The streets of Papatoetoe are usually bustling on a Thursday but many residents kept clear yesterday, still fearful of becoming another Covid-19 victim.
Retailers up and down St George St said business was much slower than last week - before Auckland was again thrust into alert level 3 and he rest of the country into level 2.
There were fewer pedestrians, fewer cars passing through and more concern the virus could still be in their midst.
Last week no one wore face masks, Bz Bee Bakery manager Loung Kuy said. Yesterday about half of those strolling down St George St sported one.
"I'm nervous about being out because I've got a small kid. We're worried but we have to work," she said.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Auckland would go into alert level 3 lockdown for three days after two cases of Covid-19 were discovered in the Papatoetoe community. In the following days another household contact of the pair would test positive as would a classmate at Papatoetoe High School and their sibling.
But despite that, Auckland moved back to alert level 2 from midnight on Wednesday.
Most were comfortable with the lowering of the alert level, saying the Prime Minister knew best although some wondered if it had come too soon given Wednesday's news of three new cases.
South City Barbers manager Shamil Ali said the reaction from customers had been mixed.
"Some say they are not happy - it's too early. They predicted we might go for another week," he said.
While Ali was happy to get back to work, he too wondered if it would have been better to stay at level 3 for a while longer.
Instead, he and his staff were back to wearing masks and gloves to make sure they and their customers remained safe.
Ali agreed the streets were quieter but said it had been a fairly normal day in the store - unlike the end of the first lockdown which saw people queuing to get a haircut after seven weeks of going without.
With Papatoetoe High School only five minutes' drive from the store people remained nervous and some regular customers had said they did not want to come in for a cut just yet.
"They are pretty cautious now," he said. "We're hoping it will settle down."
NZ Fruit and Spices manager Raman Kaur admitted she too was a little nervous about being back amongst the community but trusted the Government knew best.
"It's not really safe but we are following the conditions," she said, pointing to the QR code and highlighting the physical distancing in the store.
The pop-up testing stations at Papatoetoe High School and Kohuora Park were also much quieter yesterday with only a few cars at the two locations - also a far cry from earlier in the week when thousands of people queued up to get a test, some waiting for hours, or being sent to other sites.
Papatoetoe High School students, who will not return to classes until Monday, said their families and communities were taking the latest outbreak in their stride.
The school is believed to have a bigger share of students of Indian ethnicity than any other NZ secondary school - 37 per cent at the time of its last Education Review Office report in 2018, followed by Pasifika students (27 per cent), Māori (16 per cent), Southeast Asian (9 per cent), Chinese (5 per cent) and Pākehā (3 per cent), with 3 per cent from other ethnic groups.
Taranjot Dhaliwal, whose parents came from India before he was born, said he did not think the Indian community was too worried.
"Everyone is managing themselves by staying home, and the Indian community has also been doing food donations and food drives," he said.
Cindy Nguyen, a Year 13 student whose family is Vietnamese, said the Vietnamese community was "really cautious over these things" and her family was worried at first because a cousin is in the same class as the original Year 9 student who caught the virus.
"Her family had to get tested, but everybody came back negative so we are pretty chill right now," she said.
School principal Vaughan Couillault said he was grateful for all the support from the community with one woman even donating $500 to be split between
the two families in the eye of the latest storm.