The announcement this afternoon that Auckland’s Alert Level will continue at 3, and the rest of New Zealand at Level 2 offers welcome certainty and stability for the short-term, which will help to alleviate some anxiety that people were feeling in the run up to the press conference in this whirlwind week. A lot has changed fast. Add to the the extension of the wage subsidy, this helps to address some of the economic impact for the business community, and those who are employed by it.
There is a clear signal that case number are likely to continue to rise, and that the index case is still not confirmed. However, the public health work to contain the cluster outbreak does not need this information to be effective. However, people will want to find the source of the outbreak if they possibly can, and that will also add to a sense of agency and control over the outbreak for the community.
It’s clear that people are coming forwards early to be tested if symptomatic, and parents are being responsible and keeping their children from school if ill. This is welcome, necessary and very helpful.
There are still impacts that will ripple through New Zealand – public events being cancelled, people visiting cafes and restaurants and retail outlets less frequently, and its likely that inter-regional travel will also continue to tail off for a while (where it is permitted).
However, there is an air of resigned determination, that we need to tackle the situation that we find ourselves in, and that there is a confidence that we know what we need to do to achieve the stated outcome: a return to Level 1 throughout New Zealand as soon as possible.