Jonathan Milne: Don’t look back in anger

Tuesday March 24, 2020 Published in Letters to the Editor
Tourists at the Air NZ office, waiting to leave Rarotonga last week. Tourists at the Air NZ office, waiting to leave Rarotonga last week.

I saw it in the long queues at Rarotonga Airport, as people tried to get on planes back to their home countries.


I saw it at CITC and Prime Foods yesterday, as shoppers gave each other space around the meat counter and the check-out.

I saw it around the Cook Islands News last night, as the designers and printers waited patiently for the report of the Prime Minister’s “code yellow” announcement, to lay out on the front page of today’s paper.

The virtue of tolerance is on show in our community.

But let’s not kid ourselves, it will be hard for all of us to maintain in coming days. With increasing constraints on our movements, and concerns about whether we can pay the next grocery bill, many of us will be stressed.

It will be easy to point the finger, to look for someone to blame. Politicians, health workers, travellers, foreigners … when we’re struggling, it’s easy to assume someone else is responsible for our pain.

It’s not the case. This coronavirus is bigger than any one of us, any political creed, and ethnic or religious group.

We have discussed this in our team at Cook Islands News: We must be slow to anger.

If others criticise us, let’s remember that they, too, are suffering the same stress that we are, perhaps worse.

Let us all take a deep breath before we respond in anger.

-       Jonathan Milne

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1 comment

  • Comment Link David Myers - New Zealand Wednesday, 25 March 2020 17:34 posted by David Myers - New Zealand

    I have read Jonathan Milne's comment on the Coronavirus, he is so right on all aspects. I own a company that designs promotional products and tourist products and over night my business ceased to operate as majority of my clients are in the tourist industry. The first response the Cook Island Government is taking is correct and all residents should take notice. As in New Zealand after finger pointing and being PC many business will know go broke and many people out of a job.
    We have just started a complete lockdown to last four weeks, isolated at home, the word is it maybe extended another three weeks. I visit Rarotonga each year on business and plead with the locals, listen to the officials and take action when asked. I wished New Zealand took action earlier.
    Please remember a lot of people have opinions and ideas, the officials do not guess and are working for a solution.
    Hope to return to your wonderful Island later this year

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