Many people look a bit shell-shocked after the Government's surprise escalation up the Covid-19 alert levels on Tuesday night.
The second wave of the virus was the most expected risk of the year, but we were all a bit shocked nevertheless.
There is a lot of support for the Government's hard and fast lockdown approach. New Zealanders generally want to avoid the uncontrollable spread of a second wave that many other countries are experiencing.
If the Government is unable to find the source of the virus by Thursday night, the North Island should prepare to be under alert level 3 by Saturday.
Undoubtedly, the biggest risk of the second wave is the psychological impact on people. A sustained period of lockdown would dent consumer confidence, as well as the resilience of business owners.
Our level 1 freedoms, which we had become accustomed to, have just been taken away.
The yo-yo effect of business owners having to pick themselves up from the first wave, to then be slammed back into periodic lockdowns, will have a compounding impact on their psyche over time.
But this is something that Kiwis will need to get used to as the entire world is facing a global pandemic.
Cracks in our border protection will appear over time as many expat Kiwis fly home. Periodic lockdowns are something that we will need to get used too - similar to cricket matches facing rain delays.
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The good news is that many businesses were made stronger because of the initial lockdown. They now have the tools and know what they need to do to survive in an ever-changing environment.
Many businesses have been planning for a second wave and they have anticipated further lockdowns. They have fine-tuned their remote working strategy, staggered shifts, agreements with suppliers and communication plans so customers know they are still open.
It emphasises the need for business owners to feel comfortable with cashflow planning, managing their staff and selling online.
There will still be demand from consumers, but their buying habits will change as more people are getting confident with buying online.
For the benefit of all business owners, please follow the Government's rules so we can stop the spread and return to level 1 as soon as possible.
- Matt Cowley is the Chief Executive of Tauranga Chamber of Commerce.