"Progressive" New Zealand to Shut Down Auckland Again on 4 Cases of COVID - NZ Govt's Prescription For Economic Disaster Continues

Posted by freedomforall 1 month, 1 week ago to Politics
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They really thought they had it licked.

After surmounting what was at worst an extremely mild outbreak, New Zealand declared "victory" over the coronavirus two months ago, only to see a mild spike two weeks later.

Since the very beginning, New Zealand's COVID-19 response effort, led by progressive prime minister Jacinda Ardern, was infused with the pinch of "compassionate" social justice, as the island nation focused on using it as an opportunity to look into how to recalibrate society to make more time for leisure by adopting a 4-day work-week.

But in its desperation to establish New Zealand as a liberal (and polar) antithesis to President Trump's America, Ardern made what now looks to be one critical error: She lifted practically all of the country's COVID travel restrictions after her sweeping "victory" declaration.

That, and slowly allowing businesses to reopen, has apparently helped give the virus all it needs for another flareup which, however comparatively minor to what's going on just next door in Victoria, Australia, has forced Ardern to order a new lockdown, just as doubts about the efficacy of such lockdowns are growing.

New Zealand announced on Tuesday it would shut down Auckland, its largest city with one-third of NZ's total population, after four new cases of the virus were confirmed in the city, the first sign of new domestic spread after 102 days without any domestic COVID cases.

NZ's Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the four confirmed cases were all within one family living in South Auckland. One patient is in their 50s. The family had no history of international travel. Family members have been tested and contact tracing - which might actually prove pretty effective with such a small body of the infected - is being carried out.

News of the cases sent panic across the country with media reporting people rushing to supermarkets to stack up, and businesses preparing to shut.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Auckland would return to a "level 3 restriction" beginning at noon local time on Wednesday as a "precautionary approach," which would mean people should stay away from work and school, and gatherings or more than 10 people would again be restricted. Though, with so few cases, even these economically-constricting decisions might be overkill.

Though fortunately, these restriction would be applied for three days until Friday, which she said would be enough time to assess the situation, gather information and make sure there's enough widespread contact tracing.

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  • Posted by term2 1 month, 1 week ago
    Government really doesnt know what to do. They are just reacting politically in ways they should ever be allowed to do. We relinquished the power they are using, and should take them back.
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  • Posted by 1 month, 1 week ago
    NZ international tourism is completely shut down. There are no international arrivals to NZ.
    Tourism is 10% of total GDP and more than 20% of NZ total exports. The industry expects 50% of people employed in tourism to be let go.
    Congratulations, Jacinda. Arguably save 5000 retirees from COVID and bankrupt 200,000 in tourism alone. Brilliant central planning.
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  • Posted by term2 1 month, 1 week ago
    Government shouldnt even be able to tell everyone to stay home and now associate with others. Its a simple issue of liberty. But no one is really even talking about that part of the issue.
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  • Posted by fosterj717 1 month, 1 week ago
    Again, it is obvious that leaders around the world are either dupes or have another agenda (world fascism?).......Panicking is rarely a good move when trying to find the right approach to a perceived problem. Unfortunately, most "leaders" are anything but! Truth be told......
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  • Posted by $ blarman 1 month, 1 week ago
    And again we see another example of a phony measuring stick: infections. People get infected with a variety of diseases all the time. The real threat of any disease is the lasting effects like, say, death or permanent disability. COVID just isn't all that threatening. It doesn't leave permanent disabilities like polio and the actual fatality rate from COVID is incredibly low. In fact, COVID is a comorbidity far more times than the primary cause of death but because it is part of the current "panic porn" being pushed by the media, etc. the CDC has instructed doctors that even without a positive test result and even if it wasn't the primary cause of death COVID is still to be labeled as the cause of death. And yet they want to claim this is "science."

    New Zealand is just one more example of common leftist hubris: the notion that one can control the uncontrollable. It would be laughable if these people could laugh.
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  • Posted by Lucky 1 month, 1 week ago
    This is the word compassion as used in Atlas Shrugged.

    Their isolation prevented infection. They claimed a big victory for big government tough action. Then realized that was 'unfair', they were not suffering as much as other places, so increase the suffering by imposing foolish restrictions. It does not spread out the suffering, it raises it where it is low.
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  • Posted by CaptainKirk 1 month, 1 week ago
    Scott Adams has some interesting views.

    One of them: You CANNOT compare countries to the USA unless they are similar. NZ is basically an ISLAND. They can easily shut down their borders!
    They are not as populated, etc...

    NEXT, we look to be about 28 -56 days from busting through this... Based on a much lower Herd immunity, using New Cases spike/recovery.
    There is an Obvious Pattern of New Cases spiking. There are not many cases of a double spike (in the USA only Louisiana has one, and the shut down hard,
    and then re-opened, got a second spike, bigger than the first, but now are probably through the worst of it!)


    Or with MI highlighted... MI should definitely not be locked down... Although they did not get an extreme hump... Each of the successive spikes are lower, and their death rate continues to decline...


    Curious to what you guys think...

    PS: NZ is crazy locking down so hard. They are going to delay the inevitable. The first time of pushing the curve down was the most important. Giving us time to prepare and LEARN how to respond (without so much ventilator usage)!
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    • Posted by TheRealBill 1 month, 1 week ago
      So first I'll preface this with I am in the health industry atm and have been following the research paper (include pre-print drafts) since November.

      Don't trust those numbers - they are artificially high. I can't go into details but I can give the broad strokes:

      1) Conflation of tests and cases and what changes
      In some places, including Texas, they began testing for "antibodies" (not fully accurate but it is what is used, so I'm going with that for simplicity) around mid-late June/July (local specific). This is where you see a surge in tests by the numbers.

      First problem here: relative changes
      If you have a steady positive result rate of X% and you triple tests, you should see a tripling of positive cases. If the rate is increasing, you will see more than a tripling. What we saw was less than tripling. That may not mean the rate decreased (factors such as what groups are being tested matter), but it does mean it did't increase.

      Second problem: What are you testing?
      As mentioned, the bulk of tests for some states (ie. Texas) were "antibody" tests. These are not active cases. There is a lot of contention in the scientific world that these tests are not indicative of an infection at all. Yet that aside there is no contention in the scientific world that they are not active cases. Yet they were counted as such.

      Third problem: Who are you testing?
      The difference in fatality rates between "Long-Term Care (LTD)" and non-LTC is staggering. As in: 3.7% vs <0.08%. Now the ti just death rates but is also reflective of what population was getting tested. A change from one group to another can result in vastly different rates - in either direction. In fact, if we were doing the job correctly, shifting tests from the high risk to the low risk should result in an increase in positive tests.

      2) Bogus Tests
      My wife is in a high risk category and worries more than I do. However, things have recently changed for her view of the situation. She has a tendency to dismiss data because "its on the internet, you can't trust it" - not an entirely unreliable default. However, as always, personal experiences can change that perspective. She has had several close friends she trusts, and who live in our area, who have done the following:

      Case A) Went to get tested with the increase in test availability and openness, registered, waited for "too long" and decided to leave. They left without getting tested. They got mail a week later claiming they had tested positive. We have multiple accounts of this among her local, trusted friends.

      Case B) One member of house gets sick, they all get tested. They are told they all have it. A week later they get their actual results in the mail. Only the sick member had it. Said member gets tested two more times, the first two positive, the final negative (all done). Clinic counts the whole event as five positive cases.

      The thing about this is you don't need a conspiracy. There is a serious financial incentive for places to have cases. Some things they'd normally bill for (such as physical therapy) get automatically included (no explanation as to why), limits are raised, and in most cases a straight up 20% increase is provided. Any economist worth his or her salt can tell you what happens when you incentivize that outcome.

      Add onto that the shutting down of other regular streams of revenue ("little things" - like Cancer treatment, flu treatment, Tuberculosis treatment), sprinkle in a social expectation and automatic acceptance ("#BelieveAllCaseCounts, anyone) of claims of positive results, no penalty - social, legal, or financial - and it'd be a miracle if we didn't see intentional inflation of case counts by ordinary doctors and clinics.

      So no, don't trust the numbers you see touted. Any of them. However, what you can do is cut them down to a fraction and go on that. It will only be a matter of time (and not much I'd wager) when we start seeing "adjusted" numbers like we see done for old temperature records. They'll base their adjustments on their flawed models and low and behold the "data" will look like their models predicted! Never-you-mind how tortured that data is.

      The people physically, daily, working on developing a vaccine have a problem they all complain about. They don't have enough of the virus. They are generally unable to get enough to continue development, and don't anticipate there being enough to actually deploy any vaccine they could make in any meaningful scale. Let that sink in.

      The reality, as shown by every pandemic - global or not - is that you can not "flatten the curve". Not only is it a nonsensical phrase, it is mathematically and biologically impossible. Once the bulls are released, all you can do is keep running until they're done, you duck down an alley, or you trip.
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      • Posted by CaptainKirk 1 month, 1 week ago
        Interesting... Thank you for sharing.

        First, I do know the numbers are kinda bogus. PCR identifies PIECES of viruses, and not entire viruses, as an example.
        Also, the many times a single person is tested. I just got my test kit at home (UCSF Study via Oura Ring)... This will be my second (both free) tests.
        I've recently traveled on 4 planes, so this will be fun... (My first test was for giving blood)... It was, of course, negative... As I expect this one to be.

        Second, you CAN flatten a curve, but you rarely change the area under the curve. Look at NY versus FL. We flattened the initial curve, where NY Didn't.
        But it does appear we may have changed the area under the curve (at least for the DEATHS) because we learned how to respond better!

        Finally, even with questionable data, TRENDS are showing up. The trend of having an EARLY or a LATE bump, but not usually getting 2 bumps (Louisiana being the clear exception).

        So, I stand by my analysis of the data... Except I should have mention that the data is questionable to a degree for the reasons you have given. But I am not looking at perfection but prediction... Specifically will the October Surprise be that MOST of the states will be opening back up, except the corrupt liberal ones. And when they see the red states having all the fun, and not their level of suffering... I am hoping the conservatives show up, and the liberals either stay home, or HATE VOTE for Trump to poke THEIR Establishment in the eye!

        Shutting down should be County By County based on a Function of: Available Hospital Capacity.. Which would have 95% of counties open right now, IMO.
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  • Posted by NealS 1 month, 1 week ago
    I remember the first time we visited New Zealand, women "knew their place". The man would always provide answers only to me when either myself or my wife asked a question. It was almost like women weren't allowed to speak. The second time we visited, some 20 years later, it was quite different.

    I don't remember what the toilet paper situation was like in New Zealand when we were there, unlike Europe, where you had to pay to borrow the roll. In any case, if anyone is looking to sell some of their stocked up paper supply, New Zealand might be a good outlet today.
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