Four (4) people have Kung Flu in New Zealand. That’s “catastrophic”, apparently.
Well, I suppose it is if you’ve decided that the correct public health response to a disease with a infection fatality rate as low as 0.2% (or a middle of the range seasonal flu) is to try to prevent anyone from catching it ever.
Perhaps New Zealand really does have a “catastrophic” problem, but not the one Saint Jacinda thinks.
To put it in terms Kiwis will understand; imagine if the All Blacks defensive line was solid, except for Beauden Barrett. Instead of standing shoulder to shoulder with his team just behind the offside line, he’d sprinted ahead and was standing under the opposition posts, completely out of the game, leaving a gap for the opposition to run at.
As admirable as it might be to be close to completely eliminating the disease from your shores, it does leave the slightly awkward question unanswered; when can you ever return to normal?
As the rest of the world starts to reopen their economies and commence the long and painful road to recovery, New Zealand (and to a lesser extent, Australia) is likely to be facing an extremely lengthy period of reduced GDP as incoming international tourism and any international trade requiring travel is impracticable.
Ten out of ten for saving people from the virus, Jacinda, but about minus a billion out of ten for screwing your daughter’s generation’s economic well-being.