In the very beginning, the New Zealand government started thinking about its citizens and what steps should be taken to ensure they were as safe as possible.
As an American citizen living in New Zealand (a small country south of Australia), I was amazed to see very early on a subsidy for employers of $580 per employee if they will guarantee to pay 80% of people’s wages. Businesses were supported to ensure ongoing employment for citizens, even after COVID-19 had passed.
Next came the 4-week minimum lockdown, even when there were only a handful of confirmed cases. Other than essential services, people were to work at home and STAY HOME! This meant that the curfew was across the board and not optional.
Abandoned streets were found after we were told to stay home and stay local.
Stores closed their doors, in an effort to help stop the infection from spreading. The only things that have stayed open in NZ are the grocery stores, gas stations, and pharmacies, these are considered the ONLY essential things we should leave our homes for.
The objective? To significantly limit the spread of the virus allowing health services to cope, and thereby save thousands of lives.
A few things I don’t understand is why isn’t the USA doing the same or how about doing anything for their citizens? Some auto factories are just now shutting down or have been shut down for only a couple of weeks. What are people thinking? I have been told that the government is giving $1,200 to each adult and I believe $500 per child under the age of 17. What makes it worse is that now you can’t even claim a child on taxes, whether they are in school or not, if they are over 17. Is any of this supposed to seem like HELP or just another slap in the face?
When we compare the infection rates per capita, the USA is on a par with France who has been in lockdown for 3 weeks. New Zealand has a quarter of the USA’s infection rate and has been on lockdown for 2 weeks. I’m pretty sure I see many trends here, and none show me that the USA government cares for its citizens, or it’s economy.
(Check out statistics here: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ )
The police here are even patrolling the beaches and parks, telling people that have traveled outside their community to go home, and if there is any resistance you could find yourself fined or in jail.
Playgrounds have been fenced off to help deter people from using them and spreading COVID-19. What steps are being done in the US? I hear from family and friends in the USA, I also see posts on social sites like Facebook and Instagram, and it seems to me that there isn’t much happening to enforce their safety, even against themselves.
Not only is New Zealand a beautiful place but it really does care about its environment, all the creatures living here and, most of all, it’s citizens.