The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, has a message for people visiting loved ones in the hospital with covid-19: Having sex isn’t part of regular “visiting hours.”
Ardern made the comment after being asked by a journalist on Thursday about a recent incident where a patient admitted to the hospital with covid-19 was apparently having sex at a health care facility in the city of Auckland.
“Well, I think it’s a high-risk activity, potentially, however, I don’t know the details about that,” New Zealand health official Ashley Bloomfield said during a regular press conference Thursday that was livestreamed on YouTube.
“I would say generally, regardless of the covid status, that kind of thing shouldn’t generally be part of visiting hours, I would’ve thought,” Prime Minister Ardern said, following up on Bloomfield’s disapproval.
Ardern instantly became a meme, given her wide range of facial expressions as the question about sex in hospitals was being asked. The Prime Minister seemed to go from a look of concern to embarrassment to amusement, and finally to the facial expression of someone thoroughly impressed.
Most of New Zealand has been in a hard lockdown since August 17 after a mystery case of covid-19 was detected, though restrictions have since been eased outside the epicenter of the outbreak in Auckland. The lockdown in Auckland is scheduled to continue through September 14.
New Zealand, with a population of five million people, is one of just a handful of countries, including China and Taiwan, still pursuing a covid-zero strategy to completely eliminate the disease. While China has deployed mass testing and contact tracing to achieve covid-zero, New Zealand has benefited from being an island nation that’s able to close its borders with relative ease.
The New Zealand government has also deployed hard lockdowns and an extensive contact tracing regime, which has allowed the country to flatten its covid-19 curve over recent weeks. New Zealand reported just 13 new cases on Thursday, the lowest daily number in almost three weeks, and down from a peak of 84 cases on September 2.
New Zealand’s short and sharp lockdowns have made right-wing idiots lose their minds, decrying the public health measure as some version of tyranny. But the country has been living life like normal outside of the handful of weeks it’s been in lockdown during 2021. And not some version of “covid-normal” like the rest of the world. We’re talking 2019 normal. The Before Times, as it were. And it looks like they just might pull it off again, provided they can stop people from having sex in New Zealand hospitals—the horny bastards.