Today is a great day, for two very good reasons. First off congratulations to my crazy cousin and his long suffering wife for the birth of their first child. A beautiful baby boy, weighing in at 7.78lbs. Mother and baby are doing well. I am certain by now the baby’s head has been well wetted and I am sure the rest of the family are as delighted as I am with the news.
The second piece of good news doesn’t compare in the same way as bringing new life into the world, but for me it’s important. Today is the last day of my lock-down sentence. I am to be released back into the wild; or at the very least I can go to work. For thirty five days I haven’t left the house for anything more than exercise, tomorrow I am a free man.
Free might be a strong term, Level-3 restrictions hardy make it a holiday camp. But I can go out and see that life exists outside of my bubble. I can have a little drive along the peninsula, enjoy the views like I have done many times before. The views that for the good of the population have been deprived of me. In fact deprived probably isn’t the right word. Nothing has been deprived of me; of any of us. Each one of us has made this sacrifice for each other and have done so willingly for the greater good of their fellow New Zealander. We all deserve to be very proud of what we have achieved, but sadly the fight has not yet been won. I know tomorrow I can leave this house, but with that comes a great responsibility. We still have responsibilities to keep each other safe. We must continue to stay in our household bubbles whenever we are not at work, school, buying the groceries or exercising. There are a great many things that we all miss; but now is not the time for complacency.
To put into context what we have achieved, I will give you an example. Roughly speaking Ireland holds many similarities with New Zealand, in that it’s an island nation and the population is similar. Ireland had its first case on 29th February it took until the 27th March for the county to go into lock-down. Us on the other had had our first recorded case on the 28th February and went into lock-down on 21st March. The alert level was initially set at level 2, rising to level 3 on the afternoon of 23rd March. Beginning at 11:59 pm on 25th March, the alert level was moved to level 4, putting the country into a nationwide lock-down. The swiftness we have all reacted has undoubtedly saved lives. I don’t hold to the argument of foresight, many countries had the same chance as us. Strong leadership, brave decisions and working together got us to where we are now, don’t spoil it.
As of the 25th April the current numbers for each country are:
Ireland: Confirmed cases 19,262 Recovered 9,233 Deaths 1,087
New Zealand: Confirmed cases 1,121 Recovered 1,142 Deaths 18
Please think about these stark numbers as you begin to think about returning to some sort of semblance of normal life.