New Zealand and the Role of Government in Pandemics

A Beech Wood in May near Iselingen Manor, Zealand, P. C. Skovgaard, 1857

New Zealand did a great job with their COVID-19 response.  I agree with them implementing some of the toughest measures when it came to the pandemic.  New Zealand’s government acted in accordance with epidemiologists and other scientists’ recommendations and launched a harsh campaign against the virus that included this nicely done and comprehensive website. From an article,  New Zealand sets sights on coronavirus elimination after 2 weeks of lockdown, published in early April 2020 we can see what they did. 

Here are a couple of examples of the guidelines and restrictions implemented early:

“…schools and non-essential businesses closed including food delivery…  only essential travel is permitted, and water activities like swimming are banned.”

“People must remain at home unless they’re exercising outdoors — but they have to stick to their neighborhood and only interact with those in their household “bubble,” keeping at least 6.5 feet from others.”

New Zealand also went on to disallow access through foreign travel. 

And then there was the enforcement:

“…Covid-19 breaches had been recorded, including … prosecutions… People have been arrested for offenses like obstruction of a person assisting a medical officer or being in breach of the Civil Defense Emergency Management Act.” 

And the public help:

The government approved a $12.1 billion support package for compensation to businesses and workers.

New Zealand is now free of coronavirus as of June 7, 2020. 

Absolutely amazing work from all, from the politicians to the scientists to the people.  Regardless of how some may feel about the economy and its health, as a government leader, I would always place the value of human life above anything else.  I would set guidelines and restrictions according to the empirical evidence and the current data brought forth by a team of experts I would have already had on staff for just such an occasion.  I would have these guidelines and restrictions enforced.  And I would be sure to provide monetary and healthcare relief to all my citizens. 

What else is a government good for if not to step in and help the people when the market cannot?

What do you think? 
Comment below and let’s have a conversation!


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