Virus remains undefeated: the last of the lockdown 'success stories' fails to deliver

New Zealand's suppression strategy is failing.

New Zealand, the last of the COVID-19 lockdown “success stories,” is on track to become another cautionary tale of a government that cannot rid itself of the illusion of control over the spread of a super infectious virus. 

Everywhere lockdown has been tried to “stamp out” the novel coronavirus, lockdown has failed spectacularly. Far from helping a country “defeat the virus,” everywhere they have been implemented, economic and societal shutdowns have exclusively contributed additional problems completely unrelated to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

First it was China, then continental Europe and parts of Asia, then the rest of the world followed suit, piggybacking on the suppression strategies that epidemiologists and academic modelers promised would result in the defeat of the virus. Lockdown proponents insisted that their models, theories and other forms of unproven, unscientific speculation was “data and science-backed” proven measures to stop the virus cold in its tracks.

When it became clear that lockdown was not working in western Europe — where, other than Sweden, the suppression strategy was embraced en masse — the lockdown crowd searched elsewhere for success. Lockdown continued to fail throughout the northern hemisphere, as the virus worked its way through populations.

But the true believers would not be deterred. 

They appeared to find initial success in places like Hawaii, the Philippines, and other remote destinations that hadn’t yet been hit by the virus, arguing that it was demonstrable proof that widespread shutdowns could work. 

Cases have been surging in Hawaii, which imposed a suppression strategy as rigid as anywhere in the United States.

The Philippines became infamous for having perhaps the harshest lockdown on record. Authorities threatened prosecution and state-backed violence against citizens who violated their COVID curfew. Still, the virus came for the Philippines. The past week has seen records in new cases, but due to the devastating economic impact of lockdown, Manila has been forced to contemplate a reopening.

The lockdown supporters’ last stand came from their final pivot to New Zealand, which was celebrated as the ultimate lockdown success story for its 100 days of being virus-free. The New England Journal of Medicine even published a paper on “Successful Elimination of Covid-19 Transmission in New Zealand.”

New Zealand and the lockdowners declared preemptive victory over the novel coronavirus. The nation’s leadership, particularly PM Jacinda Ardern,  was hailed as proof that a top-down policy like lockdown could be done “the right way” with, of course, the right individuals in charge. This submicroscopic particle could be crushed, the epidemiologists and academics proclaimed.

While everyone was congratulating New Zealand for "defeating" COVID-19, I wrote a post pointing out the seemingly obvious fact that the population was still susceptible to the virus, adding that the virus will inevitably infiltrate the country. New Zealand’s self-siege was simply *delaying* the inevitable, at a massive cost to its society and economy. 

And just a day later, the streak was over. The virus was back. New cases have again emerged. After celebrating over 100 days coronavirus free, the virus found its way to New Zealand, and the irrational fear surrounding it has placed the entire country on edge. 

The policies coming out of the government in Wellington are paving the way for a guaranteed economic and societal disaster. With a country already in long-term, country-destroying, self-siege mode, a significant chunk of its economy has already been lost indefinitely.

There is already an ongoing run on the banks. A total lockdown has been imposed on Auckland, the country’s biggest city. The economy has been shut down, military and police checkpoints have been put in place, and the nation has instituted a massive testing regime that is sure to find loads of new cases, which will only exacerbate the fear and irrational government policy.

Today, Auckland’s mayor estimated that the lockdown will cost $60 million dollars in lost economic productivity per day, just for his city alone, which serves as the economic engine for the nation’s economy. And that number is due to rise each day the lockdown continues.

For all of the supposed progress New Zealand has made in defeating the coronavirus, the country is now back to square one. Unfortunately for Kiwis, their government remains delusionally confident that they can once more “stamp out” the virus. 

New Zealand’s failed lockdown cements the record for the history books. The virus remains undefeated. Everywhere lockdown has been tried, it has failed. Historians will look back at these shutdowns as some of the most destructive policy measures in human history.

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