21 votes

New Zealand isn’t just flattening the curve. It’s squashing it

7 comments

  1. [3]
    envy
    Link
    The most amazing thing about this, is how the country is all pulling together to do the right thing.

    The most amazing thing about this, is how the country is all pulling together to do the right thing.

    The response has been notably apolitical. The center-right National Party has clearly made a decision not to criticize the government’s response, and, in fact, to help it.

    15 votes
    1. [2]
      Omnicrola
      Link Parent
      Hard to not feel bitter about that from over here in the US.

      Hard to not feel bitter about that from over here in the US.

      15 votes
      1. smoontjes
        Link Parent
        It's definitely pretty bad in the US. It started out as an apolitical thing in Denmark too, with all parties working together - but 1 or 2 weeks after the lockdown started, the far-right parties...

        It's definitely pretty bad in the US. It started out as an apolitical thing in Denmark too, with all parties working together - but 1 or 2 weeks after the lockdown started, the far-right parties started talking about wanting to prevent refugees from Syria and elsewhere seeking asylum...

        5 votes
  2. emdash
    Link
    There's still things we aren't quite doing correctly, however. Our response to increasing the number of tests took a significant amount of time, over two weeks. Only in the last few days did we...

    There's still things we aren't quite doing correctly, however.

    • Our response to increasing the number of tests took a significant amount of time, over two weeks. Only in the last few days did we reach a testing capacity of 6000 tests a day, which in a wide outbreak, is in itself not close enough to covering what we need.

    • The case definition to get tested for COVID-19 was incredibly narrow for a number of weeks—you must have had a fever, cough, and/or breathing problems plus close contact with an international traveller. Of course, you can't find many community transmission cases if you're not looking for them, because you've decided to purposely exclude them from the case definition. This has been widened, and now anyone with any symptoms can get tested at a drive-thru testing centre.

    • What is and what is not considered essential took some time for the government to figure out—I can't fault them too much here, but for a couple of days there were activities such as hiking, swimming, surfing, etc that fell into a grey-zone about whether it was allowed or not. That recently was all clarified by a much more encompassing public health directive, though.

    • The New Zealand Minister of Health himself decided to drive 20km to walk to the beach on the first weekend of lockdown, then proceeded to drive to go biking, which he was photographed doing. The Prime Minister subsequently called him an idiot. The leader of the opposition isn't much better though, he's been driving 1000km return every week to the capital city from his home address because "The internet connection for videoconferencing is better"—yet he has a fibre endpoint near his campaign office where he lives...

    It's too early to say whether we're squashing it. My expectation is people are going to get lazy, and the political pressure to remove the lockdown at 4 weeks will be too much for the government to successfully handle. I'd rather spend another 2 weeks at level four conditions if it meant we actually stamped it out.

    12 votes
  3. Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    Good for them! It's nice to see some countries getting their act together, and see some good news for a change.

    Good for them! It's nice to see some countries getting their act together, and see some good news for a change.

    7 votes
  4. [2]
    skybrian
    Link
    From the article: [...]

    From the article:

    The number of new cases has fallen for two consecutive days, despite a huge increase in testing, with 54 confirmed or probable cases reported Tuesday. That means the number of people who have recovered, 65, exceeds the number of daily infections.

    [...]

    But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is adamant that New Zealand will complete four weeks of lockdown — two full 14-day incubation cycles — before letting up. She has, however, given the Easter Bunny special dispensation to work this weekend.

    2 votes
    1. envy
      Link Parent
      Here is the prime minister reassuring NZ that the easter bunny is an essential worker. What was nice, is she reminded everyone that the easter bunny is busy with her own family, so might not be...

      Here is the prime minister reassuring NZ that the easter bunny is an essential worker.

      What was nice, is she reminded everyone that the easter bunny is busy with her own family, so might not be able to deliver easter eggs to everyone this year.

      6 votes