Wonderful things can happen when the community comes together and fights for a common goal.
Despite the Government spending weeks investigating Rotorua as a potential location for a new managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facility, yesterday it confirmed it was not going ahead.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said Rotorua was rejected "primarily because of health and MIQ workforce constraints" - but his comments to RNZ the previous day suggested the public upset also had an impact.
"It is unlikely now that we would set up additional MIQ facilities in Rotorua given the strength of the feedback we have had from them," he said.
Much of the cross-political and public opposition had the same sentiment: 'It's another town's turn to help carry the load'.
Rotorua already has three MIQ facilities and a fourth may have been detrimental to the tourism industry, which eagerly awaits alert level 1, as well as a strain on the local health system.
The (unconfirmed) claim Rotorua was being looked at for a new quarantine facility also raised the spectre of leaks.
Given the number of close calls throughout the pandemic response - such as the infected truckie's visit to Tauranga - it'd just be Rotorua's luck for it to run out.
That's why getting the vaccine is so incredibly important because, as we've learned with this August outbreak, it doesn't take much for the Delta to spread and it takes a long time to rein in.
We caught on to the virus early, however, thanks to the first identified case - a Devonport tradie who got tested when he had symptoms. We owe that man a lot.
How many of us can say that every time we have had Covid symptoms since March 2020, we have had a test or at least called Healthline? I can't.
I only had an attitude change after the start of this outbreak when a loved one donned full PPE for the first time.
They work in health but due to a respiratory condition that puts them at an increased risk, spent the previous lockdowns working the phones. This time around they were called in to give people the vaccine.
It's shocked me into gear.
It was the first time I was properly scared about the virus, even though I've written and read about the horrors it has caused worldwide for 18 months.
From that moment on, I decided if I get a sore throat or a sniffle, I'm getting tested.
I've committed myself to get the vaccine – less for myself and more for my whānau who wouldn't fare so well in an outbreak.
I urge you to do the same because wonderful things can happen when we all work together for a common goal.