Kate Hawkesby: Auckland is handling this lockdown well so far

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Manage episode 285082198 series 2098280
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I’m pleasantly surprised at how people are handling Level 3 in Auckland. So far, so good I reckon.
The local butcher and greengrocer are open for business - one in, one out - people seem to be keeping their cool at supermarkets, things have thus far been low key.
I’m wondering if it’s because it was only day one and we’re all still a bit shell shocked. Will things get feral from here? I hope not. I think if we can keep up optimism that it’s going to be just three days, we’ll be OK.
The tide may turn when and if they tell us it’s going to be longer than that.
Some experts are already saying it should be tougher. Disease modeller Shaun Hendy is ‘urging the Government to consider tougher restrictions’, according to one report. He says because the new cases are the British variant, it’ll make the outbreak harder to eliminate.
But so far so good on that front - there were no new positive cases in the community yesterday. Fingers and toes crossed for the results we’re still awaiting on other close contacts today.
We know this is a government who likes to act ‘with an abundance of caution’ as they keep telling us, so let’s hope a short sharp three day lockdown is all the caution they need. People are understandably worried and sceptical about that, but we can only hope.
We also have the promise of safer borders soon in terms of the vaccination rollout. It starts Saturday, now that 60,000 doses have arrived in the country.
As for the source of the outbreak, I don’t think we should hold our breath on knowing that. The government says they’ll leave no stone unturned, but they said the same thing with the Americold cluster. We still don’t know what happened there, I doubt we ever will.
Michael Baker has already come out and poo pooed the laundry theory, saying he doubts very much the virus could be spread on a surface like laundry. He says transmission like that has not been documented anywhere, so it would be unusual.
So what of our elimination strategy? Can we really eliminate this virus? Baker thinks vaccinations will help – but most of us won’t get vaccinated before the second half of 2021. So in the meantime have we eliminated it or not?
And what about international acts coming here to our alleged safe haven of 'virus-free' fun and frivolity? Has anyone asked about the Wiggles? My god, is their tour in doubt? I know of a couple of Dn’B artists who’ve come out from the UK, done two weeks in quarantine and booked to start a tour this week - and bang, lockdown.
I feel for them. I feel for all the students who’re getting O-week cancelled. I feel for the pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants who are doing it tough, especially those in the CBD.
This whole thing has a groundhog day vibe about it, but we somehow just need to keep our hopes up that we're soon, as Taylor Swift would say, out of the woods.

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