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. […]

​​We have complex feelings about the pandemic response right now. Here’s why.

Impending doom and an overwhelming sense of grief for all that we may have lost, even as the pandemic has played out over the last 20 months in New Zealand. This is the gist of just some conversations and expressions I’ve heard over the past few days.  Why are we feeling like this? Why now? […]

One degree of separation: New Zealand’s Superpower and Covid-19 Vulnerability

We’ve all experienced the superpower. You meet someone and it turns out you both know someone in common. It can happen anywhere, in New Zealand, and even around the world when we travel. And it usually happens pretty early in the conversation too. It’s the social glue that is our superpower It brings us joy, […]

Get the vaccine to get on with life

The uncertainty equation is changing. Before, we had the strategy of elimination and the comfort of the original, simple, Alert Level system. You’ve heard it before, and I’ll say it again: Delta is changing all this. We know that secondary stressors – the effects of all that we do to keep the primary threat (Covid-19) […]

When the trajectory changes again. And again.

In preparing for the next stage of the pandemic, there is a risk that we project what we wish to see for our futures, what we hope and desire, into a physical world that doesn’t care. It’s not that it doesn’t want to care: it can’t. The coronavirus pandemic doesn’t have feelings or desires, hates […]

Do the mahi, get the treats

With Auckland at Level 3 and Covid-19 cases still in the community, our behaviour is more important than ever in staying on top of the spread of the virus. What we choose to do *does* make a difference. What YOU do makes a difference If you hate lockdowns and you want to have a glorious […]

When the flightpath changes

Imagine you’re on a glide path to landing on the runway after a long and bumpy flight. You’re uncomfortable, and aching to stretch your legs, arrive at your destination and indulge in some home comforts and company. But suddenly, there’s a gust of wind, and a storm blows up out of nowhere. The tannoy bings […]