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(1) Thread: Who am I? 🥝🇳🇿🇺🇸💃

Just updated my Twitter bio, again.

People are still placing party politics ahead of saving lives.

Saving my life. Saving your life.

There must be #NoPoliticsOnTheBoat at all.

#COVID19nz #StayHomeNZ #StayAtHomeAndStaySafe
(2) I say #NoPoliticsOnTheBoat because this Houston woman made a Facebook post in 2017 during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Around the same time I decided to identify as a Hurricane Watcher bc emergencies expose policy strengths & weaknesses & I am a policy wonk.
(3) If you're new to... me... then you'll need this info.

As a child, I wanted to be a policy analyst. It's my calling, my vocation. I achieved my goal & worked in Wellington, NZ for many years.

Unfortunately I had to "medically retire" just as my career was taking off.
(4) Initially I stayed out of politics. It was too raw when I was adjusting to the potentially permanent loss of my career and my health.

Regarding both, I never say never. Where there's life, there's hope. I have plans to be self employed part time, when this is over.
(5) My health conditions include some of the named conditions that make a person at risk of serious complications of #COVID19. It's been an emotional rollercoaster for 10 long weeks.

I'm pretty calm rn, and more able to focus on the positives.

Folk praying for me are AWESOME.
(6) In 2016 I made a 180 degree change in my politics & became a conservative. At the same time I started noticing that some believe free speech rights only apply to them & those who agree with them.

Having known all my life that this is abject nonsense, I wasn't impressed.
(7) There's a bunch of "universal human rights" or "fundamental freedoms" or whatever you want to call them, & they must be defended, esp. in the times & places where they're most at risk. NZ does pretty well at it, so does the USA.

I write for two very different audiences.
(8) For almost four years I have written for the US audience rather than the audience where I live, in NZ.

I've been studying the US my whole life, at college, in my work & at home. Been seriously considering moving there for years.

I will always write about both countries.
(9) The pandemic has forced me to focus more on NZ events, for a while. Many Kiwis have engaged me on Twitter & I'm grateful for everyone's input.

Most of #nzpol Twitter is left wing & a number are very intolerant of anyone who is a conservative, let alone a fan of the USA.
(10) I'm here to offer my skills & experience to anyone who wants to listen. I'm pretty knowledgeable about #COVID_19, healthcare, policy, emergency management, economics, law enforcement, & govt services.

Those willing to keep an open mind can benefit. I learn from you, too.
(11) I've been extremely opposed to the current NZ govt's policies, however:

I'm old school & would always support the govt of the day during an emergency. On top of that, I objectively consider Jacinda Ardern's performance atm to be faultless.

Her communication ability is A+
(12) I don't expect my political opponents to say the same about Simon Bridges, Scott Morrison, Donald Trump, or Boris Johnson.

I do expect maturity, common sense, and basic courtesy, though.

I know I will never see everyone showing this. That's OK.
(13) I will make political tweets & RTs from time to time during the pandemic, but I have never, & will never, speak ill of a politician who contracts the virus, or has similar potentially life threatening issues happening to them or their loved ones.

I've seen others do this.
(14) I'm not a public figure, but even I wouldn't get nasty about a COVID patient just bc I disagreed with their politics.

In recent days have seen public figures in all English-speaking countries do this. I'm not going to name them here, lest that make things worse.
(15) I just want to make it clear in this thread, & my bio, what I'm about.

I'm here to help save lives & balance that with saving national economic security (which saves other lives later on.)

I will block those who get nasty about anyone.
(16) I block those who push quack "remedies" with no thought for the caveats that must be stated, such as "in consultation with the doctor treating you at the time."

I block those who try to tell me how to feel.

I block those who don't bother to gather context before speaking
(17) There are many more... I can and do block anyone I want to, for any reason. That's my right and it's often what I need to do for my own morale as I fight to stay alive (from all sources not just COVID) and fight to protect my at-risk family members too.

Common sense.
(18) My message to my fellow Kiwis is simple:

Stop and think about everything you have been told about the USA.

Consider that you haven't seen the full picture yet, and that people have their own agenda in how they frame information.

Stay skeptical.
(19) Once I got my home ready & could think about more than staying alive, I started thinking about what will happen in NZ after the pandemic.

We are going to need help from overseas. AU and the US are very important in this.

And we can help them too, with our strengths.
(20) The US has already helped NZ. I haven't had time to keep tabs on it all, but as one example, very early on, the US sent testing reagents to 30 countries that didn't have them, incl NZ.

There is tension in the NZ-US relationship but the US does see NZ as a close friend.
(21) NZ and US soldiers, sailors and airmen fought as one during WWII. A few of them are still with us. The descendants of the others proudly tell their stories.

The US offered to build major infrastructure projects here after the war, but NZ turned them down.
(22) I want to see NZ embrace partnerships with foreign businesses and governments as much as possible, naturally with the necessary safeguards.

The current & all previous governments have been doing this all along, & with countries not as favourable towards NZ as the US is.
(23) If the US doesn't weather this storm well, then the whole world will be impacted. There has been virtually no news about the US pandemic response reported here, let alone honest news about it.

Yet I've seen a lot of Trump-bashing by Kiwis.

I expect it, but still...
(24) To me personally, it's water off a duck's back after 3 and a half years of watching US politics. But I want Kiwis to stop and think about what is happening in the US, and what is likely to happen. Objectively.

There's no reason to think the worst about either country.
(25) IMO so far, both NZ and the US are doing an excellent job. AU, CAN, and the UK, I'm not as convinced about. There are definitely good aspects of response in all five countries.

I care a lot about all of them. I have family & friends in all five. You probably do, too.
(26) None of our countries were sufficiently prepared for this pandemic. All of our countries have been working extremely hard to catch up, and this is exactly the same as in WWII.

D-Day was two years in the planning. They had to scale up industrial production first.
(27) I'm drawing on every life lesson and morale-boosting book or article I've ever read.

We all have good reason to stay calm, and stay vigilant.

Keep in touch, whatever happens. Thanks for reading.

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