- Date published:
12:15 pm, April 14th, 2020 - 53 comments
Categories: capitalism, health, health and safety, jacinda ardern, uncategorized, workers' rights - Tags: covid-19, Covid19, pike river, pike river mine
By us, I mean New Zealand.
I’m not going to wax on about the politicians. But the leading public servants have been shown to be people we can trust and rely upon. We have been reassured. We have frankly obeyed. And that response to good leadership had meant we have collectively delivered strong results.
There was the 2008-09 financial collapse and recession. Then the 2010 Pike River disaster. Followed by the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes. The 2012-13 drought – one of the very worst on record. Dunedin’s floods of 2015. Next year the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. The 2019 Northland drought and Southland floods, and the White Island eruption. The Covid-19 medical and economic calamity. Through that, from 2009 until early 2020 we had strong employment growth, consistent economic growth, low unemployment, and a confident country. We work hard through it all, and we get through it.
In this extraordinary lockdown, few people broke the tough rules. There’s no big outbreaks of theft, looting, or vandalism. No packs of drunken hooligans. Nothing like The Purge happened, though the moment is so ripe for dystopian fantasy. Police are not stretched for that kind of crime –lthough domestic abuse is reportedly up. The stories of people assisting each are echoing through social media and the mainstream media. We are quietly proud of all essential workers and what they’ve been doing for us all through this. Newspapers are reduced to reporting on harsh words spoken about surfing.
Teddybears have certainly appeared in windows right across my neighbourhood. There were pictures drawn by children of easter eggs on letterboxes. People are driving across town to make sure elderly people can get food delivered to their door. Massive and consistent food donations. When it started to get unruly at supermarkets, the word went out and people actually started being nicer to each other. Our social networks have by and large worked well on our social digital platforms.
While I have no prediction yet on how hard this crisis will hit us all in the bank, what I do know is that the character we collectively have has been exposed, made clearer to see, and actually it’s quite affirming.