Thursday, April 09, 2020

Halfway there (maybe)

New Zealand is now officially halfway through its first 4-week lockdown period. The good news is that it seems to be working - people staying at home has reduced the potential for the virus to spread, and we've had steadily decreasing numbers of new cases over the last few days (and only 29 today!) Better, its been so effective that the latest modelling suggests that there's a good chance of actually eliminating it - though this might require an extra week or two of lockdown.

The government will make that decision on April 20, two days before the lockdown period officially ends. It'll be a tough one, and depend on the numbers and how good a grasp they think they have on unknown spread. And its entirely possible that we'll be locked down for that extra week or two, just to really crush the disease. That would disappoint a lot of people, but if it results in actual elimination, it'll be worth it.

Either way, we're not going to be returning to normal. There'll be an extended period of restrictions and caution, just in case it pops up again. The border will not re-open until there's a vaccine and we've all been jabbed. The tourism and export education sectors will be dead. And the government will be sustaining the economy and a fair number of kiwis for some time to come. And all of that would have been the case whether there had been a lockdown or not. This way, at least, all but a handful of us will have survived it, and we won't bear the psychological scars of mass-death. And that seems totally worth it.

Meanwhile, we should all celebrate our progress by staying home harder. Keeping to our bubbles is getting us through this. Just keep doing that, and everything will be fine.