NZ also has easily enforceable border control (surrounded by the Pacific ocean) which is already strict (their economy is so reliant on agriculture exports.)
They should come out of this better than most.
We've had self isolation for people coming in from overseas in place for a few weeks and as soon as that progressed to community transmission we've locked down. We had 50 cases where 2 could not be traced back to international travel. We're now at 200 cases (as of yesterday) and still no deaths.
I think hindsight is always 20/20 and I think NZ has done the right thing in appropriate timelines given what we knew at the time.
We are fortunate that we are a remote island in the south pacific that makes it easier for us to close borders and contain this much easier than other countries can.
Germany locked down after almost 100 deaths (and 20,000 cases.)
NZ locked down as soon as community transmission was detected (2 cases out of 50 total were untraceable.) No deaths yet.
We could not have rolled better starting stats to have:
1) A giant moat around us.
2) Only really four international airports (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown).
3) All these are destination airports (as opposed to transit hubs where Singapore or Heathrow are classic examples).
I flew through Asia when SARS was in full swing and just now in February-March (just my luck) and have gone through borders where this was taken seriously earlier. NZs earlier "additional border controls" were pathetic. When I returned in mid March there was:
1) No thermal screening of passengers.
2) No health form to fill in.
3) Australian, Singapore and US!? passports were allowed to use the e-gates.
4) No additional cleaning of high risk surfaces.
5) No protective measures for the customs and border staff.
6) The only extra measure was a tiny pamphlet being handed out which essentially said: "If you feel sick, please ring healthline or a GP and tell them you have travelled."
Instead when I landed on 13th March:
1) I got a pamphlet handed to me which most passengers ignored and threw away
2) Had to touch the e-gates (which had no evidence of cleaning) that were touched by hundreds of other travellers
3) Could not wash my hands properly because soap ran out in a couple of the bathrooms
4) For extra points I could have jumped on a airport to city centre bus full of tourists from Europe (I got picked up instead).
and then they announced with a 48 hour warning that the border was shutting and then planes were packed coming in as people tried to "beat the compulsary quarantine".
The border should have been shut before the first case was detected here.
edit - additional new lines and a sentence
There would have been limited community support for closing the border prior to the first case. It was a distant problem while running rampant across Asia, even more-so as it decimated Europe.
Not saying it's a wrong choice, but it's not so obvious to me that it's the right thing to do at this stage. They still have time to try less drastic measures. Especially given their enforceable borders, low density, and the experience available from other countries.
Also I'd like to hear about the post-lockdown strategy. For instance, my country is planning to be in lockdown for 6 weeks. But what will be different in 6 weeks? we'll probably still have some cases here and there. Following the same logic as NZ, we should go in lockdown again (or never leave it, and close our borders until there are no more cases in the world, or a cure)
It seems a better strategy would be to have a moderate lockdown which helps regulating the flow of infection so that the healthcare system is not overflowed, and so that we can gradually reach herd immunity.
Reference please (did you just make this number up?)
For there to be 1024 cases in the community, 20 days ago there were 128 cases. Of those, between 5 and 20 would be hospitalised by now.
I personally trust NZ has (a) tested hospitalised cases, (b) been honest in reporting cases, and (c) has been testing their contacts.
One million kiwis live overseas (population left 5 million). So we have a huge number of returning kiwis that have the virus (that’s where the 200 comes from).
Of course, NZ believes there is community transmission, that is why they have acted immediately on detection.
They have closed down flights and roads, so if one town gets infected, people can’t leave and spread infection (a la Italy). Edit: They are actively teaching the concept of your social “bubble” which is a brilliant word and a critical thing everyone needs to know. We are still missing bandannas (it’s a respiratory disease - reduction in R0 helps massively), and we are still overplaying washing hands (this isn’t measles).
At least for Vietnam, every single one of their new cases for the past week or so have been international travelers arriving back home.
I'd expect NZ to see a big jump in cases as well.
They called the lockdown as soon as the first community transmission case was detected.
It helps that you have a leader that articulates the scale of the problem and is clear about what measures are being put in place to deal with the situation both tactically and strategically.
I don't want to politicize the conversation, HN is not the place for that, but it's striking how the different management styles in say NZ & IRL differ from the UK & US and how that is helping people deal with the crisis.
In the US for example, individual Governors (aka Team Leads) are taking up the slack where the CEO is not equipped to deal with the scale of the problem. But fundamentally in a pandemic (aka extrinsic force) what counts is trust in leadership, what Ms Arden is demonstrating. Good luck, stay safe.
Most states are not anywhere near the level of New York, and while they need a shelter-in-place order eventually, we need to recognize that practically, people can only stand them for X amount of weeks. If you do it too early you risk people flouting the order and continuing to do so once things get bad.
The US is more akin to the European Union than a single country, and it's high time people realized this and stopped looking to uncle sam for leadership. During the 1918 flu pandemic, there was no national response. Individual governors and mayors instituted lockdowns as they saw fit, with support from the feds in terms of money.
The CEO of my company does not tell my team how to deliver product. However, if there's a disconnect between what they're saying and what we're trying to accomplish there is a morale problem.
The federal government has been absolutely warlike. Unfortunately, the media reports coming out of the press conferences are completely out of touch and honestly false when compared with what was actually said.
With regard to the states not being warlike enough. I don't disagree, but I would have major issues with an American president telling governors what to do. Nevertheless, the administration has taken a very supportive role with regard to governors. Trump has openly praised several governors who have previously called for his own impeachment for their responses to the virus, and even said he wished more governors would follow along (in closing things down, as needed). I don't see how much more warlike trump can get. The governors need to follow suit.
> Trump has openly praised several governors who have previously called for his own impeachment
These are extraordinary claims and I think you'd have a much stronger argument with specific examples and sources.
However, if you listen to the press conferences, Trump has repeatedly praised both Newsom and Cuomo.
> And I watched what’s been happening in California with Governor Newsom and, this morning, with Governor Cuomo, and I applaud them. They’re taking very strong, bold steps, and I applaud them. And we’re all working together. We’re working very closely together, including those two governors.
Since you didn't know that from reading media coverage, I think it's safe to say that the media does not report what goes on at the press conferences.
EDIT: being downvoted for citing sources clearly saying that I what I said was true. Hacker news!
What else would you have them do? Only states know what they need, not the feds. The feds gave them appropriate money to stockpile medical equipment. They have to spend it.
There is no need for the US government to retain control here either. A unified response coordinated by the WHO could work.... all for the price of a little thing called national sovereignty.
Of course, in reality that’s unworkable. Which is why in reality, federal governments haven’t collapsed into centralized control structures either. Germany for example still has its individual states deciding on testing procedure.
> This isn't the eighteenth century.
In the twentieth century, our response to the pandemic flu was not a top-down one from the federal level. Local government and even non-profits were the primary responders.
This is by design. The United States is a union of individual states. It is not intended to be top-down. Most of that "federal government over all" was added in recent decades.
The system is designed so that states handle problems themselves (which, for example, is why each state has its own National Guard). If the problem gets too big for the states, then the federal government is supposed to step in to help, but only in a supporting role.
Whether the feds are fulfilling that supporting role in what is clearly a national crisis (though some of the states aren't ready to admit that yet), is, as you said, beyond the scope of HN.
As the US is much older than the EU, its economy has evolved so effectively everything passes a states border giving the federal government the right to control almost every aspect of life (except things explicitly barred from it).
However, the moment the federal government institutes a state by state lockdown, control immediately reverts back to the states since nothing crosses the borders any longer.
See, for example, The International Emergency Economic Powers Act: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Emergency_Econ...
Edit, to add: I don’t think the IEEPA applies here, but there are a number of Congressional Acts that give the President and Federal Government tremendous power to regulate State goings-on. This was just the first one I could think of.
Dod medical stockpiles: https://www.defense.gov/Explore/News/Article/Article/2115200...
emergency hospitals: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8144037/National-Gu...
Navy ships: https://thehill.com/policy/defense/489020-navy-hospital-ship...
You are just spreading lies. Monday is not today, but it is quite close, and the ships were undergoing repairs, as trump said.
Will you give me the benefit of the doubt and read the article? What lie did Trump tell? At no point did he claim the ships were already present at their destinations.
I'm honestly flabbergasted on this one. Trump's response has been more decisive than any past president in response to a national pandemic. Even during the 1918 flu, we never had such a large federal response.
What rubbish. He's not advocating for it. He just said he hoped for it. Don't we all?
I said earlier today that I hope we can do this by Easter. I think that would be a great thing for our country and we’re all working very hard to make that a reality. We’ll be meeting with a lot of people to see if it can be done. Easter is a very special day for many reasons for me, for a lot of a lot of our friends. That’s a very special day and what a great timeline this would be. Easter as our timeline. What a great timeline that would be.
That does not come across as advocating. But hoping.
> My first priority is always the health and safety of the American people. I want everyone to understand that we are continuing to evaluate the data.
When asked how he will decide to reopen the country:
Sounds like they will continue the lockdowns if the data warrant it. Shouldn't we hope that all countries evaluate the data?
> I think we’ll be looking at a lot of things. We’ll also be looking again at very large portions of our country and I will be guided very much by Dr. Fauci and by Deborah and by some of the other professionals that work with both of you. And we’re going to see what will be.
I don't understand why the media doesn't correctly report on these issues. They just really dislike the orange dude
What medical advisor could possibly have told him that timeline “is right”?
But worth noting that it is a minority government. The ruling party has to get the agreement of two other parties to act
So for now, we're living the dream in our house ... stay safe everyone!
NZ is strongly influenced by US media - news, entertainment, online.
However just as there is strong partisanship between your political parties, many kiwis have a love/hate relationship with the US, or some of it’s policies.
So you often see kiwis take the piss (mickey) out of those we perceive as gung-ho supporters of the US, and vice versa. And that support can vary depending on topic.
The usual things we laugh at are: your bi-partisan politics (we have MMP), your gun ownership (any gun deaths are front page news here), your lack of support for your poor (healthcare, unemployed, elderly), your media (you all appear like Texans), and your ego (lack of insight about your weaknesses compared with other countries).
I love travelling to the US (although I stopped travelling there about 15 years ago when your government started treating arriving tourists like criminals), I like the majority of Americans I met there, and I love much of your individuality that enables your entrepreneurship, amongst other things.
And what the "State of National Emergency" means: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/412583/covid-19-state-of...
However, I have some trust that our government has been actively measuring the signals needed to know when to shutdown, and I am now really happy to see action.
I have seen many people I would expect to be smarter downplay this (Ioannidis, Musk, etc), and the failure of most western countries to act, so I don’t have too many hard feelings about what we could have done better...
NZ has a lot to learn from Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, and other countries that prepared properly and haven’t had to shut down their economies.