With the lockdown scale sliding downwards to normalcy, a few more conversations are now possible with friends, neighbours and workmates. And even with the odd random stranger encountered during the day.
Funnily enough, I've been more in the mood for talking to people. Maybe that's because I feel refreshed after a period of relative isolation.
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I've noticed it in others, too. A willingness to talk about lockdown experiences as you stand in line for sausages and mince from the butchers.
I had a friendly chat with the owner of Rainbows Relics, an antique and collectables store in Whangārei, as I flicked through some old vinyl records. The thrust of our conversation was that we both felt revitalised after weeks in lockdown.
Which has me thinking, that perhaps the lockdown and the reason for it — saving lives —has given me a spiritual lift.
I hesitate in going there, talking about spiritual things. But there's no denying that something has changed inside me.
Which is not to say I'm walking around brimming with goodness and acting kindly to everyone.
Though I do feel less anxious, more accepting of myself and others, able to experience more joy in the simple things of life.
How long it will last, who knows.
It's led me to consider, however, that there might be something in the practice of taking time-out that's common to all religions.
The Jewish Sabbath forbids any work from Friday evening to Saturday evening. It's time for rest and worship. For Christians, obviously, Sunday remains a day to attend church.
Buddhist meditation retreats are popular.
Then there's the Muslim month of Ramadan, which involves fasting, prayer, community work and making donations to the poor.
The dates for Ramadan were April 23 to May 23, overlapping our lockdown.
While I didn't come close to fasting, there was during lockdown more time for reflection, reading, and taking slow walks.
Because a whole lot of people were doing similar things, there wasn't the same guilt trip about not being busy all the time. Somehow a badge of honour in our culture.
What organised religions provide is the on high authority to designate this day, this month, for spiritual reflection - for getting closer to God or seeking oneness with the universe.
The temptation to do other things, if not removed, is at least lessened.
Readers who practise one of the religions will already know that time-out for spiritual concerns delivers benefits to body and mind.
But it's difficult today. For many, working at the weekend is the norm. And we've grown used to being able to buy experiences and things anytime we want them.
The internet has facilitated that desire to the nth degree.
It wasn't always this way. I'm old enough to remember when New Zealand removed the restriction on Saturday trading in 1980 and then Sunday trading in 1990.
I can recall the voices of Christian leaders and other conservatives condemning the move and the threat it posed to the country's morality. I certainly didn't see their point at the time. Expanding the shopping days was progress.
Now I'm less sure. In turning Sunday into just another day for shopping and work for cleaners, retail and hospitality workers, maybe something was lost.
I can see no possible way it will happen, but I wonder about a secular version of the Sabbath, a day we all spend in spiritual reflection, together in isolation, like during lockdown. A time for repairing ourselves by retreating temporarily from the anxieties of the world.
Imagine if you can - because it's such an impossible thought - the internet switched off for one day a week. Such a drastic measure is now so far outside our current reality, and logistically undoable anyway.
Though the benefits for kids and adults might well be profound.
But no, that's beyond stupid to even consider. The restraint of activities to improve the spiritual wellbeing of a country would be madness.
• Northern Advocate columnist Vaughan Gunson writes about life and politics.