I am genuinely concerned for how many scares people can tolerate from escalating Covid-19 alert levels before they start ignoring them.
We have seen people's growing apathy to tsunami threats as previous alerts calling for evacuation has not resulted in any noticeable change to sea levels. When an actual tsunami threat approaches, many people will likely dismiss it as another non-event.
Raising alert levels across the country for one family case will only grow the number of silly people breaking lockdown rules by protesting outside Jacinda Ardern's local office.
While the anti-lockdown protests in Auckland last year were mainly a failed political stunt, I fear that future alert level escalations would erode people's tolerances, as we have seen in Europe and the Americas.
We need as many people as possible to be onboard with lockdowns and the vaccine programme so we can achieve herd immunity and reopen our borders.
The chances of the global vaccine programme being roll out perfectly and uniformly to achieve herd immunity and eliminating the virus are not high.
We do not want to push people towards the anti-vax movement by enforcing heavy-handed and broad sweeping Government rules about lockdowns when it is a false alert.
We need a sharp scalpel, not a sledgehammer, to manage these one-off community cases.
The lockdowns are very real for those businesses who are most impacted by our closed borders.
You may have heard of hotels in Auckland losing lots of business as weddings and events are being cancelled.
We are seeing corporates in the CBD encouraging their staff to stay at home. This has a major impact on ground-floor businesses in the CBD who still have significant fixed outgoings to pay for staff and rent.
Event managers across the country are very nervous as most events are not worth putting on under alert level 2 restrictions. Event cancellations also impact accommodation and transport providers and indirectly impact other service businesses.
I am personally supportive of stronger contact-tracing methods and rules to ensure one community case does not shut down the country's economy. More robust contact tracing would achieve more targeted tracing and lockdowns, allowing the rest of the country to carry on.
Kudos to the Government for not escalating alerts for the Northland Covid-19 case in January, or the tsunami threat from the New Caledonia earthquake a week ago.
• Matt Cowley is the chief executive for the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce.