New Zealand is paradise on Earth but some think that it’s hell. By all accounts, New Zealand has done a great job in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. However, after 102 days of being Covid-19 free, the country has had a minor second outbreak.
There are some critics, including US President Donald Trump and some of his supporters, who believe that things are now ‘over’ for New Zealand. Meanwhile, a Twitter account called No Lockdown called the country an authoritarian ‘hellhole’ in a post.
However, the citizens of the Shire--errr, I mean, New Zealand--didn’t let this get them down and responded with a wave of over-the-top sarcasm. Kiwis started posting tweets about how ‘horrible’ life in their country is and got the #NZHellhole hashtag trending. Scroll down, have a read, and upvote your fave comeback posts.
Bored Panda reached out to photographer Paul Le Comte, one of the locals who posted under the #NZHellhole hashtag. He had some great sociological insights for us about the current situation. According to Paul, some people are quick to believe posts that New Zealand is supposedly a 'hellhole' because of confirmation bias and are "willing to believe anything they need to believe in."
He also referenced one of his favorite quotes that he read in his Sociology 101 class: "Even very intelligent people, when faced with doubt about their roles in society, will involve themselves even more in the doubted activity rather than withdraw into reflection."
Paul said that New Zealand has been successful in dealing with the pandemic because of its leadership and science. "They worked hand in hand. Also because of clear communication of science a goals, the Prime Minister was able to get NZ believing in a #teamOfFiveMillion."
The Kiwi added that the pandemic didn't much affect his day to day life because he works for himself from home. "Not a lot actually changed."
According to New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, there have been 9 new cases of Covid-19 reported in the country on Monday, August 24. Eight of these cases are confirmed and one of them is probable. There are currently a total of 1,332 cases of coronavirus infections in the country that has over 4.88 million citizens.
Most of New Zealand is under a Level 2 lockdown which means limited restrictions. Meanwhile, Auckland is under a Level 3 lockdown, meaning that masks are recommended, social distancing is a must, and only essential workers are going to work.
Trump told his supporters in Pennsylvania that the 11 new cases of Covid-19 (2 of which were from international arrivals) in New Zealand on August 21 were a ‘big surge’ and a ‘massive breakout.’
"New Zealand, New Zealand it's over for New Zealand! Everything's gone. It's all over. They're beautiful,” Trump said.
The Kiwi Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, hit back in a subtle, diplomatic way—by comparing New Zealand’s cases to the American response.
“New Zealand is among a small number of countries that still has a low rate of Covid-19 cases and one of the lowest death rates in the world. For example, the United States has 16,563 cases per million people. We have 269 cases per million people,” Ardern said.
“Today in New Zealand we're talking 11 cases whereas the United States is dealing with over 40,000 cases. Our approach has been different to other countries’ but it's an approach I think we can all feel very proud of,” the politician exclaimed.