I would like to take a moment this morning to say thank you to [email protected], the Bakery who this week put themselves back into level three essentially, after a Covid-19 infected man spent more than three hours at a popular local tavern last Friday night.
After learning about the community transmission on Wednesday night, the bakery's owner decided off his own bat, to put measures in place for the benefit of his workers and the community. The plan was to do this for a few days as contact tracing continued.
Thank you on behalf of all of us, and in particular Aucklander’s, who do not need another lockdown right now. It’s no easy task moving up levels, and changing the way you do business. Thanks too to the gym that stayed shut an extra few days to see how things pan out, and the businesses and schools who thoroughly cleaned. I really feel for The Malt pub who need to shut for 14 days – as if things haven’t been tough enough for hospo, but we appreciate you taking one for the team, and being so proactive about containing what has been termed the "marine engineer cluster".
This is how we are going to move forward, this is how we are going to stay open, for the most part stay operational, and learn to live with the occasional community case.
We don’t need to be fearful, we don’t need to panic about Covid-19, we just need to take responsibility and act. Do what these folk have done. If you have symptoms, get tested immediately, use the tracer app so that contact tracing can be efficient, if you have to clean or shut down, do it swiftly. If you’re in the affected area, revert to social distancing and wearing masks.
It seems unlikely Donald Trump is correct this week in saying Americans will have a vaccination for coronavirus before Christmas; it’s more likely we will be living the way we are now for another year or so.
The border poses our only real Covid-19 threat, there will be slip ups, and no doubt the occasional community case, but what we have learnt this week is life can go on, and in this case it has allowed many of us to enjoy a gorgeous spring long weekend.
But this is an endless learning experience isn’t it. Thought will no doubt go into how this particular case could have been avoided. Maritime Union national secretary Joe Fleetwood said this week that all foreign seafarers should be tested before they landed here. Such action might have prevented this last mini-cluster.
Crew that fly into New Zealand can also avoid testing if they were taken straight to the port by a driver in PPE gear to join their vessel if it’s leaving the same day. The idea being they have no contact with port workers, and pose no risk, but how realistic is that? We need to protect our essential port workers.
But here’s the thing, all the fishing workers flown into New Zealand on private charter flights were tested for Covid-19 before they flew to New Zealand – and look at how many of them are in managed isolation after a positive test.
So, while it seems a no brainer to test anyone coming to our shores, regardless of how they get here, and how long they are here, it’s not a water tight solution.
The Covid-19 cases will keep on coming, and some will reach our community - it’s our response to community cases that is going to prevent us from heading into another lockdown.
I have a confession to make, I’ve gotten a little slack this week when it comes to using the NZ Covid Tracer app. And I’ve hardly seen anyone else use it either.
This mini cluster, which thankfully remains at just four people, is a loud reminder, it’s worth taking a few seconds to click the button.
So, I know it’s been a difficulty week for many in Greenhithe, but thanks for keeping us out of lockdown. It’s very much appreciated.