As Aucklanders incrementally edge out from level 3, down through 3.2, 3.3, red lights, orange and, hopefully one day, green, they will discover the thorny topics we are now debating in places such as Hawke's Bay, Wellington and the South Island, which have only the minor annoyances of level 2 and can enjoy sizeable gatherings.
One subject I keep encountering in conversation is what to do about other friends, some of whom may be lifelong mates, who stubbornly refuse to get vaccinated.
Many people I know will not let them in their homes; they will not visit or associate with them. It's harsh, but these anti-vaxxers will become non-people. Even those unvaccinated who, for underlying health reasons, cannot get a jab are likely to suffer similar ostracism, judging by the folk I talk to.
Maybe it's just that I know a lot of hard-headed or hard-hearted people, but fear of Covid and anger with the unvaxxed seem widespread and likely to affect our relations with each other for the foreseeable future.
In order to show a light at the end of the tunnel and offer some hope of a more normal family Christmas, the Government has adopted the traffic light system. But we will find next year, as we ease out of many of the restrictions, it will be a changed world from the one we knew before.
Now we have faced up to the fact that elimination is impossible, and that Covid-19 will become just another endemic illness we're likely to encounter at some stage in our lives, how will that affect our interactions with others, even the double dosed?
Some form of social distancing is likely to persist, much to the distress of the huggers and kissers in our community. I've repeatedly noticed hesitation at the offer of a handshake. Waving from a metre or more away seems to have become the norm.
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I doubt many will be entirely happy to be cheek by jowl with others in offices, homes, shops and public transport once the "new normal" is established. As frustrated as Aucklanders may be with being incarcerated in their houses and flats, I think that aversion to close proximity will drive some to continue to work from home in future.
Another long-term effect may be a population migration from Auckland. Retirees now have another good reason to look outside the city for somewhere cheaper and safer to live. I know two young Aucklanders fed up with the months of restrictions who are moving south to live as soon as they can. Who can blame them?
Yet, as we have seen in recent months, many people in the south and in Northland, who are relatively comfortable at level 2 – at least until upper Northland was shunted back into level 3 for at least six days – will be wary of and negative about Aucklanders entering their environs.
Right now, it's hard to not have empathy with activists such as Hone Harawira who zealously guard their tribal areas. The health and wellbeing of their whānau are at stake.
Fear of the virus leaking through the borders has already exacerbated the provinces' historical aversion towards those who live around the Waitematā and Manukau harbours. That guardedness is likely to be even more apparent once the worst of the disease and the restrictions are over.
We are slowly edging into a new world and one thing is for certain: 2022 will be a very different year from pre-Covid 2019. There is a new New Zealand coming.
For information on the safety of the Covid-19 vaccine and other things you need to know, listen to our podcast Science Digest with Michelle Dickinson: