A few days back I forecast a revisionist backlash against the government’s ill-thought lockdown would occur, once the realisation of the absence of any sensible reasoning became evident.
Then lo and behold, the very next day a group of New Zealand academics covering health, viruses, economics etc, came out, publicly echoing my sentiments. Well done! The same kickback is occurring in Europe by various medical specialists.
In my article I mentioned Roger Douglas’s observations about incoming Labour governments. In the post-war years all have gained office after a long period in opposition and have no governing experience. Add to that their backgrounds are rarely commercial but instead from academia, unions and the like, thus Roger noted their first term tendency to rely heavily on experts. That’s occurred here resulting in numerous health academics, we’d hitherto never heard of, become regulars on television.
Note also, that as guests on shows, and especially in America, their “thanks for having me” remarks. In short, they’re human, are loving the limelight and don’t want it to end.
It’s responsible to seek experts input. But, management requires judgement in taking advice on board, weighing it in the overall context and making decisions taking every element into consideration.
That hasn’t happened in our relying solely on the health specialists and not looking at the wider implications. The result; massive economic destruction.
I drew the analogy in comparing it with eliminating our annual 350 road deaths by banning cars. Obviously that would end the road toll, but, also take us back to a standard of living of a century ago.
So we try and reduce the road deaths but certainly not at the price of economic vandalism. It’s a trade-off government must weigh and in our coronavirus case, has failed miserably.
This blog is a small private fun activity. I don’t promote it. Yet the reaction with over 110,000 folk picking it up within a day and its huge endorsement showed people are not stupid and are concerned at the inanity of what’s happening. Simply aping other countries in which a host of vulnerability factors I outlined don’t apply to New Zealand, represented a terrible misjudgement.
The lockdown should be ended now and the government start governing.
I’ve dealt with a range of specialist professions for 60 years. Architects, engineers, lawyers, accountants, valuers and many others. They make advocacies, we weigh them and too frequently say in respect of problems, but why not this?
The answer I’ve heard hundreds of times has always been the same slightly sheepish, “We could look at that”, code for why didn’t they think of it.
Specialists can be dumbly narrow. Consider this.
In the epidemic of health academics dominating our media, a British virus professor had his place in the sun a few days ago. He told the media that the virus is primarily spread by tiny spray from coughs and sneezes. But, he added, it was a myth that summer’s warm weather had a reduction impact. He was in short, too dimly specialised to connect the dots.
Contrary to his assertion summers do reduce the contagion for the obvious reason that people have colds in winter, thus the sneezing and coughing. Predictably the press didn’t pick him up on this.
A FINAL OBSERVATION
The world-wide shut-down has resulted in no sport or things happening. Thus the news is dominated by the virus. This in turn has spread fear out of all proportion to its danger.
What’s evident by now is the death toll will not match the annual flu death figures.
When it’s all done and dusted and analysed, it’s my pick that the Swedes, who have taken a grown-up approach and got on with life, will produce the best outcome. While they’ve tried to protect their vulnerable, it’s impossible to do so totally. In essence they’ve got it all over with up front. This was not a reckless experiment, rather instead a totally rational approach by a rich nation renowned for its sophistication, high education standards and welfare structures.
The Swedes response will be rated top and given our huge head start advantages, ours will be rated the worst and most certainly the most mindless.