Business and the economy versus the ill, elderly and others

There’s no doubt that Covid-19 will have a very large impact on businesses and employment and livelihoods in New Zealand, and our economy will take a big hit. This will have happened regardless of the actions taken by the Government. It’s debatable what would be worse, doing more or doing less to limit the spread and infection rates.

It is also likely there will be deaths here. There are currently 368 confirmed and probably cases. Many of those will be mild to moderate and are being treated at home. Some are more serious and require hospitalisation.

Even with the relatively stringent lockdown cases are expected to rise for the next 7-10 days (or more if people flout the restrictions on movement away from home).

There is no doubt that without the level 4 lock down there would be a lot more spread, many more people catching the virus, and a real risk of quite a few deaths.  This shows how easily it can spread even with restrictions:

Marist College, Auckland – 18 confirmed cases, 1 probable
Private wedding, Wellington – 10 confirmed cases, 2 probable
Rest home, Hamilton – 11 confirmed cases

Older people and people with existing medical conditions (especially lung or heart) are particularly susceptible to Covid-19, but this is hardly surprising, they are also more susceptible to other viruses and illnesses. Younger people seem to generally have milder symptoms – but they can still spread the virus.

There have been suggestions that the virus should be left to take it’s course, to build ‘herd immunity’. This must accept an inevitable casualty rate – people would die, possible quite a few people.

It has been suggested elsewhere and also here that it isn’t a big deal that old people and people with illnesses might die of Covid-19. They die of other things anyway, Covid will just knock them off a bit sooner.

From Australia Victoria’s first two coronavirus deaths were cancer patients caught in Alfred hospital outbreak

Victoria’s first two coronavirus deaths were cancer patients at The Alfred hospital, and a further five cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed among patients and staff.

Duker commented on this:

Bingo! It seems like northern Italy all over again, the sick people get sicker and the elderly have less chance to recover.
It’s a fact of life and one day it will be my turn.

I’m quite disturbed by this attitude.

It’s a fundamental fact of life that we will all die, eventually.

But it is also a fundamental facet of a decent society that we don’t just do nothing to prevent old and ill people dying of any new virus or disease, treating them as expendable.

We put huge budgets and resources into health care to try to keep everyone alive as long as reasonably possible.

People who get old often live to get quite a bit older after having illnesses.

My father had most of his stomach removed in the 1980s, had a bowel cancer operation in the early 1990s, his lungs were fag fucked with emphysema, but he still had a fairly good life up until 2000.

In the mid-90s he was given a choice of having chemotherapy which would give him a 60% chance of not dying of cancer, or doing nothing and lowering his chances to 40%. He chose not to have chemo because he didn’t want to suffer through the treatment with a close to 50/50 chance it wouldn’t save him anyway. But this was his choice, and I think a sensible one.

If a Covid-like virus had hot the country then and I was given a choice of saving my business (I was a sole trader than) or saving his life I would have chosen his life. I had already changed jobs and moved so I could support him as his health problems increased (just after he had a mild stroke).

I’m sure there are many people who would put people before money in this way.

I think it would be terrible to let Covid-19 spread freely in New Zealand to try to reduce the impact on business and the economy.

I also think it would be misguided. If we didn’t have a lockdown and Covid-19 ran rampant here, as it almost certainly would, there would likely be hundreds if not thousands of deaths and many more hospitalisations. That in itself would be expensive.

If our hospitals were swamped with Covid cases – I presume no one things they should be left to suffer and die untreated – it would increase deaths by other causes because of lack of resources and treatment.

And if New Zealand was ravaged by Covid-19 there is no chance of tourism  recovering, no one would want to come here. New Zealanders would be banned from travelling to many countries. It’s likely exports would also be affected, air and sea transport would be badly compromised, and New Zealand would be an unpopular source of goods.

Internally if the virus was uncontrolled it would also have a major impact on travel and business. Many people would willingly keep away from places and businesses that were a risk to their health and life.

The main difference would not be economic impact, it would be whether the economic and employment was in a well controlled situation or chaotic and uncontrolled.

It’s debatable (and impossible to know) which would be economically worse, doing a lot to limit Covid-19 as we are, or doing much less or nothing.

Regardless of the economic factors and effects, we can’t just treat the elderly and the ill as expendable to try to save a few jobs and possibly (but probably not) keep the economy healthy.

“But the flu’ is trotted out by Trump and some here – but we have a choice of vaccinating against the flu and minimising our risks. We can’t do that with Covid. And because we could potentially die of something else, the flu (more often of complications), of cancer, of heart disease, is a very poor reason to not protect against a new threat.

If I was in a decision making position I certainly would put the health of citizens – especially the old and the ill – ahead of the economy. I back and applaud our Government and unanimous Parliament doing this.

No matter what the financial impact of Covid-19 measures, businesses will survive, new businesses will fill gaps, the economy will recover.

No one recovers from death.

 

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76 Comments

  1. david in aus

     /  28th March 2020

    The issue I have with these lines of argument is the false dichotomous: lives or the economy.

    The economy and lives are interlinked. If you have a protracted depression there will be more deaths and misery from economic decline, as in Venezuela, than the virus itself. Governments cannot substitute for individuals and businesses for a long period of time. Maoist China found that out when they caused famine and millions of deaths from their ‘great leap forward’.

    Advanced economies such as South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore have instituted strong effective containment strategies without NZ/China style lockdowns.

    NZ is following the China/ Italy model of suppression. It does not mean they are wrong to do that if they have no confidence in local testing and procedures, that may be the only option.

    But lockdown is an acknowledgment of the failure of the initial response. The economic consequences and lives affected will be severe. Increases in bankruptcies, mental health disorders, suicides, domestic abuse, increased deaths and illness from whatever cause will be inevitable from a shutdown.

    Decisions should be based on a balance of benefits and harms.

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  28th March 2020

      “The economy and lives are interlinked”

      Exactly.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  28th March 2020

        this sums up the ‘Economy’…
        ‘Since 1980, every sector of the U.S. economy has been gradually taken over by fewer and fewer larger and larger corporations, with a predictably debilitating effect on American life: fewer opportunities for small business; diminishing investment in public infrastructure and services; shrinking or stagnant wages; rising rents; privatization of education and healthcare; the destruction of local communities; and the systematic corruption of politics. Critical decisions that affect all our lives are now made primarily at the bidding and in the interests of big banks, big pharma, big tech, big ag, big developers, the military-industrial complex and the wealthiest 1% of Americans.
        The infamous revolving door through which senior officials move between the military, lobbying firms, corporate boards, Congress and the executive branch is duplicated in every sector of the economy. Liz Fowler, who wrote the “Affordable Care Act” as a Senate and White House staffer, was a senior executive at Wellpoint Health (now Anthem), the parent company of Blue Cross-Blue Shield, which now rakes in billions in federal subsidies under the law she wrote. She then returned to the “industry” as an executive at Johnson & Johnson – just as James “Mad Dog” Mattis returned to his seat on the board at General Dynamics to reap the rewards of his “public service” as Secretary of Defense.’

        N.J.S.Davies…

        Btw NO Australasian banks are rated AAA.

        Reply
      • Blazer

         /  28th March 2020

        Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  28th March 2020

      Agreed. This is the error:

      No matter what the financial impact of Covid-19 measures, businesses will survive, new businesses will fill gaps, the economy will recover.

      But a lot of people who have been hurt by the collapse won’t. Nor will the lost productivity ever be regained.

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  28th March 2020

      if everyone dies…there will be no…economy.

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  28th March 2020

        Can you please explain you thinking on ‘everyone’ dying?

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  28th March 2020

        Since your premise is already false your point is as pointless as usual.

        Reply
      • david in aus

         /  28th March 2020

        Hyperbole, not everyone will die. When you have extreme perceptions of risk, wrong decisions will be made.

        NZ went suddenly from stage 1 to stage 4, skipping many stages.
        Is it panic-decision making from the PM? However, it is difficult to criticize without having all the information. I would have wanted to go the way of Singapore and South Korea before jumping to the Chinese model. How about checking on those supposedly in self-isolation for a start, with enforcement.

        As a health professional, total lockdown for years would make my life easier. But I am not sure if it is best for the whole country. On social media and in person, I see some of my colleagues expressing anxiety. Some are reacting by putting themselves in harm’s way and volunteering; others are making excusing and avoiding risk for themselves as much as possible.

        In times of crisis, a person’s and leader’s true character emerges.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  28th March 2020

          I agree…not everyone will die.

          But whose gonna eat all those Easter eggs?

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  28th March 2020

            Not me, I loathe marshmallow and would have to very hungry indeed before I’d eat it.

            Reply
    • Do you think new Zealanders who happened to be abroad should have been blocked from coming back here? That’s where most of the incoming infections came from.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  28th March 2020

        My suggestion much earlier is all travellers should have to show a clear test result prior to boarding and be retested and quarantined on arrival with the airline responsible for deporting any non-NZers found infected during that time.

        That should have been imposed on and with the airlines and would have stopped the flood of infections while allowing life to continue at least till we have more knowledge and resources to cope.

        Reply
      • david in aus

         /  28th March 2020

        You cannot keep your citizens from coming back home. But you are right, returnees are at the highest risk.

        I would have made mandatory quarantine in an isolated location.
        It appears that at the moment, those coming back can still go shopping from their motel.
        A national lockdown but the highest risk group are not been monitored adequately and with limited sanctions. That is not what I would have done.

        South Korea tested everyone coming back, symptomatic or not. Had them download an App to keep track of them. Frequent checks at home.

        Singapore called covid19 positive people frequently, made examples of those flouting the rules by deporting non-citizens or severe fines or jail for citizens.

        By being soft for some they have to go hard for everyone.

        Reply
        • “It appears that at the moment, those coming back can still go shopping from their motel.”

          That shouldn’t be so, anyone who can’t show they have an isolation option at home is put into 14 days isolation in a hotel or motel. If they aren’t complying they are acting illegally and could be detained.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  28th March 2020

            What they are allowed to do ( stay isolated) and what people will do …can be very different things.
            The Motelier isnt police and they dont care either.

            Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  28th March 2020

          You can stop them coming until they test clear.

          Reply
  2. artcroft

     /  28th March 2020

    “we can’t just treat the elderly and the ill as expendable to try to save a few jobs”

    A few jobs? Really?

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  28th March 2020

      3.3m Americans lost their jobs last week. There is no precedent for that, it’s an order of magnitude larger than anything in history.

      A few jobs indeed.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  28th March 2020

        more than that were lost when the GFC hit.

        Reply
        • artcroft

           /  28th March 2020

          link please

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  28th March 2020

            Wall St Journal..
            The report also highlights the current impact to the U.S. economy, including:
            23.1 million Americans, or 15% of the public, are out of work or unable to find full-time jobs using the broadest measure of unemployment, or U-6.
            9.3 million Americans have lost their health insurance.
            11 million homeowners, almost 1 in 4, are saddled with mortgages higher than the value of their homes.

            Reply
            • artcroft

               /  28th March 2020

              So we can agree that it’s not “a few jobs” that are being lost.

        • Pink David

           /  28th March 2020

          “more than that were lost when the GFC hit.”

          Blazer, that is in a single week. Your inability to understand that is rather sad.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  28th March 2020

            whether its a week or 4 weeks is irrelevant.

            What is your source anyway.

            Reply
        • david in aus

           /  28th March 2020

          @Blazer, I think you are making a similar mistake to what made when you said that the Flu killed more people when the outbreak just started. True at the time but there is an inability to look into the future. The weekly unemployment claims were the highest since the Depression and multiples of the GFC. By the time the epidemic finishes, this would be the worse economic crisis since the depression.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  28th March 2020

            Except I never,ever said what you claim.
            I agree with your last sentence…though.

            Reply
      • Blazer

         /  28th March 2020

        We live in NZ not the U.S…what are the NZ figures.
        Or perhaps you are in the camp that agrees that external factors far outweigh anything NZ can do as regards the economy at large.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  28th March 2020

          The estimate here by Westpac as I recall is 200,000 jobs, 7% increase in unemployment.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  28th March 2020

            I don’t believe that people are suggesting that the ill and elderly are expendable. The idea that the group most vulnerable is easily identifiable and can be protected has been put forward many times. I have often disliked Duker’s views, but don’t think that he’s saying that these people are dying anyway, ho hum.

            Surely it would make sense to keep the old and ill safe, and do it in a way that would keep their mental health intact. As it is, the rest of the country is being put at risk.

            Reply
        • David

           /  28th March 2020

          And Blazer our shutdown is all encompassing and nationwide a lot of America is business as usual and even the locked down states have most industries still working. This may indicate a higher rate to be expected here but we are more export driven than consumer driven which may tamp that.
          I feel for anybody who is mid 50s and higher who have really poor chances of getting work for the foreseeable future.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  28th March 2020

            the worst is yet to come.

            Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  28th March 2020

            I feel sorry for the old who are effectively marooned, like the woman in her 80s and another one in her late 90s who live alone. They didn’t even have the chance to go to the library, as these closed without notice. If anything happened to them and the many thousands like them, it would be some time before this was discovered.

            The fear that my deep freeze had conked out and the relief when it hadn’t, made me wonder how on earth people whose fridges, freezers and ovens stop working (and by the law of averages, some will do so) will get on. They can’t go to anyone’s house and use theirs; this is now illegal.

            Even a washing machine going bung now would cause real stress as people had to either wash clothes by hand or go dirty until further notice.

            If phones go, will the current police state law allow them to be fixed ? I live on the edge of the country and hills make cellphone coverage very erratic and unreliable. Anyone here who had no landline would be in real trouble.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  28th March 2020

              telecommunications are essential service

              Do you ever look anything up ?
              https://www.chorus.co.nz/
              “Our key priority will be on addressing faults, connecting properties where no other form of fixed line internet access is available, and connecting properties linked to the delivery of an essential service”

              Since you like to use the internet, try becoming a ‘hub’ for your elderly friends so you can look up what repair and fixing services are available, they are still around if you look.
              helps being positive when you can DO something

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  28th March 2020

              That’s not much use if a phone stops working and the person can’t buy a replacement because the shops are all closed. No one could do something in that scenario, with the best will in the world.

            • Blazer

               /  28th March 2020

              what if!…the negative creature from the ..Tron.

            • Duker

               /  28th March 2020

              Do you ever look anything up …the obvious answer is prefers to moan
              https://www.spark.co.nz/help/covid-19/
              “As a lifeline utility, Spark will continue to provide essential services to its customers during all Alert Levels. These emergency distribution centres ensure that in the event of a hardware fault, no existing Spark customer is completely cut off from essential communication services such as phone or broadband during the lock-down. ”
              Emergency phones available

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  28th March 2020

    The other error is the belief that these deaths are preventable rather than merely shifted to a later time due to the virus inevitably spreading through the whole population. Some current lives can be saved only at the cost of future ones, and most likely not far in the future at all.

    So the likelihood is the same number of virus deaths now augmented by the additional deaths and misery of the economic collapse. Truly the unintended consequences of big government bureaucracy strike yet again.

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  28th March 2020

      “Truly the unintended consequences of big government bureaucracy strike yet again.”

      The media have a lot to answer for. They have stoked this relentlessly.

      Reply
    • Griff.

       /  28th March 2020

      Well I never.
      Alan just realized life is a terminal disease.

      Alan it has been pointed out to you our hospital system can not cope with a sudden inrush of thousnds of patients needing IC over a few weeks.
      If that happens we will see many thousands of extra deaths.
      Flatten the curve .
      Better yet get the case count low enough that we can track,test and isolate new cases as China has succeeded in doing and eradicate the virus in NZ .

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  28th March 2020

        Don’t flatten the curve. Enhance care to cope and save all the misery and deaths from economic destruction.

        Reply
        • Griff.

           /  28th March 2020

          Again Alan you are talking absolute nonsense.
          We can not hope to cope with an exponential rise in cases.
          You can not build thousnds of ICU units fully equipped with trained staff in a few weeks. Without proper care you will start seeing the death rate rise by multiples.
          This thing if unchecked doubles every three days or less.
          No country can cope with this uncontrolled without sacrificing a good proportion of its population . This is what all the experts worth a crap have been telling us for months .

          Watch the USA as they reach crisis in state after state.
          https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/
          100,000 cases 300 deaths today.
          200,000, 600 deaths in three days.
          400,000 ,1,200 deaths in six days.
          800,000 2,400 deaths in nine days .

          You still can not Grok the implications of EXPONENTIAL rates.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  28th March 2020

            You still haven’t grasped that only the early stages approximate exponential and that a large proportion of cases are asymptomatic. Hospitals, supermarkets, ships, offices, indoor gatherings and aeroplanes are the most dangerous places. Do something about these as well as handwashing and let the rest of life continue.

            Reply
          • Pink David

             /  28th March 2020

            “You still can not Grok the implications of EXPONENTIAL rates.”

            Lets revisit this in a couple of weeks, because you have not understood the truth behind EXPONENTIAL rates.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  28th March 2020

              Still 1000 per week deaths from flu & pneumonia in US according to CDC
              Has been upgraded to epidemic status ..
              Now up to 24,000 virus related deaths that are invisible to some because the name is different, and yes mostly elderly and those with underlying conditions , just like …..
              https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/#S2

              Interesting how the yearly flu varies

              We all can remember the big shutdowns for 2017/2018

      • Pink David

         /  28th March 2020

        “Better yet get the case count low enough that we can track,test and isolate new cases as China has succeeded in doing and eradicate the virus in NZ .”

        You cannot eradicate the virus in NZ without permanently closing the boarder. Even then it’s practically impossible.

        China has succeed in one thing, they stopped testing. That’s why their numbers stopped increasing. The fact people are using China as a ‘model’ is very alarming. They have lied from the beginning.

        Reply
  4. Pink David

     /  28th March 2020

    The first rule of medicine is to do no harm, The treatment should never be worse than the condition you are treating.

    How do these measure fair when held to this standard?

    Reply
  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  28th March 2020

    This is an excellent account of how cluelessly incompetent and complacent our bureaucracy and government has been and how complicit our MSM:
    https://croakingcassandra.com/2020/03/27/hopeless-and-complacent/

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  28th March 2020

      Does he ever say different, I suppose hes been at home on permanent gardening leave for some time now.

      Reply
  6. oldlaker

     /  28th March 2020

    It would help if Ardern told us the truth. She told media this morning… “The number of tests we are already undertaking for our population size is already very, very good.”
    As far as I can tell, NZ has tested fewer than 10,000. Australia had conducted 184,000 tests by yesterday. NSW, with a population 50 per cent larger than NZ, had tested 38,500 a week ago…
    The UK has just beat China’s efforts at creating a pop-up hospital by converting an exhibition hall to a 4000-bed hospital in a week. If we get any sort of reprieve from a month’s lockdown, this is what we need to do right now, as well as ordering healthcare manufacturers like F&P to start making ventilators…

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  28th March 2020

      Exactly.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  28th March 2020

        And the media need to stop regarding themselves and behaving as a propaganda arm of the Government.

        Reply
        • oldlaker

           /  28th March 2020

          There has been no better example of that than Siouxie Wiles, who has been everywhere in the media for weeks endorsing the government’s strategy. I began to wonder if she was actually on the govt payroll…

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  28th March 2020

            Al and co are just regurgitating the views of another columnist…Steve Eler.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  28th March 2020

              that Eler ? Who thinks Hone Harawira got it right
              Didnt someone say last week, might have been James Shaw

              ‘At first they say that restrictions came too early because the government was in panic mode’ and then its a switch to ‘restrictions came too late because …… I know best’

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  28th March 2020

              Don’t know Eler at all. My views are my own.

          • Duker

             /  28th March 2020

            Shes an Associate Professor…not really on the payroll.
            remember all those ‘sources’ Key would talk about that backed him, he never gave names … technique copied by Joyce.
            Auctioneers do the same ..phantom bids plucked from nowhere

            Reply
    • Griff.

       /  28th March 2020

      25 March 2020
      Our laboratories are working to process and report test results as quickly as possible. Yesterday we processed 1421 tests around the country. The total number of tests processed to date is 9780.
      https://www.health.govt.nz/news-media/news-items/covid-19-media-update-25-march
      Need to ramp it up a lot, Too many stories of people being refused a test .

      Reply
  7. Gezza

     /  28th March 2020

    From an item on 1 News at 6 there’s an issue with halal meat. A halal butcher (in Auckland, I think) was made to shut up shop by the police. Another one in Lower Hutt was still open but said he will shut his shop if ordered to by the police.

    The problem is that other butcher shops are not allowed to open, but supermarkets haven’t been able to guarantee that any halal meat isn’t “contaminated” by being stored or delivered with non-halal meat in their supply chains.

    It will be interesting to see how this one gets resolved.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  28th March 2020

      It will go in favour of halal butchers as an exception or maybe the exception will extend to all butchers
      There is already an exception for bottleshoops in Trust areas on quite middling reasons, ie popularity and health bureaucrats still want to get their supermarket wine

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  28th March 2020

        Yes, it’s been interesting seeing how various religions deal with Covid-19.

        The Pope has stopped holding mass rallies in St Peter’s Square.

        Many Christian churches have told their parishioners not to come to Church any more. Or they had stopped giving out communion & sharing wine cups (a practice I always though was dodgy, healthwise)

        I think NZ Catholics have stopped holding mass at churches – they used to be very insistent on your attending Mass every Sunday, as kids we were told it was a sin to miss Mass.

        I think Singapore’s CV19 initial outbreak was traced back to a religious group who’d had a getvtogether in Malaysia. And I believe the same Muslim religious group also held a mass event in Indonesia that people from all over the Muslim world had started to travel to and assemble at, before the government stepped in & stopped it.

        On AlJazeera tv some days ago an item showed the Orthodox Church in Georgia had told their congregations to continue attending churches and kissing religious icons. Priests were going around the streets on the back of trucks sprinkling the streets & people with holy water, that other priests were blessing in massive containers to go out in the next truck – & telling their flocks that God made the holy water kill the virus.

        I’m not sure what the Saudis are doing exactly, but there are two kinds of pilgrimmage to Mecca & they have been dissuading people from visiting for the lesser one at least.

        The halal meat thing’s interesting because the process for killing meat according to halal requirements is bloody ridiculous. There’s no sane reason why halal meat has to be killed halal when it still has to meet all other health/sanitation requirements.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  28th March 2020

          The Saudis have banned foreigners from travelling there for the umrah, the lesser pilgrimage. They have also introduced other restrictions.

          https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/03/26/covid-19-42-indonesian-pilgrims-stranded-as-saudi-arabia-imposes-travel-restrictions.html

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_in_Saudi_Arabia

          Reply
        • Duker

           /  29th March 2020

          “There’s no sane reason why halal meat has to be killed halal when it still has to meet all other health/sanitation requirements.”
          The iman says a prayer
          But of course most muslims arent ‘strict halal’ , just like most christians arent ultras either

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  29th March 2020

            But of course most muslims arent ‘strict halal’ , just like most christians arent ultras either

            Oh? I didn’t know that – but I don’t know any Muslims well enuff to know how many of their community eat non-halal meat. Perhaps you know a few. Have you got a link to back that up in respect of NZ Muslims?

            I’ve only known 3 Muslims reasonably well in my lifetime, & while they weren’t prosletysers they were all strict non-drinkers & smokers & reasonably devout – observed Ramadan & their charitable obligations etc. 2 of them were really kind, warm, gentle people with a sense of humour . One a Somali man, the 2nd, an Iraqi woman.

            The other one, a Kiwi, now deceased, was a reserved, humourless type, never smiled, but I think she was like that before she converted anyway.

            Countdown says it does not sell halal-certified meat and Kiwi Muslims 1 NEWS spoke to say there is very little available at other supermarkets. Some also say there’s no guarantee that supermarket halal meat is 100 per cent halal because it is stored and transported alongside non-halal products.

            Auckland shopper Sister Jannah Pritchard says Kiwi Muslims are too wary to buy meat from supermarkets, even if it was available.
            “A lot of brothers and sisters in my Muslim community, they won’t buy from big chain stores, they want to buy from places that are purely halal,” she said.

            Another would-be customer, Imraan Ali says it’s particularly important for Kiwis to access halal meat in the lead up to the holy month of Ramadan, which starts on April 23rd in New Zealand. “The lockdown could extend, we’re going into month of Ramadan which will make it more difficult for the Muslim community,” Mr Ali said. “I’ve been in West Auckland for 25 years and have never purchased meat at the supermarket, the reason for that is we know it’s 100 per cent halal here (at this butcher). “There’s no risk of food contamination with non-halal food, that’s a really critical part of our beliefs.”

            According to the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, the only meat devout Muslims can consume from New Zealand supermarkets is fish.

            It says under Islamic law, the following rules apply for meat to be considered halal
            – That the animal has been killed with a sharp knife
            – That it’s throat is cut ensuring the severance of the oesophagus and the jugular veins.
            – That only Allah’s name is mentioned at the time of the slaughtering and no other name is associated.

            Shaimud Khan runs one of only two halal butcheries in the Wellington region, and his is the only one that remains open during the lockdown. He says he’s been closed for the last two days, but opened today for phone orders because of overwhelming customer demand.

            “The only reason we opened today was because of the demand from the local Muslim community, particularly refugees and people who have recently migrated,” Mr Khan said.

            He says he’s applied to be considered as an essential business, but will close if he’s visited by police.

            From tvnz’s 1News, yesterday. He said they opened to fill the many phone orders they’d had.

            Reply
            • Conspiratoor

               /  29th March 2020

              This will be interesting, wouldn’t be surprised to see jacinda cave on this.

              If and when she does what is she going to do when jews demand kosher shops remain open, or in the event a corona cluster tracks back to these places

      • Gezza

         /  28th March 2020

        And I think that if an exception is made for halal butchers, that’s an invitation for every other butcher shop that’s had to close to kick up a helluva stink. And that’s going to be the interesting part.

        Reply

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