I was surprised at how easily we agreed to stay home, be arrested if we didn't, and trust the experts.
We went into eight weeks of lockdown with the willingness of the terrified, believing if we inadvertently walked into a butchers instead of a supermarket we could die.
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Daily speeches on kindness, rules and the Easter Bunny were celebrated across the world. We were so freaked out by that black line on the graph inching upwards towards Italy's infection rate we would have self-isolated in our toilets for a year until the Easter Bunny told us to come out.
Strict lockdown may have been the right thing to do. I don't know. Because, turns out, neither do the scientists. They don't really know if masks are safe; if lockdowns work; if you can get infected twice; or even if washing hands stops the virus spreading (but wash your hands – it's a good idea anyway).
We were sold a "Sophie's choice". It was either your health or the economy (health wins every time when you put it like that). Each day there was a new choice to be made as the risks went up and down. Why weren't we invited to help make those calls?
Instead, we were asked to trust only the experts - not scientists, because they couldn't agree – but public sector experts. They may have been right, but they were making decisions based on assumptions. And that's something we're all qualified to make.
These were always political decisions – not party political, but decisions based on values rather than science. In level 1, the values of those making the decisions have become apparent.
We were told supermarkets are okay, but greengrocers and butchers are not; groups of 10 – actually 100 - are okay, but no more. Unless you're demonstrating against something we agree with. Then 2000 people cheek by jowl, walking down the street is okay. Illicit roadblocks are allowed, but you can't visit your dying mother. Jenny Craig diets are an essential service, but not aid charities raising funds to help refugees deal with Covid.
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Which businesses stayed open, which closed. Who's in your bubble who's not. And how long we stayed locked down. We went along with these rules even when they felt arbitrary.
These were not decisions that should have been left to public health experts alone because what do they know about the risks we're prepared to take?
That's why the constant reminder to "be kind" jarred. Not to downplay kindness. It's an uncontroversial quality that we can agree makes everyone better off.
But imagine you've been made redundant. You're driving home, worried how you're going to pay the mortgage, or find another job when no one is hiring. You feel irrelevant in the "new normal". Then you see a neon motorway sign flashing "be kind". Nothing that is happening to you feels kind.
Meanwhile the "experts" in the public sector are more in demand than ever. They don't doubt their worthiness. It's easy to be kind when your job is guaranteed.
The people who paid the biggest price for lockdown haven't been consulted on the trade-offs. They deserve political representation too.
Instead, politics has divided too neatly; left on the side of health, right on the economy. The left champions kindness and sees the state as the answer. The right believes in responsibility and the market.
What gets missed is community.
None of this is new. Parties of the left across the world had become dominated by urban, university-educated liberals who joined the Labour party to make someone else's life better.
I'm proud to have a degree, but when nearly everyone in the Labour party has one too, how can it truly represent the people? Only 26 per cent of New Zealanders have a tertiary qualification.
What Covid has revealed, in New Zealand and the riot-torn streets of the US, is that class still matters in politics, especially if there's no one representing you when the big decisions are made.
Acknowledge lockdown decisions have been political. Very few have been based on science. All are based on values. Therefore more people should have their values represented at the table - those whose lives and jobs have been thrown into chaos by this virus, as well as those whose health is at risk. That's how you build a legacy of kindness that endures beyond Covid-19.
Trump and Brexit didn't happen because people are ignorant, but because people think they are being told they are ignorant. And elites, even when they talk kindness, are always undemocratic.
• Josie Pagani is executive director of the Council for International Development.