Today is Thursday May 14th and New Zealand is now at COVID-19 Alert Level 2. Alert Level 3 finished officially at 11.59 pm on Wednesday. Life is changing again.
To be honest, I’m still not really sure how I feel about this. When our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced on Monday that we would be moving as of Thursday, I actually got a knot in my stomach. We have been in lockdown for seven weeks, constantly being told to stay home, stay safe, and save lives. Home is our safe place and it is quite challenging to be facing going out and moving around freely now.
There are still rules and safety measures in place. Schools and early learning centres don’t go back fully until Monday, and bars are not allowed to open until next Thursday. There are still limits on the size of groups that are allowed to meet together; ten for most gatherings and fifty for funerals, and only with appropriate physical distancing being observed. In general terms though, most places are open again.
I said to someone a couple of days ago that I think I’m going to struggle more with coming out of lockdown than I did going in. The main difference for me has been not going to work, and I am actually quite happy to stay home. My main motivation for going to work at the moment is the need to be earning money. If I had the chance to be able to earn money working from home I would jump at it. So, it will be interesting to see what happens during the next couple of weeks.
We just had the budget delivered in Parliament this afternoon. The main focus is on jobs, trying to keep people in work or help them retrain to find new jobs. They say they want to move forward to make our society and environment better than they were before. I really hope they follow through and are able to achieve what they are aiming for.