Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Barry Soper – Dont expect Govt to admit elimination strategy has been scrapped

OPINION:

It’s official. The Government’s impossible Covid elimination strategy has been scrapped, although don’t expect it to admit to that. Just like it would never accept the alert level 4 lockdown in Auckland hasn’t been anything but a raging success.

The spin is that if it had waited just one more week before turning the key on lockdown, there would be at least 5000 cases by now.

That of course we will never know, although under level 3, if you listen to the Beehive’s puppet master Ashley Bloomfield, the numbers will now “rumble along”. That in epidemiological-speak presumably means expect more numbers.

But in the end, as Australia now realises, the numbers of cases aren’t all that important. It’s the numbers of people who end up in hospital that matter, and unfortunately those who die. During NZ’s Delta outbreak that has been just one – a woman in her 90s with underlying health problems.

The past five weeks in Auckland has actually been a shemozzle, culminating at the weekend with a prisoner on remand from Mt Eden prison being transported across the border into the Waikato where the village of Whakatiwai is now in an effective level 4 lockdown for the rest of the week.

He apparently made four brief stops on the way to the address to which he was bailed.

If you think that’s bad, think about the way some farewelled the last weekend of the lockdown level in Auckland.

The Airbnb next to us in Ponsonby was rocking from early evening on Saturday, not letting up right through the night until checkout at 10am on Sunday.

Bros with gold watches and chains were there for a good time, with a cloud of marijuana almost blocking out the last of the sun, while those of us in the neighbourhood wanting to get a bit of shuteye spent the night bouncing off the walls, such was the volume of the doof doof.

A call to noise control was acknowledged with a text at 4am. Two calls to the cops, the first about the same time, followed up by another after 6am, were also acknowledged with the reassuring words “the inquiry is active”.

The party raged on; the wife went on to the balcony giving those on the outside deck next door a blast just after 7am using language she says she learned at Tuakau College.

It worked for 10 minutes before the volume was again at full tilt. A third call to the cops with a warning that a visit was about to be paid next door saw the squad car racing up the street in no time.

The revellers told the cops they owned the house, which was corrected by those of us who knew better – they had hired the place for the night to party.

Now, given the lockdown rules that are always being preached to us, you would have thought at the very least they would have been told to go back to where they had come from. Given their high state of alertness though, the cops may have thought better of it, so they left.

Ten minutes later the party was on again and continued until checkout time, when the wired wanderers sped off in their cars leaving the cleaners to assess the damage.

And that wasn’t the only party in the neighbourhood on Saturday night.

Call it Covid fatigue, which has seemingly infected the police as well with no arrests in this case for a clear breach of the rules.

Consoling words from the Beehive with a change in the alert level for Auckland though: We have done the heavy lifting.

Can’t argue with that.

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