If a list of lessons learned from this pandemic were compiled now, there would be a number of points covered in highlighter pen.
The coronavirus was initially a challenge for governments and health authorities everywhere, who had to make major decisions under pressure.
It's still a huge challenge, more is being found out about Covid-19, and an official review is needed here at some stage.
Essential and mobile workers. The focus was justifiably on those with most frontline contact with the virus - border and health workers - and those most at risk - the elderly and medically vulnerable. But the people who kept the country running, who had to regularly mix with strangers, were the other key group. And they have struggled until now to get enough protection so the community can be better protected.
Vaccination should have been a priority earlier this year for obvious potential links in the transmission chain such as supermarket workers, police, taxi and delivery drivers. But also standardised safety protocols could have been set last year. Mandated high-quality masks, better air filtration in buildings, more protective cubicles, strict time-scheduled no-contact and distancing with all deliveries.
Worker shortages. Hundreds of supermarket staff are having to isolate in the latest outbreak. Health workers need to get tested quickly. The work involved in testing, tracing and vaccination work at present requires a lot of manpower. This is creating downstream health staff shortages in places like rest homes.
The use of hotels for quarantine. The Crowne Plaza's role in Delta patient zero's journey from airport to isolation facilities to hospital in the current outbreak was unsurprising. As much as the MIQ system has worked for thousands of returnees, virus leaks can be costly and take place in the centre of our biggest city. Australia is building specialist quarantine facilities away from central city areas.
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Ideas and approaches. The Government and health authorities have got some big calls right and the country has had a low death and health toll. The Prime Minister is at her most reassuring as a general rallying the troops. Yet the delay in vaccine delivery has had a significant impact on our safety even if supplies are better now. Changes haven't always been implemented smoothly. Good, practical ideas should be taken note of wherever they come from, here or overseas. Our vaccine booking system could be supplemented by other efforts to cater for people who don't want to wait months or might decide to get a jab on impulse. At the weekend Ireland held countrywide vaccine walk-in clinics. People could book online beforehand or turn up with relevant ID. Hurdles should be reduced to testing and vaccination as much as possible.
Mask-wearing and messaging. New Zealand is probably at its zenith of pandemic mask-wearing at present, but messages from overseas health experts that the quality of mask matters and that they're necessary regardless of vaccination don't appear to have been widely absorbed here. Many people in Auckland are still out exercising maskless. It is easier to avoid the virus outdoors than indoors, but Delta is extra contagious. People also need to develop a mask habit for when border restrictions start to ease to avoid basic Covid infections. Delta also seems to be having a major impact on people aged under 40 - who were told for a long time that they were less susceptible to Covid-19.
There's a lot that hasn't been made clear. Future-proofing of medical protection supplies and vaccine production is needed. Some countries in the region are developing their own vaccines. The Government is looking at delaying the time between doses and can potentially mix vaccine types to boost immunity. Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the Government was talking to Pfizer about booster shots - either another dose or an updated one. These issues are still work-ons.
Reopening is going to require a very high level of vaccination and a border flow system that works for safety, incoming workers and tourism. New Zealand won't be free of this threat for years.