Mostly we try to avoid sad incidents until they happen to cross our path or the path of someone nearby. This week our local coffee shop/bakery opened during Level 3 lockdown having stayed closed through previous lockdowns.

On Tuesday evening the owner was forced to admit defeat and dump his baked goods in the rubbish. His customers either were stuck at home, unaware he was open, or simply couldn’t meet with friends. He sold very few coffees and hardly any food. By Thursday midday he had laid off staff and gone home depressed and despondent about the future of his business.

In 2018 18% of the country was fortunate to be employed by the government or local bodies, making their lockdown risk free. Staying at home on full pay for these fortunate beneficiaries of the public purse means catching up on recorded television programmes and YouTube videos while occasionally checking emails. “Lockdown’s great,” gloated a teacher friend, “I’m catching up on so much administration!” Whoop de doo, lucky for you but how about those working in tourism or hospitality?

Months ago Ardern basked in worldwide acclaim for her effective Covid response. We went hard and we went early, she lied.

“New Zealand’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been the best in the world and is the country that gives business leaders the most confidence for future investment, according to a Bloomberg Media survey.”

The Guardian

Bloomberg was a tad premature after their swift and inaccurate assessment. Small businesses like my local coffee shop, if open at all, are running frantically like mice on a wheel. With no end in sight and nothing to prevent another lockdown at indecently short notice, their demise is only a matter of time.

Bloomberg should have looked closer to home when it sang Ardern’s praises. On their doorstep is the only American state refusing to bow to Covid fear and lock everything down. Governor Kristi Noem worked hard to keep South Dakota open for business.

“In South Dakota, we just took a very different path,” she said. “We knew the science told us we couldn’t stop the virus. We could slow it down and protect people who might be vulnerable and make sure we have enough hospital capacity to take care of those who need it, but that we would do it together and allow people to be flexible to take care of their families and put food on the table.”

“That was a unique approach that, for our people, worked really well,” the Governor concluded.”

Governor Kristi Noem CPAC address 2021

While Noem protects the rights of South Dakota residents to earn money to feed their families, the responsibility for protecting themselves from the virus falls firmly on responsible adults. With sufficient information and common sense we are capable of making the best health decisions.

In South Dakota Noem protected individuals’ rights to work, educate their children, attend church and access the usual medical health checks and treatment.

Noem resisted the urge to grasp the power that a crisis affords politicians. She is scathing of leaders who did just that, claiming that politicians using a crisis to remove people’s freedoms results in poor leadership. Can’t argue with that when our lot can’t even agree on the petty Covid rules we are expected to obey. Currently, the Ministry of Health and the PM can’t agree about whether Case L followed the Covid rules or broke them.

Lockdown rules are getting sillier. Team NZ helmsman Peter Burling on the AM show was thankful Emirates NZ was actually allowed back on the water during Level 3 lockdown but noted they need to “get back on those inside courses, back on Course C…” making you wonder who is dictating the rules for a huge fast boat out on a large expanse of water.

We are not well served by our leadership as the people of South Dakota are served by theirs.

Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Michigan are following Noem’s path by removing mandatory mask wearing and reinstating personal freedom and responsibility despite receiving warnings from the Biden administration’s senior health officials. Better late than never, and hopefully a growing international trend.

“Effective next Wednesday, all businesses of any type are allowed to open 100%,” the governor said at a news conference announcing an end to restrictions imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Abbott said declining hospitalization rates across the state and increased distribution of virus vaccines were reasons to end the coronavirus restrictions.”

The Blaze

Last year Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert’s doctor recommended hydroxychloroquine to treat his COVID-19 despite Dr. Anthony Fauci and the US Food and Drug Administration withdrawing its emergency-use approval of the drug. Texas uses dexamethasone to treat Covid patients and will have sufficient Johnson & Johnson vaccine for every adult by the end of May.

Here’s a thought: instead of our government arbitrarily dictating, for example, that a supermarket is an essential business but a bakery is not, why not let all businesses decide for themselves and take personal responsibility for their own health risks?

The mortality and health risks of Covid are nothing compared to the mental, economic and health effects of lockdown where we have just scratched the surface with no end in sight.

The PM fooled us with her draconian lockdown rules and mask-wearing edicts, but the longer she continues the charade the more exposed her position becomes when the rest of the world is waking up. The more she dictates conflicting rules and hides from effective treatments the worse her fall from grace will be. Time to wise up.

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Let Us Out of Lockdown Hell
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Suze is an avid reader and writer after a career in accounting starting in the farming industry. 10 years working in the NZ mining industry made her passionate about accessing our resource potential whilst...