COVID-free fantasy

Ashtyn Harter, Reporter

Imagine people walking close together without social distancing, not a mask in sight. Imagine being able to go to a concert or go get groceries without the looming risk of catching Covid. This may seem like a fantasy to us in the United States, but it is the reality for plenty of other countries, including Australia and New Zealand.

Although the countries have not completely eliminated the virus, their cases are steadily decreasing. Australia has had a total of 28,786 cases and around 909 deaths as of January 27, according to Google News. New Zealand has 2,295 cases and 25 deaths. That is significantly less compared to the United States with around 25,484,820 cases and 425,208 deaths.

Australia was quick to seal its borders when the pandemic began. Australian leaders also persuaded the country to take the pandemic seriously. 

“We told the public: ‘This is serious; we want your cooperation, ” Marylouise McLaws said, a Sydney-based epidemiologist at the University of New South Wales and a World Health Organization adviser, who stated this in a Washington Post article. 

Compared to other countries, Australia is doing extremely well. To keep its current status, the country needs to maintain a high level of testing. Because of how well Australia has dealt with the virus, a lot of the country is now reopened. This includes the world-renowned Sydney opera house, which has been open since October 29, but not without safety measures. According to, the new safety measures include mandatory masks, timed entry, reduced capacity, social distancing, unidirectional flow, and many hand sanitizing stations. 

Even though New Zealand is isolated geographically, the country still took COVID-19  seriously. They knew that the virus coming to their country was imminent because of all the summer tourists and students who come to the country from England and mainland China. New Zealand started to implement their pandemic influenza plan around February, says a The New England Journal of Medicine.  This plan included border control policies to delay the pandemic arrival and prepare hospitals for an overflow of patients. On March 26, the country implemented a strict countrywide lockdown due to increasing local cases. 

Australia and New Zealand are not the only countries in which Covid cases are lowering. There are declining numbers of covid cases in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Mongolia, Vietnam, and many other countries, according to These countries give the rest of the world hope that one day, there will be an end to the coronavirus. 

 In order to eliminate the COVID-19 in the United States, efforts need to increase to do more than just the bare minimum of social distancing, wearing masks, working from home, and canceling public events. “…we need a health system strategy premised on testing, telehealth, and treatment that achieves the twin objectives of curbing transmission and optimizing care for the influx of patients expected in the coming weeks,” states a Harvard Business Review article. 

As a country, unite together against the virus so that our covid free fantasy can become a reality.