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Rob Elshire

Unsent Letter to the Editor -- Indianapolis Star

3 min read

It is a rainy autumnal Sunday in Palmerston North.With the granny smith apples ripe and ready, it is a good day for pie making. We are under level 3 lock down for at least another week and a half, so we are not going anywhere today. Our government has been using science and the advice of trained professionals as they determine their response to the pandemic. Their actions, with the cooperation of a team of 5 million, are working. We have flattened the curve and may be on track to eliminate the virus in Aotearoa.

Yes, there are acute and will be long standing economic effects. For example, international tourism has ceased. When the borders will open again is unknown. At the same time, we all have access to health care (always). The central government provided 12 weeks of wage subsidies right as the lock down was announced. These were not loans. Additional economic support has been promised. As has a plan to change our economy to rely less on just a few industries.

This is not to say that the situation has been easy. It has not. Many are having a very difficult time of it. There is much uncertainty about the future. What will the new normal look like? Even so, a huge majority of the population supports the government and their decisions.

Meanwhile, things look very different in Indiana where I was born. See this article from 1 May 2020.

'A little bit of science' and 'a little bit of art': Holcomb gives plan to reopen Indiana

This archive link for when the above is no longer accessible.

https://web.archive.org/web/20200503085715/https://www.indystar.com/story/news/health/2020/05/01/gov...

This quote from the article says it all:

Duncan Lemp, 28, of Grant County, said he favored opening the economy completely now.

"Hoosiers are smart. Don’t treat us like we’re stupid," he said. "We already know social distancing. Trust the public. Give the people the choice to work. If they get sick, it’s on them."

Mr. Lemp seems to be the product of trickle down ignorance. The number of new cases each day continues to increase. There is no indication that the state has this under control or that they are doing enough testing to have accurate counts. It is likely to be much worse than they think it is.

Governor Holcomb might be better off using a lot of science. Instead, he is allowing religious services with no restrictions on gathering sizes starting May 8.  This is sooner than hair salons, and most restaurants (all of which have limitations on capacity).  Priorities are clear.

A lot of uncecessary deaths are on the horizon. Please tell me how the economy will be better for it and why in the world the economy is more important than peoples' physical and mental well being.

My pie is done and it is glorious. On to some chewy oatmeal bickies. Then a nice roast chicken with mexican rice. We are safe, healthy, and in a place lead by smart, humane, and competent people. BTW our prime minister is an agnostic 39 year old unwed mother full of compassion and strength. Priorities matter.