UPDATE: As of Monday 26 April 6pm this article has had 60,000 views. The mainstream media refused to publish it. But the message is getting out there. You can make a difference. PLEASE share, tweet and post on FaceBook if you care about our country. The strategy the government is following will be disastrous for New Zealand and is increasingly about politics, not logic or science. Please share.
Thank you, Alex Davis.
In late March, just days after first denying she was going to force the country into lock down a lugubrious looking Jacinda Ardern waved around the “flatten the curve” graphic and told us that if covid-19 was unchecked “our health system will be inundated and thousands of New Zealanders will die” and that consequently New Zealanders now needed to sacrifice fundamental civil liberties and their livelihoods to “save lives.”
There are two critical observations from that press conference.
First, it is now increasingly clear that Ardern misled the country with the claims that tens of thousands of deaths. In an excellent and courageous piece of research (read it here) economist Ian Harrison (who has worked for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements and specialises in risk modelling) demolished the fundamental research on which the government relied for compelling the country into lock down.
No doubt the Ardern government will first dissemble, distract and deny this fact. If that doesn’t satisfy the usually quiescent media expect to see the University of Otago Covid-19 Research Group go under the bus as the government claims it simply “relied on the advice it was given.”
Except this is either a bald-faced lie or chronically incompetent. Let’s be charitable and assume it’s the later: Ardern’s incompetence stems from that fact that no one, anywhere, in any position of authority, ever should take a decision of that magnitude without double and triple checking the facts on which you are relying. Ardern didn’t. If one-man band economist Harrison can figure this out why couldn’t the government’s army of advisors?
Nevertheless, emboldened by a public terrified by hysterical, wall to wall reporting from the legacy media, the government doubled down and so we found ourselves locked into lock down, with all its unintended consequences. Consequences which will be severe, long lasting and almost certain to do more damage than Covid-19 will or could.
Which brings us to the second point from that infamous press conference. The lock down we were told was all about “flattening the curve”, to stop our health system from being “swamped.” But then a funny thing happened: the health system (like those offshore here and here and here) didn’t end up getting overwhelmed at all.
So, like slaves chiselling a pretender pharaoh’s name from the pyramids the flatten curve graphics were quietly removed from the press conferences and in the legacy media. They were replaced with a new message – this time “elimination.” The Prime Minister stated: “We will step down to level 3 in a way that is consistent with our goal to eliminate Covid-19 in New Zealand.”
To be fair to Ardern you could justify the change in course if it was going to work, no one should expected to pursue a strategy that is clearly flawed solely for political expediency (except of course she has before – see here)
The problem of course is that this new strategy is a), as hopelessly flawed in its empirical justifications as the original strategy, and b) worse, even if succeeds it will cripple New Zealand for years to come.
First, elimination means just that, elimination, and no one outside New Zealand is taking that possibility seriously. Brendan Murphy, Australia’s chief medical officer, told a New Zealand parliamentary committee April 14 that eradicating the virus is a “nirvana” scenario. The reasons the elimination strategy is extremely unlikely to be successful are surprisingly simple:
- The R0 value of the corona virus is high and its spreads asymptomatically, so in short it spreads extremely easily, making containment with anything short of a lock down impossible.
- upwards of 80% of those who contract the virus have no symptoms (ie never feel sick at all) which makes tracking the virus extremely difficult unless you implement mass population testing and contact tracing at a level far beyond New Zealand’s capacity (our contract tracing system has been described as a dinosaur).
- The tests the government plans to rely on to identify Covid-19 are well known to generate both false negatives and false positives.
- It is estimated the number of unidentified cases is between 8 and 10 times the real figures, meaning New Zealand is likely to have tens of thousands of people carrying Covid19 with no symptoms.
In short it is almost inconceivable that New Zealand can eliminate Covid19 without maintaining a permanent lock down. Which begs the question: if weren’t flattening the curve and we can’t eliminate it why did we go into an economy crippling, poverty inducing, long term public health damaging lock down?
But, just for the sake of argument, let’s pretend that somehow New Zealand achieves the impossible and we do eliminate Covid19 – what then? What happens when the dog chasing the car actually catches the car?
The rest of the world will still have Covid19. As mentioned, no one, anywhere else in the world is even considering this strategy. New Zealand will become a de facto prison for its 4.9M “citizens.”
Large scale in-bound travel to New Zealand will be effectively eliminated, and with it the tourism sector, our largest export earner, contributing $45 billion to GDP annually. Without offshore tourism Air New Zealand will become a domestic only airline, so expect few flights to or from our fair shores (great news if you are a hard-green environmentalist, curtains for tens of thousands of employees).
With few onshore flights the opportunities for New Zealanders to travel offshore will become few and expensive – say goodbye to that holiday in Europe or 2 weeks in Fiji and look forward to 2 weeks quarantine when you return home. It’s also very difficult to grow an international business entirely through Zoom so expect the slow but steady strangulation of New Zealand’s export orientated businesses. Likewise expect prices of imports to surge and with the virtual elimination of immigration and a collapsing economy, walled off East Germany-like from the rest of the world, property prices to fall.
And all this assumes that there are no slip ups. But as Peter Collignon, an infectious diseases physician at Canberra Hospital who advises the Australian government on Covid19 states: “the reality is this virus is everywhere, it’s all around the world. So even if you’re successful for a short period of time, how long do you do this for? Six months? Two years? Invariably, you’re going to get the virus re-introduced.” As Steven Joyce succinctly put it the “idea that we would get rid of Covid-19 is pie in the sky fantasy”
Proponents of the elimination strategy argue that “Colditz New Zealand” won’t be needed for more than 18 months and all we have to do is wait for a vaccine. However, there is no guarantee we will get a vaccine. As David Nabarro, professor of global health at Imperial College, London, and an envoy for the World Health Organisation on Covid-19 states: “You don’t necessarily develop a vaccine that is safe and effective against every virus. Some viruses are very, very difficult when it comes to vaccine development – so for the foreseeable future, we are going to have to find ways to go about our lives with this virus as a constant threat.”
Neither will anti-body testing be anymore effective, with even the World Health Organisation warning that “there is no evidence that people who have recovered from coronavirus have immunity to the disease [and] there is no proof that such antibody tests can show if someone who has been infected with COVID-19 cannot be infected again.”
In short, there is a very, very real risk that the cavalry is not coming for New Zealand. We could be trapped here for a very long time – like Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings – “we cannot get out.”
Finally, we need to consider even if an effective vaccine was developed just how high up the priority list is New Zealand really going to be? If you are handing out vaccines do you prioritise the 5M people at the bottom of the world who are at no immediate risk or other 7.5 billion who are? The US and China are already hoarding and interdicting Personal Protection Equipment – what makes us think a vaccine will be different?
In short, the government’s whole Covid-19 “strategy” from start to finish has been flawed. It was based on flawed modelling and amplified by hysterical media reporting. And now New Zealand’s plan to “eliminate” the virus looks more like a bullet wound to the stomach, the result of which will be long, painful and lonely death.
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Both the NZ Herald and Stuff originally indicated they would publish my Covid-19 articles but then pulled the pin at the last moment, I suspect (with some evidence) under political pressure.
This is the form NZ’s Deputy PM Winston Peters filled when he claimed his superannuation. He lives with a partner, but claims confusion led him to tick the wrong box. Maybe it was the same confusion that led him to give a globalist Multi-cultural Marxist the keys to govt.
By Andy Oakley
In the face of the COVID-19 virus, despite warnings, Jacinda Ardern used the results of grossly overstated models and decided to move from a managing strategy to an elimination strategy. This was despite in the entire history of the world and the many thousands of viruses we have, only one has ever been eliminated, smallpox.
The elimination strategy meant that she would need to ignore the economic fallout and put New Zealand into one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. Most of our western neighbours went nowhere near that level of destruction of their people’s freedoms. They cared more, they thought more, and they reacted with more caution.
Where was the opposition to this, one of the biggest errors in our entire history?
To cancel out any opposition to what she was doing, Ardern stood before the nation and told us that unless she went through with this madness, 80,000 people would die. That took courage, it was a very big call, but she and her party should have been aware, scaring people is the opposite of what good leadership is about.
After that sort of alarmism and public indoctrination cheered on by the mainstream media, it took more than a month for National and Simon Bridges to get up enough courage to, just today, meekly suggest that “the cure may cause more harm than the disease”. This was because when Bridges first questioned her awfully thought out plan she put him in his place so hard, he might have preferred to come down with the virus than face that sort of tyrannical challenge to his manliness, or lack of it, again.
It wasn’t just the public, even the opposition benches had lost their right to free speech. Well perhaps not their rights but certainly any ability to oppose the slide into tyranny, the public would have them for breakfast.
They should have tried and tried hard, too much was at stake, this is bigger than any one persons political career.
Unfortunately, after a month of no opposition, much of the economic damage has already been done. And just in case it hadn’t, Ardern added another week, stating that unless the public follows our oppressive and draconian ‘lockdown laws’ that it could be another month!
Suck it up!
However, what we also have to suck up is, according to the OECD, this huge gaff will result in an economic decline of about 30%, one of the biggest declines in economic activity in the world. Treasury forecast unemployment of 13%, adding a further 260,000 people to the dole ques.
For businesses, the businesses that employ the nation, they face either bankruptcy or at the very least a loss of most, if not all of the equity they may have built up in their businesses. In some cases, decades of hard toil, taken from them without even a whimper of opposition.
So, we find ourselves in the most awful of positions, too scared to go to work, and too broke not too.
I suggest that neither Labour or National will want an election anytime soon, that surely is a measure of the level of thought and political leadership we have in New Zealand at present.
Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own grocery bags, because plastic bags are not good for the environment,.
The woman apologized to the young girl and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days.”
The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”
The older lady said that she was right our generation didn’t have the “green thing” in its day. The older lady went on to explain: Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day. Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable besides household garbage bags was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.
But, too bad we didn’t do the “green thing” back then. We walked up stairs because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the “green thing” in our day.
Back then we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days.
Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.
Back then we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.
In the kitchen we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.
When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power.
We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blade in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service in the family’s $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before the “green thing.”
We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.
But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the “green thing” back then?
Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart ass young person. We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off… Especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smartass who can’t make change without the cash register telling them how much.
I didn't laugh like this before! !!! 😂By : Mohamed W. Zayed 👏🏻🍾
Posted by Tech Solutions on Friday, 13 May 2016