Mike Hosking: We must have a better strategy than continuous lockdowns

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 24 Aug 2020, 10:03AM

Mike Hosking: We must have a better strategy than continuous lockdowns

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 24 Aug 2020, 10:03AM

D-Day today, again.  It was going to be Friday, but in the Labour Party's over-promise and under-deliver way of running the country that got delayed.

Forgotten, sadly, these past couple of weeks is the bulk of the country, the vast swathes of this land who have had to endure repressed and constrained movement for lord only knows what reason.

In locking off Auckland, Timaru got caught up as well, as did Arrowtown, Westport, New Plymouth, Nelson; how long do you want the list to be?

And in that net were the bars and cafes that closed or got hammered in terms of turnover and customer numbers.

Level 2 isn't the end of the world, but that’s the reverse psychology of all of this, isn't it? The same way the doom merchants of Auckland freaked out about a level 4 lockdown and when they got 3 they, instead of seeing it for what it was, a massive over reaction, actually breathed a sigh of relief.

For the bulk of the country level 2 isn't as bad as level 3. But it's worse than level one, which is worse than zero, and one is where you should be, but you're not.

It's the Grant Robertson trick. Find someone, or something that is really bad or useless and go, "see look at that mess, we are nothing like that mess.” And instead of going, "no, why would we be?" We go, "oh yeah, so it's not so bad after all."

There is simply no reason for the South Island to have been inconvenienced in any way whatsoever. Queenstown, already in trouble because of the border, sits thousands of kilometres away from a South Auckland cluster, and is being hammered again by the removal of domestic tourists.

Sport has been hammered, pubs have been hammered, hospitality generally has been hammered.

You don’t have cases, haven't had cases, aren't within miles of any cases and yet you are paying the price. Why, and why if you're not, aren't you angry?

It is, yet again, a tangible outworking of why the panic this government operates under as a strategy, doesn't work because they don’t have the tools. Like contact tracing, testing and an app that has the uptake to actually be effective.

A cluster in a small area should not lockdown a whole city, far less inconvenience an entire country.

We have to learn to deal. If our border is going to continue to leak, and that’s another matter altogether, we have to learn to deal with an outbreak without taking a mallet to the whole nation. Yes, we are a small country, but the pub curtailed in Blenheim, because of a cool store in South Auckland is too high a price to pay.

And you will note there is no promise this won't be happening again, and again, and again.

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