Sunday 5 April 2020


Oh! to have a PM such as this …

Jacinda Ardern - Prime-minister of New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern is the prime-minister of New Zealand and I had hoped to bring you a video of a dialogue between Jacinda in Wellington, NZ and John in a New Zealand studio in which they discuss the 'herd immunity' approach to the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, although I can watch this video dialogue on my screen, my Blogger software stubbornly refuses to allow me to upload it to this blogpost in working order. So here's the devastating transcript. Better just this than not to know at all. 

Jacinda in Wellington: … Unless you have 'herd immunity' which roughly means, John, 95% of your population either having been vaccinated or having had the disease than that will mean most of us in a situation working to have to manage our borders until we have a vaccination.

John in the studio: And we can't do the former because the vaccine doesn't exist and we daren't
even dream of the latter because it might mean that if 95%of us have had it, we've lost tens - hundreds - of thousands of New Zealander lives.

Jacinda in Wellington: There are some countries who initially talked about 'herd immunity' as a strategy. In New Zealand, we never - ever - considered that as a possibility. Ever. 'Herd immunity' would have meant tens of thousands of New Zealanders dying. And I simply would not tolerate that - and I don't think any New Zealander would.

'Herd immunity' - really? At what cost?

We were one of those countries where the government initially talked about 'herd immunity'.  Johnson and Cummings and Co got their tame scientists and medics to fix the percentage required to reach herd immunity at around 60% and then told the nation to wash their hands and said next to nothing about the airborne nature of the virus and the need to isolate. 

The needs of trade and the economy seemed to be more important than our lives.

Then , after some weeks, they realised they had got it hideously wrong. 

Remember the charge: ADMINISTRATIVE  MALFEASANCE - misconduct in public office.
Don't let them off the hook.  

The population of New Zealand is 4.7 million; the population of the U.K. is around 67 million. The UK population is 14 times bigger than New Zealand's. A 'herd immunity' approach in New Zealand would have cost 'tens of thousands' of lives; in the UK it would have meant - who knows? - but certainly approaching a million lives. As it is, many more will die than would have been the case if we had followed the example of New Zealand from the beginning.

Drive-through testing for Covid-19 in Halle, Germany. The Germans have carried out far more testing than any other European country. New Zealand, Germany - why not us, too?

Below is a piece from National Geographic online, dated 20 March 2020:
While countries around the world began to lock down workplaces, schools, and public gatherings in response to the rapidly spreading coronavirus, the United Kingdom’s initial strategy sent many into an uproar.
At first, the U.K. chose not to shut down large gatherings or introduce stringent social distancing measures. In a plan that surprised many in the medical community, officials instead described a plan to suppress the virus through gradual restrictions, rather than trying to stamp it out entirely.
The strategy, an attempt to build “herd immunity,” involved allowing “enough of us who are going to get mild illness to become immune,” Sir Patrick Vallance, the U.K. government’s chief scientific adviser, told Sky News on March 13.
If the risks of COVID-19 were not so high, it would technically be possible to bring about herd immunity by allowing the disease to run rampant through a population. However, evidence shows that scenario would lead to high rates of hospitalization and need for critical care, straining health service capacity past the breaking point.
After new simulations of the outbreak from Imperial College London showed how badly hospitals would be overwhelmed, the U.K. suddenly reversed course on Monday and introduced new social distancing measures. By Friday, the Prime Minister had ordered all pubs, restaurants, gyms, and cinemas to close.



  1. As I have said before there are alley cats behind our house who have a stronger moral code than Johnson, Cummings.... however did we get such morally bankrupt ....