While we return to the sports pitch and the nightclub, thousands of returning Kiwis watch from their hotel room windows. Managed isolation facilities have been established across the country, aiding in New Zealand’s plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We asked Auckland students their thoughts.
“Managed isolation is to protect our team of 5 million and it’s only fair that the taxpayer pay for it. For many in managed isolation it is a massive headache. Compliance is something we want to incentivise (given the recent breaches) which won’t happen if we charge people.”
“Furthermore, paying for hotels stimulates the hospitality and tourism industry. Kiwis deserve to come home, particularly in uncertain scary times. Aotearoa should be a safe haven for our citizens to return to. The last thing we want to do is create a two-tiered system of citizenship when the wealthy can return and the poor can’t. Let’s put our pitchforks down and show a bit of compassion to the people who have escaped the horrors overseas.”
“I believe managed isolation is an essential process. This process reassures those carrying out the process as well as the rest of the country that there is no probable harm. This also helps to reduce the virus from being potentially contagious. Therefore, this process of managed isolation brings about advantages such as limiting the number of further cases. By placing those who are at any certain level of risk in a managed isolation facility, it helps the country to have a sense of control. Furthermore, this is a process that must be carried out in terms of border control. It is ultimately an important process put in place in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and any potential virus.”
“Free managed isolation to our fellow Kiwis flying home, is it really this contentious? How are we so quick to adapt to an us versus them complex as soon as we feel we’re in the safe zone? It’s fascinating how swiftly the tides change once people know they’re fine. Empathy for others becomes a foreign concept, yet two months ago we were “all in this together.”
“The debate of whether we should make our fellow Kiwis pay upon return from overseas now, as they’ve supposedly left it too late, seems to hold an ignorant undertone. The expectation that one can uproot their life overseas at the click of a finger is the main issue, and seems to be disregarded in argument. Most Kiwis overseas have been trying to keep afloat with a life they’ve built for so long abroad, only to have it crushed in a blink. It’s ludicrous to expect everyone to have the means to instantaneously come home and leave everything they’ve built behind and then have to pay for another two weeks when reaching here, until they are truly at peace.”
“There’s a story of a family who are overseas because NZ cannot fund their young son’s rare bone marrow disease and therefore, are trying to stay abroad as long as they can in order to keep him alive. Coming back as soon as border restrictions were announced therefore wouldn’t have been ideal and yet if they return now, paying to come home would be plain senseless, right? Many are in a similar boat and it truly should be shown to the rest of the world, as exemplified when we were working so hard in quarantine, that in unity, there is strength. Let’s keep proving it.”
*Names have been changed to protect students’ identities