Dr Liz Gordon: A response to ‘an isolated dystopia’: New Zealand’s successful pursuit of Covid elimination

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It never takes much for the Tory establishment to show its true colours, and here they are again, attacking New Zealand’s decision to lock down the country when there was a single reported case of the Delta variant. Of course one of the voices was Nigel Farrage, the clown of the far right, but he was not the only one.

These right wing cheerleaders in government and the media are the same people who have led the cag-handed and deadly policies that have unleashed Covid into the UK community and have turned that once proud nation into a petri dish for new, more virulent versions of the virus which will undoubtedly emerge, probably sooner rather than later.

And how many is it that have died there due to Covid? Oh yes, that’s right, 132,000, most gasping their last breaths alone in isolation in hospital, surrounded only by PPE clad medical staff. And while you lot pretend the problem is over, I notice that in the last 28 days case numbers have continued to rise, with 200,000 in the last month and 2,491 deaths.

If it is dystopic to take action as soon as we know there is a problem, how much more so to completely ignore the fact that a pandemic is raging and killing people. Policy in the UK appears to be to ignore the problem and hope it will go away.

You will have noted that, as predicted, and despite the best Covid response system in the world, the tricky Delta variant has managed to get 107 local cases into New Zealand within six days.  We were right to act immediately. We as a nation have growing confidence that we can eliminate this outbreak. Have you noticed that, because of our elimination strategy, our economy has been doing pretty well over the Covid period, certainly compared to your Covid-ridden, Brexit-maggoty economy.

It appears your government and right wing media are seeking that elusive goal of herd immunity.  The emergence of the Delta variant should have taught you by now that this novel coronavirus will have a lot more tricks up its sleeve, and that herd immunity will never be achieved. Covid, in one form or another, is with us to stay.

New Zealand will not lock itself down forever, and detailed planning is underway for pathways out of our closed borders. But until then, we do not want your Covid-infected bodies wandering our pristine walks and savouring our beautiful country.  For the moment, we will carry on our excellent work of protecting and saving our population and enjoying our Covid-free life.  It has been a huge blessing.

And we still need protection from when variant zeta, theta or lambda emerges from your Covid-riddled country and sweeps around the world. It may be a few weeks away or a few months.  The vaccines we have may offer, none, some or lots of protection at that, but we will have to wait and see. 

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New Zealand is a country that values its people and does not rely on the misguided vanities of its leaders.  The establishment right in British media and politics have responded disgracefully to the threats thrown up by the Covid pandemic and treated your own people as a sort of viral cannon fodder.

So, I am sending your critique of us right back to you, in spades.  A recent report noted that New Zealand’s Covid response has been let down by the behaviour of our allies, and your leadership are right up the top of that list.

Put your own house in order before attacking ours.

 

Dr Liz Gordon is a researcher and a barrister, with interests in destroying neo-liberalism in all its forms and moving towards a socially just society. She usually blogs on justice, social welfare and education topics.

67 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with your point on the vaccines – we will have to wait and see.
    Until then… panic stations.

  2. Is there any possibility that a laboratory can manufacture a virus that exclusively infects all those with an annual income of over $300,000?
    There will be immediate calls for long term lockdown and complete isolation. No expense will be spared in rapidly finding an effective vaccine. Mike Hoskings will kiss Jacinda’s feet as he begs her to save “the New Zealand Public’.

  3. “New Zealand will not lock itself down forever, and detailed planning is underway for pathways out of our closed borders.”
    Have you some insight into those plans Liz? What would your plan be? This is classic cognitive dissonance .
    There has never been a successful vaccine invented for a coronavirus and there isn’t likely to be. So the idea that we will develop strategy that allows us to open our boarders and not have endemic covid is false.
    D J S

    • Dr Gordon-I enjoy your wise postings. Love the critics who use big words like ‘cognitive dissonance ‘but confuse ‘borders’ with ‘boarders’

    • Hi David,
      The Skegg report provided the expert evidence towards the roadmap for re-opening. The gummint announced the first steps about a week before Delta sauntered into our midst – a sort of trial, very cautious, with the aim of a wider re-opening in the first three months of 2022, based on vaccination rates. But they may need to push this out further now.

      • Hi Liz
        So you consider the Skegg report to be a programme that will develop into open boarders Liz? I would have thought this last few days would have amply demonstrated that the Skegg report’s concept was out of the question. It isn’t known yet how the connection was made between the case moving to hospital from quarantine managed to infect the case that turned up here in Coromandel. Or any of the connections with the boarder previously.
        One or two careful travellers may well enter and self isolate successfully , but there is no path from there to open borders. It can only be a subterfuge for getting the public ready to accept inevitability of the virus becoming endemic.
        D J S

    • More lockdowns, Nash and Robertson both have confirmed that even with full vaccination we’d go into lockdown.

      Btw the same strategy as 18 months ago.

      • If we go into lockdown after full vaccination there will be widespread civil disobedience, even in compliant little AotearoaCorp.

        • Being an optimist I would hope NZ’s combination of apathy and intelligence will mean most people would comply 🙂

  4. But nigel farrage is an alien within an ill fitting human skin? Who would listen to that turtle headed gutter stroller?
    Oh, wait? What about trump..? People still listen to trump too don’t they?
    There’s a teaching in the martial arts training I did.
    When it looks like you’re going to get your arse handed to you? Run like fuck! My teacher called it ‘flying away’. One ‘fly’s away’ to re group and perhaps to learn the habits of one’s combatant then re enter the fray with greater strength and knowledge. There’s no shame in that. There’s no loss of face. There’s no opportunity for your combatant to sort you out.
    We must fly away from covid-19 because at the moment it’s kicking our arses. Creeps like farrage have simply found ways to make money from the carnage c-19 causes at our expense.
    Keep.The.Borders.Closed.
    All we can do to support our off-shore friends, ally’s and markets is to supply them with the foods our farmers make and grow which, it’s said, feeds forty million people.
    Can I just add; As a one time sheep, beef and grains farmer I think that figure’s conservative. I think it’d be more like three times that. Maybe even more.
    One of the biggest challenges for AO/NZ’s supply lines and the crooks dug into them will be for them to explain why it is that our economy’s suddenly doing relatively well when our economy had been sabotaged into subservience then stripped bare by generations of interbred city families of swindlers, liars, cheats, accountants and lawyers?
    It should be chilling to comprehend, that, by various MSM machinations and fiscal/political shenanigans we AO/NZ’ers have been hypnotised into being entirely comfortable with being abused.
    People? As they saying goes; She, will not be right.
    Some people might mistakenly believe what we’re witnessing is some kind of Left/Right wing politic vying for dominance in a time of crisis when in reality it’s simply crooks trying to hide their crimes. Who knew then that’d only take a deadly virus to shine a light on the rats in the woodpile. Aye Boys?

    • CB,since we’re on whattaboutism.
      What about Biden, people still listen to him (kids with COVID in cages)?
      What about Pelosi, people still listen to her (unmasked fundraisers)?
      What about Cuomo, people still listen to him (COVID positive sent to rest homes)?
      What about Obama, people still listen to him (unmasked birthday party. Bonus – ran out of bombs)?

  5. Good ol’ Blighty.

    Its leadership dispatched nearly 60000 of its and our youngest fittest men to their death and injury on day one at the Battle of the Somme in 1916 alone, through poor planning allied with an utter indifference for their lives.

    Fast forward 100 or so years and that indifference has not changed much really.

    Good British stiff upper lip and to all that!

    Definitely Nigel, most of us colonials could not care less what tossers like you think!

    • Why do we still have an English Honours system; oh, that’s right Key wanted to be called Sir, and then wanted to remove the Union Jack from our flag – what a crazy mixed up hypocritical world.

        • Yes Bg, and many more since; hypocrisy knows no political boundaries. Why is it we can’t be confident in our own values and find it necessary to cling to our colonial past?

    • Noticed that the tossers are increasingly being joined by the left-wing bastions of ol’ Blighty?

  6. Covid could be advantaging NZ businesses, but are the government smart enough to see through the whiners and stick to their guns? As soon as the government gave in to the exploiters and individualists and gave concessions with OZ and Raro, Delta came to NZ.

    NZ economy going well in terms of record exports. After laying off their workers The Warehouse, Silver Fern Farms and Convita all had to pay back their wage subsidies in 2020 because they then posted huge profits.

    As for the economy – NZ doesn’t seem to have many good employers! Maybe that needs to change, instead of crying to government every 5 minutes to get them new workers and consumers to keep their appalling, dump staff and whine, business techniques going.

    Truckie sacked for sharing Stuff story with workmates
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/125416698/truckie-sacked-for-sharing-stuff-story-with-workmates

    ‘Soul crushing’: inside Rocket Lab’s ‘toxic’ workplace culture
    https://businessdesk.co.nz/article/technology/soul-crushing-inside-rocket-labs-toxic-workplace-culture

    Smiths City advertises for new staff days after making 115 redundant
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/121625411/smiths-city-advertises-for-new-staff-days-after-making-115-redundant

    Comvita makes 90 staff redundant, posts $9.7m loss
    https://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/250468-comvita-makes-90-staff-redundant-posts-97m-loss.html

    Warehouse job cuts: 33 Northland staff made redundant; union may challenge decision
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/warehouse-job-cuts-33-northland-staff-made-redundant-union-may-challenge-decision/ZYCABDH2XZGGIPUBEAJOUVWFSE/

    Dozens of jobs lost in Mid-Canterbury as Silver Fern Farms closes pelt house
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/115436910/dozens-of-jobs-lost-in-midcanterbury-as-silver-fern-farms-closes-pelt-house

    Million dollar investment at Pareora plant as Silver Fern Farms prepares to close Fairton
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/92722662/million-dollar-investment-at-pareora-plant-as-silver-fern-farms-prepares-to-close-fairton

    Big read: Why being made redundant in NZ is so tough
    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/big-read-why-being-made-redundant-nz-so-tough

    Employer held to task again, after exploiting workers via sham business
    https://www.employment.govt.nz/about/news-and-updates/employer-exploiting-workers-sham-business/

    ‘They’re not hiring Kiwis’: Locals keen to pick fruit ignored, rejected
    https://www.odt.co.nz/rural-life/horticulture/they’re-not-hiring-kiwis-locals-keen-pick-fruit-ignored-rejected

    Oil rig workers claim unfair treatment in a system ‘rotten to the core’
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/121961383/oil-rig-workers-claim-unfair-treatment-in-a-system-rotten-to-the-core

    ‘Absolutely horrible’ telling staff they’ve lost jobs, says owner of Te Kuiti sawmill cutting 35 positions
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/119457006/te-kuiti-sawmill-workers-cuts-35-jobs

    Worker told to ‘f*** off’ wins unfair dismissal employment case
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/worker-told-to-f-off-wins-unfair-dismissal-employment-case/7KSNTBJM6JWECOXB5PY5B5KSGI/

    Employee wins unfair dismissal case after being fired three days into new job
    https://www.hcamag.com/nz/specialisation/employment-law/employee-wins-unfair-dismissal-case-after-being-fired-three-days-into-new-job/240755

  7. Totally agree Dr Liz.
    Criticism of others is often a defence for one’s own failings.
    Totally agree that we have been let down by our ‘supposed’ allies. Had NSW adopted our lockdown rules their’s, other Austalian States, and our outbreak could have been avoided.

  8. Sorry Liz -The death of many small businesses by a thousand lock down cuts – billion and a half of lost business a week plus almost half a billion of more wage subsidies -and it’s all borrowed money (Robertson calls it “resources”!) – all becos this government failed to secure vaccines early and have a large majority vaccinated to the level of Denmark UK etc . A rotten legacy to leave our (grand) children.

    • But Leigh remember that countries such as USA, UK, and many morr also have failing businesses and large government payouts to keep their economies alive. I’m sure for many years ahead that many University students will have as their thesis subject ‘What was the best approach?’. So far our economy overall is doing better than most and life here has been far more normal than in those countries. I know where I would rather be.

  9. It’s impossible to eradicate Covid19 with vaccinations as long as there remains an external reservoir among animals.
    That’s also the reason why the common cold, which is also a coronavirus, has no cure.
    Common sense apparently isn’t that widespread anymore.
    Obscured by the daily fear drama, it seems that neo-liberals are set to also take the gold in this event.

  10. It’s impossible to eradicate Covid19 with vaccinations as long as there remains an external reservoir among animals.
    That’s also the reason why the common cold, which is also a coronavirus, has no cure.
    Common sense apparently isn’t that widespread anymore.
    Obscured by the daily fear drama, it seems that neo-liberals are set to also take the gold in this event.

  11. A strategy of eliminating the virus I think is noble but naive.
    Thinking NZ can live in splendid isolation is also in my view naive.

    • John, how can being ‘noble’ be ‘naive’? I would think being noble is a hugely valuable human condition and one we don’t see enough of in the world today. Is it ‘noble’ or ‘naive’ for me to pay my taxes?

    • But John. If you believe ‘hard’ enough and ‘hope’ that Gaia will ‘feel’ the ‘vibe from all that are of the Generation(s) with Zero Historical knowledge willingly or unwittingly. Of course it can be achieved, bubble by bubble.
      PS: Under 30’s are getting hammered by Delta. I wonder if that’s from Gaia trying to tell them something?

    • ok John, have slept on this and see your point. Would the consideration of ‘whilst elimination is possible, is achieving it more onerous than the consequences of not achieving it?’
      For me, I’m currently comfortable for a number of reasons with the current elimination strategy until our vaccination roll out is done; then we need to reassess where we want to go on our path to our new’ normal’.

  12. Sweden has reported zero Covid deaths for a month and never had the big lockdowns that other countries had.
    They are about 60% vaccinated I think
    They are dropping all restrictions in a month or so

    Sounds like they got it about right
    PS Sweden isn’t exactly “far right”

    • Good one Denny. Here is biggest scandal of the COVID drama. GPS are not allowed to vaccinate. Basically, govt thinks a recently trained casual jabber is better qualified that say a doctor with 20 years experience. Beyond belief.

      • Maybe they give that job to nurses (also expert jabbers) so doctors aren’t taken away from doctoring. Ya think? Another example: when you go in for a blood test is the sample taken by a GP?

      • My belief about the reason why the doctors are being relieved of this job relates to the hippocratic oath . Do no harm. I suspect the risk is that while most doctors are not going so far as to join up with NZ Doctors S O S , as they fear reprisals from the medical association and being de registered, and it isn’t their responsibility to argue with the WHO, in the privacy of the surgery with their patient they can’t be relied not to quietly say ” You don’t really need this Mrs/ Mr Smith, It might not be very safe and you are at almost zero risk from the virus, Just wait a few more months and let’s see what develops”. And the roll out will grind to a halt.
        D J S

    • I have been wondering about that to Denny. Some highly qualified medical experts, the de platformed misinformed ones , trying to understand why this is all happening in defiance of what they have always believed to be proper process , are speculating that population control might be the driving motivation. In this case it would be a selection process of people who can think for themselves and have the courage of their convictions.
      To quote… “If ” “If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
      Yet make allowance for their doubting too … ”

      … Yours is the earth and everything thats in it
      And what is more your’ll be a man my son”
      D J S

  13. Nigel has single handedly ensured that it will be many, many years before a baby is named “Nigel”.

  14. Hear hear, Liz. And because of the callous and careless approach of the leaders of countries like the UK the risk to us is heightened.

    • Yes John, agreed. But I see ‘noble intentions’ as something very different to being ‘noble’. To me being noble requires ‘noble results’. But see my reply to you above, Cheers.

  15. …”We were right to act immediately. We as a nation have growing confidence that we can eliminate this outbreak. Have you noticed that, because of our elimination strategy, our economy has been doing pretty well over the Covid period, certainly compared to your Covid-ridden, Brexit-maggoty economy”…

    —————-

    Spot on. And same goes for Scomo across the ditch. Look at the mess New South Wales is in,…WE ,… had delta introduced because of their shite covid inaction policy’s. The good thing is we don’t have so many Aussies coming here as tourists shitting and peeing in our fantastic outdoors. They can keep their shit to themselves and do it in their own backyards, – same goes for the U.K.

    NOW,….. about those 501’s….

  16. Brits and petri dishes. They have done this soul-less pragmatic incompetent thing before in letting Irish famine rage and decimate that people.

    ‘Blair’s statement draws attention to the question of what caused the famine. … In fact, the most glaring cause of the famine was not a plant disease, but England’s long-running political hegemony over Ireland. The English conquered Ireland, several times, and took ownership of vast agricultural territory.17/03/2017

    What Caused the Irish Potato Famine? | Mises Institute’
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_(Ireland)

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