21 April 2020: Two arguments.

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Yesterday there was an announcement. We were told four weeks ago that we were facing four weeks of national quarantine, in our homes, euphemistically called ‘bubbles’. There has been continual references to beating the virus, keeping safe, and if we violate the rules we will infect others and the fight will end.

And so, we got this: taken in part from the speech text (the press release was on Scoop). The Prime Minister is afraid that there will be death.

Over the past few weeks I have often used my time at this podium to acknowledge the people on the frontline.

Today I want to remember the people in New Zealand who have lost someone to COVID-19, or the many more who had the terror of almost losing someone.

Throughout this pandemic there have been individuals who I have tracked the progress of. I didn’t know their names, but I knew their status. And I still get a phone call for every individual person we lose to COVID-19.

The Director General of Health is confident that there is currently no widespread undetected community transmission in New Zealand.

In short, the effort of our team of 5 million has broken the chain of transmission and taken a quantum leap forward in our goal to eliminate the virus.

Elimination doesn’t mean zero cases, it means zero tolerance for cases. It means when a case emerges, and it will, we test, we contact trace, we isolate, and we do that every single time with the ambition that when we see COVID-19, we eliminate it. That is how we will keep our transmission rate under 1, and it is how we will keep succeeding.

And we have seen success.

You, all of you, have stopped the uncontrolled explosion of COVID-19 in New Zealand, and I couldn’t feel prouder of the start we have made together.

But I also feel a huge responsibility to ensure that we do not lose any of the gains we have made either.

On that basis, New Zealand will move out of Alert Level 4 lockdown at 11.59pm on Monday April 27, one week from today. We will then hold in Alert Level 3 for two weeks, before reviewing how we are tracking again, and making further decisions at Cabinet on the 11th of May.

Jacinda Adern, PM of NZ, Scoop.co.nz

As if we will not die. Last time I looked the death rate was 100%. We will all die of something. Previous Prime Ministers have known they sent young men in harm’s way, and had to live with the moral injury of those orders. But they could look further. Jacinda can only look at this life, and thus she pities those of faith. For she cannot see or comprehend the hope we have.

1 Corinthians 15:19-28

19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.

Yes, we will rise. As brothers to the king, adopted into his family: for Christ chose us in this time to be his witness and to bring him glory. It is not death we should fear, and we should recall that though this has been a very nasty bug for many, it has been mild for most.

It is that Christ will come, and with him will come true justice. Pray that you seek his mercy now. For the grave will hold no man’s body.

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