Heather du Plessis-Allan: Government made the right decision on lockdown

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 23 Mar 2020, 4:12PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Government made the right decision on lockdown

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 23 Mar 2020, 4:12PM

The government has done the right thing today.

As strange and scary as this may feel, as daunting as the prospect of staying home for four weeks is, I think you can have confidence it was the right call today.

We’re now at alert level three, which means we’re keeping our distance from others.

On Wednesday we go into alert level 4, which means we’re all going into lockdown for four weeks at least.

The Prime Minister had to order that lockdown. If she didn’t, thousands if not tens of thousands of new Zealanders will die.

We have watched the infections rate climb. 28 Thursday, 39 Friday, 52 Saturday, 66 yesterday, 102 today. It’s supposed to double every three days.

Epidemiologist Sir David Skegg’s warned we are matching the UK’s trajectory - just eight days behind.

It’s obvious that we have community transmission, which means that people aren’t just sick because they or someone in their house has been overseas. People have got sick from someone in New Zealand and they don’t necessarily know who that is.

We have had public health experts lining up for days now saying it’s time to go into lockdown, including Sir Peter Gluckman, the PM’s former science advisor, and Sir David Skegg, and Michael Baker. This guy deserves our respect: he’s on the health ministry’s team advising them on pandemics, they listen to him and we should too.

This had to happen. It’s better that it happens sooner rather than later.

This is stressful. If you’re like me you’re worrying about your mum and your groceries and what the heck you’re going to do if your cat gets into a fight and needs the vet, then relax, these things will be figured out.

The grocery store will still be stocked. We’re not going to run out of food. Medical services will still be going, presumably the vet too, and if they haven’t thought of that they will think of it soon

The government’s extended the income package available to employees. It’s doing its best to make sure you’ll have money coming.

If you’re finding it a bit scary, you’re not alone, but know that it was the right call. In years to come, we will grateful.