As I woke this morning, one of my reads was that New Zealand has gone 17 days without any new cases of COVID-19. As my mind came online, I understood the significance of this milestone. The SARS-CoV-2 virus incubates for 14 days with symptoms showing up within that two week window.
With no new cases for 17 days, there is certainly reason to be encouraged that New Zealand took the correct path and difficult steps to contain the spread. Lockdown is not easy. Individual freedoms are squelched, but only temporarily.
Their elected leader, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, chose a strict lockdown. A lockdown that limited the mobility and freedom of her people. A lockdown that saved many lives and succeeded in stopping the spread of the virus. New Zealand buckled down and made the effort to contain the spread. Click on the below link for the full story.
“Only as a last resort would we recommend locking down again, but we have the advantage now that we know a short, sharp lockdown is very effective against COVID-19.” – Jacinda Ardern
“New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the country has officially eradicated COVID-19 and will return to normal after the last-known infected person recovered. Isolation and quarantine for those arriving from abroad will continue.”
There are varying levels of lockdown and sheltering in place in other parts of the world, but none as effective as what New Zealand has achieved, barring Greenland which has strict methodolgy for containing the spread. Greenland held the infection count at 11 for nearly two months until someone arrived from Denmark and was tested upon entry into the country. There are about 40 other countries with very low infections rates as well. See the numbers here.
I read the New Zealand news story and then proceeded to review the numbers for the United States as I have done daily, since the end of January. Many states continue to grow, ebb and flow with their infection rates. Very few, like three maybe are coming close to stopping the spread. None have succeeded yet.
Overall, the United States continues to tick up over 20,000 new cases daily and with 206 days left in the year, unless we follow New Zealand’s lead, a coarse linear extrapolation will end up adding another 4,000,000 to our already 2,000,000 cases.
The United States buckled up and continues to ride wildly through the pandemic, with chaotic levels of reopening, fostering the spread of the virus.
Perhaps, considering the fact that each state has the freedom to manage its own policies and affairs, the pandemic will continue to burn through the population at large until all hosts are more resilient to the disease.
I’m not a scientist, nor a statistician; however, as we enter the sixth month of this global pandemic, unless we take note and employ what has worked in the past and what has clearly worked for New Zealand, we are just buckled up for the ride ahead, when we should be buckled down.
Featured Image – Nayatt Point Sunset