Barry Soper: Lockdowns are not a long-term solution for pandemic

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 25 Aug 2020, 9:38AM
Photo / File
Photo / File

Barry Soper: Lockdowns are not a long-term solution for pandemic

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 25 Aug 2020, 9:38AM

COMMENT:

So Aucklanders are going to have another weekend at home, soaking in their bubbles. We had all hoped we'd be allowed to burst out of them but no, the health boffins have decided we have to keep our distance for a little longer, although while we will all be allowed to mix and mingle from next week we won't be allowed get too up close and personal.

No-one should have any doubt that Jacinda Ardern's heart was in the right place as she made the eagerly anticipated alert announcement, delayed but all at level 2 from next Monday. Those of us who know her pretty well know that she is a genuinely kind woman and wouldn't wish ill of anyone, if they are not a political opponent that is.

Unfortunately it's that kindness that can come across as maternal, bordering on patronising which is grating, mainly because we hear it day after day, but it's obviously not intended. It is what it is.

But criticise the Prime Minister and the perception she's doing it all on her own to keep us safe is tantamount to blasphemy which is just plain silly. Ardern's being led by health boffins who would keep the country in lockdown until a vaccine arrives, which could be never.

We live in a democracy and debate is the essence of it, so suck it up Jacindamaniacs!

Debate our response to the pandemic if you want to get something off your chest but please add something to the argument.

Why is Auckland being kept in lockdown until midnight on Sunday? Well, apparently, we are not at the boundaries of the South Auckland family cluster yet, there's still a risk of a flare-up. Will another four days get us beyond that threat? Who knows?

If you listen to the body that should know more about pandemics than any other, and the boss of it, lockdowns aren't a long-term solution for any country.

World Health Organisation Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a media briefing lockdowns do allow a country to suppress transmission and take pressure of their health systems.

But he said it is a false choice to be expected to decide between lives and livelihoods, or between health and the economy. Ghebreyesus says the pandemic's a reminder that health and the economy are inseparable.

He says that means the engagement of everyone, based on the level of the risk of where they live. He says they should be taking measures to understand what they can do to protect themselves and others.

And please don't talk about the "team of five million" just talk about the responsibility we should all be taking to protect the vulnerable without being told we belong to a team that we didn't sign up to.

Ghebreyesus told us no country can ride this out until we have a vaccine, we must all learn to manage and control the virus using the tools we have now.

Many of us have had a tool for months now but we're all being urged through an advertising campaign that's just sprung up to use our Covid phone app as though it's fresh on the market. And what about the Covid card proposal that's been sitting on a couple of ministers' desks for several months now?

They should be getting it out and testing it, it would certainly be cheaper than a lockdown. But then that would be taking responsibility.