The country is haemorrhaging (bleeding and suffering) and the people are confused and fear for their jobs and the future (even) more than usual. It is not clear when the restrictions imposed on us will be lifted; they may even be extended.
The Government is going for broke in stamping out the virus. They are re-writing parts of the rulebook as they go. Actually, it comes down to interpretation and implementation; on paper, things never look as they are in reality.
Police powers have increased but they seem to have followed a ‘kind’ approach so far.
There seems to be a growing chorus of disagreeing voices with a few dissonants expressing an unease over the economic and social costs, in that order. Interestingly, some of these seem to come from political corners and the likes.
As always, there is a hard core of people in the population who think the rules don’t apply to them. Indeed, these law-skirters may be invincible and never get sick with COVID-19 and they are the best drivers on the road too. That is, they may not show overt symptoms, although I hazard a guess that these folks do also think they know better than their GP and would not seek medical attention until it is way too late, but they can still be carriers and spread the virus to others.
Rather than cooking up Draconian measures to ‘educate’ these misbehaving malcontents that would be like a 1080-drop in the middle of the CBD to deal with a few ‘pests’, the Government might consider an incentive scheme rather – you catch more flies with honey.
These days, ‘good’ behaviour is not rewarded, socially or otherwise. In fact, one gets the impression that ‘good guys’ never come first. Anyway, being an obedient law-abiding citizen does not give you much in the way of bragging rights. Of course, there is the virtue signalling and the moral posturing with the finger wagging and, the all-time favourite, finger pointing (hunting scapegoats) that often goes hand-in-hand with a conservative punitive attitude. The kind of behaviours that can turn any sane person into a rebel without a cause and go against what is considered socially acceptable, with obnoxious and/or risk-taking behaviours and what have you.
Saving lives and jobs in their community apparently does not take priority over their personal urges, wants, and desires for some individuals. This may not be surprising given how we have been conditioned to look after Number One – individual needs take precedent over collective needs – combined with our ‘she’ll be right, mate’ attitude. Being considerate of others in our society is not a consideration for some.
So, let’s give all of us another incentive to stamp out the virus ASAP and move down the alert levels quickly. I propose Government gives every Kiwi $100 each day for each confirmed case less than the day before. Yesterday 3 April, we had an increase of 49 new confirmed cases. If today that number is 47 (Edit: it is 52), we all get $200. The lowest daily increase then becomes 47, et cetera. This will be in place for, say, two weeks to put a time limit on it. It should be reasonably easy to calculate to overall direct cost of such an incentive scheme. The goal is to drive the number down as low as possible (zero) within these two weeks.
Could it Work? Would it work? Better odds than Lotto with a much bigger Jackpot 😉
Can you come up with a different and/or better incentive scheme?