New Zealand Returns to Normal after Beating COVID-19

Sam Eicholtz, Comic Artist

In the summer of 2020, New Zealand became among the first countries to beat COVID-19 completely. The country has since been able to return to normal life, while the United States’ cases count continues to grow. 

  New Zealand is a small country in the Pacific Ocean, located in the Southern Hemisphere, and east of Australia. It is much smaller than the United States in both geographical size and population size, making it much easier to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

  The large areas of countryside and remote-like island geography make it so people are already separated and spread out. This is unlike the diverse and grandiose size of the United States’ geography, containing both rural and urban areas. 

  The population of the United States is also much larger and different from that of New Zealand. A key factor, besides size, that differentiates the two countries’ populations are its demeanors and levels of trust in government.

  According to Eleanor Ainge in Queenstown for The Guardian, “The secrets to New Zealand’s success at eliminating coronavirus has been revealed by university researchers, who have found compliance with basic hygiene practices and trust in authorities was at nearly 100%.”

  This greatly contrasts with the nature of the U.S.  citizens’ response to mandates and regulations, where people have protested the words of top health advisors. This lack of trust in government has since led to widespread gridlock and confusion.

  In New Zealand, Dr. Jagadish Thaker, a senior lecturer at the school of communication, journalism and marketing at Massey University said “We came together as a country, inpart because we believed in our political and health experts to deliver and they did,” and that, “Simple, clear health messages, communicated with kindness and empathy, resonate with people, even when they are demanding tough changes.”

  As a result of New Zealand’s unity and effective communication, a total of 22 people died from COVID-19, and less than 1,500 were infected. 

  “Almost all New Zealanders correctly understand important facts about the coronavirus” as researchers have concluded.

  Going forward, it is important to listen to health experts and scientists, as well as follow the guidelines put in place and recommended by advisors. Otherwise, the United States may continue to suffer at the hands of a virus that ravages the lives of innocent people.