I’m not really surprised by the Cabinet decision to leave Auckland in current restrictions, which is Alert Level 3 with a picnic and not give Auckland any more freedoms.
I think what they’re wanting to do is leave it another week to see how much transmission there is in Level 3 with picnics before they can start giving any more freedoms.
Given it takes seven to 10 days to really see those numbers start coming through the testing system, it’s probably not until Wednesday or even as late as Sunday this week before we really get an idea of what kind of transmission is going on in Auckland at the moment.
That 60 we got yesterday, that’s transmission that happened before the picnics. So I expect now we’re doing the picnics, it’s going to go up from 60 by the end of this week.
The thing is, I really think that Chris Hipkins and Jacinda Ardern and Ashley Bloomfield need to be straight with us and start answering questions about how long this lockdown is going to take.
Me asking Chris Hipkins earlier is it going to be till Christmas, he needs to actually start indicating to Aucklanders that it is a real possibility that we’re still sitting in Level 3 come Christmas time.
Because this is starting to look like something that’s gonna drag on for months.
For example, we’re essentially doing what New South Wales did, look at how long it took them.
They had Freedom Day today — they just came out of a four-month lockdown.
If that is how long our lockdown lasts, then we’re only halfway through, we’ve got another couple of months ahead of us, which means we’re potentially in this until early to mid-December if you're being realistic about it.
It could even take longer because our health system is so much crappier than New South Wales’ was, which means we’re gonna put pressure on it faster and have to stay in lockdown longer to be able to keep the pressure off.
And that is really what this is about.
They’ve made a big play about how this is all about the vaccination rate.
But listen to what they’re saying, it’s also really about how much our hospitals can handle before they’re overwhelmed.
What the Government seems to be doing is giving us some freedoms, then seeing if the hospitals are OK for a couple of weeks, and if they are OK, then they give you a little bit more freedom, and then they step back and watch if the hospital’s OK for a couple of weeks, and they sort of take it week by week or fortnight by fortnight, letting the pressure off a wee bit.
I’m not sure that they’ve been totally clear with us that that is what they're doing, and I’m not sure that they’ve been totally clear with us about how long that will take to get to the other side.
Rather than putting through Aucklanders through the misery, and frankly the rest of the country who remain in Level 2 while Auckland remains at Level 3, of doing this every single week and getting disappointed, I think they might need to just front up and admit how long this is possibly gonna take and that it could be Christmas.