Well, Covid-19, the wee sneaky beastie, is back in the community.
We all knew it would happen but it is still gutting, especially for Aucklanders who had to put up with level 3 lockdown.
Teenagers facing the stress of end-of-year study and exams are the people I really feel sorry for. Being a kid nowadays is hard enough without now worrying about accessing decent resources and teachers.
Disruption to higher study and trade training in probable future lockdowns will also have a flow-on effect in our educated and trained workforce. We need a constant flow of graduates and tradespeople to replace us old boomers shuffling into retirement.
Small business owners are pulling their hair out again. Some will not be back, especially in the hospitality sector. It might be said they were marginal anyway but that is unkind and maybe untrue.
Running a business in the best of times is challenging. Although the Government has stepped up to help, the stress is simply too much for some business owners.
Looking to the future, they know more lockdowns are probable until a vaccine arrives so why bother?
The first lockdown period changed living routines for many. As a retiree working part-time from home I really did not notice Level 2 other than having masks nearby.
We have become more self-sufficient and maybe a bit reclusive. Our life has changed, probably forever.
We have now found ways to do things that do not necessitate leaving home. We can even do GP consults from home for normal maintenance appointments.
I had to go to an appointment a week ago, so wore my new home-made mask, a fetching black mottled colour. I was the only person doing so. Social distancing was non-existent and I felt like a bank robber as well as hot and stuffy.
As a COPD sufferer, I really do not need yet another barrier to trying to breathe so I am really torn at times. I am choosing not to wear a mask now.
This decision can change in a moment of course. Self-isolation, social distancing and the Covid app do it for me.
We now have half a dozen masks each of very striking designs and colours, run up by the bride in a frenzy.
We have a friend, also a very able seamstress, who makes them for sale; they are going like hotcakes in Covid land because most people know this pandemic is not letting us go any time soon.
We all know things can change in an instant and that we may have to mask up despite feeling stuffy and uncomfortable.
What really grinds my teeth is the inane opinions of a few, saying that as New Zealand has not really been hit by Covid-19 we should be allowed more freedoms and the border restrictions should be relaxed with a view to herd immunity.
The very simple reason why we have not had the crippling death toll seen in other countries is simply because our much-maligned Government put in place measures to protect our people, a government's first and most important duty in any developed democracy.
Do not these otherwise intelligent people understand this? To achieve herd immunity, according to Johns Hopkins University, in general, the answer is 70 to 90 per cent of a population, depending on how contagious the infection is at the time, need to contract the virus along with the huge death toll that will precipitate among the elderly and the health-compromised of all ages.
Is that what these few but vociferous critics would be comfortable with? Surely they are not heartless people.
New Zealand has taken a huge hit financially but we are a wealthy country and we will recover eventually no matter what party runs the Treasury benches.
New Zealand politicians, for all their differences, are not made of the stamp of some other nations' politicians who are, in my opinion, callous towards their own populations and selfish about their own wealth and security.
People of my age and younger, that is most New Zealanders apart from the very old, have never had war or a virulent pandemic to deal with. This is it. This is our time to sacrifice for the greater good and to care for each other as our parents and grandparents had to do in the 20th century.
Most New Zealanders are under no illusions that our lives have changed.
Some are fighting this in various ways, protests, court cases, demanding alternative strategies ranging from herd immunity to quack cures but we all know deep-down life will be very different until a decent vaccine is developed.
We will adapt, that's what people do. Let us think more of each other just now.