Barry Soper: Has clean bill of health come too early for Jacinda?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 9 Jun 2020, 9:51AM
Jacinda Ardern did a little dance at the news the country was Covid free, while Ashley Bloomfield resisted and opted for a smile instead. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Jacinda Ardern did a little dance at the news the country was Covid free, while Ashley Bloomfield resisted and opted for a smile instead. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Barry Soper: Has clean bill of health come too early for Jacinda?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 9 Jun 2020, 9:51AM

COMMENT:

Has the country's clean bill of health peaked too early for the Government?

Not for businesses obviously, nor for people who can now get back to work, and let's hope public servants, whose jobs are assured, are forced to get back behind their office desks and contribute to the economy.

But politically, the Beehive's got to the end of finally getting us to where we've all wanted to be for more than two months now, so the flow of good news from the Beehive pulpit, gradually loosening the screws through the levels has come to an end.

Whether the screws had to be tightened so harshly on March 25 is a debate for history, we'll never know how bad things could or would have got.

We can argue, though, whether the Government could have gone harder and earlier, like enforcing quarantine at the borders from the time we went into lockdown rather than two weeks after it.

That could have seen us where we are today earlier and would have meant fewer businesses would have gone belly up.

The only good news left this side of the election then is opening the borders, first to Australia and then to the Pacific Islands. The rest of the world is still a long way off.

But by the time our neighbours' borders are opened, the economic reality of what's happened will be kicking in and many will find it hard enough scraping cash together to put food on the table rather than heading offshore for a bit of R and R.

Add to that those who can still afford a trip abroad the very real fear factor, instilled from the start by being told day after day to act as though everyone had Covid-19. Even under this level expect to be given a wide berth as you cut a swathe to the pub or restaurant toilet.

Still, celebrate while you can. Certainly Jacinda Ardern has, admitting to performing a little dance to the bemusement or her daughter when the last Covid case had recovered while Ashley Bloomfield said, while not dancing (perish the thought), he managed to crack a smile.

National's Todd Muller, who was invisible during the crisis up until a couple of weeks ago, says he's looking forward to getting back to pressing the flesh rather than bumping elbows.

With Covid out of the way, although always lurking menacingly beneath the surface, let the election battle begin.