New Zealand is arguably the easiest country in the world to stomp out a virus pandemic, simply because of our small population and our islands remoteness. But after the often embarrassing small nation self-awareness, the back-slapping, self-congratulations and infantile “team of 5 million” claptrap, we’ve discovered we can’t.
We’re not alone. Israel went ‘hard,’ to use the vernacular, thought they’d fixed the problem only to discover the same reality. So too Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, Spain, France and many other countries. Worldwide seemingly every country is now copping second waves. Significantly and at least to date, unlike here their peoples are protesting at the suggestion of further lockdowns.
Back in March on this blog I predicted that when this pandemic is all done and dusted, the Swedish approach will prove to have been the only sensible one. This led to an orgy of halfwits responding, citing Sweden’s infection and death rates, ignoring the critical “when it’s all done and dusted” qualification. That said, over the past month there’s been a swag of articles in the serious foreign media making the same Swedish point I made five months ago. Even the Norwegian Prime Minister, despite Norway’s low infection and fatality figures has now said Sweden was right.
Surely it’s indisputable that every time there’s a fresh outbreak, we cannot keep closing down the nation. Furthermore, we now know enough about the virus to realise this extremism is unnecessary.
We were dealing with an unprecedent problem thus heard numerous different and frequently contrasting views on it from an astonishing range of experts, all of which compounded the fear and confusion.
But after 9 months since its initial appearance in China, the world is none the wiser vis a vis destroying it.
Massive research efforts are going on everywhere to try and find a vaccine, to date in vain. Russia claims to have done so but no-one believes that, not the least because, as pointed out by western scientists, it’s impossible to conduct the necessary lengthy time trials to justify such a claim.
What seems clear is that pending such a vaccine, which as an aside, some experts argue for diverse reasons won’t be found, we simply cannot continue with the stop-start approach to life.
The government has been criticised for lax border security, but the latest outbreak had nothing to do with that.
The true cost of closing down the nation, not just in New Zealand but virtually everywhere, has been smothered by unprecedented money printing. Plainly that can’t continue.
Other costs have been similarly masked.
For example, for every four coronavirus deaths in Britain, there have been three, particularly with cancers, through inability to receive treatment. I’d be surprised if our situation is different.
Then there are suicides which according to some of my medical specialist mates are soaring here. Perhaps rightly, we don’t publicise those.
Adding to the confusion is the election. We need to take politics out of this issue.
The situation is analogous to wartime and coalition governments. Surely it would be smart to form a separate pandemic governing unit comprising the top political figures from all winning parties. That will hopefully induce bold decision-making without fear of political criticism.
Next year will see massive unemployment and small businesses, our biggest employers, going over like ninepins. Crime will surge, indeed it seems to be now.
Sooner or later the world will realise that Sweden got it right.
We should open our borders and let normal life resume, perhaps with compulsory mask-wearing in public, other than restaurants. We can protect the vulnerable, hardly an onerous task as we now know who they are.
While there have been exceptions, as with any illness, the vast majority of people who have caught the bug have quickly got over it. Most important, we now know that for 90% of the population, there is no need to fear coronavirus as we understandably originally did.
Everyday we drive in our cars and everyday some of us are killed on the roads. The statistical odds of being a road fatality, however, are so remote, we logically carry on driving. So too with coronavirus and to order periodic lockdowns is analogous to banning motor vehicles.
The lockdown approach has proven a failure. Repeating it ad infinitum is simply stupid.