One year ago, New Zealand would do something it had never done before.
At 11.59pm on March 25, 2020, the country would go into full lockdown.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had introduced the country to the now well-known alert level system only a few days earlier.
New Zealanders were told to stay home. Thousands of non-essential businesses were told to set employees up to work from home or close their doors.
Friends and family were kept apart by the invisible barriers of their bubbles.
Those who had lost loved ones couldn't mourn with tangihanga, funerals, and all gatherings cancelled and public venues closed.
"We are fortunate to still be some way behind the majority of overseas countries in terms of cases, but the trajectory is very clear. Act now, or risk the virus taking hold," Ardern said at a March 23 press conference.
New Zealand was plunged into alert level 3 immediately and would move to level 4 in 48 hours.
New Zealand had 102 confirmed cases at the time — 36 new cases had been announced that day and transmission had been identified in the community.
"We have always said we would act early, decisively, and go hard — and we will," she said, preparing the country for a four-week lockdown.
New Zealand, and in particular Auckland, would move up and down alert levels
throughout the next year.
Unemployment was predicted by some economists to rise above 10 per cent, and while it is currently low at 4.9 per cent (for the December quarter 2020), GDP has gone south, falling 2.9 per cent for the year to December.
Figures from an ASB survey of 500,000 customers showed overall their financial wellbeing had improved 8 per cent on average since the first lockdown, largely driven by reduced spending.
But, the latest data for February 2021 also showed nearly half of customers have less than $1000 in savings.
Stress levels haven't eased since the country went into an alert level 4 lockdown a year ago.
Counsellors Association president Christine MacFarlane said it was becoming chronic, with people feeling overwhelmed, uncertain, isolated and financially insecure.
Christchurch counsellors are struggling to cope with more children needing help for anxiety brought on by Covid-19. She said the earthquakes and mosque attacks haven't helped.
MacFarlane said they were showing anxiety, low moods, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Today New Zealand has 2470 total Covid cases. Of those, 2377 people have recovered and 26 have lost their lives.