12 votes

Some New Zealanders find a harsh homecoming amid concern about importing coronavirus after months of lockdown sacrifice by ‘team of 5 million’

9 comments

  1. [6]
    wycy
    Link
    That sounds like pretty justifiable anger on the part of New Zealanders.

    Tensions among New Zealanders over some of the cases exploded last week when officials were forced to admit that two of them, women returning from Britain, had been allowed to leave quarantine early on compassionate grounds without being tested. Dozens of others were also allowed to leave facilities without testing before rules were tightened up, it was revealed.

    That sounds like pretty justifiable anger on the part of New Zealanders.

    8 votes
    1. [4]
      imperialismus
      Link Parent
      But that anger would surely be better directed at the public officials or doctors who made the decision, not the individuals in question. They may well have believed they were doing nothing wrong,...

      But that anger would surely be better directed at the public officials or doctors who made the decision, not the individuals in question. They may well have believed they were doing nothing wrong, and it's not really their job to determine if they represent a public health risk.

      5 votes
      1. emdash
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        You would think! But unfortunately, there's a significant amount of evidence that these two individuals—nicknamed Thelma & Disease—lied to officials to justify their compassionate exemption, and...

        But that anger would surely be better directed at the public officials or doctors who made the decision, not the individuals in question.

        You would think! But unfortunately, there's a significant amount of evidence that these two individuals—nicknamed Thelma & Disease—lied to officials to justify their compassionate exemption, and subsequently did not detail the full story of their adventures.

        • They firstly denied meeting up with a friend after being granted an exemption before admitting they did, and "couldn't remember" if they hugged the friend in question.
        • They claimed they met up with the friend to ask for directions after they "got lost" on their drive to Wellington, despite the first turn out of their hotel clearly indicating the route they needed to take. This friend ended up attending a gym the next day which was subsequently shut down.
        • They claimed they drove from Auckland to Wellington without stopping, but later admitted they did stop to "use the bathroom" which involved taking a piss on the side of the road—ostensibly.
        • In retrospect, one of the woman claimed "she did feel a little bit sick, yeah" but dismissed it as asthma.

        This was all coupled with incompetence from the ministry's side too. It was a chain of failure which compromised our strongly-fought COVID-19 security and isolation process, and nearly all parties, including the two women at the centre of it all, share some of the blame.

        As @omnicrola said, we did 5 weeks of an extremely strict lockdown that consisted of "don't leave the house except for emergencies, food, and exercise", which had extremely high levels of compliance, and saw us drastically cut the number of cases and eliminate community transition entirely. When the bar of quality is 100%, anything less is unacceptable. That's why this was such a frustrating event.

        7 votes
      2. MonkeyPants
        Link Parent
        There is a lot of anger towards the Minister of Health at the moment, but that is more because he threw New Zealands favorite public health official under the bus (Dr Ashley Bloomfield.) Most of...

        There is a lot of anger towards the Minister of Health at the moment, but that is more because he threw New Zealands favorite public health official under the bus (Dr Ashley Bloomfield.)

        Most of the anger is directed at the two "poms" because who else are you going to blame?

        Arden (the prime minister of NZ) accepted responsibility and committed to ensure this mistake would never happen again.

        The contrast is incredibly stark between Arden's unifying and calming message, the slightly divisive approach from Australians PM, and the incredibly divisive rhetoric from Trump.

        5 votes
      3. json
        Link Parent
        It's because a information was made public, it sounded like every step of the way the two women lied to officials.

        It's because a information was made public, it sounded like every step of the way the two women lied to officials.

        3 votes
    2. emdash
      Link Parent
      Yep. The New Zealand government advised overseas New Zealanders to return home immediately months ago—in fact most nations advised their citizens of this. People obviously have autonomy over...

      Yep. The New Zealand government advised overseas New Zealanders to return home immediately months ago—in fact most nations advised their citizens of this. People obviously have autonomy over themselves, so the government can't make that decision for them, but for them to finally return only when the rest of the world starts going to shit due to fears of a second wave, risks New Zealand's status as a COVID-19-eliminated country.

      It's reasonable that there's no guaranteeing for what sort of experience they were signing up for by returning home now, so yes, they need to face the consequences of mandatory testing and a minimum of two weeks in self-isolation. So, after every other New Zealander has experienced over 5 weeks in self-isolation during our nationwide lockdown, seeing returnees now complaining about food and bus rides is definitely going to prompt some acerbic reactions.

      5 votes
  2. [3]
    tempestoftruth
    Link
    Could we change the article link so that it's not AMP? That would be great. Has @Deimos been willing to change AMP links to direct links in the past? I don't know what the policy is on this. On...

    Could we change the article link so that it's not AMP? That would be great. Has @Deimos been willing to change AMP links to direct links in the past? I don't know what the policy is on this.

    On the article itself, it's hard to sympathize with the people coming back complaining about the conditions. Quarantine is rough, but the risk of the virus getting out again is far too great, and too much work was done to eliminate it in the first place. That being said, the government should try to make those returning as comfortable as possible.

    6 votes
    1. Deimos
      Link Parent
      Yeah, I usually change links away from AMP versions, and would like to eventually have that happen automatically (which is pretty easy, since AMP pages always have a <link rel="canonical"> tag...

      Yeah, I usually change links away from AMP versions, and would like to eventually have that happen automatically (which is pretty easy, since AMP pages always have a <link rel="canonical"> tag that points to the normal version).

      7 votes
    2. Omnicrola
      Link Parent
      I think the one person who is quoted makes a very reasonable request: I definitely get the heightened sense of fight/flight though. Not only are people wanting to keep themselves and their...

      I think the one person who is quoted makes a very reasonable request:

      “By no means have any of us been complaining about needing to quarantine, or the sacrifices or even the quality of quarantine. We just wanted to be told what was happening.”

      I definitely get the heightened sense of fight/flight though. Not only are people wanting to keep themselves and their families safe, there's also an enormous 5-million-strong tribalistic bond over all the hardship everyone just went through to get the virus squashed. Having that much collective effort potentially just "thrown away" because a few people screwed up has got to be infuriating.

      7 votes