Jacinda has prepared the country, today we need Level 3 NOT Level 4

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Covid 19 coronavirus: Front-line health workers and other medical staff want alert level 4 now

Some front-line health workers are petitioning the Government to activate Covid-19 alert level 4 immediately.

The petition’s author, Dr Kelvin Ward, said raising the alert to the highest possible level was the only way for New Zealand to ensure it survives the virus with minimal impact.

After carefully calculating the impact, this Government have set the expectations of 4 levels of response.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

We are currently at Level 2.

There is a ‘Level 5’ that isn’t explicitly spelt out here, and that is the declaration of martial law.

NZ today needs to move to level 3 as the populace are brought into preparation for what is to come.

Calling for NZ to follow Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong to shut down and move immediately to Level 4 won’t work because they are authoritarian regimes while NZ is a liberal progressive democracy.

The naked truth is that we don’t have the military to force compliance the way they do.

In NZ, the public have to be brought with the Government to level 4 not forced at gun point.

Jacinda and this Government are being guided by the best science and public health advice, but they also operate within a Democracy, and moving to Level 4 without the evidence of community transfer will cause an enormous backlash by a freaked out and frightened public.

I understand the risks and danger to us, I’ve been calling for this pandemic to be treated as the threat it is since January, but within that paradigm of a Democracy without an enormous military to force the will of the Government, we need to bring NZers with us to an agreed Level 4 or else  be prepared to start implementing full Martial Law and the suspension of all civil rights.

Who amongst us will agree to that?

Let me be clear, I am frustrated and bloody angry that we haven’t moved faster, TDB was warning of this pandemic when the vast majority of the woke activist base were screaming it was xenophobic, and I believe we will be at Level 4 very shortly, but panicking now and jumping straight to it could easily provoke more problems than it solves.

Jacinda has set extraordinary levels of response and what the evidential threshold is required for those responses, we need the public to trust in their Government right now, and that means adhering to that evidence. If we want to get to Level 4 faster, we need to start immediately talking to our whanau and friends and fellow NZers and urgently inform them of the danger we are in so that when the Government does move to Level 4, there is broad buy in.

These are frightening times, we can’t allow that fear to inspire decisions that the public simply isn’t prepared for. We will ask them to shut their businesses, suspend their livelihoods and suffer for an enemy they can’t see yet without the military force to compel that sacrifice and without resorting to Martial Law.

Level 3 needs to be adopted today so that Level 4 will be acceptable before Friday so we avoid ‘Level 5’.

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TDB Team 2020.

31 COMMENTS

  1. Great call Martyn.
    Quite frankly, only a handful of commentators have had a reasonable grip on this crisis. You are one of them.

    The government has been doing the right thing, under the circumstances.
    We were never going to keep this thing out. You only have to look at how selfishly people have acted (eg. flouting self-isolation rules, panic hoarding etc) to realise average Neo Zealander is the perfect vector for Covid-19. To imagine we could contain it given the mindset of Neo Zealand is laughable.
    Politicians seeding fear (Woodlouse and his body bag brainfart, Soilma Britches outburst in Parliament etc) hasn’t helped. They’ve tried to rile up discontent, thus redefining Machiavellian politics. A new all-time low for that party.
    To survive Alert Level 4 (and above, as Martyn suggests) for 12+months, we must be calm, apply logic, and refind a sense of community. Simply, we have to heal 30 years of neoliberal brainwashing. Can Neo Zealand do this?
    That’s the biggest task ahead.

  2. My wife is senior within our health system. She’s spent all weekend in meetings both in person and via Skype etc. This is obviously an evolving situation where contingency plans put in place earlier in the day are at times being negated and changed later in the same day. Balance between being prepared and avoiding going too late is being sought.

    I speak on here from my own perspective only.

    The Ministry of Health have been getting things badly wrong.

    First major blunder is telling New Zealanders that if people don’t have the virus, they can’t spread it to others. As I’ve been saying on here for weeks now, this cornerstone of the NZ defence is incorrect. People in a pre-symptomatic state (have the virus but are showing no symptoms) are clearly passing the virus on to others. This has been beyond doubt in the UK for approximately 4 weeks. Here’s just one example of the impact of such diabolical advice. A care home nurse has returned to NZ from overseas and gone back to work at the rest home she works for. She’s a prime candidate for the virus having returned very recently from offshore. The people she works with are our elderly. As we know, they are the exact people most at risk from the virus. Alarm bells go off in an epic manner. The nurse is showing no Covid-19 symptoms so goes back to work untested and this is deemed acceptable by our Ministry of Health. Nek minute. Nurse not well. Tested for Covid 19 and test is positive. What a monumental fuck up that will cost lives.

    We have a nurse in Hamilton with Covid-19 symptoms refused the test because the Ministry of Health state she had no known contact with the virus. What an absolute joke and Dr Ashley Bloomfield supports the decision not to test a NURSE FFS!. Fact is, if she has the virus but has no known contacts then she is further evidence of the all important community spread. Just because you don’t want to pass that line in the sand (community spread), ignorance won’t prevent it. That nurse should have been tested 100% and what unfolded with her is nothing short of farcical. Most people won’t go to the media when this occurs to them so how many Kiwi’s are absurdly being denied a Covid-19 test due to absurd Ministry of Health guidelines? Ignorance is most definitely not bliss with this virus.

    This farcical pantomime regarding community spread is up in lights right now. On Saturday they discovered two positive cases of Covid-19 that had no link to travel etc. In other words, evidence of community spread. They were unable to confirm community spread on Saturday due to further testing being needed. Fair enough but by 1pm Sunday they will still selling the bullshit that further investigation was required. I call 100% bullshit on this. They know it’s community spread as do most of NZ. Confirmation is required resulting in the level in NZ changing. It’s clear they are in the delay phase but their credibility is disappearing rapidly.

    Then we have the entire “expectation” of self-isolation. People who were very obviously potential high risk to New Zealanders after returning from off-shore were not forced to self-isolate. The “expectation” they would was the epitome of being naive. It’s right up there with selling a car to someone you don’t know and letting him drive away without paying a dollar because there was an “expectation” he would return with the cash in 14 days. No deposit, no contract, just an “expectation” Who does that for fuck sake especially with so much at stake? Do these people also believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus? I’m sure if they see Starlink in the night sky in December, the Ministry of Health will be sharing their conclusive evidence after seeing Santa and his Reindeer. The rest of NZ could see there needed to be some form of enforcement with self-isolation from day 1. The Ministry of health missed the boat on this all important aspect from the get-go when they had a shot at preventing an outbreak which is now inevitable, in fact it’s already happening.

    The Ministry of Health is advising New Zealanders NOT to panic buy / stockpile food etc. I would be genuinely shocked if even one single kiwi took their advice / instruction on board. People are seeing others panic buying set off by truckloads of Kiwi’s who are of “Chinese appearance”. They see empty supermarket shelves. They see the lockdown in other countries and it being enforced. Do you honestly believe others will not try and provide for their family due to limp noodle (pardon the pun) advice / instruction from the Ministry of Health? This situation should have been anticipated and measures put in place to avoid the farce that followed.

    Then we come to some of what’s being said about closing schools. I can 100% guarantee you that by this time next week, every school in NZ will be closed. This will likely happen on Wednesday. I understood the delay at first as many essential workers especially health workers are parents of school children. Take the child out of school and in many cases you’re taking the worker out of the system. It’s also accepted that the usual case for looking after the kids home from school falls to the grandparents who we know are those most at risk. The fear for me here is parents will believe their kids are healthy and have the grandparents help out. That is a Death Wish.

    I understand delaying closing schools but this should have ended on Saturday when the first almost guaranteed case of community spread was diagnosed. Sunday at the latest. Closing schools at that time would have avoided at least some chaos by giving parents the rest of the weekend to make arrangements. Now, we face the very real possibility of them closing midweek with all the bedlam that entails.

    One of the worst aspects of this process is the face of saying schools will be closed ONLY for 72 hours. That time has been and gone. Why is the Ministry of Health not seeing this and instead, still selling bullshit that will fuck people up from making longer term preparations? You should ONLY close schools once and then only reopen them when the danger has passed. The peak of this virus is not expected in NZ until around July, right in our winter which highlights other increasing risks. People will obviously get the virus at different times and you just can’t fuck about with schools sending them home and then bringing them back, then sending them home again. Rangitoto College for example on Auckland’s North Shore has 3200 students. Calm sensible pro-active measures need to be taken now and parents need to stop being told the horse shit that it’s only for 72 hours. It will be for weeks and almost certainly, months. This will be a big issue for students sitting NCEA exams so plans need to be put in place immediately for them. I understand they are jigging around
    with the school term dates. Very good move but this is an emergency situation NOW.

    Also, 100% ignore Ministry of Health advice that Hospitals will cope. They fucking won’t. We saw 53 frontline hospital staff having to self isolate due to contact with just one positive case of Covid-19. This was obliviously felt immediately yet our Ministry of Health sold the myth that everything was fine and dandy. Total horse shit. Don’t believe a word of it. Hospitals will do their best and our wonderful health professional will work their arses off….but they will be drowning.

    Remember the nurses strike last year? Unsafe working conditions was a huge aspect of the strike. Changes are now being made as a result but you can’t just magic up all the nurses required. The DHB’s are now urgently attempting to recruit Nurses for other areas of our health services for what they know is here and coming.

    The more this goes on the more confidence I have in our PM Jacinda Ardern. She’s doing a magnificent job. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about our Ministry of Health. Confidence going the other way there.

    Can only imagine what would be happening if the vile, untrustworthy and divisive Bridges was PM. Beneficiaries can go eat cake and only National Party voters are allowed life jackets and tickets on the life boats.

  3. Simply, we have to heal 30 years of neoliberal brainwashing. Can Neo Zealand do this?

    According to how you look at it, this situation we are now facing presents an amazing opportunity to do just that. To go back in time, maybe that 30 years? and do a re-set. …While taking the best of the last couple of decades (eg the internet and its best possibilities) along with us.

    We may have an opportunity, as from now, to escape the madness of the route we were all on, to halt the glitzy glam merry go rounds, the $$$$$$$ roller coasters, the horror tunnels, etc that the last couple of decades represented for many.

    So… step into the time machine maybe 🙂 and head back down the track for a re-set, …and bring the best of what we have learned with us into a far better future.

  4. Simply, we have to heal 30 years of neoliberal brainwashing. Can Neo Zealand do this?

    According to how you look at it, this situation we are now facing presents an amazing opportunity to do just that. To go back in time, maybe that 30 years? and do a re-set. …While taking the best of the last couple of decades (eg the internet and its best possibilities) along with us.

    We may have an opportunity, as from now, to escape the madness of the route we were all on, to halt the glitzy glam merry go rounds, the $$$$$$$ roller coasters, the horror tunnels, etc that the last couple of decades represented for many.

    So… step into the time machine maybe 🙂 and head back down the track for a re-set, …and bring the best of what we have learned with us into a far better future.

  5. we will be at Level 4 very shortly, but panicking now and jumping straight to it could easily provoke more problems than it solves.

    Strongly agree, even if it is only eg 12 hours before the next level raise. It still gives that sense of stepping up rather than leaping in fear.

    • That said, I don’t understand why we’re not on Level 3 ????

      Something wrong there – Too much delay …

    • Thank you Kheala and Keepcalmcarryon,

      I stepped on a banana skin early in my message stating The Ministry of Health was saying if you don’t have the virus, you can’t spread it. Of course that’s not what I meant. It should have read the Ministry of health has been saying only those who have the virus that are displaying symptoms can spread it to others. In other words, if you don’t have obvious symptoms, you are no risk to others.

      It’s more than perplexing that they got this important detail so badly wrong. Tragically, it will undoubtedly cost lives in our country. Make no mistake, pre-symptomatic people who have the virus are spreading it. This has been adamantly confirmed to me by multiple health professionals both here and in the UK.

      Wouldn’t it be great if we could go back and re-set our response from day 1. It will be of no comfort to most of us that NZ will be better prepared next time. One of the more frustrating aspects of what’s unfolded is the fact many of us could see the writing on the wall from the start and could see some of the most important safeguards being put in place were quintessential “Pollyanna” and would surely fail.

      This will also cause more issues as we go deeper into this pandemic. One of those issues is when The Ministry of Health give important instructions / advice that may well be spot on…..and people will say….farkkk off. We no longer believe what you’re saying.

  6. Your inside knowledge showed through as you wrote your take of the situation to date. I am no authority but your message is what many are now saying.
    With that said why did you feel he need to,bash Simon Bridges. To date Jacinda has fulfilled the role but it does seem she is reluctant to make the hard call to go to Level 3 or 4. Being tough does not fit her personna as she has failed to act against members of her cabinet who have badly failed and Clarke or Key would have sent down the road. Let’s hope she listens to the experts not the Ministry of Health who have let the country slide over the last 20 years

    • Trevor,

      Had Bridges not ridiculed the Government handling of this unfolding tragedy and attempted to take over, I wouldn’t have mentioned him. This is the most important time for our country since WWII and is the worst possible moment for playing politics. Inclusiveness is vitally important. Live together, die together all as one regardless of gender, race, religion, colour, political persuasion, sexual orientation, rich and poor. We all burn the same at the crematorium and our ashes will all look the same.

      • You know my politics but after listening to Jacinda I give her top marks for content and the way she presented the grim situation we find ourselves in . Right or Left is not important now we all need to pull together to see this through.
        Stay save

        • Nice words Trevor,

          You look after you and yours.

          I hope the same for all of us, our loved ones and all other kiwis….except Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett of course 🙂

    • Once again, Trevor the Troll steps up to the batters plate and……..strikes out.

      Bridges is a joke. He used his soapbox to attempt to sow discontent and envy, at a time when we need to be working together. He & his miserable Party deserve every brickbat heading their way.

      As for Key ‘sending people down the road’. Hahahahahahahahaha………
      What, like Mike “Prominent Northlander” Sabin?
      Like Judith “Oravida” Collins?
      Like Paula “get personal details here” Bennett?
      Like Gerry “what airport security?” Brownlie.
      Like Nathan “Mycoplasma bovis” Guy?
      The list goes on.

      Your life as a Nat troll and apologist is wasted Trevor. Surely a career in comedy beckons?

  7. New Zealand to ensure it survives the virus with minimal impact. Dr Ward doesn’t say no impact; he recognises that there will be some, that is comforting. To shut down to Level 4 would be to introduce a whole new level of misery and loss in society and is a last resort. To try and keep society going with some buoyancy, to enable people to help each other even, we need to keep down to Level 3 which is stern in itself.
    https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6816380/COVID-Alert-Levels-v2.pdf

    Harsh restrictions, draconian ones, like the 600Euro fine for stepping outside a building in Andorra to feed the cat in Andorra, bordering Spain, where they have a high count is an example of a crushing control of citizens. An Italian Mayor venting about a graduation party vowing to send in flamethrowers; the harshness of the strictures becomes matched by the rhetoric and then by reactive policing. Control with practicality, and a kind consideration for our humanity needs to be the over-riding principle to avoid the feeling of a retributive concentration camp. It may be that some of the rules within level 3 should be altered

    Complete isolation will be life-saving but be deadening on people’s spirits and eventually general health, and family violence workers are expecting greater numbers and have a huge logistical problem to work through to try and prevent the virus from getting in so that they have to stop their activities and lockdown for 14 days.

    Could we hear something about how going for short solitary walks, trying to keep bicycles off footpaths and on the roads where possible and safe, go to outside cafes for brief get togethers, meetings. Then some sensible advice for oldies – like get wills, and plans for after death organised, buy those plots, check prices with undertakers, get bills up to date, sort the special business insurance papers and details, personal stuff. It will be harder than ever dealing with early deaths that occur this year while this damn virus is rampant, and next year?

    And this is a link about supporting small businesses. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/412345/online-orders-shoppers-urged-to-support-small-businesses

    Also it is time to change our irrational views about death, we oldies have been borrowing time and resources from the younger ones for past decades.l It has to stop because the world has too many people, and we oldies are as needy as babies, and think of ourselves as good children who deserve to get eternal handouts. That is the hard truth. I observe it all the time. Having a full life, trying to make others happy as well as yourself, being pleased with what you have, and always be looking for things to do and enjoy and compatible people to talk to and co-operate with positively will fill one’s life and the words ‘had a good innings’ shouldn’t be a term to be scorned by family or anyone.

  8. If you see a tidal wave when on the beach its already too late to out run it .

    Level 3 at 12.00 pm Level 4 at 6pm .

    We are 8 days behind the UK , fuck this up and Labour will be swept from power for eternity .

    In two weeks we will be the new Italy/UK/US/Spain/Iran ….

    Unless we act now .

    To balance the needs of tourism we imported around 224,000 tourists ,(around 8000-10000 a day )to
    over the last 4 weeks who were not put in Quarantine . Instead under ” self isolation ” they basically roamed the country at will . What a surprise we have community transfer .Major fuck up .

    Shutting the borders isn’t that effective if another 80,000 kiwis decide to return home , or 300,000 kiwi ozzies have to return to NZ because they can’t receive welfare support in Australia .Another 2 waves of infection to come .

    Going to level four is not ” leaping in fear ” its getting one step in front instead of trying to catch up .

    While I have no doubt Jaccinda has real compassion for the country .She more than anyone wants to lead a second term Labour govt .If she fails to act we will be the new Italy .

    Literally now is the hour.

    She needs to act ,

    and she needs to act now .

  9. Good article Martyn ,,, Your post is a good summing up of our present reality.

    The ‘respected’ media on the other hand …. Seems almost to be doing ‘dirty PR’,,, spun for the benefit of short term business interests ,,

    Stuff “Economist Cameron Bagrie says New Zealand’s in a lose-lose situation whether a lockdown happens now or later, but mature, sensible policy will help the country better navigate the crisis.”

    ,,, Quoting economists giving extremely bad medical advice is shit house reporting and leaves readers dangerously ignorant.,,, Stuffed even.

    Its not lose or lose,,,,as though there is a equal weighting . Its actually disruption or disaster . A health system that either struggles through ,, or one that fails.

    ,,, In a game of chess against a virus ,,, Stuff would have us make the wrong moves ,,, and lose to a thing without a brain.

    Already we are behind the curve and low in testing ,,,
    Low testing gives reassuringly low cases ,,, Italy had about three weeks of low numbers. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/italy/

    5 blind eyes refusing to look. ??? fighting blind,,,
    Trumped by a virus.

    Anyway good reporting Martyn ,,, you beat the shit out of Stuff ,,,
    https://youtu.be/kjTTn3RSm6c

  10. “Jacinda and this Government are being guided by the best science and public health advice, but they also operate …”

    Arrrhm, two of her scientific advisers dont know the difference between a girl and a boy, and relies on wikipedia for a source of reference for the definition of what is ‘male’ and ‘female’. A cause for worry.

  11. This probably wont make it to the thread but what the hell…
    FFS SERIOUSLY???!
    There is NOT a global pandemic – the average ‘death’ rate is 0.4% GLOBALLY. Italy being the exception, and that was purely to trigger a European/western response.
    A true pandemic is 10-12% mortality rate. NZ currently has 0.000% mortality – but hey lets not let that get in the way of an orchestrated global shit storm.
    The emperor has no clothes.

    • PinguFreak,

      People will likely take you as seriously as they take Pingu the Pokemon.

      Not sure which orifice you pulled your numbers from but I can take an educated guess.

      Utterly pointless to give an overall pandemic mortality rate at the start of said pandemic. You also have no figures at all from North Korea and totally unreliable figures from Iran etc etc. South Africa and India are on the verge of a human catastrophe. Millions will die around the world. That is a mathematical certainty.

      I fear for the United Kingdom which is starting to mirror Italy. Anyone who plays down this pandemic is a fucking moron.

      As for NZ. Thousands will die. That is beyond doubt. The fact nobody has yet died is an example of statistical good fortune. Many of us will lose a loved one or know someone who has. This will be the worst loss of life in NZ since WWII.

      With all due respect of course PinguFreak….fuck off and take your pointless numbers with you.

        • In my experience the kids are better prepared mentally for school closures than anyone else. They’ve been willing this on for weeks. As long as they’re fed quality information Yknow simple stuff like 14 new cases today, 1 new case tommorows and so on. I think they’ll be fine.

  12. I’m almost as cynical as I am handsome and brilliant. People say that about me.
    I think the virus has its origins in a lab. Then blame was laid at the feet of the ‘special’ Chinese people.
    Quiet special. ” Get in b’hind ya mongrel! ”
    Warning! Image might upset dog fanciers.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/27/shenzhen-could-be-first-city-in-china-to-ban-eating-of-dogs-and-cats
    And I think that ties in with global finances and the trouble the ‘mericans are sinking further into while dragging us down too, by association.
    The .01% couldn’t let that happen so upheaval and responsibility deflection was called for.
    Covid-19 seems to be doing the trick.
    What happens when you push the ominously powerful?
    They push back. Ten fold.
    I had a friend once who was enjoying positions of power. ( Fleeting though they were, as it happened.) He was a great guy when he was in a good mood.
    He did say to me once, though… ” If someone pokes me with a stick, I drop an atom bomb on the Scunthorpe’s.” He was speaking in metaphors and take the name Scunthorpe and make of it what you will.
    ( Scunthorpe is an industrial town in Lincolnshire, England. )
    When we start asking uncomfortable questions of the billionaire cult they, like the rest of us, are likely to get a bit shitty eventually.
    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we were to learn that the elite, money fetishist, billionaire $-cultists were not already immunised. Do you really think, that with modern tech, more like witchery, at their disposal, they’re going to lie down with us hoi polloi and have a virus suffocate them to death? With us? The Great unwashed? The Masses?
    You really think they’re going to go that quietly into their good night?
    I don’t think so.
    When anything rises up out of cesspits of humanity to threaten our very survival? And knowing humans as well as I do? I will always believe the worst of us.
    We must remember? We humans? Us lot? We’re just about the very worst thing that’s ever happened to biosphere Earth. Just ask any animal or plant?
    A month of ‘social separation’ must surely be like a dreamy holiday for many of us.
    I think we should make it two, just to be sure.

  13. Not much has been said about what happens at the end of the lockdown period and how it will be decided when to reduce the alert level.
    It will be just as difficult to get out of it as to get into it.
    There will be the pathological right-wing know-it-alls of this blog who, after criticising the government for not going into lockdown soon enough, will castigate the government for staying too long in lockdown.
    They will go into their usual diatribes about siege mentalities, red tape, government being strung along by unions, etc.
    I am sure glad the political masters that these misanthropes worship are not in government now.

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