In New Zealand, it really felt like we had things under control with regards to Covid-19. I was living like I have in my previous twenty-something years of life. There were no cases of community transmission; the government set into motion a sensible plan for incoming kiwis; there was sound leadership at the helm. As with all good things, that came to an end. It was, however, a sweet and ignorance-is-bliss type of feeling for the 102 days where we could do anything we wanted.

It has only been a few days since the discovery of cases of community transmission, but I feel my mindset has shifted. The 102 days of normality, a grace period if you will, has ended and now I have accepted that we are living in a new Covid-19 paradigm. I still count my lucky stars to be able to live in New Zealand, but knowing now that even the best of pandemic responses cannot guarantee elimination of Covid-19 has been a wake up call.

There are a few things that have been made certain over the last couple of days, the biggest of which is that we will live with this for years. My thinking beforehand was that I would move abroad as I had always intended, but now that will not be possible, or rather without significant friction until I am in my 30s I imagine. As much as I will rue this dream I have had for a long time, I am also glad that the choice has been taken away from me. While not my first preference, I know that I will still be able to live well in the city I grew up in.

In fact, the first couple of days of lockdown, while I didn’t do anything I hadn’t been doing before, I felt a lot more comfortable and zen. I could only think to attribute this to the fact that, again, choice has been taken away. In my head, I am living as best I can given the circumstances, and at the end of the day, what more can you do?


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