Sadly they will not be taking any new refuges.

Courtesy of The Guardian

As health officials announce each new day of no new Covid-19 cases, social media explodes with New Zealanders celebrating the news.

“That feeling like you got away with something that seemed impossible and you can’t quite believe it even though you want to believe it,” wrote one, on Twitter. “But for an entire country.”

Twenty-two New Zealanders have died of Covid-19, ; thousands have lost their jobs and the nation’s largest export sector, tourism, lies in tatters. But as New Zealanders look to the hundreds of thousands of deaths recorded in other countries, there is a sense that the rest of the world faced a different pandemic, the disastrous scale of which never fully arrived here.

Now, providing there are no new and unexpected cases to marr the country’s 14-day streak of zero fresh instances of Covid-19, scientists say they expect to be able to declare next week that the virus has been eliminated from New Zealand – making it the first country among the OECD group of wealthy nations, and the first country that has recorded more than 100 cases to make such a statement, analysts said.

Data provided to the Guardian by the Ministry of Health, showing that the last person to known to have contracted the virus domestically from an unknown source had been diagnosed on 29 April and remained in quarantine until 18 May, was “pretty reassuring”, said Nick Wilson, a public health specialist from the University of Otago.

“According to our model that would put us nearly at the 99% probability of elimination,” he said. The health ministry said elimination of the coronavirus could be declared 28 days after the last confirmed domestic case of the illness had left quarantine, which would be on 15 June (Wilson said the ministry’s definition was especially cautious).

New Zealand is very fortunate to have a strong and capable leader like Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. 

She was able to inspire her constituents to follow the strictest of guidelines with the promise of beating this pandemic, and then she delivered.

I cannot help but feel a little jealous of their success. 

I mean we could have easily have done the same thing here in Alaska, and we started to, but then we relaxed the social distancing and now we are in the beginnings of our second wave of the pandemic.