Ever wondered just how good our geographical advantage is when it comes to communicable disease?
When you look at NZ compared to Europe you can see that not only is NZ quite a large country, but it is also very sparsely populated as well as isolated when compared to European countries.
New Zealand can fit within its size, Belgium, Holland, Portugal Switzerland, Croatia and still have room to spare.
These European countries have in total a population of 51,710 980. None are anywhere near the highest populated countries in Europe, but between them they have compatible topographical diversity to NZ.
The difference is that these European countries are all interconnected with large populations and have much more movement of people between them. This is the ideal environment for a communicable disease to move through a population
In New Zealand, the closest major international city to our largest city Auckland is Sydney Australia. The distance between these cities is a 2154 Km stretch of water. Within this distance from Brussels you have hundreds of millions of people
This is the same distance as London to the middle of Ukraine, the flight would have you fly over several different countries including France, Belgium, Germany, Czechia and Poland. The same flight takes you over the Tasman Sea in our neck of the world.
Also, as Australia is also an isolated island and did not have a high infection rates, you need to travel 7,630 km to an area with more than 10,000 deaths (Indonesia). This is the same distance as London to North Carolina in the USA
New Zealand is slightly bigger than the first list of countries above, has 10 % of the population and is as isolated as the UK would be if the closest areas to it was the top of Africa and Eastern Europe.
So, when we pat ourselves on the back, we need to bear in mind that these are serious advantages to stopping a communicable disease in New Zealand.
Belgium size 30,689 km2
Netherlands size 41,543 km2
Portugal size 92,212 km2
Croatia size 56,594 km2
Switzerland size 41,285 km2
Size of NZ 268,021 km2