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How many people are there in NZ - given there were 24,068 Covid cases reported last week - who want lockdowns to be implemented with immediate effect, schools to be closed again, borders to be shut down again, overseas Kiwis prevented from returning to their homeland again, masks to be mandated again & nearly every business shuttered, with the government reactivating the wage-subsidy scheme and chalking up a billion bucks of debt a week to pay for it all? I would venture to say .. not a single one.


What would be the fall-out from reactivating elimination? For one thing, the entire nation would have a nervous break-down. Second, the economic wipe-out would mean we would rapidly run out of funding for our health-care system, leaving it in tatters. Third, the abrogation of civil liberties would effectively mean an end to our democracy.


So lets revisit Professor Michael Baker's British Medical Journal article in 2020, which stated as its "Key Message":


A goal of eliminating community transmission of the pandemic virus causing covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is achievable and sustainable for some jurisdictions using non-pharmaceutical interventions & will be facilitated by the introduction of effective vaccines (emphasis added).


New Zealand was one of his "jurisdictions". However it was not "sustainable". It was not "facilitated" by "effective" vaccines. Let's re-emphasize the point. Baker's paper was not about whether implementing the lockdowns in 2020-21 were a good idea or not (we all pretty much agree that in the early stages of the virus when there was much unknown about it that such lockdowns were a brilliant response) but instead it advocated elimination as a long-term, sustainable strategy. His BMJ paper even argued that such a policy went hand-in-hand with "economic advantages".


We all know that returning to elimination would collapse our economy & bankrupt the nation. There would be no economic advantages & instead massive costs. Isn't it time for Prof. Baker to admit he got it wrong? If you want to see just how "sustainable" elimination turned out to be in NZ, take a look at our record breaking number of Covid cases:



Sources:

https://www.health.govt.nz/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-data-and-statistics/covid-19-current-cases


https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4907


National leader Christopher Luxon received a blasting from the Prime Minister yesterday for saying to parents, "you chose to have these kids, you have to wake up at 7am, get your kids to school at 8am", in the wake of poor school attendance data.


PM Ardern said she didn't agree with Luxon's comments and described them as a "simple view of the world". She said people do need to take responsibility "but just making an argument that that is the solution to every issue that we currently face won't fix the issues".


Well, I can't think of practically anyone who has a more nuanced and scientifically informed view of the world than Nobel Laureate Heckman who we quoted in the last blog as stating that whatever the welfare program, “the whole activity has to engage the family .. Nobody wants to talk about the family, and the family’s the whole story”.


The "whole story", eh? Once you go down the road of creating a vast welfare state which the PM which like to increase in size even more, the role of the family becomes greatly diminished. Welfare support then becomes a substitute for family support and is nearly always less efficient. Once the family has largely been disbanded, then the PM is correct - problems become very complex and expensive to fix, and mostly doomed to failure.


Sources:

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2022/11/christopher-luxon-takes-aim-at-parents-culture-of-excuses-for-truancy-crisis-but-jacinda-ardern-fires-back.html


 

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Robert MacCulloch