Covid climbs around the world, confidence in New Zealand plummets

Covid-19 seems to be spreading faster around the world, with record increases in daily case numbers – there are now over 9 million confirmed cases, and that is likely to top 10 million by the end of June. Deaths aren’t growing as quickly but still look likely to be close to half a million by the end of the month, and that number is likely to be under-reported.

Daily new cases are still highest in the US. Whilee some states are relaxing restrictions numbers surges in other states.

Reuters: New Yorkers rush to get haircuts, dine outside but COVID-19 cases soar in other states

After more than 100 days of a coronavirus lockdown, New York City residents on Monday celebrated the lifting of more restrictions by getting their first haircuts in months, shopping at reopened stores, and dining at outdoor cafes.

Once the epicenter of the global outbreak, the city was the last region in New York state to move into Phase 2 of reopening with restaurants and bars offering outdoor service and many shops reopening. Barber shops and hair salons welcomed customers for the first time since mid-March, with some fully booked for the next two weeks.

Playgrounds were also due to reopen on Monday in the most populous U.S. city. The pandemic has killed more than 120,000 Americans and is flaring up in a dozen states that reported record increases in cases last week.

While new cases in New York and New Jersey are at record lows with 1%-2% of tests coming back positive, a dozen states in the South and Southwest United States reported record increases in new coronavirus cases. In some, 10% to 20% of people tested positive. The same states often reported record hospitalizations, a metric not affected by more testing.

The number of new cases rose by a record last week in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, together home to about a third of the U.S. population. Alabama, Georgia, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming also experienced record spikes.

Meanwhile the US president seems to think that Covid is something to joke about – White House: Trump did not direct virus testing slowdown, does not regret ‘kung flu’ remark

President Donald Trump has not directed any slowdown in coronavirus testing and does not regret using the term “kung flu,” which many consider to be offensive, to describe the virus, the White House said on Monday.

The Republican president said at a political rally in Oklahoma on Saturday that he had directed his people to slow down testing for the virus because the process had led to an increased number of known COVID-19 cases.

“It was a comment that he made in jest,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at a news briefing.

Claiming saying something stupid is a joke is a very lame response – it’s hard to take anything he says seriously. Regardless, Trump deliberately ‘jested’ about thousands of people dying daily to attract attention. The US needs leadership now, not a sick joke of a president.

Rates are climbing elsewhere, especially in Brazil and India where it may be very difficult to contain. recent cases in New Zealand originated in India.

Guardian – ‘We are facing extermination’: Brazil losing a generation of indigenous leaders to Covid-19

Coronavirus has swept through tribes, killing elders – and inflicting irreparable damage on tribal history, culture and medicine

Hindustan Times – With 445 Covid-19 deaths in biggest single-day jump, India’s toll mounts to 13,699; tally over 4.25 lakh

India has 425,282 cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) after 14,821 infections and 445 deaths, the highest so far, were reported in the last 24 hours, the Union health ministry data showed on Monday.

NZ Herald: Two new cases, travellers from Islamabad and India in isolation hotels

The first new case is a female teenager, who arrived on June 13 from Islamabad via Melbourne. Her family travelled with her and had tested negative.

The second case is a man in his 30s who travelled from India.

Suggestions that border quarantining could be in place in New Zealand at least until the end of the year.

Newsroom: Border measures in place for the long haul

The Government currently expects quarantine rules at the border to remain in place through December, with capacity constraints contributing to an astronomically expensive system that stymies efforts to let in non-citizens for humanitarian or economic reasons.

Speaking at her post-Cabinet press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern indicated that the current ratio of economic exemptions to returning New Zealanders is likely to remain in place.

It’s looking unlikely the bubble with Australia will happen any time soon as case numbers increase there, especially in Victoria.

Economist Rodney Jones on Q+A on complaining about being in quarantine – “for me that’s like people who finally make it to the lifeboat complaining they got wet. You know, New Zealand is a lifeboat.”

But there’s more to it than that. if quarantine isn’t done properly it is like people drilling holes in the lifeboat.

We’ve had restrictions here for three months. It looks like this will continue to some extent for another six months at least, and public confidence in the Government handling of Covid is dropping.

The Spinoff – Poll reveals public impact of failures in NZ Covid quarantine system

A week that saw the government on the back foot in its Covid-19 response, with the prime minister acknowledging failures in the self-isolation and quarantining system and calling in the military to oversee the process, has led to a marked, if hardly cataclysmic, drop in the popular backing for the government response to the pandemic.

A week ago, we reported 74% of respondents judging the response “excellent”; today that number is 53%.

That’s significant, and the Government should be concerned.

Given the kind of week it was (a “fiasco”, in the words of Neale Jones, former chief of staff to Jacinda Ardern), and the excoriating tenor of commentary over the weekend, the Labour-led government can draw some relief from a result showing three in four New Zealanders continue to back the response. So long, that is, as they can arrest the slide.

More poll details and commentary

The Spinoff also has a good daily summary of news: The Bulletin: Auckland drought leads to fears of severe water restrictions

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42 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  23rd June 2020

    Mismanagement from the start coming home to roost. The public were sold a fairy tale and now are both mad and sad as the truth outs.

    No-one has a right to get on a plane infected to infect others. There should be health tests and checks before embarking.

    Quarantine and follow up tests should be properly managed. Paper pushers and politicians with no ability or experience in actually doing stuff are entirely the wrong people to be in charge of that.

    Reply
    • lurcher1948

       /  23rd June 2020

      Poor Alan banging the same drum every day in a empty room,NZ doesn’t have any cases,what we have are cases coming in from overseas on planes,and if the right cannot strip citizens of their rights they will still come in with the plague they have picked up overseas,so Alan back to banging your drum and wailing

      Reply
      • That’s nitpicking. All the cases came from abroad and the Coal let them in. They then became NZ cases.

        It’s no one’s right to go around spreading a notifiable disease.

        Had the PM’s instinct told her to test at the border as Kerala’s leader did, we wouldn’t have had the surge in unemployment, hundreds of businesses going under, people topping themselves, mental health problems soaring and who knows how many preventable deaths caused by the lockdowns.

        Reply
    • Duker

       /  23rd June 2020

      If you dont want to get infected on a plane …dont fly..

      So you are advocating police state measures to ensure rules are followed? What happened to your talk of personal responsibility where the onus is on people to avoid planes if they dont like the risks

      Tarrant gun permit, that was approved when it shouldnt, and that was done by experienced people
      Look back at Pike River, they were supposed to be experts running the mine..
      That building in Christchurch earthquake that collapsed that had a huge death toll, supposed to be experts in design, construction… it was the Council engineer who raised issues but was over ruled .
      The US has a huge security force to check travellors at airports….often flaws when they test it out.
      The real news is the quarantine measures at airports are working , preventing spread in the community. If you focus on boxes ticked you fill always find lapses. Its human nature.
      Remember the out cry , you amoung them over the officials not ‘bending the rules’ to allow a person to visit dying father, which was allowed by a judge. And every one said …ah common sense…. which is the usual answer when it goes the way you want

      Reply
      • NOEL

         /  23rd June 2020

        Where are all those cases of community spread where people completed isolation without testing on the last day?
        He interesting to compare a month from now.

        Reply
      • The man with the dying father was refused a test because he had no symptoms and refused compassionate ‘leave’ because…..he hadn’t had a test.

        This wasn’t bending the rules, it was insanity. He WANTED to be tested so that he could be cleared for release. The rules were being tied in knots by the COAL and MOH.

        Reply
      • It’s facile to say ‘don’t fly.’

        What are they supposed to do when their jobs have gone and they can’t afford to stay on wherever they are ? Not to mention visas running out. Should they find a ‘cardboard city’ ? Starve to death?

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  23rd June 2020

        I’m advocating you need a clear test to fly just as you need valid entry documentation and it should be the airlines’ job to vet that as they already do for the visa/passport.

        Retest on arrival and manage isolation/quarantine according to risk.

        Reply
    • Pink David

       /  23rd June 2020

      “The public were sold a fairy tale and now are both mad and sad as the truth outs.”

      Alan, you bought the fairy tale just as much as most NZ’ers.

      “Quarantine and follow up tests should be properly managed.”

      There will always be flaws. You demanding perfection from a flawed system is just going to lead to even more isolation that NZ will struggle to get out of.

      Do you really not see the trap you are heading for?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  23rd June 2020

        The alternative is to quarantine the elderly and at risk which is arguably worse in numbers and unfairness.

        Reply
  2. Patzcuaro

     /  23rd June 2020

    “Suggestions that border quarantining could be in place in New Zealand at least until the end of the year.”

    I think that the border quarantine will be in place for the foreseeable future until there is an effective vaccine or coronavirus is under control worldwide which seems unlikely in the short term.

    “But there’s more to it than that. if quarantine isn’t done properly it is like people drilling holes in the lifeboat.”

    If you are in a lifeboat with someone drill holes in it the logical thing to do is toss them over the side. Better to sacrifice one idiot to save the boat.

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  23rd June 2020

      Who is going to rescue you from your lifeboat? There is only so much food and water in a lifeboat, you have to start eating each other once that runs out.

      And you are showing your true nature. The people who murder each other in lifeboats are doing so out of fear. Is it you who will be first over the side, or will you be first to throw someone else over the side?

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  23rd June 2020

        Not telling us ?
        They are telling us Trumps version…what more do you want

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  23rd June 2020

          You think the media are giving you Trump’s version of events? That is an interesting view.

          Reply
      • Patzcuaro

         /  23rd June 2020

        Food is something we are not short of in our lifeboat.

        Reply
        • alloytoo

           /  23rd June 2020

          I think the point is, from a team of 5 million isolation will turn us into a ghetto of 5 million.

          This government doesn’t have a plan B, our islands of Covidlessness have become a prison.

          Reply
          • Patzcuaro

             /  23rd June 2020

            What is the alternative? At the moment the economy is up and running but has taken a hit, overseas tourists can’t come in and we can’t travel but we can import and export.

            If we open the borders without quarantine we will just import corona virus at the moment. Maybe we have to be innovative and make the most of our relative COVID-19 free status.

            What is the alternative?

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  23rd June 2020

              “At the moment the economy is up and running but has taken a hit”
              A hit?
              This is one way to describe it. Another way is the economy is experiencing the largest hit in history. GDP will be down around 20-25% for the last quarter, something that has never been seen before. The morphine is still running of course, the impacts of that will start to be seen in the coming months.

              “What is the alternative?”

              This was always the trap of elimination. You are stuck in that trap.

            • Patzcuaro

               /  23rd June 2020

              Nobody is forcing you to stay.

            • Pink David

               /  23rd June 2020

              “Nobody is forcing you to stay.”

              I left.

            • Patzcuaro

               /  23rd June 2020

              Is this just nostalgia

  3. Pink David

     /  23rd June 2020

    Reply
  4. Pink David

     /  23rd June 2020

    “While new cases in New York and New Jersey are at record lows with 1%-2% of tests coming back positive, a dozen states in the South and Southwest United States reported record increases in new coronavirus cases. In some, 10% to 20% of people tested positive. The same states often reported record hospitalizations, a metric not affected by more testing.”

    The average age of those testing positive has now fallen to 35, down from over 60 two weeks ago.

    Take a guess at what is going on. It’s very important and there is a reason the media are not telling you about it.

    Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  23rd June 2020

      I assume that older people who are more vulnerable to a bad outcome with COVID-19 are being more cautious and are taking commonsense precautions. The young however think they are bullet proof and are not social distancing.

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  23rd June 2020

        When it comes to Covid, the young are bulletproof. All the data shows that very clearly.

        That’s not the reason. There was a change a few weeks ago that results in this.

        The CDC count both positive Covid tests, AND anti-body tests into one total. The totals you are seeing are not of Covid cases at all. That has been going on for the past month.

        It is a completely bonkers thing to do, but that is exactly what they are doing. The only reason for it is to create an endlessly increasing graph for people to post on Twitter. The data is totally shit.

        https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/05/cdc-and-states-are-misreporting-covid-19-test-data-pennsylvania-georgia-texas/611935/

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  23rd June 2020

          “The CDC count both positive Covid tests, AND anti-body tests into one total. The totals you are seeing are not of Covid cases at all”
          That was corrected some weeks back, remember when Trump and others ( you) were claiming the % of positives in test were falling and how the virus was fading away. That too was because the the final test of those who had recovered was being counted twice.

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  23rd June 2020

            “That was corrected some weeks back, remember when Trump and others ( you) were claiming the % of positives in test were falling and how the virus was fading away”

            Got a reference for when this came into effect? It would be even more interesting if it coincided with dramatic drop in average ages of positive test.

            Reply
          • Pink David

             /  23rd June 2020

            “The CDC told The Atlantic that it “hopes to separate the viral and antibody test results in the next few weeks.”

            Reply
          • Pink David

             /  24th June 2020

            Still waiting for that reference.

            Reply
          • Pink David

             /  25th June 2020

            Very keen to see that reference Duker. A lot of people are interested. Don’t let us down.

            Reply
        • Patzcuaro

           /  23rd June 2020

          Who knows what’s going on with testing in the US, Trump reckons testing makes his numbers look bad except for those around him who are tested all the time.

          Reply
  5. Conspiratoor

     /  23rd June 2020

    Go hard or go soft it matters not, as current trends in Sweden and New York testify. As some of us suspected border closures were only ever going to delay the inevitable.

    It is increasingly apparent that there are only two possible outcomes – a vaccine (unlikely) or exposure and a spike in covid-related deaths amongst the most vulnerable. How long will it take our politicians and the rock star bloomfield to front up and admit they were wrong

    Reply
    • How much time do you have ?

      How hard would it be to quarantine and test new arrivals ? Surely it would be easier than closing the country down and stuffing the economy.

      Reply
      • Patzcuaro

         /  23rd June 2020

        Already quarantining is running out of hotels with the limited number of flights coming in at the moment.

        Reply
  6. Steve Schmidt, former Republican Party strategist, on Trump’s failures:

    “We’ve seen the most incompetent and inept performance in a crisis by an American leader in the history of the country. The economy is shattered. 40 million people out of work. 120,000 dead Americans. And so Donald Trump was there. He was going to light the fuse. He was going to kick start the campaign and it was a debacle for the ages. The President Of The United States got up there and he talked for 15 minutes about his slow shuffle down the ramp at West Point. He talked about the difficulty of drinking water. The people who were there risking their lives cheered for it. I’m not sure why.

    But incredibly, he finally told the truth about something in the middle of the speech when he confessed to slowing down testing for coronavirus. And the reason the United States is the epicenter of coronavirus death and dying and our economy is the worst because of and the United States is the worst-managed country with regard to dealing with it, is because we don’t have enough testing. It was a remarkable admission and an admission that was responsible for the deaths of many, many Americans.”

    Balsonaro in Brazil? Poured from the same mould as Trump. Same incompetent and inept performance.

    Boris in Britain? Ditto, until he was shortlisted for a ventilator.

    Reply
  7. Gezza

     /  23rd June 2020

    “At a time when a wave of iconoclasm has meant no statue or monument appears safe from destruction – whether it is Gandhi, Churchill or Captain Cook – Judith Collins has taken the opportunity to attack a living icon who has been feted in some quarters, both here and abroad, as the world’s greatest leader: Jacinda Ardern.

    Such is Ardern’s popularity and mana that most opponents consider it too risky to attack her directly by impugning her essential goodness – not least because there is a widespread belief that, unlike many elected representatives, she is always well-intentioned, humble and honest.

    In fact, Ardern made that last claim herself when she told the nation during the second leaders’ debate in 2017 that not only was it possible to not lie in politics but that she had never told a lie as a politician. If she did lie, she said, she would own up to it.

    Nevertheless, Collins echoed the thoughts of many New Zealanders when she said repeatedly on The AM Show on Friday that the prime minister had lied. ”We have been lied to actually. We have been lied to about the quarantine, about the standard of care.”

    She also said Ardern had lied by implying she was calling in the military to shore up our border defences against Covid-19 when its staff had, in fact, been working there for months. She summarised the prime minister’s response after the damaging flood of media stories about the lax border controls as: “Don’t worry! We’re bringing in the army!” – and described it as a “plain lie”.

    Her fellow guest, Minister of Employment Willie Jackson, was clearly unnerved by these very direct challenges to his leader’s self-proclaimed virtue. He declared it to be “a bit over the line if you’re going to start accusing the Prime Minister of lying…. [as] a senior and respected member of the Opposition. Seriously, I don’t see there’s any lies that are coming from our Prime Minister.”

    Protecting the mana of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is crucial to Labour’s chances at the polls this year.

    Jackson insisted that the prime minister is “a person of huge integrity and very honest” – presumably hoping that this assertion would immediately settle the matter even though they were the exact attributes being questioned.

    On the chess board of politics, Ardern is Labour’s Queen and must be protected at all costs. The party knows that if the mana of their pre-eminent star is successfully undermined, it will sink. And critical to that mana is maintaining her reputation as an honest politician without guile who has only concern for the good of others – and particularly children – as her motivation.”

    More … (a bit of a magnum opus)
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300040526/taking-the-high-road-nationals-strategy-to-neutralise-jacinda-ardern

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  25th June 2020

      yes toppling Ardern will be no mean feat.
      Lucky for National they are a party who attract alot of talent.
      The pool is so deep they were able to replace one talented leader with one with even more talent.
      Of course Judith Collins talent is well recognised and then there’s that untapped talent still waiting in the wings and about to go head to head with the very talented current National member for…Botany. 🙂

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  25th June 2020

        He isn’t a National MP any more. He announced that he is retaining his seat & representing Botany as an independent MP.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  25th June 2020

          Thanks….he has now lost all the talent he had as a National M.P.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  25th June 2020

            Well, yes. I expect so. His Mrs has probably made sure of that.

            Reply

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