Australian PM Scott Morrison is on to it. Once 70 per cent are vaccinated, he’s opting to live with Covid.
Are we living with Covid? Who would know? The Government isn’t giving targets. Why not?
Because, as Steven Joyce pointed out in the Herald at the weekend, if they give a target that means a few too many might switch on to the fact our vaccine rollout is an embarrassing joke and if the smugness that guided the rollout and lack of planning hadn’t been so all-consuming we might not be in level 4 as we are, yet again this morning, and with the ongoing threat of more lockdowns.
Singapore, if you’re looking for inspiration, is leading the way in the region. They are well over 75 per cent jabbed, the travel corridors have been expanded to Hong Kong, Macau and Germany, as well as New Zealand and Australia (if only we could get home).
German interest on Expedia post the announcement spiked tenfold. They, by the way, have upped their economic forecast for the year, they are expecting to grow 6 to 7 per cent.
Do you think our economy is going to grow 6 to 7 per cent?
Australia, too, is an example of how to learn from your mistakes.
To Morrison’s credit, he has apologised for the New Zealand-style smugness he, too, suffered post locking up his country and pretending that’s all he needed to do.
When their AstraZeneca plan blew up in his face, and he had to scramble for Pfizer and Moderna, he said sorry for saying it wasn’t a race, admitted that was a mistake, and he since then has set about accelerating the vaccine programme to such an extent that if you follow the daily numbers they are out-jabbing us per head of population and will be finished well before we are.
You might also want to ponder, how it is that when he had to, he could drum up more than a million new Pfizer doses.
Yet here we are announcing it as some kind of thrill from the pulpit of truth indoctrination session, that merely getting what we ordered and paid for, is, as Chris Hipkins put it Sunday, “good news”. It’s also a lesson in how the science is far from settled, and relying on it blindly as the Government has, is dangerous.
Britain is not the disaster so many like Michael Baker and Helen Petousis-Harris said it would be. Baker called it barbaric.
If you look at Britain today it is nothing of the sort. Yes there are cases, and yes there are hospital admissions and deaths. But dig beyond the superficiality of a headline and see how many are the unvaccinated or the old with underlying conditions, or a combination of both.
This is what Morrison is arguing, this is what the bulk of the world, the vaccinated world has and is working out. Living is a risky business.
In Australia, the Doherty report, their version of our Skegg report, suggests 70 per cent vaccination then open up. Skegg says elimination is a must … and offers no targets, so who’s right?
There has not been a lockdown of any description here that Baker hasn’t wanted us to be in for longer.
Is he more right than the Australian professionals, is he more learned than all the Oxford and Cambridge experts that have advised the British governments, all the scientists and epidemiologists that have advised Singapore’s government?
If those who support this approach of ours are honest, they have to admit that we are now captured by our own arrogance and incompetence.
You can’t be the country that skited about the Six60 concerts and the biggest crowds in the world, if you are now 18 months in, reading this in a lockdown that doesn’t allow you out of your house for anything more than the supermarket or exercise.
Was it the Prime Minister herself that said it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish? So how does this finish? When is lockdown over, when are we dropping a level, will we ever be back in level 1? If, per chance, we eliminate this round of Delta, what stops there being another one? They can’t answer a single one of those questions. We are trapped in last year’s response, as the world moves on.
Scott Morrison gets it and has said sorry. Let’s open a book, and take odds on when we get the same from our government.
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