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What is the Covid-19 Exit Strategy of 'Zero Covid' countries such as Australia and New Zealand?

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DustyBin

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Yes my cousin went out to Australia, he ended up becoming a prison guard. There is a joke there somewhere.

I’m sure there is!

To be honest I get the attraction in normal times but the way they’ve handled covid, from a civil liberties perspective, is quite shocking.
 

Bantamzen

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I've been thinking long and hard about what these countries exit strategies are, and have come to the following conclusion:

<Leaders speaking from behind their couches>

"Has it gone yet?"
 

DustyBin

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I've been thinking long and hard about what these countries exit strategies are, and have come to the following conclusion:

<Leaders speaking from behind their couches>

"Has it gone yet?"

That made me laugh, but worryingly it appears to be close to the truth!
 

brad465

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I wonder if all the lockdowns Australia, especially Melbourne, has endured are making Aussies realise how bad life was for their ancestors in the days of the British Empire and increased resentment towards the British?
 

DustyBin

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I wonder if all the lockdowns Australia, especially Melbourne, has endured are making Aussies realise how bad life was for their ancestors in the days of the British Empire and increased resentment towards the British?

Im not sure if that’s a serious question, but I imagine they have more immediate concerns to be honest!
 

birchesgreen

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I read that NZ has started vaccinations but it will take a year to jab all 5 million New Zealanders, I thought that seemed a long time.
 

Domh245

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I read that NZ has started vaccinations but it will take a year to jab all 5 million New Zealanders, I thought that seemed a long time.

It is a rather long time. England alone has managed to hit 10 million doses on the 5th of february, 60 days after starting - and of course as well all know NZ is exactly like the UK in every way, so there's no reason not to make like-for-like comparisons! ;)
 

Bantamzen

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It is a rather long time. England alone has managed to hit 10 million doses on the 5th of february, 60 days after starting - and of course as well all know NZ is exactly like the UK in every way, so there's no reason not to make like-for-like comparisons! ;)
I have to say for a country so covid-phobic, NZ's vaccine plan is shockingly slow. A cynical person might think that they have got a bit to complacent in believing they had "beaten the virus".
 

DustyBin

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I have to say for a country so covid-phobic, NZ's vaccine plan is shockingly slow. A cynical person might think that they have got a bit to complacent in believing they had "beaten the virus".

Well, yes. Either that or Jacinda is quite happy to impose snap lockdowns for the foreseeable future....
 

Bantamzen

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Well, yes. Either that or Jacinda is quite happy to impose snap lockdowns for the foreseeable future....
I'd like to think its the former, although a part of me wonders is it is the latter. It does seem in this days that the "Liberal Left" are increasingly advocating more control on people.
 

DustyBin

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I'd like to think its the former, although a part of me wonders is it is the latter. It does seem in this days that the "Liberal Left" are increasingly advocating more control on people.

Agreed. They’ve already censored what we can say and now they’re moving onto what we can do. This pandemic has empowered them and the government are either complicit or simply too stupid to see it. I honestly couldn’t say which!
 

Bantamzen

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Agreed. They’ve already censored what we can say and now they’re moving onto what we can do. This pandemic has empowered them and the government are either complicit or simply too stupid to see it. I honestly couldn’t say which!
Honestly, this really disturbs me. As someone who was born to a working class family in Liverpool, then moving to another working class city in Bradford, it seriously worries me the direction the left is going in. Traditionally working class people supported the left because it was a movement born out of the strife that working class people went through. But now we are seeing a new breed of "left" that is more concerned about being seen to do something (read virtue signalling) than actually making a real difference. And this is starting to show it's ugly self during this pandemic.
 

DB

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Honestly, this really disturbs me. As someone who was born to a working class family in Liverpool, then moving to another working class city in Bradford, it seriously worries me the direction the left is going in. Traditionally working class people supported the left because it was a movement born out of the strife that working class people went through. But now we are seeing a new breed of "left" that is more concerned about being seen to do something (read virtue signalling) than actually making a real difference. And this is starting to show it's ugly self during this pandemic.

That is unfortunately true - and clearly visible in the wave of 'Wokeness' which is sweeping the left; finding ever more things to take offence at.
 

Yew

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That is unfortunately true - and clearly visible in the wave of 'Wokeness' which is sweeping the left; finding ever more things to take offence at.
I feel that is is what Marx and Engels described as "bourgeois socialism", an anger at any injustice other than the exploitation of the proletariat by the bourgeoise, to distract from the class struggle.
 

island

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Honestly, this really disturbs me. As someone who was born to a working class family in Liverpool, then moving to another working class city in Bradford, it seriously worries me the direction the left is going in. Traditionally working class people supported the left because it was a movement born out of the strife that working class people went through. But now we are seeing a new breed of "left" that is more concerned about being seen to do something (read virtue signalling) than actually making a real difference. And this is starting to show it's ugly self during this pandemic.
Yes indeed. Although the left does not have a monopoly on promoting division and turning neighbour against neighbour.
 

Class 317

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I'm sure their exit strategy will be the same as ours and most other countries. Vacinate the population to reduce the health risks and then monitor for any resurgence of vaccine resistant variants or other problems. In the meantime their strategy protects most of their economy and society with most normal activities allowed which reduces the pressure to vaccinate as quickly as possible.

In comparing the speed of the vaccine role out the UK are very ahead of most countries in the vaccine programme. Most wealthy nations are planning to vaccinate thier populations in similar time frames to New Zealand with less wealthy nations following over a few years.

In the long run I think they have both suffered less loss of GDP than most countries and spent less dealing with Covid and may end up economically better off than most in next few years.
 

brad465

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Honestly, this really disturbs me. As someone who was born to a working class family in Liverpool, then moving to another working class city in Bradford, it seriously worries me the direction the left is going in. Traditionally working class people supported the left because it was a movement born out of the strife that working class people went through. But now we are seeing a new breed of "left" that is more concerned about being seen to do something (read virtue signalling) than actually making a real difference. And this is starting to show it's ugly self during this pandemic.
I'd like to think its the former, although a part of me wonders is it is the latter. It does seem in this days that the "Liberal Left" are increasingly advocating more control on people.
While these are true in some respects, I think the bigger issue for the pandemic response is the complete failure for society to accept the inevitability of death and the consequences of trying to keep people alive for as long as possible. It has become a dangerous subject to talk about, even though in reality it is more dangerous not to talk about it. While the right don't really talk about this (but do talk about how other causes of death are rightly being ignored), the left are very keen on saving lives as much as possible, though we never save a life, we just delay death, which has never been truer with Covid given the average age of death.

The apparent success of New Zealand's response so far has also empowered the left over here because their left-wing Government handled it well, and is why they want us to pursue "zero-covid", despite it being completely unrealistic for us. There is a slight irony though as New Zealand recently legalised euthanasia for terminally ill patients, so they do believe death is better than suffering in those cases, but not when it comes to Covid.
 

RuralRambler

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I'm sure their exit strategy will be the same as ours and most other countries. Vacinate the population to reduce the health risks and then monitor for any resurgence of vaccine resistant variants or other problems. In the meantime their strategy protects most of their economy and society with most normal activities allowed which reduces the pressure to vaccinate as quickly as possible.

In comparing the speed of the vaccine role out the UK are very ahead of most countries in the vaccine programme. Most wealthy nations are planning to vaccinate thier populations in similar time frames to New Zealand with less wealthy nations following over a few years.

In the long run I think they have both suffered less loss of GDP than most countries and spent less dealing with Covid and may end up economically better off than most in next few years.
Time will tell. But I think the UK may come out of it strongly and make a quicker/stronger recovery, especially if our vaccination program means we're "ahead" of other developed countries in coming out. NZ's "recovery" may take a lot longer and not be as strong. So, it could be that we were hit harder but come out quicker, whereas NZ wasn't hit so badly, but their recovery is weaker/slower. No one really knows. The next few years "post covid" will be very interesting and no doubt materials for hundreds of studies/inquiries in the next decade or so, before we know who's approach was right.
 

DustyBin

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Honestly, this really disturbs me. As someone who was born to a working class family in Liverpool, then moving to another working class city in Bradford, it seriously worries me the direction the left is going in. Traditionally working class people supported the left because it was a movement born out of the strife that working class people went through. But now we are seeing a new breed of "left" that is more concerned about being seen to do something (read virtue signalling) than actually making a real difference. And this is starting to show it's ugly self during this pandemic.

I know we’ve discussed this on the forum before but I think the line between right and left is becoming increasingly blurred. You only have to look at the last general election where the most left wing incarnation of The Labour Party we’ve seen for over thirty years presided over the collapse of the ‘red wall’. If you’re an ordinary working class Labour voter I don’t know where you go to be honestI’m a Conservative but I take no pleasure from seeing mainstream political parties hijacked by nutters.

Yes indeed. Although the left does not have a monopoly on promoting division and turning neighbour against neighbour.

Very true, but the far right are called out over this whereas the hard left seem to be given a free pass. Maybe the former promote the wrong type of division....

I'm sure their exit strategy will be the same as ours and most other countries. Vacinate the population to reduce the health risks and then monitor for any resurgence of vaccine resistant variants or other problems. In the meantime their strategy protects most of their economy and society with most normal activities allowed which reduces the pressure to vaccinate as quickly as possible.

In comparing the speed of the vaccine role out the UK are very ahead of most countries in the vaccine programme. Most wealthy nations are planning to vaccinate thier populations in similar time frames to New Zealand with less wealthy nations following over a few years.

In the long run I think they have both suffered less loss of GDP than most countries and spent less dealing with Covid and may end up economically better off than most in next few years.

It’s difficult to know what will happen but New Zealand have effectively lost their tourism sector which accounts for around 6% of GDP and there will be a knock on effect on other sectors, so they’re taking a significant hit. I only know one person over there but they tell me things aren’t rosy by any means, there’s a heavy price being paid for the zero covid approach.
 

Bantamzen

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While these are true in some respects, I think the bigger issue for the pandemic response is the complete failure for society to accept the inevitability of death and the consequences of trying to keep people alive for as long as possible. It has become a dangerous subject to talk about, even though in reality it is more dangerous not to talk about it. While the right don't really talk about this (but do talk about how other causes of death are rightly being ignored), the left are very keen on saving lives as much as possible, though we never save a life, we just delay death, which has never been truer with Covid given the average age of death.
I think what is worse is the willingness of the left to save lives at any cost, including throwing their own supporter base under the bus. Labour has become a very middle class, working from home, covid-doesn't-affect-us party who are literally calling for working class people to be prevented from working so they can feel safe.

The apparent success of New Zealand's response so far has also empowered the left over here because their left-wing Government handled it well, and is why they want us to pursue "zero-covid", despite it being completely unrealistic for us. There is a slight irony though as New Zealand recently legalised euthanasia for terminally ill patients, so they do believe death is better than suffering in those cases, but not when it comes to Covid.
I didn't know that about NZ. And that just makes their covid-phobia even more unexplainable.
 

DB

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Very true, but the far right are called out over this whereas the hard left seem to be given a free pass. Maybe the former promote the wrong type of division....

It's not the far left which is, by and large, doing this though - it's the metropolitan liberal-left.
 

brad465

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I think what is worse is the willingness of the left to save lives at any cost, including throwing their own supporter base under the bus. Labour has become a very middle class, working from home, covid-doesn't-affect-us party who are literally calling for working class people to be prevented from working so they can feel safe.


I didn't know that about NZ. And that just makes their covid-phobia even more unexplainable.
The first point is down the work of Blair making [New] Labour a more centrist party that would thus appeal to the demographic you've described. Corbyn was more supportive of the working class but did a really poor job selling it.

New Zealand held a referendum alongside the general election last year on the issue. Perhaps because they did eliminate covid early on and have, bar the odd minor resurgence, lived freely within their borders a covid-phobia hasn't got a grip yet. Were they living under some form of restrictions much longer though I reckon more resentment would exist. That's not to say they won't resent things more in future should covid get in more seriously.
 

kristiang85

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I think what is worse is the willingness of the left to save lives at any cost, including throwing their own supporter base under the bus. Labour has become a very middle class, working from home, covid-doesn't-affect-us party who are literally calling for working class people to be prevented from working so they can feel safe.


I didn't know that about NZ. And that just makes their covid-phobia even more unexplainable.

The Canadians feel the same too


Canada is known for caring for all its citizens, through for example universal health care and excellent public schools. What changed?

The Canadian COVID-19 lockdown strategy is the worst assault on the working class in many decades. Low-risk college students and young professionals are protected; such as lawyers, government employees, journalists, and scientists who can work from home; while older high-risk working-class people must work, risking their lives generating the population immunity that will eventually help protect everyone. This is backwards, leading to many unnecessary deaths from both COVID-19 and other diseases.

While anyone can get infected, a key feature of COVID-19 is that there is more than a thousand-fold difference in the risk of death between the oldest and the youngest. In fact, children have much less risk from COVID-19 than from the annual influenza. Considering this, we must do a much better job protecting the elderly and other high-risk groups until a vaccine is available.

As a contrast, children should go to school in-person while we encourage young adults to live near normal lives to minimize the collateral damage from the pandemic. For them, the public health damage from lockdowns is worse than their minimal risk from COVID-19. Following basic public health principles and numerous pandemic preparedness plans, this is a focused protection strategy, as outlined in the Great Barrington Declaration, with accompanying details on how to properly protect the elderly.

Schools and universities are not only critical for education, but also for physical and mental health and social development. It is positive that most Canadian schools are open for in-person teaching, but not all students are attending, even though there is no public health rationale for keeping them away.

To be scientific about it, we must look at Sweden. It was the only major western country that kept day care and schools open for all children ages 1 to 15 throughout the height of the pandemic in the spring. Without any masks, testing, contact tracing or social distancing, there were exactly zero COVID-19 deaths among the 1.8 million children in this age group, with only a few hospitalizations. Moreover, teachers had the same risk as the average of other professions, while older people living in multi-generational homes did not have higher risk if living with children. To test and isolate children and parents are harmful to children and families without serving a public health purpose.

Despite heroic efforts by the public, the nine-month lockdown and contact tracing strategy has tragically failed older Canadians, with 97% of COVID-19 deaths inflicting those over 60. Where it did “succeed” was in shifting the COVID-19 burden from affluent professionals to the less affluent working class.

For example, in Toronto, the incidence rates were the same at the beginning of the pandemic, but after the March 23 lockdowns, detected cases declined in affluent neighborhoods while they skyrocketed in less affluent areas. A similar effect was subsequently observed for mortality (see Figure).

While it is impossible to protect anyone 100% during a pandemic, the notion that we cannot better protect the elderly and other high-risk groups is nonsense. It is not harder to protect the old than it is to protect the affluent, and the former leads to fewer deaths.

Lockdowns have generated enormous collateral damage on other health outcomes, such as plummeting childhood vaccination rates, worst cardiovascular disease outcomes, less cancer screening, and deteriorating mental health, just to name a few. Even if all lockdowns are lifted tomorrow, this is something that we will have to live with – and die with – for many years to come.

One of the basic principles of public health is to consider all health outcomes, and not only a single disease. Having thrown that principle out the window, we urgently need to bring it back to minimize mortality and to maximize overall health and well-being.
 

duncanp

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The phrase that stands out for me in that article is "...we must look at Sweden...".

Politicians are very quick to criticise opponents who they don't agree with, and very slow to admit their own mistakes.

But if we are going to learn anything from COVID-19, and crucially avoid a very damaging lockdown at any point in a future pandemic, everyone has to admit to their errors of judgement and be honest about how they could do things better in the future.
 

bramling

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The Canadians feel the same too


Whilst I agree with this, I’m not sure how it might have been realistically possible to rearrange the entire labour market overnight such that older/higher-risk people were moved to the WFH jobs, with younger/lower-risk people taking their place.

And if it could be made to work there’s a double-edged sword there, as if you could arrange for a young person to fill a gap instead of going on furlough, the older person already in post would not be happy about having their position effectively wrested off them. Then what happens come the end of it all?

I do think a lot of people have been paid to stay off work when they didn’t need to though, especially younger people. There is, for example, no rationale that persuades me non-essential shops should be closed at the moment.
 

yorksrob

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Whilst I agree with this, I’m not sure how it might have been realistically possible to rearrange the entire labour market overnight such that older/higher-risk people were moved to the WFH jobs, with younger/lower-risk people taking their place.

And if it could be made to work there’s a double-edged sword there, as if you could arrange for a young person to fill a gap instead of going on furlough, the older person already in post would not be happy about having their position effectively wrested off them. Then what happens come the end of it all?

I do think a lot of people have been paid to stay off work when they didn’t need to though, especially younger people. There is, for example, no rationale that persuades me non-essential shops should be closed at the moment.

They could make early retirement a lot easier - but that would cost money !
 

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