Valuable lessons learned in pandemic response

The Government and Ministry of Health handling of the Covid-19 was also generally very good in the circumstances. For various reasons New Zealand was also quite lucky to avoid having many infections and deaths compared to many other countries.

But the pandemic exposed a lack of preparedness. Testing for the virus, border controls and contact tracing systems were all inadequate. There were significant problems sharing health data between regions and collating data for analysis – some data was still being distributed by fax. There were problems distributing the influenza vaccine.

Normal health care was interrupted and disrupted too much when many resources were allocated to dealing with Covid that were not required. Our health systems should be able to continue as much as possible as normal as well as being prepared for any sort of abnormal rush of infections.

Some of our hospitals and health systems are in poor condition, this is something that should be given urgent attention and funding.

Valuable lessons should have been learned, and improvements either made or planned.

This is important for future viruses, which are inevitable, but especially for avoiding as much second wave infections as possible from Covid. It seems inevitable that Covid will be back here, but if limited and controlled it shouldn’t become a big problem here.

What the Government does about the economic effects over the next few months and also the next year or two will be important.

here has also been a major business, employment and economic impact. Large amounts of money were quickly allocated to save as many businesses and jobs as possible. How successful this has been won’t be known for months at least. At this stage we simply don’t know what the medium term economic effects will be.

There is also a lot of debt that will hang over the country for years, decades.

Lessons should also be learned from the economic measures taken, but it may be had to undo or rectify some of these.

On top of this are international economic effects that are largely out of our hands but unavoidable in New Zealand. Huge debts have been racked up around the world. Trade has been badly disrupted. Tourism, a major factor in economic activity for many countries, including New Zealand.

Lessons should have been learned but there is a lot more to be learned as we go.

While typing this post I have heard there is a report out today on the condition of our hospitals and health systems. See Hospital assessment report highlights dire problems

Leave a comment


  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  10th June 2020

    You would hope that critical, analytical and independent scrutiny would be applied but experience suggests it won’t be. And certainly not by our media.

    • Pink David

       /  10th June 2020

      Too many people supported a spectacularly bad idea for there to be any truthful assessment of the response to Covid.

      Everyone will agree it was a wonderful success and move on. Then blame all the resulting economic problems on whatever suits.

      Some people are slowly waking up to it though…
      “School children under the age of 15 are more likely to be hit by lightning than die from coronavirus,”

      • Duker

         /  10th June 2020

        Based on what ….. that the country was in lockdown and outside senior living places the risk was low.
        Yep the death rate for the 1918 flu was low for young people first, the second wave was the deadly one which disproportionately affected young people.
        Like the flu , covid virus can mutate too – it was a mutation that meant it could transmit human to human, so maybe its another 18 months when the one that affects young people /children comes ?

        • Pink David

           /  10th June 2020

          You are right. This virus could mutate.

          Stay in your house and never come out.

  2. Brian Johnston

     /  10th June 2020

    The whole Covid thing was bogus.
    It is expected the next one will be huge on police state methods.

    • Duker

       /  10th June 2020

      Yep , Sweden with 2x NZ population has 4700 deaths, while we had 22….

      • Pink David

         /  10th June 2020

        How do you explain that?

        Most of Europe had very significant deaths. As did New York.

        Yet….no where on the Pacific Rim. Almost none.


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