Life in Lock Down: Day 23

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April 17: Day 23 of living in lock-down…

It’s a gray, cool, overcast Autumn day. Dead leaves are starting to cover my paths and lawns. Pretty much another ordinary Autumn day, like so many through my years, and years to come. Except it’s anything but ordinary as humanity experiences an event that will be a marker for the early part of the 21st Century.

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It’s another work day. Same routine; drive past the Park N Ride; two cars. Along the main road to SH2 – and what do I see…?

A few days ago;

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This afternoon;

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One missing motorhome. Obviously the owner didn’t get the memo that it’s not Alert Level 2 just yet. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s back tonight, on my way home.

On the motorway, traffic seems marginally busier  than last week. Of course, it’s a subjective assessment based on observation, memory, and a bit of guesswork. Sighted; police car parked up on the side of the highway; Fulton Hogan roadworks truck; “ZAP” pest control van; “New World” heavy truck; “Toll” heavy truck and a “Toll” medium sized truck; a bin-hire truck with a skip-bin; a “Geeves” scaffolding truck; “Al’s Litta bins” flat deck truck; “Budget” rental light truck; “Precision” glazing van; “Packaging Products” truck; “Ministry of Plumbing” plumbers van; “Morepork” gravel-hauling truck; 2 “L.G. Anderson” container trucks; a gravel-hauling truck towing a small front-end loader; “Low Cost Bins” ute; “Beaurepairs” truck; an empty flat deck hi-ab truck; patient transfer ambulance SUV; “Downer” ute; “Westward” truck hauling various building materials; “Linfox” fuel tanker; “Central Group” forklifts and trucks branded truck; “Laser Plumbing” van; “Canon Hygiene” van; “Countdown” food delivery van; “MGI” van; “TIMG” van; “Allied Security” car; “ATMS” road works truck in Vivian Street, outside of Terrace Tunnel; “Spotless Catering” van; 2 police cars in Vivian Street; 2 “Cory’s” utes; Salvation Army Family Store truck; “ATMS” road works truck in Mt Victoria Tunnel; “Toll” truck in tunnel, “Owens” truck…

Traffic did seem a little heavier than previous weeks. Especially travelling through the Mt Vic tunnel, activity is on the increase, without doubt.

As I drove along Vivian Street headed toward the Eastern Subsurbs, I noticed how overgrown the green park was in front of the School of Architecture and Design building was starting to become. As in most post-apocalypse movies, urban scapes are soon reclaimed by nature’s relentless growth;

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Not quite the scene from the 2007 movie, I Am Legend

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— but given enough time…

This afternoon, more good news mixed with tragedy. New cases are the lowest since mid-March: eight. If this is accurate; if there are no asymptomatic cases floating around the country; and if the downward trend continues, Aotearoa New Zealand will have achieved what no other nation has: eliminating the virus from our borders.

This puts foolish, harping critics like  National’s Paul Goldsmith and ACT’s David Seymour in their proper place; as whining ‘Cassandras’ who are hell-bent on putting this country on a collision course with a virus outbreak along the lines of Italy, Spain, UK, USA, et al.

David Seymour made the astounding  suggestion that Australia was achieving “better results” than Aotearoa;

“Australia appears to be having its cake and eating it too, as it gets achieves better COVID-19 health outcomes than New Zealand with fewer restrictions on economic activity.”

Even the Mediaworks-Newshub article was misleading in its headline;

MPs question New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown as Australia’s lighter approach produces similar results

Misleading because it is not true. Australia has five times our population, but seven times our covid19 death toll;

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On 16 April, Australia had 6,447 cases of covid19.  As of 17 April, a day later, the figure had jumped to 6,523.

Australia’s death is also rising. On 16 April it stood at 63. As of today (18 April) covid19 has claimed 65 victims.

Yesterday, as our government was announcing plans to reduce our Alert Level from 4 to 3, Australia was announcing it was extending its lock-down by another four weeks. The UK was extending its lockdown by three weeks whilst Japan had declared a national state of emergency.

Mediaworks-Newshub reported;

National MP Paul Goldsmith is now questioning New Zealand’s approach, pointing out that the two nations have had similar results per capita.

Again, not true. The above infographic shows Australia’s death toll worse than Aotearoa’s. Mr Goldsmith is either ignorant of the facts; being mischievous for National’s political agenda, or is trying to use sheer will-power to magic-up his own version of reality.

Meanwhile, David Seymour continues to tout on behalf of business interests, picking away at lock-down-mandated closure of most retailers;

“It is not clear why a dairy with a one-in one-out policy can open, but other types of retail cannot and that will be damaging and in some cases devastating for those businesses for no clear public health gain.”

He says it’s “not clear”?!

Well, let me make it abundantly clear for Mr Goldsmith and Mr Seymour in simple, easy-to-comprehend terms;

“Germy bad. Make people sick. Germy make people die. Not good. People sad. Put people in ground. Other people cry.”

And here is a pretty crayon picture for Little David and Little Paul;

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There is very good reasoning behind the lock-down. The more people are out, the greater the risk of transmission. Spain, UK, Italy, and New York City have demonstrated with great clarity how transmission of this virus can explode out of control.

More retailers open means more people moving about in retail areas. The more people there are, the closer they get to each other. Social distancing is impossible when limited areas become crowded. (I have witnessed this on fine, sunny days around Oriental Bay when people flock to the wide footpaths to stroll, jog, and ride bikes. Social distancing quickly becomes unrealistic. And some just don’t care.)

Even supermarket’s can become become congested, as I discovered this afternoon (17 April) when shopping for groceries for an immuno-suppressed client.

This was the scene at the Kilbirnie Pak N Save Meats Section this afternoon at 2.30pm. No social distancing whatsoever;

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Worst still, this was the scene in just one aisle at Kilbirnie Pak N Save;

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Any notion of a 2 metre distancing (or even 1 metre!) became utterly unrealistic as clusters of people crowded the aisles. If one person in those aisles was carrying  covid19 and coughed or sneezed, it is likely several dozen shoppers would likely have been infected.

Ironically, there were staff at all entrances to the supermarket “controlling” entry. Yet, the aisles were crowded.

If Mr Goldsmith and Mr Seymour get their way, scenes like above will be repeated throughout the country, in every city, and every popular retailer. We cannot – must not – permit agenda-driven fools like Mr Goldsmith and Mr Seymour to have any influence with the government.

Or people will get sick.

And people will die.

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Current covid19 cases: 1,409

Cases in ICU: 3 (2 critical)

Number of deaths: 11

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References

Mediaworks/Newshub:  MPs question New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown as Australia’s lighter approach produces similar results

ABC:  Charting the COVID-19 spread in Australia

Sky News:  Australia in lockdown for another four weeks – PM

RNZ:  UK lockdown extended while Japan declares national emergency

RNZ:  Act Party leader David Seymour gives govt dressing down over retail sector restrictions

RNZ:  Covid-19 – Coronavirus developments in New Zealand on 17 April

Must Read

Democracy Now:  Madrid’s Ice Rink Turned to Morgue as Spain Exceeds China in Coronavirus Deaths

The Independent:  Is Sweden having second thoughts on lockdown?

Elemental: Hold the Line

Other Blogs

Will New Zealand Be Right?

Previous related blogposts

The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus

Life in Lock Down: Day 1

Life in Lock Down: Day 2

Life in Lock Down: Day 3

Life in Lock Down: Day 4

Life in Lock Down: Day 5

Life in Lock Down: Day 6

Life in Lock Down: Day 7

Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)

Life in Lock Down: Day 8

Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)

Life in Lock Down: Day 9

Life in Lock Down: Day 10

Life in Lock Down: Day 11

Life in Lock Down: Day 12

Life in Lock Down: Day 13

Life in Lock Down: Day 14

Life in Lock Down: Day 15

Life in Lock Down: Day 16 – Bad Friday

Life in Lock Down: Day 17

Life in Lock Down: Day 18

Life in Lock Down: Day 19

Life in Lock Down: Day 20

Life in Lock Down: Day 21

Life in Lock Down: Day 22 – Is that a light at the end of a four week long tunnel?!

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Acknowledgement: Steve Ditko (?)

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This blogpost will be re-published on “Frankly Speaking“. Reader’s comments may be left here (The Daily Blog) or there (Frankly Speaking).

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Well I for one am angry & disappointed that Ardern is considering shifting to level 3. The hesitation over this announcement suggests that the scientists are pushing back at a blatant, callous effort by the greedy politicians who live in the capitalists’ back pocket.
    Only old people are going to suffer in number – y’know those over 65’s who bludge off the generosity of others by trousering a super cheque every fortnight.

    If Peters & Aotearoa first go along with this parasitical attempt to kill off the elderly, they must be held accountable at the election.
    Winter is coming on so if the lockdown is loosened now, have no doubt that there will be a second wave of this virus in Aotearoa which will make the first seem benign.
    The virus lives on inanimate surfaces longer the colder the temperature, so if the contact tracers do not have every infected human in the country under quarantine when the lockdown is loosenedcovid 19 will cut an unsalvageable swathe through our population i.n the space of a few days.
    The illness will become so widespread now that colder weather has set in that the chances of tracking it again will be beyond the ken of researchers.
    I have been running errands for the truly elderly (over 90’s) during the lock-down, but will have to stop if we move to stage 3 cos I’m not ready to kark it & the idiotic behaviour of too many in the supermarkets was bad enough when the chances of the virus getting loose once inside the supermarket where too many arseholes pushed into others space just to grab whatever. There are no bargains at the moment.
    Even worse now that schools will at least partially reopen & they are the petri dish from which diseases are sent out all across the community and this government is still not creating the type of quarantine hospitals that stamped out the virus in China, but is instead instructing asymptomatic & mildly ill Covid 19 patients to return to their bubble & so infect all within it, I refuse to go out. I will hunker down as long as I can & attempt to ignore the calls for assistance from the elderly.
    The state of the rest homes in Aotearoa tells me that the shockingly callous decision to ignore them was about as ‘accidental’ as the peculiar error whereby nursing home fatalities were omitted from the fatality totals, that is not accidental at all, a 100% deliberate try at killing off those too stubborn to curl up and die at the end of their commercially productive lives.
    Ardern is like a shithouse rat – she’s not very smart but she is cunning – selfishly cunning.

  2. Incidentally for what it is worth – not a great deal in this age of justifiable cynicism, I wrote the above piece before I saw the article in the Herald. I rarely read the kiwi media or any media. I generally confine myself to one neolib englander fishwrap – not to lap up the lies just to get a handle on what nonsense is being fed us about what targets for exploitation are going to be slandered this week..

    I guess it is gratifying to see my deductions have some support but it was the way the politicians backed down announcing they were shifting the final decision to Monday which got me thinking that something had the politicians back-tracking for at least as long as it takes to get some epidemiologists to change their POV.
    If the pols do back off I will be pleasantly surprised but I’m not holding my breath. Going back to rating the lives of the many lower than the profits for a few is S.O.P. for kiwi governments of all stripes.

  3. Well, let me make it abundantly clear for Mr Goldsmith and Mr Seymour in simple, easy-to-comprehend terms;

    “Germy bad. Make people sick. Germy make people die. Not good. People sad. Put people in ground. Other people cry.”

    Love that 🙂 Could be a tv ad 🙂

  4. I am very glad that you, Frank (being someone, somewhere) brought out this mythology that “Australia was achieving “better results” than Aotearoa”.

    I’ve been bugged by it for quite a while, – Simo started suggesting that Aus was handling it better than we are, ..ages ago, in one of his first chairman-of-the-CoVid Response Panel efforts. The media took it up, seemingly without question. Other pollies repeated it and expanded on it.

    Having some family over there, and checking on the Aus daily news sites throughout, I knew that what we were being told over here about the Aus response was jaw-droppingly far from the reality over there. I couldn’t find anywhere to comment on it as it hasn’t been raised till this post of yours (Frank). Also, because the errors are so many, so frequent, so unquestioned .. they’re across the board.

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