New Zealand has a strong anti-vaccine movement. There are those who refuse or may be reluctant to be vaccinated or have their children vaccinated. This week I heard of four kiwis who said they would not have a vaccine to protect them from any disease, let alone against COVID-19.
It is estimated that 30% of Kiwis do not want a jab.
Anti vax sentiment is becoming more entrenched among nearly 1/3 of kiwis – a worrying trend one leading scientist has blamed on social media- driven ‘misinfodemic’NZ Herald 10 June 2020
Research has warned that the anti vax movement could undermine efforts to end this pandemic here and around the world. Anti vax groups in the USA are rebranding themselves as advocates of ‘medical freedom’Kaiser Health News
We are told it could take years to develop, test and produce an effective vaccine against the COVID-19 virus, if at all. Some are hanging out for a vaccine, believing then, all will be well. Without a vaccine and many not wanting one, what is the plan?
Kiwis can presume Ardern wants to continue to keep the borders closed, and the compulsory two weeks quarantine for all returning Kiwis. There has not been an announcement about anything different. While it is lovely drifting along in a COVID-free environment, there need to be discussions about New Zealand being chopped off from every other country in the world. Having no exit strategy is not sustainable and does not recognise that economies survive on trade and people need to work. Kiwis are not even allowed to visit COVID-free Cook Islands or Samoa.
New Zealanders are living in perpetual anxiety of catching the virus, as they hear about absconders from quarantine continuing to jump fences etc. They fear the day will come when an escapee will spread the virus in the community.
Countries such as the USA and the UK are rife with COVID-19. They know they will never be COVID free, as it can neither be contained nor eradicated. The virus will have to take its course. Sweden’s experiment of allowing ‘herd immunity’, did not appear to be a good idea initially, as cases rocketed, and deaths rates were high. Another spike could happen, but numbers are now trending down.
The New Zealand fairy tale of being in a COVID-free Utopia (a place or state of things in which everything is perfect), is being challenged. Ardern does not have answers about salient decisions regarding COVID-19 and the country’s isolation, especially for business and families. Nor the staggering number out of work (200,000) and the aggregate with workers supported by wage subsidies now surpassing one million.
Kiwis do not have to be data analysts to figure out that in the hands of this Labour Government, the stated ‘perfectionist’ leadership of Ardern is faltering.
New Zealand needs Judith Collins to make decisive decisions for our country.
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