And I think it will come to some surprise to you is that this is the exact same model that NZ is pursuing.
We are just further behind in progress.
Currently at 78% 1st dose 72% second. The big split is indicative of continuing high but falling daily vaccinations, Currently a fairly constant 2/3 second doses per day. As we have a younger population then Singapore a 100% of age 12 and over is about 86% of our population so until we get our pediatric vaccines we simply can't reach Singapore's vaccination penetration.
It's no surprise. In part because of your continued coverage of the situation in NZ, in which I do sense quite a lot of pride...
Now, I always get a bit of smugness from Kiwis - and with good reason, it's a beautiful country - but I feel it is a bit misplaced in that particular case as NZ, being an inherently very isolated place with a small and sparse population was uniquely endowed to implement a 'hiding' strategy. Probably the ideal place on the planet to do so in fact.
That's why I'm more admirative of places like Singapore or HK, both of which have higher population than NZ, and especially a much higher population density. They also have active land borders and much busier sea and air hubs. Yet despite all this they managed to mostly keep the virus at bay throughout the worst of it and managed to secure early access to vaccines.
Of course, that's where their strategies differ.
Whereas Singapore has understood that the future lies in Covid-resilience, HK seems to be stuck in denial and will seemingly remain in hiding, isolated from the rest of the World (except China, presumably) for the foreseeable future... It will be interesting to see what that does to a city that owes its entire success in being an open international platform for business, but I guess that's for another debate.
Good luck to NZ in its dealing with Covid. The worst and hardest part is only about to start.
The problem is, as displayed in those high vaccinated rate countries reopening, the "decrease drastically" is still too much for the medical system to take.
Even if it decrease hospitalization by 90%, if 10 times more people are infected, then the benefit of vaccine would be cancelled out (10*(1-0.9)), and the stress on medical system will be the same.
I don't advocate removing all restrictions either. There are effective measures to dampen contagion, some of which are incredibly effective relative to the minimal effort they require and few restrictions they entail, such as wearing masks and vaccinations.
Knowing that most will be infected ultimately, regardless of vaccination status, why stop them from picking the path they wish? That's like alcohol and gambling
Gambling mostly affects the gambler, his immediate family at worst. I don't pay their gambling debt.
Alcohol (and drugs, to an extent) are self-inflicted, not contagious and have always been part of society, meaning that our healthcare system has grown with it... It's part of the baseline. It's not exactly desirable, but still more desirable than what happens when you try to deprive a population of its psychotropics. See prohibition.
Some things we just can't live without.
So whereas gambling and alcohol provide some form of reward or escape to their users, Covid doesn't... on the contrary.
As a human being (a mediocre specimen, granted) I understand why some will resort to self-harm as long as they get a kick out of it. I don't want it to happen, but I do want these people to get help when they need it.
But those who end up in the hospital because they refuse to vaccinate? In the middle of a pandemic which is overloading the healthcare system? Denying other sick people of their access to health treatments and imposing more restrictions on everyone else's life? I have a fundamental problem with that. Especially when vaccines are available, free and completely harmless and safe.
Yet Singapore's case rate and especially the hospitalization rate after reopening was still beyond expectation, forcing the government to tighten the measures once again to avoid medical system overload.
Again, managing restrictions to safeguard hospital capacity is a good thing, as long as restrictions are justified and as muted and short as they need to be.
More unvaccinated people means more people in the hospital and therefore more restrictions which last longer. Their choice to not vaccinate directly and disproportionately affects the entire population.
When Covid is endemic and tolerance and immunity has been built to sufficiently high levels in the population that healthcare can cope, then fine, let people choose.
Right now however, in the middle of the largest global health crisis in living memory and hospitals are struggling to cope? Nah. Screw them and their 'personal choice'.