Andrew Dickens: Our Covid response needs to be judged on a global scale


Manage episode 278892454 series 2381161
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Everything is relative, said Einstein. Nothing can be measured and assessed if we don’t have a focal point where everything can be measured and assessed on.
Apples can only be measured against apples and oranges against oranges.
It something that you should bear in mind when assessing our response to Covid.
If you look at New Zealand in isolation then it is fair to say the actions of the Government have been a dreadful burden for the country to bear. And in doing a series of lockdowns, we have caused unprecedented economic damage.
But to put to assess it correctly you need to look at it relatively.
First thing to do is look at it with a time scale. This is an evolving situation stemming from a single time point in late March. Every day that goes past alters the relative effect of the actions. Every day that we have Covid free is a day that improves the outcomes and its relative effectiveness.
In the early days of the Covid battle, much was made of the countries with more lenient lockdowns and measures and their ability to trade more fully than us. And that was true. For a limited time, they did better.
But with the benefit of hindsight, we can see the advantages of full domestic trading versus partial domestic trading. Every day we trade at 80 per cent capacity is exponentially better than a day at 60 per cent.
When the government said that the health response would be the best economic response that was only able to be confirmed after time passed.
In the past week Bloomberg did a thorough analysis of the economic and social outcomes of the various responses and found that New Zealand is the world’s leader. Beating other countries regularly touted as better traders than us such as Taiwan and Australia.
Leakage of the virus at the border is also only assessable in relative terms. On Saturday is was revealed that isolation and quarantine rules have been breached every 36 hours in MIQ. 76 incidents in 27 of the 32 facilities since the start of August. Nearly four months ago.
Again, that has to be put into relative perspective. MIQ deal with 7000 people every fortnight. Or nearly 60,000people in the same time period. The incidents make up 0.1 pr cent of all cases. I know we’re aiming for perfection but that’s pretty damn close.
I guess what I’m saying is that is often easy to only see the glaring faults but in relative terms we are still a success with upside to get better.

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