COMMENT

Welcome to day one of Covid-19 alert level 1. As of midnight last night, we got there. And not before time.

So this is it. No more social distancing; no more limits on groups; and, if the Prime Minister gets her way, no more working from home.

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She's asked businesses to get back to work – to help rescue struggling inner cities.

So that whole work-from-home thing seems out the window. Whether you liked it or not, it turns out the PM doesn't want it happening anymore.

There was of course a catch to level 1 – and why wouldn't there be?

This is a Government which has become addicted to control and rules and telling us how to conduct our lives and, like dutiful servants, we have fallen into line and followed its every instruction.

So we weren't going to get to level 1 without a few "rules" and scanning QR codes everywhere is one of them, recording our movements.

Every business, hospitality outlet, and building premise is to keep a QR code at the door for people to register as they come and go. That involves everyone downloading the Government's app. Make of that what you will.

What if you don't have a cellphone or you don't want to download the app?

Experience would tell us the worst consequence you may encounter is a friendly warning from a police force which has done nothing more than issue friendly warnings throughout this whole thing.

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But here's my concern, which Steven Joyce also highlighted yesterday.

The messaging here is out of whack. We are still too governed by fear. By what might or could happen.

The messaging is still about being cautious, and careful - recording your movements. Sure, get out and spend. But be careful. And that's where we're in trouble.

The main message, the only thing the PM should be shouting from the rooftops right now is: "Let's get moving". Get cracking, lose the fear and the phobias, get out there and get back to normal.

We need government to be government, not to be pretend epidemiologists. The epidemiologists have had their time. Thank you for your service, stand down.

People can't operate from a place of fear. Fear is where anger comes from, and anxiety.

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So why are we fostering it? Let's get the shackles off.

Yesterday's speech, once we got through the cringe fest of our "team of 5 million" and the PM's happy dance in her lounge, was too much about how we're not immune from the rest of world, too much – about staying prepared. "We'll certainly see cases here again."

Let's stop the fear peddling, let's stop the constraints and rules and QR codes. Let's just get this country moving.