09-06-21 01:35:00, The Howard Springs quarantine facility in the Northern Territory of Australia (ABC)
The high costs of zero covid.
For more than a year already, both Australia and New Zealand have been largely isolated from the rest of the world. Nevertheless, the Australian state of Victoria and its capital city of Melbourne have recently had to impose yet another preemptive lockdown in order to suppress renewed community transmission of the coronavirus.
If they get really unlucky, the citizens of Victoria will have to spend another local winter season in full lockdown. Moreover, many Australians haven’t been allowed to leave the country since early 2020.
Due to repeated failures of the hotel quarantine system for incoming travelers, both New Zealand and Victoria are currently considering, or already planning, a “purpose-built covid quarantine facility” (see example above), already known from places like Vietnam and China.
New Zealand and Australia are also facing a very high pressure to vaccinate a very large part of their population, but the vaccines currently in use are already somewhat ‘outdated’ and sub-optimal in terms of their effectiveness against some of the new coronavirus variants, and reports of blood clots, Guillain-Barré syndrome and other serious vaccine adverse events are also mounting.
While it is true that in terms of coronavirus disease, Australia and New Zealand are high-risk populations – due to very high rates of obesity and metabolic disease – the economic and societal costs of lockdowns and isolation have also been substantial. In fact, if one considers both GDP loss and new public debt, New Zealand is one of the worst affected countries in the world.
Meanwhile, China itself is also facing renewed coronavirus outbreaks in several parts of the country and authorities have again imposed some very strict lockdowns on major cities, despite having already vaccinated hundreds of millions of people (see our updated video gallery (18+) showing recent lockdowns, quarantine facilities and mass vaccinations in Chinese cities).
“Zero covid” essentially means “zero mistake”,