As I write this week's column, 39.1 per cent of New Zealand's eligible population have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. I'm proud to say that I am one of them.
When the vaccine rollout started around Aotearoa, I counted myself as one of the lucky ones who was eligible very early on, due to a household contact working in MIQ here in Rotorua.
I think I got my first jab on just the second day of the hub being opened at Rotorua Central.
For me, I had no issues whatsoever. The experience was extremely simple and well organised, and the staff were friendly and informative.
If we're to be honest, it took another community outbreak to ramp up capacity, but now the tap is on and I'm more than happy to be backing the NZME initiative 'The 90% Project'.
The aim is to have 90% of the population vaccinated by Christmas.
When it comes to getting the jab, there are no excuses and it is an absolute no-brainer to get in line and vaccinate. If not for yourself, do it for your whānau, and for the future of our country.
In among all the craziness of the recent lockdown, it has been nice to be reminded how many people have continued to play a major role in making our community so special.
Once again this year, I am privileged to be on the judging committee for the 'Kiwibank New Zealander Of The Year' awards, which includes the 'Local Hero' category.
I've spent a few nights over the last week reading through dozens of nominations, and it is quite inspirational.
There are many people in our community who deserve recognition, and this award acknowledges the enormous contribution, sacrifice, and commitment of Kiwis who have selflessly worked to make Rotorua a better place.
The impact can be across any field or have displayed courage in overcoming personal adversity. I look forward to finding out our local recipients in December.
Covid alert level 3 has often been described as level 4 with takeaways.
For many of us here in Rotorua that was one of the most important things a couple of weeks ago, and we have seen the same frenzy for fast food in Auckland earlier this week.
I do love a good burger as much as the next guy, or to be honest probably more than most.
I have a 'favourite burger' at every fast food franchise, and I get a strange look from my family if we go out for dinner and I order something other than the restaurant's signature burger.
But even my love for a burger pales in comparison with an American guy who Jono & Ben on The Hits spoke to this week.
Donald Gorske, 67, has set the world record for "most Big Macs eaten", after downing burger number 32,340!
He began his quest in 1972, when he tried his first-ever Big Mac.
He says he ate three of them in his car, and said, "I'm going to probably eat these for the rest of my life". Then he proceeded to put his money where his mouth is.
Since that day, he has eaten at least two on a daily basis, according to Guinness.
At one point, it was nothing for him to gobble nine per day.
The retired prison guard has kept track of every burger he has eaten since he started, even going so far as to hang on to every container and receipt "organised in boxes and pouches by year".
And if you're wondering if that many Big Macs has done a "number" on his health, Gorske's blood sugar and cholesterol remain relatively low, possibly owing to the fact that he sticks to just Big Macs, forgoing fries and other menu items, and he takes regular six-mile walks.
* Paul Hickey is the host of the local Rotorua show on The Hits Rotorua weekdays between 9am and 3pm. Listen on 97.5FM or download the iHeartRadio app. Follow The Hits Rotorua and Paul on Facebook and Instagram.