Throughout the multiple alert levels, we exhorted each other to heed the advice and follow the rules, even as the rules changed. In unprecedented times, some flexibility is required to adjust to unexpected scenarios.
However, the result of allowing two quarantined and untested people to travel from Auckland to Wellington was not unexpected. Several others had made similar requests and were denied. Now they are entitled to be furious, as are all of us.
It's not just the two women from the UK, who had been in managed isolation in Auckland, were given a compassionate exemption to visit a dying parent and then drove to Wellington, where they tested positive for the virus.
Two people, aged 8 and 19, were also granted special permission to attend the funeral of a Mongrel Mob relative in Hamilton. They were asked, with four other family members, to return to the quarantine hotel, the Pullman, in Auckland, afterward. Instead, the pair fled. All have tested negative and five of the family are now back at the Pullman, while the teenager is self-isolating at a family property in Hamilton.
National MP Michael Woodhouse additionally claims a homeless man holidayed in a quarantine hotel for two weeks and a woman, who had been jailed for not complying with isolation protocol, was released from Wiri Prison before her Covid-19 test came back positive.
Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier, too, is livid after discovering members of his staff - on important business to inspect a prison - were put up in a hotel with quarantined travellers, without being warned.
Political editor Audrey Young says the allegations around isolation failures point to a "pattern of mismanagement". It is now painfully clear the processes around screening and isolating people incoming from a Covid-infected world have been woefully mishandled. The ineptitude is evenly applied to a child attending a gang member's tangi to public servants from the Ombudsman's office.
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The Government had previously been criticised for being hardline with occasions such as funerals and tangi, and allowed for special exemptions. It flinched in the face of disapproval and fell back into what has become a habit of continuing to do the talk while failing to do the walk.
It's relenting reveals, for all now to see, the failings of this current administration. It talks a very good game but doesn't always put it on the park. This time, in doing so, it opened Pandora's Box. It's now obvious the Government should have held firm in choosing science over emotion.
KiwiBuild was a flagship policy, much soapboxed prior to the last general election, but finally shelved mid last year; similar campaign overtures about light rail from Auckland International Airport to downtown were shunted without a surveyor's peg being plunged.
In this case, however, it's not just leaving us short of affordable houses or missing a trolley car or two. This is our livelihoods and lives on the line.
Make no mistake, kindness matters in times of strife. But, with stakes this high, competence matters more.