Our potential future scares me. We have seen how Covid-19 has taken lives, destroyed health and slammed economies around the world.
We've been fortunate in Aotearoa that our team has so far pulled together and avoided mass casualties in the pandemic. But it's not over yet. Not by a long shot.
That's why we all need to get the shot - to get vaccinated. I've had my first dose, as have my teenagers.
Master 15 wasn't convinced his jab was necessary, thanks to misinformation from friends via the internet. I bought him an unhealthy bag of pork rinds after the appointment (his choice) as a thank you for taking one for the team.
Studies show the unvaccinated are 10 times more likely than vaccinated people to be hospitalised with Covid and 11 times more likely to die of the disease.
When I get my whānau vaccinated, not only do I hope to prevent us from sickness and death, I also hope to prevent us from occupying a hospital bed that someone with a heart attack, stroke or cancer might need.
Our latest lockdown has resulted in the cancellation of tens of thousands of surgeries, scans and appointments nationwide. Health staff will be shovelling a backlog of postponed cases for months.
Imagine deciding who gets treated at a local hospital and who must be sent far from home or get minimal treatment for Covid.
Early in the pandemic last year we saw this scenario unfold in Italy and Spain, as medical staff triaged Covid patients and debated whether elderly people should have the same access to a ventilator as a younger person.
They're making tough decisions today in my home country, too.
Hospitals in Spokane, Washington, where I used to live, have paused all non-emergency procedures, including cancer surgeries, due to a crush of Covid patients and staffing shortages.
The president of one hospital said 95 per cent of its Covid patients were unvaccinated.
This is happening in a state where free vaccinations have been available since early this year.
In Spokane County, 60.9 per cent of the population aged 12 and older have received at least one dose of vaccine.
About a half hour's drive down the highway lies North Idaho, nestled in pine trees that surround dozens of shimmering lakes.
It's also the site of a rolling medical catastrophe. Kootenai Health is one of at least 10 hospitals across the state's northern counties where officials the past week activated crisis standards of care because of an unprecedented surge of hospitalisations due to Covid-19.
Forty-one per cent of Kootenai County's population aged 12 and up is vaccinated.
NPR reported 97 per cent of Covid patients are unvaccinated at the region's biggest hospital, Kootenai Health. One-hundred per cent of ICU beds are full.
People who need things such as back surgeries and other orthopaedic procedures must wait in pain indefinitely because the health system is swamped.
Just half of Kootenai Heath staff are vaccinated, according to a recent report in the Spokesman-Review.
The facility has seen one classroom converted to a Covid care unit to try to meet demand.
Staffing remains a major problem, as nurses are burnt out from zipping up body bags at the end of a 16-hour workday.
New hires are tough to find and take time to bring on board.
The region where I used to live votes mostly Republican and has more than its fair share of conspiracy theorists and people who simply don't trust the Government.
Despite the Covid death toll and the hospital overflow, many folks still don't believe the virus poses a real threat.
Some people fervently and wrongly think they can eat, exercise and supplement their way past the pandemic.
Nurses treat patients on ventilators who thought Covid-19 was a hoax or not that bad.
Some of these patients send final texts to family members and friends telling them to get vaccinated.
Your otherwise healthy body may not be a match for the Delta variant of Covid.
Vaccines, which have now been given to billions of people worldwide, have proven safe and extremely effective at preventing hospitalisations and death.
When you choose not to vaccinate, you play Russian roulette not only with your health, but with your family's health.
With my health and my family's health, too. I don't want a loved one - or myself - to forego cancer treatment or surgery because of someone else's choice not to get vaccinated.
Our health system in Aotearoa is already stretched like a rubber band. How many Covid hospitalisations would cause the band to snap?
My friends and family in the States face heartache and pain that could have been largely avoided if more people had got vaccinated.
I believe Kiwis are more community-minded than people in the Divided States of America. We can do much better. We must do much better.
Get vaccinated - it's our best shot at a brighter future.