or canceled but otherwise it’s game on.
All of this is a fantastic result for those of us who believe in vaccination. Sadly for them, the un-vaxed will be (as of today) a new underclass, excluded from lots of societal benefits and actively discriminated against. They’ll be huddled out behind buildings, standing 2 metres away from the smokers I guess.