(ConservativeHub.com) – The COVID-19 pandemic occurred on a global scale, but each country responded to it in their own way. Some chose to focus on preserving the ability to work and the overall economy, while others engaged in what many felt were draconian lockdowns that prevented people from even leaving their homes.
As for which approach is right, there’s really no simple answer. Every country is different, and that means their response to the disease must be unique, too. Yet, people worldwide still cite New Zealand as an example of how an effective response should look.
There are six new cases of COVID-19 to report in managed isolation in New Zealand today. There are no new community cases. pic.twitter.com/Oub0FGBpWp
— Unite against COVID-19 (@covid19nz) December 8, 2020
That’s Not as Accurate as You Might Think
Firstly, New Zealand is an island. It’s easy to lock down borders and limit travel to and from the area — something that isn’t quite as simple in a country like the United States. As it’s nearly 1,200 miles from the nearest landmass, people can’t exactly just waltz in.
Population is also a factor. New Zealand’s main city, Auckland, is home to just 1.6 million people. That’s far smaller than the capitals of most other countries. Density is also extremely low across the rest of the nation, making it easier to control the spread.
Economically, New Zealand’s pursuit of the eradication of the virus has had positives and negatives. Industries like international education and tourism, which are crucial drivers of New Zealand’s economy, were all but decimated as leaders fought to eliminate the virus.
The flip side of this is the fact New Zealand’s domestic economy has benefited from low infection rates. Because leaders focused on curbing the spread early on, physical stores have not faced the cyclical lockdowns that have plagued other countries. Here in the US, this kind of approach would have been far more difficult to implement — we’re simply too big.
The take-home message from all of this should be that comparisons with New Zealand are of limited value, especially for a country like the United States. While there are some lessons to be learned, it would be foolish to imagine we could emulate their situation here.
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