Judith Collins lambasting the government over what she calls a “massive failure on border testing” got her some media attention yesterday and possibly some political traction.
On the one hand, good on her, it’s the job of the Opposition to hold the government to account and raising the issue of border testing is a good thing.
On the other hand , not very understanding.
Covid -19 is proving itself to be a very tricky virus that can lie in wait on surfaces for an unknown number of hours or hitch a ride in people who show no symptoms but carry it to others who can then become very sick and even die. So we’re learning as we go along that this bug is not an easy one to control.
The government could of course bring in draconian measures – close the border completely, compel everyone wear gloves and mask, force everyone to have Covid-19 tests and blood tests, put large fines and penalties in place for people who flaunt the Level rules – but then you get people protesting in the streets about the power of the State and the rights of the individual.
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Much better to win consensus than demand obedience.
And you can’t have it all ways . You can’t insist we open up our economy and our borders while at the same time demand we are kept safe from this virus.
It’s been a massive learning curve for all governments around the world .
Yes in hindsight there are always things one can point to regarding how a crisis like this pandemic has been handled and say things could have been done better.
But in the heat of the fast decision making required to deal with this pandemic I think the very low spread and number of deaths from Covid-19 compared to what we have seen in many,many other countries, shows our Public Health officials and the government have, over all, done a very good job so far.
Let’s put politics to one side and continue to give them our support on this public health issue.
Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.
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