Tim Dower: Latest quarantine absconder should be punished

Author
Tim Dower,
Publish Date
Thu, 9 Jul 2020, 10:41AM
The Stamford Plaza hotel from where a 32-year-old man under Covid-19 managed isolation escaped and went to local the Countdown supermarket. Photo / Dean Purcell

Tim Dower: Latest quarantine absconder should be punished

Author
Tim Dower,
Publish Date
Thu, 9 Jul 2020, 10:41AM

It's only right that the man who sauntered out of hotel quarantine for a wander around Auckland and a bit of shopping will be facing charges.

At worst, the 32-year-old could end up in prison, quite a switch from the Stamford Plaza.

More likely he'll get a fine, at most that would be $4000.

I suspect the deep clean and the unscheduled shutdown he's responsible for will cost Countdown a heck of a lot more than that.

Look, I believe it's important we see this in the context of the numbers who've been through this quarantine or managed isolation procedure.

Since lockdown...March 26th...more than 26,000 people have been through the system, official health department stats.

There have been a few who've done a runner, dopey Thelma and Louise of course, a bunch who went off to a funeral and never came back, the woman who slipped out the other day, the people who gave dud phone numbers or wouldn't pick up when the tracers called.

We've been really quite forgiving about all that, and each time we've been told how disappointed officials are, and how they'll do everything they can to make sure it never happens again.

Yada yada yada.

Now, I don't want to be a scaremonger, but the World Health Organisation is now saying there's more evidence emerging that covid can be an airborne virus, that is scary

You could catch it from droplets hanging in the air, never mind someone else coughing or sneezing near you.

The time has come to make an example of people like this moron, and throw the bloody book at them.

Citizen, permanent resident, whatever.

You came back here because we're a safe place to be.

And we're only safe because the people now paying for your accommodation, your food and your health care went through a lockdown.

We stayed home, we lost jobs, we lost friends and couldn't mourn them, we lost money, some of us nearly lost our minds.

If you're coming back to enjoy New Zealand's benefits and our functioning health system, all we ask is that you mind your manners for two weeks.

So suck it up.

We did.