New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern used one word to summarise 2020 - Horrendous. But this woman in power has been making this year a little less so with every step she's taken.
While the rest of the countries are fighting for vaccines and playing power games - New Zealand is all for sharing its resources. In a press release, Jacinda stated that New Zealand has agreed to purchase enough vaccines from the pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Novavax to vaccinate its 5 million residents, as well as neighbouring Pacific nations.
These neighbouring nations include Tokelau, the Cook Islands, Niue, Samona, Tonga, and Tuvalu, who will be given the extra vaccines should they want them. All vaccines administered in the country will be provided free of charge.
Jacinda has undoubtedly become the hero 2020 needs. Her compassion in leadership comes as no surprise though. Because it is the exact reason why she was re-elected in a landslide win. New Zealand saw a rare outright parliamentary majority, something that Jacinda's efficient control of the pandemic caused.
The country reported only 2121 positive cases and 2037 recovered successfully while others are in isolation. Despite being largely dependent on tourism, she closed NZ's borders to international travel on March 19, only 19 days after the first confirmed case. It was one of the earliest and most stringent lockdown imposed, but thanks to the lockdown, even at its peak - New Zealand had not more than 89 COVID-19 positive cases a day.
In order to rebuff the myths surrounding the virus, she also held a Facebook live Q&A, from her home in her PJs. She answer questions on self-isolation measures in a bid to tackle coronavirus, leading by example and with utmost compassion.
In May, when the country began functioning again and was predominantly covid-free, Jacinda decided to promote domestic tourism. She suggested employers consider a four-day working week and offer other flexible working options to promote tourism in the country and help promote a work-life balance. This groundbreaking decision immediately made her a crowd favourite.
I hear lots of people suggesting we should have a four-day workweek. Ultimately that really sits between employers and employees. But as I’ve said there’s just so much we’ve learnt about Covid and that flexibility of people working from home, the productivity that can be driven out of that.
She has been a constant support system to her citizens, and a fine example to those in power across the globe. The ultimate queen of 2020, Jacinda has proven that good intentions will always set you apart.