In the midst of all this chaos and uncertainty – all of which is changing on a minute-to-minute basis – it’s comforting to know that there is coronavirus-related Government messaging out there that is clear, concise, informative, and reassuring. It’s just that it’s all over in New Zealand.
Yesterday was a tale of two text messages, as both the New Zealand and Australian Governments issued phone-based information to residents on the current guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic response. New Zealand’s was to-the-point, informative, reassuring, and encouraging. Australia’s, not to put too fine a point on it, sucked ass.
Prior to the entire country of New Zealand entering a stage 4 lockdown at midnight last night local time, officials informed citizens of their duties under the restrictions via smart phone emergency alert functions, with every phone-carrying Kiwi receiving the same alert at virtually the same time.
“This message is for all of New Zealand. We are depending on you. Follow the rules and STAY HOME.” That, frankly, could not be any clearer or more direct. It’s a textbook example of relaying a firm, united message to the public during a difficult time.
Conversely, the Australian Government’s public text message blast – which was outsourced to telecommunications companies to deliver, it should be said – looked like this:
Sweet. Great work, gang.
The much more hardline measures New Zealand has enacted come at a time where the rate of coronavirus infection in the company is far less than here in Australia. However the commitment to the full lockdown eradication method is projected to see New Zealand open back up to some form of normality in a matter of weeks. The current Australian strategy, which has seen a lot of Federal Government reliance on State leaders and currently meanders in a deeply confusing gulch somewhere between eradication and flattening the curve, will likely see our end of things out of commission for a solid few months.
And if all that by itself weren’t enough to have you looking up rental listings in Auckland, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spent the first night of the total New Zealand lockdown on her couch, in a sweater, conducting an open Q&A on social media.
Meanwhile, in NZ: Our Prime Minister just popped her toddler to bed and has pitched up on the couch in a sweater to do a #covid19 Q&A, as the country enters its first night of lockdown. pic.twitter.com/v69dAdBsZn
— Ashleigh Stewart (@Ash_Stewart_) March 25, 2020
Ah well. If lockdown anxiety is getting the better of you, you can always have a gander at the NZ Government’s official coronavirus response resources. They’re very nicely laid out and it’s incredibly soothing.