It’s probably just a matter of time before Covid-19 spreads its tentacles further into areas like the South Island, which hasn’t had widespread transmission for nearly a year and a half, experts say.
RNZ asked Christchurch shoppers how concerned they were about the spread of the community in their neighborhoods.
Most believed there was a high probability that the virus would make its way south and identified receiving the vaccine as the best way to protect themselves.
However, Katrina Clyma said she wasn’t sure what it contained.
Rather than relying on vaccines to keep the mainland safe, he would rather establish a border and keep potential cases out of the North Island.
“I can’t believe that we haven’t actually protested like we did on the South Island, saying no, you’re not coming here, that you close the borders. I’m sure we can stand up for ourselves.”
MJ said that she also wanted to avoid a hit and had her own methods to protect herself and her family.
“I have autistic children and I leave them at home and only go out when I need to. And I feel guilty to be honest, I know everyone else is. [getting vaccinated] and that’s great, but I just want to see if I can protect them in my own way. “
Sue Munro had received both of her injections and took it upon herself to encourage her neighbor to do his as well.
“He was telling me that he didn’t believe in vaccination, that it could be dangerous. So we had different conversations during the week. And he finally came down and said, ‘Well, if you’re okay,’ then it should be okay. ‘
A woman who chose not to be identified ran a construction company employing 100 people and was concerned about the consequences of Covid becoming widespread.
“Many people don’t realize the cost to business owners of not getting vaccinated and relying on Facebook as the only definitive knowledge. Where do you get your research? Facebook, Instagram or a scientist?”
Modeller professor Michael Plank said that with Covid cases on a slow but steady rise in Auckland, it really was just a question of when and not if the virus would leak from Auckland’s border with Waikato and engulf the rest of the country.
“It is a matter of time before it ends in all parts of the country. It is very difficult to predict exactly when. I mean it could be tomorrow, [or] It may not be for a couple of months. The longer we can contain it, the more time it gives us to vaccinate people. “
The intensive care specialist and one of those who helped bring additional ventilators into the country during last year’s outbreak, Andrew Stapleton, said hospitals outside of Auckland were being worked on to accommodate an expected increase in Covid cases.
“We are well prepared for a wave of pandemics, because for that we have had time to prepare. The change from pandemic to endemic Covid has occurred quite quickly, and hospitals are much less prepared to have to carry on with their activities as usual. while dealing with Covid patients. “
Stapleton said one of the most urgent needs was to find enough intensive care nurses to tend ICU beds.
The government urgently needed to train its current nursing workforce to take on these roles and provide funding to recruit all graduates coming out of schools this year to take their places in general nursing wards, he said.
He understood that the government was now actively considering this.