New Zealand has become the ‘doomsday resort’ and #1 pandemic escape destination for America’s rich. Those in Silicon Valley or Manhattan lucky enough to have caught the last international flights into Auckland before borders were shut to foreign travelers late last month — to say nothing of the uptick in private jets landing in the country even days after the ban took effect — in many cases for the first time moved into their multi-million dollar specially designed luxury doomsday bunkers.
Bloomberg profiles how rich Americans escaped in droves just as US coronavirus cases began to explode, arriving in isolated and beautiful New Zealand over 1,000 miles off Australia’s southern coast — and among the least impacted countries on the earth, currently at a little over 1,400 COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths, out of a population of almost 5 million.
“As coronavirus infections tore across the U.S. in early March, a Silicon Valley executive called the survival shelter manufacturer Rising S Co. He wanted to know how to open the secret door to his multimillion-dollar bunker 11 feet underground in New Zealand,” the Bloomberg story begins dramatically enough.
“He went out to New Zealand to escape everything that’s happening,” Gary Lynch, general manager of Rising S Co., described of one elite bunker owner. “And as far as I know, he’s still there.” The Texas-based company specializing in high-tech luxury survival bunkers and homes has multiple such clients moving into what are often their third or fourth homes designed specifically for just such an apocalyptic pandemic or other scenario.
“For years, New Zealand has featured prominently in the doomsday survival plans of wealthy Americans worried that, say, a killer germ might paralyze the world,” writes Bloomberg.
The report describes further:
Rising S Co. has planted about 10 private bunkers in New Zealand over the past several years. The average cost is $3 million for a shelter weighing about 150 tons, but it can easily go as high as $8 million with additional features like luxury bathrooms, game rooms, shooting ranges, gyms, theaters and surgical beds.
The ultra-wealthy have long bet that New Zealand would be the safest place in the world to hunker down during a global crisis, and so far that bet is proving right.
One popular such destination within the country is Waiheke Island, dubbed “the Hamptons of New Zealand” for the high concentration of billionaires who enjoy local wineries and elite eateries set amidst cliff-top mansions and breathtaking views of the ocean.
Mihai Dinulescu, a 34-year old Silicon Valley entrepreneur who fled to New Zealand said “a lot of venture capital people I know were not afraid enough in time for the border close.”
He added somewhat ominously: “And now they can’t get in.”
“Over the years, the moneyed North Americans who have managed to wrangle properties there include hedge-fund pioneer Julian Robertson, Hollywood film director James Cameron and PayPal Holdings Inc. co-founder Peter Thiel, who has two estates in New Zealand, one of which features views of snow-capped mountains and has a safe room,” Bloomberg describes.
Tech leaders have long been smitten by picturesque New Zealand’s potential as a place to ride out the apocalypse, given its extreme isolation – now its biggest strength. Billionaire Thiel, who in 2011 became a joint US-New Zealand citizen years ago described it as “utopia”.
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Diagram of a typical luxury doomsday shelter produced by Texas-based Rising S Co, via Bloomberg:
Kiwis fully expected the recent boom in billionaire doomsday prepper homes to continue. One local luxury home company related the example of a $12 million house which—
…had an “air tunnel” marked in the foundation plans that could easily fit four people walking shoulder-to-shoulder. “It was quite obviously an escape tunnel in the basement,” he said.
This as more broadly the disaster preparedness industry is generally expected to grow around the world.
However, those without such means can only ‘stay behind’ and watch as the super-wealthy flee virus hotspots for safer and more comfortable climes.
Amazon Bans Sale Of N95 And Surgical Masks To General Public – Where Can I Buy N95 Masks Now?
Amazon has banned the sale of N95 and surgical masks to the general public, claiming it would restrict sales to hospitals and government organizations dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ban took effect April 1, according to Recode, after the company said in a forum for Amazon sellers that the ban includes “facial shields, surgical gowns, surgical gloves, and large-volume sanitizers.”
Ok, but where can I Buy N95 masks now?
With Pharmacies, Walmart and nearly all other physical stores out of stock, Amazon out of the game and ebay selling mostly gas masks from China, there’s not much place left to buy N95 masks to protect yourself in th Covid-19 crisis and even if they claim to sell N95 masks, it’s mostly cheap fake masks that won’t offer any protection at all:
As you may already know, the Darknet is selling pretty much everything that is hard to get by in stores or completely illegal. So even if you come by to find a shady shop or entity selling overpriced masks, you never know if they really are what they are advertised (N95 standard) and work and you also never know if they will ever arrive. However, there are still some online shops that are selling the very last N95 masks, one of them being a small company called Amazyble.com.
With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.
Research on SARS, another coronavirus, found that N95 masks were highly effective at blocking transmission of that virus. Even ill-fitting medical face masks have been found to interrupt airborne particles and viruses, keeping them from reaching as far when someone sneezes.
The universal use of mouth and nose covering with masks is a low-risk intervention that can only assist in reducing the spread of this terrible illness. If everyone wears a mask, individuals protect one another, reducing overall community transmission. It could even remind people not to touch their faces after touching potentially contaminated surfaces.