The author is in New Zealand
LAST week the New Zealand government called for mask wearing to be enforced in schools – and many schools have apparently decided to punish students who do not comply.
Asked whether she was happy with that situation, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ducked the question, denied the mandate, passed the buck, and still managed to appear happy for students to be punished.
She said: ‘We are really open-minded on this issue. We in fact went back multiple times to education and health and said, “Look, if you believe we should bring that mask mandate back we are happy to do that. Whatever you think is going to be in the best interest of our learners, our schools, and our health outcomes.”
‘They came back to us and said we should strongly encourage their use, but we should still allow schools to implement the policies themselves. That’s where we have landed. We have not said mask wearing is compulsory, but we are strongly encouraging it.’
You can watch the full interview here. There is plenty of spin, but not a lot of ambiguity. Head teachers have been given a green light to dust off the detention book.
Some schools are giving students detention either during lunchtime or after school (the modern equivalent of writing out ‘I will wear my mask’ a thousand times), which translates into loss of opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities and sports. This should be unacceptable and is certainly deleterious to a student at any age and may result in them becoming alienated or adversely affected emotionally or socially. Students go to school to learn and understand the process of verifying knowledge, to engage socially, and to develop skills in communication; whereby they may debate and agree or disagree with one another, without the fear of being punished or discriminated against.
There is a considerable body of scientific evidence pointing to the ineffectiveness of masks to stop transmission. Long-term mask use also poses health risks and causes significant learning deficits.
Some parents, and hence their children, will be well aware of this. A policy of punishment for non-mask wearers is the antithesis of a constructive learning environment and teaches: ‘Comply without question or face a penalty.’
School attendance in New Zealand is already at an all-time low. As a result of this move, it is going to fall further. The opportunities for constructive debate are fast disappearing in education, and we can understand why many parents are turning their thoughts to home-schooling.
The problem here is that the public is being deliberately kept in the dark about the ineffectiveness of masks and the dangers of prolonged mask-wearing. Most are following government advice, thinking that they are protecting themselves and others from Covid. They are ending the day with a headache and a sore face, but sure that they have thereby saved the world.
So far, the NZ government has kept a tight hold on the Covid narrative by warning people that alternative news sources and social media conversations are full of misinformation, whilst government announcements are closely following ‘the science’. They also give cash grants to the mainstream media and advertise to the point of saturation.
That is all set to ramp up from today. The government has concluded a formal binding agreement with Meta (Facebook and Instagram), TikTok, Google (Gmail and YouTube), Amazon (Spark) and Twitter to limit the availability of harmful content including ‘misinformation and disinformation’ in New Zealand.
In a world first, the code is described as ‘voluntary’, but it includes a ‘commitment’ to being held ‘accountable’ which allows its provisions to be ‘enforced’. How is that for doublespeak? And who is deciding what is harmful?
The mask mandate rules and the information censorship have something in common. The government is asking others to do its dirty work, then asking us to believe it has nothing to do with those others. We are not naive: we already know how this works.
The agreement cleverly conflates things that we all feel should be controlled, such as child sexual exploitation and incitement to violence, with rational discussions about drug safety and effectiveness.
YouTube has previously withdrawn Covid content from view at the private request of the Ministry of Health. Apparently this can happen if any content causes the NZ government embarrassment.
I don’t suppose it has escaped your notice that internet censorship is a tool of oppressive governments. The dangers are becoming all too obvious here, where the majority of the public, subjected to blanket government advertising, still believe that regular mRNA boosters and flu shots offer protection for life that is stronger than natural immunity.
This is all taking on a macabre aspect, because official Covid data here and in the EU is showing that boosted individuals are increasingly more likely to die with Covid than are the unvaccinated. The apparent reluctance on the part of the government to engage with the implications of this official Covid data is seriously worrying. Governments traditionally have a general duty of care when it comes to policing public health measures.
This year has been one of the wettest on record in NZ. As a result, ants are coming into homes in record numbers and you may have been struck with how expendable ant populations are.
Ant colonies appear to have a centralised administrative policy whereby any number of workers can be put at risk in the search for homes and food for queens. This is a sort of groupthink which starkly contrasts with human ethics, wherein the individual is highly valued.
Here in New Zealand, we are 90 per cent mRNA vaccinated and we currently have the highest rate of all-cause mortality in the world. Even the Ministry of Health has admitted this is not because of Covid. Yet if you follow the government advertising and press statements, you will probably be unaware of this and happily sure that ‘the science’ is being followed.
I don’t need to draw conclusions for you here. If you are following the current Covid science journal publishing, you will be well aware of mathematical arguments entirely based on collected data which are taking place within a rational framework. Ignoring or hiding these is dangerous.
This blog is co-authored with Narayani Hatchard.