Powerful Women Like Jacinda Ardern and Angela Merkel Are Leading The World in Effective Coronavirus Responses

With some countries, such as the United States, choosing to combat the worsening Covid-19 by hauling insults to the mainland, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern are leading the fight against Covid-19 with empathy.

Apr 20, 2020 | By Julia Roxan

(Photo by VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images)

With some countries, such as the United States, choosing to combat the worsening Covid-19 by hauling insults to the mainland, others take on a significantly more diplomatic and goal-oriented approach to effectively reduce and contain the spread of this fatal pandemic.

Powerful Women Like Jacinda Ardern and Angela Merkel Are Leading The World in Effective Coronavirus Responses

Portrait of New Zealand politician Jacinda Ardern photographed by Simon Schluter

Of the many unique approaches and displays or lack-thereof leadership, German Chancellor Angela Merkel embraces science in researching antidotes, whilst Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro outright rejects it, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi remains aloof, holding no regular briefings, even as the ordered lockdown leaves an innumerable mass of his people starving.

In New Zealand, 39-year-old prime minister Jacinda Ardern priorities the use of empathy in all of the nation’s crisis-management tactics. Capitalizing off clear and consistent communication with each and every civilian, Ardern’s words are simultaneously sobering and soothing, as she tries to unify the nation and urge individuals to trust in the government and the agonizing containment process.

Today we announced that we will stay in lockdown till 11.59pm on Monday the 27th of April, then we move to alert level 3. Thought I’d jump online to answer any questions you might have

Posted by Jacinda Ardern on Monday, April 20, 2020

Going beyond the traditional means, Jacinda Ardern is often found communicating important information, in the comfortable and informal settings provided by online live chatrooms such as Facebook – where she is exclusively seen dressed down in sweatshirts and at home.

Eliminating the use of overly complex jargon, Ardern offers guidance using imaginative storytelling and simplistic metaphors. In her first address prior to the nation’s lockdown, the prime minister was careful in justifying severe policies with practical examples whilst sharing her sympathies and introducing helpful concepts such as thinking of “the people [who] will be in your life consistently over this period of time” as your “bubble” and “acting as though you already have COVID-19” toward those outside of your bubble.

With encouraging words and realistic goals set in place for each individual to follow, Jacinda Ardern lives and breathes closeness and relatability in indirectly sharing visual evidence of her experiences juggling both her work and personal life, through each online broadcast.

#LIVE Update on the COVID-19 response

Posted by Jacinda Ardern on Saturday, April 18, 2020

Supplemented by more formal and conventional daily briefings with top officials and journalists, Jacinda Ardern is eloquent in articulating precise information without shifting blame, gaslighting or creating false narratives. Careful in managing the expectations of her audience, New Zealand’s plans to eradicate Covid-19 have long been put into action, with widespread testing, an imposed national lockdown and sufficient federal aid provided to the healthcare sector, the nation has successfully capped its fatalities at twelve individuals, thus far.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a media statement on the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, March 22, 2020.

Much like the German Chancellor who has consistently appealed to her citizen’s rational reason and discipline, in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19, Angela Merkel also utilizes empathy in conjunction with facts in all of her address, acknowledging the inherent struggle of a post-communist society in giving up freedom and emphasizing the optimistic results of stringent scientific research.

Having run Germany for over 14 years with a decade-long resume in crisis management, whether financial or social, Merkel is revered for her firm and balanced stance on domestic issues – often seen working calmly to unify the nation in a way that resonates deeply with them.

Working from home after a series of tests which ultimately deemed her Covid-19-free, Angela Merkel led Cabinet meetings in quarantine and issued informative audio messages, offering civilians widespread testing, and huge government relief packages worth 1 trillion euros, in an effort to cushion the economic blow faced by business owners.

Treating not only domestic cases, but taking in patients from its overwhelmed European counterparts, such as Italy and France, Germany’s healthcare industry remains ever ready and stable with numerous intensive care beds still available, should the nation encounter a further influx in cases.


 
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