Is people leaving isolation a big deal?

Obviously if someone in isolation breaks the rules and gets out, and if they have the Covid-19 virus, it’s a fairly big deal. One person who got out this week and visited a supermarket put potentially many people at risk, they caused a supermarket to shut down and do extensive cleaning, and that resulted in many employees going into precautionary self isolation.

But is it too much to expect that with thousands of people in isolation in hotels (not prisons) that a few won’t choose to break the rules?

Perhaps we have to accept that a few escapes are inevitable, and as long as there are comprehensive systems in place to deal with it when it happens we should be reasonably comfortable with what is being done.

But this is an ongoing awkwardness for the Government.

When two women were let out of isolation without being tested – and tested positive after travelling from Auckland to Wellington – the army involvement in managing isolsation and quarantine facilities.  Megan Woods (name corrected) was also installed to cover for the poorly performing Minister of Health David Clark.

Things kept going wrong, people kept getting out.

Clark resigned and Chris Hipkins took over. He handles media interviews much better, and seems to bo on top of the details of the job much better, but people still got out.

The police were called in facilities 24/7, but people kept getting out.

Four people this week left isolation, despite a lot of publicity and public angst and anger.

Is this just something we can expect may keep happening?

The last person who got out, by cutting fence ties and going to buy some booze ended up in prison. Was this a fair warning to all others in isolation, or was it draconian, especially compared to previous consequences for absconders?


Shearer shambles exposed

David Shearer has had several interviews over the last couple of days, and it has just further exposed his lack of coherence and comprehension.

He was grilled by Susan Wood on Q + A on Sunday – Shearer wants intelligence agency review. David Farrar posted the transcript Wood interviews Shearer…

Well, what I’m saying is that what we need to do is to grow the economy in a way that it’s not growing at the moment, and we’ll be talking about Tiwai Point in a little while…one of the big problems about – no, no, let me finish – one of the biggest problems about that is that the exchange rate is so low that we’re seeing many of our businesses actually going out of business because they’re not being able to succeed.

…and typical Kiwiblog comments followed, with some pointing out the glaring error “the exchange rate is so low” – that must simply be confusion under pressure.

Brian Edwards lamented the lack of Wood’s interviewing skills in The Last Post – on the little known connection between Ritalin and ‘terrific’ TV interviewing but also commented in passing:

Meanwhile, David Shearer made a reasonable fist of bumbling his way through Wood’s hyperactive barrage, quite properly demanding the right to finish at least one or two of his sentences

In the comments others were critical of both Woods and Shearer.

It has not led to me having more sympathy for Shearer though, as he should by now also have learned what journalists are like these days. He could have prepared better. He is not a suitably skilled and qualified leader for Labour, lacking the ability to front media, for sure.

Whale Oil gives him a blast in David Shearer on Capital Gains Tax.

Shearer wasn’t bad (compared to his previous standards) but he was far from good.

But it isn’t just under the glare of the cameras that Shearer struggles. Some of his poorest efforts are in radio interviews. Larry Williamsinterviewed him on Newstalk ZB yesterday.

His rambling comments on Tiwai, Rio Tinto and electricity prices were dominated by hesitant and vague waffle.  The last part of this interview is also on Capital Gains Tax and Shearer’s stumbles suggested a shambolic lack of understanding. At least this time he said that the exchange rate was too high.

How long can Labour continue with their Shearer shambles?