Monday, August 31, 2020

Mike's Minute: Was a level 3 lockdown ever actually needed?

So lessons from level 3 and 2. 

Firstly, only Auckland is different today, the rest of the country is still held captive in a state many can still not fully explain. No cases, nothing close to cases, and yet limited in operation and movement through nothing more than deep conservatism and ideology.

Auckland is down to 2, and what we ask is, what's different this morning as opposed to yesterday, the day before, or any day over the past two and a half weeks?

We still have cases; they're still linked to the original cluster. There's the odd case where the immediate connection isn't instantly linked, but I think the vast majority of us have concluded this is a border leak not a community problem. Therefore we have trouble because we learned little if anything from last time.

The greengrocer and butcher argument never got resolved, they created a border problem that is shambolic to say the least. And they did that because they had no idea, no data as to how many people crossed that line each day, and they went ahead anyway.

Workers were turned away, production was reduced therefore affecting the supply chain. Is that going to be different next time? The government were caught out in the most embarrassing and appalling way around security at isolation facilities and testing at the border. Is that going to be different next time? They still haven't worked out how the border leaked. Is that going to be different next time?

What we do know is over a billion dollars was handed out from the debt pot to people who are, at best, struggling, at worst, going under. We know more people are out of work, more doors will never reopen. We know confidence is affected. We know uncertainty is up given it would appear this is our future.

100 or so cases leads to a lockdown of the country's engine room and interference in the rest of the nation. We have no more answers, but plenty more questions and a lot of evidence around governmental ineptitude.

Was a level 3 ever actually needed? The government's best answer is yes, because of what might have happened. And that really is all they have, fear.

What might have happened is a massive reaction to the unknown. The same way you might have been diagnosed with illness this week, or get run over on the way to work. It's the fear of what might have been.

On the other side, we have fact. Economic damage, more debt, more uncertainty, students yet again stuck at home, and jobs lost.

After two and a half weeks, over a billion dollars, more jobs and lives upended. Is the best economic response really still a good health response? Has this, given all the calamity and revelations, even been a good health response? 

Mike Hosking is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB, who has hosted his number one breakfast show since 2008 - see HERE.

1 comment:

Ray S said...

But Mike, Cindys star is still bright and shining for all to see. Her staunch supporters will never understand why some of us see a dismal sunset rather than a sunrise on a bright new day filled with promise. Or should that be promises ?