2020-04-04 09:10:23 UTC
(An alternative view of 2021 compared with the one presented on Stuff)
"Mother Jacinda, did it have to be so high?" is the national refrain
of New Zealand in 2021 as we face international isolation akin to
18th-century Japan. How did we get here? Was it really Boris
BoJo emerged from his self-isolation in April 2020, a survivor of
COVID-19, and in so doing saw the world from the other side. He saw
that there was no exit strategy of the pointless UK national lockdown
because COVID-19 would be extant in the UK for months if not years to
come. And so, leading by example, he led the UK people into the arms
of COVID-19, selecting COVID-19 survivors to infect the people in a
mass exercise to bring about herd immunity. The rest of the world
soon followed suit.
In New Zealand a different approach was taken and was successful, that
of extirpation of the virus. By May 2020 NZ was completely cleared of
the virus, the people celebrated their achievement and returned to
But soon a terrible conundrum arose, for no New Zealander could travel
abroad nor any outsider come to NZ, lest COVID-19 be unleashed into
our unprotected population. We became isolated by a political wall
far beyond the imaginings of Pink Floyd or Donald Trump. Now we await
the vaccine that never comes, just as a vaccine for the 2009 swine flu
was never developed.
And so COVID-19 shimmers and beckons us from beyond the seas.
Increasingly our people yearn for it to break these chains of
isolation. Refugee boats slip out of our harbours at night to an
uncertain long passage to distant shores.