There’s an argument floating aroung the internet and more recently on mainstream media promoting the lifting of the shutdown earlier than planned.
I notice it is often the right wing doom brokers among us who are leading the “let’s get back to work NOW!” chant,supported by a chorus of well-healed money spinners who are clearly more worried about what is happening to their profits than to people.
Their argument runs something like this – the number deaths in our country haven’t been anywhere as high as intially predicted and the continued lockdown is so damaging to our economy the government is stupid to continue with it.
So let’s just think about this for a moment.
The public health measures that have been put in place by our government has kept the death rate low and SAVED countless lives.
How do we know?
You only have to look at how this Covid 19 virus is ravaging America right now for example to know what it capable of doing if left unchecked.
So what those among us who measure the worth of everything in life by its dollar value want to argue, is that the SUCCESS of our Public Health programme is somehow a measure of its economic failure!
I say to those people – get a grip!
You can’t have a lifestyle if you don’t have a life.
The rich are not somehow immune to this virus. If it can get behind the doors of No 10 Dowing Street and attack the Prime Minister of the UK , then it can sure get to you too.
So if you don’t value the lives of others, tell me the price you would put on your own head to die so the economy could recover quicker.
Or tell me the dollar amount you would put on the life of your wife, your partner, your lover, your children, your mother and father or any of your friends and whanau that you would sacrifice in order that businesses can make profits quicker in the post- pandemic era.
I say to the morally bankrupt among us that the neo-liberal economics and politics of selfishness is a SOCIAL virus and we can take this moment in our history to kill off, if we but have the courage to do it.
It’s not easy for anybody in lockdown especially folk who are facing unemployment or the ruin of their businesses .
But for those of us who cannot and will not put a dollar price on the life of any one of us, there is only one right decision here -albeit a tough one. We just stay home, deny this virus the opportunity to spread and save the lives of our whanau, friends and neighbours, because everything else can be replaced.
More broadly,one of the things I hope this lockdown period has caused a lot of us to think about are our values – what do we REALLY cherish in life? What do we really want our lives to be like after the lockdown.
Speaking for myself I do not want to go back the pre-pandemic neoliberal New Zealand where people were labeled a “human resource” with a dollar amount tacked next to their name as if they were expendible items who could be rubbed off life’s balance sheet at a corporate whim.
If you lose your health you have nothing.
If you lose those you love, you have nothing.
And if you choose to continue to measure the lives of people in dollar terms please do not comment on my page because there is nothing you can say to me which would be of any interest to me.
I support the actions our government and the job our public health workers are doing 100% .
Let’s support them and see this thing out .
Take care of each other
See you tomorrow
Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.