I think this thread should be renamed "Let's frighten the hell out of each other". You know, part of the fight against this virus is a mental one, and some people who read this thread regularly will start suffering unnecessary anxiety, which can reduce your resistance and just make things worse for yourself.
If just occasionally, people could write more reassuring posts which explain how NZ's response to this virus is planned to help us all, this would be good. I know some people who are going around as if NZ is already overrun with the virus, when most places don't have any recorded cases at all. They won't go to their normal group meetings or sports events and are flat out cancelling all NZ travel plans. Look, it's too early to do that yet (IMHO)!
Sure, it's good to be prepared, but some better perspectives and less "frightening" posts about what's happening overseas might help some people to cope better with this situation.
Fair enough. I feel I am / was a major contributor to this. (My post where I estimated the number of days to our ICU capacity is overwhelmed based on crude offshore data springs to mind).
I'm a technical person. Would much rather be accurately informed, than be told warm fuzzies. Generally my comment's have leaned towards to the worst case end of the possiable outcomes as the best case outcome doesn't justify too much concern.
The way I see it:
Best case: Sporadic cases continue as per the situation now. Aggressive contract tracing minimizes domestic spread. Hospital's remain below capacity for isolation rooms & ICU beds. Situation remains this way until a vaccine becomes available in 18 months. Possible scientific breakthrough on screening or treatment of covid-19. Supply issue of foreign sourced things like paracetamol, light-switches and vacuum cleaners. Significant economic impact due to global tourism downturn, and reduced demand for out exports such as logs.
Worst Case: Wide spread outbreak in NZ. Hospital system overloaded, lots of fatalities, china style lock-downs to control pathogen, massive economic impact.
Main positive point - This is not a black swan event. Even if it gets fully out of hand, well over 95% of the population will survive. Critical services (power, water, sewage, food supply chain) are likely to remain online even in worst possible situation.
Positive points for NZ:
- Low population density & Public transport use compared to Asia & Europe
- We produce a lot of food so even with international supply chain issues we will be able to eat.
- We have OK workers rights, and universal access to healthcare, so people are less likely to hide cases and go to work sick relative to the USA.
- We have a good healthcare system.
- We are a fairly rich country, so will be able to afford vaccines and treatment's when they become available even if fairly expensive.
- Other geographic areas are far harder hit than NZ, hence we can take learning from the rest of the word.
- Places like China and Singapore (based on their data) have proven that it is possible via aggressive measures (extremely aggressive in china's case) to slow / stop the pathogen.
- NZ doesn't have onshore PPE manufacturing like china.
- Relatively low number ICU beds per capita in NZ
- Democratic government & election year, may mean that our government is unwilling to implement the aggressive control measures of China & Singapore.
- So far we don't seem to be taking this seriously as a country.
- Possible peak of covid-19 coming in seasonal flu season when our hosptals are typically overloaded anyway.
- China official numbers make it look like they have covid-19 somewhat under control.
- Situation fully out of hand in Iran. Most of the world didn't pick up on this until it was to late.
- Situation getting out of hand in europe in a big way. Health system in Italy overloaded. growing case numbers in France and germanay.
- USA is showing early warning signs of being the next iran (high death to confirmed case ratio etc)
Hopefully we can balance complacency and panic.