Tens of thousands of Americans flooded New Zealand's immigration website, called New Zealand Now, during this week's presidential election, requesting information about moving to the island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
New Zealand's Stuff reports a massive surge in Americans, more than 40,000, have visited the government's immigration website in the last few days following the prospect of another four years under a Trump presidency. Though, maybe a sign of relief for those looking to "bug out," as the election could go to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who is currently winning the electoral college vote on Thursday afternoon (264 vs. 214).
But really, at this point, some Americans could be considering the move no matter who wins, mainly because the writing is on the wall; the country is collapsing from within as socio-economic implosions induced by the virus downturn will deeply scar the economy for years.
Besides economic distress and alarming wealthy inequality, the virus pandemic has formed the second virus wave, with caseloads breaching 100,00 this week. Meanwhile, New Zealand's Health Minister Chris Hipkins recently said a major milestone was reached in the country as the virus pandemic has been "squashed" because of their collective actions to mitigate spreading.
Stuff interviewed Texas-native Valentino Johnson, who is looking to move to New Zealand because it appears to be a "place where people care enough about each other" to follow public health rules.
Johnson said Trump's possible re-election win could produce a toxic environment for his family.
"The country is becoming so divisive," he said. "I want to raise my son somewhere he can be respected."
Emergency room doctor Rob Brandt from Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been living in a pool shed for six months at his home as he isolates from his family.
Brandt said many Americans believe the pandemic is a hoax. He said his hospital is starting to see virus cases increase as the second wave pushes daily cases nationally above the 100,000 mark.
Nurse Ana Carino fears for her health at a hospital in Midland, Texas. At the end of the year, she will arrive in New Zealand to take a new job in Invercargill, a city near the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island.
"You guys don't have many cases. The US president has not been proactive in handling it [the pandemic]," she said.
"I work in a hospital where people are dying from Covid-19 and it is not a joke."
On election night, Americans also panic searched "move to Canada." To calm their election anxieties, they also searched "liquor store near me."