Staying vigilant

As we watch and wait it’s important not to be lulled into a false sense of safety in this new uncertainty.  The experts tell us that we will likely experience a lag before we detect cases and confirm that there are indeed more omicron cases in the community. So, we need to maintain our safe […]

Stop telling me to calm down

“Stop telling me to be calm!” And anyway, why’s it so important? You’ve had the experience of people – me included – telling you that being calm is important, right? Often, telling us to be calm produces the exact opposite effect. For example, remember being told, ‘don’t jump on the bed’? What did you do? […]

Omicron community outbreak in New Zealand

We are moving from a place of what people can call a place of relative safe certainty to, hopefully, a place of safe ‘uncertainty’ again. We know what we can do to remain safer & slow down & reduce the clinical burden on people, the health system & containing outbreaks Understand that you have three […]

Omicron: What Now?

Omicron is making its way around the world, and this is hard. Hard for everyone who has been looking forward to engaging with life again, everyone who is tired, and everyone who just wishes this was over. I hear you, I see you. It is difficult to think about this, but we must. We won’t […]

Shelf Life

It’s been a tough couple of years. I’m writing this at the start of November 2021, just to get some thoughts down on paper. I have noticed that my motivation has crashed over the last few days, and I’ve been wondering why. I’ve been feeling periodically tired for months now. But most of the time, […]

We need to talk about humiliation

The Government’s rhetoric about getting vaccinated has hardened. The conversation started with relying on intellectual arguments to convince people that getting vaccinated is the right thing to do through presenting data. It then moved to a persuasion stage, trying to understand the influence of emotions, and working through trusted connections to have conversations designed to […]

The New Covid Protection Framework: Initial Thoughts

The Prime Minister outlined the new Covid Protection Framework this morning. Here are some of the key points from a psychological point of view Outlining the new structure and how it will work will be helpful for most people. And it clear that the goal is to carry on vaccinating at speed and scale to […]

Messaging with some Bottle

Simple, clear messaging This is what has been what has been so successful in New Zealand’’s pandemic so far.  This is partly because the goal we were aiming for was clear – and that was elimination. And the Alert Level system was the process through which we got to that outcome. It was a complete […]

Vaxxathon: Renewing social license through collective action & social proof 

The upcoming vaxxathon is the tonic that New Zealanders didn’t know they needed. But let’s break down why it makes sense from the perspective of some important psychological and social concepts, too. Collective / Individual action Although the ‘Team of 5 Million’ is a well-worn and accepted phrase, it’s fallen into disrepair in recent months. […]