COMMENT: Fred Dagg had it right when he sang those classic Kiwi words: "We don't know how lucky we are".
If you know the song, you'll know he continues about the global situation being a "mess". Ain't that the truth.
Covid-19 has thrown the mother of all curve-balls at the world.
Death tolls in countries such as Brazil are spiralling out of control as they race to bury their dead in mass graves. Such horror is hard to fathom from our shores.
Here we have space, fertile soil to grow and feed our own produce and stock and a population that is not forced into high-intensity living such as apartments or slums where a virus such as Covid-19 could ravage thousands.
The world is seemingly sinking around us yet we Kiwis have pulled ourselves through. Campaigns such as Go Local are examples of Kiwis taking it upon themselves to look after their neighbours.
And thanks to this "team of 5 million" staying home and staying isolated, we got back to a semi-kind of normal, almost. We really are so lucky to even get to that point.
Unfortunately, some did not get the memo.
It's hard to find sympathy for the people who broke free from quarantine last week, especially when this team of 5 million is also paying for their meals and accommodation.
I get that it must be hard. But if the call to escape the chaos overseas to come back to New Zealand was so strong, then surely it's worth the price?
Now, our lucky little country is at risk. All it takes is one infected person to break the rules to begin a potential community cluster. And once those things take hold, we're all in trouble. I can only hope it doesn't get that far.
Perhaps it's time to consider invoking the Defence Act to enable authorities to restrain wayward returnees? It sets a dangerous precedent rarely seen in our peaceful Aotearoa but it's one I believe should at least be considered.
The time for being kind is over.
In my view, we must deter any future would-be escapees.
New Zealand's economy has been savaged and many small-business owners may not recover. We can't afford to go into lockdown level 4 again.
Keeping our little island nation safe at a time when the rest of the world is imploding is worth more than the whims of a few.