Congrats Aotearoa

I never imagined we’d smash this virus so quick and be where we are now. 11 weeks ago PM Jacinda Ardern announced lockdown, saving thousands of lives and arguably changing our lives forever too.

Our bubbles were created, we all stayed home and gave up normal life to save lives. We lined up for the supermarket, video called for work if we could, chatted to friends and whānau more, walked around our neighbourhoods, waved to strangers and baked and cooked more than ever before.

We tuned in to Jacinda and Dr Bloomfield at 1pm, fearing the worst at the beginning, then celebrated the positive milestones together and binge watched shows at night.

For many, the lockdown also meant losing your job and for even more, it meant losing your income. Giving up passions and missing our favourite people. Anxiety and isolation hit all of us in different ways. 22 families unfortunately lost loved ones, a harsh reminder of how serious COVID-19 is.

We still see it cause thousands of deaths overseas every day. 3,400 deaths and 110,000 new cases in the last 24 hours. Our thoughts are with everyone overseas finding it tough and finding their way through. Thanks to everyone for doing their bit, especially our essential workers, who put themselves at risk to keep us all well.

We all now need to recover together. Let’s support local businesses, buy local products, food and services and help local workers.

Go out when you can, if you can afford to get work or renovations done on the house or take some holidays around the country you should do that now or soon. It will keep the economy moving and save and create jobs.

Head to your local restaurants, cafes or bars. Maybe stay in a hotel or visit some local attractions like the Zoo, Art Gallery or Museum.

Soon local musicians, comedians, artists and sports stars will need us to go see them perform and play. Do that if you can, try something new and check out things you’ve always wanted to but never have. Theatres, stadiums and arenas need us, they employ lots of people too.

If you’ve worked from home and want to go back to work, do that. If you’ve loved the extra time and money you’ve saved from not heading into work then I hope you can work out a way to continue that. I hope employers are open to people having more time at home or with their families, especially if your work is still as productive from home.

It is also is great for the environment to prevent all those unneeded trips. Donate to your favourite charities and volunteer in your community, a lot of them will be doing it tough and need our support.

We’ve got this. I think we actually have it better than any of us expected. It’s still going to be hard but we can help make it easier.

Let’s cross our fingers for a vaccine and the scientists to do their thing so we can invite the world back soon and we can visit them too.

But for now we’re a bubble of 5 million and I feel pretty lucky to be part of it.