We are heading towards decision time. Does Aotearoa New Zealand loosen up and head back to a semi normal life?
There are many loud voices supporting loosening things up. Particularly those of the right, National, business interests and owners of suburban shopping malls. Why can’t we just get back to normal?
The problem is that normal is years and a vaccine away if ever.
Pretty well all kiwis are proud that the Government responded early and directly. The infection rate started to spike in the same way that it has in other nations. But because of the staunch position taken by the Government and the overwhelming support shown by kiwis we appear to have it under control.
The right have struggled. The Government was too staunch yet not staunch enough. Various permutations of this position have been argued for the past few weeks.
Their latest tactic is to attack the Government for allegedly not getting the legal technicalities right.
I thought that David Parker gave a pretty good response. Bridges attacks were the sort of attacks you would expect from a first year law student and Parker’s response was the sort of response you would expect from a law professor.
Their other attack point has been to claim that Australia has also managed to squash the curve but they were able to get a take out coffee and a haircut and they were able to go to the beach.
The situation is more complex and the relative positions are not so different. But it appears that Australia may not be so conclusively winning the war and eradication may not be in its game plan. Its infection rate has not been squashed. This brings into question suggestions that we could have a Trans Tasman bubble.
As the virus has shown in Japan and in Singapore you may think that you have it under control and then it neatly sidesteps arrangements and keeps on spreading.
Australia is starting to get the same nutty lock down protests that the United States has experienced.
And they appear to think that Bill Gates is implicated.
There is even a kiwi strain appearing and protests are proposed for this Saturday the 16th of May. I suspect that it is linked to the anti vaxxer movement.
Meanwhile the United States and the United Kingdom are moving ahead with plans to loosen up personal distancing restrictions at a time that their infection rates have plateaued rather than are declining. To be frank this is a recipe for disaster. Stand by as infection rates surge again.