Fairfax/Stuff has provided some of the loudest criticism against the Government alongside some of the best insights.
I think Thomas Coughlan, Henry Cooke & Luke Malpass are must read journalists who are providing some of the best insight columns using their oversight position to point out the trends we will be facing that are just over the horizon.
Some of the critical columns however miss the mark.
‘Close the Borders now’ ignores we live in a Democracy
Steve Elers was very critical at the beginning claiming that Jacinda didn’t move fast enough to close the borders. I appreciate the frustration Elers felt but the naked reality is that living in a Democracy means you have to actually bring the people with you. If Labour had closed the borders when Elers demanded, the country would have gone into total backlash and Hooton, Gareth Morgan and Mike Hosking would be screaming Labour killed the economy. Should Jacinda have gone earlier? I was arguing they should, but I also acknowledge that she had to bring people with her for that move. The low death & infection rates show Jacinda got the balance right.
Death Cult Capitalism
Simon Thornley took the Death Cult Capitalism route. Death Cult Capitalists want us slaves back to work because their boomer privileged wealth is at risk. They need to trick us sleepy hobbits into believing that we should all be putting ourselves at risk to ensure they retain their tax bracket and gold card air mile perks.
“Won’t someone think of the Economy’ they wail while fanning themselves.
The fact that this pandemic is spread by the travelling wealthy, that those wealthy have the luxury of self isolation with well stocked larders and that the health effects destroy the poor and the working classes most tends to get glossed over here.
With all due respect to the Death Cult Capitalists and their shrill threats, the service workers who have been so undervalued are the ones who put themselves at risk here, not boomer professionals wrapped up in leafy burbs. You not being able to holiday in Bali this winter does not a shared sacrifice make.
Of course we need to work out how we get the economy working again, only a fool would underplay the enormity of the economic tsunami rushing towards us, but using intellectually feeble ‘herd immunity’ nonsense as a license to allow a full blown pandemic to erupt is not a solution.
Pundits not understanding Exponential growth
Fundamentally the problem is that most pundits don’t seem to understand exponential growth. Of course the modelling hasn’t given us 80 000 deaths or 40 000 deaths or 20 000 deaths because those modellings were based on us doing nothing, we didn’t do nothing, we locked the bloody country down for a month. If the virus does get out, exponential growth means we can get to pandemic levels at a speed that can’t be contained. We are seeing that horror in the UK and America right now. Criticising Ardern for deaths that haven’t occurred because she acted fast is tribal at best and plan stupid at worst.
Testing and Tracing – here is the danger
Where I think legitimate criticism can be focused on is the testing and tracing side of this virus. Even as of today, the Director-General of Health can’t tell us how many tests have actually been done. It looks like less than 5% of the population and with such low testing we can’t know how to contain and trace.
If we are moving out of level 4 to level 3, I would argue that the infrastructure to test, trace and quarantine is simply not there and could create a bigger problem further down the track.
Jacinda should keep us in lockdown for one more week to enable the test, trace and quarantine infrastructure is in place once we start leaving lockdown because of all the criticism thrown at Jacinda, this lack of test, trace and quarantine infrastructure will be the one that connects.
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