Snap lockdown is the right way to get back to normal, Wellington says.
Several young people are skating in Pukeaf Park. The National War Memorial stands on trees and is vigilant. The sound of paved cement skates echoes throughout the small empty square. Mount Victoria is more lush and peaceful than ever. Passersby walk the dog, breathing the daily amount of allocated air.
The street is empty. Life has been put on hold. The construction site was suspended and the machine was left behind. Today, everything is a paralyzed city ornament. Restoration to normal will be postponed until further notice.
The construction, accommodation and food service industries will be more affected by the alert level 4 blockade.According to the weekly updates released by Ministry of Finance on Friday, August 21, These industries can face a reduction in activity of up to 75%.
The extraordinary normality that New Zealanders have become accustomed to, a society with little covid, has come to an end. The snap lockdown, declared on Tuesday, August 17, was a powerful and swift reaction to the increase in incidents, which is consistent with the exclusion strategy adopted by the Labor government. Eradication of the virus has been a national belief for the past year.
The exclusion strategy adopted by the New Zealand Government (“Do your best, go fast”) is about people’s well-being. National economy,mainly. Nevertheless, in the long run, it will achieve what people like, normality.
New Zealand stood as an exception
New Zealand stood as an exception during these uncertain times. Over the last 16 months, cases of Covid-19 have skyrocketed elsewhere in the world, but with a few sporadic restrictions, living in isolated Aotearoa has been a “normal business.” Normality did not decline and people enjoyed their daily lives. The glorious isolation policy seems to have worked.
“Australia and New Zealand are still under-vaccinated, like many Pacific countries that rely on strong border control.” Written by Owen Dier, a journalist for the British Medical Journal.. Among the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, New Zealand has no cases of Covid-19 in its community, has unusually low vaccine deployments, and has been outbreaks for a long time.
In New Zealand, 20% of the total population is fully vaccinated and 34% are vaccinated at least once. In Uruguay, a country of similar population density, 71% of the population is fully vaccinated and 76% are vaccinated at least once. In Italy, a country with similar per capita GDP, 58% of the population is fully vaccinated and 68% are vaccinated at least once.
Dozens of people are waiting to be attacked at the Covid-19 Center on Taranaki Street in Wellington. The row of cars extends to Vivian Street. Ask a young man who wants to remain anonymous what the blockade represents to him. “I’m just trying to get back to normal as soon as possible.”
He was in a place of interest and was asked to take a test. “I rang the health line as soon as I found it.” He believes the government has taken all the precautions needed to stop the Covid-19 epidemic.
Back in line, there are Nick, Amy, Cass, and Mana who drove to the test center on Taranaki Street in a noisy black sedan. Nick checked online and found him to be a close contact. The entire apartment decided to take a test just to be on the safe side.
They were already waiting an hour in their car when we talked. “Maybe worse,” Nick tells me, “People are waiting four hours in Auckland.”
He believes the government is on a good track to fight the pandemic. “she [Ardern] I definitely made the right call, “he said, referring to the Cabinet’s choice to blockade the entire country.
They all support the use of Bluetooth tracking apps. For them, the blockade represents the unity of the people. Cass tells me,
You sacrifice your own free time to protect others.
“We want to get rid of the pandemic as soon as possible and return to normal life.” Brin is a 16-year-old key worker working at PAK’n SAVE Kilbirnie. He came to the laboratory because his employer requested him to take the exam. For him, the immediate blockade was a great response to an emergency.
The majority of people waiting to take the test support the snap lockdown declared on Tuesday. The sooner New Zealand returns to normal, the better. Matt and Laura are local young workers.
They wear colorful masks and their voices are muffled. They are both essential workers. Matt is a mechanic and Laura works in the animal protection department. However, they were in a place of interest, so they were required to come and take the test.
“New Zealand is on top of it,” Matt tells me, combing his short blonde hair with his hands. “Remove Covid and return to normal life.” Lockdown represents a free holiday, playing some video games and a little fun.
Normality has different meanings from person to person. For some, it means regaining a sense of control over their daily lives. For others, that means a chance to find a home – the roof above their heads.
At Courtenay Place, a few homeless people are still sitting on the curb, despite the blockade. Jim lives on the street for another week. He is waiting for the house to become available. The pandemic has already exacerbated the terrible housing crisis. This is another unusual situation that New Zealand society is fighting to resolve.
Chewing on a fruity candy, he tries to smile at me. His beard is hairy and his white hair falls on one side of his restless head. Jim looks exhausted and desperate, hugging a red blanket in front of the dairy store. The hope of finding a home is hidden deep in his heart. He feels safe on the street.
They are doing much better than before.
The food bank is functioning and can be nourished during the blockage.
Some have to rely on handouts and food banks, while others have the privilege of living a “normal life.”
Over 50 people are lined up to shop for groceries. The New World procession goes around the block to the Oriental Parade alongside Chargers Street. People stick to the plan and, in most cases, consider some injustices and adhere to the new norms.
“It’s amazing that nothing has happened so far. We’re lucky, New Zealand is very lucky,” Debbie tells me with a smile. She works in an unusual pharmacy at the Covid-19 Center: They are injecting.
As an essential worker, she has already taken the full dose of the vaccine. For her, people need to wear masks. Debbie considers the people of New Zealand to be supportive and kind. “We can see that the percentage of people wearing masks is very high. Everyone takes care of each other.”
We are just trying to be safe and alive.
Within New World Wellington City, some signs are deploying wartime warnings. There are limits on the amount of bread and the pack of toilet paper. “Increasing demand requires our valued customers to be polite and not exaggerated.”
An army of teenagers is refurbishing shelves, rushing to unpack canned boxes and stacking chocolate biscuits. Kindness is required and restrictions are gladly accepted by New Zealanders: they welcome these strict restrictions and return to their abnormal normality as soon as possible.
Faced with uncertainty, we prepare for normality to return. Next week may be a turning point. People are jogging in an apartment on Taranaki Street. Their past life is now an idea to entertain with comfort, great comfort and passion. Something worth giving up some examples of freedom.
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Writer Federico Maglin can be contacted by email: [email protected]
Accept strict blockade in exchange for normal life
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