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As winter bites deep in the Northern hemisphere, Covid 19 seems to be surging to new levels across Europe and the USA.
We all know that colder temperatures facilitate the transmission of influenza and other respiratory viruses so it's probably no surprise that infection and death rates are reaching or surpassing previous highs in many northern countries.
Meanwhile, here in Godzone, we're sitting back and enjoying the warm weather, the sunshine and the outdoor lifestyle that comes with our summer.
How lucky are we?
Partly due to chance and partly due to acting swiftly at the first sign of trouble, New Zealanders are in the very privileged position of enjoying "life as normal" whilst this pandemic sweeps the rest of the globe.
Being an island nation separated from the rest of the world by a huge moat of seawater has certainly made it easier for us to keep the dreaded CV19 at arm's length but we must also be thankful that acting early and decisively to snuff out community transmission way back in autumn has paid massive dividends.
Whilst the NZ government's handling of the pandemic has been far superior to that of other nations, I still have my concerns that we're exposing the health of the nation to unnecessary risks as a result of some crazy decisions.
For example, even though there is a long list of Kiwi ex-pats who can't get back into the country of their birth due to a lack of isolation resources, the government has decided to allow 90 Netflix crew in by way of an exemption.
According to the media, these people, most of who are coming from countries enduring record-high levels of CV19 infection, are deemed to be "essential workers".
Since when has making crappy Netflix content been deemed "essential"?
Okay, so this *allegedly* creates jobs here in NZ, what about the potential for generating an entry-point for the pandemic where there is really no need to create such a risk? Haven't we already learned that lesson a couple of times before when arrivals to NZ have spread the disease into the community due to a failure of our isolation procedures?
If the government *really* wants to keep the minimum-wage members of the film and TV industries employed, how about throwing some money at local production companies instead of rolling out the red carpet for overseas ones?
We're also told that the government has already developed contingency plans for dealing with the possibility of community-transmission during and after the festive season.
Is that an acknowledgement that the risks have increased as a result of such lunatic decisions such as the Netflix one?
Fortunately for us, it's much easier to "socially distance" one's self when the sun is shining and you've got the whole of the outdoors to occupy. Let's hope that by the time the colder weather rolls around in a few months time, we've got effective vaccines that can mitigate the risks associated with winter temperatures and indoor living.
How do you feel about real Kiwis being bumped off the return list in favour of a bunch of production crews who will be coming from countries riddled with CV19?
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