Omicron death rate will expose the bleeding gums of NZ’s inequality

Covid 19 Omicron: NZ surpasses US death rate for the first time

New Zealand has marked its darkest day of the pandemic with a record 34 deaths, taking the country’s Covid-19 mortality rate past that of the United States for the first time.

Experts say despite daily case numbers starting to plateau, given the lag in hospitalisations and deaths, that rate could climb even higher over the next few weeks.

And with case numbers in our biggest city also dropping, a top health official has warned of a “Mexican wave” of infections and regional spikes, as Canterbury and South Canterbury experience a peak.

University of Otago epidemiologist professor Michael Baker said New Zealand’s daily Covid-related deaths per million over a seven-day rolling average were now higher than in the US, which is about a month out from its Omicron peak.

Covid has exposed the bleeding gums of our inequality in a way bandaids and half measure social policy simply won’t cauterise.

It will seep into the rotten cavities of the societal inequality we have persistently ignored.

Overcrowded cold homes where the middle class work from home privilege doesn’t extend to.

The over stretched food banks, the culture of dumping our old people into lowest cost accomodation and the motel half measures for the homeless all combine with 50 000 households living in poverty, hundreds of thousands of kids in poverty and entire generations now locked out of home ownership.

The user pays neoliberal experiment of the last 30 years has made the speculators and bankers rich beyond imagination while the poor have fought over the crumbs.

The vast majority of Kiwi’s who have died so far are over 70, once it gets into our under resourced retirement industrial complex, deaths will soar over 400.

Turns out fighting Covid means beating poverty.

How did we forget that?


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