Jacinda Arden has been hailed by most countries for doing what the rest of the world has failed – stopping the Covid-19 virus.
While most countries are working on ways to contain the coronavirus, New Zealand has set itself a much more ambitious goal: eliminating it altogether. And experts believe the country could pull it off. Geography has helped. If any place could be described as socially distant it would be New Zealand, surrounded by stormy seas, with Antarctica to the south. With 5 million people spread across an area the size of Britain, even the cities aren’t overly crowded – but a large portion of the credit is given to Arden herself.
Ardern has taken bold steps, putting the country under a strict lockdown in late March, when only about 100 people had tested positive for the new virus. Her motto: “Go hard and go early.”
Most people appear to support Ardern’s strict lockdown, under which schools are closed and people working nonessential jobs can leave home only for groceries or exercise. Google mobility data indicates there has been high compliance.
In the first lockdown across the world in spring 2020, an 11-year-old girl wrote to Arden. The father of the 11-year-old girl, and journalist Philip Bromwell shared that almost a year later, his daughter received a response – directly from the Prime Minister.
During the first lockdown, Lily sent the letter to Ardern as part of a school project which required her to write to a leader.
During the first lockdown last spring, our then 11-year-old had to write a letter to a leader for school.
She chose @jacindaarder. Well, after “a busy few months” (!) for the NZ PM, Lily was delighted to get a personal reply! Great at leading, lockdowns & letters,” he wrote sharing a photo of the letter.
The letter reads, “Dear Lily,
Thank you so much for your letter. I’m so sorry it has taken a while to get back to you, it’s been a busy few months, unfortunately.
I appreciate you taking the time to write – your kind words meant a lot and they really brightened up my day.
I hope you and your family are staying safe in Ireland, please pass on my best wishes to them. Thanks for writing, Lily.