I can't quite believe I'm doing this but, I'm going to come to the defence of the World Health Organisation.
I don't think it's at all fair the way the WHO is being bashed for the position of its special envoy on Covid-19 - Dr David Nabarro - on lockdowns.
If you haven't caught up on this, Nabarro seems to have caused quite a stir by asking that world leaders stop using lockdowns as their first option for controlling Covid-19.
The concern is the impact on the poor.
As you can imagine this has drawn flak. Kiwi health expert Professor Michael Baker says he's "irate", that these comments are "inappropriate" and don't apply to New Zealand.
But I wonder if some people are losing the nuance in these comments.
Nabarro and the WHO are not criticising lockdowns per se. They are simply saying lockdowns should not be the first option. They should only be used if all other options are exhausted. And then, they should be used to buy time in order to set up better systems like contact tracing or testing, which should really be the first option.
So take for example our first lockdown. They are not criticising that. That was arguably an appropriate lockdown to buy New Zealand time, to avoid a swamping of the health system and to allow authorities to set up our contact tracing and testing system.
Now that we have those systems through... we should not have future lockdowns unless things threaten to get out of control.
Arguably, New Zealand might be open to criticism for our second lockdown because we did have apparently adequate contact tracing and testing systems - so we're told – but went for the nuclear option in Auckland anyway.
The whole lockdown thing seems to have become quite binary for people. It seems you either support lockdowns in any circumstance, however often, as a signal that you care for people. Or you don't support any lockdowns, ever, because you care more about money.
It's obviously not that straightforward. Lockdowns are like anything - appropriate sometimes and inappropriate at others. The WHO is only expressing that reality.
It seems the nuance of Nabarro's argument has been lost.
To put it simply, lockdowns are necessary sometimes but they are the nuclear option so they should only be used when all else is going to fail.