For most children and their parents, today's return to the schoolyard couldn't have come sooner.
After eight weeks of encroaching on each other's personal spaces, trying to juggle school work, work-work and family time, many will be excited to burst their bubbles and return to a bit of normality.
• Covid 19 Coronavirus: No new cases, 1428 recovered from virus, one more person in hospital
• Covid 19 coronavirus: New Marist College cluster case shows virus has 'long tail'
• Covid 19 coronavirus 'cure'? US biotech company claims it's found antibody to block virus
• Covid 19 Coronavirus: Marist College to re-open despite 'new' positive case
Kids will get to see their friends again, adults will get to converse with other adults and teachers will be back in the classroom, knowing every parent in New Zealand has a new-found appreciation for the work they do.
However, not everyone will be looking forward to returning to work and school.
For some, the past eight weeks have been a comfort, being able to retreat from the outside world, protect their families in their bubble and avoid outside factors that triggered their anxiety.
For those people, Sunday night would have brought on stress, panic attacks and possibly worse at the thought of having to venture into the outside world.
Anxiety New Zealand Trust anticipates some people, both parents and children, will experience heightened levels of separation anxiety as school properly reopens today.
The trust says it has already received an increase in calls from parents worried about being parted from their children and pets.
A portion of these people will have dealt with anxiety before but for others, it will be a new development, born from these extraordinary circumstances.
As we all come back together, it is important to remember everyone has experienced lockdown differently and we need to be kind and patient with one another.
If it is a child panicking and lashing out, be understanding, don't dismiss their feelings. Just as adults have been uprooted by coronavirus, so too have children.
If you yourself are anxious, access resources from Anxiety New Zealand and talk to somebody about how you are feeling - you are not alone in this.
No matter what age you are, your feelings are valid and you are allowed to take your time in getting back to a routine similar to that prior to lockdown.
We were in this together at the beginning, let's be in this together to the end.
If you or somebody you know is struggling with their mental health, the following are some of the resources available:
- Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
- Depression and Anxiety Helpline – 0800 111 757 or free text 4202
- Anxiety phone line – 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY)
- SPARX.org.nz – online e-therapy tool provided by the University of Auckland that helps young people learn skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed