X Close

The Left-wing case against vaccine mandates The shared Covid risk is being outsourced to Africa

The shared risk from covid is being outsourced to Africa. Habimana Thierry/Anadolu Agency via Getty

The shared risk from covid is being outsourced to Africa. Habimana Thierry/Anadolu Agency via Getty


and
January 28, 2022   7 mins

The Covid vaccine rollout is seen as one of the success stories of the pandemic. Over 60% of the world’s population has now received one dose of the vaccine. This has coincided with a fall in Covid mortality among the elderly, vulnerable, and most at risk from the disease, which is is great news; yet it has also coincided with a shift in the hysteria surrounding lockdowns towards the question of the individual’s moral duty to get vaccinated, and with the introduction of highly discriminatory measures.

As writers from the Left, we are disturbed by this turn of events. We don’t think there is anything progressive about the current move towards compelled — and in places mandatory — Covid vaccinations. These are discriminatory against minority communities, many of whom for historical reasons are suspicious of medicine and the state, and have had lower vaccine take-up rates. They are enormously costly, not only in economic terms, creating huge profits for the pharmaceutical companies rolling them out, with BioNTech, Moderna and Pfizer making between them over US$1,000 per second, but also in human resources terms — with thousands of health workers being pulled out of (already understaffed, in many cases) hospitals to run mass vaccination centres.

As a result, the current requirement for two or more annual vaccines to provide protection is likely to result in much-needed human resources being permanently removed from healthcare systems that have already faced a disproportionate harm from the Covid restriction measures. Moreover, given the deficit hysteria that still dominates the mainstream political discourse, despite everything that the pandemic has taught us about the true mechanics of government spending, it is also likely to result in financial resources being diverted away from other sectors.

The mandates are also clearly leading to vaccine hoarding in rich countries, where doses are being forced on younger people, who are little at risk from Covid, while elderly and vulnerable people in poorer countries have been deprived access to them. The pressure from multinational donors for African countries to reach a 60% vaccination target, meanwhile, has led to disturbing recent reports of forced vaccination in Rwanda, where vaccinees have been handcuffed and beaten to comply. Finally, and equally disturbingly, the compulsion element has led to a huge rise in distrust of the medical establishment, which will have serious future consequences for medical care.

So why have governments pushed towards compulsion, and why have so many supposedly progressive politicians — Jacinda Ardern, Joe Biden and Justin Trudeau to name but three — been among the most vocal supporters of this move? In our view, much of this relates to the perception of the “collective good” that we analysed in relation to lockdowns in our last article for UnHerd. The argument that vaccination is required to protect others is a persuasive one. And yet, one of the ironies of the mainstream Left’s response to Covid is that, as the pandemic has evolved, this definition of the “collective good” and perceptions of risk has been revealed to be entirely ethno- and Western-centric.

Vaccines are a very good example of this. The Left’s approach to personal risk reveals a framing which owes a lot to neoliberal constructs of the individual and society. “Staying safe” involved minimising individual risk, which was never broadly comparable across age, class, gender — or geography.

In a brilliant essay at the outset of the pandemic, the Mozambican sociologist Elísio Macamo analysed risk in African and European societies, and noted how levels and perceptions and approaches were entirely different because of the different levels of socio-economic comfort. Indeed, it is now clear that with its much younger population and greater resilience through exposure to a range of viruses that boost immunity, the risk of Covid to people in Africa is much lower than the risk to older and vulnerable people in richer countries. This means, effectively, that the shared risk from Covid is now being outsourced to Africa through the push for universal vaccination: poor African countries are required to get into debt to procure vaccines, and vaccinate large numbers of people, in order to protect older and wealthier people in rich countries.

In fact, a real sharing of risk and collective approach would acknowledge that it is unacceptable — and certainly unprogressive — to force poor countries to immiserate themselves further with World Bank loans to vaccinate unwilling populations who are already suspicious of medical colonialism, in order to protect richer people with much longer life expectancies. The Western liberal’s comforting canard, that “No one’s safe until everyone’s safe”, is shown really to mean that “Until I feel safe, I will continue to destroy the livelihoods and health outcomes of poor countries”. This is indeed clear, with concerns aired that poor countries will be “variant factories”, revealing that this — and not concern for the health of poor Africans — is one of the real drivers of the global vaccine push.

Once the inequities and medical colonialism implicit in the global drive is recognised, the progressive rhetoric around universal vaccination is revealed as a house of cards. This applies to the West as well. Much of the institutional framing has revolved around people’s “duty” to get vaccinated. People of all ages were told to get the jab — and now their children — to avoiding infecting others, to help reach herd immunity and “eradicate Covid”, and to stop taking up hospital beds. However, none of these arguments holds up to scrutiny.

It is now patently obvious that high levels of vaccination don’t correlate with fewer cases. Indeed, the most vaccinated region in the world, Europe, is also the one experiencing the greatest surge in new cases. While Israel, the first country in the world to administer a fourth dose of the vaccine, at the time of writing also has the highest number of daily new Covid cases per capita.

This simply confirms what countless studies had already demonstrated: that while the Covid vaccines are excellent for the elderly and vulnerable populations in reducing the risk of serious illness, they offer a very limited protection from the possibility of getting infected and infecting others. It also means that the main rationale for vaccine passports — that of creating “Covid-free spaces” and reducing the spread of the virus — is completely unfounded, which is why several countries are now considering scrapping them.

The fact that even the vaccinated can catch and transmit the virus is also the reason why it is simply false to claim that by getting jabbed you are contributing to “eradicating Covid”. As is now being admitted by a growing number of scientists around the world, with the current vaccines we are unlikely to reach herd immunity any time soon. None of this should be surprising, since the idea that herd immunity can only be achieved through vaccination is itself a new one, which appears to have been developed by the WHO in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Princeton University historian of medicine David J. Robertson notes that while mass vaccination has certainly been associated with herd immunity in recent decades, it has never previously been seen as the sole means of achieving this immunity.

As for the notion that people should get vaccinated to avoid taking up hospital beds, it’s an argument that makes little sense, for obvious reasons, if aimed at those who faced little or no risk of ending up in the hospital in the first place. Respected epidemiologists have noted that the chances of an 18-year-old dying of Covid are 1 in 10,000 of those of a 75 year-old. Even for people under 50, the risk is low. While a small number of people in this category might indeed end up in hospital as a result of their choice not to get vaccinated, it’s unclear why they should be held any more responsible than someone who ends up in hospital as a result of, say, unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Moreover, the rhetoric around universal vaccination is leading to negative impacts in poorer countries, where health funding and resources have many competing and more deserving priorities: as the Ghanaian historian of medicine Samuel Adu-Gyamfi wrote in December: “It should be up to African countries to determine their own public health goals, and Covid-19 is far from being the most serious public health concern in Africa today.”

It’s hard to see the collective benefit of vaccinating everyone against a virus that targets only a minority of the population – especially if this achieved through highly discriminatory and segregational policies.

Even from an individual perspective, for younger people who risk little or nothing from Covid, it’s unclear whether there is even an individual benefit from receiving the vaccine. It rather feels like, in the rush to vaccinate every living thing, the elderly have once again been sacrificed. A focused protection approach might have geared all efforts towards reaching the highest possible vaccination coverage in people aged 60+ as quickly as possible — including, as a last resort, age-specific mandates (unnecessary in practice because people in this age group, in general, are more than happy to get vaccinated).

Suggested reading
The Left-wing case against vaccine mandates

By Samuel Adu-Gyamfi

Ultimately, it would appear that the prevailing mass vaccination strategy of most countries has benefited neither the less vulnerable nor the most vulnerable.

Fortunately, the narrative does appear to be shifting. Even the WHO is now claiming that, precisely because the current vaccines have a negligible impact on prevention of infection and transmission, “a vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable”. The same concern was voiced by the vaccine strategy chief of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Marco Cavaleri, who added that administering repeated booster doses could potentially lead to “problems with immune response” — that is, lower the overall protection of societies. “While use of additional boosters can be part of contingency plans, repeated vaccinations within short intervals would not represent a sustainable long-term strategy,” Cavaleri said. He also said boosters “can be done once, or maybe twice, but it’s not something that we can think should be repeated constantly”.

Meanwhile, in the United States, president Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal workers is now being pushed back in the courts. Earlier this month, Alaska and other states prevailed in the US Supreme Court in their efforts to prevent the federal government from implementing a vaccine mandate on private businesses. And now a federal judge in Texas has ordered a halt to the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate, in yet another setback to the federal government’s actions.

It may be that the push to universal vaccination will now subside. But there are many pieces of public healthcare that must now be put back together. Trust in the public health profession has weakened, with grave potential future health outcomes. The hold of what Shoshana Zuboff has called “surveillance capitalism” has advanced. The medical systems of poor countries have been appropriated, leaving huge scars in their coverage of existing endemic diseases. Physical segregation — much of it racialised — has been institutionalised in many Western countries.

None of this was ever progressive; a true progressive healthcare system in the future must be based on the WHO’s definition of health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. Most important of all though, it must be driven by what communities need and want, and not what globalised technocrats determine is good for them.


Thomas Fazi is an UnHerd columnist and translator. His latest book is The Covid Consensus, co-authored with Toby Green.

battleforeurope

Join the discussion


Rejoignez des lecteurs partageant les mêmes idées qui soutiennent notre journalisme en devenant abonnés payants.

Subscribe

To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

46 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

Come on Toby – what Right policies pushed the Vax mandates? Who really forced the universal uptake of the Vaccine, closing schools, shutting small business, locking people in their houses, printing money to make the elites even more filthy richer, the ‘passports’, the work from home, the lockdowns, the lies and censoring and closing social media accounts? The Left The Progressive Left most of All. You own this mess, your Guardian sorts. Notice the Blue States (Democrats) and how different they are from the Republican states – Note the Marxist Teachers Unions in every land shut the schools and destroyed the young peoples education although the young do not suffer from covid.

Everyone Must watch Senator Ron Johnson (Republican) two days ago held a Senate Meeting with the world’s top scientists who are brave enough to tell the real story of this whole Covid Monstrosity Reaction brought by the Left. Toby – why has every voice against the lockdown and mandates and vax been from the Right? (excepting Peirs Corbyn) And every voice pushing it been from the hard, or Progressive, Left?

Take 4 1/2 hours and watch the US Senate (all is now on the official US Senate Records – this is official). It is fascinating, you wish they had another 10 hours to get deeper into it all….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asw_FBipVpg

Unless you watch it you cannot understand the last two years.

Last edited 2 years ago by Galeti Tavas
Ann Roberts
Ann Roberts
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Yes Galeti. What has been so bizarre for me is how my previous social-democratic leanings have been consistently pushed to the right over the last two years. To have Nigel Farage speaking sense is very troubling LOL! . I am now not clear where my political home is anymore. I wonder what restructuring of the political landscape is underway.

Fran Martinez
Fran Martinez
2 years ago
Reply to  Ann Roberts

Indeed

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago
Reply to  Ann Roberts

Well said!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Ann Roberts

Yes liberals are no longer ‘liberal’ and progressives are no longer ‘progressive’. Many of us have looked for new political homes.

Neil Hollingsworth
Neil Hollingsworth
2 years ago
Reply to  Ann Roberts

Very well said. Many are in the same boat as you.

David D'Andrea
David D'Andrea
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

There is a huge difference between pseudo-progressives (including broad swaths of the media, NGO, academic, technocratic class as well as the titanic corporations which dominate the economy) and the actual left which remembers that our movement is concerned with inequality and is rooted in the working poor.

Michael Richardson
Michael Richardson
2 years ago
Reply to  David D'Andrea

Indeed. It was illuminating that for all the faults, it was the Corbynites who supported the Tory rebels in the vote on further restrictions before Christmas.

Ann Roberts
Ann Roberts
2 years ago

What I find surprising is the suppression of information by the BBC and the mainstream media on the protests that are taking place across the globe against Vaccine Mandates. The Canadian Truckers campaign has not been mentioned on the BBC as far as I can see. I wonder when this alternative movement that is worldwide will breakthrough into the mainstream. Justin Trudeau called the truckers ‘unacceptable’ and now people are creating personal hashtags that begin #unacceptable. Feels like the tide is turning:)

Last edited 2 years ago by Ann Roberts
J Bryant
J Bryant
2 years ago

Thank you for this essay. I believe we should all be periodically reminded of the effects of vaccine mandates, and the one-size-fits-all response to the pandemic, on the world’s poorest countries.
For me, the most troubling thing mentioned in this article is the requirement imposed on poor African countries to take out loans to pay for universal vaccination. If the West is so utterly determined to impose its strategy for virus control on poor nations then it should at least pay for the vaccines.

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Global three letter organisations have become so powerful that they dictate how things are going to be. Poorer nations either comply or they have to go sit on the naughty step for a few years. There wishes and democratic viewpoint are no longer respected. They will do what the three letter organisation suggests or they will be made to suffer.

And if any political ideology is to blame f r this it is the left, who seem to have taken over every organisation in the world from schools to NGOs to the civil service.

A scary thought.

Last edited 2 years ago by Paul Smithson
Jerry Smith
Jerry Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

And not just Africa. I live in Sri Lanka where there is a huge foreign exchange and debt crisis (engendered by an incompetent government and blamed on Covid, naturally) but where tourists are encouraged to get and pay for boosters while the locals, who are entitled to them for free, face a shortage. It’s a mad world, for sure.

Deborah H
Deborah H
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

That is the 2nd most troubling thing for me. The first is that Rwandans have been handcuffed and beaten to be forced vaccinated!

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago
Reply to  Deborah H

But shouldn’t we be respectful of the differences in cultures? :/

Susan James
Susan James
2 years ago

In general a good essay but
” A focused protection approach might have geared all efforts towards reaching the highest possible vaccination coverage in people aged 60+ as quickly as possible — including, as a last resort, age-specific mandates (unnecessary in practice because people in this age group, in general, are more than happy to get vaccinated).”
Mandates should never, ever be used for health interventions regardless of whether the majority of a particular target for those mandates has no issue with the intervention. In relation to covid19, the risk of death for a woman in her early sixties with no underlying conditions is one in one thousand, according to the Qcovid risk calculator. I suspect that the risk is still overestimated but in any event that’s a risk some are happy to take, and should be allowed to take. It will cost the state far less if I die of any given respiratory virus than if the state pays tens of thousands of pounds for health interventions that prolong my life until I end up at an advanced age, with no friends or relatives, suffering from dementia in a nursing “home,” many years later. That will release money to pay for health care for younger people, reduce the burden on the health and care systems, and indeed on the state pension. That does not prevent other people seeking whatever health interventions are offered by the healthcare system to prolong their own lives.
The right to refuse medical treatment exists for good reasons, and in fact is a central tenet for those who wish to promote euthanasia – a focus of heated debate currently which I find sits extremely uncomfortably with the simultaneous insistence that no one must die of a particular disease. The suggestion that mandates should be used for any section of society, age-specific or otherwise is utterly abhorrent.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
2 years ago
Reply to  Susan James

“It will cost the state far less if I die of any given …” Good point. Those whom I know who chose to take the advice and stop smoking 40/50 years ago are now costing the State a fortune in health care and generous pensions. Those who continued to smoke are long gone having paid loads more high taxes on ciggies: good job ‘stop smoking’ was not mandated in the ’70’s!

Diane Tasker
Diane Tasker
2 years ago
Reply to  Susan James

I agree with your reasoning with the caveat that should you take the decision to be unprotected and catch Covid, you should survive or die ‘naturally’ without taking up an intensive care bed to do it (freeing it up for a younger patient) and saving £thousands in care

David D'Andrea
David D'Andrea
2 years ago

It’s also a generational injustice. I could rewrite a passage thus: ‘ The Western boomer’s comforting canard, that “No one’s safe until everyone’s safe”, is shown really to mean that “Until I feel safe, I will continue to destroy the livelihoods and health outcomes of younger generations”.’

Hendrik Mentz
Hendrik Mentz
2 years ago

This article’s (current) headline The Left-wing case against vaccine mandates illustrates to a T what Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying predicted in their DarkHorse Podcast Clip titled What happens next with the public health tyrants (from Livestream #112) | ‘Covid narrative collapse on elites’ >> https://odysee.com/@DarkHorsePodcastClips:b/what-happens-next-with-the-public-health:a

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

haha… Shakespeare, Henry VI

“To whom do lions cast their gentle looks? Not to the beast that would usurp their den. The smallest worm will turn being trodden on, And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.””

The Hard Left, the Progressives, have done their wickedest totalitarian moves on the world – forcing the lockdowns, the universal Vax mandates, the squandering of $$ Trillions, the taking of all freedoms and rights, the Trotsky Teaching Unions closing the schools and Universities destroying a generation of young – who do not suffer from covid anyway – to be economically set back for life, and lost their social growth and pleasure and health…
And now their utter perfidy is exposed, and the vax is shown to be a monstrous campaign which brought 10 harms for every one good – which has bankrupted the world – now they are claiming it was not them! Well the ‘worm has turned’ for being tread on, and now the Third world is aligned with the Western Right in condemning the Progressive Left and its mandates – the Right are finally convincing everyone of what the horrors the Left forced on the world with their lockdowns, money printing, and VACCINE.

Typical Guardian hacks like the above now pretend this all was not their doing…. But it was. The lies, the censoring, the Social Media, MSM banning any content against the Official, Left, one. The forbidding of the thing which works – Early Treatment with available drugs, because if medicine was allowed to cure covid it would cause vax hesitancy – so hundreds of thousands must die to keep the project fear pushing lockdowns and the Vaccine as it is the tool of the Lefty cause to bring the Great Reset.

Who resisted? Florida, Texas, South Dakota, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas – the Right. Who pushed it? the Left – New York, California…. The Left did this, they need to own it, not try to weasel out….. and the reckoning is due….

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
2 years ago

‘Most important of all though, it must be driven by what communities need and want, and not what globalised technocrats determine is good for them.’

What communities need is unlikely to be the same as what communities want; and nobody, least of all the capital-L Left (whatever that is) is going to allow ‘communities’ to decide on their own needs. That will be decided for them by the usual random coalition of incompetent politicians and unsustainable but efficient market operators.

Alex Stonor
Alex Stonor
2 years ago

I believe that millions of children & babies in developing countries have forgone the usual delivery of vaccines (mostly sterilising) that protect them against diseases like measles, small pox and polio, because the focus has shifted to rolling out covid vaccinations.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
2 years ago

The clue is in the second paragraph. Vaccines are bad because the drug companies make money from them.

Storm B
Storm B
2 years ago

Weaponized compassion. Core to Marx et al. And it’s why the left so easily fell in with this narrative of jab or job, get the shot or eat sh!t.

Dan Croitoru
Dan Croitoru
2 years ago

Each and every progressive piece should come with the disclaimer “Place the vomit bowl close”

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago

I also don’t understand the premise that vax hoarding is taking place in rich countries, to the detriment of poor African countries, yet young people in African countries are being beaten in order to force the vax on them?

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago

These vaccines only give short term protection against severe disease. Infection and transmission continue a pace as we have seen recently. Only high risk groups really benefit. 2 shots are followed a few weeks later by a 3rd, and then a few weeks again and a 4th. How many boosters do the ‘compulsory’ proponents propose? Even if 10, a person thus jabbed will still be officially ‘unvaxxed’ after a few months at most, just the same as someone who has never had a single dose but who in the meantime might have lost job, house and family. And all for a virus that is no danger to the vast majority. Even many of those at higher risk might do better to mitigate their lifestyles and improve their immune systems permanently.

Last edited 2 years ago by Martin Smith
ralph bell
ralph bell
2 years ago

Great article and so refreshing to hear so much sense from which ever side of political divide, although many on the right are just as selfish and paranoid as the left.

Deborah H
Deborah H
2 years ago

Look out for the definition of health to be changed soon – “ the WHO’s definition of health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago

I question who is really forcing these mandates on the young people of African countries. Are these countries independent states or are they still under colonial rule with Dutch and English slave masters forcing them to take the jab?
In addition, what health risk does an older, wealthy, white widow living in Oxfordshire have because a young farm hand in Rwanda is not vaxxed?

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
2 years ago
Reply to  Warren T

Six degrees of Bacon, plus an Omicron R>4.5 maybe??

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago

When will the left liberal progressives admit that forcing the colonial administrations out of Africa too soon caused all the mayhem? Their leaders, educated at the worst marxist universities, Oxbridge, taking faux democracy back home only to be replaced with dictators, warlords and the corrupt.

trevor fitzgerald
trevor fitzgerald
2 years ago

Didn’t the Left/Democrats make Covid the single issue of the Biden-Trump presidentials? You sow the wind you reap the whirlwind?

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

Once again, a poor title. A better title would be “How the Left Was Well-Intentioned but Misguided as it Attempted Fulfill the White Man’s Burden to Africa and the Third World.”
As noted in the article, Corona is hardly the gravest threat facing Africa. Also, can someone please fact-check this:
The pressure from multinational donors for African countries to reach a 60% vaccination target, meanwhile, has led to disturbing recent reports of forced vaccination in Rwanda, where vaccinees have been handcuffed and beaten to comply.
I thought this was Austria, not Rwanda.
If Africa wants vaccines, let them pay for them like any other market transaction. If Africa is so advanced, a shining Wakanda on a hill, let the COWs (Citizens of Wakanda) research and develop their own vaccines–easy-peasy, they’re so advanced.
Have you noticed that the fake experts on the BBC first repeated the tosh “No one is safe until everyone is safe,” and then discouraged people from getting second jabs and booster jabs, against the science, I might add, as this was unfair to Africa! They seemed to have moved on now to hectoring that the West should abandon the intellectual property that made the vaccines possible because….well, Africa is a basket case, they can never do it on their own. So what?

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

I’m in South Africa. Plenty of vaccines but limited interest from the people. Covid is just not a big deal. As we exit the so-called 4th wave with under 30% of eligible people double-jabbed and few restrictions (even those that remain are poorly adhered to) the pressure is to revoke emergency powers and get on with life. South African doctors knew from the beginning that Omicron was mild and informed the world. Still Chris Whitty claimed ‘all we know about Omicron is bad.’ How’s that for wifull misinformation? Shut his Twitter account and remove him from YouTube.

David Giles
David Giles
2 years ago

So, I stand on the street and offer £100 free to every man and woman passing, black, white, Indian, Chinese; I don’t distinguish. But some men refuse my offer; how exactly have I discriminated against them?

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago
Reply to  David Giles

The discrimination starts when you *force* people to accept your money, and if they don’t there will be retribution.
Also, your “gift” may still come with a price tag.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrea X
David Giles
David Giles
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

OK, thank you for explaining to me what I meant by “offer” and “free”. I really meant my gift of free money comes with a price tag; now I know?

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 years ago
Reply to  David Giles

FREE ?

Vyomesh Thanki
Vyomesh Thanki
2 years ago

New Zealand only had a national lockdown for two months: 26 March to 27 May 2020. Since 8 June 2020 almost everyone has been free to go about their business as normal. Post-lockdown economic recovery was rapid. Covid deaths: 52. Proportion of population vaccinated: 77%.
Throughout history the most effective way of dealing with a pandemic has been to close borders immediately, isolate, quarantine, lockdown for a very short period, and vaccinate.
Global Covid deaths: 5.5M to 28M. Vietnam pop. 98M, 37,291 Covid deaths. Taiwan pop. 24M, 850 Covid deaths. UK pop. 70M, 176,000 Covid deaths. Scotland & New Zealand have roughly same size population: 5 million; Scot Covid deaths 10,275; NZ deaths 52. Singapore pop. 5.7M, 850 Covid deaths.

Last edited 2 years ago by Vyomesh Thanki
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Vyomesh Thanki

And how is tourism faring? Your largest export industry?

Vyomesh Thanki
Vyomesh Thanki
2 years ago

The tourism industry in New Zealand adapted their businesses to reduction in numbers of incoming international travellers (who cause pandemics).

Unlike most citizens of the UK in NZ the majority are totally committed to biosecurity because pathogens harm the economy, the environment and their way of life.

Only in about 6 countries politicians and citizens worked together to keep Covid deaths as low as possible. (International hub Hong Kong pop. 7.5M, 213 deaths.)

The free flow of people and pathogens has led to the deaths of the poor and those with poor health.

COVID-19 pandemic indicates large structural inequalities leading to disparities in health outcomes related to socioeconomic status.

Low-income workers suffer from higher hospitalisation and fatality rates than their counterparts with higher wages.

“People living in more socio-economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods……..have higher rates of almost all of the known underlying clinical risk factors that increase the severity and mortality of COVID-19, including hypertension, diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, liver disease, renal disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity and smoking.”

In the UK about 8,300 died every month over the last 12 months: since 1 January 2021 about 100,000 deaths mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate. 1,828 mostly the unvaccinated died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test from 22 to 28 January 2022.

Compare and contrast: South Korea pop. 52M; 6,712 Covid deaths; UK pop. 70M; 176,000 deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate; US pop. 330M, 75,271,402 coronavirus cases and 905,661 Covid deaths.

Last edited 2 years ago by Vyomesh Thanki
Philip L
Philip L
2 years ago
Reply to  Vyomesh Thanki

The govt.nz web site describes the island as having an “isolated position”, a statement underscored by the size of the population. In fact the total number of people in NZ is dwarfed by the total number of passengers going through any one terminal at Heathrow; LHR being just one of six international airports serving London. Even tiny Edinburgh airport serves more travellers than New Zealand receives tourists in any given year.
I don’t think you realise just how meaningless yours stats are. It’d be fun to tow New Zealand into the Bay of Biscay, overlap the coast with the Côte d’Argent, give it a population density roughly comparable with other EU nations – that’d mean adding roughly 60 million people into your mix – and see if it’s policy or geography that counts.

Last edited 2 years ago by Philip L
chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 years ago
Reply to  Philip L

It is obviously both !

Vyomesh Thanki
Vyomesh Thanki
2 years ago
Reply to  Philip L

You’ve missed the point which is that travellers shouldn’t have been allowed to enter the UK from any point of entry into the UK. I was in transit in the international hub of Hong Kong in March 2020. Its airport was deserted because the authorities had closed their borders. The stats reveal that 6 countries large and small with borders closed have far fewer Covid deaths. Scotland and NZ have a population of 5M; Scot Covid deaths 10,000; NZ 52 deaths. 18.1 million entered the UK between January and March 2020 bringing with them zoonotic pathogens. Majority of people in NZ are interested in biosecurity, in the UK they appear not.
Thoughtful essay worth reading if interested: ‘Why haven’t we learned from past pandemics?’ https://blogs.bmj.com/ebn/2020/07/13/why-havent-we-learned-from-past-pandemics/
‘How the lessons of previous epidemics helped successful countries fight covid-19’ https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n486

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 years ago
Reply to  Vyomesh Thanki

The NZ facts are correct-so why the downvotes ??