We all know people who seem to be constantly striving to better themselves. It can by physically whether it be in a gym, running longer or running faster, lifting heavier or loosing weight. Some people give up a vice, such as alcohol or sugar for a month or longer and there are any number of charities that offer monthly fundraising challenges that you can align yourself too. Some of these people we know take on unbelievably difficult challenges, and for some of us it can even be a challenge getting out of bed every morning.
Whatever your circumstance, I challenge you this month to better yourself by arming yourself with knowledge. We can all learn more by talking to experts, reading new books, watching new videos.
Gone are the days when our daily diet of the 6 o’clock news would be sufficient to keep us abreast of the latest events in our country and the world. The national media these days seems to be more interested in aligning their newsrooms within a framework of government-decreed guidelines in order to receive funding – you can read these guidelines here: https://www.nzonair.govt.nz/funding/journalism-funding/
To stay informed, we owe it to ourselves to look further, read more and question those who are responsible for our and our society’s ultimate well being. It is after all why New Zealand has a 3 branch system of government. So even when a majority exists in the Legislature (Parliament) and the Executive (Government) the Judicial system provides an independent voice. Such was the case in the recent court case that saw Nelson Lawyer Sue Grey and Ngā Kaitiaki Tuku Iho Medical Action Society Incorporated win a case against the Government who were acting against the law with the Covid 19 Vaccine rollout.1
Checks and balances are paramount, and we are all responsible for educating ourselves around issues that concern ourselves and our families. The Covid vaccination question is one such topic and everyone has a choice to be vaccinated or not. The Pfzier Vaccine has been approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use only2, and NZ’s Medsafe states ‘Approved under section 23 of the Medicines Act, with conditions’3, despite arguably being in very different situations. Beyond the simplistic PR campaign there is plenty of information that is available for everyone to make an informed decision. The number of people who have been vaccinated can be tracked here: https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations
New Zealand tracks all its adverse reactions here, so far there have been over 1200 of them.4 Internationally other countries do the same and they investigate patterns arising from these reactions. Currently appendicitis, blood clots, abnormal menstrual bleeding and most recently myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle are all under investigation in relation to the Covid 19 vaccine. As they all happen as part of the course within the population, it will prove very challenging to find or negate any link.
But, having these checks and balances in place and if we as informed individuals challenge ourselves to be armed with a broad degree of knowledge then we can all make the decision whether or not to get vaccinated with confidence.