Heather du Plessis-Allan: Covid-19 lockdowns a sign of failure

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Mon, 1 Mar 2021, 7:37PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Covid-19 lockdowns a sign of failure

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Mon, 1 Mar 2021, 7:37PM

The Government's narrative that it's fine for Auckland to go into lockdown twice in a fortnight because other countries are doing tougher is absolute nonsense.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she knows many New Zealanders were upset, frustrated and angry about the Covid rulebreakers which plunged Auckland into lockdown.

We will always tell ourselves another lockdown is fine if we keep comparing ourselves to the worst Covid-hit countries, especially the UK and the US. Because seven days looks paltry compared to the months and months they're pulling in the UK.

But what about all the places fighting Covid without yo-yoing in and out of lockdowns. What about all the places that haven't even had a single lockdown?

We've talked about Taiwan ad nauseum. Not a single lockdown there, and only nine deaths. By comparison we've had 26 deaths and several lockdowns.

What about New South Wales, which is increasingly looking like an example of how to combat Covid. They haven't had a single state-wide or Sydney-wide lockdown this entire pandemic. Meanwhile, Auckland has had four lockdowns, which will be a total of 11 weeks - or nearly three months - at the end of this week.

NSW's biggest city, Sydney, hasn't had a single week with the whole place in lockdown. NSW has had 54 deaths, which isn't bad for a population of about 8 million.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian's response is nuanced. They lock down suburbs and hotspot areas, so if there's a flare-up in the Northern Beaches, the restrictions are limited to the area, not the entire state, or even the entire city. Compare that to NZ, where Invercargill is in level 2 right now.

NSW is actively trying to avoid lockdowns. They have an excellent contact tracing system so they can put sick people into isolation, rather than all people into lockdown.
And last I checked they just went 40 days or so without a community case.

You are welcome to keep comparing us with northern hemisphere countries who are in the depths of winter to see how well we're doing, because we're always going to be better than the absolute worst in the world.

Or you can compare us to NSW, just across the ditch, to see how much better we could be doing.

Let's stop being grateful for lockdowns. They're not a sign of success. They're a sign that things are getting too hard for the Government to handle.