Nightmare of Covid 19 response minister Chris Hipkins on the podium: ‘A bit of an empty mind’
Hipkins defends pashing on the dance floor. Video / NZ Herald
If there are any studies of brain fog as a result of Covid-19, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins could be a case study.
Hipkins had to apologize after a comedy of errors at the press conference in which he accused a “bit of an empty mind” of forgetting what the rules were for using the mask under the orange setting – even if those are the only rules that apply under the setting.
Hipkins started strong, announcing that the whole country would be moving to the promised land of orange decor starting Thursday morning. The only catch was that hospitalizations in Auckland had increased rather than decreased.
But this was not to last. “We’re coming off the top now,” Hipkins said triumphantly, before stepping off the top himself. The usually well-versed minister found himself sinking when it came to orange rules.
To the surprise of those listening, he said masks were encouraged but would not be required in places such as flights or public transport.
He said airlines might have their own rules but government rules had changed and were not mandatory. He then encouraged people to familiarize themselves with these rules.
Alas, he was wrong, the rules had not changed. It took a while before he realized this himself – in fact, he had time to add a supermarket to the list of places where masks were apparently not needed the moment someone texted him to tell him he was wrong.
He recanted, admitted that he had forgotten what the precise rules were and that he had not brought the list with him.
Now Hipkins’ face had turned red.
With a shamefaced smile, he begged reporters to “just park the masks for a while” and move on to other matters while he waited for the advice to be sent to his phone.
It finally landed, long after reporters Googled it themselves.
He announced that he was indeed wrong and that masks were compulsory on public transport, in shops, in supermarkets, in health centers and care centers for the elderly, as well as in other places. other places. “Sorry, I was a little empty-headed. I will.”
The information did not make his life any easier.
Then came the examination of the logic behind the rules. A reporter asked why people could ‘kiss around on the dance floor’ but still have to wear masks in the supermarket.
Hipkins, ever obliging, replied. “At the end of the day, it’s a question of volume. There will be a lot more people in the supermarket every week than there will be on a dance floor.”
He also admitted later that he didn’t think compliance would be very high if people were required to wear masks in the nightclub, but people could make their decisions accordingly. He wouldn’t go out clubbing himself.
When asked about it later, he admitted it was his fault: he decided his written statement was too long, so he skipped a bit. Alas, this turned out to be quite a big item.
Where you must wear a face mask in the orange setting
For future Hipkins reference and clarity, here are the places where you must wear a face mask with the orange setting:
• on domestic flights
• on public transport, this includes Cook Strait Ferries, but does not include passengers in their assigned transport on specified Kiwirail services or when you are on a vessel that does not have an enclosed space for passengers
• at domestic arrival and departure points for domestic flights and public transport
• if you are aged 12 or over on school transport and public transport funded by the Ministry of Education
• in taxis or ride-sharing vehicles
• in a retail setting, for example supermarkets, shopping centres, pharmacies, petrol stations and takeaways
• inside public facilities, such as museums and libraries, but not in swimming pools
• in a veterinary clinic
• visit the interior space of a court or tribunal — unless the bailiff does not require it
• in premises operated by local and central government agencies, social service providers and the New Zealand Police
• in the public area of premises operated by NZ Post Limited
• when visiting a health service, for example a health or care facility for the elderly.