I have a good friend who is an amazing woman working for Pacifica in South Auckland. I ring her from time to time to remind her that she is not on her own. This community have borne the brunt of Covid 19 in Auckland. It is a real worry what the TV article on the attached link states. How hard it was for the man being interviewed to get into hospital.
Oliver Hartwich is the Executive Director of The New Zealand Initiative. Wrote in Newsroom this week:
Even though many Europeans claim the virus has had no personal impact on them because of disease or economic consequences, it has had a significant impact in one area. That area is the personal perception of freedom, and here the pandemic’s outcomes are dramatic.
Across the 12 countries surveyed, only a little more than a fifth of respondents (22%) said they felt free. The least perception of freedom was detected in Austria (15%) and Germany (11%).
Given that nearly two-thirds of Germans and half of Austrians thought the pandemic did not affect them, these results are astounding. It did – but primarily by restricting their movements and liberties.
People were also asked to report how views on their freedom had changed between 2019 and now. The declines were substantial in all countries, but especially for those who formerly considered themselves free.
For example, in the Netherlands, the percentage of people who feel free has decreased from 79 percent in 2019 to just 19 percent now.
What emerges is yet another seismic shift brought about by the virus. People have witnessed their freedoms disappear. And, as a result, many people, particularly the younger generation, have lost faith in the government.
These issues, when considered together, pose a serious threat to European democracy. It is no longer merely a matter of economic recovery that must be accomplished. Regaining the trust of the youth in democratic institutions will be equally crucial. The European Union’s institutions will also face a continuing challenge in bridging Europe’s regional divides.
“While the early stages of the crisis saw many citizens rally behind their national governments and EU member states move towards more cooperation, the next stage of the crisis could lead to more political divisions both within states and between them,” the study’s authors conclude.
It is a conclusion that might similarly apply to us here in New Zealand.
It was easy to unite behind a government saving lives in a team of five million. But just as we are trying to move out of this stage of pandemic management, we will find out whether the virus has really made us come together.
Or whether its long-term effect will be social division and political polarisation.
This could be a very interesting issue to focus on. I, personally, have been very supportive of the Government’s leadership on Covid. However, this article on how Covid has affected people in the EU is a warning that we must ensure that confidence in politics isn’t lost for many in our communities.
Here’s a link to the article https://www.newsroom.co.nz/pro/the-virus-in-european-politics.