Seven weeks into a lockdown that has so far failed to quelch the COVID resurgence (an extremely mild outbreak, by international standards), while causing untold economic strain throughout Auckland, New Zealand’s economic center and most populous city.
So, as the crowds protesting against the lockdowns in the Auckland’s streets have intensified, threatening to boil over into the heightened level of unrest presently roiling its neighbor, Australia, it looks like New Zealand’s progressive government, led by PM Jacinda Ardern, has finally thrown in the towel, and by doing so, abandoned its “COVIDZero”, just as Australia has started to do.
According to the AP, New Zealand’s government has finally acknowledged on Monday that it can longer completely eradicate the coronavirus – a realization that the US, Europe and most other nations (outside China) have already accepted.
In keeping with this new perspective, Ardern announced a “cautious” plan to ease lockdown restrictions in Auckland, despite an outbreak there that continues to simmer, and – more importantly – abandon the guiding COVID policy that has been in place for 18 months.
“We’re transitioning from our current strategy into a new way of doing things,” Ms. Ardern told reporters. “With Delta, the return to zero is incredibly difficult, and our restrictions alone are not enough to achieve that quickly. In fact, for this outbreak, it’s clear that long periods of heavy restrictions has not got us to zero cases.”
“What we have called a long tail,” she added, “feels more like a tentacle that has been incredibly hard to shake.”
As the AP reminds us, New Zealand was once heralded as one of the world’s great COVID successes (to this day, it has only recorded 27 deaths). But after declaring that COVID was effectively eradicated last year, the delta wave that emerged this spring managed to force its way back in. At this point, some critics say Ardern and the local leadership in Auckland may have overreacted, imposing the lockdown after only a single case had been identified (and before its strain had been genetically analyzed).
Like Australia, closed borders has been another major part of New Zealand’s “COVID Zero” approach. If Ardern means what she says, these restrictions should soon be allowed to loosen.
With NZ done, the last major COVID holdout is…China. But we somehow suspect their “war-like” strategy of dealing with outbreaks isn’t going to change any time soon.
From Voices for Freedom (via email)
Today, I took one for the team. I listened with gritted teeth to our Dear Leader (and her trusty public health sidekick), telling us how they’ve “bin” working hard to create us a new framework.
We’re moving away from “elimination” ( and don’t you know that’s “served us so well”). Instead, we’re going to “eliminate while we vaccinate”.
I think two comments under the video on RNZ summed up the whole experience:
“This is so confusing.”
“She talks so long.”
Well, let’s be honest there are few other sentiments expressed that might have managed to capture my true feelings about today’s podium speech more accurately – but we do have standards to maintain around here.
Indeed. Details about staying outside, weeing in the garden and “agressively” vaccinating aside, today’s discussion of the new 3-step framework (with Auckland leading the way) was long-winded and bamboozling.
However, folks, it doesn’t take a genius to realise that the new approach for New Zealand is a non-science based pile of complicated rules. And, it’s also clear we can expect a mishmash of policy tried and failed in the UK and Israel, and coming soon in New South Wales.
Long story short? Before Christmas, it looks like they’ll be saying we all need vaccine passports to access our lives.
Well, no, thank you.
The plan is divisive and destructive and, as we can see from international experience, it does not eliminate, reduce, or combat a “tricky virus”.
Increased Covid jabs make for more significant spikes in cases and growing numbers of jabbed people getting sick. And it gets worse. Linking injections to freedom and thereby shunning a large proportion of society leads to – well, it horrifies me where it leads.
However, all is not lost. Approximately 1.65 million Kiwis haven’t had a jab at all, and the numbers of first jabs have stalled.
And that means hundreds of thousands of us don’t buy into the increasingly preposterous Covid response. We’re made up of a diverse group which is more significant in terms of its impact on this rollout than the constant percentage call outs would have you believe.
There are people who:
- Haven’t had a jab;
- Have had a jab against their will and now realise they have the tools to say no to another;
- Suffered from a jab and don’t want anymore;
- Are happily jabbed but disagree with linking freedoms and jabs.
So what do we do?
We resist. We dig our heels in.
We support one another. We keep standing up. We keep speaking out. We hold the line.
Think like a domino.
You don’t have to be a huge thundering domino to make change happen, just a regular domino. When regular dominos start falling and knocking other dominos, the effect is mesmerising and magnificent.
- Say no and mean it;
- Get support if you have to;
- Grab our Employment Kit if you’re feeling pressure at work;
- Tell someone every day what is truly going on;
- Share a video (this one is fantastic);
- Grab our NEW Mask Mini-Kit;
- Stop watching T.V. and listening to the radio;
- Make a meal for someone who needs it;
- Join a local Voices for Freedom hub;
- Put your hand up to help your local Voices for Freedom Coordinator;
- Send a letter to your local M.P. and remind them they work for you;
- Post links to www.voicesforfreedom.co.nz under every Social Media post you can;
- Join us on Freedom T.V. (there’s one tonight!);
- Register for tomorrow night’s Health and Safety Webinar;
- Join your industry support group and find people who are feeling like you;
- Share our Odysee channel including our past webinars with someone;
- Say to one person every day: “this is a bit crazy isn’t it?”.
- Say it again if you can.
- And again.
- And again. You can make a difference.
Most of all, hang in there. This storm will pass and you are not alone.