I know New Zealand has been better than us at handling almost everything about this cursed pandemic, so of course it comes as no surprise that their vaccine ad is a million times better than the shitty Australian one, too.

If there’s one thing we’re all fucking mad at right this minute, it’s how terribly our government is handling the COVID-19 resurgence, especially in NSW.

With hundreds of confirmed cases, the first COVID death in NSW since 2020, and an entire city under strict lockdown that feels way too late, people in Sydney like myself are frustrated and scared.

Of course, the Government isn’t helping either, with mixed messages around health advice, and increased police powers targeting poorer areas with higher migrant populations because why not.

And then just today, the Australian Government released two vaccine ads – one with a fucking military theme, and the other depicting a woman under 40 years old struggling to breathe on a ventilator.

The first one is supposed to be kind of positive I guess, but really just uncomfortably militarises a public health issue with the hashtag #armyourself. If you actually scroll through that hashtag online, it’s mostly Americans defending their rights to guns. FFS.

Then there’s the second ad, which is designed to scare young people into getting vaxxed – except no recommended vaccines are available to us right now, so it just feels like we are being shamed for a situation we have no control over.

Trust the government to fuck this up so badly that we’re all feeling even more scared, isolated and angry.

New Zealand, on the other hand, has really come through with the goods – and their ad for vaccines is *chef’s kiss* fucking beautiful.

Bold, colourful, aspirational – it’s the perfect image of hope and togetherness. The affirmation that people can, and will, get this virus under control and regain their lives, because we have the power to make the change we so desperately need. That we owe each other as a community, and that we care about each other enough to believe it.

It honestly made me tear up a little, as someone who moved out on the weekend lockdown started. I’ve been living on my own for the first time ever, after sharing a bedroom my whole life – and now I feel isolated from everyone I know. It’s been hard and scary and new, and the thing I need most right now is reassurance and comfort – which actually, this ad does very well.

The Australian Government, pay attention. This is how you build rapport with your people and inspire them to do what is necessary to get out of this pandemic unscathed. This is the call to action we need. Not fucking shaming us, not scaring us, not ruling with a fist.

People just need to be reminded about community, and to connect with each other in ways we haven’t truly returned to for a while. Ffs, where is the hope?

You can watch New Zealand’s vaccine ad below.