Comment: The Country host Jamie Mackay is determined to accentuate the positive in these trying times.

Let's not sugar coat this. Putting aside the bleedingly obvious health consequences of Covid-19, the world is now spiralling into the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression of nearly a century ago.

However every cloud, no matter how dark, has its silver lining. So I say bugger Covid-19.

Here are seven good potential outcomes from Coronavirus:


1 – We have seen the emergence of new heroes in our midst.

Jacinda, Grant and how about the unflappable and ever-reassuring-in-crisis Director General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield?

Surely a knighthood awaits when this is over. Then there's the front-line health workers and those caring, selflessly, for our aged and infirm. Too many heroes to mention. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website
2 – Let's not forget, either, the unsung and unheralded heroes - the supermarket workers.

These are the foot soldiers in trenches, being asked day after day to go to battle with an unseen enemy. The New Zealand supermarket industry is dominated by an all-powerful duopoly which is currently making super profits.

Maybe it's time to share the plentiful bounty. So how about it supermarkets? Give your workers a living wage or, at the very least, danger money! And I'm pleased to see, at the time of writing, Foodstuffs has taken up the challenge.

3 – And I also throw farmers into the unsung hero category.

For the best part of the past three years, our productive agriculture sector has been a whipping boy in the government's fight against climate change.


Tourism was regarded as our greatest export earner, even though vast swathes of it was effectively nullified by Kiwis re-exporting that income when we travelled offshore.

Tragically, international tourism is now dead and no amount of resuscitation can save it. And guess what? With millions of plane flights now grounded, suddenly methane emitting ruminants producing desperately-needed export income aren't such a big issue.

4 –

For those of us lucky enough to keep them, real jobs are going to be truly valued again in our society. People who make and produce things or services that are essential to our daily survival.

I believe there will be a sea change, a reset and a rethink in the corporate world that I have been a part of for the past 25 years.

Before I got into radio and the media world I was a student, a musterer, a shearer, a grave digger, a house husband and a farmer – all with differing degrees of success and failure.

So I've led the simple life and I've led the good life. I'm preparing, to a degree, to go back to the former. We all should be. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Jumping on a plane willy-nilly, when that meeting could just as easily have been conducted via Zoom or Skype (our politicians are equally guilty here), will be another blow to an ailing Air New Zealand domestic schedule. Digital distance meetings are now the new norm.

5 – I think we are taking a cue from the Prime Minister's oft-uttered plea to be kind.

Since the lockdown I've been out and about in my neighbourhood, walking, running and biking.

Everyone's respecting everyone else's private space; but more impressively everyone appears to be smiling, waving, nodding or acknowledging their neighbours.

There's a feeling of unity against a common enemy. Not quite the Blitz brotherhood of WWII, I know, but a sense of over-the-boundary-fence comraderie I have not seen since my farming days. And I wouldn't mind betting there's a good health outcome to come. Sedentary people are also exercising and many are sleeping for longer.

The Country host Jamie Mackay. Photo / File
The Country host Jamie Mackay. Photo / File

6 –

On a somewhat lighter note, and I'm terribly ashamed to admit this, hopefully Covid-19 can finally convince or coerce me to break the habit of a lifetime. It is no longer socially or politically acceptable to pick your nose.

To quote ScoMo, the slow-out-of-the-blocks Aussie PM, "stop it". As my dear old mum used to say, something good can always come out of something bad.

7 – And the best outcome of all? This heinous virus will pass.

It will run its dastardly course. And I reckon we're going to come out the other side the better for it. Not financially. Because most of us are going to take a haircut (ironically, after waiting weeks or months for one)! But we will come out knowing the true value of things and what is ultimately important in life.

See you on the other side.