Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Heather du Plessis-Allan: We need local lockdowns


I imagine 45 new cases today will have come as a bit of a shock to some. It shouldn’t.   

It’s been clear for weeks that we’re not getting back to zero in Auckland. 

The clue has always been in the mystery cases popping out of nowhere and we got another 12 today. 

That’s a big number. 

The clue has also been in the types of people getting infected lately: gang members and people in transitional housing. 

We’ve got three gangs infected: the Mongrel Mob, the Black Power and the Hell’s Angels. 

And we’ve got more than one transitional housing unit affected as well. 

These are not people who generally follow the rules. 

And they are people overrepresented in drug abuse.  

So, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that covid will probably keep spreading in those communities. 

What’s more, clearly not everyone in hotspots is trying to help. 

Clover Park is one of the South Auckland suburbs of concern.  

Health staff knocked on 100 doors asking residents to get tested.  

Only 9 agreed.  

Half of those who said no had already been tested, which leaves around 45 houses who just refused. 

What you should be realizing today is that it matters how long you and I sit in lockdown, this will keep spreading in marginalized communities and in largely one part of the city.  

Which means, it is now well overdue now for the government to come up with a better plan than locking down the entire city of Auckland and leaving all of NZ in level 2. 

While most of us are not anywhere near this covid. 

Why is Wellsford locked down? It’s 110k’s away from the covid hotspots.  

Why is Waiheke locked down? Or Tuakau? Or Milford?  

It is too blunt an instrument to lock down 1.7 million people when the problem appears to be largely in one part of town. 

Clearly, we need local lockdowns so the rest of us aren’t spreading it and who are vaxxed can get on with life and business. 

If 45 cases told you one thing today, it is that it doesn’t matter how hard you and I try to stick to the lockdown and make this work, Covid will keep spreading. 

So, we have a choice, either we let it rip, or we get smarter about this lockdown. 

Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.


DeeM said...

Heather, we're only still in lockdown because our government decides we should be. Lockdown is not a fait accompli of Covid.
You can blame people who won't get vaccinated for us still being in lockdown - that's exactly what the government wants you to do. People do still have a choice last time I looked.
So, what if we never reach 90% - or 90% of Maori - or some other new target that will be made up on the fly? Keep blaming those who've chosen not to get the vaccine or blame the government for persisting with lockdowns based on unattainable targets?
Either way, the vaccine is far from a silver bullet, which is what it's been sold as by this government. Many people overseas have still gotten very sick after full vaccination. That hasn't hit home here in NZ. When it does I suspect that booster vaccination rates will drop even lower.

Janine said...

The problem is Heather that I suspect that people like yourself are still getting paid during a lockdown. Businesses don't have many of their costs covered. I have spoken with some of them who are distraught with all of this. Even a few days lockdown makes a big difference to a small businesses profitability.

Politicians are also getting paid as are public servants. If all the people running things were not getting paid during lockdown we wouldn't have a lockdown. The ones in charge would need to think of solutions faster and more creatively with their solutions. Simple as that.

As an aside. When are journalist going to question the government on Three Waters and what it means for ratepayers? Nothing much in the MSM to date.

Anonymous said...

We don't need any lockdowns. Lockdown is a policy that has never been part of the public health response to outbreaks of infectious disease until 2019 and it is an abysmal failure. End the lockdowns. We know this has a 99.99X% recovery rate for anyone under 50 years of age. There are no logical reasons for continuing with the current policy.