We all have things we are looking forward to as we count down the vaccinations needed to fulfill the criteria for lifting lockdowns.
There are already tantalising indications of a return to normality as secondary schools opened yesterday.
Heavy rains over Labour Weekend most likely contributed to low vaccination rates, with just 4937 vaccine doses given out in Auckland on Monday, including 1410 first doses and 3527 second doses. Still, we have passed the 90 per cent mark for the eligible population to receive the first dose. If they all turn up for the second, then we are on track to be opening up more by Christmas.
Arising then, is the even more tantalising prospect of how we unbolt the latches and push the shutters open. There has been much talk of unleashing all shackles from December 1, particularly from the leaders of the National and Act parties.
When United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared July 29 would be Freedom Day for his beleaguered nation, the winces from health experts were audible. More than 4200 scientists from across numerous fields wrote a letter to the Lancet medical journal warning about the "dangerous and premature" decision.
Their anxiety was well placed. A month after Freedom Day, more than 800 patients were being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 daily and roughly 90 people were dying from the virus.
It is clear our Government's strategy is to avoid this fate by insisting on a 90 per cent target for district health board areas before embarking on the "traffic light" system of alert levels.
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The UK was at 87 per cent of the adult population with one vaccination dose, and more than 68 per cent with two doses when Johnson declared the war was won.
To be fair to Johnson, he did urge the country to take care. "This is the right moment but we've got to do it cautiously. We've got to remember that this virus is sadly still out there." However, his messages were lost in the powerful evocation of the word "freedom".
Caution was further thrown to the wind by lifting the requirement for masks to be worn in shops and other indoor settings lapsed, along with capacity limits in bars and restaurants, and rules limiting the number of people who could socialise together.
New Zealand cannot afford such moves. Professor Rod Jackson warned yesterday that up to 560,000 people who are eligible for vaccination have not yet been vaccinated. If they became severely ill, it would likely cripple our health system.
The British example shouldn't be read as criticism. As Jackson points out, no health system can cope with a Delta outbreak, not even Singapore, which is buckling under a current outbreak.
While we should look forward to embracing the liberties that come from the easing of Covid restrictions, we must avoid the overriding desire to shake off all limitations which we know are effective in suppressing spread of the virus.
The last thing anyone should be declaring is that there will be a Freedom Day for Aotearoa.