Kate Hawkesby: Plurality of voices needed in Covid-19 recovery plan

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Wed, 15 Apr 2020, 10:46AM
Photo / Getty Images

Kate Hawkesby: Plurality of voices needed in Covid-19 recovery plan

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Wed, 15 Apr 2020, 10:46AM

While media here have reported the spike in Covid case numbers in Singapore, I’m not sure how much of the detail people have read into that.

I heard from a friend who lives in Singapore, an ex-pat Kiwi businessman whose been there with his family for 20 years.

He made the point that the spike in cases there is largely linked in the majority, to the overseas workers Singapore brings in to build the infrastructure projects.

The workers generally live in dorm facilities so Covid or the flu or any virus for that matter, will spread in a dorm situation, he pointed out.

Numbers will keep spiking as Singapore is testing large numbers.

He said other than that, life is actually pretty normal there.

He can still walk out and get his coffee each day.

Supermarkets, wet markets, pet shops, bakery’s, butchers, hardware stores, restaurants, takeaways,  food courts, food delivery, taxis, trains, busses.. all remain open for business.

He said even if he wanted to order a one hundred inch TV to watch no sport, he could have it in his living room by tomorrow.

The economy remains open for business and Burger King wouldn’t be going out of business if it existed there.

McDonalds is doing a fine trade, he says.

He pointed out that like New Zealand, the mortality rate in Singapore is very low, and the demographic of deaths is very similar.

Elderly people with multiple morbidities are generally those who succumb, often making it impossible to determine whether Covid was the killer or one of the many other ailments they suffer from.

A Stanford Professor of Medicine concluded in a new study that the risk of death from Covid19 for people under 65 years of age, even in global “hotspots“, is equivalent to the risk of a fatal car accident for daily commuters.

His concern with how NZ is handling this crisis is that it’s our kids generation who’re going to be saddled with debt to pay for all this eventually.. and for years to come.

He also points out the media’s curious obsession with sheeting all this back to our political leadership, crediting the government with the low case numbers, when in fact New Zealand was always at an advantage to beat this virus anyway.

The Financial Times predicted about 3 weeks ago that New Zealand would get an easy ride due to the fact it’s a remote island nation with a tiny population.

Only time will tell how we handled all this, but keeping our eyes and ears open to all the information, keeping up a plurality of voices.. that should be encouraged right now.