How to squash COVID like a bug

Learning from New Zealand’s success

Victor Rotariu

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COVID 19 will cause the death and suffering of many people. Much of of this death and suffering could have been avoided. And governments throughout the world can still do much more right now to prevent future suffering.

One country from which we can learn how to squash this virus is New Zealand.

The first cases here appeared in early March, as in most non-Asian countries. The difference from other countries is that they were quickly contained, never exceeded 150 cases per day. In April there are few new cases and the number of daily new cases is decreasing despite increased testing (51,000 tests until now, almost twice the number of tests per 1M people as the USA). As of 9th April 2020 they have only 1,239 cases.

Worldometer data 9 Apr 2020

New Zealand has had exactly one death up to 9th April 2020.

Worldometer data 9Apr2020

In comparison, this is the evolution of daily deaths in the U.S.A.

Worldometer data 9Apr2020

The U.S.A. is arguably the wealthiest country in the world, with the highest GDP: 20.2 Trillion $. New Zealand has a GDP of 225 Billion $, roughly 90 times lower than the U.S.

How did this small country achieve what the most powerful and wealthiest countries in the world have been unable to accomplish?

  1. Quick, decisive action
  2. Unambiguous communication
  3. Consistency: do what I say
  4. Long-term trust
  5. Preventive health

1+2.Quick, decisive action&Unambiguous communication

The Washington Post has a great article describing the quick decisive action taken by the New Zealand government and the way they communicated.

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Victor Rotariu

Polymath. Curious. Writing a book on how to create an ideal life for our Paleolithic mind and body