Published in The New Zealand Herald, 9th. February 2022
In all the debate about the qualities of MIQ, it is easily forgotten that border controls have been a major tool in ensuring our low death rate.
If New Zealand had suffered the death rate of the United Kingdom – that is, 2000 per million instead of just 10 – we would be talking not about 50-60 deaths nationally as at present, but 10,000.
Those 10,000 are alive and going about their everyday business, many of them elders, Māori, Pacific peoples, and those with chronic illnesses and disabilities. But necessarily they are unheard. They do not know who they are. This is an unacknowledged gift to the nation, and to the health system.
Instead, what we hear is the anguish of the aggrieved who were inconvenienced by border controls. So, alongside the team of 5 million we have the legion of 10,000 Covid survivors – and now the MIQ-aggrieved.
This life-giving gift of MIQ should not go unacknowledged just because the survivors are unheard and hard to identify. It is surely appreciated in our hard-pressed health system!
Peter Davis, Elected Member, Auckland District Health Board