Duncan Garner: Self-isolation lacking credibility before potential collapse of world order

Opinion 11/03/2020

OPINION: Now the reality is biting.

Nine thousand Kiwis so far in self-isolation potentially with COVID-19.

We only have five confirmed cases and it's stayed at that number for the last three days - we are doing ok.

But it's the economic virus we should be worried about. I'm nervous.

We appear to be watching economies like ours being chucked on the international bonfire. This won't be pretty - a potential collapse of the international world order.

Millions of dollars of wealth up in smoke all because of a flu without a vaccine that's killed mainly older people. 

Eight billion people in the world and almost 4000 are dead - do the maths. We went ape when we should have been calm. We screamed help when we should have jogged on. 

Fear doesn't do anyone any favours - 60 million Italians are on home detention.

That's more than the 9000 New Zealanders on this enforced two week holiday at home.  

I'd hate it, shut off from the world with no contact with people. I'd be scaling the walls. 

One woman who recently returned to New Zealand after a recent trip to Italy is now self-isolated, but only really because she was honest about where she'd been.

She says there were very few customs officials handling people coming off planes. 

This all comes down to trust. If an individual is not honest, it appears easy to get around the official process. She's a stay at home mum anyway and has no problem with being at home.

Bring it, she says. Except here's the issue, she has a husband and two kids who share the house with her, with no expectations given for them to stay at home. What sort of self-isolation is that?

Mum could have this COVID-19 flu. Three others live with her, potentially transporting it to someone different every day.

Strange isn't it, she feels fine, has no symptoms, but this self-isolation appears pointless, lacks all credibility doesn't it?

Duncan Garner is the host of The AM Show.