by Tara Hebbar

While most countries including India continue to fight the battle against Covid-19, New Zealand has successfully terminated itself from the clutches of the deadly virus. Although the size and health care systems do provide the country with an added advantage, there are still lessons our country can take from New Zealand. 

The lockdown in New Zealand was quick to be set and the rules were strict, the Prime Minister– Jacinda Ardern who says–, that the regulations were the strictest, and for them she would “make no apologies”. The borders were also strictly enforced and closed to almost all non-citizens. Professor Martin Berka, an economist at  Massey University states,

“doing this early on with only over a few thousand cases [worldwide] at the time allowed them to stop the influx and stop the community transmission.”

While India’s main goal was to minimize the negative effects of the Virus, New Zealand always aimed to eliminate it completely. This clear goal was another factor that contributed to their speedy extermination of the Covid-19. 

Another prime factor that allowed and contributed to the eradication of the virus was compliance of not only the officials but additionally the citizens as well! The officials did a very thorough and commendable job when it came to implementing the lockdown and safety measures, and the citizens did the same when it came to following them. It was most definitely a collective effort that couldn’t have been possible without the different people across the spectrum, from nurses to those who take the tests . Meanwhile, not only is India a country with an immensely large population, but additionally most people and officials refuse to understand the severity of the situation. Even during the peak of the lockdown, people would still roam outdoors, without an urgent agenda and the officials would either ignore it or they would be punished with physical beatings or some were made to even do frog jumps.

Although it is unfair to expect the same reaction to the virus from both countries, due to the health infrastructure and economy is it fair to expect the same level of precaution taken by the citizens. The population of New Zealand, made eradicating the virus just a little easier, not to discredit what they have done. They also have better healthcare schemes and infrastructure than we do. However, just as mentioned priorly, there are still a plethora of lessons one can take from their recovery.  One very important aspect is to respect those who are experts in their fields and heed the advice and warning they give. Many people in India consider the virus a  ploy by the nations leaders without realising the enormity and urgency of the situation. Doctors and experts needed to be taken seriously for the spike of cases to become a curve. Additionally, following the necessary social distancing norms is essential. Now, in our country the social distancing circles have become another decoration with no one following the desired rules, hence causing the fast spread of the disease. To decrease the chances of spreading the disease here and everywhere, social distancing is key. Everything is starting to resume again and if the virus needs to be removed it is essential to be socially distanced whenever it is possible.

We need to implement these lessons we can take from the country of New Zealand who have set a landmark and ray of hope for us all. This virus will not get the better of us if we learn to take it seriously. Rules need to be implemented and most importantly followed. It is in everyone of our hands to cease the spread of the Covid-19. This might have been the most common saying of the year 2020, but hear it again and heed it’s advice. Wash your hands, stay socially distanced and safe. As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc, we must do what we can to make it just a little harder for the virus to continue spreading the same way. Let us look at New Zealand as our destination and all hop on the train to get there!

Tara is an 10th grader who loves to sing, read, play and watch cricket, basketball and tennis, play the guitar, listen to music, meet new people, and always learn. She is very passionate about the things she writes about, and does and is always up for a debate or casual conversation. Her main goal as a journalist for the Ascent is to inform and inspire people to change their ways for the better of the world.