At sixes and sevens, and counting
It’s all about the numbers. We humans are inextricably drawn to them. We are born into a world of calendars, clocks, counting and key performance indicators that determine every thought and decision we make.
Like some sort of mathematical fortune teller, we rely on facts and figures to give us some reasoning for most decisions we make in our daily lives: when to wake up, when to start work, how much we spend on lunch. Sometimes these decisions can be serious numbers (yes, $1.3 million is a lot to pay for a bach in Mangawhai), or not so serious numbers (shall I have one glass of wine or two?).
The last few months of the pandemic we have been drowning in numbers as statistics relating to Covid-19 pour in from across the globe almost nonstop. And like a Stephen King novel, they make fascinating, if not macabre, reading. Let’s look at a few numbers making the news at the moment.
Stats NZ estimates that New Zealand’s population level reached this major milestone on March 31 thanks to either a new migrant or newborn baby.
The number of months we will have to wait to see if there is a post-Covid baby boom in Mangawhai.
That’s ‘Covid-19’. Because even a deadly virus has to have some sort of number. But what does it mean? Covid-19 is an acronym for a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus. ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, and ‘D’ for disease. And 19 stands for 2019.
The number of levels in New Zealand’s Covid-19 Alert System, each with its own risks and restrictions determined by the Government. Level 4, coincidentally, is the same level we are on for water restrictions. Water levels are critical in Northland. In Kaipara, from Dargaville to Mangawhai, aquifers are perilously low.
The number of collective dollars spent by Governments around the world to prop up their economies thanks to the pandemic. Or it could be the number of years many suggest it will take to pay it all back.
Just how low can mortgage rates go? This annoys me a little. I fixed my mortgage 7 months ago. Now I feel like I’ve gone and bought something at Briscoes the week before they have a big sale.
Much has been made in the news recently about the long and drawn out rates saga involving locals Bruce and Heather Rogan, and their personal courtordered legal bill of $115,233.86. It has been a decade-long fight for the Rogans. While winning a battle or two, ultimately the war was lost and they, after paying all their outstanding rates, have been left with a bill for legal costs due May 22.
Perhaps the most important number right now is one that really isn’t a number at all – zero. That’s the number of new Covid-19 cases we’ve had the last few days. Let’s hope we can stay safe and keep it that way.
Rich Pooley, Editor