Lambasting Covid-19 cases is unhelpful

Botany MP Christopher Luxon said people should be showing some compassion and understanding towards the family. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas
An Auckland National Party MP says it's 'unhelpful' and 'counterproductive' for people on social media to point fingers at the family caught up in the latest Covid-19 community outbreak.

Health officials have discovered that two - now-positive - cases of one family went to work and visited a vape store when they were supposed to be isolating at home.

The family also hosted a private home viewing.

Botany MP Christopher Luxon says would-be critics should focus their efforts on keeping the virus at bay.

"We don't know the full facts of the situation, that's really the government and the health officials that will be aware of all of those," says Luxon

"At this point what we should be doing is showing some compassion and some understanding, what we can focus on is what we can do and how we choose to respond to that."

Papatoetoe High School principal Vaughan Couillaut agrees saying the family at the centre of Auckland's latest Covid-19 cluster needs to be left alone to recover.

He is also urging people to be more compassionate.

"Until you know somebody's story, until you've walked in their shoes, you should not be so quick to judge.

"Those people making negative comments on social media just need to stop because these people didn't get sick on purpose, this is not a deliberate effort by them to disadvantage everybody or be inconvenient."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is emphasising the need to avoid lambasting people who may not have followed all Covid-19 rules.


Her comments come after a new community case of the disease in Auckland was announced on Friday.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: Supplied


That person is a household contact of earlier cases and developed symptoms at the Jet Park hotel, where they had been moved with other members of their family.


The new case worked at KFC in Botany Downs last Monday, and anyone who was in the store during the same time is considered to be a contact.


Ardern was keen to avoid a pile-on on anyone who might not have followed requests to isolate. There needed to be an environment where, even if people had made a wrong choice, they followed that by doing what was needed, says Ardern.


The nurses’ union have raised concerns about dozens of children, some as young as 12, going through managed isolation on their own. Caring for children was adding more pressure to already overworked nurses, the union says. Psychologist Dr Jane Millichamp says many older children could cope with the MIQ process, but it could cause a perfect storm for a vulnerable young person.


New Zealand's Covid-19 vaccine campaign has been under way for a week and pressure is mounting for residents in south Auckland to be put up the priority list. Not only is the country's main international airport in the area, so are many MIQ facilities, proponents of prioritising the area. Another point is that south Auckland is high on the deprivation index, and that means overcrowded housing increasing the risk of virus transmission.


Finance Minister Grant Robertson says he is confident progress will be made in coming months on creating safe travel zones with Australia and Pacific Island nations.


This country's Covid-19 vaccine campaign is essential for that to happen, Robertson says.

Closed borders are a significant economic and social cost for many, and no one is more anxious to see them open than he is. But that would only happen when it was safe to do so.


Global toll

The global number of confirmed cases was nearing 113.3 million on Saturday morning, and more than 2.5m people have died of the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University.


The US has been the worst hit by the pandemic, with more than 28.4million cases and nearly 509,000 deaths. Brazil has the second-highest number of deaths at nearly 251,500, followed by Mexico with about 183,700 deaths attributed to Covid-19.


India has the second-highest number of confirmed cases of the disease, topping 11m, with Brazil third with nearly 10.4m.


What should I do?

Anyone who wants to get tested can find their local testing centres by visiting the Ministry of Health website.


New Zealand, including Auckland, is at Covid-19 alert level 1, with masks still mandatory on public transport. People should continue to use the Covid-19 Tracer App.


If you are sick, call your GP before you visit, or Healthline on 0800 358 5453.


To avoid contracting and spreading the virus, wash your hands properly, cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow and throw tissues away immediately.

Reach out, find support from people who care, connect with your community or help a neighbour in need.


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@ slim and surfsup

Posted on 28-02-2021 14:26 | By morepork

I agree 100% that social media is nonsense. I don’t have a Facebook account. Slim, I am persuaded by your argument (yeah, I know... :-)). They definitely SHOULD be penalizing people who simply disregard what is necessary to protect everybody, but I can’t find it amusing or ironic. It is much too serious for that. While it is true that jailing them won’t fix Covid, it would send a message. That message needs to be backed with much more "education" in South Auckland, maybe in multiple languages, so that there is "no excuse" for people to use ignorance as an alibi. BTW, I’m really upset about today’s development and the "yo-yo". Jacinda risks losing general support on Covid if this goes on. Summarizing: I have come to agree with both of you. Solid enforcement. I’d like to see it backed with more education as well.


Posted on 27-02-2021 21:41 | By

Well here we are, now in level 2 or 3, and still no action against people who have ignored “effectively level 4” restrictions as per our glorious leader. If you don’t take action against people who ignore these rules then f*$k it, we can all ignore them.


Posted on 27-02-2021 15:50 | By

Absolutely not. Social media is nonsense. We have laws and Courts and they should be used. But with this lot the criteria for taking somebody to Court is dependent on their “background”. It’s total BS and Mr Luxton is completely wrong. What is counter productive is letting people off because it’s woke. It’s my point exactly - they are getting “bashed” on social media because they are let off otherwise. It’s because of people like the PM and other wokesters that they get lambasted. Which makes it ironic and amusing. And the best they can come up with is wagging the finger at anybody who dare disagree. Pathetic. By the way - Luxton is a wolf in sheep’s clothing judging by this. Won’t get my vote if they make him leader of National. He’s in the wrong Party. He’s a champagne socialist.


Posted on 27-02-2021 15:23 | By surfsup

Understand where you are coming from the difference is if I had been told to self isolate then I would, no questions., otherwise I put at risk everybody I come into contact with. The message is very simple to understand and implement, if you choose to not follow those rules then face the consequences.


Posted on 27-02-2021 13:50 | By morepork

I agree with you (and Slim) that there should be penalties for all who disobey the rules and those penalties should be enforced. 2 points here: 1. As a country we need to recognize these people are our people. It is not wrong to be kind, and a storm on social media does not help the situation. (It probably helps some people release their anger, but there are more positive ways to do that...) 2. If we show that people contracting this virus are made to be social pariahs, there is a very real danger that people simply won’t report they have it and we will end up with Community spread from unknown sources. (Sound familiar...?) We ALL need to hang in there until vaccination removes most of the risk. Treat people who have it, as you would want to be treated, if YOU had it.

@Slim Shady

Posted on 27-02-2021 13:37 | By morepork

Do you think that bashing people on social media will improve the situation? People will make mistakes because they are people. I think a broader view is needed. But I do agree with you that the rules need to be enforced and all of us need to abide by them.

Pc Madness

Posted on 27-02-2021 12:24 | By surfsup

The book should be thrown at anyone who ignores the rules when it comes to self-isolation, no exceptions but the powers that be tell us not to blame them , the question they should all be asked if they have that opinion is--why.

Wrong approach

Posted on 27-02-2021 11:26 | By

People are quite rightly not happy because the message coming from the PM is leave them alone, it’s not their fault. The usual woke stuff because of their “background”. They cannot be criticised or they will never do as they’re told. The facts are they ignored the rules. People who jumped the MIQ fences ended up in Court. And they didn’t have the infection. But they are deemed wealthy so we take them to Court. Perhaps if the Government took the necessary action, and were consistent, regardless of background, and publicised the action as an example, they wouldn’t be getting lambasted in the Court of Public Opinion.