Duncan Garner: We're at a COVID-19 crossroads sixteen months into the pandemic

OPINION: Are we at a COVID-19 crossroads or have we beaten the virus as the vaccine takes hold?

Honestly, I think it's more of a crossroad. Sixteen months into this pandemic and it appears only a vaccination rate of 80 percent plus can truly see this critter off.

So 16 months on, how's progress looking? Ordinary.

We are evacuating Kiwis out of Australia, Britain is opening up again, but still has 30,000 new cases each day and experts wonder if it will peak at 100,000 once they throw open the doors. 

American numbers are up after months in decline, due to superspreader events. Euro 2020 went ahead and who knows what the fallout is and the Tokyo Olympics are almost underway but we have no crowds, and no mixing in what promises to be a bizarre Games.

In New Zealand, for us it's two jabs and you're home. Except it's been a massive screw-up - even vaccinating slowly would be faster than where we are at now. 

Sydneysiders are being dragged kicking and screaming into another two weeks of lockdown, not that they know what it means. Flout the rules and the longer the lock-up will go. 

Melbourne is likely to follow and go into lockdown, any minute, any hour or any day now. That will leave many many Kiwis stranded - so let me join the dots here. 

I can only assume Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will put on rescue flights once Melbourne locks down and she'll link the tickets to a free two weeks in MIQ. 

She has to, she can't treat them differently from Sydney. She has made a rod for her own back.

Yes, we are at a crossroads, but I don't know if we're going right, left, straight ahead, but across the ditch, they might be about to make a u-turn.

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.