It'd already been quite a month, last month. The number of people in New Zealand being diagnosed with Covid-19 was creeping up as the potentially deadly virus, which began in China, steamrolled Europe and showed signs of asserting its might on the United States.
The jarring numbers of those infected, and dying, overseas meant that by the middle of the month almost everyone coming into New Zealand was under orders to self-isolate for 14 days - a crushing blow to an already hurting tourism industry.
But the directive, which shocked so many, was a mere starter on a menu hastily prepared by a Government still behind the grill.
What followed was a week so intense many called it a year.
Within the space of seven days our border was, for the first time, slammed shut on all but citizens and residents, the Government had to bail out our national airline, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made a rare televised address to the nation and, two days later, followed that up by telling the country we'd all be going into a month-long lockdown.
What will happen next? No one can be sure, except that life will never be the same.
The way we learn, work, travel, consume, exercise, access healthcare, see those who lead us, and look upon those who need us, will change. And much more.
For now we're confined to home, allowed out only to do essential work, visit essential services or take a stroll, scoot or cycle in our neighbourhood.
The survival of the economy won't allow the lockdown to continue indefinitely. And, yet, experts say a vaccine is 12 to 18 months away.
So what can we expect from our new life in a coronavirus world? And how will large parts of that new life become, in time, our new normal?
That crazy week in March might've felt like a year. It wasn't.
The real year, with its onslaught of disruption and change, will come when the teddies in our windows stand down from duty, when we no longer skip town to buy flour, and when surfers again skim freely across the left and right handers that roll onto Muriwai's black sands.
An early life lesson
Life in lockdown means, for most of us, a world that feels much smaller.
We're confined, mostly, in our homes until at least April 22, and the borders of our country for perhaps a year.
Our personal space - at least beyond our bubble - is all our own again. In a world where social distancing saves lives, who knows when those around us will again be brave enough to reach out for a hug, or even a handshake.
It's within these much-narrowed confines we face the immediate changes to our lives, the lost livelihoods, the challenge of homeschooling and the confronting sight of queues to buy food.
It's hard to miss a (virtual) pink slip, a malingering child or a line of shoppers.
But even with public life largely at a halt our lives are already changing in ways we may not even yet be aware of.
Month one of our new life and we've already learned a huge lesson - the difference between what we want, and what we need.
"This has distinguished what is essential," environmental psychologist Niki Harre says.
"We're being trained to think some things are critical. [That's a] really major cultural shift."
It's a bit like what climate change activists were fighting for, recognition that some of what we enjoy in life - car travel, overseas holidays and fast fashion - perhaps shouldn't loom as large in our lives.
For now, they barely loom at all, and even a limited continuation of that will help in tackling the threat Ardern once described as the great challenge of her generation, the University of Auckland professor says.
Albeit unplanned, we're on our way; traffic pollution has already plunged under lockdown.
In Auckland levels halved in Queen St and were undetectable in some suburbs, while Wellington levels fell almost three-quarters. Overseas, there have been rare blue skies in Beijing and clear water in Venice.
Our ability to make sacrifices during this time of crisis also shows we can do so again in future, when it won't be as hard, Harre says.
"Climate change won't require nearly anything as austere as this."
A changing menu
Will we come out of this austere? Packed shopping trolleys highlight fear more than need, as do sometimes-bare supermarket shelves for pantry basics such as flour.
A one day, $111 million - a 157 per cent spending increase on the same day in 2019 - supermarket and liquor store splurge just before lockdown certainly emptied pockets.
It emptied some shelves, too.
But don't expect that to last, University of Auckland professor of operation and supply chain management Tava Olsen says.
Supermarkets plan ahead for high demand periods, such as Christmas. They didn't get a chance to prepare for the lockdown rush, especially for items that arrive mainly by sea, such as flour and rice.
"I think supermarkets will get [stock levels] under control once [people's] freezers are full … I think that will be even before the lockdown ends."
Closed restaurant and fast food doors during lockdown have forced Kiwis back into the kitchen and, with renewed confidence - and perhaps a tighter budget - demand for home cooking basics may continue.
"[In one or two months] people will be looking for more value in the foods they buy."
Unlike those in large, wealthy countries such as the UK, New Zealanders already largely ate to the calendar, "but it will probably get even more so", Olsen says.
A tightened global aviation industry could see imported fresh foods such as raspberries and salmon arriving less frequently, while the market for crayfish is already struggling with people unable to eat out.
Even once restaurants re-open don't expect a rush on tables, and even fewer will be lining up for top end dishes and flutes of champagne.
Big events will be off for "quite a while", Olsen says.
"That feels like a longtime challenge. People won't be celebrating."
New Zealand's hard line - moving to lockdown early in an attempt to stamp out the virus, with encouraging signs so far - could, however, give confidence to other countries about our own exports.
Especially the world's most populous.
"In six months some countries will have either blocked off [the virus] or have herd immunity. I wouldn't be surprised if China favours those countries for imports. That could be us, especially if it's fresh [food] and if we manage to keep Air New Zealand limping along."
'Bigger than Ben Hur'
Six months in we'll be in the hard slog of recovery - and exports will be a big part of that, economist Cameron Bagrie says.
He says the key is smart thinking.
With our $17 billion annual international tourism industry 100 per cent on hold for "one or two years", more of our commodity exports will need to be a bit special, Bagrie says.
That means boxing up plenty of, in the case of apples, lots of higher premium - and therefore higher return - varieties.
"We need that story to be on steroids across a whole lot of the agricultural sector."
The Bagrie Economics managing director expects economic activity will remain restricted in some way for a couple of months - Ardern has vowed the level 4 lockdown will continue until at least April 22.
Any subsequent drop to level 3 would allow some businesses to reopen, after which
life will return to a "quasi-normal", Bagrie says.
There'll be a post-lockdown bounce, but it'll only take us part-way up the V economic recovery curve, despite a multi-billion dollar Government financial rescue package that's "bigger than Ben Hur", he says.
It's necessary and has thrown businesses a lifeline, but double digit unemployment is still on the way, Bagrie says.
"The lights will never come back on for some businesses."
The real hard slog will come in six to 12 months, as everyone - from households to businesses - keeps a firm grip on cash.
"It's going to take a while before business confidence comes back … I don't expect our GDP to be back to the start of the year levels till 2022."
For some of us, the lockdown has slammed the brakes on discretionary spending.
That might stick, a terrifying prospect for businesses, University of Auckland associate professor of marketing Mike Lee says.
As we reflect on the new concept of wants and needs we're also falling out of the habit of spending - and buying certain products is more about habit than brand loyalty, Lee says.
Businesses will fear once the habit's broken, we won't go back.
"The worst thing for businesses is if they leave your mindset."
Small, local businesses could be exempt - after our collective economic fright those still able will likely want to support them. And food delivery, already well-established, will only grow more popular.
But another impact of our new lives will be less discerning in its effects: The impact of forcing tens of thousands to work, learn and even workout - many gyms already sell online fitness programmes - from home during the lockdown, Lee says.
People choosing to work from home impacts a swathe of business, from the commercial property baron - fewer on-site employees means smaller office buildings - to the hole-in -the-wall coffee barista. And the many other businesses we come into contact with when we close the front door behind us each work day.
Micromanagers out, good talkers in
When the time comes, how many of us won't want to go back into our offices?
Plenty, says organisational behaviour researcher Elizabeth George.
"Working from home, we're all realising this is possible and, 'Do I really want to go back into the workplace?'"
Work is such a big part of our identities, but companies tend to become "an abstract thing" when you work from home.
"The whole notion of workplace identity is going to get weakened."
People will no longer feel they must show their faces in the workplace to demonstrate their commitment, forcing those who lead them to adapt, too.
Leaders can take their cue from the Prime Minister and the simplicity of her message when telling Kiwis why they had to go into lockdown - it was to save lives, the University of Auckland professor of management says.
"[She] gave people a sense of purpose. Managers [in future] will have to be able to craft this narrative of why we are doing what we're doing. They'll need to be able to tell a good story."
And, rejoice, there'll be no room for micromanagers. At a distance, it simply won't be possible.
There will, however, be room for influencers. With many industries in freefall, George picks the ultimate Gen Z occupation as a winner in the new society we find ourselves in.
In a world where so much is now done online and, for now, in self-isolation, their ability to unite people around an idea or a product will serve them well.
"They're the people who curate information and who will make connections between people."
Utopias and nightmares in the classroom
Given some aren't yet out of school, those lucky young influencers might also be able to work those high-demand skills into a changed education system, too.
While the un-harried few parents are expected to stick with homeschooling once classroom doors reopen, the way our kids are educated is as likely to change as the many other aspects of our post-lockdown lives.
There's already plenty of thinking about what schooling is and should be in future, University of Auckland professor in education Gavin Brown says.
"As the sci-fi writer William Gibson said, 'The future's already here, it's just not evenly distributed yet'. We're at the point where we get to choose. There are utopias, and there are nightmares, where we don't need schools."
Brown's nightmare is what he calls "de-schooling", where technology, such as AI teaching systems, take the place of teachers.
It's already occurring in the US, but if companies come knocking here he hopes it's resisted.
"It's what you'd do if you didn't have humans. For New Zealand we have, thanks to tangata whenua, a strong sense of belonging to places and people, and I don't know that even the most rabid and right wing person wants to give that up.
"There's still a fundamental need for humans to interact with each other in the world."
What could happen is for school sites to become hubs for wider use, such as to provide health services or meals for those in need in their communities, and for pupils to potentially mix remote and classroom learning.
Children of some office workers could even be taught in their parents' workplaces.
"What if kids and parents went to work together? What if we didn't build a $50 million [school] and used the money instead for tutors and used space at your office?
"What if you went to school with the kids of parents working in the same office, and you used city resources, such as the library?"
Big decisions also face our tertiary providers, Brown says.
Students still want to interact with staff but, as with workers, they may also be keen to do some of lessons remotely.
That means improving digital offerings, as well as making sure less-privileged students aren't left behind.
"Not everybody has a quiet place to study, or access to a computer. So it's still an equality issue."
As with high schools, the tertiary international student industry had been decimated by Covid-19.
But there could be a silver lining if New Zealand's go hard, go early approach marks us as a safe haven for future students when borders eventually re-open.
"Other places can beat us on fame, but we can compete if we keep New Zealand safe and clean."
'It's such an exceptional move to see the state assert itself this way'
We're all a bit anxious in this new world.
For some, the worst won't hit till after the lockdown, when the initial level of care and attentiveness we're showing each other eases, social anthropologist Susanna Trnka says.
And it'll likely be particularly tough on young people, who've found their dreams and plans shelved indefinitely.
But we'll hopefully also be better at keeping in touch with friends and family, most especially online after mass crash courses in video chat tech.
"There's a desire for social engagement right now. It'll be interesting to see how that continues. I think it will."
Sadly, but perhaps necessarily, fears about being physically close to others will likely continue in at least the short-term.
We'll also be making sense of the sudden and life-changing power of the state, a new experience for many, the University of Auckland associate professor says.
"It's such an exceptional move to see the state assert itself this way. A lot of people are quite surprised that they can do this. This is what a state of emergency is like."
Decades of an individualistic, self-reliant outlook have also had to make way for collective responsibility - for one, we've all had to get used to the idea of the state paying a huge number of us not to work.
But people are stepping up, Trnka says.
That "consent of the people" to the lockdown won't last until a vaccine, New Zealand Asia Institute director Natasha Hamilton-Hart says.
Asia may light the path for our journey back to work and school if the elimination strategy isn't successful.
That could mean compulsory mask-wearing and enforced physical spacing. In Taiwan, that's seen schoolkids not only sitting at individual desks but also behind small, individual screens to protect them from infection.
Other Asian countries, such as Singapore, use monitoring apps to keep tabs on those in self-isolation.
In New Zealand, self-isolation is based on trust. But if elimination fails long-term, stricter enforcement - and the infrastructure for it - may be a solution, Hamilton-Hart says.
"The question for New Zealand is, 'Are we willing to give the Government those powers?'"
There'll be tough times ahead.
If Covid-19 infections get away on us and collides with the winter flu season, hospitals will feel the combined pressure in three or four months, University of Otago professor of medicine Terence Doyle says.
There are many variables we can't yet predict - but he's hopeful any pressures should ease by spring.
By that time our medical staff will, as with any virus, be more familiar with dealing with its challenges.
"That happens with experience. You see it with GPs. They have a really good sense of identifying red flags."
We'll be even more expert at social distancing by then and, hopefully, we'll still handwashing ninjas.
Bad habits do die hard - ongoing education around frequent and proper handwashing will be key.
"We're more aware of contagion now, but education will continue to be important. People will get lax … [change] works really slowly, because people think, 'It won't happen to me'."
Less of a barrier will be the continued switch to telemedicine, with more of us getting a taste of visiting the doctor via our computer screen.
"That's happening now and people will be getting more comfortable with it."
And, all the while, scientists will be racing to find a vaccine against the virus which has infected more than a 1.4m, killed 82,000 and crippled economies worldwide, he says.
"They probably have a fair idea already how the vaccine will look, but they have to test it."
A vaccine will come, the dark times will pass, and we'll all have a story to tell the next
generation about how we lived through a pandemic.
They'll be here soon.
After all, there's only so much tiddlywinks people can play during a lockdown, Doyle says.
"Yes, I suspect there will be a baby bump in nine months."
The New New Zealanders.The new life in a time of coronavirus.
The ultimate change.