After a year of extraordinary firsts, another notable anniversary occurs today - 12 months since New Zealand's managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) regime came into existence.
Everyone who arrived in New Zealand from April 10, 2020 was directed to spend 14 days in a managed isolation facility, or in a quarantine facility if they tested positive, exhibited Covid-19 symptoms or had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive.
The system - built in suddenly vacant hotels, following the closure of New Zealand's borders - was up and running just three days after Aotearoa/New Zealand's Covid-19 elimination strategy document was published.
Within 72 hours of the New Zealand Government declaring we would go for a breathtaking attempt at elimination, facilities were being repurposed to house potentially infected arrivals from all over the world.
The quarantine facilities were set up as high-risk venues; with people not allowed out for exercise or recreation. In contrast, managed isolation facilities were low-risk facilities with less stringent rules.
Before a person could leave a facility at the end of the 14-day period, a final health check would be carried out to confirm they test negative for Covid-19.
The rules in these venues have been adapted, usually after a breach leading to concerns from health experts and outrage from the public.
In the early weeks, people in managed isolation facilities were able to leave for exercise or recreation within a 2km radius while wearing PPE. However on June 12, after footage from Auckland's Crowne Plaza showed returnees "mingling with others from different flights … and coming in close contact with the public" on guided walks outside the facility, the walks were cancelled.
From then on, managed isolation groups could exercise on hotel premises only or be bused to a safe area. That too changed last week after returnees on an exercise bus mingled, had no face masks on and people from low and high-risk countries switched seats.
Lessons have been hard-learned at times. RNZ reports there have been 13 border control oversights since July 2020, one which caused a cluster of 179 cases.
Two women who had arrived from the United Kingdom were permitted to leave an Auckland MIQ and drive to Wellington to see a dying family member. On arrival in Wellington they tested positive for Covid-19; it also emerged they'd met with friends en route. Around the same time, a group of six who were given a compassionate exemption to attend a funeral in Hamilton absconded instead of returning to managed isolation. These incidents led to the suspension of compassionate exemptions.
On July 4, a 43-year-old woman scaled two fenced at the Pullman Hotel managed isolation facility in Auckland's CBD. She was located two hours later and charged. A few days later, airlines were asked to reduce incoming flights as MIQ neared capacity.
This week, the latest howler had an unvaccinated security guard come down with Covid.
But there have been remarkable results too. Eighteen days after MIQ was set up, the country moved down from level four alert to level three, enabling some businesses to open under strict physical distancing practices.
No, not everything has been perfect at MIQ but - considering the circumstances in which it was set up; humans' natural resistance to being immobilised; and the wily nature of the enemy at the door - our lives of relative liberty today are testament to its achievement.