Polio – an ever-present risk

Polio is my counter-cyclical topic to kick of a new year that everyone hopes will see the Covid-19 global pandemic kicked in the arse. That’s Australian lingo for vanquished, eradicated, snuffed out. Despite hopes that the Covid-19 respiratory virus will be globally defeated through a programme of vaccinations, it is unlikely to cover everyone who needs it, this year or even next. So let’s be informed by history. My generation will recall the arrival of…

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Why Human Beings Need a Hug

Forgive me, dear readers, for I have sinned (giving a hug in the privacy of my own home). A friend I had not seen for six months came to visit and the impulse to hug was too strong. We did the right thing to a degree, our heads facing away from each other, so the droplets would disperse in the same room, (where other people freely mingle). You may have seen examples of people not…

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Arts Take Virtual Performance To Another Level

One evening in April, a Kiwi songwriter friend living in London posted a YouTube video by the London Humanist Choir, performing a love song in Māori. The video of New Zealand’s unofficial anthem, Pokarekare Ana, was, as we are now accustomed, a multi-screen video with choir members recording their parts remotely. I shared this with a few Kiwi friends who live elsewhere, knowing it would tug at the tendrils of homesickness, which are almost always…

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Ross River Fever and other viruses

There is an ongoing household discussion here about the sliding screen door, which, if left open, exposes us to mosquitos, potentially carrying Ross River Fever. (It’s tempting to leave the door open so the dog, who lacks an opposable thumb, can get in and out at will. Ed) Of course, we could just as soon be bitten when outside for a multitude of reasons (gardening, watering, chopping firewood, walking the dog at dusk). Nevertheless, I…

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