Donald Trump might tell reporters every day that he has handled the coronavirus pandemic better than any leader in the world, but that title clearly goes to someone else:
Yes, I’m talking about Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister.
Ardern has been praised internationally for her response to the Covid-19 outbreak, with The New York Times calling her leadership during the crisis a “master class”.
While many leaders have crumbled in the face of rising infections, job losses, and international pressure, Ardern has risen to the challenge with gusto and composure.
Nothing seems to ruffle this woman, not even an earthquake.
New Zealand PM Continued Live Interview Calmly During an Earthquake
While a 5.6-magnitude earthquake shook New Zealand today (25 May) and incited panic among many, New Zealand’s Prime Minister continued unruffled with a live interview.
According to The Straits Times, the earthquake struck before 8am local time, 90km north of Wellington, the country’s capital.
In Wellington, where Ardern was being interviewed, people reportedly dived for cover under tables while the quake rattled the area for half a minute.
Fortunately, there were no damages or injuries.
Ardern, who was being interviewed on live television from the parliament building when the quake hit, showed no signs of panic at all.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern caught on camera as 5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near the capital city of Wellington (no immediate damage reported) pic.twitter.com/5zq64ud0rb
— Peter Martinez (@rePetePro) May 24, 2020
When the tremors start, Ardern simply looks around and says “We’re just having a bit of an earthquake here, Ryan”, with the same sort of nonchalant tone you’d use to say “Hey, there’s a white pigeon over there.”
If it were me, on the other hand, I probably would’ve had to change my pants.
But Ardern just continues with the interview, commenting on the quake like a football commentator does on a match.
“Quite a decent shake here,” she said.
And, being the great leader she is, her first instinct is to calm the masses and make it seem like everything’s alright.
While the earth is rattling away, Ardern puts on a wide, comforting smile and says, “If you see things moving behind me, the beehive moves a little more than most”.
Needless to say, Ardern was not in an actual beehive – that’s just what they call one of their Parliament buildings.
Then the earthquake stopped, and everything went back to normal.
“It’s just stopped,” she said. “We’re fine, I’m not under any hanging lights, I look like I’m in a structurally sound place.”
Netizens were amazed by Ardern’s coolness during the earthquake and sung her praises in the comments section.
I bet Donald Trump is pretty jealous right now.
The Situation In New Zealand
There’s a good reason why everybody’s praising New Zealand for their handling of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Even though the country ended its lockdown weeks ago, they’ve had no more than 4 cases a day since 2 May.
Now, there’s a chart every country wants.
The country currently has 1,504 infections and 21 deaths.
Like Singapore, New Zealand exited its lockdown in several phases and is now in Level 2, which involves the opening of restaurants, malls, and cinemas.
Just today, authorities eased restrictions on the size of gatherings from 10 to 100 people.
Right now, most Singaporeans would be happy to have a gathering of 3.
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