The Saturday before last, my husband and I drove to Auckland and jumped on a plane bound for Brisbane.
Like so many others, we'd been planning our trip for ages.
Though fears about coronavirus were growing, we'd be right, I reckoned, once we got to the Sunshine Coast.
We would have our holiday by the beach. We would swim and eat and drink and shop for two weeks then come home.
At first, I refused to let fear taint the apartment with the breathtaking sea views we'd rented. I even deleted the news apps from my phone.
I would enjoy each moment at Coolum Beach and the surrounding seaside towns.
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But the fear crept in anyway.
Covid-19 was all anyone talked about at every café, restaurant, shop and on every bus.
Staff mourned the looming loss of incomes and fretted over job cuts, and notices began appearing on store windows apologising for reduced hours.
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As in New Zealand, toilet paper and hand sanitiser were impossible to find.
We watched Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on TV urging people to social distance from one another and scolding them for panic buying at supermarkets.
Then my brother started emailing links to news stories; first of the New Zealand Government saying Kiwis returning from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days, then urging them to get home quick before the borders shut.
That was it.
Like so many others around the world, our dream holiday had been cut short.
We scrambled to change our flight and reverse all the other plans we'd put in place to get there.
No one spoke on the shuttle to the airport. The driver – who looked to be in his 70s – put "reserved" signs in the seats directly behind him in a fragile bid to protect himself.
Brisbane airport - which saw 23.8 million passengers through its gates in 2019 – was virtually empty.
Arriving in Auckland at 1.30am, we waited in queues where masked officials flanked by police took our temperatures and told us of our duties to self-isolate and what that meant.
It'd be a breeze, I thought; I already do most of my work from home and do online food shopping anyway. It's only two weeks.
Once home, my husband and I had a chat about sharing tasks and working together.
As I could keep working from home, but he couldn't because he's a sub-contractor, he was delegated the household cleaning duties which I let go with great joy.
My friend dropped off some groceries I'd ordered from Countdown while in Australia.
Another friend, fellow reporter Peter de Graaf, offered to drop off vege punnets I ordered from Bunnings so we could re-plant our veggie garden.
Our neighbours popped over and, staying at a distance by the gate, said if we needed anything to call them.
We made plans to clean out the garage and I scoured cookbooks for recipes I'd always wanted to make.
On day one, we washed every item of clothing we took on holiday as well as wiping down the suitcases. Then I made a date loaf.
On day two my husband made crepes with maple syrup and roti with potato curry.
Starting to fear weight gain will be one result of self-isolation, on day three the dog got two long walks instead of one.
We are lucky to live in Northland; unlike those living in heavily populated cities, many of us have access to wide open spaces and it's easy to veer out of people's way and keep a good distance.
We've spent hours on the phone to family and friends trying to comprehend the rapidly changing world.
Keeping up with the facts via the news has taken up a lot of time, but it's important to keep informed by reputable news outlets like the Northern Advocate and NZ Herald.
By day four I'd become a bit bored, so I pitched this idea to the editor.
From 11.59pm on Wednesday we'll all be self-isolating as the country goes into lockdown.
Now we're all in the same boat.
It's not all bad; people can still go out and exercise, play frisbee with the dog or take their kids to a park – just don't drive there and don't use the playground equipment.
It's now vitally important to keep 2m away from all others. At all times.
That means stopping all interactions with others outside of those in your households.
So, keep in contact with loved ones, find some new projects and read, garden, cook, exercise and create.
Here are a few more tips:
Good luck everyone.
* Keep in touch with loved ones, friends and work mates
* Keep up meditation, yoga and exercise
* Dig out the guitar and learn some new tunes
* Sign up for an online course
* Write a short story or poem - or start a novel
* Get inspired with Ted Talks
* Write a letter to someone - then scan and email it
* Play a board game
* Marie Kondo your house, room by room
* Kids, set up video chat "play dates" with school friends
* Clean out the garage
* Send us your ideas and photos of your first day in self-isolation so we can share them with readers.