A few weeks ago, there was a joke going around Facebook about women running countries. The punch line was, listen to your wife, because look at all of those countries run by women with little if any COVID-19.
Okay. It was a joke, and many couples had a good time with it.
One of those ladies was Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, who was hailed for her work.
Well, not so fast, as we see in this report from the island nation:
New Zealand’s successful fight against COVID-19 was hailed globally and the Pacific island nation of 5 million was seen as one of the safest places, as the pandemic raged globally.
Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the four cases were within one family in South Auckland. One person is in their 50s. They had no history of international travel. Family members have been tested and contact tracing is under way.
News of the cases sent panic across the country with media reporting people rushing to supermarkets to stock up, and businesses preparing to shut.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Auckland would move to level 3 restriction from noon on Wednesday as a “precautionary approach”, which would mean people should stay away from work and school, and gatherings or more than 10 people would again be restricted.
To be serious, this post is not about criticizing P.M. Ardern, who is doing the best she can. The larger point is that COVID-19 is turning out to be a much more potent enemy than many of us anticipated.