Dear neighbours and NZ Gardener family,
Our April issue should be with our subscribers now and available in supermarkets and service stations (having been distributed prior to the lockdown restrictions). Whether or not it's on the stands yet is a bit patchy ... but then the incredibly brave and hard-working supermarket staff have quite a bit on their plate right now so I understand if there is a delay! Please, please, please everyone ... don't go out to buy it! Normally of course we love you buying NZ Gardener but right now it's far more important that you stay home and stay safe. (You can buy a copy with your online shopping though! That's safe and I think we are all in the market for something uplifting to read right now).
In this issue we offered to send out sweet pea seeds to any reader who sent us a SSAE. Just to reassure you, we will still send out sweet pea seeds to any reader who is keen to participate. We are just not quite sure when! Ignore the dates in the magazine of when you needed to send the envelope in by - that has been indefinitely extended. But we cannot wait to send you the seed and for those flowers to bloom as by then we will be well through this or even have it behind us. And keep letting us know what you are sowing and growing, send in pictures of your harvest, your flowers or what you are sharing.
We always love hearing from NZ Gardener readers but now when we are all staying apart that connection means more than you can imagine. Stay home, stay safe and stay in touch everyone. For the most updated gardening advice, subscribe to our digital e-zine Get Growing, which will be delivered to your inbox completely free.
Good to see this work progressing well but I remain concerned that there is no decision on new speed limit. Apparently now part of national exercise. Recommended new limit is 30kph. Looking again at speed limits around Moturoa and noting the numerous schools, kindergartens, shops plus poor road alignment perhaps this should be extended from Bonithon Avenue to Bayly Road. What do you think?
In today's paper Sth Taranaki D.C. have decided on o% increase. Their Mayor basically said it was a no-brainer. Pity ours didn't have commonsense in the forefront of their brains. Just saying.
I thought it might be reassuring to share some of the data around Covid risk that we don't seem to see in the news. While it is undoubtedly a serious health concern for some at the moment, it is also important to keep the risk in perspective for the sake of personal mental health wellbeing. Despite what seems to make the news, we are very unlikely to die from this virus, or even show serious to critical symptoms. The following link is the raw data on country statistics comparing testing rates, case fatality rates, recovery rates for the 5 million reported cases so far www.worldometers.info... . You can see how NZ ranks globally on these metrics (somewhere in the middle of 215 countries for most measures). The data focuses on reported cases, which as the following link explains, overestimates frequency for the worst case outcomes. The link goes to the Oxford University Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (do your own research on how credible you think they are) which analyses the case data, and uses health records and studies on what was known about SARS/ MERS/ Swine flu to estimate what the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) for Covid-19 is likely to be (as opposed to the less reliable Case Fatality Rate (CFR)) www.cebm.net... . Draw your own conclusions but these sites show either factual information or use data science to provide a risk profile. In summary the estimated IFR for Covid is between 0.1% to 0.41% (i.e. chance of survival 99.6-99.9% for person selected at random). While this is also age dependent, the estimated IFR for otherwise healthy 70+ age group is still likely less than 1%. Some interesting points also made about selection bias, and coding of cases and outcomes that skew the reported results.