This Easter governments are going all out with an elimination hunt against the coronavirus, keeping people locked their homes under the threat of fines. On Trad Tasman Talk on this average Good Friday Tim and Dieuwe analyze the effects of these restrictions and shame those politicians busted flouting their own rules.
Infection numbers in both Tasman nations are dropping, but Australia is well in the per capita lead and has far fewer restrictions in place. There’s been a lot of praise for Jacinda’s response, but there is nothing special about NZ’s numbers beyond a very low death rate due to mainly younger people being infected.
To prevent people escaping for holiday destinations, NZ Police set up roadblocks. Cabinet ministers continue to struggle with their own guidelines after it was revealed that Minister of Health David Clark took a 20km trip to the beach. He received a demotion, but was not fired. In NSW, the Arts Minister was fined by going to his holiday home to ensure that it looked like the rules were being equally applied.
The economic devastation continues as jobless claims and wage subsidies in both nations are reaching countless billions and expected to keep climbing. The wide reaching consequences of the COVID-19 response will be felt for years.
The goal of the lockdowns is to eradicate the coronavirus from both our shores, and there are whispers of the possibility that there will be virtually no new cases by ANZAC Day. If that is not achievable, then the risk is that the lockdowns were for nothing.
The main bit of non-plague related news was the release of Cardinal Pell from prison as the Australian High Court quashed his conviction in a unanimous decision, ruling that the supposed evidence should never have been accepted in court.
It seems likely that for the next weeks, if not months, coronavirus news will overshadow all else.